smart meters

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly Updates:

News and Opportunities
Targeted Process Evaluation of the Local Government Partnership (LGP) Program
Research into Action (RIA), SCE's consultant preparer, has been for over a year working to craft this study to address three primary subjects: developing new useful criteria to organize and group similar LGPs for the purpose of more easily evaluating the diverse sector; shedding light on the effectiveness of LGP muni retrofits; and further building our body of knowledge on LGP strategic-plan projects. A webinar is being conducted on 11/8 (see calendar section). Comments are due November 16, 2016 via http://www.energydataweb.com/cpuc/search.aspx.

Energy Department Recognizes UC Berkeley for Leadership in Campus-Wide Energy Innovations
As part of the Obama Administration's effort to cut energy waste in the nation's university buildings and facilities, the Energy Department's Better Buildings Challenge program recognized University of California, Berkeley for its leadership in energy efficiency.

First-of-its-Kind Energy Storage Project
Advanced Microgrid Solutions and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) launched a landmark water-energy project using advanced energy storage systems to better integrate renewable power, reduce demand on the electric grid and lower costs. The project further enables IEUA to protect its customers while addressing the link between water and the energy needed to process and transport it.

Will California Drivers Get in Electric Cars to Save $13.5 Billion?
A new report (see resource section) indicates that a shift to electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles could save Californians $13.5 billion in health and climate costs by 2050.

USDA Investing More Than $300M in Efficiency, Renewables
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing more than $300 million in projects aimed at increasing use of renewables and energy efficiency options for small businesses through their Rural Energy for America (REAP) program.

Job Opportunity: Energy and Sustainability Analyst, County of Sonoma
The Sonoma County General Services Department seeks a qualified professional to become an Energy and Sustainability (ES) Analyst in their ES Division. Under general direction, the ES analyst plans, develops, coordinates, and implements ES Division customer project support efforts; provides project selection technical support, energy and water evaluation and analysis, and project financing resources; and is responsible for collecting and analyzing data and reporting results. Applications due November 14, 2016.



11/1 (webinar) A Recipe for Award-Winning Online Community Engagement
This highly visual 45-minute webinar will present research findings, proven best practices, practical tips and award-winning case studies to guide agencies towards the successful application of online community engagement for planning projects. Participants will walk away with an understanding about how to leverage digital engagement to achieve unprecedented results using cost-effective tools.

11/2 (San Francisco / dial-in) Coordinating Committee Meeting #11
This meeting is your opportunity to discuss the PA's visions and strategies for achieving maximum cost-effective savings and transforming markets over the next 10 years. The Business Plans set the groundwork for future programs and Implementation Plans.

11/3 (webinar) Boom Chika Boom: Demand Response and Behavior Change
A peer exchange call to discuss demand response and the most effective ways to change behaviors to improve residential energy efficiency.

11/7 (Sacramento / webcast) Workshop on 2030 Target Scoping Plan Update
This workshop will discuss policy scenarios and associated reductions; the Natural and Working Lands Sector, including carbon sequestration scenario modeling and ARB's Natural and Working Lands inventory; and public health implications of climate change and mitigation policies.

11/8 (webinar) Targeted Process Evaluation of the LGP Program
This webinar is to discuss the study background and goals, methods, and findings paired with conclusions and recommendations. 
11/16 (Berkeley) ZNE Workshop for Local Governments
This six-hour workshop will support local governments working to integrate state goals to achieve zero net energy (ZNE) buildings. Learn about examples, emerging trends, new programs and tools to support local government ZNE policy and plan development.

Resources and Reports

Practical Guide to Transforming Energy Data into Better Buildings
This guide uses the lifecycle of energy data as a framework to help you understand what and when data can be collected, and how to best evaluate the data for meaningful insights. The lifecycle follows through the following path: understanding where the data is coming from; aggregating the different data sources; transforming data into actionable insights; taking insights-driven actions; using data to track and evaluate results; leveraging energy insights beyond building management; and 8 steps to get started today.

Clean Air Future: Health and Climate Benefits of Zero Emission Vehicles
This report was produced by the American Lung Association in California to illustrate the billions of dollars in health and other societal damages caused by passenger vehicle pollution today, and to highlight the benefits of the ongoing transition to zero emission technologies across the passenger vehicle fleet.

Electric Company Smart Meter Deployments: Foundation for a Smart Grid
This report describes how electric companies are using smart meter data today to improve grid operations, integrate distributed energy resources, provide customer services, and support innovative pricing. It also describes the growing importance of the distribution system.


Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency organized by state.



Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are our WEEkly Updates:
  1. SB 350 and AB 802: Impacts and Implications for Local Governments (video)
    In case you missed the webinar last week with CEC Commissioners Hochschild and McAllister, here is the webinar recording.
  2. How Smart Meters are Changing Energy Efficiency in California
    New advanced metering infrastructure that can measure customer load with increased granularity has created opportunities for variable rate structures, effective demand response and increased customer control over their energy use. And now, with the ability to compare real-time usage to historical baselines, the industry can begin to more accurately value "efficiency as energy," and PG&E is working with NRDC and The Utility Reform Network to develop a pilot program that will do just that.
  3. U.S. Energy Storage Summit: The Energy Storage Future (video)
    This GTM Research presentation will share results from the most recent U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report and provide the platform for the summit's discussions on the future of the U.S. energy storage market.
  4. How Energy Efficiency Cuts Costs for a 2°C Future
    This report analyzes how energy efficiency policies and programs in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Mexico and the US can reduce the cost of economy-wide decarbonization y up to $250 billion per year for these regions, with no net cost to society through 2030. Related articles from this week: Why energy efficiency is the cheapest path to climate action and Energy efficiency is the largest contributor to reducing CO2 emissions.
  5. 5 Trends that Will Disrupt Energy Management in 2016
    BluePillar's new eBook, Facility of the Future Series: 5 Trends that Will Disrupt Energy Management in 2016, discusses the 5 trends that will disrupt energy management in 2016 and how you can take control of your facility's energy future.
  6. California and Germany, Opposites with a Common Energy Goal
    One is a European country known as "the powerhouse of Europe" that struggles against soggy winters and seemingly endless gray skies. The other is a digitally driven American state, known as "the Golden State," for its abundant sunshine and year-round growing season. One is determined to lead an energy transformation through carefully drafted laws and regulations; the other is driven by an inventive spirit of boundary-pushing and experimentation.
  7. 12/14 - Leveraging Benchmarking to Build Your Business
    This full-day workshop is targeted for businesses to learn strategies for generating leads; how to price benchmarking-related offerings; how to cross-sell and up-sell your other offerings; how to demonstrate the value of efficiency in terms that clients understand and value; and how to motivate the various stakeholders to act on energy efficiency measures.
  8. Energy Calendar
    If you have any events you would like to see added to this calendar, please send details to statewideenergycoordinator@lgc.org.


And that is all for this week!


Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your WEEkly Updates:
  1. Behind the Meter: The Many Advantages of Energy Benchmarking (audio)
    Carl Weinschenk, the Editor of Energy Manager Today, spent a few minutes this week discussing EnergyScorecardsMinnesota, a web-based energy and water benchmarking and tracking initiative, and the broader world of benchmarking with Jonathan Braman, the VP of Strategic Initiatives at Bright Power.
  2. 2015 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award Nominations due December 1st
    If you know someone in the air quality community - scientists, professors, legislators, activists, business leaders, and others - who has made a significant lifetime achievement, you can nominate them for an award by completing a nomination form. Since 2001, the California Air Resources Board has annually bestowed the distinguished Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards to extraordinary individuals for their significant career accomplishments.
  3. Job Opportunity: Business Planning Specialist, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
    The City and County of San Francisco seeks candidates for a Business Planning Specialist in the Power Enterprise, the City's publicly owned electric utility. The position will provide analytical and planning support related to new business opportunities, evaluation of potential infrastructure investments, and development of new energy programs and service offerings. The application and supplemental questionnaire are due Monday 11/23/15.
  4. 11/16 - ARCCA Learning Session: The Ins and Outs of the LA Energy Atlas
    Join ARCCA for a webinar to learn about the LA Energy Atlas - what it took to get it started, how to navigate and best utilize the Atlas, and what the project team is doing next. We're excited to have Krista Kline from the LA Regional Collaborative for Climate Adaptation, Zoe Elizabeth from the CA Center for Sustainable Communities, and Ron Mohr from LA County present on this webinar.
  5. 11/18 - Public Workshop on LGP & REN EM&V Roadmaps
    The Energy Divison will be hosting a call open to the public and in conjunction with its Local Government Stakeholder Advisory Group for the purpose of receiving input on the update to the EM&V Roadmap, REN and LGP chapters.
  6. 12/3 and 12/9 - Webinar on Energy Data for Local Governments (PG&E)
    Learn about energy data available to local governments for greenhouse gas inventories, climate action planning, and energy efficiency activities. By the end of the webinar, participants will have an understanding of the types of data available, how to request data, and the frequency with which PG&E releases new data. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn how to provide feedback to PG&E on current and future local government data needs. The training will be offered at two alternate dates and times (click to register): Thursday, December 3rd, 11am-12:15pm and Wednesday, December 9th, 10-11:15am.
  7. Energy Calendar
    If you have any events you would like to see added to this calendar, please send details to statewideenergycoordinator@lgc.org.


And that is all for this week!

Wellness Wednesday: Smart meters and radio frequency


In the third installment of our staff coverage on smart meters (one and two), our resident wellness expert, Maureen Hoff addresses the question of whether or not smart meters adversely affect the health of the people who live with them.  As part of our team effort to provide consistency in blog posting, Maureen is taking on the weekly post, 'Wellness Wednesday' where she will show the connection between energy, the environment and your personal wellness. 

Maureen has been with the SJVCEO for two and a half years serving as the project coordinator for our VIEW local government partnership, master of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and all-around 'girl Friday' for the organization.  Maureen wholeheartedly embraces the SJVCEO efforts "to provide a better quality of life for residents of the San Joaquin Valley" in her personal life as well.  When she's not working with our cities and counties, Maureen is the proprietor of Wild Ginger Wellness and works as a personal health coach helping people reach their goals and improve their quality of life. Maureen holds a bachelors degree in cultural anthropology with a minor in exercise and health science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York.  

Smart Meters and Radio Frequency 

Utility companies around the globe, and even in our very own Central Valley, have been switching customers over to ‘smart meters’ in order to prevent their poor meter-reading employees from having to tromp through bushes and run from dogs--well, maybe that is a bit of a simplified explanation.  A smart meter is a two-way communication device that allows utilities and their customers to better track energy usage. You may have heard a favorite saying over here at the SJVCEO is ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’ and we love the smart meter because it puts the power in the customer's hands.

Between 2009 and 2012, our friends at Southern California Edison (SCE) will have deployed approximately 5 million of their SmartConnect meters. Customers will have the ability to log into their online account and track energy usage by the hour. Yep. I would say that’s pretty smart! The majority of customers’ concerns with smart meters typically surround privacy issues; however,some have questioned possible health risks associated with these two-way devices emitting radio frequency (RF) signals.

RF signals are categorized as a non-ionizing form of radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum. In a nutshell, this means that RF signals do not emit enough energy to alter the chemical structure of an atom and are generally safe, despite the fact that they are strong enough to cause increased temperature in body tissue. If the intensity of a non-ionizing form of radiation is strong enough, however, it can become ionizing. Ionizing radiation, which occurs naturally and from man-made activities (think nuclear), produces toxic free radicals which can severely damage body tissue and even cause death.
http://asset.sce.com/microsite/Documents/ESC/smartconnect_rf_onepager_v5_072111-outlines.pdf
When it comes to SmartConnect, SCE says that ‘a person’s exposure to RF signals depends on three factors: the signal strength, the distance from the device, and how often it transmits’. The good news is that the meters have a low signal strength, will most likely be installed in a location around your home or small business that isn’t too close to where you spend much time, and only transmit a signal for a few minutes each hour. In my opinion, when compared to a device such as a cell phone, smart meters don’t look like much of a health risk at all; but, if you are like me then you will still want to go to all lengths to protect yourself and your family from even the slightest risk. And that is when I turn to the diet.

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in foods that assist in protecting and repairing damaged cells. Eating a colorful diet full of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, healthy fats/oils, and lean protein can help combat exposure to free radicals from radiation. Foods like dark, leafy greens; berries; avocados; good quality olive oil; and even chocolate in its raw state (cacao) can help protect our bodies from environmental toxins. I like to say ‘control the controllables’. Watch what you put in your mouth, get a little exericse every day, and let your utility company install a smart meter. After all, if you decrease your energy use you are helping to decrease greenhouse gas emissions which means cleaner air, which means better health.


Photo credit: Southern California Edison
photo credit: A Culinary (Photo) Journal via photopin cc


I got the power--no you got the power!

Alright, it's no secret around the SJVCEO offices that I love me some Carl and Eddy. I always insist on Carl and Eddy posters for our community events, I've included C&E in a quarterly report to my board, and I may have tweeted about these guys once or twice.


Really--I think they're great! What, you don't believe me?  How about now?


What if I told you I make the rest of team SJVCEO live over in Carl? (what can I say, I like my space)



Carl and Eddy were a stroke of genius; somewhere, someone very smart said, "I bet people would listen more if the message came from talking houses."  Well, perhaps it wasn't quite like that, but Carl and Eddy get the job done.  Market research on these two showed that their fans had an 85% recall rate on the information in the videos.  They're so effective that SCE received a Buildy Award for "Customer-Focused Innovation" for the series.  It turns out that I'm not the only one who's fallen hard for these two talking houses.

So, what is my favorite rap session with these guys?  Oh, I'm partial to "I got the power"


Of course, that shows a bit of nostalgia on my part because "I got the power" was my first Carl and Eddy video way back in 2010.  At the time I thought, "well guys, that's nice, but you're still living south of the Grapevine. Call me when you get to the Valley".  Good news: they're here!

Better yet, Southern California Edison (SCE) is here and they're bringing SmartConnect to the Valley.

I learned this when a news release from SCE crossed my desk last week announcing that SmartConnnect is coming to the San Joaquin Valley.  Here are the highlights, just in case you don't want to click through:

In a statement, Ken Devore, director of SCE's Edison SmartConnect program said, "Smart meters will empower our customers to become better managers of their electricity usage through new tools, programs and services that will help them save energy and money, and help protect the environment." Whoa, whoa, whoa--hold the phone, Mr. Devore!  Customers managing their electricity? That is what we at the SJVCEO love to hear!  In fact, we live and breath by the adage, "you can't manage what you can't measure."  Intelligent metering, by design, will allow the average homeowner to acurately, and in real time see the measure of their energy use and with that information make informed choices about how they want to use their energy. Whether by savings for that extra day of AC when it hits 106 degrees, or deploying no-cost conservation tricks around the house to make sure the energy bill stays within budget.  Smart metering allows all of us to make smart choices, and it puts the power in our hands.  

My good friend Eddy says he's got the power, but I hate to break to you Eddy--with SmartConnect, we all have the power!