Earth Day

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

1. EECC Stage 2 Update: Stage 2 Subcommittee meetings of the EE Coordinating Committee are underway, offering stakeholders a great and unprecedented chance to hear and get involved in the funds and offerings of future energy efficiency programs. The Public Sector Subcommittee Meeting will be held this Monday, May 2nd , and can be attended in San Diego, San Francisco, or by WebEx. Workforce Education and Training, Codes and Standards, Emerging Technologies, and Industrial Subcommittee Stage 2 meetings are all being held this week as well. Commercial and residential Stage 2 meetings were held earlier this week. This process is moving very quickly and will wrap up in a few months, and stakeholder feedback is critical – if you have any questions on how to get involved visit or contact me at any time.

2. Millions of $ in Federal Funding: click here to review the U.S. EPA’s local government newsletter, sharing $889M available for local government and tribal energy efficiency and sustainability. ($500M closes today – TIGER applicants, don’t forget to submit!)

3. Post Earth Day Climate Action Updates: Earth Day resulted in the signing of Paris Agreement by more than 150 countries – learn more about national and local government action, and hear from global businesses that are on board with limiting carbon emissions (and how they’ll play a role for the next Conference of Parties meeting this November).

4. On Climate and Business: An article from GreenBiz covers how businesses can (and are motivated to) support local government action on climate change

5. Two EE Baselines Updates: The CPUC released a staff white paper last week, primarily in response to the AB 802’s requirement that energy efficiency programs provide incentives based on metered energy savings. Yesterday, a correction to the white paper was released, resulting in the extension of the deadline for comments.

6. Monday Clarification Call: The CPUC also announced that a conference call for clarifications will be held May 2nd.

7. Successes and Challenges in National Local Government EE: In honor of Earth Day last Friday, the ICMA has shared some key findings from their national 2015 Local Government Sustainability Practices Survey – including the two top motivating factors in local government rollout of sustainability.

8. Lowering the Energy Burden and Achieving EE in Low-Income: There’s been lots of news lately highlighting the opportunity (and the need) for pairing energy efficiency investments with low-income and underserved communities. Read the latest on program best practices from ACEEE and EDF, and see resources offered in California, here. Information on an energy burden report shared last week featuring urban areas across the nation (including 5 California cities) can be found here.

9. On-site Title 24 trainings: Trainings on the upcoming energy code are being held at no-cost at various sites in SCE territory. Click here for more information. For more on training opportunities click here.

10. Are companies responding to the market for green purchasing? Many local governments are adopting green or sustainable purchasing policies, and may be interested in a first ever impact report on sustainability in global consumer goods supply chains has been developed by The Sustainability Consortium.

11. More on green purchasing: Hear from Environmental Leader on opportunities for green purchasing in green cleaning.

12. Residential EE Opportunity Graphic: For a nice graphic to inform the community on typical home energy use and energy efficiency opportunities from HomeSelfe, click here.

13. SoCal Gas HOPPs Call: SoCal Gas has shared an opportunity to join a planning call May 5th for multifamily program offerings under the new High Opportunity Program or Projects (HOPPs). (Click here for language and the CPUC ruling on HOPPs.)

14. New National Energy Bill: Take a look at the latest (and opinions on both sides) on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016.

15. Can’t “See” the Value of Demand Response? For data geeks, or maybe just for those that want a great visual of aggregated energy use load curves (812,000 of them) to visualize the power of demand response, click here.

16. EE RTU Action: Rooftop units (RTUs) can consume a tremendous amount of energy, and are therefore a great place to look for savings – through more efficient compressors, controls, and more. The U.S. Dept. of Energy is recognizing six companies for their retrofits and investments in high-efficiency RTUs and RTU management. Learn how they are achieving savings here.

17. Building EE Opportunities for Efficient Cities: Click here to review MIT analysis findings on how building energy efficiency can make cities more efficient.

18. Energy Management System Pilots: nine companies are joining the North American Energy Management Pilot Program. Energy Management Systems (EMS) are a powerful way to integrate energy management into existing building management systems – learn more from the U.S. DOE here.

19. Why Energy Management Systems: Looking for ways to gain support for investment in an energy management system? Take a look at these tips from EnerNoc.

20. Scoring Solar Performance: Considering solar photovoltaic (PV) investments? DNV GL has a new solar PV scorecard report you may want to review. Click here for more.

21. EV Best Practices: For those engaged in EV planning, the CEC held a workshop earlier this week to hear updates and best practices from electric vehicle project and program leads. Presentations and background are available here.

As always, 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.

That is all for this week!

What Has SJVCEO Been Up To In February

Over the past month the SJVCEO team seems to become busier and busier with the amount of energy projects that are making their way through the pipelines. But do not get us wrong we are not complaining we fully enjoy it!
With spring right around the corner the VIEW Partnership is trying out a new way of doing its community outreach events for its 2016. This year the partnership is planning on having outreach events out in Kettleman City as well as London. We are planning to have these events around the time of Earth Day in April. The partnership will also be attending the Visalia Earth Day Celebration on April 23rd make sure to check out details on it today. Outside of our outreach events we have been very busy with project administration and implementation. With the beginning of a new program cycle starting up projects are beginning to slowly role in. Also with the new program cycle there are a few changes in the direct install programs for the utilities. If you are unfamiliar with direct install let me diverge and touch upon the program for a moment. Direct install is where commercial businesses and or municipalities can have energy upgrades on certain measures outlined by each utility for either no-cost or low cost copay's. If you are interested in participating make sure you touch base with your respective utility. Once we have more information on the exciting numbers for projects starting in 2016 we will make sure to share them.
As for our MUNI program; it continues to take off like wildfire. Our team has been working away on continuing to benchmark cities within Fresno County. The City of Kingsburg is the latest city to have all of its municipal accounts benchmarked. With benchmarking complete the city was presented with the data and noticed that they have potential for lighting upgrades. The city is now planning to move forward with those lighting projects during 2016. We look forward to reporting more of the great work that is happening with the MUNI program. 
Within the HDR Partnership there are a lot of exciting things on the horizon. The cities and towns within the partnership are bringing in projects left and right! On top of that the group is preparing a community outreach push with SoCal Edison's direct install. A contractor partnering with Edison will be in the area during the months of May to August. Small and medium sized businesses within the area can take advantage of no cost or low cost energy improvements that will help them save. So if you reside within the high desert area make sure to keep your eyes peeled for mailers and chamber announcements with more information.

That is all for this months update! Keep your eyes peeled for next months update!

NRG eVgo Freedom Stations in the SJV

Electric Vehicles (EVs) and EV charging sites are gaining some real traction and prominence in the San Joaquin Valley. Hooray! This means, now that charging infrastructure development has taken off, it is making more and more sense to own an EV in this part of California.

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We owe a big thanks to NRG eVgo for three of the SJV’s stations and this number will grow exponentially this year. These stations are at the Fresh and Easy in Hayward, the Applegate Plaza in Atwater and Fashion Fair Mall in Fresno. The Fashion Fair station is the newest and there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the coming weeks.

NRG eVgo is dedicated to minimizing any possible downsides to driving and owning an electric car; the company has set out to make the experience as simple as driving a gas-powered vehicle. Range is one of the things electric car owners and prospective owners worry about most and NRG eVgo wants to eliminate any range anxiety with its ever-growing network of “Freedom Stations”.

NRG eVgo has begun development of its charging station network in the states of California and Texas as well as the Cities of Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, and Washington D.C. For Earth Day, NRG eVgo helped host an EV caravan in Atlanta to promote the Freedom Stations around the city. Included in this event were demonstrations on how to charge a variety of electric vehicles.

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If you’d like to charge at home, NRG eVgo has a home car charging dock as well. You can get information on the best charger for your home and vehicle or even suggest a multi-family home or workplace that should be approached and considered for an EV Charging Station install.

The NRG eVgo network of Freedom Stations is quickly growing! This infrastructure development and the incentives offered from the federal government, the CA Air Pollution Control District, etc. should be reason enough to consider purchasing an EV!

NRG eVgo isn't the only company expanding the SJV's EV Charging Station Network. Residences and businesses all over the Valley are seeing the importance and advantage of installing EV chargers. If you own an EV or are considering purchasing one, but are deterred by potential range anxiety, look at the Plug Share app. The map features residential chargers, high powered chargers (i.e. Tesla Superchargers), and public business or municipal stations. The app will even warn you when a particular charger is in use. Range Anxiety no more!

YERT clean energy documentary screening planned

Just in time for Earth Day, a screening is planned of the new "Your Environmental Road Trip" documentary, a tale of a group of friends going to every state in the Union to find the most interesting clean energy innovators.

The event is planned for 6 p.m. April 21, a Saturday, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave., between Chestnut and Willow avenues, in Clovis. The environmentally friendly and energy efficient church served as host to Fresno Earth Day 2012 where about 3,000 people were expected to attend.

The screening is co-sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Committee and Social Justice Committee. Organizers say YERT is an inspiring, entertaining and informative documentary (at times, a docu-comedy.) Called into action by the ever increasing threats of planetary catastrophe -- from climate change to toxic pollution, from water scarcity to habitat destruction -- three friends upend their lives, pool their life savings and set out on a year-long road trip through all 50 of the United States.

Traveling with hope, humor, and all their garbage, they search out the extraordinary innovators and citizens who are tackling humanity's greatest environmental challenge. Since the film's completion, the group has been sponsoring screenings across the country and winning awards and recognition at film festivals.

Organizers say they hope for a good turnout, "and please do bring your friends, neighbors and family along, too." The facility is wheelchair accessible. A $2 donation is suggested, but no one will be turned away. For more information: ; Liza Robinson; or Glenda Roberts 559-291-1590

Fresno Earth Day activities on Saturday

The 2012 version of Fresno Earth Day is Saturday, April 14, on the campus of Unitarian Universalist Church, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave., which is between Chestnut and Willow avenues.

Almost 1,000 people attended last year's event, and members of the Fresno Earth Day Coalition hope for three times that number this year, said Pete Moe, who is heading up a display of clean vehicles.

Visitors will be able to see the latest electric vehicles, along with hybrids and cars that run off biodiesel. "I'm excited about the choices available in the all-electric world," Moe said. "I started my alternative-transportation journey seven years ago when I decided I wanted to buy an electric car and there were none. Now, we have a selection, with American manufacturers finally attempting to field some all-electrics."

The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, is credited with helping launch the modern environmental movement. Passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Here's more on Earth Day.

Today, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This year's event in Fresno will feature exhibits, music and workshops on a variety of topics, including paper making, raw food, California high speed rail, biofuel, composting, organic gardening and Tai Chi, a form of exercise. Sponsors, vendors and exhibitors are still being accepted.

More information is available on the web site here. By the way, here is the lineup of alternative vehicles:
(a)Plug in Prius;
(b) solar power trailer to charge electric vehicles;
(c)2011 Nissan Leaf ;
(d)Veggy oil conversion VW Passat TDI;
(e) used Prius modified to Plug-in Prius;
(f), Tesla Roadster all electric;
(g) Vectrix all electric motorcycle;
(h)Electric assist bicycle;
(i)Chevy Volt;
(j)Mercedes Benz E320 CDI biodiesel car;
(k)VW Beetle biodiesel car;
(L)Biodiesel Processor display;
(m)Ford Transit Compressed Natural Gas delivery wagon;
(n) Zap! Xebra electric four door; 2012 Mitsubishi I Miev all electric.

Photo of 2011 Fresno Earth Day celebration by Howard Watkins

How can you really measure Top 10 greenest states?

On the eve of Earth Day, I started reading a story in the Huffington Post declaring the top 10 greenest states.

I'll get into what they are in a minute. What immediately got me are what I considered a couple glaring omissions and imagining how it felt being labeled the worst. The ranking organization, 24/7 Wall St., gave Ohio the No. 1 worst ranking for coming in dead last for alternative energy with 0.7 percent coming from green sources and landing near the bottom for toxic waste creation and carbon footprint.

Ohio residents likely aren't pleased. In fact, the state appears to be working hard to burnish its green graces. Last year the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News quoted Gov. Ted Strickland as pledging that the state "would surpass global competitors" with its aggressive "advanced energy requirements" and innovations. The story followed the official opening of Dayton Power & Light’s 1.1 megawatt Yankee Solar Array and mentioned another 12 megawatt plant installed by Juwi Solar Inc.

But it's all in how statistics are measured.

Whenever there's something about the top anything, somebody's got a beef with it. For instance, my beautiful kinda hometown of Fresno (I live in neighboring Clovis) usually gets labeled No. 1 on low-brow lists, like crime and poverty. Yet, Fresno was No. 7 on a list of hottest U.S. cities, for temperature, not coolness. However, I can't recall the source as it was emailed with a group of other lists from friends.

And I didn't see California anywhere on either 24/7's greenest or least green states list. Keith Matheny of the Desert Sun in Palm Springs wrote of a robust collection of approved projects in Southern California totalling 3,600 megawatts and another 2,173 megawatts worth "in the permitting pipeline." Pretty impressive stuff.

And the state has quite a few more. Sure it's got its other issues, like water and too many houses, but it's also got the only measure in the country requiring that a third of its power come from alternative sources by 2020.

But this green Huff Post left California somewhere in the middle. Here are the greenest states: Starting from No. 10, it goes Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, Maine and No. 1 Vermont.

I have no problems with any of the listed states. I mean Vermont is beautiful. It has mountains, forested views and communities that look as if they haven't changed in 75 years. It's green and gorgeous. I never got as far as Maine, but I've seen photographs.

And the rest are pretty too. Although, I don't get Nevada. The Vegas AC bill certainly must challenge any green activity.

But how the heck would I know? The metrics used by 24/7 Wall St. show measurable data. For instance, No. 4 greenest Nevada gets 9.4 percent of its power from alternative energy, its toxic waste production is relatively small and its carbon footprint ranks 12th in the nation.

The group says it "examined energy consumption, pollution problems and state energy policies with the help of industry experts, government databases and research reports." 24/7 used 27 categories and data from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the Energy Information Administration, U.S.Department of Energy and other federal and independent organizations.

One reader of the Huffington repost wasn't convinced, saying that Texas is No. 1 in wind power. My grandfather in law would say when the wind picked up in San Antonio that that little barbed wire fence between his massive state and Canada wasn't doing much.

I'd one up Texas, as Alaskans often do, by saying the biggest state in the union may not measure up in the metrics used by 24/7 but it does have one thing going for it. It's green. It has more green, even in winter, than teeny Vermont. And it stomps even larger but still small Maine.

The now expired 50-year contracts with the pulp mills in Southeast Alaska didn't, try as they might, deforest the Tongass National Forest. I recall a trip in a Dehavilland Beaver, soaring above the patchworks of clearcuts for an Anchorage Times story on logging and its effects on the environment and economy.

I'll never forget the experience, and I could immediately see why early on how federal planners thought the timber would never end. The Beaver on pontoons is an awesome plane. We landed at a recent cut in the middle of nowhere, north of Ketchikan (where my great-grandfather married his wife) and got out, wading to shore. I had to touch the scads of rings reflected in the stump of an old growth evergreen and got sap all over my hand and subsequently my pants and notebook.

And I remember growing up in Fairbanks with a band of off-the-grid hippies whose motto was do more with less. Now it's called carbon footprint reduction. But that's green. I'm sure Texas has its own stories, as does Ohio.

I'd like to see more of those green stories. And it needn't be anti-growth. Logging can be sustainable. Wind can be harvested as can the sun. We'll still need oil, but the cost is climbing. The price of carbon is likely to be tallied as its effects become more visible, making the alternatives to fossil fuels that much more approachable.

At, a site dedicated to reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a recent post was titled "Celebrating our victories." It mentioned this pearl of wisdom: "One of the biggest global warming myths is that nothing is happening to stop it."

Work to improve the economy and environment is going on in all 50 states. Some of it just doesn't register right away.

Photo: Juwi Solar Inc. plant in Ohio.