PACE

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update



The wEEkly Update

For Local Governments and their partners

March 19, 2018

9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum

The 9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum has opeed a Call for Proposals!

The 2018 Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum is an opportunity to showcase:
  • Best Practices
  • Local Projects
  • Innovated Strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Innovative Tools and Technologies
  • and more!
Click here to learn more!


News



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Resources and Opportunities 

CPUC Filings Newsletter - March 2018

U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2017 Market Report

2018 Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Annual Report

Lessons in Commercial PACE Leadership: The Path from Legislation to Launch
Find more resources and opportunities



Job Announcements



Upcoming events

Conferences/Workshops:

Webinars:

Find more events





Copyright © 2018 Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator, All rights reserved.
The wEEkly update for Local Governments and their partners.

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

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update


The wEEkly Update

For Local Governments and their partners

February 12, 2018


News



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Resources and Opportunities
City Energy Efficiency Resources
Interactive State Project Map
Report: Inclusion of Water Efficiency in Energy Efficiency Programs
Low-income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool
Baseline Assessment Guide
Program Funding Catalog
Study: End-Use Technology Cost and Performance Projections through 2050
SEE Action Guide for States: Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification Frameworks
2017 Grid Modernization Initiative Peer Review Report
Find more resources and opportunities



Job Announcements



Upcoming events
Webinar: The Next Step in The Clean Energy Transition – Decarbonizing Heating Energy in Buildings - Feb. 12
Webinar: New Tools in the Toolbox: A Fresh Take on Financing – Feb. 15
California Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee Meeting: Feb. 15
Grid Modernization Webinar Series: Feb. 20 & Mar. 20

Webinar: Kick the Cold: The Intersection of Healthy Homes and Energy Efficiency – Feb. 22
Advanced Energy Community Workshop – Feb. 28
2nd Annual San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit - Mar 14-15
Yosemite Policymakers Conference - Mar 15-18
ICEPAG 2018: Microgrid Global Summit - Mar. 27-29
Green California Summit & Exposition - Apr. 9-10
2018 Business of Clean Energy Symposium - June 4-5 2018 Business of Clean Energy Symposium - June 4-5
9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum - June 20-21
Find more events





Copyright © 2018 Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator, All rights reserved.
The wEEkly update for Local Governments and their partners.

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

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update


The wEEkly Update

For Local Governments and their partners

December 18, 2017


News








Resources and Opportunities
California ISO launches expanded online data resource
Webinar Recording: The 20% stretch code: a new energy standard for cities & states
Case Study Report: Cities Are Ready for 100% Clean Energy
Find more resources and opportunities



Job Announcements



Upcoming events
Free Calif. Energy Efficiency Standards Trainings for Building Inspectors - Nov-Feb
State Meeting: Energy Standards Outreach & Education - Dec 12 & 21
Webinar: Upcoming Title 20 Lighting Standards - Dec 21
Public Workshop: HVAC Research and Development – Dec 21
Webinar: California legislative outlook 2018 - Jan 24
Forum: The Promise of Microgrids - Jan 25
17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference - Feb. 1-3
2018 EPIC Symposium: Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation - Feb 7
Find more events





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

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

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update


The wEEkly Update

For Local Governments and their partners

October 16, 2017

The Coordinator would like to highlight upcoming SEEC Webinars, the new Learning Portal for GHG emission inventories, and PG&E's production building ZNE demonstration:

SEEC Learning Portal
The SEEC Learning Management System Portal is your hub for energy efficiency, climate, and emissions-management resources as well as a guided-learning platform for managing GHG emissions.

Clean Transportation Vehicle Technologies - Oct. 24
Speakers will provide an overview of transportation electrification, natural gas vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, and the role of municipalities to reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector.

Practical Guidance for Local Climate Engagement - Oct. 31 & Nov. 21
In this two-part webinar series, participants will be equipped to communicate effectively on climate change, empowering you to create and deliver compelling messages that engage and motivate a diversity of Americans in the issue.

Cost Effective Zero Net Energy Practices for Production Home Builders - Nov. 1
Join the experts involved in the PG&E ZNE Production Builder Demonstration as they detail the design features that resulted in superior thermal performance, reduced material cost and waste, as well as energy and water savings for occupants.

Building Operator Certification – Nov. 9
Learn how the training program benefits building personnel, facility departments, building owners, the environment, and bottom lines.
 


News














Resources and Opportunities 



Upcoming events
Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program Fall Symposium – Oct. 18
Webinar: Energy Efficiency Regulations for Computers - Oct. 18
Workshop on the Draft 2017 Integrated Energy Policy Report - Oct. 23
BayREN Forum on the Rise of Renewables and Its Impact on the Grid - Oct. 24
Webinar: Clean Transportation Vehicle Technologies - Oct. 24
CDP Cities North America Workshop – Oct. 25
Practical Guidance for Local Climate Engagement - Oct. 31 & Nov. 21
Webinar: Financing and Incentives to Foster Zero Net Energy - Oct 31

Cost Effective Zero Net Energy Practices for Production Home Builders - Nov. 1
Webinar: BayREN - PACE and Financing - Nov. 7
Webinar: Building Operator Certification – Nov. 9

Find more events





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

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

wEEkly update

3/17/2017


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


8th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum June 14-15
Mark your calendars for June 14th-15th. The annual SEEC Forum will be in Fresno with two pre-forum workshops on June 13th focusing on Energy Efficiency 101 and Zero Net Energy for Local Governments. Click here to find more information and register for the forum.

News and Opportunities

Wet Winter Leads to Potential CAISO Spring Curtailment
The California ISO expects to curtail up to 8,000MW this Spring due to the overabundance of hydro generation.

Apply for a Public Fleet Rebate
The Public Fleet Pilot Project offers up to $15,000 in rebates for the purchase of new, eligible zero-emissions and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles by public agencies operating in California's most vulnerable and pollution-burdened areas.

Can California Go 100% Green?
Anne C. Mulkern digs into the details of latest push to use 100% renewable energy in the California grid.

California Vineyard Reaps Savings From Sustainability Efforts
A California vineyard participated in Southern California Edison's Savings by Design program saving money and becoming more energy efficient and sustainable.

What the Wall Street Journal got wrong about PACE
Jim Barrett Chief Economist for The American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy or ACEEE, challenges the Wall Street Journal on their opinion of PACE programs.

Cannabis Growers Now Eligible for Agriculture Electricity Rate
Once they have a permit from their local jurisdiction and if 70 percent or more of their annual energy usage is ag related cannabis growers can receive a reduced agriculture electricity rate from PG&E.

Publications and Resources

Smart Buildings: Using Smart Technology to Save Energy in Existing Buildings
A report from ACEEE reviews the smart technologies for commercial buildings and estimates how much energy they can save.

The Integrated Energy Network
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is developing action plans to support the future of an an integrated energy network focusing on efficiency, sustainability, connectivity, and customer choice and control.

Jobs and Investment Fact Sheet
At least 2.2 million people work in energy efficiency in the US according to the ACEEE Jobs and Investment Fact Sheet.

Career Opportunities

Management Analyst - City of Palmdale
The City of Palmdale is seeking a Management Analyst that will support environmental and energy efficiency projects. The final date to apply is Thursday, March 30th.

Energy Technician - Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Redwood Coast Energy Authority has an immediate full time benefited position for an Energy Technician. The selected Energy Technician will support Redwood Coast Energy Authority’s Energy Watch partnership’s Regional Direct Install program

Project Coordinator: Energize Fresno
The Local Government Commission has an immediate full-time position for a Project Coordinator to support the the Energy and Climate Change sector. In particular, they are looking for someone to support the Energize Fresno  projects.
 


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

3/23 Peer Exchange Call: Affecting Behavior Change: Energy Report Data Use
Peer Exchange call to discuss best practices for using data from home energy reports to encourage homeowners to change their behaviors and save more energy.

3/30 Webinar: Risks and Rewards in the ZNE Marketplace
Explore and understand the developer and owner perspectives on investor value of zero and take a close look at income, cost, and risk.

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

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


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

Peer-to-Peer Requests

Opportunities to Offset Operational Costs
A rural, low-income community on the Central Coast is interested in learning about opportunities, strategies, and resources to help offset operational costs for water and wastewater. If you have any information or resources you can share, please send them my way. If you are willing to provided one-on-one guidance around pump upgrades, optimization of control systems, and other strategies, please let me know.

News and Opportunities

The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently.
At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million. That all but ensures that 2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes, according to scientists.

Governor Brown Signs Bill to Strengthen PACE Protections
AB 2693 mandates the loan administrator "accurately identifies important consumer issues with the program and prescribes on-point solutions that preserve PACE's unique structure and benefits, while improving consumer disclosures and safeguards." 

California Golden Again on Energy Efficiency
California and Massachusetts both won the top spot in the 10th edition of the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Check out California's State Scorecard.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Have Become Top Carbon Polluters
Transportation is likely to surpass the electricity sector in 2016 as the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, according to a new analysis of government data.

Driving Energy Efficiency by Improving the Owner/Tenant Relationship
The owner/tenant relationship is not always an easy one, but with good communications and a sharing of common goals, it can be a beneficial one. This article discusses a number of strategies to improve this relationship. Also, take a look at Energy Star's 8 Great Strategies to Engage Tenants on Energy Efficiency.

Job Opportunities: The Energy Coalition
The Energy Coalition, a nonprofit working to create an abundant and healthy world by inspiring others to take responsible environmental actions, has multiple project coordinator openings in San Diego and Irvine. Job announcements attached.


Janea A. Scott, the Lead Commissioner for Transportation of the California Energy Commission, will conduct a workshop to discuss and seek comments from interested parties regarding the inclusion of transportation electrification in integrated resource planning of California's publicly owned electric utilities as required by SB 350.

CPUC Decision 16-06-008 requires the utilities to hold working group meetings with stakeholders and Energy Division to "develop a consensus proposal to streamline and simplify the direct participation nrollment process, including adding more automation, mitigating enrollment fatigue, and resolving any remaining electronic signature issues."

10/12 - 10/14 (Denver) Getting to Zero National Forum
This forum, dedicated to zero net energy (ZNE) buildings, will provide opportunities for attendees to share perspectives on the growth of ZNE, discuss the policies driving new projects, engage in best practices for successful outcomes, and collaborate on opportunities for ZNE to transform the built environment.

Resources and Reports

A Clean Energy Action Plan for the United States
This report from the Center for American Progress proposes policy recommendations that promote the three elements of decarbonization - energy efficiency, low-carbon electricity generation, and the electrification of end uses - and that address their integration, financing, and implementation at the federal level.

California Energy Commission: Tracking Progress
Sector-specific summaries of California's progress toward a cleaner energy future, with links to additional resources. Includes energy efficiency, statewide energy demand, renewable energy, electric vehicles, installed electric capacity and generation, reliance on coal, transmission expansion, combined heat and power, resource flexibility, once-through cooling, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the California Clean Energy Jobs Act: Proposition 39.

Cool Roofs Brochure
A brochure that explains cool roofs, its benefits, requirements, and more.


Coordinator Resources
Browse the Coordinator website for more resources on a variety of energy efficiency related topics.



That is all for this week!




Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

Peer-to-Peer Requests

Responses: EVSE Installation
Information on vendors and opportunities to help offset of installing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles:
  • SCE's Charge Ready program partners with local governments and businesses to increase the availability of EV charging stations, providing rebates to cover some or all costs related to installation.
  • Green Charge Networks combine EV charging and energy storage to minimize peak hour demand, reduce load on the power grid and minimize peak electricity rates.
  • Additional incentives for commercial and residential EVSE installation.
  • If you are a city in any of these counties (Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Maricopa, Merced, San Joaquin, or Stanislaus) and interested in learning more about opportunities to offset the cost of EVSE installation, please email me so that I can connect you with the San Joaquin Valley Electric Vehicle Partnership.
Responses: Community-Based Social Marketing Methods
Resources on community-based social marketing methods that a city staff can implement in their offices to help reduce energy use:
  • Step Up and Power Down: PG&E program working in Redwood City, San Carlos, San Francisco, San José, and Woodland to help reduce energy waste among businesses and homes while helping local cities achieve their sustainability goals. Includes office engagement games like Adopt a LightUnpluckedVampire, and more.
  • Fostering Sustainable Behavior is an online book that introduces the five steps of community-based social marketing (selecting behaviors, identifying barriers & benefits, developing strategies, conducting a pilot, and broad-scale implementation), and showcases numerous programs illustrating its use.

News and Opportunities

New PACE "Guidance" Takes Effect Tomorrow
In July, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Federal Housing Administration (HUD and FHA) issued guidance under which the FHA would back properties using PACE financing. The rules take effect tomorrow. The FHA guidance stresses that PACE obligations must be treated and follow the same rules as other special tax assessments leveled by municipalities.

Seeking Comments: SB 350 Barriers Report
The CEC is now accepting comments for their SB 350 barriers study: A Study of Barriers and Solutions to Energy Efficiency, Renewables and Contracting Opportunities Among Low-Income Customers and Disadvantaged Communities (Draft Staff Report). Comments are due Thursday, September 29th by 4:00 PM.

Seeking Comments: Vibrant Communities & Landscapes
This draft vision for comment and discussion is intended to consider land use in the context of California's climate change policy and begin to explore how the State can support actions, at all levels of government, to facilitate development and conservation patterns that help to achieve the state's climate mitigation and adaptation goals. Comments are due to ca.50m@opr.ca.gov by September 28th.

Job Opportunity: Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
The Local Government Commission is seeking to fill the Coordinator position with a highly motivated and knowledgeable individual to support local government energy efficiency efforts throughout the state. Please feel free to contact me at jkim@lgc.org if you have any questions.
 
SBCCOG is seeking a senior project manager for energy efficiency and environmental programs to manage the development of strategies, standards, and processes for the implementation of programs, activities, and events related to the environment, water, energy and transportation. This position is open until filled.

Job Opportunity: Air Pollution Specialist, California Air Resources Board (ARB)
ARB is seeking two Air Pollution Specialists for its Sacramento office with the necessary skills and expertise to contribute to the implementation of SB 375 in a strong team environment within the Sustainable Communities Policy and Planning Section of the Transportation Planning Branch. Applications are due by September 28th.



9/20 (Oakland / webcast) 2016 CALGreen Residential Measures: Changes and Opportunities
BayREN invites local government policymakers and sustainability staff, building department staff, city planners, and energy consultants to learn about the changes to the 2016 CALGreen requirements for residential buildings. Presentations will provide high level overview of these changes and the implications for building department code compliance processes and market transformation.

9/21 (Irwindale / webcast) Energy Data Access Committee (EDAC) Q3 2016 Meeting
The EDAC, a forum established by the CPUC for discussing changes in data access and CPUC Privacy Rules as technology and stakeholder data needs change, will be meeting on September 21st. Agenda items include a discussion of how the 2013 Decision that formalized CPUC's Privacy Rules has increased the inconsistency in municipal GHG inventories and a presentation by CEC staff on AB 802 requirements for all utilities to provide access to whole building monthly energy usage data, which will phase in January 2017.

9/21 (San Francisco / webcast) Coordinating Committee Meeting #9
The California Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee is meeting next week to review the Voluntary DRAFT Business Plan Sector Chapters, which are now open for comments, and to discuss a number of other important local government energy efficiency topics.

10/27 (webinar): LGP + REN EM&V Roadmaps Update
This webinar will present the proposed update to the CPUC EE EM&V Master Plan, LGP and REN-CCA Chapters ("roadmaps").


Resources and Reports

10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
This eBook discusses the role of the energy manager in an organization and provides 10 guidelines for enhancing energy management effectiveness. It is intended for use by energy management professionals and other energy stakeholders seeking to implement positive organizational change.

How the IoT is Reshaping Building Automation
This white paper defines the Internet of Things (IoT) for the building automation industry as an integrated ecosystem.

Coordinator Resources
Browse the Coordinator website for more resources on a variety of energy efficiency related topics. If there are topics that you would like to see added or further developed, please reach out to me at jkim@lgc.org.


That's all for this week!






Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

1. California Adaptation Forum: Last call for discounted rates for September’s 2nd California Adaptation Forum! Register for the Forum by Wednesday, August 12 and receive $50 OFF One-Day and Full Forum rates! The Forum is an incredible opportunity to connect with hundreds of climate leaders from across the state. See more opportunities, a full Forum program, Forum events, plenary speakers and partners, and more.

2. Statewide Codes & Standards Team Conference Call: The Statewide Codes & Standards team works to develop resources to help local governments consider, adopt, and measure energy-saving successes from reach codes. If you are a local government interested in learning more, and/or hearing troubleshooting and success stories from other local governments across the state, please contact the Coordinator at jdecker@lgc.org to RSVP to this call.

3. New CEC Funding for EE Tech Demonstrations: On August 1st, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced a grant funding opportunity for Emerging Energy Efficient Technology Demonstrations (GFO-16-304), and will be holding a pre-bid conference workshop August 11th.

4. CEC LinkedIn Networking Group for Open GFOs: Looking to find partners for the above grant funding opportunity? The California Energy Commission Networking Hub on LinkedIn has set up networking groups for the Technology Demonstration GFO, and three others.

5. Federal Gov. Energy Webinars this August: A list of August 2016 webinars is now available from federal agencies providing support on the EPA benchmarking tool Portfolio Manager, data center energy efficiency, EE financing, community resiliency through EE, resilient solar retrofits, waste management, and more.

6. What’s New with AB 802? In case you missed the July 22nd workshop held by the California Energy Commission on AB 802 implementation (Project Title, “Building Energy Use Disclosure and Public Benchmarking Program Mandated under Assembly Bill 802”), a transcript is now available from the CEC.

7. More on AB 802: Also in case you missed it: additional guidance linked to energy savings measurement was released in the CPUC’s recent decision providing guidance on Program Administrator EE business plans. (Need a refresher on AB 802?)

8. SB 350 Low-Income Barriers Workshop 8/12: The California Energy Commission conducting a workshop August 12th to gather input on barriers faced by low-income and disadvantaged communities to investing in energy efficiency and weatherization, installing solar photovoltaic and other renewable generating resources, and contracting opportunities for small businesses. This input will be included in the “Senate Bill 350 Barriers Study,” required by the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015.

9. AB 32 EJAC Meeting 8/11-12: The AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (Committee) will be meeting on August 11, 2016 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (PDT) and August 12, 2016 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm (PDT) in Huron, CA.

10. Financing Tools for Local Gov Webinar 8/25This webinar will discuss the various tools and products that the State of California is making available to local governments to promote clean energy projects for residents and business owners, and will showcase a new financing marketplace for finding energy project-related financing solutions. (Go Green Financing is a program under Energy Upgrade California, administered by the Center for Sustainable Energy.)

11. PACE’s Value to the Real Estate Market: Event/Webinar 8/18This CEFAC event and webinar will explore the recent amendments to the residential PACE program, along with updates on consumer protection, regulatory changes, and market growth in California. Join the Center for Sustainable Energy for a panel discussion that will cover these topics and validate why PACE is vital to the residential energy efficiency financing market.

12. EV’s Role in ZNE: Webinar 8/17: The Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) invites city and county staff, contractors, architects, and developers to a free webinar August 17th on how electric vehicles (EVs) can help support zero net energy (ZNE) goals.

13. Energy Code Ace Webinar 8/23: We heard great feedback from local governments on energy code expert Gina Rodda’s presentation on energy code compliance tools at this year’s SEEC Forum. Now, Rodda will be teaching a “not-your-average webinar” on what’s new in the 2016 code in two sessions August 23rd.  Get the word out to your buildings departments!

14. CivicSpark Project Lessons Learned Webinars 8/23-8/24: CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program that provides capacity-building support to local governments to accelerate California’s response and resiliency to climate change. These webinars aim to provide a snapshot of some of the accomplishments of the 2015-16 service year, with an emphasis on sharing lessons learned and best practices.

15. New Integrative Business Model for ZNE: In the Rocky Mountain Institute’s new Insight Brief, An Integrative Business Model for Net Zero Energy Districts, RMI presents an innovative business model for developing net zero energy or ultra-low energy districts and details how pursuing net zero energy is not a cost, but rather a significant value driver.

16. EE Shows Its $ Value in SF Real Estate: As covered by BizJournal’s July 28th article, funding green upgrades is made easier as the market shows the value of and desire for energy efficient real estate.

17. California Releases Sustainable Freight Action Plan: In response to an Executive Order issued by the Governor last year, the state has released the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, a comprehensive document that serves as a blueprint for transforming the state’s multi-billion dollar freight transport system into one that is environmentally cleaner, more efficient, and more economically competitive than it is today.

18. Energy Transition Podcast on EE: In a recent episode of the Energy Transition Show, Chris Nelder speaks to energy efficiency expert Matt Golden about raising the profile of energy efficiency, sharing that energy efficiency (looking nationally) has been disproportionately neglected considering its extreme value, and also stating that efforts to raise the profile to date have failed. Matt Golden shares some interesting food for thought.

19. Job announcement: The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization (SJVCEO) is hiring for a Project Analyst! Learn more here.

20. RFP announcement: The City of San Jose’s RFP for Environmental Sustainability Plan Consultant Services closes August 12th.

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 – including past WEEkly Updates.



That’s is all for this week!





Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

1. AB 802 Workshop This Morning!: The California Energy Commission’s workshop to seek input on draft regulations for implementation of building energy use data access and public disclosure components of AB 802 is this morning! Get information to attend in person or by phone/online. The CEC presentation is now available through the same link.

2. FHA PACE Guidance Released: This week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced clear guidance that will expand access to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other home resiliency projects for American homeowners. The guidance, signaled last August by President Obama and the FHA, allows residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments to interact with single family home mortgages secured by the FHA in the event of purchases, refinances, and loan modifications.

3. PACE Nation Webinar 7/26: Join PACENation on Tuesday, July 26th for the webinar "FHA's PACE Guidance Explained," to discuss HUD/FHA's recent residential PACE guidance and the White House's new initiative to broaden the scope of residential PACE. Panelists include Renew Financial CEO Cisco Devries, PACENation Executive Director David Gabrielson, and more.

4. PACE Draft Best Practices for Review from DOE: the U.S. Department of Energy has released a draft best practices document for residential PACE that focuses on best practices for program design, including protections to both consumers who voluntarily opt into PACE programs, and to lenders who hold mortgages on properties with PACE assessments; compatibility of PACE with other energy efficiency programs and services; and evaluation of program outcomes, including cost effectiveness, energy savings, and non-energy benefits such as improved health and comfort. The comment period for this document is open through August 19th.

5. CPUC releases guidance on EE rolling portfolio business plans: Those of you that have been following the energy efficiency rolling portfolio process are familiar with the fact that the state’s EE funding Program Administrators are preparing business plans sharing the high-level strategy they will use to create EE programs to address different sectors’ needs in the coming years.  This week, the CPUC shared a 94-page guidance for these business plan filings.

6. CPUC Evaluation of RENs and LGPs: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)’s consultants shared their draft research plans for assessing the impact of California’s two Regional Energy Networks (RENs) and its Local Government Partnerships (LGPs) in two webinars this week. The presentations shared in each are available and the public comment period has been extended to August 1st.

7. New options for lighting EE compliance: The California Energy Commission approved the use of an optional compliance pathway for use in non-residential lighting alterations that trigger Title 24, Part 6. This is in addition to the pre-existing two compliance pathways. Learn more (and share with your buildings stakeholders!).

8. Updates to GreenPoint Rated Program: Hear from Build It Green on the new updates to the GreenPoint Rated Program in this recorded webinar. Public comments are welcome until 7/31.

9. Local Policies to Support Microgrids: Learn what local policies can support microgrids from former CPUC Analyst turned Minnesota PUC Director Chris Villareal – and get some great California (and national) examples.

10. California Cities Shine in $5 Million Energy Prize Competition: As shared by SEEC’s Institute for Local Government (ILG), learn how Berkeley, Chula Vista, Claremont, Davis, Fremont, Palo Alto, San Mateo and Sunnyvale are rallying their communities to complete their last year of competition for the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

11. Free ZNE Conference 8/19 in Downey: Verdical Group is hosting its 3rd Annual Net Zero Conference in Downey, CA at SoCal Gas’s Energy Resource Center on August 19th.

12. Presentation Proposing RCx, OBF, and HVAC Programming: Southern California Edison’s presentation from their 7/14 webinar on their proposed High Opportunity Programs or Projects (HOPPs) – including public buildings retro-commissioning (RCx), on-bill financing, and comprehensive commercial HVAC – is now available.

13. New Study on Data Center EE: Data centers are incredibly energy intensive – but a new study shows that some data centers are learning to slim their energy footprint.

14. Google Data Center Uses AI to Save: In recent months, the Alphabet Inc. unit put a DeepMind AI system in control of parts of its data centers to reduce power consumption by manipulating computer servers and related equipment like cooling systems – and is seeing some interesting results.

15. Seeking Water EE ordinance experience/interest: The Statewide Codes & Standards team has had a request from a city for resources to implement efficiency standards for greywater systems and drip irrigation microspray for trees & shrubs. Reach code options for water-energy issues is new territory, and the C&S team would appreciate hearing from any other local governments that are interested in this, or that have experience developing such standards. Please contact Jordan (jdecker@lgc.org) and Javier Mariscal (javier.mariscal@sce.com) if you are a local government and have feedback you can share.

16. Green Real Estate Interest Survey for Realtors: A number of local governments engage their builder, developer and realtor communities to connect on the value of EE. If you are connected to realtors in your jurisdiction, please help Build It Green distribute a survey to licensed realtors in California. The survey seeks their feedback on various green home topics, including a proposal to make green and energy efficiency features transparent on real estate listing services. You can forward the survey link to any realtor contacts: https://www.getfeedback.com/r/ys58KCHP.

17. Testing residential solar+storage: SolarCity and PG&E have announced a collaborative demonstration in the San Jose area to see how the coordinated use of solar smart inverters and behind the meter energy storage could provide enhanced benefits to the grid.

18. New report on solar+storage for critical infrastructure: A new report completed as part of the New York Solar Smart DG Hub-Resilient Solar Project shows a higher return on investment for solar+storage combinations for resiliency benefits in critical infrastructure.

19. Pollution Control Authority New Rules: the California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA), chaired by Treasurer John Chiang, has taken formal action to help large and small businesses in California keep costs low when financing waste management and recycling projects.

20. Job announcement: the City and County of San Francisco is hiring for a Distributed Energy Projects Manager! Learn more 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 – including past WEEkly Updates.



That’s all for this week!




Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



That’s all for this week!



Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Updates

Here are your wEEkly Updates:

1. First, a reminder that the Commercial Sector Subcommittee Meeting of the California Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee is going on today! (Click here for more info.) This is an important opportunity to share feedback (or just listen in) on utility and other program administrator business plans for energy programming that are in the works now. To get direct alerts on subcommittee meetings, visit www.caeecc.org.

2. Registration is open for the ACEEE 2016 Summer Buildings Study in Pacific Grove this August. This year’s theme is “From Components to Systems, from Buildings to Communities.” To learn more or register, click here.

3. State-level EE 101 webinar: Looking to better understand state-level programs and resources for local government energy efficiency? Click here to learn more about and register for our upcoming April 19th webinar.

4. Webinar on DSM-focused customer engagement: Greentech Media is hosting an April 21st webinar, “Key Strategies for Driving Energy Efficiency and Customer Engagement.” The webinar may be of interest to utility partners and local governments seeking to support and leverage customer-centric demand side management (DSM) for deeper energy savings. For more information click here.

5. Tools for PACE standards adoption: As the market for PACE financing as grown hot, many local governments have been working to adopt local standards for PACE financing firms that wish to operate in their jurisdiction. The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) has released an Agreement template: click here for more information.

6. Increasing Home Value through Energy Upgrades: More interesting findings this week on energy improvements in buildings increasing building values – this time, specifically in residential. Click here for more information.

7. EE leaders in business: Click here to read about Ford’s renovations of its existing campus in Dearborn that will make it a state-of-the-art, water- and energy-efficient facility complete with a living machine and driverless cars.

8. Using data to plan holistically: Cities like San Jose are deploying data solutions to holistically understand their buildings and achieve energy efficiency and air quality goals. Click here for coverage on data use from Environmental Leader.

9. Green historic preservation requirements: ASHRAE is working on an update to their Guideline 34P, or Energy Guideline for Historic Buildings – with comment periods upcoming. Learn more in this Energy Manager Today article.

10. Resources for going beyond code: cool roofs: the CEC and the Utilities Statewide Codes and Standards teams have been working on some new resources to help local governments efficiently implement reach codes. One of them, a cool roofs cost effectiveness study for all climate zones, is now available. Learn more and review the study here.

11. Resilient Communities training: The Resilient Communities Initiative will be holding a special training, Engaging Communities for Effective Problem Solving, for local government officials tasked with protecting public welfare June 6th. Click here for more information.

12. Job announcement: San Diego International Airport seeks a highly-motivated professional to join its Environmental Affairs Department as a Senior Environmental Specialist! Learn more here.

13. Job announcement: MCE is hiring a Legal Counsel! Learn more here.

14. Recruit a CivicSpark fellow: Looking for capacity at the local level for energy, water, and sustainability projects? If you missed the webinars on how to apply for the CivicSpark AmeriCorps program, you can review a recording online.

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’s all for this week!

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

For those of you who know who Joseph Oldham is you likely are on his email distribution list and receive this update each week.  We are grateful that Joseph 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 Joseph's quarterly newsletter, CURRENTS.

1. Tesla Unveils Powerall Energy Storage System for Homes and Businesses

For those that missed the announcement last night from Elon Musk, here is an article from Forbes Magazine that provides the details:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2015/05/01/after-all-tesla-motors-unveils-the-powerwall/?ss=energy

2.  One Man’s Experience with Engaging Building Operators

Good article about how to engage facility operators when deploying energy upgrades.  Often, these folks are overlooked in the building retrofit process, but they are key to making the project work.  

3.   California Statewide PACE Symposium-May 28-29, in Los Angeles

The California Statewide PACE Symposium will be held in Los Angeles this year on May 28 and 29.  To get more details, go to this link: http://capaceconference.org/ .




And that is all for this week! 



More Companies Discover The Economic Wisdom Of Energy Efficiency


Good investments are hard to find in this economy. Housing prices are falling. Spiking oil prices send shock waves through the stock market. Some experts worry about the safety of municipal bonds. It is tough all over.

But one investment is almost a sure bet. It's not a standard investment, such as a mutual fund. And you don't earn money as much as you save money. But the result is the same: more money in your bank account.

What is this sure-fire investment? It is energy efficiency.

Minimum investment can lead to maximum returns. According to this report, every $1 investment in energy efficiency leads to a savings of $4. The consulting firm of McKinsey & Company reports that energy-efficiency programs could save $600 billion by 2020.

Some companies are reaping large returns from energy-retrofit projects. AT&T saved $44 million in 2009, Dow Chemical is investing $100 million in efficiency measures and News Corp has saved a bundle.

More on those efforts is available here, here and here.

The owners of the Empire State Building and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also are believers . There is a reason why federal energy officials call efficiency the low-hanging fruit of clean energy.

But, like many investments, there are upfront costs and other barriers to entry.

It has been an uphill slog in many ways. Some politicians propose deep cuts to efficiency programs, PACE programs (which would provide a financing mechanism for property owners to finance energy upgrades) were all but curtailed and budgets are in disarray.

But a potential $600 billion in savings awaits. And a strong energy-efficiency program could have a significant impact in places such as the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. In Fresno, where I live, my summertime power bill can exceed $500, and is my second-largest expense behind my mortgage.

Incomes here are low. The unemployment rate exceeds Appalachia figures. We have some of
worst concentrated poverty in the nation. Lower power bills would enrich residents, provide jobs and potentially stimulate the economy.


Photo of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by earthfirst.com

Support For PACE Programs, Consumer Study Shows


California and 15 other states were just starting to roll out Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs to help homeowners finance energy-efficiency modifications and reduce power bills when concerns from a federal housing agency essentially stopped them in their tracks last year.

But a a new survey shows many homeowners support PACE-type programs, and would consider adding an assessment to their property taxes to make their houses more energy efficient.

About 42% of 1,000 people surveyed by Pike Research said they were "extremely" or "very" interested in using a PACE program. Of those, 63% said they would install a tankless water heater or solar panels. More than 50% said they would install a more efficient air conditioner or boost insulation.

Not surprisingly, the homeowners who supported PACE programs generally have power bills exceeding $200 per month. They also tended to adopt new technology early.

More than half of the homeowners who said they were "somewhat" or not interested in participating in a PACE program said they did not want any more financial liability. An additional 30% said they didn't understand the PACE concept.

PACE programs require little or no upfront costs and have repayment periods of 15 to 20 years. If the property is sold, the payments are transferred to the new owner. Such programs were gaining favor in 2010 when the Federal Housing Finance Agency, worried because the PACE assessment would be repaid before a mortgage loan in a default, expressed concerns about the program.

Those concerns froze many PACE programs because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are regulated by the FHFA, guarantee more than 50 percent of all home loans in the United States.

There is momentum to revive PACE programs. Some states and cities have filed lawsuits. Others have adopted PACE programs for commercial property only, or are tweaking the original PACE concept.

Officials at Pike Research, which analyzes clean-technology markets, said the findings "illustrate a clear market" for PACE programs. They suggested the programs could be a boon for makers of water heaters, air conditioners, solar companies and other manufacturers of green products.

Researchers also noted that more homeowners would likely be pick up the PACE when the economy shows signs of recovering. "As the global economy slowly recovers and the appeal of energy-efficiency improvements grow, availability of attractive financing will be a key component to the market's development," Pike researchers said.

Would You Spend $30,000 To Save $250,000?


We here at the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization - which is based in Fresno, one of the hottest regions of California and with some of the highest power bills in the state - are all about energy efficiency.

Frankly, it boggles my mind that more property owners, legislators and policy makers still don't understand that energy retrofits are a great investment. Wouldn't you, as the headline to this article says, commit $30,000 to save $250,000 in expenses later?

Is there any investor who would not think that was a good return? Certainly, Chris Martin, director of energy management at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thinks so. He led one of 14 teams across the country that participated in an EPA-sponsored Biggest Loser-style contest to shed the most energy weight, according to this New York Times story.

The Chapel Hill team spent $30,000 upgrading a residence hall on campus, and wound up slashing energy expenses $250,000, much of it by adjusting the heating and cooling system to run slower during moderate weather. All combined, the school cut energy use 36% .

The university engaged residents of the hall in the process. CityBiz Magazine said a touch-screen computer was installed in the dorm's lobby so students could track energy consumption. Each floor held energy-saving competitions, and reminders were posted in elevators, bathrooms, and common areas.

That means more money in university coffers. I don't know if Chapel Hill is strapped for cash, but I know a few campuses in California that would love the extra money.

Chapel Hill has seen the light, so to speak. Upgrades to 100 buildings on campus saved nearly $4 million last year, according to the New York Times. The average savings per building was $33,000. The average per-building investment: only $7,000.

"The payback is on the order of months, not years," Martin told the newspaper.

Other teams also got good returns for their investments. A Sears store in Maryland cut energy consumption 31.7%. A JC Penney outlet in Orange, Calif., reduced energy use 28.4%. Together, the 14 teams saved $950,000 on power bills.

Businesses and others in the San Joaquin Valley could probably reap good returns too. After all, temperatures reach triple digits in the summer. Businesses and families pay the price with heart-stopping power bills.

Retrofits and modifications such as these are the low-hanging fruit of the whole greening movement. Consider the iconic Empire State Building. A $20 million energy-efficiency upgrade, which includes more than 6,000 new windows, will shave $4.4 million annually off the power bill.

That's a payback of 4.5 years. Simply amazing.

Commercial building space in the United States covers a total of 79 billion square feet, and buildings, 80 percent of which are more than a decade old, are one of the leading sources of energy consumption and carbon emissions, said a recent report on commercial building energy efficiency by Boulder, Colo.-based Pike Research.

The report, "Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Commercial and Public Buildings," estimates potential annual energy savings of more than $41.1 billion if all commercial space built as of 2010 were included in a 10-year retrofit program.
Unfortunately, shredded budgets, the freezing of Property Assessed Clean Energy programs and an economic recession make it harder for businesses, homeowners and landlords to finance the upgrades.

But those who can manage it might enjoy a nice financial return.


(Photo of Morrison Hall by online wsj.com)

Stay Lifted; Energy Commission Moved Forward With Power Upgrade Plan


The California Energy Commission plans to implement a proposed energy upgrade program after an appellate court lifted a restraining order that prevented the agency from distributing $33 million in federal funds.

Commissioners scheduled a hearing today to approve contracts that would implement the Energy Upgrade California Program. That $33 million plan contains, among other provisions, a PACE-like program that falls outside the scope of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

According to federal rules, the money had to be encumbered by the end of today, although the Department of Energy had made it clear it would not immediately rescind the money.


The Federal Housing Finance Agency had recommended against PACE programs, which use property tax assessments to finance energy upgrades on homes and commercial property. The agency believed PACE obligations would be placed ahead of mortgage loans if the owner defaults.


Fresno and Kern counties were part of a PACE pilot program that was put on hold after the Housing Finance Agency issued its "guidance" and after Western Riverside Council of Governments filed a lawsuit claiming its energy-efficiency program was ignored when $33 million in federal funding was distributed.


The California Energy Commission said the council's $20 million bid was disqualified because it ignored energy-efficiency provisions.


Today, an appellate judge lifted a temporary restraining order imposed by a Riverside County judge in connection with the lawsuit. The restraining order had prevented the CEC from spending the remaining $33 million in federal stimulus funds. No comment yet from representatives of Western Riverside.

The appellate court also canceled a Nov. 4 hearing on a possible contempt charge the Riverside County judge imposed against the Energy Commission. Western Riverside County Council of Governments continued to oppose the Energy Commission programs even though the Federal Housing Finance Agency action had effectively suspended its own PACE program.





PACE Energy-Efficiency Program In Tug of War


Cutting energy use is akin to a pay raise. When landlords and homeowners cut power consumption, they reduce costs. And, as we know, there are only two ways to increase revenue: make more money or reduce expenses.

And here in the San Joaquin Valley - where summer temperatures can climb past 110, power bills are heart-stopping high, unemployment exceeds Appalachia rates and incomes are low - the effects of a lower power bill are magnified.

So, it is particularly maddening to watch the pitched battle around Property Assessed Clean Energy programs, otherwise known as PACE. With them, property owners can finance energy-efficiency upgrades through a line item on their property tax bill, basically an assessment.

Fresno and Kern counties were in line to be pilot cities in a PACE program until the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, decided they were too risky for lenders - even though studies show a low default rate.

And now comes the Western Riverside Council of Governments, which filed a lawsuit claiming its energy-efficiency program was ignored when $33 million in federal funding was distributed. The California Energy Commission said the council's $20 million bid was disqualified because it ignored required energy-efficiency provisions.

Thursday, a Riverside County Superior Court Judge issued a temporary restraining order against the California Energy Commission, essentially blocking it from distributing money and stopping PACE. Now some would say the decision is moot because the Federal Housing Finance Agency's opposition to the program had already effectively suspended things anyway.

But that leaves the Energy Commission with $33 million worth of unspent money, which must be distributed by Oct. 21. The state has come up with a new energy-efficiency program called Energy Upgrade California, but the Riverside judge, according to this account in the Los Angeles Times, (which contains a link to transcripts of the Thursday court hearing) said it is similar to PACE and set a Nov. 4 hearing to consider making the temporary injunction permanent.

The judge also says the Energy Commission could be held in contempt of a July ruling that prohibits issuing PACE money unless Riverside County's bid was considered, according to this story in the Sacramento Business Journal.

But the Energy Commission is arguing that the Riverside County lawsuit should be dismissed since the Federal Housing Finance Agency's ruling put the kibosh on Riverside County's own PACE program too.


"There is absolutely no basis for this order - this litigation centers on a solicitation that the Energy Commission has canceled," said Karen Douglas, chairman of the CEC. "Western Riverside's lawsuit threatens to derail a comprehensive statewide jobs program by holding up $33 million in stimulus funds - funds that would benefit the entire state, including citizens of Riverside County."

So, there we are. Things are murky and in limbo. Stay tuned.

Supporters of PACE Programs Fighting Back


Local governments across the country are picking up the PACE in their efforts to continue a popular method of financing energy-efficiency upgrades. Meanwhile, California's governor signed a law making it easier to fund such programs should they get started again.

Leon County, Fla., is the latest local government to file a lawsuit to allow jurisdictions to participate in Property Assessed Clean Energy programs, which allow property owners to finance energy improvements through a line item on their property tax bills.

PACE-type programs were stymied when the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recommended against them, saying they are risky.

That "guidance" essentially stalled PACE just as many programs, including one that featured Fresno and Kern counties as test cases, were rolling out. The state of California, several counties and cities and consumer groups filed legal complaints to jump-start the financing measures. Leon County filed its lawsuit against the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Oct. 8.

In a related matter, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill allowing the California Public Employees Retirement System, the State Compensation Insurance Fund and the Pooled Money Investment Board to invest in local bonds to fund PACE programs, which could have the effect of lowering interest rates on PACE financing.

The new bill, AB 1873, will likely sit on the shelf until the PACE issues are resolved. Supporters of PACE say the program allows homeowners and businesses to cut their energy costs, would create thousands of jobs for contractors and help the environment.

Leon County Attorney Herbert A. Thiele said county officials hope the lawsuits will lead to a resolution. "It is our hope that Congress will act to resolve the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s interpretations so that we can continue to offer LEAP (Leon Energy Assistance Program, its version of PACE)."










Housing Administrator Puts Foot Down Re: PACE


The New York Times is reporting that homeowners who financed energy-efficiency upgrades through PACE-type programs will have to repay the "loans" before they can refinance their properties.
Property Assessed Clean Energy programs allow homeowners to finance improvements through a line item on their property tax. A lien is placed against the property, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said today that borrowers with equity have to pay them off before they can refinance loans. Those without equity can refinance with the lien in place.

PACE proponents contend the assessments are not loans, and shouldn't be subject to those rules.


t's obvious that the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie and Fannie, isn't interested in resolving the dispute over PACE. It's important because Fresno and Kern counties were to participate in a pilot program that would have allowed homeowners to finance improvements.
Here's more from the Times' blog.



Housing Regulator Still Won't Support PACE


The agency that oversees Fannie Mae still doesn't like or will support PACE programs, telling Congress that the program is unlikely to go forward.

GRIST has all the depressing news in this blog post. PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy program, is an innovative way for homeowners and commercial landlords to pay for energy-efficiency upgrades through a property tax assessment.

It's not a loan, but the Federal Housing Finance Agency still can't seem to approve it. It matters to us because Fresno and Kern counties were getting ready to participate in a pilot PACE program and there was hope it would be rolled out to other cities and counties in the San Joaquin Valley - where families suffer from high power bills and low incomes, both of which PACE would help address through energy and cost savings.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.