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Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update



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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



KICKOFF WORKSHOP TO LAUNCH STATE SAFETY RULEMAKING FOR UTILITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND LOCAL COORDINATION
The CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division, Risk Assessment Section, will hold a public workshop June 26, 2018, at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) headquarters in Mather, Calif. The program will begin at 9:30 am and conclude at 4:30 pm and remote access accommodations will be provided. This first workshop is part of the Water and Electric Utilities’ Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Plans proceeding (R.15-06-009), expected to continue into 2019.

Click here to download the workshop agenda and find in-person, webex, and call-in information.


News



Credit:  SMUD



Credit: DOE


Credit: Patrick Krug


Resources & Opportunities

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Opportunities:

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Job Announcements



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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

Merry Christmas From Google: Big Investment Into Solar Power Near Sacramento





Google, enticed in part by Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District (SMUD)'s new feed-in-tariff, just announced a big investment into solar power near California's capital. Here's more from the search engine's blog.

The $94 million infusion into Recurrent Energy's (Recurrent also has a big solar project planned near Fresno) four plants near Sacramento brings Google's renewable energy portfolio to nearly $1 billion. Here is more on its clean energy investments, but they include utility-scale solar, financing programs for residential rooftop solar, and wind power.

Google recently said it will stop internal solar research programs, but would continue to invest in individual projects.

Google's announcement follows one yesterday by a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's company, which announced a minority investment into a huge solar project in Arizona. That, in turn, followed his purchase of a large solar project just west of the San Joaquin Valley. More on those here.

It remains to be seen how solar power fares in 2012, especially if certain subsidies expire, but investors with deep pockets still continue to pursue it, especially in California where the state passed an ambitious 33 percent renewables mandate. The industry is emerging in fits and starts, but clearly some people think there is power in the sun.

Illustration by Kiril Havezov

Sometimes The Right Solution Is A Green One




Replacing lights, beefing up insulation, weatherizing and other energy-efficiency measures can cut power consumption and costs. In fact, the nation's energy chief, Steven Chu, calls efficiency the "low-hanging fruit" of the clean-energy movement.

Commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 40 percent of the nation's energy consumption, according to this study. Even a Math-challenged Journalism grad like myself can see the potential for significant savings. How significant? Up to $33 billion per year by 2030.

Closer to home, officials in the city of Fresno crunched utility data and determined that a citywide reduction in energy use of 30 percent would save property owners a whopping $260 million. That windfall would then be spent in the community to help stimulate the economy. Here's more on the Fresno analysis.

What's in it for you? A free energy audit of my 1,400-square-foot, 18-year-old house in Clovis determined that $1,700 worth of upgrades (after rebates) would shave $50 per month off my electricity bill - which equates to a three-year payback. It's free money after that point. That's not a bad investment.

My audit was through the Home Energy Tune-Up offered by the city of Fresno in cooperation with Energy Upgrade California - and available in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. A list of recommended contractors who can do the work is provided.

A similar Energy Upgrade California program is available in the service areas of Pacific Gas & Electric and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) through GreenerSolutions of Stockton.

Sometimes it costs money to make money. Energy efficiency is that way, but Hayden Logan, owner of GreenerSolutions, says the investment is well worth it. "You can see how much energy you can save by spending only a little money," he said.

Many property owners have to finance the energy improvements, but there are ways to do that. One of the most common is the CHF Residential Energy Retrofit Program, for which GreenerSolutions is an approved contractor. The program provides no-and low-interest loans (up to 3%) without requiring a home appraisal or a minimum credit score.

However, there are income requirements, which can be found here (some examples: $32,820-$87,500 in Fresno County; $39,240-$104,640 in San Joaquin County; and $45,060-$120,160 in Sacramento County.)

GreenerSolutions also offers financing through its own in-house program, or through energy-efficient mortgages (which are used in conjunction with purchases or refinancing).

Energy Upgrade California and similar programs offer an opportunity for property owners to get more green in their pocketbooks while living a greener lifestyle.

Photo of Fresno City Hall

Power District Buys Solar With First Feed-In Tariff


The Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District has signed its first power contract under a new feed-in tariff, which allows producers to provide electricity at a competitive rate. The utility will buy 60 megawatts of energy - enough to power about 60,000 homes - from solar projects to be built near Galt and Elk Grove, according to this press release.


Recurrent Energy will build 12 five-megawatt power plants that should be operational in 2012. Officials at SMUD said the 20-year purchase agreement is a big step toward its goal of obtaining 20% of its power supply from renewable sources.

The forward-thinking utility introduced its feed-in tariff in January. Experts say those kinds of programs could help grow the emerging renewable energy program in California. A recent University of California, Berkeley, study cited in greentech media said a good feed-in tariff program could lead to $2 billion in new tax revenue, $50 billion worth of investment and 50,000 new jobs each year for a decade.

The federal Department of Energy says SMUD's feed-in tariff program includes rates that vary by time of day, season, length of contract, and production year, and offers two different rate schedules: one for combined heat and power systems and one for renewable energy technologies.



Rates for renewable systems like the ones in the Recurrent deal are dependent upon the year the system is placed into service. Once a system is installed, it is locked into those rates throughout the contract.