energy action plan

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

1.  Next week, September 9 is a big day for CA's Existing Buildings.

The Energy Commission is scheduled to consider adoption of the Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan at 9/9/15 10:00am Business Meeting. The plan calls for the creation of new Local Government Challenge Program that would provide grants aimed at adoption of policies for aggressive energy efficiency, disclosure, compliance and permitting.

Please call in or join by webex to support the Local Government Challenge Grant and urge the Commission to adopt the Action Plan: Attached is the Action Plan, information about the Local Government Challenges is in Strategy 1.7, page 56-57.
2.  Revised Notice for SoCalGas' Proposed To-Code Pilot Webinar

Please use the link below, rather than the link in the Notice served via pdf, which may not be working due to a PDF conversion issue.
3.  Save the Date - September 25, 2015 - New Commercial ZNE Action Plan

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will be hosting a stakeholder workshop to inform the development of the New Commercial ZNE Action Plan for the next 10 years. Please join us on September 25, 2015, 9:30am-4:00pm in San Francisco at the CPUC. The meeting will include presentations and small working groups. An EventBrite will be sent soon. Please email if you have any questions.
4.  City of Berkeley is Seeking Job Specifications

City of Berkeley is looking for local governments that have hired staff or contract plan examiners (or inspectors) with specific expertise in the Title 24 Energy Code. If you have job specifications, ideas, or examples of things that have (or haven't) worked well, please contact Sarah Moore at
5.  County of Monterey Sustainability Manager Position

Monterey County is seeking a Sustainability Manager. For a guaranteed review, all materials must be received by the priority screening date - Friday, September 18, 2015. Here is the job description and application instructions. If you have any questions, please contact Amy Rodriguez at 831-796-6095.
6.  Energy Efficiency: Building Owners Increasingly "Get It"

Encouraging news in this report from Energy Manager - could be a good back-up for discussion with building owners in your area. To read the full article, visit:
7.  Three Technologies that Will Keep Energy Costs in Check

Concise article about technology that can reduce energy costs. It has a national view, but applies to California. To read the entire article, visit:

And that is all for this week! Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Powerful clean energy policy 'works out' in California

The California Energy Commission wants nothing less than a reduction in overall greenhouse gas in the state.

The agency's approach is multipronged but hinges on energy efficiency. The state seeks to reduce CO2 emissions about 20 percent to a target 426 million metric tons annually by 2020.

The question is: Can it be done? State leaders believe so and are encouraging local officials to join the effort. California's Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB 32, passed in 2006, also sets a goal of 33 percent renewable energy generation by 2020.

Benchmarking energy

A key part of this plan involves going city by city and charting energy use. It's believed that once cities and counties learn how much they're actually spending on electricity, their leaders will do something about it, putting big power users on a diet and drafting sustainability plans that actually work.

"Decisions about community planning and land use, as well as transportation infrastructure and electricity infrastructure, have a dramatic impact on our ability to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions," says the state's Energy Action Plan update report from 2008.

Each local government in the state will be producing its own community-wide energy action plan, spelling out exactly how it will pursue sustainability, reduce waste, foster alternative energy and save its residents money.

Energy Action Plans

I read through a number of these plans looking for ideas. My nonprofit, the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, has a grant to assist several small cities write plans and catalog, or "benchmark," their buildings according to utility meter to chart energy usage.

After perusing about seven of them, I started to see real strength in the phrasing -- as if these documents weren't just meant to collect dust on a shelf. Somebody plans to use them, and use them well.

The plan for one Los Angeles-area beach community pulled no punches. "Huntington Beach led the last energy revolution in Southern California with oil production over the last century and is poised to lead
the next clean energy revolution in Southern California as we prepare for the impacts from peak oil production and climate change."

My sister lives in nearby Hermosa Beach. The communities are known for being progressive.

The plan spelled out past successes and quantified savings. It also spelled out how to garner additional energy savings, citing the Rosenfeld Effect. Based on CEC commissioner Art Rosenfeld's groundbreaking policies now more than three decades old, the effect refers to how efficiency basically pays for future energy uses.

What's interesting is these plans actually have a very likely shot at getting accomplished what they were intended to do. Piedmont, Calif. Mayor Abe Friedman writes, "I am certain that with the guidance of this plan both the City government and Piedmont residents can together make meaningful changes in our everyday lives and operations to reduce our carbon footprint."

He sounds like he really believes it.

I'm starting to feel somewhat optimistic. After the trials and tribulations of two years trying to Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant money spent, I'm a little gun shy around energy efficiency projects.

Getting results

But this makes sense. Communities planning out their strategies.

Berkeley's plan also calls a spade a spade. Here it refers to the benchmarking practice: "The emissions inventory is useful for another important reason: it helps to remind us that we are both part of the global warming problem and part of the solution."

And not the Final Solution. I've been reading Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon Israeli spy novels again.