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Welcome to the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization (SJVCEO). We are a non-profit located in the heart of California tasked and dedicated to leading the eight-county region that makes up the San Joaquin Valley. Our vision is to help improve the quality of life by significantly increasing the Valley's use and reliance on clean energy (energy efficiency and renewable energy sources).

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BioCNG™ For Your Car

Biogasused to be considered a non-reusable waste product, but over the last decade or so, a number of benefits of the gas have come to light and biogas is now recognized as a renewable energy source for fuel, electricity and thermal energy.

The folks at Unison Solutions in Dubuque, IA have created BioCNG™, a system that converts biogas into a gaseous fuel for vehicles, much like your typical clean natural gas (CNG). Jan Scott, President of Unison Solutions, gave a webinar – “Converting Biogas into Vehicle Fuel” – for Sustainable City Networkabout his company’s work, the process of turning biogas into usable vehicle fuel and some interesting facts about this renewable energy source.

The customary process for turning biogas into a renewable energy source seems simple enough. A lot needs to be removed from biogas after it has been extracted from landfills and digesters and before it can be used for energy. First, the biogas goes through hydrogen sulfide removal and then it is compressed. The gas needs to be completely dry, and so the moisture removal process is crucial. Once this is complete, the gas enters a Siloxane, Volatile Organice Compounds (VOC) and Carbon Dioxide removal process and then the fuel is ready for use in boilers, turbines and internal combustion (IC) engines. Unison Solutions notes that BioCNG™ is ready for use in CNG vehicle fueling stations and CNG vehicles at this point as well.
Source: BioCNG™

Jan Scott presented a bunch of inspiring tidbits about CNG in his webinar. The one that shocked me the most is that the US ranks 17th in the world for number of CNG vehicles on the roads (120,000 compared to more than 15.2 million worldwide). There are several existing reports about how much further along Europe is than we are in the states with these vehicles, but you’ll be interested to know that no European country is in the top five either. Nearly 19% of all CNG vehicles in the world are in Iran! Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, and India complete the top five. Most of these countries are developing nations, yet they’ve managed to bring far more clean vehicles and the infrastructure that supports them to their roads than we have.

In 2011 alone, CNG vehicles offset the use of over 350 MILLION gallons of gas. AND 40% of all waste haulers purchased in the same year were CNG. Imagine what we could do if we took alternative fuel and vehicles a little more seriously in this country. To top this all off, CNG costs at least $1.50-$2.00 less per GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent: 120,000 BTU/Gallon) than gasoline does. That’s huge! (Source: Jan Scott's webinar)

Source: Unison Solutions

So, not to sound like a broken record, but we have a lot of concepts and technology out there to get cleaner vehicles on our country's roads. This stuff is far from untapped, but it can certainly seem that way when I look at how much other countries have accomplished in this area. America… let’s do better. Seriously.

  Posted on October 8, 2014 | 4:57 pm

Look For Your Climate Credit in October





       
Look for a Climate Credit from the State of California on Your October Utility Bill

This month your electricity bill will include a credit identified as the "California Climate Credit." Twice a year, in April and October*, your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your electricity bills.  

The Climate Credit is a payment to Californians from a program designed to fight climate change by limiting the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that our largest industries put into the atmosphere.
This program is one of many developed as a result of landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which puts California at the forefront of efforts to battle climate change. Other programs under this law increase clean, renewable forms of electricity, promote energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and require cleaner fuels, and more efficient cars and trucks.
Together, these programs will aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere–helping to clean the air and protect our food, water, and public health, as well as the beauty of our state.

The Climate Credit is designed to help you join with California in its efforts to fight climate change and clean the air. You can use the savings on your electricity bills however you choose, but you can save even more money by investing the bill savings from your Climate Credit in energy-saving home upgrades, including more efficient lights and appliances. You can find more information and receive rebates for these and many other energy efficient choices for your home at www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org/credit.

California's greenhouse gas reduction programs provide a range of powerful solutions to help slow climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing society. By gradually reducing emissions each year and moving to cleaner forms of energy, we are taking an important step to preserve the health and prosperity of our state for generations to come.

* Billing periods vary by utility and may not always coincide with a calendar month. If you don't see a Climate Credit in the bill that arrives in October, it will appear in the bill you receive in November.

The CPUC regulates privately owned electric companies and serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy. For more information about our work contact us at:
news@cpuc.ca.gov, 800-253-0500, or visit www.cpuc.ca.gov

  Posted on October 2, 2014 | 2:46 pm

SJVCEO Monthly Update

Our SJVCEO team continues to master the art of energy efficiency within our participating jurisdictions and put projects into motion. Each day we come to work with a new scope of work to tackle to save others dollars and energy, and enjoy every minute of it!

                A few of our team members have completed hands on training for integrated demand side management. This course was presented by Southern California Edison and was centered on response programs that can benefit municipality’s utility bills. The presenter also discussed distributed generation and energy storage technologies. The demand response historical data is currently being incorporated into the project tracking database that SJVCEO is creating for its municipalities and utility partners.

                Lastly, a few of our team members attended the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley Summit. 

Sarah Farell, our program administrator (and head of our Seattle office) was in town to attend the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley annual summit. This event provided an opportunity for individuals, local governments, educational institutions, and businesses alike to share currents about the Valley as well as potential and up-and-coming events and projects in industries such as agriculture, water, housing, workforce development, energy, transportation, health care, and education. The event also celebrates the work of a variety of groups. This year, a “kudos” award went to the co-chairs of the San Joaquin Valley Electric Vehicle Partnership, Jeannie Lam of Nissan North America and Terry O’Day of NRG eVgo. This Partnership was set up through the WIB RICO grant by its Action Team which includes the SJVCEO, Fresno State Office of Community and Economic Development, the San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities Coalition, Kern Community College District, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

As we move into the month of October our team is ramping up for all ten of our community outreach events. During these events our team goes out into the community and shows residence how easy it is to become energy efficient and save! Also, we have some great giveaway items that draw in the crowds and in return they walk away with a bit of energy knowledge. Stay tuned to the SJVCEO and VIEW website to see what upcoming events may be taking place in your neighborhood.

                With the mention of the website, that leads us to a very exciting update on our website work. SJVCEO and the VIEW partnership will be receiving a website an update this year. We will be rolling out both of our websites in the coming months, so stay tuned. All of us here at SJVCEO are very excited and we hope that you are too!


Stay tuned for next month’s update on what the SJVCEO team has been up to!


               

                

  Posted on September 30, 2014 | 12:24 pm

Energy Use Tracking Now at Your Fingertips


Tracking your energy usage in the past has been a pain for many home owners and business owners alike. Now in 2014 there are many options available for download on your smartphone. Having your energy usage at your fingertips can make it easy to see when and how you can conserve and SAVE!

Most applications offered are compatible with iPhone and Android operating systems. Most of all they are generally FREE! We have done some investigating and found the top 5 ranking energy tracking/efficiency apps available today. (Note: these apps are not listed in ranking order)

1.      Kill-Ur-Watts
This app allows you to track your monthly energy usage month-to-month as well as show you what your carbon footprint may be. The app will also make recommendations for how to conserve energy based on your energy usage.

This app lets you put in the wattage information of your appliances so that you gain a clear picture of what it costs to operate them. The cost is based on watts, hours of use and the cost of electricity in your area.

3.      VELObill
This app works as a dashboard of energy usage for the consumer. It will give you insight into where your energy consumption is coming from and how you rank compared to your neighbors. This app goes beyond the others and allows you to measure water and natural gas usage if you have those as well.On top of it all the app will help you identify trouble areas and propose ways to reduce your overall utility bill.

4.      Electrify
This app has a main focus on energy efficient home improvements and lowering monthly utility bills. It will provide you with a range of calculators and guides that will help reduce your energy consumption and energy loss.

5.      Leafully
This app will allow you to see your energy use habits and alert you when your usage is out of the ordinary. It also allows you to see how many trees it will take to offset your carbon footprint.

  Posted on September 24, 2014 | 11:15 am

Advanced Transportation RICO Grant Overview

The California Workforce Investment Board and the California Energy Commission are working with the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency to fund the AB 118 Regional Industry Clusters of Opportunity (RICO) grant program. If you’re unaware of Assembly Bill 118, it created an ARFV (Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle) technologies program that funds innovative fuel and vehicle technology projects so that California’s climate goals can be met.

I know that was all a mouthful, but consider this: the RICO grant program will develop and implement ways to strengthen local economies and build the alternative fuel and vehicle workforce in California.

What does that mean and who cares, you ask? Well, transportation fuels account for 38% of greenhouse gas emissions in California. So if we build the ARFV industry, we’ll find cleaner, more efficient ways to transport goods and people. To design and manufacture these new methods of transportation, we’ll need skilled engineers, chemists, machinists, salespersons, etc. Hello new, expanded workforce! And hello stronger economies!

Photo Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/
The San Joaquin Valley has been taking charge when it comes to developing new alternative fuels and new fuel production methods. For example, an old beet sugar plant in Mendota is making a comeback with a new output. Instead of converting sugar beets into various forms of sugar, a team of farmers are using a state grant to turn beets into ethanol. The demo plant is set to start production early next year and, if it’s successful, a commercial plant will follow in 2016-2017. Production at both would use local beets and run all year long.

The SJVCEO’s role is to promote and generate focus on this grant program through education and outreach. Now that we are nearly a year into this grant process, we have found several industry employers all over the Valley interested in our efforts. We launched a CNG Partnership, a Biofuels Partnership and an EV Partnership. While the EV Partnership has had the most success, we are still dedicated to expanding the efforts of all ARFV industry employers throughout the Valley. Our air is so polluted and we contribute to it daily with how much we all individually drive, it has only become necessary to bring alternative and renewable fuels and vehicles to this region.

Keep an eye out for press releases about Partnership meetings and join us! We hope to see you and hear from you about our efforts and how we can expand this industry in the Valley.

  Posted on September 22, 2014 | 4:33 pm