Many states have funds, often called “public benefit funds” (PBF), dedicated to supporting energy efficiency, renewable energy and research and development. The funds are collected either through a small charge on the bill of every electric customer or through specified contributions from utilities. The charge ensures that money is available to fund these investments. Publicly managed clean energy funds from many of these states have joined with other organizations that deploy similar funds at the sub-national level to form the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). CESA helps clean energy fund managers develop and promote clean energy technologies. Many public benefit funds were created as part of the electric-industry restructuring movement in the late 1990s to fund initiatives that are inadequately supported by competitive electricity markets.
Some additional states, while not maintaining formal PBFs, allow utilities to add charges to bills to fund renewable energy and/or energy efficiency programs. Since the revenues from these charges function similarly to a PBF, states taking this approach are listed above as maintaining a Quasi-PBF.