Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

August 19, 2019
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UCLA’s Energy Atlas expands to provide data for most of Southern California
UCLAUCLA announced the release of Energy Atlas 2.0 — a free online tool that combines energy use data with information about building size, age and type, location, demographics and more into an interactive map. The Atlas enables local governments to develop energy efficiency plans that more precisely target where improvements can do the most good.

New CA lawn sprinkler standards = huge water & energy savings
NRDC - California officials adopted one of the most important and consequential water-saving measures ever implemented by any state, establishing an efficiency standard for new spray sprinklers that will reduce irrigation system misting and overspray that is common around urban landscapes. It’s a huge step given that nearly half of all of California’s drinking water is used outdoors, primarily for landscape irrigation.

 Technical report: Public health benefits per kWh of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the U.S.
US EPA - EPA has developed a set of values that help state and local government policymakers and other stakeholders estimate the monetized public health benefits of investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy using methods consistent with those EPA uses for health benefits analyses at the federal level.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

August 12, 2019
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 Redirecting energy efficiency policies for the climate
Energy Institute at HaasFor decades, energy efficiency has been a tried-and-true way to help the environment. Electricity is generated by power plants that pollute the air and damage the climate. Using less electricity has meant reducing these upstream harms. But the simple link between electricity consumption and environmental harms is changing.  

How Latinos can help in the fight against climate change
Cal Matters - In California, climate change is a personal issue. We seem to be experiencing its earliest effects much more dramatically than the rest of the country. But Latinos are truly on the front lines. Construction, farming, manufacturing all draw heavily on Latino workers, and they are at greater risk when they must work in extreme weather conditions.

 SEEC Zero Net Energy Cohort announced
ICLEI - Apply now for guidance on implementing Zero Net Energy (ZNE) programs for your community. Beginning in September, ICLEI will host the "ZNE Cohort", a structured webinar series to introduce local governments to ZNE and guide them through the process of creating ZNE communities. The ZNE Cohort is available through SEEC at no cost to participants.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

August 05, 2019
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 Water-energy nexus meets reach codes: Updated resources available
CA Energy Codes & StandardsA water and energy new construction report and model ordinance are now available for local jurisdictions interested in establishing or updating an ordinance. 

CPUC decision adopting standard contract for EE partnerships
CPUC - Decision issued on adopting standard contract for energy efficiency local government implementers and associated implementation details.

 Evaluation, measurement, and verification for EE policies and initiatives
US EPA - EPA’s guidebook and white paper is intended to help state, local, and tribal energy officials—as well as key stakeholders such as utility EE implementers—learn about, establish, and refine their EM&V methods.

How to zero out emissions? More US states use energy efficiency
ACEEE - A growing number of states are adopting ambitious clean energy goals, aiming to zero out emissions in the power sector and, in some cases, the statewide economy. While these goals mean transitioning to clean and renewable energy generation, each of these states will also need a big ramp up in EE to reach its targets.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

July 29, 2019
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Living in the first passive-house high-rise
New York TimesThe airtight building on Roosevelt Island has helped one Cornell scientist keep his heating and electricity bills to $30 a month. “I was really fascinated by how you make a building this tall consume 60 to 70 percent less energy.”.

US Cities boost clean energy efforts but few on track to meet climate goals
ACEEE - US cities are ramping up their clean energy efforts, notably with stricter energy-saving rules for buildings, but only a few cities appear on track to meet their community-wide climate goals, according to the 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard.

  Franklin energy launches innovative energy efficiency pilot using online gamification
Markets Insider - Franklin Energy, a leading provider of energy efficiency and grid optimization solutions, announced today that they are launching the Home Energy Rewards Program, an online, reward-style energy efficiency program, to residential PG&E customers in San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties.

No matter the property type, it pays to invest in energy efficiency
C
ommercial Property Executive - Opportunities to realize serious savings through lower energy consumption and operational costs can always be found if you look hard enough, says Advance Realty's Kurt Padavano.

Energizing the Workforce: Essential Empowerment

As we have seen, there are many inequalities that exist within this industry however the one that often gains the most traction is the gender gap. As mentioned in a previous post, 24% of our sector is employed by women which is less than a quarter of roughly 2.2 million employees. Writing as a female who is relatively “new” to this industry, those numbers were still shocking. After some intense investigating (thanks Google), I discovered that there are countless collaboratives and initiatives that are promoting gender equality in Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

July 22, 2019
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Oregon and other states fail to require energy efficiency rules for legal pot grows
Berkeley LabAmong the 11 states to permit recreational use of cannabis, only Massachusetts and now Illinois, have included energy-efficiency standards for indoor cultivation, a practice that requires nearly nonstop use of lights and various heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Energy commissioner discusses how collaboration is key to decarbonization
CEC - Building energy efficiency standards have been vital in California’s march toward its clean energy and decarbonization goals. New buildings already perform at a very high level, but decarbonizing fully will require a strong emphasis on collaboration, said California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister.

 Demand for ‘Skinny Triple’ lags as builders procrastinate in California
DWM - A new breed of highly efficient triple-pane windows is drawing the attention of residential builders, who are interested in installing the products in the homes they construct as they pursue means for reducing energy consumption.

Lessons from a decade of scaling EE projects across global portfolios
Sustainable Brands - How can organizations maximize energy efficiency across entire portfolios in a way that is, well, efficient? The ones that surge ahead tend to share a set of approaches that encourage stakeholder buy-in, provide sustainable financial support and ensure positive outcomes across all sites.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

July 15, 2019
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Can't take the heat? 'Cool Walls' can reduce energy costs, pollution
Berkeley LabIf these walls could talk, they might tell you that cutting energy costs and pollution may be as easy as giving them a fresh coat of lighter, more reflective paint. A study by scientists at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) modeled several different types and ages of buildings, and found that in many places sunlight-reflecting “cool” exterior walls can save as much or more energy than sunlight-reflecting cool roofs.

Windsor approves $100 million apartment complex featuring advanced energy efficiency
The Press Democrat - After five years of planning, Windsor officials have approved construction of a 360 unit apartment complex that will be the town’s most eco-friendly housing community and will include all electric mechanicals such as heat pumps for water and cooling, and appliances powered by solar panels installed throughout the 20-acre property.

  DOE gas furnace, water heater efficiency proposal will cost consumers billions, NGOs warn
Utility Dive - The U.S. Department of Energy issued a notice of proposed interpretive rulemaking that efficiency advocates say will freeze standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters that use natural gas or propane.

Energizing the Workforce: Workforce Woes

Digging deep into work force trends, issues, or outliers can be described as a daunting task by some. I strongly suggest that uncovering the foundational expectations or standards in our industry, can only aid in our ability to positively change our sector. Let’s start this conversation with demographics or characteristics of the Energy Efficiency sector of the entire industry.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

July 08, 2019
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Here are six ways we have slashed US energy use by a fifth
ACEEEMajor energy efficiency policies slashed US energy use by about 20% in 2017, saving a whopping 25 quads of energy — the amount used in California, Texas, and Florida combined.

10th Annual SEEC Forum resources now available
LGC - Presentations and posters from the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum are now available online.

 Proposed decision issued on the energy efficiency three-prong test
CPUC - This proposed decision would modify the energy efficiency three-prong test for fuel substitution, including removing the cost-effectiveness prong from the test and changing the test's name to the Fuel Substitution Test.

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.