Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

wEEkly update


New! - EE Coordinator Resources PageCAISO Today's Outlook

Local Government Request:
Has anyone implemented a mandatory or incentive-based SOLAR + STORAGE program/ordinance? We’re considering implementing an ordinance mandating solar PV for residential and non-residential new construction. For a more complete 24-hour-a-day solution, which also increases our resilience, we’re contemplating adding energy storage, either as mandatory installed or wired storage-ready. We’d love to hear from others who have implemented this or have considered doing so. Please reply to Steve Attinger (steve.attinger@mountainview.gov).

Here are your wEEkly updates:

News and Opportunities

Congratulations to Beacon and Spotlight Award Winners for 2017!
Congratulations to cities, counties, and other local agencies improving sustainability in their communities! Palo Alto, San Carlos, Claremont, Hayward, Foster City, Sacramento, Fremont, Scotts Valley and Alpine County all received Beacon Awards this year.

CEC, CPUCand California ISO - California Microgrid Roadmap Joint Workshop
As part of an ongoing workshop series discussing the opportunities and challenges associated with the creation of a microgrid in California, the CEC, CPUC, ISO will be hosting the final joint workshop with stakeholders at the ISO on October 2, 2017.

Regional Forum - Municipal Buildings Leading by Example
This BayREN forum will focus on how local governments are setting and meeting ambitious targets aimed at improving energy efficiency in public buildings while encouraging the private sector to do the same.

Winter is coming, but 1 idea may help save Planet Earth
California Treasurer John Chiang is partnering with the Milken Institute and Environmental Finance to host a symposium on green bonds for institutional investors in Los Angeles, Feb. 27-28

California Clean Energy Proposals Face Demise As Opposition Fails to Yield
California has grown accustomed to setting benchmark after benchmark on environmental policies, but ambitious efforts to spread renewable energy around the state and the region could grind to a halt this week.

Free Webinar - Achieving Zero Net Energy for Multifamily Housing
The Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) invites city officials, multifamily building owners, facility managers and contractors to attend a free webinar, Tuesday, Sept. 26, that will showcase start-to-finish resources for reaching zero net energy (ZNE) in the multifamily building sector.

Resources and Publications

FAQ resource on California's state-regulated light-emitting-diode standards
A new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) resource on California’s state-regulated light-emitting-diode standards has been posted to the Title 20 Appliance Efficiency Program’s website.

Local Policy Benchmarking Toolkit from ACEEE
Many cities have started benchmarking initiatives to reduce citywide energy consumption. This could be good news for people living in apartments and condominiums, because many are renters and low-income residents who would benefit from lower energy bills.

Low-Interest Loans for Energy Efficiency Projects Applications are Now Available!
Notices and applications are now available on the CEC website for financing of energy efficiency & renewable energy generation projects

Career Opportunities

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

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

Happy METU Monday!

For this weeks METU Monday, we want to share some questions we commonly hear from our partners:

Why should I install LEDs if I get rebates on CFLs?
CFLs are a great cost-saving measure especially when replacing incandescent lamps.  However, manufacturers and building codes are increasingly moving toward LED technology.  If feasible, implementing LED technology now will save you from potentially having to upgrade again in the near future.

We have upgraded all of the lighting so there's no more savings to be achieved, right?
WRONG! This is a great start.  However, did you know the highest utility expense for most local governments is not generated in buildings but in water and waste management infrastructure?  This means pump efficiency is crucial.

We can help!
Before starting your energy project, call us! We will ensure you can take advantage of any available opportunities to save money.

What is METU?
METU is our nickname for the Municipal Energy Tune Up Program which helps your local government identify and implement energy efficiency projects.  Let's face it, project management can be as difficult as herding cats.  Why not lean on us to provide technical assistance to see your projects through from "cradle to grave".

Look out for METU near you!
We are excited to be working with so many of our local government partners.  We have begin coordinating projects for the City of Avenal and benchmarking with the City of Arvin and Kern County. Finding solutions for our local government partners is our primary focus.

Connect with us:
T: (877)748-0841

Check out our NEW website!

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

wEEkly update


Here are your wEEkly updates:

SEEC Local Government Roundtable
The Local Government Roundtable is a great opportunity to share best practices and resources, discuss opportunities to overcome challenges, and highlight innovative local efforts. Current topics include Codes & Standards, PACE Financing and Streetlighting. For more information you can reply to this email or cgarcia@lgc.org.

News and Opportunities

City of Lancaster ZNE Ordinance
The City of Lancaster has passed a Zero Net Energy ordinance. New homes in Lancaster will be required to meet energy standards with rooftop solar.

BayREN Codes & Standards Program 2016 Annual Report
This report from the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) provides a detailed summary of the Codes & Standards activities in 2016.

2017 Charge! Program
BAAQMD is pleased to announce the 2017 Charge! Program, an incentive program that offers grant funding to help offset a portion of the cost of purchasing, installing, and operating new publicly available charging stations at qualifying facilities within the Air District’s jurisdiction.

Whole-Building Energy Use Data Access, Benchmarking, and Public Disclosure
AB 802 revises the Public Resources Code to require utilities to provide energy usage data for covered buildings to the owners, owner’s agents, or operators of those buildings upon request, and further requires the Energy Commission to establish a benchmarking and public disclosure program.

California Distributed Energy Future 2017 Mar. 8-9
Greentech Media will be hosting a conference focused on the integration and market for distributed energy resources (DER). The agenda will include policy, grid integration, rate design, and emerging technology.

Webinar: LED Lamp Specification and Certification
The Energy Commission will be hosting a webinar with Q&A for review current LED lighting specification that encourages lighting exceeding current standards.

In 2017, do as California is: Make air cleanup, job one – Part 2
An article from Alan Kandel, that highlights energy efficiency, green buildings and renewables as part of the larger effort to keep our air clean.

Publications and Resources

Blueprint Newsletter
The California Energy Commission's Energy Efficiency Division has a regular newsletter, Blueprint, focused on  Title 24 Building Efficiency Standards and Title 20 Appliance Standards.

Reach Ordinances
When exceeding statewide efficiency standards the California Energy Commission will review the proposed local ordinances. Some cities have already exceeded the 2016 standards that went into effect Jan 1, 2017 with several more pending.

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.

Project Manager
The Local Government Commission has an immediate opening for a full-time project manager. They are seeking a mission-driven, detail-oriented person with a background in public affairs, local governance, and/or water policy and management.

Mentoring Program - AWWEE
The Association of Women in Water, Energy and Environment (AWWEE) have launched their new mentoring program. Applications will be accepted through Today Friday, March 3.

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

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 your wEEkly updates:

News and Opportunities

CURRENTS Fall 2016
If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out our newest edition of CURRENTS featuring a wide range of topics from a look into a Local Government Partnership's less common energy project "gems," to an update on key state climate and energy legislation, and more! If you are interested in sharing best practices, lessons learned, or a success story in the next edition of CURRENTS, please contact me at jkim@lgc.org.

California Regulators Dedicate $80 Million to Empower Affordable Housing Owners to Play a Key Role in Meeting the State's EE Goals

On November 10th, the CPUC issued a decision that dedicates $80 million to empower government and non-profit owners of rent-restricted affordable housing to participate in Energy Saving Assistance (ESA) programs for low-income households. The decision updates the ESA program to support whole-building energy efficiency planning and improvements for affordable housing.

Joint Statement from California Legislative Leaders on Result of Presidential Election
California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon released a statement on the results of the President election.

What Do the 2016 Election Results Mean for Energy Efficiency?
Steven Nadel, executive director of ACEEE, considers the impact of the 2016 election results and its impact on energy efficiency policy.

Job Opportunity: City of Cupertino
The City of Cupertino is currently recruiting for a Limited-Term Sustainability Program Coordinator. Under the direction of the Sustainability Manager, this position will assist to plan, organize and coordinate the implementation and reporting measures and policis defined within the City's Climate Action Plan and General Plan Sustainability Element. Applications due November 29, 2016.

The Center for Sustainable Energy invites city and county staff, governmental officials, architects, building owners and developers, and contractors to a free webinar on the role of codes and permitting in reaching zero net energy building goals.

11/16 (Sacramento / remote) Workshop on SB 350 and AB 802
The California Energy Commission is conducting a workshop to discuss and seek comments from interested parties regarding energy data collection to support the implementation of SB 350, AB 802, and improved California energy analytics

11/17 (webinar) Catalizing Energy Efficiency: City Governments and Energy Efficiency Implementers
Participants will hear from efficiency program implementers who have capitalized on city benchmarking data to build and refine programs that better engage owners and managers to implement cost-effective efficiency actions in multifamily properties.

11/17 (webinar) Diversifying Funding Sources and Building New Revenue Streams
This peer exchange call hosted by DOE Better Buildings will discuss different types of revenue streams available for energy efficiency programs.

11/17 (webinar) Current Practices in Efficiency Financing: An Overview for State and Local Governments
This webinar will help state and local government officials, and othes understand how to assess the value of different financing products for promoting energy efficiency; the fundamentals and trade offs of financing products used to fund energy efficiency; how financing products work to overcome market barriers in different sectors; financing product features and relative merits; and market activity and size of the efficiency financing market.

Resources and Reports

Catalyzing Efficiency: Unlocking Energy Information and Value in Apartment Buildings
Increasing the energy efficiency of America's multifamily buildings could save building owners and managers, residents, governments, energy efficiency service providers, and financiers close to $3.4 billion in annual savings. Recognizing this, this report from IMT explores how governments and energy efficiency implementers could help these stakeholders better analyze and act upon building performance data to unlock these savings.

Green Cities California CCE Program Final Report
This report updates the success of advancing Community Choice Energy programs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties

Learn Why Packaging LED & Advance Rooftop-Units Together Lead to Maximum Performance
In this white paper, Transformative Wave explores a packaged LED and Advanced Rooftop-Unit1 Control (ARC) retrofit in detail - summarizing what an ARC retrofit is and how ARCs can improve the performance and resize energy savings from an LED retrofit.

And that's all for this week!

LEDs and Utility Rebates: Save the Environment AND Cash Money!

The U.S. Green Building Council (or USGBC to yougreen-building aficionados) of Central CA chapter held a seminar at the Unitarian Universalist Church, the first LEED-certified building in Fresno. LED Lighting and PG&E Energy Efficiency Rebates Overview informed attendees of LED lighting benefits and how to work with PG&E to painlessly become more energy efficient daily. Who knew it could be so easy? 

George Burman, an electrical engineer and LEED Administrator for the UU church, began with a discussion of the science behind LED technology. I promise to refrain from getting too technical for those of you who, like me, tried very hard to understand concepts and do well in Physics, but just fail to completely absorb it. *insert ashamed face here*

Save the Environment

Unlike incandescent bulbs that produce light through heat generation, an LED has no filament. LEDs produce light by applying lots of energy to a semiconductor, which is then stimulated by the movement of electrons going from high to low energy levels. This process creates photons, or LIGHT! Voilà! That wasn’t so confusing, was it? The only process that took LED manufacturers some time to develop was “white” LED light. The semiconductors are “doped” with an element, each determining a different monochromatic color. They found that combining red, blue and green LEDs produces “white” light, which explains the bluish or yellowish (red LED + green LED) tinges we see in most white LEDs. 

Photo Source: Christmas Designers
Now for the goods: LEDs have high efficacy (lumens/watt), long life (up to 22 years), small size, and come in millions of colors. They don’t emit infrared radiation and  ̶  here’s the huge plus  ̶  they don’t emit UV radiation either! So, inks and dyes in paintings, photographs, etc. fade at a much slower rate under LED light AND bugs are not attracted to it!

Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to incorporating LEDs into building design including the initial high cost. You also want to consider the poor color rendering index (CRI) of LEDs before replacing your existing lighting system. (The CRI determines how good colors in a painting, your clothes, etc. look under a type of light.) However, I think we can agree that the environmental pros of LED lighting outweigh the few cons, if we find integrating them to be in our budget of course!

Save Cash Money

Not this Cash Money?
Photo Source: Businessinsider.com
Jason Guenther, a Customer Relationship Manager at PG&E, concluded the evening with pinpointing effective solutions to managing one’s energy use. To do this, we first need to understand how we use energy daily. Everything from how long we use a hair dryer in the morning to leaving a toaster plugged in overnight contributes to excessive and unnecessary energy use. PG&E’s Customer Relationship Managers, like Jason, can perform audits or bill analysis. Once PG&E has adequately supplied you with information to understand how you use energy in your home or business, you can develop a facility energy management plan and implement PG&E’s recommendations, which fall under three categories: Permanent Energy Reduction, Savings by Design and Demand Response.

The first step for permanent energy reduction is to get an Energy Assessment. They are available onsite, by phone or you could even set up a DIY assessment on My Energy (who doesn’t like a good DIY project?).  Next, improve the efficiency of how something is used. For example, an office building’s AC system should be monitored. Not only are we generally more productive at a comfortable 77 degrees (see this Cornell study), but we shouldn’t waste energy turning a temporarily unused building into an igloo every night. Another solution is to purchase and install energy efficient products; you will receive rebates for doing so! You can also get money back for purchasing and installing energy efficient products through a customized retrofit (money back is determined case-by-case).

For those in commercial building construction and new building design, check out Savings By Design (SBD) Resources. This program offers incentives for new construction that exceed the latest version of Title 24. Note: DO NOT start construction before PG&E has approved your application. You won’t see those incentives if PG&E hasn’t approved you PRIOR to construction!

Finally, if you have a business, PG&E has Demand Response programs. These offer incentives for reducing a facility’s energy use during times of peak demand (hot day, statewide emergency or power plant failure). Turn things off that don’t NEED to be on during peak demand and receive an incentive? That seems like an easy choice… I do it. So should you!

Wellness Wednesday: BFFs & LEDs

Wellness Wednesday has surprisingly been a challenge for me. I thought it would be easy to make the link between personal wellness and happenings in the clean energy world because, to me, the two are so closely tied together; however, it seems that it is not a widely publicized topic. Good and bad. Good because I feel like we can pave the way in exploring this topic and bad because it requires that extra bit of research on my end! With that being said, I encourage you to send any ‘Wellness Wednesday’ ideas to me at mhoff@pesc.com - I want to make sure I am addressing what interests our readers! In the meantime, you will have to hear a lot about my personal life adventure of buying and greening my home.
Meet my BFF, IKEA. She’s modern. She’s hip. Yep, she’s my Best Frugal Find and she’s into energy efficiency. It’s like we were meant to be. I just wish she lived a tad bit closer but thank goodness for the Internet because we are able to keep in touch!

Okay, yes. I have lost my mind but to be fair I am drafting this blog on a misty, October Friday when all I can think about is organic hot chocolate, curling up next to the fireplace, and listening to Celine Dion (note to editor: do not remove this Celine reference - I like her and I am not ashamed). Note from editor: I am ashamed for you. 

Back to IKEA.  A recent article let me know that my BFF has a goal to sell only LED lamps and bulbs by 2016. Like Oprah, she really wants people to live their best life and feels that saving energy, slicing utility bills, and cutting carbon emissions are a big piece of that pie. IKEA as a company is strongly committed to being a leader when it comes to energy efficiency – check out the page on Climate Change. I too like to lead by example and feel that as a new home owner it is important to do my part in making my space energy efficient to not only put money back in my pocket but to protect our environment for generations to come.

‘If all IKEA customers around the world took out one traditional light bulb and replaced it with a new LED bulb that would save enough energy to power up a city with one million people.’ – James Futcher, IKEA Product Developer

Energy efficiency is easy and can be cheap thanks to no-cost, low-cost fixes and BFFs like IKEA. Just one bulb per household?! Come on, I think we can all do better than that. I know I plan to. Besides cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, LEDs also cut down on exposure to toxic substances because they are mercury free, unlike traditional incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs. Sure LEDs still cost more upfront, but thanks to a long life and companies like IKEA LEDs will most definitely save you in the long run.

Light bulb projected lifespan
50,000 hours
10,000 hours
1,200 hours
Watts per bulb (equiv. 60 watts)
Cost per bulb
KWh of electricity used over 
50,000 hours
300 500
Cost of electricity (@ 0.10per KWh)
Bulbs needed for 50k hours of use
Equivalent 50k hours bulb expense
Total cost for 50k hours

Energy Savings over 50,000 hours, assuming 25 bulbs per household:
Total cost for 25 bulbs
Savings to household by switching 
from incandescents

Healthy wallet, healthy home, healthy planet - just another win on this Wellness Wednesday.

photo credit: slimmer_jimmer via photopin cc

How your business can save energy when it's hot outside

By David Pospisil

With summer upon us, now is the time for businesses to take steps to save energy before the temperature rises.

Upgrading to high-efficiency cooling equipment and lighting are two ways businesses can use less energy and improve comfort this summer. Here are some specific tips to stay cool, save energy and keep energy costs under control.

Cooling Equipment 
• Upgrade air conditioning equipment with properly sized units that have a high energy efficiency ratio
• Replace old motors with properly sized premium efficiency motors that operate at a lower annual cost
• Install variable frequency drives (VFDs) on large motor loads to further reduce energy usage
• Upgrade old chillers with new, energy-efficient units
• Install an energy management system (EMS) that uses temperature set points and operating schedules to optimize climate control

Lighting & Lighting Controls
 • Replace fluorescent lights that use magnetic ballasts with more efficient models using electronic ballasts
• Install automatic, occupancy sensor room-lighting controls to turn lights on or off depending on occupancy or time of day
• Change out incandescent or fluorescent exit signs with LED exit signs
• Turn off or dim electric lighting when adequate sunlight is available to illuminate interior space.

If you’re planning on improving your building’s energy performance this summer, check to see what funding may be available in your area.

In New York City and Westchester County, for example, commercial and industrial customers with a Con Edison electric or natural gas account may be eligible for the following incentives from Con Edison’s Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program:

• Payment of up to 50 percent of costs, with a cap of $67,000, for a Level 3 energy audit
• Rebates for high-efficiency electric and gas equipment including lighting fixtures and LED exit signs, packaged heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, motors, chillers, and water and steam boilers
• Performance-based custom incentives for installing high-efficiency equipment or energy-saving solutions not eligible for equipment rebates.

The Con Edison Green Team has an energy efficiency program available for almost every customer. To learn which program is right for you, call the Green Team at 1-877-860-6118 or visit www.conEd.com/greenteam.

David Pospisil is program manager of Con Edison's Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Program, New York, N.Y. You can join the discussion on LinkedIn (Con-Edison-Commercial-Industrial), Facebook (ConEd Green Team C&I), Twitter (ConEd Green Team C&I) and YouTube (ConEd Green Team C&I).

Living Green on the Ocean Blue!

This guest blog is brought to you by Bud and Leslie Dougherty and their 42-foot Schooner, "Play Actor."
Here's a link to their blog.

If your spouse woke up one morning and greeted you by saying, "It's nice to wake up with full batteries," what would you think?

Living on an anchored sailboat is living about as far off the grid as you can get. There are no public utilities at sea. In recent years, innovations in cellular and satellite telephony, computers, and the plethora of online services have changed things a bit, but not at a basic level. At a basic level, we are on our own as far as water and electricity are concerned. Fresh water is precious where we live, but with care and ingenuity, collecting rain meets our needs. As for electricity, we've tried an number of different ways to cope.

As with water, our first step is to minimize use. We use almost no energy to heat or cool our living space; we depend on shade awnings, breeze, and choosing a location with a benign climate for those things. We cook with bottled gas, and it's surprising how long a 20 pound tank of propane lasts. We normally use one tank for about four months. Our water for bathing is heated by the sun. Our lighting is almost all from highly efficient LEDs; we got rid of incandescent lights years ago. Even when LEDs were expensive, it didn't take long to recoup the investment.

So, what's our biggest consumer of electricity? Would you believe the refrigerator? Right on the heels of the refrigerator comes…the computer and all of those related gizmos. Our total electrical consumption is about 50 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. In 2010, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 958 kWh per month. The corresponding average monthly electric bill was $110.55.

We aboard Play Actor already look pretty green; we use about 5% as much electrical energy as an average U. S. household uses. But what does it cost us for our 50 kWh per month? All of our electrical energy is stored in a battery bank, and the bank holds enough electrical energy to last us for a day and a half, so in a typical month, we have to recharge those batteries about 20 times.

If we used the most basic approach and ran our auxilliary engine to charge our batteries, we would have to run the engine for 133 hours per month. That's $150 per month in diesel fuel, at $5 per gallon, not to mention the wear and tear on the engine, maintenance, etc, which will easily double that cost over the life of the engine, so we're looking at about $300 per month, and that only buys us 5% as much energy as the average residential user consumes. That average U.S. household would pay about $6 for the amount of electrical energy that we use.

There are a number of ways to make burning fossil fuel to recharge our batteries more efficient, including bigger alternators, highly efficient generators, etc. Those options require a sizable capital outlay, but none even comes close to getting our cost down to what the average U.S. residential customer would pay for our paltry 50 kWh.

We could turn off the refrigerator and unplug the computer, and some do. Or, we could invest in alternative sources of energy. Most long-term cruising boats choose this approach. Aboard Play Actor, we have a wind turbine, which works well enough in the tradewind belt where we spend most of our time, but it still only provides part of our requirement. We also have solar panels. For most of the years we've cruised, we've had a small photovoltaic array. The wind turbine and the solar panels met about 90% of our requirements, but still required us to run that diesel for a few hours a couple of times a month.

When we replaced the engine last year, our high-output alternator wouldn't fit the new engine, and our engine run time to charge the batteries doubled. We looked into a new high-output alternator that would fit, and realized that for less money, we could double the size of our solar panel array. That's what we did. We don't run the engine to charge the batteries, ever, now. We rarely run it to move the boat, except in close quarters where it's just not practical to sail, and Leslie wakes up happy because we have full batteries.

It's great to be green!