Energizing the Workforce - Tackling Barriers

The Energy Industry is a large beacon of opportunity for people looking to enter the American work force. From the variety of fields that exist to the life changing work being done to help our planet, this industry is paving the way for positive change. The United States Department of Energy conducted a study that took a deep dive into the energy industry and reported that over 6 million people are employed by this industry. They then provide a breakdown of this number by state. Within California, there were a total of 427,614 Traditional Energy workers employed within the Energy Sector. You can find the specific breakdown here. Furthermore, California had an additional 301,348 jobs in Energy Efficiency alone! Combine the two and there are almost 3 quarters of 1 million people in CA employed by our industry. Pretty awesome right? 

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

June 17, 2019
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Through the local government lens: developing the energy efficiency workforce
ACEEE - To ensure that trained workers are available to capitalize on efficiency investments, local governments can set workforce development goals, coordinate training programs, and provide equal access to opportunities to workers and businesses.

Contra Costa County launches collaborative sustainable community challenge

USDN - The County is leading a sustainability challenge for residents, committing them to take sustainable actions in energy, transportation, and water and to collaborate with other households.

 How much electricity consumption is too little?

Energy Institute at Haas - The idea of energy efficiency is to overcome market failures that can lead to people consuming energy even when the full societal costs of the energy exceed their benefits. An alternative perspective appears to be that people should just use less energy, period. Energy efficiency should be about the efficient use of energy, not the non-use of energy.

Advancing energy efficiency on the global agenda
T&D WorldAn early universal consensus that has emerged among experts working on climate change is this: the world needs energy efficiency, now more than ever. Energy efficiency has a critical role to play in addressing climate change, in achieving sustainable development, and in creating human prosperity.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

June 10, 2019
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The invisible energy bonanza

RMI - Three guesses: is this article about a new, cheaper renewable technology? A cheaper, safer nuclear fission or fusion technology? A new technology to extract more fossil fuel at lower cost? None of the above. It’s about neither energy supply nor new technology. It’s about a more important but far less familiar story: how smarter design can better apply existing technologies to create radical energy efficiency at far lower cost.

How California became far more energy-efficient than the rest of the country

Vox - The current EPA is going after California because of the state’s long and, to this administration, dangerous history of dragging the nation forward on clean energy and energy efficiency — precisely by using ambitious performance standards which has helped keep its residents’ energy bills low even as the per-unit cost of energy increases.

 Hawaii’s on-bill financing program unlocks energy upgrades for the masses
GTM - The Aloha State’s GEM$ program enables renters and low-income households to install solar and energy-saving equipment with no upfront costs.

Fighting climate change through higher education
SCESouthern California Edison (SCE), University of California and California State University partner on an innovative pilot to reduce greenhouse gases.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

June 03, 2019
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Portland’s cutting-edge tool for home buyers gains momentum in other US cities

ACEEE - Ever wonder how much a home’s utility bills will cost before you buy it? Portland, Oregon, has a cutting-edge policy that gives home buyers such information, enabling them to consider energy efficiency when buying a home, just as many consumers do when shopping for a car. Other cities are looking at similar programs.

CEC promotes “Skinny” triple glazed windows as solution to Title 24’s challenge
AAMAThe California Energy Commission (CEC) is seeking to improve energy efficiency through alternate products, such as the Thin Triple window. During the architectural manufacturers region summit, Payam Bozorchami with the CEC discussed an important element of the 2019 California Energy Standard - the energy design rating (EDR) metric.

 Are builders ready for California's switch to net zero?
Builder - Starting in 2020, houses in CA will be required to meet a Zero Net Energy standard. Builders who are ahead of the curve are focused on a “reduce before you produce" EE-focused approach to meet the net zero challenge.

Technology Tuesdays

When was the last time you discussed variable frequency drives (VFDs)?

VFDs can save tremendous amounts of energy and they are useful in many different applications.  First, VFDs have many different names.  While there may be some slight functional differences between them, for the most part, they do the same thing.  Below are some common names for VFDs:

 ·         Variable-frequency drive (VFD)

·         Adjustable-frequency drive (AFD)

·         Variable-voltage/variable-frequency (VVVF) drive

·         Variable speed drive

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

May 20, 2019
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DOE offers $33.5M for energy-efficient construction tech
Utlity Dive - The Department of Energy is looking to invest $33.5 million of grant money in new construction technology and advanced building techniques with the hope of reducing energy usage in commercial and residential buildings. Deadline to submit concept paper is June 10th.

Energy-efficient LED bulbs often cost more in poor neighborhoods
Yale Climate Connections - In many low-income neighborhoods, upgrading to energy-efficient lightbulbs costs more than twice what it does in higher-income areas.

 Palo Alto presents significant progress in annual sustainability and climate action report 
USDN - Palo Alto published their annual progress report and found a GHG emissions reduction of 56% from 1990 baseline, despite a 20% increase in population.

CPUC kicks off public input process on the future of utility low-income efficiency programs  
NRDC - The California Public Utilities Commission recently released a draft decision on California’s Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) program, marking the beginning of a stakeholder process to set the future of the program through 2026.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

May 13, 2019
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PG&E announces LGP solicitation 

PG&E - PG&E has released the Contract Opportunity Announcement for the Local Government partnership Energy Efficiency Programs Solicitation. Those interested in participating in the RFA need to register via PowerAdvocate by May 22, 2019.  The RFA will be released on May 23, 2019, and a Bidder’s conference will be held online on June 5, 2019.

Sessions approved for 2019 SEEC Forum
LGC - Sessions for the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum were recently approved by the Forum Advisory Committee. Make sure to register for the Forum, take a look at the first ever mentorship program, and book your stay before the deadline on June 4th!

 SCE proposes to enhance EE programs in support of wildfire victims
SCE - Southern California Edison Company filed an advice letter (AL) to secure CPUC approval to direct spent and uncommitted energy efficiency program funds to residential and non-residential customers whose structures were destroyed or severely damaged by wildfires.

DOE and CEC partner on zero-carbon retrofits for the multifamily building sector
Energy Manager Today - The US Dept. of Energy and the CEC are collaborating with Rocky Mountain Institute to accelerate the development of a scalable process for zero-carbon retrofits in the multifamily home sector.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

May 06, 2019
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Energy-efficient building codes are a cost-effective foundation for rooftop solar
ACEEE A recently released ACEEE analysis finds that energy efficiency and solar make complementary energy and carbon reductions in new home construction, but when budgets are tight, efficiency needs to come first.

Coalition: Update, extend energy efficiency tax incentives
NRDC - Energy efficiency is generally considered the most effective solution for addressing climate change. But as the letter addressed to House and Senate leaders points out, three efficiency incentives expired on Dec.31, 2017, leaving the tax code without any direct inducements to cut energy waste.

 New emissions factors in SEEC ClearPath 
ICLEI - New electricity emission factors for 2016 and 2017, published through Climate Registry and the SCE Sustainability Report, are available for PG&E and SCE in the SEEC ClearPath tool.

Los Angeles releases its own 'Green New Deal'
Utility Dive - Mayor Eric Garcetti has unveiled L.A.'s Green New Deal - a four-year update to the city's original sustainability plan, released in 2015, which expands and accelerates the city's climate action goals.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

April 29, 2019
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A Bottom-Line Case for the Green New Deal: The Jobs Pay More
CityLab A Brookings report finds that jobs in the clean energy, efficiency, and environmental sectors offer higher salaries than the U.S. average. This new analysis looks at the characteristics and demographics of the sectors that may grow as America transitions to clean energy.

Application period opens for SEEC Forum Mentorship Program
LGC The recently launched SEEC Forum Mentorship Program is intended to provide an environment that fosters learning and promotes personal and professional growth for young professionals in the energy and climate sectors. Deadline to apply as a mentee or mentor is June 4th.

 CEC Building Benchmark Program deadline approaches 

CEC - June 1st is the deadline to report benchmarking information to the CA Energy Commission for commercial buildings with more than 50,000 sq. ft of gross floor area (GFA) and for multi-family buildings with more than 50,000 sq. ft. of GFA and 17 or more residential units.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

April 22, 2019
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Cities hold the keys to greener, more efficient homes
RMI Improving the efficiency of homes is a powerful tool for addressing the energy burden that disproportionately affects our low- and moderate-income communities. Fortunately, cities around the United States are collaborating and taking aggressive action.

Registration opens for the 10th Annual SEEC Forum
LGC Register today for the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum taking place June 26-27 in Long Beach, CA. The Forum focuses on empowering local governments to implement impactful energy efficiency measures locally while helping meet the state’s ambitious energy and climate goals.

 Target to focus on energy efficiency, solar, wind with new climate goals

Utility Dive - Target has released aggressive new climate goals that not only reduce its own carbon emissions targets but also require 80% of the retailer's suppliers set reduction targets by 2023.  This marks the first time Target has taken its entire supply chain, which represents 96% of Target's total GHG emissions, into account when calculating emissions.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

April 22, 2019
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Cities hold the keys to greener, more efficient homes
RMI Improving the efficiency of homes is a powerful tool for addressing the energy burden that disproportionately affects our low- and moderate-income communities. Fortunately, cities around the United States are collaborating and taking aggressive action.

Registration opens for the 10th Annual SEEC Forum
LGC Register today for the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum taking place June 26-27 in Long Beach, CA. The Forum focuses on empowering local governments to implement impactful energy efficiency measures locally while helping meet the state’s ambitious energy and climate goals.

 Target to focus on energy efficiency, solar, wind with new climate goals

Utility Dive - Target has released aggressive new climate goals that not only reduce its own carbon emissions targets but also require 80% of the retailer's suppliers set reduction targets by 2023.  This marks the first time Target has taken its entire supply chain, which represents 96% of Target's total GHG emissions, into account when calculating emissions.

Technology Tuesdays

This week, I would like to continue a conversation I began in my last post. As I stated before, according to Southern California Edison, lighting can account for as much as 39% of your electricity load.

SO… it makes sense to be IN CONTROL of your lighting and utilizing lighting controls is the best way to accomplish that.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

April 15, 2019
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CARB submits annual report to legislature on California's energy efficiency and other climate investments using cap-and-trade auction proceeds
CARB This report provides details on energy efficiency (page 86 of pdf) and other climate investments made through the cap-and-trade program which serves as a model for the transformative change needed to ensure that California thrives on a vibrant, healthy planet for centuries to come.

San Jose Mayor makes case for why California needs to wean buildings off fossil fuels to effectively address climate change
Cal Matters - This commentary focuses on how the urgency of climate change demands growing the market for clean energy appliances and retrofits that support California’s zero-emission future.

Demonstration of a New Ultra-Efficient Water Heater and Space Cooler Could Lead to Net Zero Energy Restaurants
SCG - A new high efficiency, ultra-low emissions commercial water heating and space cooling unit, which just began field demonstrations at two Southern California restaurants, could dish out energy savings, lower operating costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for food service and hospitality facility operators.

Clean your Easter Egg Dyeing Routine

Easter is right around the corner and if your family makes an activity out of egg dyeing, you’re probably starting to think about your color palate.

 Most artificial dyes you buy at the store are perfectly safe, containing food-grade dyes. However, if you, like me, prefer to know exactly what is going on your eggs, you can make your own beautiful dyes using fruits, vegetables and spices.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

April 08, 2019
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New resource library gives cities an energy efficiency blueprint for climate action
Institute for Market Transformation - The City Energy Project, a national initiative to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings, recently distilled their lessons learned and best-in-class practices into the City Energy Project Resource Library.

Beacon Program award application period opens
Institute for Local Government (ILG) - The ILG is inviting cities and counties in various stages of climate action planning and implementation to apply for its Beacon Program, which honors voluntary efforts by local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and adopt policies that promote sustainability.Submission deadline for award applications is June 1, 2019.  

 New report focuses on building climate justice through investing in energy efficiency
Food & Water Watch - This report makes the case for why energy efficiency investments should be part of any national strategy to address the climate crisis as well as to spur job creation to curb America’s growing economic inequality.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

April 01, 2019
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Administrative law judge's ruling seeks comment on future of Regional Energy Networks (RENs)
CPUC - The CPUC is seeking comments from parties on future policy on existing and newly-proposed RENs. The Commission has several times expressed an intention to evaluate whether to continue RENs and/or allow the formation of new RENs, but no overall policy or framework has yet been adopted for how to approach these questions. Deadline for submitting initial comments is April 16. 

In Kansas City, building owners slow to comply with energy benchmarking rule
Energy News Network - Kansas City’s city council adopted the Energy Empowerment Ordinance in June 2015, however, almost half of the City’s large, privately owned buildings are currently not in compliance with this municipal energy benchmarking requirement.

Making energy upgrades healthier for residents, workers, and neighbors
NRDC - This report recommends the adoption of healthier insulation and air-sealing products and identifies policy changes at the state, federal, and local levels that can drive on-the-ground decisions to use healthier products to upgrade affordable multifamily properties in the U.S.

Time of Use in California

Electricity is more expensive when more of us are using it. This is called peak time and it exists between 4 PM and 9 PM.  

 When we come home from work or school, we turn on the heat or AC, make a snack or dinner, and Netflix and chill. This all takes a lot of energy and when we are all doing it at the same time, we make our energy systems work extra hard and pay for it, too. 

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

March 25, 2019
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City of Fontana receives recognition for energy efficiency efforts
InlandEmpire.US - Representatives from San Bernardino Council of Governments (SBCOG) and Southern California Edison (SCE) presented the City of Fontana with an award for being a local leader in energy efficient efforts through the San Bernardino Regional Energy Partnership.

An important vote for the climate
New York Times Local officials across the country will have a chance to vote on new energy efficiency standards for buildings. But few tend to vote, which could put the outcome in jeopardy.

  Efficiency leads 2019 energy job growth prospects
Utility Dive - The 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) shows traditional energy and energy efficiency sectors continued to outperform the economy as a whole, and added 152,000 new jobs last year.