California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority Requests Comments on Financing Program Assessment Criteria, Due May 6th

News

The following has been shared from the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (“CAEATFA”), requesting written comments on their proposal of criteria for a comparative assessment of energy efficiency financing programs available in California:


For Public Comment:

Draft Criteria for a Comparative Assessment of Energy Efficiency Financing Programs Available in California

Introduction and Process

The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (“CAEATFA”) is soliciting comment on the attached proposal of criteria for a comparative assessment of energy efficiency financing programs available in California.

Members of the working group appointed by the CAEATFA Board will discuss their feedback on the proposed comparative criteria and make recommendations for criteria for a comparative assessment of energy efficiency financing programs at a public meeting scheduled on April 27, 2016, from 9:30 AM–1:30 PM (PDT), or until business is concluded, at 915 Capitol Mall, Room 587, Sacramento, CA 95814 (webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7726773258085420036).

The general public may submit written comment on the proposed comparative criteria until April 22, 2016, at 5:00 PM (PDT). Any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may submit written comments by email or by mail to:

Ashley Bonnett, Analyst CAEATFA 915 Capitol Mall, Room 457 Sacramento, CA 95814

CAEATFA staff will provide working group members the written public comments received by the above deadline to incorporate any responses in their feedback at the April 27th meeting.

Background

Legislative Directive

As part of the 2015-16 Budget Package, the California Legislature tasked CAEATFA, in consultation with the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”), with creating “a working group that will include key stakeholders to develop criteria for a comparative assessment of energy efficiency financing programs available in California,” including Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) financing, legacy utility on bill financing (“OBF”), and the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (“CHEEF”) Pilot Programs. (Supplemental Report of the 2015-16 Budget Package, Item 0971-001-0528.)

In response to the legislative directive, CAEATFA staff planned a public process to encourage stakeholder participation and input in developing criteria for a comparative assessment. CAEATFA hosted three educational workshops featuring presentations from stakeholders on various metrics for evaluating energy efficiency financing programs. The process culminates with a public meeting at which a working group appointed by the CAEATFA Board will discuss the proposed criteria for a comparative assessment of the energy efficiency financing programs detailed below. CAEATFA will then publish its proposed criteria along with a summary of the issues discussed and recommendations made by the working group.

Background Information on California Energy Efficiency Financing Programs

Overview of California Energy Efficiency Financing Programs

PACE Financing: PACE is a method of financing energy efficiency, water efficiency, renewable energy retrofits, electric vehicle charging stations, or seismic strengthening improvements for residential and commercial properties. PACE financing is available in specific jurisdictions, or PACE districts, in which the local governments have authorized special taxes or contractual assessments for these improvements. PACE programs are created by local agencies and may be run locally or through a public-private partnership with a private finance entity. Property owners in a PACE district can use PACE financing to retrofit their homes or businesses with no money down and pay for the assessment through their local property tax bill. PACE financing is secured with a first-priority lien on the underlying property.

CHEEF Pilot Programs: The CHEEF Pilot Programs were authorized by CPUC Decision 13-09- 044 and are being managed by CAEATFA in collaboration with the CPUC and the state’s investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”). The $65 million pilot programs will encourage and leverage private unsecured lending and investment in energy efficiency projects for both the residential and commercial sector with various features such as loan loss reserves, debt service reserve funds, and the ability for IOU customers to include monthly loan payments directly on their monthly bills (on-bill repayment). The single family residential pilot program will be the first in the sequence of pilots to launch, with an anticipated launch date of spring 2016. The remaining pilots will subsequently phase in throughout 2016 and 2017.

On-bill Financing: Utility On-bill financing programs are administered by the IOUs, and provide zero-percent interest, unsecured, non-transferable loans for businesses to finance energy efficiency projects from their utility provider. The financing terms are designed such that the energy savings covers the loan installment. Monthly payments are included on the utility bill, and any loan default results in meter shut-off.

Other financing programs: In addition to the financing programs and structures identified above, there are other types of financing and incentive programs that are administered by various types of entities across the state — including local governments, public utilities, and other state entities – for which these criteria may be helpful.

Evaluation of California Energy Efficiency Financing Programs

The CHEEF Pilot Programs and utility on-bill financing are a part of the CPUC’s portfolio of energy efficiency programs and are incorporated in CPUC’s evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) plan, which budgets for both process and impact evaluations of the 1 programs. California PACE financing programs are created by local agencies and administered locally or through a public-private partnership. Each program may have different goals, processes, and procedures and its own strategy and plan for evaluation. However, the CPUC has commissioned a profile study of the residential HERO Program, a PACE provider, to determine key factors in HERO’s rapid growth and to understand lessons learned, especially those that might apply to the utility rebate programs and the CHEEF Pilot Programs.

Working Group Process

As mentioned above, CAEATFA staff planned a public process to encourage stakeholder participation and input in developing criteria for a comparative assessment. Based on the discussions and public comment received during the series of educational workshops, CAEATFA staff developed a proposal of criteria for comparative assessment. CAEATFA will provide the proposed criteria, for public review and comment. At a public meeting scheduled on April 27, 2016, the appointed working group will provide additional feedback on the proposed criteria – taking into consideration public comment. In June 2016, CAEATFA will publish a summary of the discussions and recommendation made by the working group, along with any public comment received.

Members of the Working Group

CAEATFA staff reached out to stakeholders and developed a list of 38 working group members (“Working Group”), which includes representatives from several key stakeholder groups. The CAEATFA Board approved the list of Working Group members at its March 2016 board meeting.

Name, Organization

  • Paul Blagbrough, Union Bank
  • Matthew Brown, Harcourt Brown and Carey
  • Daniel Buch, Office of Ratepayer Advocates
  • Richard Chien, City and County of San Francisco
  • Howard Choy, LA County Office of Sustainability, Internal Services Department
  • Jeanne Clinton, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Charles Cormany, Efficiency First – California
  • Susan Davison, CalCERTS, Inc.
  • Jeff Deason, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Jane Elias, Sonoma County Energy Independence Program
  • Laura Franke, Public Financial Management, Inc.
  • Al Gaspari, Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Sandy Goldberg, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
  • Matt Golden, Open Energy Efficiency
  • Charles Goldman, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Kevin Gould, California Bankers Association
  • Peter Grabell, Figtree Financing
  • Angela Hacker, Community Services Department, County of Santa Barbara
  • James Hamill, California Statewide Communities Development Authority
  • David Ismailyan, California Energy Commission
  • Jewel James, Renovate America
  • Courtney Jensen, California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues
  • Chris Kramer, Energy Futures Group
  • Mike Lemyre, Ygrene Energy Fund
  • Joseph Livaich, Renew Financial
  • Barbara Lloyd, California Clean Energy Fund
  • Van Mattison, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • Ari Matusiak, Renovate America
  • Pat McGuckin, Cadmus, Energy Services Sector
  • Dennis Quinn, Joule Assets
  • Diane Schrader, THIRDact
  • William Shady, Sustainable Design & Project Management
  • Frank Spasaro, Southern California Gas Company
  • Barbara Spoonhour, Western Riverside Council of Governments
  • Jennifer Svec, California Association of Realtors
  • Mark Tsimanis, Energy Loan Network
  • Wayne Waite, California Housing Partnership
  • Jenine Windeshausen, Treasurer, County of Placer

See the attachment for a history of activities on this, and for the proposal of criteria.

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