Energy Efficiency Behavior Change

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly Updates:

News and Opportunities

Local Governments Push for Strong Reach Codes
The City of San Mateo and the Town of Portola Valley are both working on adopting reach codes that go beyond the State's CALGreen requirements to help them achieve their climate action goals.

Broad Coalition Backs Enhancements to Energy-Saving Program
A diverse coalition of 19 groups is supporting a proposal to significantly enhance California's Energy Savings Assistance Program, to provide more energy efficiency opportunities for low-income households - especially underserved residents of multi-family housing.

OPR Survey: Streamlined Solar Permitting Ordinance 2016
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research requests information from local jurisdictions on their progress with implementation of AB 2188, the Expedited Solar Permitting Act, Government Code Section 65850.5(g). In addition, CALSEIA and Center for Sustainable Energy are offering technical assistance to help jurisdictions implement streamlined solar permitting processes. Survey closes November 18, 2016.

Energy Globe Award
The Energy Globe Award is presented annually to outstanding and sustainable projects in the area of environment energy (e.g., resource conservation, improvement of air and water quality, energy efficiency, use of renewable energies, and recycling). Awards are presented at the national level and on the international level in 6 categories: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Youth and Sustainable Projects. Deadline for submissions is November 18, 2016.

Job Opportunity: Senior Project Manager, SBCCOG
The South Bay Cities Council of Governments is hiring for a senior project manager for their energy efficiency and environmental programs. This senior level position is responsible for the development of strategies, standards, and processes for implementation of programs, activities, and events related to the environment, water, energy, and transportation; engages with partners and program customers; and has knowledge of basic employee performance management standards and practices.

10/25 (webinar) Meeting Climate Change Goals with Energy Efficiency: Cities and the Clean Power Plan
This webinar will discuss how cities can use energy efficiency to meet climate goals and potentially secure new funding streams to pay for projects and programs. Presenters will provide an overview of opportunities under the Clean Power Plan and drill down into the early credit program benefitting low-income communities, the Clean Energy Incentive Program.

10/27 (webinar) LGP + REN EM&V Roadmaps Update
This discussion will be facilitated by Jeremy Battis of Energy Division and will present for public comment proposed changes to the LG sector roadmaps that come out of an engagement exercise with the unified LGP-REN-CCA PCG at its Oct. 11 meeting.

11/15 (Sacramento) Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets
This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete STreets movement nationwide together.

11/16 (Berkeley) ZNE for Local Governments Workshop, BayREN Fall Forum
This six-hour workshop will supplor local governments working to integrate state goals to achieve zero net energy (ZNE) buildings. Learn about case studies on ZNE buildings, new programs and tools to support local government ZNE policy and plan development, as well as new research and emerging trends.

Resources and Reports

A Roadmap for Clean Power Plan Compliance: State Development and Consideration of Energy Efficiency
This paper examines two state that have committed to planning for CPP compliance on an accelerated timetable: Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The paper compares and contrasts efforts in these states in order to identify best practices and lessons learned that can be applied in other states as they juggle the multiple responsibilities of air, energy, and utility regulators to achieve their pollution-reduction goals.

Behavior Change Programs: Status and Impact
This report aims to help program administrators choose effective behavior chage programs for their specific purposes. The report focuses on behavior change programs that primarily rely on social-science-based strategies instead of traditional approaches such as incentives, rebates, pricing, or legal and policy strategies.

How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change
Energy efficiency has become the nation's third-largest elecrricity resource, lowering harmful pollution, creating US jobs, reducing energy burdens for those most in need, and strengthening community resilience. With increased support it could become the largest and one of the world's core strategies to tackle climate change.

ZNE Building Design and Performance Verification Methodologies
This study develops drat verification methodoligies for ZNE buildings in California to address how gross energy savings at the unit level (ZNE building) are to be verified at the design stage as well as once the building is constructed and under operation.

Want to share a news item, an event, or a resource through the wEEkly updates? Please send a blurb and a link to me at for consideration.

And that's all for this week! Have a great weekend!

Statewide LG EE Best Practices Coordinator: Weekly Update Vol. VIII, Issue II

For those of you who know who Pat Stoner is you likely are on his email distribution list and receive this update each week.  We are grateful that Pat has agreed to allow our little blog to re-post his weekly update.  If you have an interest in the happenings of energy efficiency and local government throughout California this is the update for you! If you love the information here, but want more in depth features be sure to check out Pat's quarterly newsletter, CURRENTS.  

August 14, 2013 Weekly Update: CPUC workshop on EE financing; Multi-family tenant engement; SEEC presentations; SF PUC seeks EE consultant

Workshop on EE Financing Pilots August 16
To all parties and interested persons:   Attached is the agenda for the workshop to be held on Friday August 16, 2013 at 10:00a.m. in hearing Room E. An hour long lunch break will be called around noon, and the workshop will end no later than 4:00 p.m.

As “Joint Utilities,” Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric Company submitted Comments on the Proposed Decision proposing an implementation plan for the EE Financing Pilots which they developed in consultation with CAEATFA and HBC. I view the resulting implementation plan as having significant weight because the PD envisions SoCalGas and CAEATFA as the implementing entities.  

Therefore, it will serve as the organizational underpinning of the workshop. That does not mean all of the Joint Utilities’  proposals will be adopted in the final decision, but the workshop will focus on understanding the proposal and how other proposed changes to the PD could affect implementation due to timing, cost, or other factors. The agenda identifies several issues from the Comments which could have a direct impact on the pilot program implementation plan, and which will be discussed individually.

The workshop is not the place  to introduce new evidence, make speeches, or to re-argue policy positions. The function is to clarify the projects and pin down implementation costs and schedule through questions and answers. As a result, the parties should be better able to focus their Reply Comments in terms of implementation as well as policy.

Parties will have priority in asking questions, but some public or stakeholder questions will be allowed, as time permits.

Melanie M. Darling
Administrative Law Judge
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102-3298

Webinar: Tenant Engagement in the Multi-Family Setting
Behavior is the missing link in energy efficiency. Our best efforts to legislate and design energy efficient multifamily buildings are contingent on a third piece: tenant engagement. Tenants are not always aware of the way their energy use can contribute to the scale of energy saving potential. This webinar, offered by California Multi-Family New Homes, will address ways in which stakeholders can work with tenants to achieve anticipated energy efficiency.

Day: Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Register Here

SEEC Forum Presentations Available
The presentations, meeting notes, and videos from the 4th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Best Practices Forum held in Sacramento, CA are now available online!

Please use the following link to access these exciting resources:

Notes and PowerPoints from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company Local Government Partner Meeting as well the Statewide Local Government Partner Meeting are also available. Please use the following link to access these resources:

If you have any questions or comments about these resources please contact Jenny Woods at or (916) 448-1198 ext. 324.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission RFP for Energy Efficiency Consulting Services          The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Power Enterprise released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for energy efficiency consultant services. The Energy Efficiency Services group is seeking up to 4 teams of consultants for services totaling $9.5 million over 5 years. The work targets San Francisco municipal facilities. See the link for more details.

Also, please visit my website:

Keeping Up With the Joneses

I wonder what life would be like if friends’ Facebook statuses looked less like ‘OMG Little Timmy used the potty for the first time today!’ and more like ‘Heck yes! Saved a few bucks this month by swapping out some light bulbs!’? One can dream, right? {Courtney Kalashian, I see you smiling.} Well, for those who choose to opt for a little friendly competition while tracking their own home energy usage this is a real possibility according to this article.  A company called Opower uses behavioral psychology tactics with its software in order to encourage energy efficiency. We all likely know what we could and should be doing to save energy, but let’s get real, that twenty minute steamy shower is much better than a quick three minute rinse in arctic cold water. But wait, what’s that? Your BFF is saving how much per month on her utility bill and that adds up to how much per year? ‘OMG she’s like totally going to think she’s better than me. I can do better than that!’ Nothing like a little peer pressure.

Opower works with utility companies to automatically pull your energy usage data so that you can see where you stand in relation to your friends, similar homes, and efficient homes. It also provides energy saving tips so you can reach those savings goals. You can sign up using your Facebook account by visiting Opower’s site here. For my competitive and curious friends who have PG&E they are a participating utility. Who’s in?

Energy Efficiency & Behavior Change

I recently participated in a behavior change workshop put on by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in which ‘behavior programs’ were defined, various behavior theories were discussed, and practical examples of behavior interventions in relation to the world of energy were given in response to this white paper. A large disagreement was whether or not existing utility programs and CPUC driven efforts already incorporate behavior change methods. One of the presenters held a degree in Cultural Anthropology and as they introduced her there were laughs as it was proclaimed that not many Anthropologists can be found in the realm of energy efficiency. Without writing a novel, here are my two cents:

My degree is also in Cultural Anthropology (with a minor in Exercise and Health Science) and while many people always asked what I would do with ‘that’, I simply brushed it off because, while I do understand the limitations when it comes to certain professions, what can’t you do with a social sciences degree? I studied people around the world and my experience has built a foundation from which to listen and learn from a culturally diverse and sensitive perspective.  As a staff person at a non-profit and an entrepreneur with my health coaching business, I know the cornerstone of everything is communication. What do people need, what do people want, and what are the motivations behind these feelings? Recognizing that the answers will vary across continents, countries, states, cities, neighborhoods, and even individuals is the key to success for any business model or program.

People want someone to listen to them - to truly listen.
Image source:
It’s often that they don’t even want someone to solve their problems. They want a sounding board - a place in which they are comfortable to let it all out and a person who can lend an ear to empathize. When given an outlet like this, support, maybe a few suggestions, and the power to make decisions for themselves, people are more likely to act on whatever problem with which they are facing. Despite the abundance of technology that infiltrates our daily lives, we are still human beings at the end of the day. Let’s revisit these simple, common sense practices of face to face interactions, brush up on our listening skills, respect one another’s beliefs even if they aren’t like ours, and learn to work together as people and not as test subjects for products and programs. Technology changes and comes and goes, but people will always be people – I hope you see what I am getting at. Once you get back to basics, I am beyond optimistic and confident that you will start seeing the desired results in your chosen industry.

Energy efficiency enthusiasts, fellow Cultural Anthropologists, and all other SJVCEO blog readers, I would love to hear your comments on this subject and the white paper.

Big Week for Climate Change: President has a plan, House may vote to slash renewable funding and reads some white papers, Senate tries to keep up with CA and more.

See Bloomberg BNA Climate Blog for full story

Week of June 24th: House may consider a bill that would cut Energy Department spending on renewables in half. We're talking $1.4 billion in DOE cuts, including $911 million for renewable energy programs.  Not all too happy for that? Contact your house representative and let them know how you feel.  In fact, I paused from writing this post to email Congressman Nunes. Remember, your House Representative works for you!

Tuesday, June 25th: President Obama to lay out his vision for how the United States addresses climate change.  Want brownie points?  Be prepared and read the Energy and Climate Report article on Politico.

Likely to be overshadowed by a certain speech (see above) the Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee on Energy will hold an oversight hearing to determine two bills: S. 1084 to establish the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renwable Energy as the lead fed agency for coordinating and promoting energy efficiency retrofits in schools (hello, CA AB-39) and S. 717 to direct DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz to establish a pilot program to award grants to nonprofit organizations to retrofit their buildings (hello office upgrade!).

And because everybody wants to talk on Tuesday, the Senate and Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on "Improving Forest Management on Federal Lands."

CARB is hosting a workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Cal/EPA HQ Building in Sacramento on the state's cap-and-trade program for GHG emissions.

The California Public Utilities Commission to host Behavior Change Workshop at PG&E's Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco (Day two on June 26).

The California Energy Commission will host an event in Fresno (really CA agencies?  I don't have the staff to cover all these meetings!) on the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Program for Existing Buildings Draft Action Plan (AB 758).   

The United States Energy Association will host an event in Washington, D.C., on "The Cost of Carbon Capture and Storage on Fossil Fuel Power Plants."

Wednesday, June 26th: the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power to hold hearing on "An Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Government Perspectives." The hearing will cover a reveiw of white papers (fun!) to help determine if the standard needs to be revised.

CARB is keeping busy and hosting a regional workshop in Diamond Bar to discuss the proposed 2013 scoping plan to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act of 20006 (A.B. 32).

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a webinar on "Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power."

Thursday, June 27th: Resources for the Future (RFF) , panel discussion in Washington D.C. will cover "Managing the Risks of Shale Gas Development