Friday, October 21, 2016

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

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News and Opportunities

Local Governments Push for Strong Reach Codes
The City of San Mateo and the Town of Portola Valley are both working on adopting reach codes that go beyond the State's CALGreen requirements to help them achieve their 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 provide more energy efficiency opportunities for low-income households - especially underserved residents of multi-family housing.

OPR Survey: Streamlined 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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Better Air, Indoors and Out

Clean air, whether it’s what you breathe inside or out, keeps us healthy, active and happy. Your community can maintain and expand its tree canopy, increase energy efficiency measures and program services, and convert its fleet to ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles). You can also do similar things inside your home and in your backyard. Here, we’ll discuss measures that require you to utilize your green thumb. If you’re not especially gifted in this area, don’t fret! I’ll outline some expert tips.

Inside Your Home
NASA released a Clean Air Study in 1989 that determined which indoor plants best removed toxins, reducing “sick building syndrome”. The list of these plants were originally researched to determine how best to keep the air in space stations clean, but it is usefully in homes as well. NASA recommends keeping one plant for every 100 square feet of living or office space.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

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News and Opportunities

The plan provides a 10-year roadmap to activate market forces and transform California's existing residential, commercial, and public building stock into high-performing and energy-efficient buildings. With the passing of SB 350 last October, the plan was updated to align with the more aggressive targets. The California Energy Commission is currently seeking comments on the draft updates. Comments are due by October 24, 2016.

Energy Department Announces New Projects between U.S. and China to Cut Emissions
The U.S. Department of Energy announced nine new energy performance contracting pilot projects that bring together U.S. and Chinese companies to boost the energy efficiency of buildings in China and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A combination of clean energy retrofits and upgrades will save the selected facilities on energy costs over the lifetime of the contracts by making them more energy efficient.

The Energy Efficiency Revolution
This article looks at the then and now of energy efficiency, looking at green buildings, smart glass, driverless cars, and cool roofs as key opportunities toward an energy efficient future.

In the Quest for Efficiency, Nothing Is More Important than Quality Measurement Tools
The bottom line is that three exciting things are happening: exacting measurements unheard of even a decade ago are now possible: that data can be crunched in "big data" repositories, usually in the cloud; and the same IoT and advanced communications infrastructure that makes the granular measurements possible gives building managers the ability to control energy use just as precisely.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly Updates:

News and Opportunities
New Report from SEEC: The State of Local Climate Action in California
A new report developed by ICLEI through the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC) presents a comprehensive picture of measurable local emissions trends, targets, planning efforts, and energy and climate actions in the state, along with in-depth profiles of local and regional agencies pursuing goals like public health and economic development through climate action. The findings confirm that local governments are making a significant contribution to the State's climate goals, which are among the most aggressive in the world.

The Paris Climate Agreement Is Entering into Force
The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ratify the Paris climate accord, a move that will make the sweeping international agreement a legal reality long before even those who negotiated it expected. After a 30-day period, the agreement will legally enter into force on November 4th.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched a partnership that brings together public and private sector leaders to deliver energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable energy solutions that create cleaner and more prosperous communities for all Americans. The Better Communities Alliance provides local governments with integrated expertise, resources, and peer-networking opportunities from across the government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and private sectors.
Nominate Your Clean Air Hero for 2016
If you know someone in the air quality community who has made significant lifetime achievement, you can nominate them for a Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award. Since 2001, the Air Resources Board has annually bestowed these distinguished awards to individuals for their significant career accomplishments in at least one of these categories: research, environmental policy, science and technology, public education and community service.

Monday, October 3, 2016

What Has SJVCEO Been up to in September

We hope that everyone is just as happy as SJVCEO that fall has arrived and it is now time for pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters!

For the VIEW Partnership we are embarking on one of the busiest months of the year, energy efficiency awareness month. The partnership continues its long tradition of fall outreach events with hosting four outreach event within Kings and Tulare Counties. These outreach events allow us to connect with residents on energy efficiency tips as well as bill saving programs from the IOU's. We also enjoy that the partnership is able to connect with local supervisors on energy issues and betterment of local communities. Please check out VIEW website for upcoming events. We might just be in your neighborhood during the coming month. We also would like to applaud all of our partner cities and counties on their hard work over this past year. We were able to achieve the partnerships energy saving goal during the month of July. Now we are beginning to figure out the project pipeline for the coming year.

Upcoming Webinar: Helping Small Businesses Save on Energy Upgrades

PACE webinar

Small Businesses:
Make Your Property Energy Efficient
While Protecting Your Cash Flow!
Free Webinar and Live Event
1537 Webster St. Oakland, CA 94612
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Webinar: 9.30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (PST)
Live Event: 9:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. (PST)
Complimentary hot breakfast starting at 9:00 a.m.

A panel of investment and energy experts will explore emerging financing products and program models for commercial energy efficiency projects, with a focus on the small and medium-sized commercial building sector.

Speakers will give their perspectives on specific tools or approaches available to business owners to address and overcome barriers to implementing energy efficiency projects. Market research shows that businesses that improve energy use have higher employee productivity, attendance rates and credibility with their customers. Ample time will be set for questions and group discussion.

Specific Topics

              Leveraging the Investor Confidence Project as a standardized approach to developing Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE) projects
      New changes to PG&E’s On-bill Financing Program
             The current state of commercial PACE, and new micro-finance offerings

Panel of Experts

                 Matt Golden, Investor Confidence Project (ICP)
                 Noah Proser, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
                 Richard Chien, San Francisco Department of the Environment

Clean Energy Financing Advisory Council (CEFAC) events are for energy improvement contractors, local government staff, lending institution reps, financial experts, real estate professionals and others interested in cross-sector collaboration.

CEFAC is focused on enhancing awareness of innovative energy project financing to help stimulate the California clean energy marketplace.

For more information, email or call (858) 429-5136.

CEFAC is facilitated by the Center for Sustainable Energy through a partnership with Energy Upgrade California® and the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative.

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Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

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Peer-to-Peer Requests

Opportunities to Offset Operational Costs
A rural, low-income community on the Central Coast is interested in learning about opportunities, strategies, and resources to help offset operational costs for water and wastewater. If you have any information or resources you can share, please send them my way. If you are willing to provided one-on-one guidance around pump upgrades, optimization of control systems, and other strategies, please let me know.

News and Opportunities

The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently.
At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million. That all but ensures that 2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes, according to scientists.

Governor Brown Signs Bill to Strengthen PACE Protections
AB 2693 mandates the loan administrator "accurately identifies important consumer issues with the program and prescribes on-point solutions that preserve PACE's unique structure and benefits, while improving consumer disclosures and safeguards." 

California Golden Again on Energy Efficiency
California and Massachusetts both won the top spot in the 10th edition of the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Check out California's State Scorecard.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Finding Funding Opportunities

I get a lot of questions about how to find grant opportunities and RFPs (Request for Proposals), and so I decided it’s about time I share some resources!

There are a number of places to look for funding opportunities. Here are some of my favorites:

California’s Local Government Energy Efficiency Portal
This portal is a great service provided by the Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator. They shares resources, best practices, news and events and other information with those involved with Local Government Partnerships. You can sign up to get the weekly email, which we share on this blog each week. This email often includes a list of funding opportunities for eligible local and tribal governments. The portal also includes a detailed summary of funding opportunity resources for local governments that may be found here.

California Energy Commission (CEC)
It's always great to get money for what you want to grow.
Photo source: Terrain Magazine
The CEC funds a variety of projects and types of agencies. Current solicitations can be found here and are searchable based on program areas. I recommend subscribing to the list serve so you are up to date with contract notices as they’re released.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

News and Opportunities

City of Carlsbad Climate Action Plan Update
The City of Carlsbad's newly appointed Climate Action Plan administrator gave an update at a City Council meeting about the city's current and planned efforts.

Sonoma County to Offer Incentives to Drivers to Switch to Electric Cars
Backed by the County Board of Supervisors, several programs are underway that county officials hope will boost the number of electric vehicles on the road, and develop the public and private charging network to support them.

Low-Income Weatherization Program Guidelines
The Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) is seeking comments on the Draft Low-Income Weatherization Program Guidelines for the FY 2015-16 Appropriation Procurements for the Single-Family Energy Efficiency and Solar PV Program. CSD is hosting a public hearing on Friday, October 7th 2016 at 9:00 AM in Sacramento. A copy of the draft will be made available online prior to the hearing. Written comments are due Thursday, October 20th.

DOE First Step Towards Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands
The Department of Energy is making $3 million in funding available to support tribal energy development in six topic areas: 1) conduct energy options analyses, 2) establish baseline energy use and energy efficiency options, 3) develop energy organizations, 4) conduct climate resiliency planning, 5) establish policy, regulations, and codes to reduce energy use and promote energy development, and 6) obtain skills and training related to energy use and development.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

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Peer-to-Peer Requests

Responses: EVSE Installation
Information on vendors and opportunities to help offset of installing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles:
  • SCE's Charge Ready program partners with local governments and businesses to increase the availability of EV charging stations, providing rebates to cover some or all costs related to installation.
  • ​Green Charge Networks combine EV charging and energy storage ​to minimize peak hour demand, reduce load on the power grid and minimize peak electricity rates.
  • Additional incentives for commercial and residential EVSE installation.
  • If you are a city in any of these counties (Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Maricopa, Merced, San Joaquin, or Stanislaus) and interested in learning more about opportunities to offset the cost of EVSE installation, please email me so that I can connect you with the San Joaquin Valley Electric Vehicle Partnership.