Blog Archives

Week of December 23, 2016

Currents: Winter 2016


In this issue of Currents, we feature a broad range of articles that highlight local projects, celebrate success, and discuss emergent trends.


News and Opportunities


Bill Gates and Investors Worth $170B Launching a Fund for Energy Innovation
Bill Gates leading a more than $1 billion fund focused on fighting climate change by investing in clean energy innovation. He was among 28 wealthy individuals and families signed on to the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group broadly committed to investing in this area.

CA Agency Recommends Low-Income Energy and Water Legislation and Task Force
On December 14, the CEC approved the SB 350 Barriers Study mandated by SB 350 to address barriers for low-income households and disadvantaged communities to participate in energy efficiency and renewables opportunities. The California Housing Partnership will work with partners on legislative and regulatory efforts to use this study’s findings to advance transformative equity goals and metrics, energy and water program alignment, the availability of one-stop technical services, and effective financing pilots designed for low-income rental housing in California.

Job Opportunities: Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Redwood Coast Energy Authority is recruiting for multiple positions including Director of Finance & HR, Director of Power Resources, and Demand Side Management Programs Project Manager.

Jop Opportunity: Chief Executive Officer, The Valley Clean Energy Alliance
Yolo County is conducting a recruitment on behalf of The Valley Clean Energy Alliance for the Chief Executive Officer position. Applications due January 20, 2017.

Calendar


January 25-26 (Sacramento) California Climate Change Symposium 2017
This forum aims to share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state to inform the state’s strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate.

February 2 (St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-bird registration has been extended to December 16 for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen.

March 16-19 (Yosemite National Park) Yosemite Policymakers Conference
Join mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers, and high-level department heads for the 26th Annual Yosemite Policymakers Conference. This popular conference always features a timely and inspirational program designed to provide the tools and support policymakers need to implement innovative solutions to address society’s most pressing challenges. This year’s conference will be no different with its focus on sustaining our progress and protecting the American dream.

Resources and Reports


DOE Better Buildings Financing Navigator
The Navigator is an online tool that helps public and private sector organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency projects.

A Greater LA: A Framework for Climate Action
This project led by the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability was recently released and provides a set of curated, synthesized, and regionally specific recommendations across five climate impact areas: Energy, Transportation & Land Use, Water, Public Health, and Ocean & Coastal Resources.

The Case for Health Places: Improving Health Outcomes Through Placemaking
This report uses the idea of placemaking as a framework for describing how transforming public spaces can improve health outcomes Even beyond the tangible benefits that placemaking projects can yield, the very process of bringing community members and stakeholders together to shape a place can have powerful social benefits that in turn connect to positive health outcomes.


Local Government Commission
lgc.org

The Business Journal
By Business Journal staff

December 20, 2016

Fresno Yosemite International Airport announced the opening of 14 electric vehicle charging stations in its short-term and long-term parking lots.

That brings the total of EV chargers at FYI to 20, making it the largest cluster of chargers in the region.

Go to full story at The Business Journal

Week of December 16, 2016

News and Opportunities


California Approves First US Energy Efficiency Standards for Computers
The new standards, approved by California’s Energy Commission, requires most computers to draw less power while idle. Laptops are only requred to see a slight reduction in power draw since they’re already designed to be energy efficient. But only 6% of desktops currently meet the commission’s standards. On average, noncompliant desktops will have to reduce their idle power draw by about 30% by 2019 and by about 50% by 2021, the commission says.

An Update on California’s Distributed Energy Leadership
In an unanimous decision yesterday, California regulators created a new financial incentive pilot that encourages utilities to invest in DERs instead of more expensive traditional grid investments.

Microgrids Continue to Progress – With Some Bumps in the Road
Microgrids increasingly are being seen as a hedge against grid failure and as a way to more efficiently harness renewable resources. However, there is uncertainty for the future of microgrids as they grow at different rates in different areas and with potential decreases in research and development with the new Administration
NYC Hospitals Reduce Energy Use by 10%
Transitioning to LEDs, solar panels, upgrading air handling units, replacing boilers, and steam trap replacement have been the common projects that enabled hospitals to reduce energy use.

RFP: Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program: Best Practices Pilot
The Strategic Growth Council in partnership with the Office of Planning and Research is soliciting proposals for an effort to support local land use planning related to climate and the state’s statutory planning priorities. The program is funding in the amount of $250,000 will be available for applicants to apply for up to $50,000. These grants will support the development and/or implementation of a specific portion of a land use plan, land protection or management practice, or development project. Proposals due January 11, 2017.

Job Opportunity: Energy and Water Coordinator, County of San Luis Obispo
The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works is seeking an innovative and experienced individual who is committed to work as part of a team in delivering a broad range of energy-related projects at County facilities. The position covers a wide range of duties, such as energy monitoring and reporting to researching and implementing program/projects in the County’s EnergyWise Plan. Applications due December 29, 2016.

Calendar


January 25-26 (Sacramento) California Climate Change Symposium 2017
This forum aims to share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state to inform the state’s strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate. Early-bird registration ends December 16.

February 2 (St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-bird registration has been extended to December 16 for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen. Early-bird registration ends December 16.

March 16-19 (Yosemite National Park) Yosemite Policymakers Conference
Join mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers, and high-level department heads for the 26th Annual Yosemite Policymakers Conference. This popular conference always features a timely and inspirational program designed to provide the tools and support policymakers need to implement innovative solutions to address society’s most pressing challenges. This year’s conference will be no different with its focus on sustaining our progress and protecting the American dream.

May 5 (Long Beach) The Business of Local Energy Symposium 2017
The Center for Climate Protection along with the Local Government Commission and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition is offering their third Business of Clean Energy Symposium to convene government, business, and community leaders to accelerate California’s shift to a clean energy economy and to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs. Save the date – registration will open in January.

Resources and Report


2017 Building Intelligence Predictions
Podcast on building intelligence to accelerate savings, equity growth, occupant satisfaction and the arrival of smart, connected cities in 2017.

Re-Assessment of Net Energy Production and GHG Emissions Avoidance After 40 Years of Photovoltaics Development
This report shows strong downward trends of environmental impact of photovoltaic production, following the experience of curve law, and shows a break-even between the cumulative disadvantages and benefits of photovoltaics, for both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, occurs between 1997 and 2018 depending on photovoltaic performance and model uncertainties.

The Benefits of Solar + Storage for Commercial and Public Buildings
A combined solar + storage system can firm and smooth the energy used onsite, reducing demand charge risk due to solar intemittency, and results in more reliable reduction of energy and demand charge-related electricity expenses. Additionally, a combined solution can enhance the resiliency of a building’s power supply, a key consideration for critical facilities in the face of increasingly common power outages in some areas.

The Challenge of Decarbonizing the U.S. Power Sector: Encouraging Innovation and Aligning Stakeholder Interests
This working paper describes current U.S. power sector trends and relevant environmental goals, ways that technology innovation could proceed or be interrupted, and three emerging low-and zero-carbon technologies generally considered leading options for meeting the decarbonization challenges. It concludes with ideas from a range of experts to meet GHG reduction goals and accelerate innovation to advanced low-carbon generation.


Local Government Commission
lgc.org

Los Angeles Times
By Ivan Penn

December 15, 2016

State regulators on Thursday approved the nation’s largest expansion of vehicle charging stations through a $130-million project that will be developed and run by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

The PG&E project will deploy 7,500 vehicle charging stations throughout Northern California, with locations at businesses as well as multi-unit dwellings and in disadvantaged communities.

Go to full story at Los Angeles Times

California Energy Commission Blog

December 14, 2016

The California Energy Commission adopted a study today aimed at helping people and businesses in low-income areas invest in, adopt or take advantage of clean energy technologies.

The study stems from a directive in the landmark climate legislation Senate Bill 350. The legislation established new energy efficiency and renewable electricity targets by 2030. It also directed the Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board to examine and publish a report on barriers that keep energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies beyond the reach of residents, businesses and communities in many low-income or disadvantaged areas and to provide recommendations on how to overcome these barriers.

Go to full story at California Energy Commission Blog

Week of December 9, 2016

News and Opportunities


Reason for Optimism: Making Climate Change Progress in a New Political Era
This month’s Livable Places Update from the Local Government Commission attempts to address what the new administration might mean to leadership on climate change, energy, and infrastructure investments.

High Utility Bills Trigger Anxiety and Depression in Low-Income Households
A researcher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health studied a hidden source of hardship: energy insecurity, the ability to adequately meet basic household energy needs, and its adverse environmental, health, and social consequences. The study provides real-world examples of three dimensions of energy insecurity: economic, physical, and behavioral.

2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft
ARB released the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft to provide the staff’s current thoughts on how to achieve the State’s SB 32 climate goal of reducing greenhouse gases of at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Comments received on the Discussion Draft will inform the development of a comprehensive Proposed 2030 target Scoping Plan, which is expected to be released in January 2017. Comments due December 16, 2016.

RFP: Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program: Best Practices Pilot
The Strategic Growth Council in partnership with the Office of Planning and Research is soliciting proposals for an effort to support local land use planning related to climate and the State’s statutory planning priorities. The program funding in the amount of $250,000 will be available for applicants to apply for up to $50,000. These grants will support the development and/or implementation of a specific portion of a land use plan, land protection or management practice, or development project. Proposals due January 11, 2017.

Revised Draft Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy and Revised Draft Environmental Analysis
ARB released these drafts for public review and will be conducting a series of public workshops to summarize these revisions. Comments due January 17, 2017.

Job Opportunity: Energy & Water Coordinator, County of San Luis Obispo
The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works is seeking an innovative and experienced individual who is committed to work as part of a team in delivering a broad range of energy-related projects at County facilities. The position covers a wide range of duties, such as energy monitoring and reporting to researching and implementing program/projects in the County’s Energy/Wide Plan. Applications due December 29, 2016.

Job Opportunity: Customer Programs Specialist I, MCE
MCE is currently hiring a motivated individual to help implement a new pilot focused on providing energy efficiency services to income qualified communities. The position will require creativity, attention to detail, and ideally knowledge of energy efficiency and/or experience working with low-income communities in the Bay Area. Applications due January 13, 2017.

Calendar


December 13 (San Francisco/Remote) Quarterly EE EM&V Stakeholder Meeting
Join the CPUC for the upcoming Quarterly Energy Efficiency EM&V Stakeholder Meeting. Please propose agenda topics to Syreeta Gibbs at syg@cpuc.ca.gov by GOC December 7, 2016. Agenda topics proposed so far include: 1) Review of the EM&V Masterplan, 2) CPUC and Program Administrator Update on EM&V Budgets and Activities, and 3) M&V 2.0 case studies presentation.

December 15 (Webinar) Advanced Energy Year in Review: What happened in 2016 – and what to expect in 2017
In this webinar, you can hear about the most important policy developments impacting the advanced energy industry in 2016, as well as possible policy battles and breakthroughs coming in 2017.

January 25-26 (Sacramento) California Climate Change Symposium 2017
This forum aims to share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state to inform the state’s strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate. Early-bird registration ends December 12, 2016.

February 2 (St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-bird registration has been extended to December 16 for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen.

May 5 (Long Beach) The Business and Local Energy Symposium 2017
The Center for Climate Protection along with the Local Government Commission and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition is offering their third Business of Clean Energy Symposium to convene government, business, and community leaders to accelerate California’s shift to a clean energy economy and to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs. Save the date – registration will open in January.

Resources and Reports


Current Practices in Efficiency Financing
This report serves as a guide to all customer-facing financing products – products offered by a lender directly to a borrower – used to pay for energy efficiency. View the video and presentations from the associated webinar.

Less Carbon, Higher Prices: How California’s Climate Policies Affect Lower-Income Residents
This paper examines the Golden State’s history of renewable-energy mandates, as well as its carbon cap-and-trade program; its tiered system of electricity pricing, how prices vary by country, and the impact of energy prices on households.

The Intersection of Energy and Justice
This paper explores the interactions of spatial, racial and socioeconomic patterns of residential heating affordability, consumption and efficiency in Wayne County, Michigan. Alongside energy consumption and efficiency disparities, ineffective targeting of inefficient homes are highlighted as the impetus to fuel poverty in this study.

Planning & Zoning for Health in the Built Environment
This Essential Info Packet offers planners a collection of resources to help them better understand the connections between health and the built environment and integrate community health considerations into their planning and zoning work.


Local Government Commission
lgc.org

San Francisco Chronicle
By David R. Baker

December 8, 2016

Early last year, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. proposed spending $654 million to install 25,000 electric-car chargers across Northern and Central California — the largest charging program the nation had ever seen.

Those plans have since been scaled back, though they are still ambitious.

Next week, California utility regulators are expected to vote on a considerably smaller, $130 million version of the program, after a long debate that raised fundamental questions about how public charging stations should be financed and installed.

Go to full story at San Francisco Chronicle

Week of December 2, 2016

Request for ZNE Resources


The Local Government Commission through SEEC is developing a robust toolkit for local governments on zero net energy. The toolkit aims to compile valuable resources and case studies in a single location in an easy to navigate, interactive online format. If you have come across any ZNE-related resources of particular value, please share with jkim@lgc.org.

News and Opportunities


How Local Can Continue Momentum on Climate Change
While we face serious questions about the potential effects of changes in legislative and budgetary support for environmental action in California, we can draw inspiration and implementation lessons from local models to continue progress toward a low-carbon and resilient future.

Green and EEFA Develop 2017 Priorities for EE, Water, and Renewables
Sixty leaders from housing, energy, environmental, and workforce development organizations gathered in LA and AF to help the California Housing Partnership’s Green Rental Home EE Network (GREEN), NRDC, and EE for ALL (EEFA) partners set priorities for 2017.

COP22: Key Outcomes Agreed at the UN Climate Talks in Marrakech
When negotiators from almost 200 countries arrived in Marrakech for the latest annual climate conference, COP22, it was being touted as an opportunity to showcase progress and start the important process of turning the UN’s Paris Agreement into a detailed blueprint for action.

Job Opportunity: Sustainability Coordinator, City of American Canyon
The City of American Canyon is hiring for a Sustainability Coordinator to help with water conservation efforts, citywide sustainability programs, and outreach related to these programs. Applications due December 9, 2016.

Job Opportunity: Senior Program Director, Sierra Business Council
Sierra Business Council (SBC) is hiring for a Senior Program Director to assume the responsibilities of day-to-day leadership and management of SBC’s current and future programs as they relate to energy efficiency and climate planning. Position open until filled.

Calendar


December 7 (Oakland) CA EE Coordinating Committee Meeting
Agenda items include planning for 2017 activities and subcommittee functions, discussion and review of proposals, review of implementation plan development process, and more.

December 13 (San Francisco/Remote) Quaterly EE EM&V Stakeholder Meeting
Join the CPUC for the upcoming Quarterly Energy Efficiency EM&V Stakeholder Meeting. Please propose agenda topics to Syreeta Gibbs at syg@cpuc.ca.gov by COB December 7, 2016. Agenda topics proposed so far include: 1) Review of the EM&V Masterplan, 2) CPUC and Program Administrator Update on EM&V Budgets and Activities, and 3) M&V 2.0 case studies presentation.

January 25-26 (Sacramento) California Climate Change Symposium 2017
This forum aims to share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state to inform that state’s strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate.

February 2, 2017 )St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-bird registration has extended to December 6 for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen.

News and Opportunities


Driving High Performance: Role of Codes & Permitting in Zero Net Energy
Learn how local jurisdictions are getting ahead of upcoming ZNE mandates in California and find out how end users are using streamlined permitting and reach codes to drive high performance.

Volkswagen California ZEV Investment Commitment Workshop Presentation
PowerPoint slides that will be presented at a public workshop today, where interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide suggestions for Volkswagen’s $800 million 10-year zero emission vehicle investment commitment in California.

2016 Legislative Update
Legislative update of key climate- and energy-related bills passed in the 2016 legislative session.


Local Government Commission
lgc.org

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Week of November 18, 2016


News and Opportunities


DOC Scaling Up the Next Generation of Building Efficiency Packages Program – $6.5 Million
DOE is making available funding to drive innovation in real building technology demonstrations while fostering the collaboration of dynamic demonstration teams that include technology providers, energy organizations, efficient building hubs, utilities, and building professionals. Eligible entities include State, local, and tribal governments. Concept papers due November 21, 2016 (full application due Feburary 21, 2017).

Upcoming Deadlines for California Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee
Comments on revision 3 to proposed Conflict of Interest Policy due today; comments on Business Plans (except SCE’s) due November 21; Comments on topic list for the Policy Letter and Comparison Document due November 29; comments on deferred elements of draft BPs due November 30; and comments on SCE’s draft BP due December 1.

2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
There are few key proposals on International Code Council’s ballot that will boost efficiency, and nearly all of them will require a two-thirds majority to make it into the 2018 update of America’s model energy code. The most significant residential proposal, RE 179 Builder Flex points, will achieve the modest 5% efficiency gain endorsed by the US Conference of Mayors. Check out Energy Efficient Code Coalition’s voting guide here. Vote by November 22, 2016.

Cap-and-Trade Draft Funding Guidelines Supplement
ARB published draft guidelines for agencies administering Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds. The purpose of this supplement is to provide disadvantaged community investment targets, criteria for how to determine whether proposed projects provide benefits to disadvantaged communities, and guidance on reporting requirements. Comments due December 6, 2016.

Job Opportunity: City of El Cerrito
The of El Cerrito is hiring for the position Management Analyst II in the Public Works Department – Operations and Environmental Services Division. This position is assigned to difficult and complex assignments in management and budgetary analysis requiring a high degree of knowledge of City, administrative, and budgetary policies, practices and techniques. Applications due December 7, 2016.

Job Opportunity: County of Sonoma
The Sonoma County General Services Department seeks a qualified bilingual (English & Spanish) professional to become an Information and Communication Analyst in their Energy and Sustainability Division. The analyst will plan, develop, coordinate, and implement Energy and Sustainability Division information, communication, education, and marketing efforts and act as the division spokesperson in dealing with the media and community groups. Applications due December 8, 2016.


Calendar


December 1 (webinar) America’s Next Top Energy Model: Tools and Best Practices
A peer exchange call through DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge to see which energy models will be strutting their stuff down their runway.
December 8 (Fresno) Energy Efficiency Contract and Customer Financing and Implementation Workshop
Register now for a morning seminar and complimentary networking lunch for an information-packed workshop offering powerful financing tools for contractors and their customers. Learn about the new On-Bill Financing Alternative pathway, bride financing for OBF contractors, additional funding options, and developments in the Trade Pro Alliance program.

February 2 (St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-brid registration is now available through November 30 for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen.

May 5 (Long Beach) The Business of Local Energy Symposium – Community Choice Energy: It’s All About Impact
Save the date and join CCE experts and local government leaders from across the state in Spring 2017 for a day-long event about accelerating CCA adoption and creating more benefits for local communities. Registration opens early February.


Resources and Reports


Making the Best of the Second-Best Welface Consequences of Time-Varying Electricity Prices
This research paper from the Energy Institute at Haas estimates the impacts of peak pricing on the commercial and industrial sector, discuses long-run investment efficiency in electricity markets, and provides second-best pricing policies under capacity constraints.

State Energy Efficiency Resource Standards
An ACEEE policy brief from May 2016 highlighting twenty-five states that are currently implementing Energy Efficiency Resource Standards policies requiring electricity savings.


Local Government Commission
lgc.org

The Fresno Bee
By Robert Rodriguez, brodriguez@fresnobee.com

November 17, 2016

A diary in west Fresno County that converts manure into electricity is the first to become operational under a state program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

State and federal officials were at Open Sky Ranch in Riverdale on Thursday to introduce the dairy digester project that was funded under a California Department of Food and Agriculture research and development program.

The digester received a $973,430 grant from the program that is paid for by California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund. Diary owner Eric TeVelde provided $973,434 in matching funds.

Go to full story at The Fresno Bee

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