Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Our Blog Has Moved!

A notice to all over our Clean Energy News followers. Our blog has just moved over to our website. You can read all of our stories by CLICKING HERE. We hope that you will sign up with your email address to get the most up to date information from SJVCEO.

Friday, July 31, 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! 

1.  Request for Comments on Draft Solicitation, The EPIC Challenge: Accelerating the Deployment of Advanced Energy Communities

The California Energy Commission is developing a competitive grant solicitation for the development and deployment of Advanced Energy Communities. The Energy Commission is seeking input from interested stakeholders on aspects of the draft solicitation.

Please submit comments by August 14, 2015 to Marija Krapcevich at Marija.Krapcevich@energy.ca.govThe notice requesting public comment is available on our web site at; http://www.energy.ca.gov/research/notices/index.html#epic_challenge_aec
For more information: http://www.energy.ca.gov/research/notices/index.html#epic_challenge_aec
(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

2.  TWO DRAFT REPORTS ON TO-CODE SAVINGS

Two reports, prepared under contracts with PG&E, have been posted to the CPUC’s EE Public Document’s Area for public comment:

1)  A report entitled “To-Code Savings Project”, which was prepared by EnerNOC
a.  PG&E will accept comments on the EnerNOC document until Monday, August 10, 2015

2)  A report entitled “PG&E Analytics Enabled Code Baseline Study”, which was prepared by FirstFuel
a.  PG&E will accept comments on the FirstFuel document until Tuesday, August 18, 2015. 

To locate the document and to comment, 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;
4. Click "view" to download the document or "comment" to post your public comment[s]. The authors will consider all posted comments.

A joint webinar will be hosted to present the key findings from the EnerNOC and FirstFuel studies via webinar on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PDT.

The agenda is:

·      PG&E will provide a very brief overview of the two study approaches (10 min)
·      EnerNOC will present its study (30 minutes for presentation and up to 25 minutes for questions)
·      FirstFuel will present its study (30 minutes for presentation and up to 25 minutes for questions)

Webinar and conference line details are below:

Webinar and Conference Line:

1.  Please join my meeting, August 4, 2015 at 2 PM PDT.

2.  Join the conference call:Call-in toll-free number: 1-866-6527690  (US)
Call-in number: 1-216-4047281  (US)
Conference Code: 140 234 7176
Meeting ID: 747 435 474

Can't join the meeting? Contact support here:  https://pge.webex.com/pge/mc
Please contact Luke Nickerman (luke.nickerman@pge.com) or David Sawaya (david.sawaya@pge.com) at PG&E if you have any questions.

3.  Request for Sample Ordinances

Delia Bense-Kang is an energy intern working for the City of Arcata.  Arcata is working on adopting an energy benchmarking and/or time of sale ordinance for commercial properties that goes beyond AB1103.  Delia is looking for sample ordinances.  If you have such an ordinance and can share it, please contact Delia directly at dede1bk@gmail.com .

4.  Direct Current Powers Building

It always interests me how sometimes what was thought to be “old school” and outdated can come back into vogue.  Case in point is Direct Current, or DC power.  Over 100 years ago, at the beginning of building electrification, DC power was lighting the earliest buildings to be electrified.  It was replaced by AC power as the main form of electricity for buildings because AC current could be transmitted easier over long distances and remote central power plants were determined to be the future of electrification.  Go to the link and read how that is now changing in Colorado: http://www.energymanagertoday.com/direct-current-powers-building-0114185/

And that is all for this week




Thursday, July 30, 2015

What Has SJVCEO Been Up to?

SJVCEO hopes that everyone's been enjoying their summer and are ready to head back to school or work. During the past month the team has been busy working away on energy projects and planning community outreach events.

The organizations VIEW Partnership has been very active during the summer months. Many of their Cities and Counties are continuing to get projects moving along with each utility. One of the more exciting items to announce is that the City of Hanford has adopted its Climate Action Plan. This CAP as they term it in the office was all the hard work of one of their dedicated employees, Sarah Farell. A CAP is a plan for ways to reduce emissions in a cost effective manner after green house gas inventories are collected and analyzed. The team is also starting work on the County of Kings Energy Action Plan (EAP). In a EAP the Cities and Counties lay out how they will be using their energy resources in the future as well as how they plan to conserve.

Also, the VIEW Partnership is beginning their planning process for their upcoming "Energy Awareness Month" campaign in October. This year they are looking to expand the number of events that the Partnership will be doing. They will also be expanding events to include their Southern California Edison territories. So be on the lookout for event information that will uploaded to their VIEW the Savings webpage (http://www.viewthesavings.com).

As for the Municipal Energy Tune Up (METU) program they are making huge leaps and bounds. The METU team is about done with the benchmarking of Kern County and will then analyze the data collected to see what projects can be recommended for energy savings. Also, while the team has time they will the begin benchmarking the City of Selma. With the City of Selma having fewer accounts than a County would the team should have the project completed quickly. Our METU team here at SJVCEO is very excited to continue the work that they do with City and County officials. They enjoying bringing a smile to faces once officials hear how much they can be saving in energy and on their bills.




Stay Tuned for Next Month's Update!




Friday, July 24, 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! 

1.   Revised Notice for the July 27, 2015, Staff Workshop on Existing Building EE Standards, WebEx number changed

Revised Notice for the July 27, 2015, Staff Workshop on Existing Building EE Standards. The WebEx number has changed.

For more information: https://efiling.energy.ca.gov/Lists/DocketLog.aspx?docketnumber=15-IEPR-05
(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

2.  To-Code Pilot Public Webinar

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison Company (SCE) (IOUs), in coordination with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), will host a webinar on Monday, August 3, 2015 from 2 to 3:30 PM to discuss the IOUs’ proposed To-Code Pilot.
Purpose: The webinar will be held to receive feedback from stakeholders on the initial design of the 2015 To-Code Pilot in advance of the IOUs’ advice letter filing with the CPUC. The IOUs welcome informal feedback either during the webinar or in writing to TOCODE@pge.com by COB Tuesday, August 4, 2015.
Background: CPUC Decision (D.) 14-10-046 directed the IOUs to conduct “To-Code Pilots” to:
• “Understand the extent to which there is below-code equipment that is not getting replaced quick enough through natural turnover of existing programs”; and
• “Assess whether cost-effective ratepayer-funded programs can be developed to target this equipment when Program Administrators receive savings credit and customer incentives are made available based on to-code,  in addition to through-code, savings”. (p. 74-75). In addition, the CPUC has contracted with researchers from the E2e Project at the Energy Institute at Haas, University of California Berkeley, who are working in close coordination with the IOUs to establish an Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) plan to assess the impact on both program uptake, energy savings, and cost-effectiveness.

Meeting Date/Time: Monday, August 3, 2015 from 2 to 3:30 PM 
RSVP Please register for the webinar by Wednesday, July 29, 2015 by visiting the following link and clicking “Register”. Meeting details will be automatically sent to you via email within 48 hours. https://pge.webex.com/pge/j.php?RGID=r25529a18d7aaf67439fa464c83cd9c5f
Should you have further questions regarding this webinar, please send an email to TOCODE@pge.com or call 415-973-8010.

3.   Free In-person ENERGY STAR Benchmarking Training Courses Sponsored by PG&E

Benchmarking Your Commercial Building 
Instructor: Mark Jewell
DATE: Monday August 3rd, 2015
TIME: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM 
Venue: The Pacific Energy Center; 851 Howard Street; San Francisco, CA 94103 
Register here: http://pgebenchmarkinghelp.com/collections/in-person-training/products/bm Learn how to benchmark your building’s energy performance with the help of EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® online tool. California law (AB 1103) requires the disclosure of an energy performance benchmarking score prior to selling or leasing certain whole buildings. Learn how to benchmark your building's energy performance with the help of PG&E's Web Services—a free, easy-to-use service that automatically sends your commercial building's energy use information to the EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager every month. This class will include a hands-on benchmarking exercise using portable Wi-Fi hotspots so that attendees can evaluate an actual building from start to finish and see the ENERGY STAR score. Please bring a laptop computer if convenient. There will be a limited number of laptops available for attendees to borrow as needed.   
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS: 
CEUs available: AIA 4 LUs and 4 HSW LUs
               
You’ve Benchmarked Your Building: What's Next?
Instructor: Mark Jewell
DATE: Monday August 3rd, 2015
TIME: 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM 
Venue: The Pacific Energy Center; 851 Howard
Street; San Francisco, CA 94103 
Register Here: http://pgebenchmarkinghelp.com/collections/in-person-training/products/wn Getting your building's benchmarking score is just the beginning. This course explores how to set targets for improvement: estimating the actual amount of energy savings needed to reach a higher score, which low-/no-cost or capital upgrades might produce various magnitudes of savings, which utility incentive programs could help identify or finance those improvements, etc. It's not about what your building's score is today—it's about what you want that score to be and how to get it there!
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS: 
CEUs available: AIA 3.5 LUs and 3.5 HSW LUs

4.   EV Charging Stations with Energy Storage Save City $7,000 per Year in Demand Charges

Good article showcasing how EV charging with energy storage can work to reduce demand charges.  To read the full story, go here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/ev-charging-stations-energy-storage-save-city-7000-per-year-demand-charges-0114006/



And that is all for this week!  


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Guest Blog Post: Sustainability vs. Sustainability

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

While Dickens published those words more than 150 years ago, they seem eerily descriptive of today’s world. The words popped into my head as I contemplated the many facets of the popularity of the sustainability movement. Sustainability is the “spring of hope,” but the question of how to pay for it is the “winter of despair.” This short column will explore that dilemma with the motive of getting us thinking rather than trying to resolve the issue.

Webster’s defines sustainable as: “Capable of being sustained; of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged; of correlating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods.”

Wikipedia, drawing on many academic papers, offers a more complex, but comprehensive definition: “Sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth and this has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability as a part of the concept sustainable development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The wonderful simplicity of sustainability gives birth to many supporting themes such as sustainable agriculture, sustainable transportation, sustainable families and renewable (sustainable) energy.

Sustainable energy is closest to my heart as it promises sources of energy that will minimize resource use and environmental impact, but will still provide the watts to power our modern economy. Governments across the globe also support sustainable energy, offering generous incentives and subsidies to spur sustainable energy development. The
Result has been rapid growth in solar and wind resources with eager proponents congratulating each other. Unfortunately, there is one troubling “gotcha:” how to pay for these sustainable projects and how to make them financially sustainable (see winter of despair)?

The money to provide the incentives for sustainable energy projects comes from either taxes collected by governments or from surcharges levied on utility customers. When times were booming, this money was a minor cost, but as growth slowed, it became more significant and resulted in a reduction of incentives for sustainable energy development, most notably in Spain. And, as history has shown us, any project dependent on tax subsidies or utility surcharges is not sustainable (e.g. Synthetic Fuels Corporation circa 70-80s)

A contrasting positive is that, over the longer term, any short term financial “losses” in sustainable energy development are more than offset by the value of “externalities” that are not included in standard financial calculations. These externalities include estimated values of improvement in air quality and related health benefits, reduction of carbon based energy sources, and climate change impacts, among many others.

The only problem with this concept is that externalities do not generate cash. And, if sustainable projects do not generate positive cash returns, they are not sustainable, regardless of the value of externalities. It takes cash to make payrolls, buy supplies, make capital investments and pay lobbyists to ensure continued political support.

Politicians and policy makers address this concern by allocating limited tax and subsidy dollars to favored technologies or promoters. This is a messy process and generates a few winners and a lot of losers, as would be expected. More importantly, can the process be improved, and limited funds invested better, or are we doomed to business as usual?

President Obama may provide part of the answer by his stated “all of the above” energy policy. I assume he means oil, gas, nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal and host of emerging technologies. Perhaps it would be possible to rank all of the above, including sustainable and fossil energy sources, and develop a better policy framework.  Suggested criteria for ranking might include:

1) Profit and loss both basis current and projected with a focus on cash; simply put, is the technology a money maker now and, if not, when?
2) What is the energy produced per unit of incentive/subsidy; this is another way of estimating the value of the tax/ subsidy investment.
3) Is there a distinct probability of technological success?  How is it measured?
4) Obviously, each of these criteria deserves more explanation and the weighting of each in any ranking will pre-determine any outcome. However, the objective of this column is to stimulate your thinking on the question of what is sustainable versus what is really sustainable. I hope I succeeded.

Written by Rick Phelps, Executive Director of the High Sierra Energy Foundation. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of his employer or of SJVCEO.


*If you may have any questions or comments regarding this piece please contact Rick Phelps at (760) 934-4650 or phelps@highsierraenergy.org.




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

San Joaquin Valley Renewables Summit

Renewables will be the focus of this year's Valley Summit. Check out some of the topics that will be covered. 

Panel Topics
Clean energy potential in the San Joaquin Valley
Bioenergy
Transmission

Workshops
Workforce development and education opportunities
Clean Energy 101

CLICK HERE to Register 





Energy Audit Training Opportunity


Interested in learning more about energy auditing? Attend this course brought to you by the Silicon Valley Energy Watch.

CLICK HERE to learn more


Friday, July 17, 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! 

1.  Notice of Staff Workshop on Existing Building Energy Efficiency Standards

The California Energy Commission staff will conduct a workshop to explore the ways in which the Building Energy Efficiency Standards can support California's goals and efforts for improving the efficiency of existing buildings. Commissioner Andrew McAllister is the Lead Commissioner for the 2015 Integrated Energy Policy Report (2015 IEPR). Commissioner McAllister and other Commissioners at the Energy Commission may attend and participate in the workshop. The workshop will be held:

MONDAY, JULY 27, 2015 1:00 P.M.

CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Art Rosenfeld Hearing Room Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Agenda
This workshop will consider the ways in which implementation and development of the Standards can support California's existing buildings programs, including, but not limited to:
- Standards Implementation
-- How can compliance be assessed and improved?
-- Why are compliance documents required and how can they be improved?
-- What can be done to reduce the transactional cost of compliance?
- Standards Development
-- What needs to change for the Standards to better address the existing building market and the constraints of working within an existing building?
-- Is the current cost-effectiveness model satisfactory for changes to existing buildings as well as newly constructed buildings?
-- What is the appropriate baseline for existing building upgrades?

Remote Access Available by Computer or Phone via WebEx
Presentations and audio from the meeting will be broadcast via our
WebEx web meeting service. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the notice at: https://efiling.energy.ca.gov/Lists/DocketLog.aspx?docketnumber=15-IEPR-05
Computer Log on with a Direct Phone Number:
Please go to https://energy.webex.com and enter the unique meeting number 926 951 663.
When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password meeting@1 . (Please note that password is case sensitive.)

- Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Public Workshops on Investment Plan Concepts and Draft Funding Guidelines

The State of California invites you to participate in a series of public workshops to provide input on the Draft Concept Paper for the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Second Investment Plan and Draft Funding Guidelines for Agencies Administering California Climate Investments (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds). The series of public workshops will be held August 3-14, 2015, at seven locations across the State (shown below).  In each location, representatives from the Administration will provide an overview of our early thoughts for investment priorities and will hear public suggestions.

SACRAMENTO*
Monday, August 3, 2015 (Afternoon)
*also webcast

FRESNO
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 (Evening)

OROVILLE
Thursday, August 6, 2015 (Evening)

OAKLAND
Monday, August 10, 2015 (Evening)

FONTANA
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 (Morning)

LOS ANGELES
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 (Evening)

SAN DIEGO
Thursday, August 13, 2015 (Evening)

Specific times and locations will be posted on the Air Resources
Board’s Auction Proceeds website on July 20th at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/auctionproceeds.
The Draft Concept Paper for the Second Investment Plan will be posted at:  http://www.arb.ca.gov/investmentplan by July 24th. At the series of public workshops, Air Resources Board staff will introduce the Draft Concept Paper to aid stakeholders in developing written comments.  Written comments will be due September 1, 2015.  Public feedback received at the workshops and in writing will inform the preparation of a Draft Second Investment Plan, which will be presented at a second series of workshops and a public hearing later this year.  The Final Second Investment Plan is due from the Department of Finance to the Legislature in January 2016.

The Draft Funding Guidelines and a short supplement are available
at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/fundingguidelines.htm.
At the series of public workshops, Air Resources Board staff will discuss the Draft Funding Guidelines.  Public feedback received will inform the preparation of the proposed Funding Guidelines, which will be presented at an Air Resources Board public hearing on September 24-25, 2015.

3.  Portable EV Charging Technology Used by California Government

Good news for local governments interested in deploying EV charging at remote locations or places where developing permanent charging would be very time consuming.  To read the full article, go here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/portable-ev-charging-technology-used-california-government-0113789/



And that is all for this week! 





Monday, July 13, 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! 

1.  Register Now: Webinar on the Economic Risks of Climate Change in California - Tuesday, 7/14 11am-12:30pm  at  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2491831265658306306

Join the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Change (ARCCA) and Risky Business Project for a webinar diving into Risky Business' economic risk assessment of climate change in California with the lead author of the California report, Jamesine Rogers, and Risky Business' Communications Director, Tan Copsey. Learn about the advantages of taking a risk-based approach to climate change, how to best engage the business community in pursuit of shared goals, and how ARCCA member regional collaboratives are working to advance climate resilience and adaptation.

2.  Renewables to Account for 26% of Total Microgrid Capacity by 2020, Says GTM

This is an interesting report from GTM about the contributions of various technologies that will be incorporated into micro-grids by 2020.  To read the full report, go to this link:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/renewables-account-26-total-microgrid-capacity-2020-says-gtm-0113525/

3.  Tiny, Solar-Powered Circuit Is 80% Efficient

Normally I don’t include reports about new technology breakthroughs, but this one could have significant impacts on energy efficiency projects in the future.  Read the full article to see why.  You can find the article here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/tiny-solar-powered-circuit-80-efficient-0113443/

4.  Net Zero Building Tour, July 21

What does a net zero energy retrofit look like? When the team at Sharp Development is involved, repurposing an old tilt-up for a new life both pencils out and looks beautiful. If you have heard Kevin Bates from Sharp talk about their successful retrofit of 435 Indio in Sunnyvale, you'll want to get a first-hand look at their latest project, 415 Mathilda (right next door).

Join us on Tuesday July 21 at 5:30 PM to tour the facility and learn about it from Kevin, then enjoy a reception onsite.


Brought to you by the City of Sunnyvale, Joint Venture, San Mateo County Energy Watch, Silicon Valley Energy Watch, and ULI-Silicon Valley Committee.



And that is all for this week!  



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Be a Green Shopper

I admit it. I love to shop. I shop less than a lot of people, but still more than I should, especially because I have everything that I need and more. I am pledging to not only shop less, but to shop green. If you want to make this pledge with me, read on!

How can you shop green?

First, you must ask yourself a series of questions before even considering a purchase. The EPA outlines four very important ones:
Photo Source: Above All Things...
  • Do I absolutely need it?
  • Will I use it (more than once or twice)?
  • Do I already have it or something similar?
  • Can I borrow it from a friend or family member?
Make sure you answer yes to the first two and no to the last two before buying. The entire process from manufacturing and producing foods and goods to transporting and discarding them makes up about 42% of the greenhouse gas emissions in this country. So be extra sure that item you’re buying is worth it!

Don’t invest in something you only use once or twice a year. If you live in apartments, borrow a carpet washer from a friend, or a grocery store or hardware store in your area. If you find a hole in your sweater or a button on your shirt broke, mend it yourself or, if you’re not so good with a needle and thread, have someone who is mend it for you.

Photo Source:
Energy Star
Do some research about the products you want to buy and the companies that make them. All of us can identify the Energy Star label on a refrigerator or computer, but what about all the other products that don’t have environmental labels? Check out the EPA’s Greener Products page and Green America’s Responsible Shopper page. You can search by company name, industry or product. Looking for safe cosmetics or other personal care items? The Environmental Working Group created Skin Deep, a site that identifies toxicity in personal care products and provides healthier, safer choices and manufacturers.


Once you figure out how durable, recyclable, reusable, and sustainable a product is, you can make a more informed and green decision. If you’re looking at products like lotion, bathroom cleaner, sponges, etc., find out if it’s both more cost effective and more eco-friendly to buy in bulk. If you need to buy disposable items – silverware and plates for your food truck, for example – look for compostable products.

When you can, support local businesses. Not only will this strengthen the local economy, but you'll save transportation- and packaging-related emissions and waste when you buy local. Plus, you may meet some really great people and entrepreneurs in your town!


Finally, if you’re looking to save a bunch of money and be green, head to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. There are certainly items I would avoid or cannot be found in these stores, but if you're looking for fun mismatched china, clothes or even furniture, second-hand stores are always worth a peak around.

 And, of course, don’t forget your reusable shopping bag!