Friday, March 27, 2015

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

For those of you who know who Joseph Oldham is you likely are on his email distribution list and receive this update each week.  We are grateful that Joseph has agreed to allow our little blog to re-post his weekly update.  If you have an interest in the happenings of energy efficiency and local government throughout California this is the update for you! If you love the information here, but want more in depth features be sure to check out Joseph's quarterly newsletter, CURRENTS.


1. CHANGED DATE- AB 758 Draft Action Plan Webinar
Please CEC staff for a 1-hour webinar, regarding the AB 758 draft Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan.  The webinar will give an overview of the updated draft Plan and provide the process for engagement and comments.

The webinars have been divided per sector:

Wednesday 4/1 
Implementers (IOUs and RENs) 10:30am-11:30am
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6021347151935441666Webinar ID: 133-651-387
Call in Number: (605) 477-2100 participant code: 829941#

Monday 3/30
Residential Sector 10:00am-11:00am
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5226473912332359170Webinar ID: 130-859-435
Call in Number: (605) 477-2100 participant code: 829941#
Commercial Sector 1:00pm-2:00pm
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7241931502603971842Webinar ID: 141-821-963
Call in Number: (605) 477-2100 participant code: 829941#
The first in person workshop will be held on April 7, 2015. Please subscribe to the Existing Buildings ListServ (http://www.energy.ca.gov/ab758/) to receive the workshop notice.The draft Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan has been posted to http://www.energy.ca.gov/ab758/documents/

2. Are You Waiting for Your HVAC Equipment to Fail?
Good article about why pro-active replacement of aging HVAC equipment makes financial sense.  To read the full article and get details, go here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/110482-0110482/  

3.   Employment Opportunity - Senior Environmental Specialist at the Port of San Diego
The Port of San Diego is currently seeking an experienced Senior Environmental Specialist to be part of our Green Port team. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of six years of experience involving the development, analysis, and/or implementation of professional program assignments related to environmental sustainability. Direct experience with climate action planning and/or energy management is preferred. The ideal candidate is a self-starter and a proactive go-getter with the resourcefulness to seek out answers. This individual is also a critical thinker who is detail oriented, thinks outside the box, and demonstrates the ability to troubleshoot and analyze detailed and high level perspectives to achieve results-oriented solutions. We desire someone who is able to manage projects and critical deadlines in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment, while providing stellar customer service to internal and external customers, staff, and the public. If this opportunity sounds interesting to you, please read on for further details regarding the position and requirements.

Position:  Senior Environmental Specialist (Classified)
Recruitment:  #14/15
Dept.:  Environmental & Land Use Management
Open: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Closes:  Monday, April 20, 2015               
Status: Classified/Exempt
Type:  Open
Supervisor:  Yes
Pay Rate:  Range 19 ($70,272 - $95,746 Annually)
HR Analyst: Katie Vigil, Ext. 8105


4.  Make Sure Your Nonresidential Compliance Software Is Approved!
2013 ENERGY STANDARDS APPROVED COMPLIANCE SOFTWARE
The unconditionally approved versions of nonresidential software that are used to demonstrate compliance with the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, are:

CBECC-Com Version 3b - just released!

CBECC-Com Version 3a

IES Virtual Environment2014, Feature Pack 1, Version 2014. 1.0

IES Virtual Environment2014, Feature Pack 2, Version 2014. 2.0.0

DOWNLOADS

The CBECC software is available for free at:

The IES software is available for download at:

Information for obtaining approved software, as well as the status of various software versions, is posted on the Energy Commission's 2013 Standards website for approved computer compliance programs at:

5.  City of ARCATA ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT----Environmental Services Department job opening

About the Job
CITY OF ARCATA ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT $39,942.47 - $48,550.32/yr. Filing Deadline: 4p.m. April 1, 2015. Performs a wide variety of complex administrative and support functions within assigned department. The current vacancy is in the Environmental Services Department. Application materials available at www.cityofarcata.org ; Arcata City Manager's Office, 736 F Street, Arcata, or (707) 822-5953. EOE.



And that is all for this week!  



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lighting the Way to Savings

We have all gotten used to having lights to guide us down the road or down the sidewalk, but do you know how much electricity it takes to light that path? Many American’s have no idea what it takes to keep common area lighting going, but your cities and counties do. If you were to ask them how much it costs they would most likely state…TOO MUCH!

Cities have held back on making the leap to LED streetlights, since it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Many city councils and or county supervisors get hung up on the price tag and vote no, but there are many more added benefits to making the change than one would think. When streetlights are upgraded to LED streetlights cities will gain more than energy savings and energy usage. They will be improving light pollution, wasted lighting and public safety. Many may doubt that the items listed above can be improved with just lights, but I am here to prove it to you!

Most of the older streetlights that you see today were installed in the 1970’s and give off an orange hue. The hue is caused by the lights containing sodium, which takes a lot of energy to keep lit.  Estimates show that for outdoor parking and roadway lighting the US spends around $10 Billion dollars’ each year. That same amount that goes to those outdoor lighting structures would be able to power around 6 million homes.  [i]  Besides the conservation of energy look at the dollars and cents that would be saved. That is a large chunk of money that a city or county could put toward a large improvement project.

When a city decides to make the switch to LED streetlights they would be able to use 60% less electricity. One such success story was featured in SF Bay. The City of San Jose is retrofitting 63,000 of their streetlights by the year 2016. [ii] It is one of the biggest lighting retrofits in the country. The city is doing a two part retrofit with the first part consisting of 18,100 lights and comes at a cost of $10.5 million. The city is working with PG&E on their streetlights program, which will provide around $900,000 in rebates once all is said and done. With the incentive taken into consideration the city will cut the big price tag down to $9.6 million. Not too shabby of a savings in my book.

Besides the money and energy savings cities can improve light pollution and wasted light as well. Having LED streetlights allows the lighting to be directed to where you would like the lighting to go to.[iii] Along with having directional light LED’s are able to deliver a more even light to the area being lit. With more even light you do not get the glowing sensation like you would with the older orange lights.

Now when it comes to improving public safety street lights help to improve pedestrian safety and traffic safety. With well thought out plans of street lights pedestrian can become more visible along the sidewalks as well as in the crosswalks or roadways. When it comes to traffic safety improved lighting would be a no brainer. With well-lit roadways and intersections you have improved visibility of vehicles. Most of your high lit areas would be those that have high traffic, high volume and dangerous or blind curves.

Though city officials would receive praise for making such large investments and upgrades they can also receive national recognition. Just this year President Obama launched the Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting. This challenge is to help push municipalities to make the upgrade to better outdoor lighting. For those cities and local governments that would like to gain that recognition and complete the work they will be listed on the white house partners listing as well as gain press attention.  




[i] “LED Outdoor Lighting: A $6 Billion Annual Savings Opportunity”, Mar. 18, 2015, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2015/03/led-outdoor-lighting-a-6-billion-annual-savings-opportunity
[ii] “San Jose Flips Switch on LED Streetlights”, Mar., 18, 2015, http://sfbay.ca/2015/02/11/san-jose-flips-switch-on-led-streetlights/
[iii] “Improving Efficiency in Municipal Street and Public Space Lighting”, Mar., 26, 2015, http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/Docs/for_my_business/lighting_programs/StreetLightingGuide.pdf


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Green Teams Part IV

I’ve been talking about energy efficiency in professional sports for a while now and I realize how little I knew about any of it until recently. I was aware of the NBA’s Green Week and the 49ers efficient new stadium, but I never would have guessed the extent of the industry’s green achievements unless I really wanted to look into it. So I guess it’s a good thing I was curious about this and have an outlet to share my exciting findings with the world!!

As you’ve all learned by now, the NRDC put together a massive report about all things good and green in the sports industry, but they’ve also played quite the hand in helping the various teams, leagues and venues they highlight in the report develop green websites, events and initiatives.

The NRDC, with the NHL, launched a green website, designed to advertise the League’s green events (such as developing community gardens), promote green living tips and announce NHL green contributions (like their donation of 1,600 trees in May 2013 to The Nature Conservancy). The NHL and NRDC have collaborated numerous times to ensure hockey fans around the country are aware of environmental issues and initiatives. 2010 Winter Classic spectators even attended a panel discussion about how going green can benefit the economy.

The NHL’s green initiatives are vast, impressive and encouraging. Tickets are printed on recycled paper; unsold food is given to the Rock and Wrap It Up! Initiative to fight poverty; free public transportation passes are available to ticket holders. The list goes on. As shown in the PSA below, hockey players need ice to play their game and the ice in this world is quickly disappearing. Let’s change that. Let’s keep hockey around. I know I’m not the only who wants that.



I can’t express how awesome I think it is that such a huge, energy-sucking, wasteful industry (before you get mad at me for saying that, think about it for a second) is making major moves to cut its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and landfills. Their accomplishments have been so great that they’re starting to rub off on college sports, too!

O-H-I-O!
Photo Source: FaceBook
 NCAA’s March Madness now not only has a sustainability committee for the Final Four (pages 32-34), but eligible schools can compete in the Environmental March Madness Tournament, which compares and assesses environmental degree programs, green job and event opportunities and on- and off-campus efforts to build a sustainable surrounding community. A National Champion is selected after three rounds of judging: the Finest Four is picked from the Environmental Eight, which is picked from the Sustainable Sixteen. I got to see 2013's Environmental March Madness National Champion, the Ohio State Buckeyes, at LA’s Staples Center for both their Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight Games. Wichita State may have knocked OSU out of the basketball part of the competition, but the Shockers weren’t ready for the Buckeyes’ environmental domination!


This is great for NCAA basketball, but hopefully there will be more green efforts in college sports as a whole. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conducted a sustainability survey for NCAA athletic departments and while some responses are encouraging, others are not. There is definitely room for improvement, but the important thing is that environmentally responsible endeavors have begun. All in all, as both an energy efficiency enthusiast and a major sports fan, I feel great about where the sports industry is headed and what we will see in the near future.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

For those of you who know who Joseph Oldham is you likely are on his email distribution list and receive this update each week.  We are grateful that Joseph has agreed to allow our little blog to re-post his weekly update.  If you have an interest in the happenings of energy efficiency and local government throughout California this is the update for you! If you love the information here, but want more in depth features be sure to check out Joseph's quarterly newsletter, CURRENTS.

1.   Energy Efficiency, 15-IEPR-05, Notice of Lead Commissioner Workshop on the Existing Building Energy Efficiency Draft Action PlanThe following Document submitted to Docket Number 15-IEPR-05 has been published:

Notice of Lead Commissioner Workshop on the Existing Building Energy
Efficiency Draft Action Plan

For more information:
http://www.energy.ca.gov/2015_energypolicy/ (If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

2.   Home Energy Rating System] Notice of Staff Workshop on Home Energy Rating System Program Field Verification and Diagnostic Testing Issues
The California Energy Commission will conduct a staff workshop on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Program under the HERS Order Instituting Informational (OII) Proceeding, Order No. 12-1114-6. The purpose of the OII is to collect necessary information to identify potential procedures and other actions to improve the HERS Program. During this workshop staff and stakeholders will begin refining and further exploring issues related to Field Verification and Diagnostic Testing (FV/DT) in order to begin developing recommendations for Commission consideration in a future rulemaking.

The workshop will be held on:
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
1st Floor, Art Rosenfeld Hearing Room
Sacramento, California
Wheelchair Accessible

Purpose and Agenda:
On March 10, 2015, the Energy Commission conducted a staff webinar to request additional information to improve the HERS Program. Comments from the webinar are due no later than 5 p.m., April 10, 2015. The purpose of the staff workshop is for Energy Commission staff and stakeholders to begin refining and exploring issues identified within the OII and resulting from the webinar. The scope of issues relate to processes and actions needed to improve the HERS Program relating to Field Verification and Diagnostic Testing. Through the workshop, input was sought from HERS Providers, HERS Raters, contractors, and members of the public on specific questions relating to the following six topics:

- Provider Quality Assurance Programs
- HERS Rater Disciplinary Process
- HERS Rater Companies
- Conflict of Interest
- Permissible HERS Provider Certification Categories
- Energy Commission Oversight of Providers

To date, stakeholders have participated in the HERS OII proceedings and provided valuable input to the record. Official notices, transcripts, and comments are available at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/HERS/12-HERS-01/documents/.

Energy Commission staff will use the input from this workshop and comments to begin development of recommendations for Commission consideration in a future rulemaking.

TELECONFERENCE OPTION: Parties and the public may attend the Public Workshop in person at the above location or by telephone and/or by computer via our "WebEx" web conferencing system. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the notice at:

WebEx and Conference Call-in-toll-free number: 1-866-469-3239

Access code: 920 141 276
Meeting Password: meeting@9

For more information:
(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

3.   Grant Funding Opportunity GFO-14-302 - Investing In California Communities through Building Energy Efficiency Workforce Development
Grant Funding Opportunity GFO-14-302 - Investing In California Communities through Building Energy Efficiency Workforce Development

Date Released: March 18, 2015.

Deadline to Submit Applications:
May 5, 2015 by 3:00 p.m

Pre-Application Workshop:
April 1, 2015
1:30 p.m. PDT
California Energy Commission
Hearing Room A
1516 9th Street
Sacramento, Ca. 95814

TELECONFERENCE OPTION: Parties and the public may attend the Public Workshop in person at the above location or by telephone and/or by computer via our "WebEx" web conferencing system. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the notice at:

WebEx and Conference Call-in-toll-free number: 1-866-469-3239
Access code: 921 462 543
Meeting Password: meeting@130

Purpose of Solicitation:
The purpose of this solicitation is to fund Market Facilitation projects that realize significant, long-term energy efficiency gains in the building sector by ensuring an adequately trained workforce exists for the proper installation and maintenance of advanced energy efficiency technologies and strategies.

Numerous policies have identified the need for significant energy efficiency improvements to new and existing buildings to achieve the state's energy goals.  As the housing and broader construction markets continue to improve, significant energy savings could be missed if new and existing buildings are not built, updated, or retrofitted with the best available technologies, techniques, and practices.  Much of the skilled labor workforce may not be not trained in the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of these energy efficiency advancements.  This could lead to unrealized energy savings and expense due to improper installation and maintenance; or building developers and others responsible for the design, development, and management of buildings may decide to forgo these energy efficiency advancements because savings and benefits are unrealized.  Projects must fall within the following groups:

- Group 1:  On-the-job training for constructing high performance attics and walls for new homes constructed in a manner consistent with proposals for the 2016 building energy efficiency standards.

- Group 2:  Workforce training for installing advanced energy efficiency measures in existing buildings (residential/commercial/multifamily) in disadvantaged communities as defined by Senate Bill (SB) 535.

For more information:
(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

4.    Getting the Most from Your LED Lighting Replacement ProjectVery good article about how to approach doing LED light replacements.  To read the full story, go here: http://www.energymanagertoday.com/getting-the-most-from-your-led-lighting-replacement-project-0110219/



And that is all for this week!  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kracking Down on Energy Usage!

The VIEW Partnership is proud to be partnering with our utility partners to bring energy savings to small and medium sized businesses in our jurisdictions. Below you will find a flyer for our upcoming meeting in Tulare. This meeting will touch upon energy efficiency and how our energy challenge, Kill-A-Watt Krackdown, can benefit your business!




Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

For those of you who know who Joseph Oldham is you likely are on his email distribution list and receive this update each week.  We are grateful that Joseph has agreed to allow our little blog to re-post his weekly update.  If you have an interest in the happenings of energy efficiency and local government throughout California this is the update for you! If you love the information here, but want more in depth features be sure to check out Joseph's quarterly newsletter, CURRENTS.

1.  Job Posting: Manager of Business and Community Development

Marin Clean Energy is announcing a recruitment for the position of Manager of Business and Community Development.  The announcement can also be found at www.mcecleanenergy.org under About us/Staff.  Resumes should be sent to jobs@mcecleanenergy.org by April 10.

2.   Notice of Request for Public Input on the Implementation of 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards
California Energy Commission staff will conduct a public meeting to solicit additional information as a result of stakeholder inquiries on the implementation of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Staff will provide an overview of the process to collect and consider stakeholder comments as part of the ongoing implementation of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 6 and associated administrative regulations in Part 1, Chapter 10).

Friday, April 10, 2015
10 a.m.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
Charles Imbrecht Hearing Room
Sacramento, California
Wheelchair Accessible

The meeting notice is available at:


Remote Attendance

You may participate in this meeting through WebEx, the Energy Commission's online meeting service.  Presentations will appear on your computer screen, and you may listen to audio via your computer or telephone.  Please be aware that the meeting may be recorded.

To join a meeting:

VIA COMPUTER:  Go to https://energy.webex.com and enter the unique meeting number: 926 456 978

When prompted, enter your name and the following meeting password: meeting @1

The "Join Conference" menu will offer you a choice of audio connections:

1.   To call into the meeting: Select "I will call in" and follow the on-screen directions.

2.   International Attendees: Click on the "Global call-in number" link.

3.  To have WebEx call you: Enter your phone number and click "Call Me."

4.  To listen over the computer:  If you have a broadband connection, and a headset or a computer microphone and speakers, you may use VolP (Internet audio) by going to the Audio menu, clicking on "Use Computer Headset," then "Call Using Computer."

VIA TELEPHONE ONLY (no visual presentation):  Call 1-866-469-3239 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada).  When prompted, enter the unique meeting number: 926 456 978. International callers may select their number from https://energy.webex.com/energy/globalcallin.php.

If you have difficulty joining the meeting, please call the WebEx Technical
Support number at 1-866-229-3239.

For more information:
(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

3.   Request for Qualifications - Business Plan Consultant
Marin Clean Energy will be engaging a consultant to write a business plan for the MCE’s 2016 Energy Efficiency Programs.  The RFI may be found at www.mcecleanenergy.org/about-us/staff/

4.   CO2 Emissions Flat-line in 2014
Here is an encouraging article from Forbes Magazine this week about global CO2 emissions.  To read the full story, go here:

5. EnergyPro Nonresidential V6.2 Announcement
CONDITIONAL APPROVAL EXPIRES ON MARCH 31, 2015

The conditional approval of EnergyPro V6.2 for nonresidential buildings will expire at 5 p.m. on March 31, 2015. After that date, building departments will not be able to accept new permit applications for projects modeled with the performance module of EnergyPro V6.2. The conditional approval expiration does not affect building department permit applicants using compliance documentation generated by V6.2's prescriptive modules.

CBECC-Com and IES Virtual Environment compliance software are currently approved for nonresidential building permit purposes. Download links, status and technical assistance information about all approved modeling software may be found on the Energy Commission's "2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Approved Computer Compliance Programs" webpage at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2013standards/2013_computer_prog_list.html

HELP WITH THE 2013 BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

For assistance with understanding or locating information in the 2013 Energy Standards, contact the Energy Standards Hotline at: (800) 772-3300 (toll-free in California); (916) 654-5106 (outside California); or via email at title24@energy.ca.gov.

For more information:
(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)



And that is all for this week! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

“Greening” Your Travels

As we embark on spring break season our post on eco-friendly vacation amenities couldn't come at a better time. Many of us, such as myself, book their airfare and then look for the most reasonable hotel when planning a trip. We do not look into what eco-friendly amenities might be offered, since we are only worried about a safe hotel and a clean room. 

If you have traveled recently you may have noticed a note in the room stating that the hotel is saving water and resources by reusing towels and etc., but that’s not the eco-friendly standard that I am referring to. I am referring to the hotels that go out of their way to eliminate waste, charge electric cars, power down rooms and replant forests. Sure most of these items that I am talking about are not offered at your run of the mill hotels, but they are a reality.

In our day to day lives we try to make conscious changes to our life and or environment, but when we travel we throw caution to the wind. We don't think about how we lodge on vacation can change weather patterns and or affect the Ozone layer. [i] I know this may sound dramatic and doom and gloom, but it is the truth. When we stay at hotels we are offered plastic water bottles and we do not think twice about leaving on a light.

Water bottles have become a modern staple in most hotel rooms, since it is convenient. But, those convenient items have a pretty big environmental impact once they are discarded. Statistics show that more than 4 billion bottles end up in landfills and less than 20% of those are actually recycled. [ii] So to be more green hotels today are starting to offer aluminum water bottles that can be refilled at water stations and others are even offering “hydration stations” for their hotel guests.

When leaving hotel rooms we seem to forget and leave every possible light on. But, when we come back and notice we do not feel guilty, since we don’t pay the electric bill. It’s true we don’t pay the electric bill, but we do pay the price of generating that electricity. One hotel in Syracuse, New York cuts the flow of energy to guests’ rooms once they leave, but in case someone stays behind in the room the hotel leaves two outlets powered. This event is triggered by a key card energy management system. One such system is called ENTERgize. In the words of the company this system works by, “guests inserting their key card into the door lock to gain access to the room, once inside the room they perform an operation similar to entering the room by inserting their room key card into the illuminated Entergize Master Control Switch (MCS). As soon as the card is inserted and left in the master switch, the system automatically places itself in the “Occupied” mode. This causes the HVAC system to shift from economy to comfort settings and to promptly begin to heat or cool the room according to the guest’s desires.”[iii] 

Though this article highlights features that might seem too far-fetched for most chain hotels, but it is a growing trend. Next time you plan or take a trip keep your eyes peeled for eco-friendly amenities.




[i] “A Hotelier’s Take on Edo-Friendly Rooms,”Mar., 5, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/travel/a-hoteliers-take-on-eco-friendly-rooms.html
[iii] “Patented Entergize Key Card Technology,” Mar., 5, 2015, http://www.entergize.com/keycardsystems.html


Monday, March 9, 2015

Energy Efficiency and Benchmarking

My experience with energy efficiency has been an interesting one. It all started back in 2006 while going to school and working as an usher for an historic movie theater in the Bay Area, where I would spend time every week finding and replacing burnt out light bulbs with a like-for-like replacement. I didn’t have a degree in mechanical or electrical engineering, but I knew that those incandescent bulbs needed to go. Unfortunately at the time, market forces weren’t strong enough to make LED or cold cathode fluorescent lights, those dimmable CFL-like bulbs, cost effective. I still have the very basic walkthrough audit that I did as part of an Urban Ecology course hosted at the EPA.
One of the slides I produced for my work and a class at the EPA office.
Now fast forward several years to my work here at SJVCEO.  One important part of my job is to benchmark the energy consumption of municipalities, both city and county governments, throughout the San Joaquin Valley.  Energy benchmarking consists of gathering a building’s energy consumption, along with a few simple variable inputs like number of employees, computers and operating hours, and compares it against a national survey of buildings.  Thanks to formulas and software, energy benchmarking is pretty straightforward--you plug in the numbers and the system does the rest.  And with California investor-owned utilities stepping up with their own systems to complement energy benchmarking, you’ll never have to enter in billing information, removing the possibility of sore hands from data entry, and headaches because of incorrect entries.

With businesses occupying a single building, benchmarking isn’t very difficult to do.  I even benchmarked my house from start to finish in about 10 minutes!  But imagine a business occupying 10 buildings, or multiple businesses occupying a 10-story building, and things get a little more complicated.  With cities, it’s just a matter of imagining hundreds, even thousands of “buildings.”

With local governments, we use energy benchmarking not only to compare against a national average, but also an easy (and more importantly, free) energy management system.  Using EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a city can input every energy account it has and be able to analyze consumption every month.  You can easily see, using historical energy usage, how much previous energy conservation projects have made an impact, and whether or not energy consumption is drifting excessively.  It’s even able to normalize energy consumption based on weather, so you’ll be able to compare energy performance in a hot summer year versus a moderate summer year.

But why benchmarking?

Benchmarking is a cost-effective approach to prioritizing building audits and retrofits.  Why get a costly audit done if you don’t know how your buildings stack up?  If you were concerned that your car may not be getting the gas mileage you expect, wouldn’t you check to see how it stacks up?


The images above refer to a building, built in 2002 but too small to receive an ENERGY STAR Score. It has been consuming less energy every year—normalizing for weather—but it’s also consuming more energy per square foot than its peers do. If other buildings in the portfolio have smaller “drifts” from the median, then this customer may want to prioritize work on this building first, assuming that there have been no changes in operation that could account for the change in consumption.

Imagine being able to pull a report monthly, and seeing how energy consumption is changing, along with the weather. If something is drawing too much energy in a short amount of time, you'll have time to address the issue and potentially save a lot of energy and money.  And when you measure your energy usage, you can manage your energy usage.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

For those of you who know who Joseph Oldham is you likely are on his email distribution list and receive this update each week.  We are grateful that Joseph has agreed to allow our little blog to re-post his weekly update.  If you have an interest in the happenings of energy efficiency and local government throughout California this is the update for you! If you love the information here, but want more in depth features be sure to check out Joseph's quarterly newsletter, CURRENTS.


1.   Residential ZNE Characterization Report now availableGreat report!  If you don’t have time to read the entire report, at least read the Executive Summary.This E-mail serves notice to parties on service lists R. 13-11-005, R. 12-11-005, and R. 14-10-003 that the Residential ZNE Market Characterization – Final Report”, by TRC Energy Services under contract to PG&E, is now posted to the CPUC’s EE public documents area. 

To locate the document, please:
1.     Visit the CPUC's EE Public Documents area: http://www.energydataweb.com/cpuc/home.aspx
2.     Select the "Search" tab on the upper left and use the “Search Text” option to locate this document by key title words
3.     Locate the document on the resulting list.

 If you have any questions about this Report, please contact:
 Derek Jones                      
CES Measurement & Evaluation Pacific Gas and Electric Company


2.    Benchmarking Goes Through Growing Pains
Good article with an important take-away comment in the last paragraph.  To read the full article and find out what that is, go here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/benchmarking-goes-growing-pains-0109780/

3.   Matching HVAC Performance to Its Potential
This is an interesting article in that it mentions some new technology that can provide real-time information about HVAC system performance.  To get more details, go here: http://www.energymanagertoday.com/matching-hvac-performance-potential-0109890/

4.   City of Berkeley Seeking Senior Building Plans Examiner
The City of Berkeley is currently seeking a Senior Building Plans Examiner with specific expertise in energy, green building, and sustainability. This position will perform highly skilled reviews of plans for compliance particularly with Title 24, Parts 6 and 11, and will work with building permit applicants, contractors, and city staff to answer questions and provide training and guidance to further increase green building practices in support of meeting our Climate Action Plan goals. Applications are being accepted though March 23, 2015, at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/berkeley.




And that is all for this week!