Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

wEEkly update
October 07, 2019

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Energy Commission funds community energy efficiency projects through loan
CEC -  The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded multimillion-dollar, low-interest loans to Santa Barbara County and the City of Gustine for planned energy efficiency projects in their communities. Santa Barbara County received $2,736,751, and Gustine received $2,249,604. Both loans were approved during the CEC business meeting in August.

Energy efficiency first: accelerating towards a 2030 objective of 32.5%
European Commission - Putting energy efficiency first is a key objective of the EU, as energy savings are the easiest way of saving money for consumers and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The EU has set binding targets of reducing our energy consumption through improvements in energy efficiency by 2030 by at least 32.5%, relative to a ‘business as usual’ scenario.

Utility Carbon Reduction Tracker
Smart Electric Power Alliance - Visit this map and download data by state to follow the utilities' path to a carbon free energy system by 2050. This tracker is continually updated with carbon reduction data. 

Missed Opportunity: Few utilities fully integrate energy efficiency and demand response
ACEEE - In a large missed opportunity to boost power grid flexibility and benefit customers, relatively few US utilities have programs that fully integrate energy efficiency and demand response, according to ACEEE’s robust review of 44 utility filings.

Energizing the Workforce: Licensing, Legislation, and Life After Prison

When we are getting into the details about the various marginalized groups that are affected when it comes to entering the workforce, specifically related to EE, I want to focus on one group in particular. Individuals that have been previously incarcerated or hold a criminal background are part of a massive movement in our country and must tackle thousands of barriers to reintegrate themselves into society. When it comes to the discussion of the criminal justice system, one goal always remains constant, reduce recidivism. However, if we do not want people going back to jail or prison, we need to proactively work on reducing the barriers that exist for these individuals.

The Washington Post published an incredibly fascinating article about the journey of a handful of individuals who are/were incarcerated and are now navigating life beyond confinement. With anecdotal evidence, statistical data, and in-person interviews, readers were invited into the world of Rhode Island residents, Meko Lincoln, Jorge Henriquez, and Partaja Spann-Taylor, all of whom hold a criminal record. 2 of the 3 individuals mentioned above went through in-depth stories of their lives touching on drug addiction, incarceration, and poverty. Post incarceration life has been filled with countless accomplishments for both of them including the completion of rehabilitation programs and being employed at recovery centers.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

September 30, 2019
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Why traditional energy efficiency remains essential
CSE -  A practice that has been relatively stable, conceptually simple and, to some, downright boring for decades—energy efficiency—is rapidly experiencing significant changes within California’s evolving energy landscape. However reducing energy usage is expected to continue to be a key strategy in decarbonizing the built environment.

Halfway there: Energy efficiency can cut energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050
ACEEE - To avoid a climate change catastrophe, long-term strategies have called for reducing total US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80–100% by 2050. How much of the needed reductions can we achieve through energy efficiency? This latest report looks more closely at US opportunities and policies that could reap the needed savings.

 Restaurants set table for induction cookware to increase efficiency, reduce costs
SCE - With an increase in interest in induction cooking among its customers, SCE is rolling out a new induction equipment lending program. In addition to the energy savings, induction cookware offers precise temperatures and is quick to heat, yet cool to the touch.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

September 23, 2019
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Energy efficiency jobs soar: Now make them available to all
NRDC -  Energy efficiency leads in new job creation across the nation’s energy sector for the second year in a row, further cementing clean energy’s position as a powerful economic driver. A new report, diving deeper into 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report data, found that energy efficiency accounted for half of the energy industry’s overall net new jobs in 2018, and employs twice as many U.S. workers as the entire fossil fuel industry.

CEC launches public disclosure website for building energy benchmarking program
CEC - The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently launched the public disclosure dashboard for the state’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program. This site allows users to view energy performance information for an individual building, a city, county, or zip code, and download all of the data for analysis. Currently, the dashboard includes only commercial buildings; multifamily buildings will be added in 2020.

 Limitations of standards
Energy at Haas - U.S. energy-efficiency requirements for air conditioners illustrate the inherent limitations of standards. In Florida, they have the same energy-efficiency requirements for new air conditioners as California even though Florida's average annual cooling hours are more than three time higher than California's.

Energizing the Workforce: Expanding the Scope

The CEWD released a “2018 State of the Energy Workforce” Report that is full of viable information surrounding our industry and the various components where we are integral to the domestic workforce. The CEWD highlights 4 different elements for workforce planning: business planning, workforce analytics, execution and metrics, and finally, workforce development (CEWD, 2018). These are all key factors to our industry that will lay the foundation for the future. The authors and contributors of this report offer a five questions breakdown that targets where, what, and how we can address the workforce issues that are currently at play. The WD portion of their report was created to address and tackle these questions:

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

September 16, 2019
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What is the three-prong test—and why does it matter to CCAs?
CSE -  Modification of the "three-prong test" reduces barriers to funding electrification measures through energy efficiency programs and has the potential to motivate greater interest in administering such programs among community choice aggregators (CCAs).

This company is converting energy efficiency into currency
Forbes -Before we even consider turning to renewable energy, people should be making energy efficiency a priority, according to John Rhow. As Co-CEO of the company Redaptive, Rhow has set his sights on a new era that streamlines both energy use and cash flow budgets.

 California’s planet-warming emissions declined in 2017, even as its biggest pollution source keeps rising
LA Times - The California Air Resources Board inventory found 2017 was the first year since the state began tracking planet-warming emissions that electricity generated from solar, wind, hydroelectric and other renewable sources surpassed electricity that was generated by fossil fuels.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

September 09, 2019
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Smart technology project funded by Energy Commission helps fan energy savings and comfort
CECCreating comfortable indoor conditions during summer days typically means turning on the air conditioning, which requires a lot of energy and contributes to climate change. But, air conditioning is not the only way to cool down. Ceiling fans can help too.

DOE’s light bulb standards rollback will cost Americans $14 billion each year
ACEEE - The US Department of Energy (DOE) released two rules that continue the administration’s assault on common sense light bulb energy efficiency standards. The standards, scheduled to take effect in January 2020, would require most everyday light bulbs to achieve LED levels of energy efficiency, would save consumers billions of dollars, and would avoid millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

 How cities can improve homes
RMI - Local governments are well positioned to implement residential policies that promote economic development, improve health, and reduce carbon emissions.

SLO council passes policy to make new buildings all-electric — but gas is still an option
The Tribune - With an eye on its ambitious 2035 carbon neutrality target, 10 years ahead of California’s statewide goal, San Luis Obispo’s City Council passed a new energy policy that paves the way for all-electric new buildings.

Energizing the Workforce: Standards of the Future

Workforce, Education, and Training (WE&T) is not something that is new to Energy Efficiency. Whether they are put out by utility companies in CA or by the CPUC, workforce programs are an imperative portion of the EE industry. Per the CPUC’s Energy Efficiency Report from May 2018, the WE&T Program is not only integral to the California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan but also aims to support energy savings targets put out by Investor Owned Utilities across California. Historically speaking, “the CPUC first provided guidance to the IOUs regarding Workforce Education and Training activities in the 2010-2012 program cycle.” This Strategic Plan explained that “by 2020, California’s workforce is trained and fully engaged to provide the human capital necessary to achieve California’s economic energy efficiency and demand-side management potential.”

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

September 03, 2019
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Why is energy savings contribution instead of attribution important for NMEC programs?
kW EngineeringIf we expect the market to respond positively to pay-for-performance cost structures, such as normalized metered energy consumption (aka NMEC), we need program rules that incent the right behavior, and credit real savings. As an industry, we need to advocate for realistic custom review policies that focus on contribution – achieving savings, rather that the attribution of every kWh.

2020 looks like the breakout year for building decarbonization in California. Is the market ready?
GTM -  Buildings account for about a quarter of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, so concerted efforts will be needed to squeeze carbon out of this sector to meet the State's carbon neutrality goals. State policymakers are increasingly coalescing around a solution: electrification. 

Webinar: Local Energy Codes: Tools for Reaching Your Climate Action Goals
LGC - A repeat performance of one of the highest rated breakout sessions at this year's Statewide EE Forum will be offered on reach codes (local energy ordinances). This webinar on Sept. 16th will discuss local goals that can be addressed with reach codes, and will provide an overview of various reach code strategies and options for local governments.

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
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.