Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

wEEkly update


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CAISO Today's Outlook

A great new resource for local governments has launched! offers tools and resources to support local energy efficiency and renewable energy ordinances. The site will serve as a repository for tools and resources to support local energy efficiency and renewable energy ordinances. Key resources available on the site include cost-effectiveness studies, ordinance summaries for internal communications, model language, and document templates. More resources will be included in the future as the site continues to be updated.

Click here for information on this new valuable resource for local governments.

News and Opportunities

Joint Agency Workshop on Senate Bill 350 Low-Income Barriers Study Implementation - Aug. 1st
The Commission and CPUC will jointly conduct a workshop to discuss the implementation of the Low-Income Barriers Study.

California Microgrid Roadmap Scoping Workshop - July 26th
Energy Commission staff will conduct a public workshop with staff from the CPUC and the California California ISO on the California Microgrid Roadmap to develop a plan to accelerate the adoption of microgrids in the state.

San Benito High School to implement energy efficiency program
The project, which includes new light fixtures, "smart" heating and cooling systems, and the installation of solar panels, is expected to save the district $13 million.

California sets the gold standard on good energy policy
"California’s example of self-sufficiency and dedication to producing sound policy can be replicated nationwide. "

Virtual Power Plants: Ready to Serve a Grid Near You
To provide Virtual Power Plant services to the transmission grid, aggregators now draw on a diverse mix of distributed energy resources -- storage, demand response, renewables, microgrids -- from various commercial and residential services.

Water Authority Solicits Proposals for Potential Joint Energy Storage Facility with City of San Diego
“This potential project is an exciting and innovative opportunity to optimize our water facilities to benefit our ratepayers while helping the region as a whole meet its energy needs,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors.

California to Receive $153M in Final Settlement with Volkswagen
The California Air Resources Board announced that it filed a consent decree for its final settlement with the Volkswagen Group of America.

Energy Commission Chair Releases Letter Urging the Future Closure of Aliso Canyon
California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller released a letter urging the California Public Utilities Commission to plan for the future closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.

Resources and Publications

Grant: Advancing the Resilience and Environmental Performance of California's Electricity System
The purpose of this solicitation is to fund Applied Research and Development projects that reduce the environmental and public health impacts of electricity generation and make the electricity system less vulnerable to climate impacts. The deadline to submit applications is October 9th, 2017.

Center for Climate Protection: Climate Action Training
The Center for Climate Protection is offering training for Climate Action on several dates in August. The training will be held at the Sonoma Land Trust in Santa Rosa.

Public Agency Energy Strategies Workshop  - July 27th
The Energy Network (SoCal REN) is hosting another public agency workshop next week

Career Opportunities

Energy Planner/Analyst - Humboldt State University

Click here to find previous job announcements

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

7/25 - Webinar: Microgrid Regulatory & Finance Strategies with Case Studies
Proposed microgrids reflect the needs and character of the developers and accordingly emphasize different benefits. Regulatory and finance strategies for microgrids in turn must respond to the varied purposes for their development.

7/28-7/29 - Zero Carbon Zero Net Energy Redwood Retreat
Join Industry Leaders As they present case studies and technical deep dives on ZNE and Zero Carbon strategies.

10/15-10/18 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference
A conference focused on understanding the behavior and decision-making of individuals and organizations and using that knowledge to accelerate our transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon future.

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

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

What has SJVCEO been up to in March

Spring has sprung SJVCEO into energy efficiency projects as well as being on the road for community outreach events. We are glad to be staying busy and collecting energy savings for our partners.

With the VIEW Partnership our team has been hitting the pavement to make visits to all of our partners via lunch and learns. This new meeting format allows us to sit down with those that work day to day on city infrastructure to discuss the partnerships value and what their energy needs may be. So far we are happy to say that the new format is working well and projects are coming through the pipeline. The partnership is also busy with the planning of outreach events that will take place in late spring to fall. Please make sure to stay tuned to our community outreach page on the View the Savings website.

For our HDR Partnership we are busy making sure our partners receive necessary information and applications for the Southern California Edison streetlight program. This program has been a hot ticket item for many local governments. We hope to be able to share some energy saving updates with our readers as soon as the projects are completed. Also, the partnership is busy putting together a few educational workshop for those in the community. We are still nailing down final topics of interest so please stay tuned!

On top of the partnership work that SJVCEO our METU Program and grant work has been keeping us busy as well. METU is busy at work benchmarking the City of Arvin as well as the beginning the process with the City of Corcoran. We hope to have project updates in next months update. SJVCEO is lucky enough to have been awarded with one of the POM Wonderful Community Grants in the City of Avenal. Our work in the city is focused on enrolling homes into energy saving programs as well as showcasing behavior change techniques to implement in households. So far the outcome and response from the community has been great. We hope the success continues.

That is all for this month. Make sure to stay tuned for next months update!

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

News and Opportunities

Reason for Optimism: Making Climate Change Progress in a New Political Era
This month's Livable Places Update from the Local Government Commission attempts to address what the new administration might mean to leadership on climate change, energy, and infrastructure investments.

High Utility Bills Trigger Anxiety and Depression in Low-Income Households

A researcher at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health studied a hidden source of hardship: energy insecurity, the ability to adequately meet basic household energy needs, and its adverse environmental, health, and social consequences. The study provides real-world examples of three dimensions of energy insecurity: economic, physical, and behavioral.

2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft
ARB released the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft to provide the staff's current thoughts on how to achieve the State's SB 32 climate goal of reducing greenhouse gases of at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Comments received on the Discussion Draft will inform the development of a comprehensive Proposed 2030 target Scoping Plan, which is expected to be released in January 2017. Comments due December 16, 2016.

RFP: Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program: Best Practices Pilot
The Strategic Growth Council in partnership with the Office of Planning and Research is soliciting proposals for an effort to support local land use planning related to climate and the State's statutory planning priorities. The program funding in the amount of $250,000 will be available for applicants to apply for up to $50,000. These grants will support the development and/or implementation of a specific portion of a land use plan, land protection or management practice, or development project. Proposals due January 11, 2017.
Revised Draft Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy and Revised Draft Environmental Analysis
ARB released these drafts for public review and will be conducting a series of public workshops to summarize these revisions. Comments due January 17, 2017.

Job Opportunity: Energy and Water Coordinator, County of San Luis Obispo
The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works is seeking an innovative and experienced individual who is committed to work as part of a team in delivering a broad range of energy-related projects at County facilities. The position covers a wide range of duties, such as energy monitoring and reporting to researching and implementing program/projects in the County's EnergyWise Plan. Applications due December 29, 2016.

Job Opportunity: Customer Programs Specialist I, MCE
MCE is currently hiring a motivated individual to help implement a new pilot focused on providing energy efficiency services to income qualified communities. The position will require creativity, attention to detail, and ideally knowledge of energy efficiency and/or experience working with low-income communities in the Bay Area. Applications due January 13, 2017.

Job Opportunity: Energy and Sustainability Information and Communication Analyst, County of Sonoma
The County of Sonoma is hiring for a bilingual (English and Spanish) Information and Communications Analyst that will be responsible for planning, developing, coordinating, and implementing Energy and Sustainability Division information, communication, education, and marketing efforts, and who will act as the division spokesperson in dealing with the media and community groups. Application deadline extended to December 21, 2016.
Click the Calendar link to view all upcoming events.

Join the CPUC for the upcoming Quarterly Energy Efficiency EM&V Stakeholder Meeting. Please propose agenda topics to Syreeta Gibbs at by COB December 7, 2016. Agenda topics proposed so far include: 1) Review of the EM&V Masterplan, 2) CPUC and Program Administrator Update on EM&V Budgets and Activities, and 3) M&V 2.0 case studies presentation.

12/15 (webinar) Advanced Energy Year In Review: What happened in 2016 - and what to expect in 2017
In this webinar, you can hear about the most important policy developments impacting the advanced energy industry in 2016, as well as possible policy battles and breakthroughs coming in 2017.

1/25-1/26 (Sacramento) California Climate Change Symposium 2017
This forum aims to share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state to inform the state's strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate. Early-bird registration ends 12/12/16.

2/2/17 (St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-bird registration has been extended to December 16th  for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation's largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen.

5/5/17 (Long Beach) The Business of Local Energy Symposium 2017
The Center for Climate Protection along with the Local Government Commission and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition is offering their third Business of Clean Energy Symposium to convene government, business, and community leaders to accelerate California's shift to a clean energy economy and to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs. Save the date - registration will open in January.

Resources and Reports

Current Practices in Efficiency Financing
This report serves as a guide to all customer-facing financing products - products offered by a lender directly to a borrower - used to pay for energy efficiency. View the video and presentations from the associated webinar.

Less Carbon, Higher Prices: How California's Climate Policies Affect Lower-Income Residents
This paper examines the Golden State's history of renewable-energy mandates, as well as its carbon cap-and-trade program; its tiered system of electricity pricing; how prices vary by county; and the impact of energy prices on households.

The Intersection of Energy and Justice
This paper explores the interactions of spatial, racial and socioeconomic patterns of residential heating affordability, consumption and efficiency in Wayne County, Michigan. Alongside energy consumption and efficiency disparities, ineffective targeting of inefficient homes are highlighted as the impetus to fuel poverty in this study.

Planning & Zoning for Health in the Built Environment
This Essential Info Packet offers planners a collection of resources to help them better understand the connections between health and the built environment and integrate community health considerations into their planning and zoning work.

And that's all for this week! 

Finding Funding Opportunities

I get a lot of questions about how to find grant opportunities and RFPs (Request for Proposals), and so I decided it’s about time I share some resources!

There are a number of places to look for funding opportunities. Here are some of my favorites:

California’s Local Government Energy Efficiency Portal
This portal is a great service provided by the Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator. They shares resources, best practices, news and events and other information with those involved with Local Government Partnerships. You can sign up to get the weekly email, which we share on this blog each week. This email often includes a list of funding opportunities for eligible local and tribal governments. The portal also includes a detailed summary of funding opportunity resources for local governments that may be found here.

California Energy Commission (CEC)
It's always great to get money for what you want to grow.
Photo source: Terrain Magazine
The CEC funds a variety of projects and types of agencies. Current solicitations can be found here and are searchable based on program areas. I recommend subscribing to the list serve so you are up to date with contract notices as they’re released.

The CEC also funds “energy innovation” projects through the EPIC (Electricity Program Investment Charge) Program. These projects address environmental impacts and usually include program design, research and development, technology deployment, and market facilitation. Current solicitations include vehicle-grid integration, biomass-to-energy systems for food waste sector, and developing ZNE (zero net energy) buildings.
All federal grants are submitted through this website. Unfortunately, solicitations and RFPs are a little hard to find through their system, but you can sign up for email notifications regarding new funding opportunities. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) has a much easier advanced search system. If you find something in CFDA, you can more easily search for the specific grant solicitation on to apply.

FDO Professional
FDO Professional allows you to search foundations that fund your industry in your area. This service is fee based, but you can access it for free from “Funding Information Network locations” in your area; just bring a flash drive for any information or lists of foundations you want to download. Many libraries, including Fresno County Public Library, Stanislaus County Library and Tulare Public Library are “Funding Information Network locations”. Check them out!

Do you have other resources to share? What’s your favorite?

Value-Added Producer Grant Program Training

Recorded Webinar Training Available on the
2016 Value-Added Producer Grant Program for California


A recorded webinar training on USDA Rural Development's Value-Added Producer Grant program is now available for California applicants and other interested parties. The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) funds planning and working capital expenses to help agricultural producers process and market new products, expand into new markets, and strengthen the rural economy.

The VAPG program is now accepting applications for the FY 2016 cycle. Applications are due by mail to the Rural Development California State Office by July 1, 2016.

Topics Covered:
  • Applicant Eligibility
  • Project Eligibility
  • Purpose Eligibility
  • Other Requirements
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Tools for Applicants
Webinar Information:
For more information about the Value-Added Producer Grant, visit our website. Questions? Please contact our VAPG Coordinator, Martin Zone, at or (530) 792-5829.

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your WEEkly Updates: 
1.    Energy Commission Funding Supports Efficiency, Alternative Fuel Projects
The CEC approved several grants, contracts and loans yesterday that support projects - for City of Gardena, UC Riverside, San Luis Obispo County, and San Diego Community College District - that will help the state meet its EE and GHG emission reduction goals. Modifications have also been made to the reporting process for publicly owned utilities to ensure increased use of renewable energy.
2.    Tesla Batteries to Power Office Buildings in California
The Irvine Company is fitting more than 20 buildings in Irvine and Newport Beach with battery systems from Tesla. The project is being undertaken in partnership with Advanced Microgrid Solutions and SoCal Edison, and will provide 10 MW of power to facilities and reduce energy costs by as much as 10%.
3.    USDA Rural Energy for America Program Loans and Grants Available
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging rural small businesses to apply for loans and grants aimed at renewable energy and energy-related projects. The USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants for new "renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements" and "energy audits and renewable energy development assistance."
4.    Study: Confusion and Growth Opportunities in Building/Energy Management Systems
Survey results from MACH Energy indicate that while facility management professionals are increasingly implementing energy management systems (EMS), the market remains in a potentially high-growth stage. Two primary conclusions of the survey: these building professionals primarily implement EMS to achieve cost and expense reduction; and there is marketplace confusion.
5.    ACEEE Call for Papers: 2016 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
The Call for Papers deadline, October 23rd, is approaching for the ACEE 2016 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, "From Components to Systems, From Buildings to Communities." The conference is taking place August 21-26, 2016 in Pacific Grove, CA.
6.    10/21 ClimatEEfficient Webinar: Long Beach in a New Light
Learn about how the City of Long Beach partnered with The Energy Network on streetlight retrofitting. You will hear from the City of Long Beach and The Energy Network on how they teamed up to convert 25,000 streetlights to more energy-efficient fixtures, making it the fourth largest project of its kind on the West Coast.
7.    Energy Calendar

And that is all for this week! 

If you have any requests for information, events, resources, or news to share, please send details to

Money Monday: Smart Grid Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on October 11 announced funding to modernize and improve the efficiency of rural electric generation and transmission systems. The announcement includes additional loan support of $134 million in Smart Grid technologies in 16 states. The selected projects are located in Alabama, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. 

In September, the USDA reportedthat it had met its goal to finance $250 million in Smart Grid technologies in fiscal year 2012.

USDA also announced nearly $264 million in loans to partially finance wood-burning plants in Colorado, Hawaii, and Texas that are expected to generate 69 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Additionally, $14,565,000 was announced to finance the construction of a 5.5 MW solar-powered generating facility in Maryland.

In California, Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District received $50,000,000 to build or improve 40 miles of lines for distribution and transmission, and to make other improvements to their aging system.  

To learn more link to the USDA press release here

photo credit: arbyreed via photopin cc

Photo credit:

Grants Available For Farmers, Rural Businesses To Test Clean Energy

Farmers and small rural businesses who gain at least half of their income from agriculture operations can apply for federal grants to test renewable power.

The Rural Energy for America Program will provide funds for feasibility studies on certain types of renewable-energy systems. Projects based on solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro and hydrogen are among those eligible for consideration. The applicant must own the project, and operate it in a rural region.

The Rural Energy for America Program is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption. The 75 grants are awarded on a competitive basis and can be up to 25% of total eligible project costs. Grants are limited to $50,000 for renewable-energy feasibility studies.

Applications are due June 30. Learn more at this link.

Grants For Urban Greening Projects Available

Urban greening takes a variety of forms - from green rooftops such as what we blogged about here to an urban-greening plan such as that being developed by Alameda officials - and is growing as governments and people become more interested in clean energy, sustainable living and the effects of greenhouse gases.

Local governments and other organizations interested in funding urban-greening programs might be able to capitalize on grants that are accepting applications through May 15.

More information can be found by clicking on this link:

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Rain Bird Offers Grants For Water-Conservation Projects

Rain Bird is giving away grants for water conservation projects to individuals, homeowners, companies, organizations, or others who wants to fund a project that helps promote conservation, sustainability and green spaces.

This grant program is unique in that the general public will be able to vote for the project they like. The proposal with the most votes (in three funding categories $1,500, $5,000, and $10,000) will receive the money.

Non-profits, homeowners, educators, landscapers, facility managers, retailers, or anyone with a water-conservation project that supports sustainability and green spaces can submit a project for funding.

No matter where in the world you live, Rain Bird, which makes irrigation products, wants to make a difference in the community, and demonstrate an intelligent use of water. People can submit multiple water conservation projects to the site at, and then vote on projects as well.

Votes are anonymous, and people can vote for as many projects they want per day (but they can only vote once per project per day). The email for questions etc. is, or

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Farmers, Rural Businesses Eligible for Energy Grants

Farmers and businesses in rural communities interested in installing renewable energy systems are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 through The Rural Energy for America Program.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials expect to approve 110 awards totaling $3 million. The filing deadline is Oct. 5.

"This grant is an excellent opportunity for rural businesses and farmers to take advantage of federal funding to reduce costs and upgrade their energy infrastructure. The California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley is very support of such measures of sustainability and growth for our rural partners," said Mike Dozier, director of the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State University.

Eligible applicants are agriculture producers and rural small businesses. The farm companies have to generate at least 50% of their income from agriculture operations. The grants are to be used for feasibility studies for renewable-energy systems.

The Rural Energy for America Program is designed to help farm companies and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs, and to help meet the nation's critical energy needs.

For more information, here's the link to the Federal Register.