California Prop 39

LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

wEEkly update

04/28/2017


Funding Wizard | Energy Standards Online Resource Center | Energy Code Ace
CAISO Today's Outlook


News and Opportunities

ZNE Residential and Commerical Action Plans
Join the CPUC for an interactive workshop to discuss the ZNE Residential and Commercial Action Plans on Wednesday, May 3rd.

Safeguarding California Plan: 2017 Update - California's Climate Adaptation Strategy
The California Natural Resources Agency wishes to invite you to participate in one of the upcoming 2017 Safeguarding California Workshops.

WebEx Recording - Staff Workshop 2019 Zero Net Energy Residential Standards
The Energy Commission has posted materials from the April 20th Pre-rulemaking workshop on ZNE for the 2019 Building Standards.

Model PV Ordinance and Cost-Effectiveness Study
The Energy Commission has posted the draft model solar ordinance for local governments and the corresponding cost-effectiveness study

Publications and Resources

Window Film Calculator for Prop 39
The calculator can be used to determine the savings to investment ratio of window film applied to existing schools

2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Infographic
The Energy Commission has an infographic highlighting the major changes to residential and commercial 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards that went into effect January 1, 2017.

Career Opportunities

Environmental Scientist for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs - Sacramento
The Senior Environmental Scientist acts as technical and program consultant to all levels of the Department as well as external entities and individuals and makes recommendations regarding technical, policy, regulation, and legislation development.

Chief Deputy Executive Officer for the Delta Stewardship Council - Sacramento
The Chief Deputy manages a complex budget from multiple funding sources and is responsible for upholding standards of practice and quality in the development and delivery of policy and technical products in pursuit of the Council’s mission.
 


SEEC Calendar 
Click the SEEC Calendar link to view all upcoming events.

The 17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is being held February 1-3, 2018 in San Francisco, CA! Visit NewPartners.org for more information!

5/4 - Webinar: Fostering Smart Growth in Rural Communities
Kendra Briechle of the Conservation Fund will look at how rural communities are carrying out smart growth principles by investing in their downtowns, expanding transportation choices, creating economic opportunities and protecting the cultural and natural resources of rural landscapes

5/5 - The Business of Local Energy Symposium
The Symposium will convene government, business, and community leaders to accelerate California’s shift to a clean energy economy.

5/9 - Efficiency Exchange 2017
Efficiency Exchange is the premier networking and learning conference for energy efficiency professionals from across the Northwest.

5/16 - Public Works Institute-Advancing Careers in Public Works Management
Participants will learn supervisory and management skills, and will learn how to apply them to real world public works applications.
 


That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Cary Garcia Jr.
Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
eecoordinator.info
Copyright © 2017 Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator, All rights reserved.
The wEEkly update for Local Governments and their partners.

Our mailing address is:
Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
980 9th St., Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95814

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

wEEkly Update

04/07/2017


Funding Wizard | Energy Standards Online Resource Center | Energy Code Ace
CAISO Today's Outlook


8th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum Call for Proposals

The deadline to submit a proposal for the forum is Monday, April 10th. Click here to submit a proposal!

News and Opportunities

Prop 39: 2016 Citizens Oversight Board Reports are now available
The Citizens Oversight Board has released their report on Prop 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act.

PG&E Step Up Power Down Surpasses Goals
PG&E partnered with San Francisco, San Jose, Redwood City, San Carlos, and Woodland to reduce energy usage in over 1,200 businesses and 3,100 households.

BayREN Forum: Household Electrification as a Pathway to On-Site ZNE
The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) hosted their first quarter regional forum focusing on ZNE standards and household electrification.

Lead Commissioner Workshop: Customers of Climate Science Research
A workshop to strengthen coordination with investor-owned electric utilities, local governments, and others to ensure Energy Commission funding for energy-related climate science research provides actionable results.

2017 Stakeholder Symposium and California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference
Save the date for the California ISO and Energy Commission events October 18-20 at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Joint Agency Workshop on Methodologies to Establish POU GHG Reduction Targets
The California Energy Commission and CARB will jointly conduct a workshop to discuss potential methodologies to establish GHG reduction targets for publicly owned utilities.

Tracking Sustainability with Data, not Anecdotes
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) discusses their sustainability tracking tool developed to help utilities track progress on sustainability goals.

Publications and Resources

CAISO Energy Matters
The California ISO has released a new issue of their Energy Matters newsletter. Topics include an ISO study with NREL on flexible renewables,  Energy Imbalance Market cost benefits, ISO GHG emissions reductions, and renewables growing in the ISO's energy mix.
 


SEEC Calendar 
Click the SEEC Calendar link to view all upcoming events.

4/13 Demystifying Energy Benchmarking in the Age of AB 802 Workshop (Brea)
This workshop will help lay a foundational understanding of benchmarking and best practices, AB 802 requirements, and strategic planning resources for cities in Local Government Partnerships.

4/20 Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (Downey)
The U.S Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA) Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) is the longest running annual green building event in Southern California.

4/26-4/27 Green California Summit (Sacramento)
The Summit provides a forum where innovations in policy, technology, and practice can be showcased and shared.
 


Cary Garcia Jr.
Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
eecoordinator.info
 

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update


wEEkly update

3/3/2017


Funding Wizard | Energy Standards Online Resource Center | Energy Code Ace


SEEC Local Government Roundtable
You can find more information and join a Local Government Roundtable using the link above. The current streetlighting roundtable is scheduled for March 27th. The next roundtable for Codes and Standards will scheduled soon.

News and Opportunities

Santa Monica and Marin County Local Ordinances
The City of Santa Monica and Marin County local ordinances that exceeded 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards are up for approval at the California Energy Commission's March 8th Business Meeting.

Urban Green Grant Program
The California Natural Resources Agency is providing funding to projects that reduce greenhouse gases by sequestering carbon, decreasing energy consumption and reducing vehicle miles traveled, while also transforming the built environment into places that are more sustainable, enjoyable, and effective in creating healthy and vibrant communities.

LG Input Requested: Draft Solicitation for EPIC Projects
California Energy Commission staff is developing a competitive Grant Funding Opportunity (GFO) through the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) to increase the adoption of emerging clean energy technologies in large-scale procurement processes. Comments are due 5 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2017.

22nd Annual POWER Conference March 24th
The Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business will be hosting the annual POWER Conference on Energy Research and Policy.

Getting to Zero Net Energy Buildings: Present and Future
The California Energy Commission staff will host a one-hour webinar to provide information on innovative projects focusing on zero net energy (ZNE) buildings.

Prop 39 Energy Expenditure Plan Deadline: August 1, 2017
The California Energy Commission would like to remind Local Educational Agencies of this important deadline so they can encumber Proposition 39 K-12 program allocations by the statutory required deadline of June 30, 2018.

Publications and Resources

Investing in energy efficiency: Research on when it pays
David Trilling of the Harvard Kennedy School provides a friendly overview of research on the value of energy efficiency across different times of day and seasons.

Career Opportunities

Policy Associate, Berkeley/Sacramento
Rising Sun Energy Center is hiring a mission-driven Policy Associate to work towards our goal of being a catalyst for social and environmental systems change by engaging in a transformative policy platform.
 


SEEC Calendar 
Click the SEEC Calendar link to view all upcoming events.

3/7 Zero Energy Buildings: From Dream to Reality in Public and Private Sectors
This webinar will discuss Zero Energy Buildings across the public and commercial sectors, and highlight DOEs new Zero Energy focused accelerators.

3/16-3/19 (Yosemite National Park) Yosemite Policymakers Conference
Join mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers, and high-level department heads for the 26th Annual Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

4/26-4/27 Green California Summit (Sacramento)
The Summit provides a forum where innovations in policy, technology and practice can be showcased and shared.

5/5/17 (Long Beach) The Business of Local Energy Symposium 2017
Business of Clean Energy Symposium to convening government, business, and community leaders to accelerate California's shift to a clean energy economy and to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs.
 


That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Cary Garcia Jr.
Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
eecoordinator.info


CivicSpark is now recruiting Project Partners for 2017-18
Over the past 3 years, CivicSpark, LGC's Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program has provided 130,000+ hrs of climate and water capacity-building support to over 100 public agencies. If you are a local government, State agency, or an NGO with a climate or water action project need, visit our website to learn more and apply to receive project support!


Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are you wEEkly updates:


News and Announcements

1. Updated Version of the Proposition 39 (K-12) Snapshot is Now Online

Updated version of the Prop 39 K-12 program snapshot is now online measuring expenditures, estimated annual energy savings, and GHG reductions. More information on Prop 39 (California Clean Energy Jobs Act) can found here.

2. Multi-family Solar Development Webinar

Informational webinar which will provide background about the goals of the Virtual Net Metering Market Development Project supported by the Center for Sustainable Energy. Learn more about Virtual Net Metering and solar for multifamily dwellings here.

3. RFP: Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP)

Notice of Intent to Award is Today! The Low-Income Weatherization Program is an energy efficiency program administered by California Department of Community Services and Development to install a variety of energy efficiency measures, solar photovoltaics and solar water heater systems on low-income households located in disadvantaged communities.

4. Getting to Zero Carbon in Menlo Park: A Northern California Suburb Revamps Its Approach to the Built Environment

“…small cities have an important leadership role to play on climate action, because they account for more emissions and represent a larger share of the population than big cities.”

5. San Diego’s Climate Action Plan Making Progress—And Creating Jobs

Highlighting the impact and progress of the city of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, not only providing environmental benefits but also improving the economy.


Reports and Resources


6. Integrated Emissions Visualization Tool

ARB has developed an integrated emissions visualization tool (IEVT) that allows users to locate and view emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and criteria pollutants from large facilities in California. ARB is looking for feedback from the public and others users on this initial version of the IEVT.

7. Updated Cap-and-Trade Funding Guidelines

The Air Resources Board has published the Funding Guidelines Supplement for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 Funds. The Supplement includes updated disadvantaged community investment targets for all FY 2016-17 budget appropriations and also provides criteria todetermine whether projects funded by the new FY 2016-17 appropriations will provide benefits to disadvantaged communities.

8. Draft 2015 SCE Home Energy Efficiency Survey Evaluation Report

The report is posted for public comment and review on the CPUC Public Document Area here. (Search: “Draft 2015 SCE HEES” ). Or you can click the title above to view the report directly.


Career Opportunities


9. Energy Specialist, San Francisco

The City and County of San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) is seeking an Energy Specialist who will assist in monitoring, evaluating, and implementing projects, programs and policies focused on Distributed Energy Resources including energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy storage and zero emission vehicles.

10. Energy Manager, San Francisco (Job ID: 6317)

San Francisco State University is seeking an Energy Manager to establish the campus as a national leader in sustainability and energy management. This position will provide a forward thinking energy professional with an opportunity to use the campus as a living laboratory to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote renewable energy.

11. Chief Executive Officer, Yolo County

The County of Yolo is conducting a recruitment on behalf of The Valley Clean Energy Alliance for the Chief Executive Officer position.



That's all for today! Cheers and have a great weekend!





Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

1. Prop 39 Proposed Changes Webinar 7/6: Get the word out to your schools and local educational agencies (LEAs): The California Energy Commission has initiated a substantive changes cycle for the Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act – 2016 K-12 Program Implementation Guidelines. Learn more, review the changes and sign up for a CEC webinar to review.

2. Smart Cities Webinar 7/14: This free 1-hour webinar sponsored by DNV GL will feature two contrasting cities – Cambridge, Mass., and San Diego, Calif. – to explore on-going “smart city” initiatives that intersect with climate resiliency, clean and renewable distributed energy, microgrids and zero net energy concepts.

3. SEEC Forum Plenaries online: Miss this year’s SEEC Forum? You can hear from the CEC, CPUC, SGC, OPR, environmental justice leaders, and energy and climate specialists in recordings of the SEEC Forum plenary sessions. Visit the EECoordinator.info main page for descriptions and Youtube links.

4. New Energy Efficiency 101 resources: As Coordinator I hear about the need for 101 resources from beginner and veteran local government energy leaders alike. Whether its due to staff turnover or transfers, or the wealth of rapidly evolving information on energy best practices in California, it helps to have some introductory resources in one place.  Check out a new (and growing) page of Energy Efficiency 101 resources and presentations on the EECoordinator site – and feel free to request additional information.

5. Low-Income EE resources expansion: SoCal Gas announced a significant expansion of its Energy Savings Assistance Program. As many as 500,000 additional low-income families may now be eligible to receive no-cost energy efficient home upgrades.

6. PACE Savings through HERO: press release from the residential PACE HERO Program released this week announced that Californians Are Saving 10 Billion Kilowatt-Hours Through the HERO Program - roughly equivalent to taking almost a million Americans off the grid for a year or closing two coal-fired power plants for a year.  For more on financing, click here.

7. Commercial EE opportunities: We learned in the SEEC plenary on the State of Local Climate Action that a number of California local governments are seeing high savings in the commercial sector. New coverage from ACEEE shows commercial sector savings, but also a number of remaining opportunities.

8. Motivating Commercial EE: Something to share with your commercial sector partners: stakeholder requests for EE and sustainability information are changing trends in business activities and reporting. A new report shows that 81% of S&P companies produced Sustainability Reports in 2015.

9. Clarifications on heat pump water heater compliance: the CEC’s Advisor Patrick Saxton spoke to requirements for residential heat pump water heaters in the Q&A of the Forum’s opening plenary session. Some additional residential heat pump water heater compliance guidance from follow up with the CEC is available here.

10. New water efficiency standards in effect TODAY: With all the excitement around the new building energy efficiency standards becoming open for cities and counties to adopt by January 1, 2017, we can’t forget about new water efficiency standards! Read an excerpt from the California Energy Commission (CEC)’s blog, and get links for more information here.

11. New EIA study projects the effect of energy policies: Projecting the effect of policies is a challenging but critical part of energy planning and governance. See how the U.S. Energy Information Administration has analyzed U.S. energy policies and released its findings of an estimated 30% increase in clean power from Clean Power Plan implementation.

12. Time-of-Use Service for Residential: A new “time of savings” service offered through a partnership between Nest and SolarCity offers residential customers deeper demand response and EE savings. Learn more here.

13. Procurement templates for energy storage: Clean Energy Group and the Clean Energy States Alliance, with support from Bright Power, Sandia National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity, and the Barr Foundation, have drafted and released a series of energy storage procurement guidance documents for municipalities.

14. Job announcement: Marin County is hiring for a Sustainability Program Planner! For more information click here.

15. Job announcement: MCE is hiring for several positions, including a Customer Programs Specialist and Customer Programs Manager! For more information, click here.



That’s all for this week!



Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

1. Events Galore: To start off strong: registration is now open for the California Adaptation Forum, September 7-8th in Long Beach.

2. ZNE Webinar 6/15: Learn about a recent zero net energy (ZNE) study and how industry leaders are not waiting to take advantage of this $1.3 trillion market in this webinar from Build It Green.

3. Multifamily ZNE Workshop 6/24: Hear zero net energy (ZNE) expertise speak to SF’s Chinatown Community Development Center, and available technical assistance and incentives at this 6/24 workshop on ZNE in multifamily in San Francisco. For more on ZNE click here.

4. CEC Resiliency Workshop 6/21: last week’s announcement of resiliency grants from PG&E was a popular item: to get engaged on resiliency, adaptation, and energy, join this CEC Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) workshop focused on resiliency and adaptation June 21st. For more on resiliency, click here.

5. Local Government-Utility Partnerships Evaluation 6/20: California’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and Evergreen Economics invite you to attend a webinar presentation June 20th on the new draft plan for evaluating local government partnerships (LGPs).

6. EDAC Quarterly Meeting 6/21: Also June 21st: the Energy Data Access Committee is holding its quarterly meeting – RSVP to join in person or by webinar.

7. EE in Pneumatics 6/23: making older pneumatic building systems efficient can be a challenge – but converting to DDC controls is usually cost-prohibitive. Learn about an energy efficient (and more cost efficient) retrofit in this 6/23 webinar. (Or for more on EE in pneumatic building systems, see this white paper.)

8. Prop 39 Plans Due 6/30: Get the word out to schools and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in your jurisdiction: Expenditure Plan Applications are due at the end of the month. For more on funding, click here.

9. CAEECC Update: Hear an update from the Coordinating Committee on the business plan development process for California EE programs and funding – including notes from past meetings and announcement of a next meeting 7/13.

10. Electric and Efficient Vehicle $$ from DOE: Earlier this week the U.S. Dept. of Energy announced $22 million to support research, development, and demonstration of innovative plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) and direct injection propane engine technologies, as well as community-based projects to accelerate the adoption of light, medium, and heavy duty vehicles that operate on fuels such as biodiesel, electricity, E85, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane.
CEC Electric Vehicle Infrastructure FundingPresentations are now available from CEC’s 6/6 workshop.

11. $3 million from San Diego’s APCD: The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District is currently accepting applications for the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Grant Program.

12. Benchmarking best practices: benchmarking building energy use is a great practice for good management and discovery of energy-saving opportunities – and if becoming more and more widespread with AB 802 implementation. Learn how to best leverage benchmarking in this eBook, Building Energy Benchmarking & Transparency Laws. For more on benchmarking, click here.

13. EPA Portfolio Support and More: while on benchmarking, new federal webcasts are available for Portfolio Manager support, Tribal Renewable Energy, and more.

14. Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe Microgrid: for inspiration on tribal renewable energy (and beyond), check out this case study.

15. EE Code trainings and resources: The 2016 Title 24 standards become effective in 2017. Are you ready? Learn more about new fact sheets, resources and training offerings from Energy Code Ace.

16. Blueprint Newsletter: The California Energy Commission (CEC)’s Blueprint May/June newsletter is out! See newsletter highlights, including lighting compliance and electric water heater guidance, and read the newsletter in full.

17. Lighting Code Webinar: the California Advanced Homes Program is hosting a webinar 6/28 to help prepare for 2016 code lighting requirements – join yourself, or share with your buildings community!

18. Big energy savings from water savings: Saving water saves energy: less water used means less water pumped, less water heated or cooled, and less water treated – but how much? A new study from UC Davis helps us understand just how significant those energy savings are. 

19. Fontana tests operational ZNE: The development of zero net energy (ZNE) homes in Fontana announced this April got press in the New York Times article: A Suburban Experiment Aims for Free Energy. Hear feedback from the Genaus, a family living in one of the homes (and seeing utility bills of $10 on their 2,800 sq.ft. 3-bedroom residence), and check out a great slide show of the homes.

20. Reaching Low-Income CommunitiesNew case studies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency share best practices in reaching low-income communities with EE and renewable energy resources.

21. Advanced Energy in Huntington Beach: Congratulations to the City of Huntington Beach for its award of CEC EPIC Program funding for energy efficiency, renewables, zero net energy, and new technologies deployment under the Advanced Energy Communities program. Learn more about the project here.

22. CAP Adopted: Congratulations to Del Mar, whose City Council voted unanimously to adopt its climate action plan (CAP), which aims to cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in half in less than 20 years. Learn more about the CAP’s priorities here.

23. Green real estate resources: Last week’s post on next week’s greenrealtor training in Yolo County was also popular. Here are some additional green realtor certification trainings in Anaheim (June 29th/30th) and Burbank (July 25th/26th). Or, check out our new trainings resources page.

24. Job Announcement: Cal State University Long Beach is hiring for an Energy Analyst! Learn more here.

25. Job Announcement: The Local Government Commission is hiring for a Climate Change Coordinator! Learn more here.

26. Finally, there will be no WEEkly Updates next week due to the 7th Annual SEEC Forum June 15th-16th in Riverside. We have record registrations from local governments across the state, and a great line up of local government, utility, state, and expert-led sessions: I hope to see you there!

You can keep track of relevant events by connecting to the EE Events Calendar, and find more resources being added daily on the EECoordinator website – including past WEEkly Updates



That’s all for this week!



Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:
  1. 179D Government Savings Extended
    The Section 179D deduction of the Internal Revenue Code encourages energy efficiency in building design and construction. Originally enacted as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, it was extended through 12/31/16. 179D provides a retroactive opportunity for savings from investments in energy efficiency in all new and existing government buildings.
  2. Lawmakers Review Prop 39 Outcomes
    A Senate committee heard updates this week on Proposition 39, a ballot initiative that has generated more than $1.1 billion for California schools and community colleges to boost energy efficiency and create green jobs. The initiative was sold to voters in 2012 as a way to generate billions for green energy projects at California schools and create 11,000 jobs each year. However, it has not raised as much as expected. The Associated Press reported last August that less than $300 million had been distributed to schools and only 1,700 jobs created in three years.
  3. EPA's RE-Powering Electronic Decision Tree
    This interactive tool helps interested parties screen for the suitability of solar photovoltaics or wind installations on landfills, potentially contaminated sites, and underutilized parcels or rooftops. It provides a step-by-step walk-through of key considerations for renewable energy development at the sight, suggested resources to help you answer screening questions, and reports summarizing your answers and initial findings about the site and next steps. This tool was developed under EPA's RE-Powering America's Lands initiative.
  4. How Energy Efficiency Can Help Manage the Duck Curve
    Given the changing load shape, the role of energy efficiency can no longer be a focus on lowering overall kWh or therms. Instead, we'll all have to change the way we think about and deploy energy efficiency to be treated as actual energy capacity. It will need to become a form of "supply" that can be deployed in real time to help climb the steep neck of the duck curve.
  5. Calendar of Energy-Related Events
    Please forward events to statewideenergycoordinator@lgc.org so that they can be added to the calendar.

Special Announcement: Enroll Today for LGC's Groundwater Sustainability Training!

LGC is offering workshops for local agency staff to gain a better understanding of groundwater management in their region, impacts of recent legislation, and tools for effective stakeholder engagement. These full-day training's will take place from 8:30am-5:00pm (cost: $50, lunch and refreshments included) in the following locations:
January 26th - Northern San Joaquin Valley - Robert Cabral Agricultural Center in Stockton, CA
January 28th - Sacramento Valley - Wheatland Community Center in Marysville, CA
This workshop is offered at a highly reduced rate, thanks to financial support from the California Employment Training Panel, and requires a 3-step registration process:
Have your employer complete the Enrollment Form
Complete the Registration Form
Sign up for the Training
Once you enroll, you and your co-workers can attend any of our Drought Response and Resilience Training's! Upcoming topics include: community water conservation and incentive programs, reducing onsite water and energy demand, water efficient landscape ordinance (WELO), and urban forestry and drought.


And that is all for this week!

Guest Blogger: Can solar calm the coming storm?

Tom Cotter is a renewable energy evangelist, social entrepreneur, activist, trained presenter for the Climate Reality Project, and ordained minister. Professionally, Tom is Regional Sales Manager at Real Goods Solar. He is Chairman and President of the International Green Industry Hall of Fame and serves on the boards of both the Solar Living Institute and Restore Hetch Hetchy. You can learn more about Tom on his website, SolarTomCotter

This article was originally published on November 9 on the Examiner.com.

A screen-grab of the Hurricane Sandy Wind Map infographic taken at 10:26 AM 30 Oct 2012. The surface wind data in this beautiful wind map from Hint.fm (Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg) comes from the National Digital Forecast Database. 







Going solar is part of solving the climate disruption we are experiencing. 
Though climate change failed to emerge as a topic during the 2012 presidential debates, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg did raise it in the final days before the election and in the wake of Hurrican Sandy's devastation, citing President Barack Obama's leadership on the issue as his reason for endorsing the president for a second term. 
“Our climate is changing,” Bloomberg wrote for Bloomberg View. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be - given this week’s devastation - should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
If the issue is indeed now on the table, the next question is what can we do to slow or reverse the effects of climate change?
Clean energy is a key part of the equation. Clean energy creates electricity by tapping into natural cycles and systems, turning the ever-present energy around us into usable forms while producing little or no pollution, including avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.
Out of the variety of clean energy sources, solar power, geothermal, ocean currents, wind, hydroelectric and biomass, solar is an obvious strong option, especially in California, where we typically have lots of sun.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, solar energy from the sun is a vast and inexhaustible resource around the globe. Just 20 days of sunshine contains more energy than the world’s entire supply of coal, oil, and natural gas.
In Fresno County, California, which suffers, even in good times, from more enduring high unemployment than the rest of the state and nation, solar is an even brighter spot.
Data from the California Solar Initiative (CSI) shows that solar growth over the past several years has primarily come from lower and middle income zip codes. With an average median zip code income of $43,000, Fresno County saw a 122 percent increase in CSI applications from 2007 to 2011.
In looking at what is going on across the country with solar jobs, the solar industry in the U.S. increased its workforce by 6.8 percent from August 2010 to August 2011, according Solar Energy Industry of America. That is a growth of nearly ten times faster than the overall economy.
More good news for Californians is the passing of Proposition 39, which is estimated to create 20,000 to 30,000 jobs for disadvantaged youth, veterans and others in clean energy projects and building efficiency retrofits. In closing a tax loophole that gave out-of-state corporations an unfair advantage over those based in-state, this change will increase annual state revenues by roughly $1 billion, with half - capped at $550 million - going to a new state Clean Energy Job Creation Fund for the first five years and the remainder going into the state’s general fund, according to the Yes on Prop 39 website. It accomplishes this without raising taxes on Californians.
Those are the kind of positive economic force the Valley can use. Jobs, lower energy costs and efficient buildings that are cheaper to operate are not only a win for residents, but also for our environment.
Scientists tell us that by continually dumping 90 million tons of pollution into the atmosphere every single day, we are altering the environment in which all storms develop. As the oceans and atmosphere continue to warm, storms are becoming more energetic and powerful. We are beginning to see the effects on humans from this atmospheric experiment.
The impacts of climate change can be daunting, even frightening. But we are not helpless. It is wise and prudent to increase our use of available and affordable clean forms of energy. These choices will reduce global warming pollution and help turn things around both now and for the future.
As this planet is the only home we have for now, we have an obligation to ourselves and to future generations to be responsible stewards.
If you like this article, please Share it, Tweet it, Subscribe (above) or LikeSolarTomCotter on Facebook.
The views expressed by our guest bloggers are those of the author(s) and not necessarily representative of or an endorsement by the Organization