Tuesday, June 30, 2015

EV's Racing to the Finish Line

Imagine standing next to a race track waiting for the loud roar of an engine to fly past you…but when the cars come by all you get is silence. Well that means you’re a spectator at the new Formula E racing circuit.

Formula E racing was first introduced to the world back in 2014 and it took the racing world by storm! The racing circuit consists of about 20 to 25 pro drivers racing Electric vehicles. The vehicles used in Formula E look the same as those used in Formula One, but use many different materials. The bodies of the cars are composed of carbon fiber and aluminum while under the hood the cars house large batteries. With the cars being powered by battery they are limited on speed and range, which make this sport that much more entertaining for those watching.
                                                                                                 
In Formula E racing cars weigh more than traditional ones due to the weight of the batteries. The weight difference can be up to 350 pounds. With a heavier weight cars top out at speeds of 140 miles per hour and also have to race on treaded tires instead of the traditional racing slicks. Having race cars equipped with batteries seems to add a whole new dimension to racing as well. Drivers now have to keep in mind battery limits when trying to make the next pass to take the lead from their opponent. A normal race will last around one hour, while batteries only last around 25 to 30 minutes. So the race has created a halfway point to where drivers will all switch out the old cars for new fully charged ones. Oh and another fun fact about Formula E cars is that the batteries are charged using generators that run on emission-free glycerin. 

Besides shedding light on how EV’s can be cool and exciting Formula E also brings sustainability teachings to kids within the areas they race in. The racing series puts on a Formula E school series in which 10 teams of students are provided a kit to make a mini EV. Once the cars are built the teams of students race the mini EV’s around the same track as the Formula E cars. The overall goal of the EV school is teach students about sustainable engineering as well as energy efficiency. The racing series is able to put on these types of fun EV activities in part to Greenpower a UK based charity who promotes sustainable engineering to young people.

Take a peek at the action of Formula E in the video provided. Who knows you might just be the next to get hooked.






Thursday, June 25, 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 for 7/6 IEPR Joint Agency Workshop on the Governor's Energy Efficiency Goals

Public Notice for the July 6, 2015 IEPR Joint Agency Workshop on the Governor's Energy Efficiency Goals is now available at https://efiling.energy.ca.gov/Lists/DocketLog.aspx?docketnumber=15-IEPR-05.

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.  Barriers Impede Industrial Energy Efficiency

New report from DOE that could help EE program implementers better understand how to market projects with industrial customers.  To read the full article, go here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/barriers-impede-industrial-energy-efficiency-0113072/

3.  Notice, Agenda and Presentation of Staff Workshop on Home Energy Rating System Program Quality Assurance Issues

The California Energy Commission (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 the workshop, staff, stakeholders, and other interested persons, will focus on Provider Quality Assurance (QA) issues within the HERS program in order to begin developing recommendations for Energy Commission consideration in a future rulemaking.

The workshop will be held on:
Thursday, July 9, 2015
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION1516 Ninth Street1st Floor, Charles Imbrecht Hearing RoomSacramento, CaliforniaWheelchair Accessible

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: http://www.energy.ca.gov/HERS/12-HERS-01/documents/#20150709

WebEx and Conference Call-in-toll-free number: 1-866-469-3239 Please go to https://energy.webex.com

Access code: 928 448 754Meeting Password: meeting@10

For more information: http://www.energy.ca.gov/HERS/12-HERS-01/documents/#20150709
(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

4.  MCE is Recruiting for Community Power Organizer - Bilingual (English/Spanish)
Marin Clean Energy is seeking a Community Power Organizer – Bilingual (English/Spanish). 

Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to
kgaier@mcecleanenergy.org.
The announcement is posted at www.mcecleanenergy/about-us/staff

5.  Three Progressive Environmental Positions w/the City of Cupertino
The City of Cupertino, best known as the home of Apple, Inc., is currently recruiting for two positions to grow our Sustainability Division, located within the Office of the City Manager.  These include (1) a Sustainability Coordinator to support the implementation and monitoring of our agency’s Climate Action Plan and (2) a Utility and Efficiency Analyst (2-year Limited Term) to expand our sustainability data collection and analytics.  Position announcements are attached and also shared on the City’s Cal Opps page. Both positions close on Monday, June 29th with the hope for interviews and placement shortly thereafter. 
The City is also recruiting for an Environmental Outreach Coordinator - a shared position between the Sustainability Division and the Public Works Department. 

Under the direction of the Environmental Programs Manager and the Sustainability Manager, this position will create, plan, develop, organize, coordinate, track and evaluate community educational services and products for the City’s suite of environmental and sustainability outreach programs, initiatives and grant-funded projects. The full position announcement is also attached and shared on the City’s Cal Opps page. Recruitment for our Outreach Coordinator closes on Wednesday, July 15th with the goal of onboarding the best candidate in early August.
6.  Energy-Efficiency Efforts May Not Pay Off
So before I receive all kinds of “hate mail” for posting the link to this article in the Weekly Updates, let me say that I did not write the article, nor the report that is referenced in the article.  The article is from Scientific American and the report that is referenced has two UC Berkeley authors, so it comes from credible sources.  I decided to post it since the report will likely get a great deal of conversation going within the EE community.  I think people need to read for themselves what the report says and be prepared to talk about the report with critics of EE investment.  Here is the link:  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/energy-efficiency-efforts-may-not-pay-off/


And that is all for this week!  




The Benefit in the Delay of Energy Efficiency Projects

Imagine that you are a local business owner looking for ways to save on your electricity bill. Your local IOU has a no-cost energy audit program. The energy auditor comes out take a look around hands you his final audit report. As soon as an energy auditor hands you a report saying you can save $1,000 per month, but you put off the project for a few months. Every month that passes by before that project is completed is $1,000 wasted.  Your fictitious business is like a lot of other out there where projects don't happen instantaneously, and may take months before approval and financing are secured.  This blog posting is meant to tell you about cases in which you should wait for better financing.

In one real example, a municipality wanted to install both LED lighting and several solar arrays on their buildings. Overall, the project cost was slightly less than $2 million and financed by the project designer at a low 3.6 percent. Below are the actual anticipated expenses and revenues from the project.

3.6% Financing over 20 years


This project is expected to save the City a total of $2,784,127 over the course of its 25-year expected life, which is pretty good! There’s some negative cash flow for the first 5 years, but that’s being negated by consistent positive cash flow for the next 20 years.

But...is there a way to get even more savings? Oddly enough, there is. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has a loan program for municipalities that provides funding at 1% interest, but the loan has to be repaid within 17 years. While shorter repayment terms will likely increase annual payments, would the interest rate compensate for that? Let’s take a closer look…

1% Financing over 17 years, compounded semi-annually


Wow! Not only do we save about $600,000 overall, We’ve saved about $600,000 just by lowering the interest rate, even though we’re paying it off 3 years sooner! We also see a much smaller hit to the cash flow. But let’s toss in a real scenario problem into the mix—the CEC program is currently out of funds. The program is a revolving loan fund, and is perpetually funded through payments and interest. It’s expected to be re-funded next year. So, let’s push the CEC project back one year, and let’s also factor in inflation too, which we default to three percent.

1% Financing over 17 years, compounded semi-annually, delayed by 1 year


As we’ve pushed back the project by one year, we’ve removed the savings associated with Year 1. It’s still a 17-year project, and due to inflation the cost has increased by about $60,000, but we’re still saving about $367,000 by waiting one year for better financing. We also experience a smaller cash flow hit.

What does this mean? There are two choices when it comes to doing this project:
  1. Do solar now.
  2. Do solar one year from now, and collect an additional $367,000 over the same 25-year span.
Which would you do?




Monday, June 22, 2015

What Was Learned at the SEEC Conference

Over the past week the SJVCEO team attended the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC) in Sacramento. The SEEC Conference is put on by the Local Government Commission (LGC), Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the Institute for Local Governments (ILG) and the three California IOU's once a year. SEEC provides education and tools on climate action planning, energy reduction as well as peer-to-peer networking and technical assistance. By attending the conference our team was able to gain insight into what the state of California's energy efficiency industry is as well as what the future holds. Speakers for the conference ranged from CPUC commissioners all the way to energy managers from Washington D.C.

During the course of the SEEC Conference our team was able to hear panel discussions as well as have interactive training sessions. Topics for the sessions ranged from legislative updates to how to frame your conservation message to fit your market. Each training session covered either a tool to complete energy efficiency projects or how to market your energy efficiency programs or projects. Which ever break out sessions our team attended they walked away with another bit of knowledge or were reinvigorated about the work the work that they do.

We here at SJVCEO look forward to the SEEC conference each year so that we can sit down and meet with our peers along with learning. There is something to be said about face to face conversation and networking. While at the SEEC conference we are able to put a face with a name that we may have had a conference call with. Having a place where partnerships can go and connect will only help energy partnerships and IOU partnerships to grow in the future.



See you next year SEEC!




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.     Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Draft Funding Guidelines
The Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) has released a draft version of the Funding Guidelines for agencies that are administering appropriations from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).

The draft Funding Guidelines consist of three volumes focused on: accountability and transparency; maximizing benefits to disadvantaged communities; and reporting to document greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, co-benefits, and other project outcomes. The draft Funding Guidelines will be discussed at a public workshop on Monday, June 22, 2015, in Sacramento that is also available through webcast.  The deadline for public comments on the draft Funding Guidelines is June 29, 2015.  Following the workshop and public comment period, ARB staff will update and release a revised draft of the Funding Guidelines.  On Thursday, July 23, 2015, the Board will hear public testimony and consider approval of the Funding Guidelines.

To download a copy of the draft Funding Guidelines, please visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/fundingguidelines.htm.

To download a copy of the Workshop Notice, including the workshop time and location, please visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/ggrfworkshopnotice-june22.pdf.

Comments on the draft Funding Guidelines may be submitted electronically at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/comm2/bcsubform.php?listname=ggrf-guidelines-ws&comm_period=1.

For additional information on auction proceeds, please visit: www.arb.ca.gov/auctionproceeds.


2.     Public Meeting July 2, 2015 - California Energy Commission Drought Response: Water Energy Technology Program & Meeting Agenda

Public Meeting July 2, 2015 - California Energy Commission Drought Response: Water Energy Technology Program

California Energy Commission staff will conduct a public meeting to receive input on the Water Energy Technology (WET) Program draft guidelines and related topics on:

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Beginning at 2:00 p.m.

City of Lynwood - Bateman Hall - Room 2
Lynwood, CA 90262
(Wheelchair Accessible)

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-WATER-01

Computer Log on with a Direct Phone Number:

- Please go to https://energy.webex.com and enter the unique meeting number 492 847 892.

- When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password meeting@6 . (Please note that password is case sensitive.)

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

3.     A Winning Strategy: Daylighting Sensors Combined with Occupancy Sensors

Good article about integrating technologies to get a better rate of return.  To read the full article, go here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/winning-strategy-daylighting-sensors-combined-occupancy-sensors-0113009/



And that is all for this week!  



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Growing Green Kids

For a long time, we've been a "disposable" society. We use things for a brief time and throw them out; we don't pay attention to how much energy is consumed at our homes or offices. Conserving and cutting down on waste now seems like a chore or extra work and we don't even realize that these practices are actually more expensive for us, let alone far worse for our planet!

We've been wasteful for so long, that movements now exist revolving around raising green kids and instilling conservation values and practices in our children at a young age. We need to teach them quality over quantity and reduce reuse recycle.

At first, I thought this seemed silly. Why did we need a movement to raise green kids? However, I had already grown up as a green kid and didn't realize the extent of our throw-away society. My parents recycled, composted and were adamant about conserving energy. I grew up thinking it was normal and something everyone just did. I hated landfills and didn't understand why we would add to the smelly, toxic monstrosities. My sister and I were always told to turn the water off when we brushed our teeth. Even though we lived in upstate New York, our house was and still is kept at 63 degrees in the dead of winter; we were told to just layer up in the house and on our walk to school. When I'm home now, my dad still shuts the light off in my room even if I've hopped across the hall to the bathroom for ten seconds or less.

This guys looks like he's tough on waste!
Photo Source: purecostumes.com
Then, I remembered my surprise when I went to my fiancĂ©'s hometown for the first time in 2012 and learned that the city was just beginning to hand out flyers about their new free recycling program. Yes! To recycle before late 2012, you had to pay and that's never the way to motivate people to "do more work". What stunned me even more is this city is Columbus, OH, the country's 15th largest city! This was not a small town without resources for a free recycling program. Maybe this green kid movement wasn't so silly after all.

As we have figured out the importance and the benefits of conservation and recycling, there is a push to reevaluate our buying and disposing practices. Growing green kids has to be done! We need superheroes who will fight for our future! This does not mean your child can't have fun decorations or activities at their birthday parties or exciting toys to play with, it just means you can and should get creative! Your kids will love making things themselves, too, and everything will be much more original and valuable.

Changing our society to one that protects our environment and our wallets is now a priority. We'll be healthier, happier, more prosperous and more creative. What's not to love about that?

How are you raising your green kid (or your green self)?



Monday, June 15, 2015

Friday, June 12, 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.  Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Public Workshop to Discuss Funding Guidelines for Agencies Administering Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds
The Air Resources Board (ARB) invites you to participate in a public workshop to provide input on the draft Funding Guidelines for agencies administering Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund programs. The workshop will be held on Monday, June 22, 2015, in Sacramento and available through webcast.  To download a copy of the Workshop Notice, including the workshop time and location, please visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/ggrfworkshopnotice-june22.pdf.

The draft Funding Guidelines will be released prior to the workshop and will be available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/fundingguidelines.htmAt the workshop, ARB staff will discuss the draft version of the Funding Guidelines for public comment.  Following the workshop and public comment period, ARB staff will update and release a revised draft of the Funding Guidelines.  On Thursday, July 23, 2015, ARB will hear public testimony and consider approval of the Funding Guidelines.

For additional information on the State’s investment of Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds, please visit: www.arb.ca.gov/auctionproceeds.


2.  Regional Energy Networks and Community Choice Aggregator Programs Impact Assessment 

During the June 9th EM&V Quarterly Stakeholder meeting, some participants expressed interest in accessing and potentially commenting on the Regional Energy Networks and Community Choice Aggregator Programs Impact Assessment Research Plan that was briefly presented upon.

The Research Plan has been posted to the Public Documents Area of www.energydataweb.com.

Due to the kick-off webinar be rescheduled to July 10th from 10:00-11:30, we have extended the comment period until 6/25.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Tory N. Francisco
Regulatory Analyst
Energy Division | Residential Programs
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave. | San Francisco, CA 94102

3.  Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Request for Comments on a Draft Solicitation to Fund Plug Load Technologies and Approaches for Buildings

California Energy Commission staff is developing a competitive grant funding opportunity (GFO) to fund the development of next generation plug load devices and the development of plug load integration strategies through the EPIC Program. The Energy Commission staff tentatively plans to release the GFO in the fall of 2015. The focus on the GFO is in the following request for comments (RFC) document.

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

4.  School Reduces Peak Energy Consumption 20% with IceBank Tanks

With summer temperatures beginning to hit triple digits in many parts of California, keeping cool and not going broke doing it is on people’s minds.  Here is how one school district in Texas is achieving that.  To read the full article, go here:  http://energymanagertoday.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c1e20e0b69c9215ccf2bb5196&id=9ae2878b46&e=ebbe593b6d

5.  Central Valley Energy Tune-up Program Adds Water Use Service to Energy Program

Central Valley Energy Tune Up Program Manager, Jose Gonzalez from the City of Fresno, reports that a new water use feature will be added to the Home Energy Tune Up Program homeowner reports.  The feature will engage web-based analytics to help clients better understand their water use and save water and energy.  The feature will come with no additional cost to the program.  Home Energy Tune Up is a free service available to residential PG & E customers in eight counties of the San Joaquin Valley.  For more information about the new water service feature, please contact Jose Gonzalez @ (559) 621-8090 or via email at jose.gonzalez@fresno.gov .  For information about the Central Valley Energy tune-up Program, go to www.cvetu.com .

6.  City of Cupertino Recruiting 2 Sustainability Positions

The City of Cupertino is currently recruiting for two positions to grow our Sustainability Division, located within the Office of the City Manager.  These include (1) a Sustainability Coordinator to support the implementation and monitoring of our agency’s Climate Action Plan and (2) a Utility and Efficiency Analyst (2-year Limited Term) to expand our sustainability data collection and analytics.  Position announcements are on the City’s Cal Opps page. Both positions close on Monday, June 29th with the hope for interviews and placement shortly thereafter. 

7.  City of San Francisco Solar Manager Job Open

The Renewable Energy Program Manager is a dynamic position looking for someone who wants limited travel, infrequent evening meetings, 40 hours per week, flexibility in the schedule, and great fringe benefits. Go to this link to get the official announcement and application: http://www.jobaps.com/SF/sup/bulpreview.asp?R1=PEX&R2=5642&R3=901049


And that is all for this week!  


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Make Sure You Don't Miss Out!

Are you interested in the future of energy and water efficiency in the Ag manufacturing industry? If  so make sure you attend the June 25th workshop and networking lunch in Tulare. 








Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Useful Waste

When you go to a sporting event or conference and have a meal do you know where your leftovers are going? Many of us think it is straight into the garbage bin and then eventually to a dump site. Well low and behold a company has turned that idea on its head and is turning our waste into energy!

Insinkerator, an Emerson company, an organic recycling system company has tapped into how large facilities use their large amounts of waste from guests with their product grind2energy. Their grind2energy system uses a high density shredding grinder that then transports the waste to a sealed enclosed tank that contains a monitor that notifies the company when it is time for the waste to be picked up. Right now the company’s main focus is on larger waste generating facilities such as hotels, hospitals, sports facilities, colleges, restaurants and supermarkets. With this form of waste management system the company highlights that you will have fewer pests, reduced odor, reduced trash pick-ups and disposal fees.

With large companies trying to go green and more sustainable a lot of people are starting to take notice. One such organization that jumped on the product was the Cleveland Indians baseball team at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The process for the stadium staff is the dishwashers take the scraps to a garage behind the stadium that houses the system. Once there they then run the scraps through the heavy duty grinder and then that the liquid is deposited into the large storage bin where it is housed until the bin notifies Quasar, the waste to energy company, to pick up the waste.                            

Once that waste is picked up by the energy and fertilizer company, Quasar, the sludgy liquid is then put into a large anaerobic digester full of bacteria that then breaks down the liquid into solids. During this process of conversion the system captures the released gas and turns that into electricity which can be used for the grid or transportation. 

With large corporations and or governments beginning to implement these types of changes into their food waste systems they are helping to reduce waste in landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that during the course of a year the United States wastes an estimated 34 million tons of food. With food waste sitting in landfills it is sitting there creating methane emissions which in turn pollute the air we breath.

So long story short, by changing the way we think of disposing of our food we can help the environment. So next time you throw out food items think of how you can change your habits for the better. 




Friday, June 5, 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.  Do Sustainable Building Design Certifications Provide ROI?

This article contains a report from Underwriters Labs that provides a frank evaluation of the value of sustainable building certifications.  It provides a good reality check.  To read the full article, go here: http://www.energymanagertoday.com/sustainable-building-design-certifications-provide-roi-0112599/

2.  Quarterly Stakeholder EM&V Meeting June 9

The meeting will be held at the CPUC in the Golden Gate Room [directly accessible from Golden Gate Avenue] from 10:00 am. to 4:00 p.m.  Updated call-in and webinar information is provided below.

The meeting’s theme will be a special spotlight on Local Government EE program efforts. Included within the program are highlights of recent Energy Division staff efforts to improve EM&V accommodations for and recognition of the Local Government sector along with a sneak preview of the results of recent opinion surveys that gauged satisfaction among customers and stakeholders of the local government partnerships, the Regional Energy Networks, the investor-owned utilities, and the Energy Division.

Rounding out the program will be presentations on code compliance efforts, impact studies, a SDG&E Agriculture Sector Market Study, a joint PG&E– SCE LED Midstream Trial Evaluations, and a PG&E Retail Plug Load Evaluation. As is customary, any study plans or reports presented at the workshop will be made available on the CPUC Public Comment due date for submitting comments.

Energy Efficiency Quarterly Stakeholder EM&V Meeting 

June 9, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness, San Francisco, CA
Courtyard Room
To invite others to join, copy and paste everything below into your invitation.
-------------------------------------------------------
Meeting information
-------------------------------------------------------
Topic: EE Quarterly Stakeholder EM&V Meeting
Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Time: 10:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)
Meeting Number: 273 088 144
Meeting Password: !Energy1
-------------------------------------------------------
To start or join the online meeting
-------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------
Teleconference information
-------------------------------------------------------
Call-in: 866-630-5989
Participant passcode: 336 2110#

Please direct any responses or questions to jeremy.battis@cpuc.ca.gov

3.  Lighting Reigns as Top Energy Efficiency Upgrade

Good article with interesting statistics on ROI for various EE upgrades in commercial buildings.  To read the full article, go here:  http://www.energymanagertoday.com/lighting-reigns-top-energy-efficiency-upgrade-0112565/

4.   Public Comment + Webinar: Draft Research Plan for PY 2013-2015 California Statewide Codes and Standards Program Impact Evaluation: Phase One

The draft research plan for PY 2013-2015 California Statewide Codes and Standards Program Impact Evaluation: Phase One is available for public comments. This is the Phase 1 of the evaluation, covering appliance standards (Title 20 and Federal) effective during the program cycle and building codes (Title 24) for nonresidential alterations.

Commission staff and independent consultants Cadmus and DNV-GL will host a webinar on June 10, 2015 10-11:30 am to present the draft research plan. Details of the webinar will follow.


Alternatively, the draft research plan may be downloaded from  http://www.energydataweb.com/cpuc/ . Select the search tab and then select Portfolio Cycle 2013-2014 and search text ‘C&S1’ (no quotes). Click the search button and you will see the file for downloading.

Comments should be uploaded to the website by clicking “comment” on the draft research plan by 5pm on June 19, 2015. In order to post comments, you will need to register on the site with an address and password.

Any questions please contact Paula Gruendling (paula.gruendling@cpuc.ca.gov) or Dan Groshans (Dan.Groshans@cadmusgroup.com


And that is all for this week! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Agriculture Water Use, Consumer Practices and the Drought

California is still in a drought. Surprised? You shouldn't be; this has been all over the news for months now. The lack of ground and other water sources is concerning, and so even though Samantha and I have both written about behavior modification and the megadrought future of California, there is more to be said about what you can do and what others, especially those in agriculture, should be doing to mitigate the dry conditions in the state.

Governor Brown has cracked down on water allotments, reducing potable urban water usage by 25%. Final decisions about agricultural water use have yet to be determined. About 80% of water consumed in the state of California goes to agriculture and the state's farmers need all that water because they supply much of the country’s produce, yet the industry has already seen cutbacks on surface water allotments and will likely see more.

Some farmers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river delta have said they will voluntarily give up 25% of their allotments if the government does not ask for additional cutbacks. This is huge because water rights in this region date back a couple of centuries and are fiercely protected.

Photo Source: econlife
The state may have a decision on the agricultural water cuts soon, but how significant the cuts will be is not known. Even though there are many farmers who have said they would take a voluntary cut, there is no way to know how many actually will and who will wait to reduce their usage when final decisions and programs are developed. Many hope that the farmers who are volunteering water cuts will inspire others to follow suit before final decisions are made.

Farmers may need to rethink their crops as well. Some crops are so water intensive that it will not make sense to grow them as the drought conditions perpetuate. One such crop is alfalfa – the reason why an excessive amount of water is needed to produce a burger. Plus, a lot of our alfalfa crops are sent to China for cattle feed, so American consumers cannot even reap the benefits!

Photo Source: Daily Kos
As a consumer, you, too, can choose to buy and eat less water intensive produce. I stopped drinking Almond milk when I learned it takes about a gallon of water to produce each almond. That is quite a guzzler! And almonds aren't even the biggest guzzler in the nut family; walnuts are far worse!

How can you figure out how much water your food takes to produce? Check out this handy interactive infographic by the New York Times and prepare yourself to be shocked. Try participating in Meatless Monday. Try millet instead of rice. We can all make a difference to mitigate the effects of the drought whether or not we live in California. When will you start?