Blog Archives

The Fresno Bee
By Robert Rodriguez,

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

NGT News
By Lauren Tyler

November 16, 2016

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has awarded funding to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to deploy 15 Proterra Catalyst buses, 11 Proterra depot-chargers and four Proterra fast-chargers in order to improve local air quality and public health in disadvantaged communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

According to Proterra, the manufacturer will deploy its zero-emission, battery-electric buses and charging stations throughout the valley, including the City of Visalia Transit Division, Fresno County Rural Transit Agency, California State University Fresno, San Joaquin Regional Transit District and City of Modesto Transit Services.

Go to full story at NGT News

Biodiesel Magazine

November 16, 2016

Biodiesel producer Biodico Inc. announced Nov. 16 that it has completed its resource assessment to support the next stage of development for its “Zero Net Energy Farm” project, which is funded in part by the California Energy Commission to create environmentally sound energy solutions for the state’s agricultural industry.

Based on the results, Biodico will proceed with the building of the first-of-its-kind Zero Net Energy Farm to generate all electrical and heating power needs from on-site renewable resources, including solar, wind and biomass. The project will provide a template for introducing Biodico’s ZNEF technology to other regions throughout the country and on a global scale.

Go to full story at Biodiesel Magazine

Week of November 11, 2016

News and Opportunities

CURRENTS Fall 2016
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out our newest edition of CURRENTS featuring a wide range of topics form a look into a Local Government Partnership’s less common energy project “gems,” to an update on key state climate and energy legislation, and more!

California Regulators Dedicate $80 Million to Empower Affordable Housing Owners to Play a Key Role in Meeting the State’s EE Goals
On November 10, the CPUC issued a decision that dedicates $80 million to empower government and non-profit owners of rent-restricted affordable housing to participate in Energy Saving Assistance (ESA) programs for low-income households. The decision updates the ESA program to support whole-building energy efficiency planning and improvements for affordable housing.

Joint Statement from California Legislative Leaders on Result of Presidential Election
California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon released a state on the results of the President election.

What Do the 2016 Election Results Mean for Energy Efficiency
Steven Nadel, executive director of ACEEE, considers the impact of the 2016 election results and its impact on energy efficiency policy.

Job Opportunity: City of Cupertino
The City of Cupertino is currently recruiting for a Limited-Term Sustainability Program Coordinator. Under the direction of the Sustainability Manager, this position will assist to plan, organize and coordinate the implementation and reporting measures and policies defined within the City’s Climate Action Plan and General Plan Sustainability Element. Applications due November 29, 2016


November 15 (webinar) Driving High Performance: Role of Codes & Permitting in Zero Net Energy
The Center for Sustainable Energy invites city and county staff, government officials, architects, building owners and developers, and contractors to a free webinar on the role of codes and permitting in reaching zero net energy building goals.

November 16 (Sacramento/remote) Workshop on SB 350 and AB 802
The California Energy Commission is conducting a workshop to discuss and seek comments from interested parties regarding energy data collection to support the implementation of SB 350, AB 802, and improved California Energy analytics.

November 17 (webinar) Catalizing Energy Efficiency: City Governments and Energy Efficiency Implementers
Participants will hear from efficiency program implementers who have capitalize on city benchmarking data to build and refine programs that better engage owners and managers to implement cost-effective efficiency actions in multifamily properties.

November 17 (webinar) Diversifying Funding Sources and Building New Revenue Streams
This peer exchange call hosted by DOE Better Buildings will discuss different types of revenue streams available for energy efficiency programs.

November 17 (webinar) Current Practices in Efficiency Financing: An Overview for State and Local Governments
This webinar will help state and local government officials, and others understand how to assess the value of different financing products for promoting energy efficiency; the fundamentals and trade-offs of financing products used to fund energy efficiency; how financing products work to overcome market barriers in different sectors; financing product features and relative merits; and market activity and size of the efficiency financing market.

Resources and Reports

Catalyzing Efficiency: Unlocking Energy Information and Value in Apartment Buildings
Increasing the energy efficiency of America’s multifamily buildings could save building owners and managers, residents, governments, energy efficiency service providers, and financiers close to $3.4 billion in annual savings. Recognizing this, this report from IMT explores how governments and energy efficiency implementers could help these stakeholders better analyze and act upon building performance data to unlock these savings.

Green Cities California CCE Program Final Report
This report updates the success of advancing Community Choice Energy programs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Learn Why Packaging LED & Advance Rooftop-Units Together Lead to Maximum Performance
In this white paper, Transformative Wave explores a packaged LED and Advanced Rooftop-Unit1 Control (ARC) retrofit in detail – summarizing what an ARC retrofit is and how ARC’s can improve the performance and resize energy savings from an LED retrofit.

Local Government Commission


November 15, 2016

FRESNO – On November 9, 2016, Biodico hosted the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Cluster’s quarterly meeting at the University of California: West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points, Calif. Forty participated in the event, which included a tour and overview of Biodico’s Westside Biofuel Facility.

Headquartered in Ventura, Calif., Biodico “specializes in Alternative Energy Solutions including the design, production, and operation of sustainable biorefineries.” The company was recently awarded a $1.2 million grant by the California Energy Commission to develop a Zero Net Energy Farm (ZNEF) which Fresno State is a partner of. “Zero Net Energy Farms are the farms of the future. ZNEFs produce their own power and fuel from local renewable resources, and provide energy stability and security, employment and economic development, and improved environmental conditions.” ( The meeting included an overview of the project, which is being carried out at Red Rock Ranch.

Cluster members ended the meeting with a discussion on potential future projects and or areas to focus on in the upcoming new year.


Click here for printable PDF


For Immediate Release


Evan Pondel
PondelWilkinson Inc.
(310) 279-5980

Fresno and Venture Counties, Calif. – November 7, 2016 – Biodico Inc. will welcome clean energy entrepreneurs to its Zero net Energy Farm in California’s San Joaquin Valley on Wednesday, Nov. 9 as part of outreach efforts to drive innovation in a state where Governor Jerry Brown recently passed landmark climate legislation.

Biodico was awarded a $1.2 million grant by the California Energy Commission to develop its “Zero Net Energy Farm”, which would enable farms to generate all electrical and heating power needs from on-site renewable resources, while reducing greenhouse gas footprints.

Click here to view News Release

Week of November 4, 2016

News and Opportunities

CURRENTS Fall 2016
The newest edition of CURRENTS is now live, featuring a wide range of topics from a look into a Local Government Partnership’s less common energy project “gems,” to an update on key state climate and energy legislation, and more! If you are interested in sharing best practices, lessons learned, or a success story in the next edition of CURRENTS, please contact

Santa Monica Approves World’s First Net Zero Building Requirement
The Santa Monica City Council voted last week to approve an ordinance requiring all new single-family construction in the city to be zero net energy. The ordinance now goes to the California Energy Commission for approval, and continues the city’s long history of adopting local requirements, and providing resources to the community, that take a global lead in advancing the transition to high performance, green buildings.

The California Duck Curve Is Real, and Bigger Than Expected
An analysis of CAISO data from 2011 through mid-2016 reveals that California has largely exceeded its 2013 projections for lower net loads and higher ramps in energy demand. These changes are occurring in the wintertime too, another season that’s light on air conditioning load. In addition, the deepest drops are happening on weekends, not weekdays.

Obama Administration Announces New Actions to Accelerate the Deployment of Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure
For the first time, the United States Department of Transportation is establishing 48 national electric vehicle charging corridors on highways. These newly designated electric vehicle routes cover nearly 25,000 miles in 35 states.

Paris Climate Deal Enters Force as Focus Shifts to Action
Governments have agreed to keep the global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – and preferably 1.5 degrees. Delegates from almost 200 counties are meeting in Marrakech next week to consider the way ahead beyond Paris.

Green Bonds Are Exploding. But Questions Remain About How the Money is Being Used
There werea bout $42 billion in green bonds sold in 2015, but nearly $50 billion sold in the first seven months of 2016, according to a new report from EY. Many of the bonds are over-subscribed and largely unregulated, however, creating a market prime for “greenwashing,” warns EY.


November 10 (webinar) Do You Hear Me Now? Communicating the Value of Non-Energy Benefits
Join DOE Better Buildings for a peer exchange call to discuss the most effective ways to communicate the full spectrum of non-energy benefits.

November 11 (webinar) Driving High Performance: Role of Codes & Permitting in Zero Net Energy
The Center for Sustainable Energy Invites city and county staff, governmental officials, architects, building owners and developers, and contractors to a free webinar on the role of codes and permitting in reaching zero net energy building goals.

Resources and Reports

SEEC 2016 Climate and Energy Legislative Update
This legislative update provides a brief summary of key climate and energy bills passed in the 2016 legislative session.

UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2016
Since 2010, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has produced annual Emissions Gap Reports based on requested by countries for an independent scientific assessment of how actions and pledges by countries affect the global greenhouse gas emissions trend, and how this compares to emissions trajectories consistent with the long-time goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Here is also an article from Climate Central that summarizes the report’s key findings.

Peer Diffusion: A Promising Way for Service Providers to Unlock Investments in Home Energy Upgrades
This new report from Rocky Mountain Institute explores the key elements of a robust peer diffusion strategy based on practical, real-world examples that energy service providers and program administrators can use to promote dialogue around whole-home performance.

Before the Flood
New climate change documentary – Leonardo DiCaprio travels the world speaking to scientists and world leaders about the dramatic effects of climate change.

Local Government Commission

Week of October 28, 2016

News and Opportunities

Targeted Process Evaluation of the Local Government Partnership (LGP) Program
Research into Action (RIA), SCE’s consultant preparer, has been for over a year working to craft his study to address three primary subjects: developing new useful criteria to organized and group similar LGPs for the purpose of more easily evaluating the diverse sector; shedding light on the effectiveness of LGP muni retrofits; and further building our body knowledge of LGP strategic-plan projects. A webinar is being conducted on November 18 (see calendar section). Comments are due November 16, 2016 via

Energy Department Recognizes UC Berkeley for Leadership in Campus-Wide Energy Innovations
As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s university buildings and facilities, the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge program recognized University of California, Berkely for its leadership in energy efficiency.

Firts-of-its-Kind Energy Storage Project
Advanced Microgrid Solutions and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) launched a landmark water-energy project using advanced energy storage systems to better integrate renewable power, reduce demand on the electric grid and lower costs. The project further enables IEUA to protect its customers while addressing the link between water and the energy needed to process and transport.

Will California Drivers Get in Electric Cars to Save $13.5 Billion?
A new report (see resource section) indicates that a shift to electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles could save Californians $13.5 billion in health and climate costs by 2050.

USDA Investing More than $300M in Efficiency, Renewables
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing more than $300 million in projects aimed at increasing use of renewables and energy efficiency options for small businesses through their Rural Energy for America (REAP) program.

Job Opportunity: Energy and Sustainability Analyst, County of Sonoma
The Sonoma County General Services Department seeks a qualified professional to become an Energy and Sustainable (ES) Analyst in their ES Division. Under general direction, the ES analyst plans, develops, coordinates, and implements ES Division customer project support efforts; provides project selection technical support, energy and water evaluation and analysis, and project financing resources; and is responsible for collecting and analyzing data and reporting results. Applications due November 14, 2016


November 1 (Webinar) A Recipe for Award-Winning Online Community Engagement
This highly visual 45-minute webinar will present research findings, proven best practices, practical tips and award-winning case studies to guide agencies towards the successful application of online community engagement for planning projects. Participants will walk away with an understanding about how to leverage digital engagement to achieve unprecedented results using cost-effective tools.

November 2 (San Francisco/ Dial-in) Coordinating Committee Meeting #11
This meeting is your opportunity to discuss the PA’s visions and strategies for achieving maximum cost-effective savings and transforming markets over the next 10 years. The Business Plans set the groundwork for future programs and Implementation Plans.

November 3 (Webinar) Boom Chika Boom: Demand Response and Behavior Change
A peer exchange call to discuss demand response and the most effective ways to change behaviors to improve residential energy efficiency.

November 7 (Sacramento/ Webcast) Workshop on 2030 Target Scoping Plan Update
This workshop will discuss policy scenarios and associated reductions; the Natural and Working Lands Sector, including carbon sequestration scenario modeling ARB’s Natural and Working Lands inventory; and public health implications of climate change and mitigation policies.

November 8 (Webinar) Targeted Process Evaluation of the LGP Program
This webinar is to discuss the study background and goals, methods, and findings of paired with conclusions and recommendations.

November 16 (Berkeley) ZNE Workshop for Local Governments
This six-hour workshop will support local governments working to integrate state goals to achieve zero net energy (ZNE) buildings. Learn about examples, emerging trends, new programs and tools to support local government ZNE policy and plan development.

Resources and Reports

Practical Guide to Transforming Energy Data into Better Buildings
This guide uses the lifecycle of energy data as a framework to help you understand what and when data can be collected, and how to best evaluate the date for meaningful insights. The lifecycle follows through the following path: understanding where the data is coming from; aggregating the different data sources; transforming data into actionable insights; taking insights-driven actions; using data to track and evaluate results; leveraging energy insights beyond building management; and 8 steps to get started today.

Clean Air Future: Health and Climate Benefits of Zero Emission Vehicles
This report was produced by the American Lung Association in California to illustrate the billion of dollars in health and other societal damages caused by passenger vehicle pollution today, and to highlight the benefits of the ongoing transition to zero emission technologies across the passenger vehicle fleet.

Electric Company Smart Meter Deployments: Foundation for a Smart Grid
This report describes how electric companies are using smart meter data today to improve grid operations, integrate distributed energy resources, provide customer services, and support innovative pricing. It also describes the growing importance of the distribution system.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency organized by state.

Local Government Commission


October 24, 2016

FRESNO – Over 150 people gathered at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District in Clovis, CA, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, for the inaugural San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit. The event provided an opportunity to learn about the latest in advanced, clean transportation technology options right here in the Valley through an up close and personal experience. Attendees were able to interact with owners and operators of clean emission vehicles, meet with manufacturers and dealers, hear from state and local agencies, and learn about rebate and incentive programs.

The Summit featured vendor booths, speakers, and breakout sessions on topics including electric vehicles and natural gas alternatives, and numerous vehicles on display. The event opened with speeches from the likes of Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, CALSTART CEO John Boesel and George Minter, SoCalGas Regional Vice President of External Affairs and Environmental Strategy. Keynote speakers included Fresno Councilmember, Oliver L. Baines III; Sheraz Gill, Director of Strategies and Incentives, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District; and John Kato, Deputy Director of Fuels and Transportation Division, California Energy Commission. The day ended with vehicle ride-and-drive demonstrations.

The event was organized by CALSTART in partnership with Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development and various industry partners.


Click here to view Printable PDF

Week of October 21, 2016

News and Opportunities

Local Governments Push for Strong Reach Codes
The City of San Mateo and the Town of Portola Valley are working on adopting reach codes that go beyond the State’s CALGreen requirements to help them achieve climate action goals.

Broad Coalition Backs Enhancements to Energy-Saving Program
A diverse coalition of 19 groups is supporting a proposal to significantly enhance California’s Energy Savings Assistance Program, to prove more energy efficiency opportunities for low-income households – especially underserved residents of multi-family housing.

OPR Survey: Streamline Solar Permitting Ordinance 2016
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research requests information from local jurisdictions on their progress with implementation of AB 2188, the Expedited Solar Permitting Act, Government Code Section 65850.5(g). In addition, CALSEIA and Center for Sustainable Energy are offering technical assistance to help jurisdictions implement streamlined solar permitting processes. Survey closes November 18, 2016.

Energy Globe Award
The Energy Globe Award is presented annually to outstanding and sustainable projects in the area of environment energy (e.g., resource conservation, improvement of air and water quality, energy efficiency, use of renewable energies, and recycling). Awards are presented at the national level and on the international level in 6 categories: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Youth and Sustainable Projects. Deadline for submissions is November 18, 2016.

Job Opportunity: Senior Project Manager, SBCCOG
The South Bay Cities Council of Governments is hiring a senior project manager for their energy efficiency and environmental programs. This senior level position is responsible for the development of strategies, standards, and processes for implementation of programs, activities, and events related to the environment, water, energy, and transportation; engages with partners and program customers; and has knowledge of basic employee performance management standards and practices.


October 25 (Webinar) Meeting Climate Change Goals with Energy Efficiency: Cities and the Clean Power Plan
This webinar will discuss how cities can use energy efficiency to meet climate goals and potentially secure new funding streams to pay for projects and programs. Presenters will provide an overview of opportunities under the Clean Power Plan and drill down into the early credit program benefiting low-income communities, the Clean Energy Incentive Program.

October 27 (Webinar) LGP + REN EM&V Roadmaps Update
This discussion will be facilitated by Jeremy Battis of Energy Division and will present for public comment proposed changes to the LG sector roadmaps that came out of an engagement exercise with the unified LGP-REN-CCA PCG at its October 11 meeting.

November 15 (Sacramento) Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets
This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide together.

November 11 (Berkeley) ZNE for Local Governments Workshop, BayREN Fall Forum
This six-hour workshop will supply local governments working to integrate state goals to achieve zero net energy (ZNE) buildings. Learn about case studies on ZNE buildings, new programs and tools to support local government ZNE policy and plan development, as well as new research and emerging trends.

Resources and Reports

A Roadmap for Clean Power Plan Compliance: State Development and Consideration of Energy Efficiency
This paper examines two states that have committed to planning for CPP compliance on an accelerated timetable: Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The paper compares and contrasts efforts in these states in order to identify best practices and lessons learned that can be applied in other states as they juggle the multiple responsibilities of air, energy, and utility regulators to achieve their pollution-reduction goals.

Behavior Change Programs: Status and Impact
This report aims to help program administrators choose effective behavior change programs for their specific purposes. The report focuses on behavior change programs that primarily rely on social-science-based strategies instead of traditional approaches such as incentives, rebates, pricing, or legal and policy strategies.

How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the U.S. Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change
Energy efficiency has become the nation’s third-largest electricity resource, lowering harmful pollution, creating U.S. jobs, reducing energy burdens for those in need, and strengthening community resilience. With increased support it could become the largest and one of the world’s core strategies to tackle climate change.

ZNE Building Design and Performance Verification Methodologies
This study develops drat verification methodoligies for ZNE buildings in California to address how gross energy savings at the unit level (ZNE building) are to be verified at the design stage as well as once the building is constructed and under operation.

Local Government Commission