Resource Library

At CCEC, we know communities are at different stages of working on various local climate and energy priorities. Whether you’re building EV charging infrastructure, helping property owners afford energy upgrades, or developing electrification plans and codes, you need a way to find all the best information when you’re ready to use it to inform your work. This resource library is designed to give you multiple ways to access the broad array of resources CCEC continuously compiles immediately. Here are a few examples of how you might use the filters to query our content:
  • You’ve been directed to initiate a new energy or climate project and hope to advance your knowledge and accelerate the process by accessing relevant best practices, case studies, technical assistance, guides, learning events, reports, and tools;
  • You want to get an idea of the kinds of initiatives other communities are doing, especially in your region or for a particular sector;
  • and many more!
Don’t see an important resource or have one to share? Let us know by contacting eecoordinator@civicwell.org.
Best Practices

Best Practices for Virtual Engagement

Strategies for local agencies to gain community feedback during COVID-19. High and low tech options.

Name: Angel Hernandez
Title: Associate Planner
Organization: City of El Centro
Organization Type: City or County
Region: Statewide
Topic Areas: Outreach and Engagement
Best Practices

BPC Spotlight Event: How Local Governments Can Be Competitive in Today’s Funding Climate

Moderated by the Statewide Best Practices Coordinator, this session features experts that will review changing trends in relevant energy/climate funding sources, eligibility, and selection criteria and provide tips for how to write a competitive proposal to advance your organization’s strategic goals, including a live demo of how review a solicitation for “fit,” “deal-breakers,” and “score-boosters.” The Statewide Best Practices Coordinator will also share CCEC’s new Funding Resources website and database that can help you identify new ways to pay for your initiatives.

Name: Angie Hacker
Title: Statewide Best Practices Coordinator
Organization: Local Government Commission
Organization Type: State Government/Agency, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Date: 08/12/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Learning Event

Breaking Ground on Equitable Climate Action: An Interview with the City of Oakland

In this June 2021 recording, Angie Hacker, the CCEC Statewide Best Practices Coordinator, interviews Shayna Hirshfield-Gold, Climate Coordinator with the City of Oakland, which is doing groundbreaking work to advance equity as part of its climate action efforts. As many in the State move forward from just counting carbon and kilowatts, we invite you to listen to a timely conversation on how to thoughtfully expand local climate work to effectively engage environmental justice voices and ideas and consider impacts and opportunities for historically underserved or marginalized communities. Shayna shares personal experiences and advice on pitfalls, best practices, and successes. Thanks to Oakland and Shayna for providing a leading example that other local governments can certainly learn from. https://www.youtube.com/embed/e7zpgFZ65cI?feature=oembed

Name: Shayna Hirshfield-Gold
Title: Climate Coordinator
Organization: City of Oakland
Organization Type: City or County
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Date: June 2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Climate Planning, Environmental Justice
Sectors Targeted: Disadvantaged Communities
Additional notes of interest: Interview
Best Practices

Budgeting for the High Road Just Transition

The Governor’s OPR will soon release the HIgh Road Just Transition Roadmap, which aims to incorporate economic diversification, industry planning, safety net updates, workforce development and regional collaboratives in the process of transitioning justly into a sustainable California with principles rooted in equity, inclusivity and good quality jobs.
Funding for the transition will come from CERF and divided into:
– High road transition collaboratives ($50 mill for regional grants)
– High road transition implementation pilots($50 mil in Diversification grants)
– High oad transition Implementation Grants ($500 mil on economic development – job creation)
Local governments wishing to be involved in the process are encouraged to engage by getting involved with collaboratives and by engaging in sustainability activities and economic development plans within their jurisdictions. They are also encouraged to join the OPR Just Transition listserv to receive updates from this program.

Name: Sarah L. White
Title: Senior Advisor: Jobs and the Economy
Organization: Governor's Office of Planning and Research
Organization Type: State Government/Agency
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Workforce Development
Sectors Targeted: Disadvantaged Communities
Best Practices, Guide

Building and Home Energy Resource Hub

California’s buildings produce a quarter of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, making homes and businesses a major contributor to climate change. Taking a variety of actions to reduce GHG emissions is known as decarbonization. There are many steps that building owners and renters, builders, and local governments can take to decarbonize buildings cost-effectively and support transportation electrification.

The information, guidance, and best practices shared here are intended to assist in overcoming barriers to decarbonizing buildings and installing electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment in residential and commercial buildings.

Organization: California Energy Commission
Organization Type: State Government/Agency
Region: Statewide
Published in 2023
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Commercial, Disadvantaged Communities, Local Governments, Nonprofit, Residential
Best Practices

Building Electrification 101

An overview of building electrification technologies and common barriers and opportunities for scaling up implementation.

Name: Jenna Tatum
Title: Director
Organization: BEI
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization
Best Practices

Building Owner Energy Efficiency Resources

The Building Energy Benchmarking program requires owners of large buildings to report energy use to the California Energy Commission (CEC). These resources will help building owners and managers achieve higher building energy efficiency.

Organization: California Energy Commission
Organization Type: State Government/Agency
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Codes and Standards, Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Residential
Best Practices

Building Performance Training

3C-REN’s Building Performance Training is tailored for current and prospective building professionals—with expert instruction, technical trainings, soft skills development and certifications on the latest energy efficiency methods and measures. Building Performance Training is available to designers, contractors, building and safety staff ,realtors and more. Learning units and certifications on various topics such as building science, energy code, decarbonizing technologies, passive house and more are offered through this program. To date, Building Performance Training has trained over 1,200 individuals and is currently exploring how to extend the program’s offerings to younger people and people going through career transitions.

Name: Ian Logan
Title: Sustainability Program Specialist
Organization: 3C-REN
Organization Type: Other Local Government
Region: Central Coast
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Outreach and Engagement
Best Practices

California City 0% On-Bill Financing

California City used 0% on-bill financing, from Southern California Edison, to pay for a well pump retrofit. The improvement resulted in new infrastructure and $16,000 in annual energy savings, paying for itself in just three and a half years.

Organization: California City
Organization Type: City or County
Region: Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley
Topic Areas: Financing/Funding
Best Practices

CHP for Resiliency in Critical Infrastructure

This fact sheet provides an overview on using CHP to protect critical infrastructure, and how CHP can help create a more resilient and modern grid that keeps communities safe and protects businesses in the event of a large-scale power outage.

Organization: DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Organization Type: Federal Government/Agency
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Resilience
Best Practices, Learning Event

Community & Climate Engagement During COVID-19: What to do when in person isn’t possible

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a “new reality” in many sectors, including public participation. Ensuring inclusive public participation is more challenging than ever because of the digital divide, language needs and learning curves. Join the Institute for Local Government to learn innovative strategies for using high-tech and low-tech virtual platforms to engage residents around energy, climate, land use planning and pollution reduction without meeting face-to face. Many of these tools and techniques, while essential in this time of physical distancing, also have the potential to engage new, hard-to reach segments of the community, and will be useful beyond this current crisis.

Name: Nicole Enright
Title: Associate Program Manager
Organization: Institute for Local Government
Organization Type: City or County, Other Private Sector Business, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Date: 06/30/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Outreach and Engagement
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Developing a Zero Net Energy Roadmap

Steps to success: Benchmark/audit, Prioritize, Track Progress

Name: Alelia Parenteau
Title: Energy & Climate Manager
Organization: City of Santa Barbara
Organization Type: City or County
Phone: 805-564-5474
Region: Central Coast
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Climate Planning, Energy Efficiency
Best Practices

Empower Procurement: E-Building Procurement Initiative

Empower Procurement is excited to launch their new E-building Procurement Initiative. This program aims to tackle six initiatives: energy efficient products, expert energy services contractors, fuel switching resources: planning and installation, targeted specifications for low-energy building systems, new approaches to procurement operations, and training on organizations benchmarking and procurement metrics. The goal of this initiative is to build a collaborative network with local governments that provides opportunities for streamlined and cooperative procurement, while identifying challenges for electrification – particularly in existing government buildings. The product of this initiative will be represented in developed resources and best practices that are useful to the network.

Name: Renee Lafrenz
Title: Senior Manager
Organization: Empower Procurement
Organization Type: Other Private Sector Business
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Codes and Standards, Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Empower Procurement: E-Fleet Accelerator

The E-Fleet Accelerator offers school districts, higher education, governments, and select fleet operators support for the transition to electrified fleets. Transforming asset classes represents unique procurement barriers for institutional buyers. Fleet electrification is a prime example of this, and this PI will focus on addressing common gaps to improve the adoption of electric fleets for various purposes across diverse sectors. Our team provides customized insights to identify new opportunities to adopt electric fleets, and ensure successful fulfillment of electrification plans.

Organization: Prospect Silicon Valley
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Climate Planning, Electric Vehicles and Clean Mobility
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Empower Procurement: Products Procurement Initiative

This Initiative provides free assessment to troubleshoot procurement processes. You will find tailored resources to help with procurement barriers. It has streamlined access to DERs product information as well as guidance on technology solutions to help make informed DERs purchasing decisions. The Products Procurement Initiative is designed to provide an opportunity for buyers to learn more about energy-efficient products and possible opportunities for cost savings.

Organization: Prospect Silicon Valley
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Climate Planning, Energy Resilience, Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Energy Reach Code Ordinance

Reach codes that exceed state standards, either voluntary or mandatory.

Name: Misti Bruceri
Title: Principal
Organization: Cities of Palo Alto and Chula Vista
Organization Type: Other Private Sector Business
Phone: 707-477-1768
Region: Greater Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Codes and Standards
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Engaging Key Stakeholders

This fact sheet on engaging elected officials was presented as part of the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC) Best Practices Forum on June 19, 2014 in San Diego by Liz Yager from Sonoma County.

As the Energy and Sustainability Program Manager at the County of Sonoma, Liz works with elected officials from both Sonoma County and each of the nine cities within the county implementing energy related program across the region. As a Division manager Liz oversees the Sonoma county Energy Independence Program, the Sonoma County Energy Watch local government partnership with PG&E, in addition to her responsibility for internal utility and sustainability programs in County operations. SCEIP is one of the most successful and long running PACE financing programs in the country. Because energy efficiency programs are complex and historically have not been a core function of local government, Liz and her team lave had to learn how to properly engage elected officials on the topics in order to retain support for these programs. Her years of experience working with elected officials coming from different jurisdictions with different agendas are reflected in the fact sheet.

To date, the community facing aspects of the SCEW and SCEIP programs together have been responsible for over $70 million in local investment activity and have created or supported over 900 jobs.

Name: Liz Yager
Title: Energy and Sustainability Program Manager
Organization: County of Sonoma
Organization Type: City or County
Region: North Coast
Published in 2014
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency, Outreach and Engagement
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Federal stimulus-funded local and regional energy programs

After the last major economic downturn, the federal government adopted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which provided stimulus funding for priorities including energy efficiency retrofits through the DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative. In California, three regions received millions of dollars to support new building efficiency incentive and assistance programs that targeted privately owned buildings and spurred economic opportunities for the hard-hit building trades. Twelve years later, those regions are now operating as Regional Energy Networks, with stable ratepayer funding authorized by the CPUC to continue offering services like BayREN’s Business programs. Recognizing that incentives and other financial mechanisms are critical for making the investment in energy efficient infrastructure more affordable and accessible to businesses, the BayREN Business program offers rebates, financing, and one-stop-shop technical assistance to ensure small and medium businesses can leverage all available energy saving programs and minimize out-of-pocket expenses. While this is an old example, it may help local governments consider how to take advantage of major State and federal stimulus efforts to create long-lasting support for building retrofits that also strengthen economic recovery. They may also consider how to design new or increased upgrade incentives for small or distressed businesses.

Organization: BayREN
Organization Type: Other Local Government
Region: San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency, Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is dedicated to breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families. Formerly the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, GHHI replaces stand-alone housing intervention programs with an integrated, whole-house approach that produces sustainable, green, healthy and safe homes. Through this model, Marin County is improving health, economic and social outcomes for low income eligible families across the country.

Organization: Marin County
Organization Type: City or County
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Public Health
Sectors Targeted: Residential
Best Practices

Guiding constituents from education to energy services

It is important for local governments to raise awareness about the current programs available to conduct energy updates. BayREN has identified that interagency collaboration is the key to navigate the complex landscape of programs offered by many organizations. We recommend LG’s should aspire to have successful guidelines that include knowledge sharing, a seamless user experience, and scaling for constituents. BayREN identified that useful tools to share knowledge include meeting people where they are at, partnering with complimentary programs, identifying your target audience and determining the best method of outreach based on their needs. This, followed by partnerships to present various EE programs from varying agencies will make for a seamless user experience. Finally, BayREN recommends combining rebates and financing to achieve savings greater than monthly payments so constituents can implement energy savings and reach renewable goals.

Name: Tonya Veitch
Title: Senior Sustainability Analyst
Organization: County of Santa Clara
Organization Type: City or County
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency, Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Disadvantaged Communities, Local Governments
Best Practices

Highlights and Horizons: An Interactive Forum Closing

This interactive session will give CCEC Forum participants a chance to reflect on what they have learned during the 12th Annual Forum and key takeaways that will advance local and state clean energy and climate actions. Together we will highlight what is on the horizon for local governments as they lead the way in a promising new era for climate, equity, health, and prosperity. This event will feature roundtable remarks by LGC and REN representatives, breakout discussions, and a facilitated listening session where you can share insights and help drive what we do next.

Name: Angie Hacker
Title: Statewide Best Practices Coordinator
Organization: Local Government Coalition
Organization Type: Electric Utility or CCA, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Date: 08/19/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments, Nonprofit
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

How do I keep track of energy efficiency program and policy changes relevant to local governments?

Energy efficiency in California is a hot topic, and constantly evolving. Some things local governments may want to keep track of include:

Organization: SEEC
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2016
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Increasing EV Adoption: From Paper to Production

Electric vehicles have received more attention than ever in California in recent years and are continuing to gain more market share in the U.S. auto industry, with ripple effects on the energy industry. To support greater EV adoption, local governments are transitioning their own public fleets to EV while targeting EV infrastructure investments towards the populations and locations that need them. This session will feature a moderated panel of local EV experts that will share thoughts on the current progress and opportunities for EVs in California, and innovative approaches to planning, procurement, and implementation of local EV initiatives that can effectively curb emissions and drive equity.

Name: Michael Chiacos
Title: Director of Energy and Climate Programs
Organization: Community Environmental Council
Organization Type: City or County, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Date: 08/10/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Electric Vehicles and Clean Mobility
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Institute for Local Government’s Beacon Program

ILG’s Beacon Program provides recognition and support for California local agencies that are working to build more vibrant and sustainable communities. Beacon honors voluntary efforts by cities, counties and special districts that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy and adopting policies that promote sustainability.

Organization: Institute for Local Government
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency, Policy
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Job Training with SOMAH

SOMAH in increasing access to solar jobs. 50% of participants in their training programs are either local hires (living in the community that the project is in) or a targeted hire (affordable housing residents, women, BIPOC, justice-impacted, single parents, facing barriers to employment). SOMAH provides a wage floor of 1.4x the local minimum wage and provides career development resources and workshops for trainees.

Name: Staci Hoell
Title: Workforce Development Manager
Organization: SOMAH
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Renewable Energy & Storage, Workforce Development
Sectors Targeted: Disadvantaged Communities
Best Practices, Learning Event

Keeping the Focus Local: A Conversation with SoCalREN Regional Partnerships

Join us for an exciting panel featuring SoCalREN’s regional partners, South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG), High Sierra Energy Foundation (HSEF), San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) and San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization (SJVCEO). Our panel speakers will share how they are matching SoCalREN resources with the unique needs of their region, including disadvantaged and rural communities. Specifically, they will discuss the recent shift towards virtual services and how it may actually benefit these hard-to-reach communities.

Name: Nicol Manzanares
Title: Program Manager
Organization: The Energy Coalition
Organization Type: Governmental Association, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Greater Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley
Date: 10/15/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Disadvantaged Communities, Local Governments, Nonprofit
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Learning Event

Leveraging Solar & Battery Systems to Lower Costs & Increase Resiliency

Our communities need cheaper, cleaner, more reliable electricity. With the increased frequency of power shutoff events and other power outages, communities need backup power resources. And with energy rates continuing to climb and shift, communities need resources that can help them control their energy costs and save money. When paired with solar, batteries can provide both backup power and cost savings benefits. In this virtual event, David Burdick & Ali Chehrehsaz of TerraVerde Energy will be sharing their team’s experience supporting California public agencies with solar and battery energy storage projects. We will discuss how changes in energy reliability and rates are impacting communities, the latest on funding & programs for these projects (including the fast moving SGIP incentive program, and a new solar refi program), methods for assessing the Economic Value of Resilience, and how local governments can take action in lowering energy costs and increasing energy resiliency.

Name: David Burdick
Title: Executive Vice President
Organization: TerraVerde Energy
Organization Type: Business or Trade Association
Region: Statewide
Date: 08/19/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Resilience, Renewable Energy & Storage
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Learning Event

Local Government Electrification: Opportunities and Challenges

Join the Empower Procurement Program for an exciting and collaborative workshop which will tackle the challenge of electrification strategic planning through the lens of DERs procurement. Along with fellow local government representatives, participants at various stages in their journey will have an opportunity to share best practices and gain access to valuable planning resources designed by subject matter experts. This session is intended to kick start a coordinated and networked support system to enable local governments to work together to meet this challenge in California. Empower Procurement is a CEC EPIC-funded program including partners from Energy Solutions, Prospect Silicon Valley, the Local Government Commission and others.

Name: Benjamin Zank
Title: Engineer
Organization: Energy Solutions
Organization Type: City or County, Electric Utility or CCA, Business or Trade Association
Region: San Francisco Bay Area, Statewide
Date: 08/17/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition

LGSEC is a statewide membership network representing local government interests to state agencies such as CPUC, CEC, and CARB. Together, LGSEC members advance sustainable energy and climate solutions to meet California’s climate and energy goals through knowledge exchange, targeted learning opportunities, and statewide collaboration. Sustainability staff can maximize staff capacity by becoming a member of the LGSEC to engage and represent their jurisdictions in statewide regulatory energy policy.

Name: Sarina Soor
Title: Project Manager
Organization: LGSEC
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2022
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Energy Resilience, Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Disadvantaged Communities, Local Governments
Best Practices

Local Governments as Innovation Partners

During technology development, Local Governments can serve as excellent partners for pilot or demonstration projects. It is a good best practice for local governments to partner with technology providers when they are applying for EPIC grants through the CEC. There will soon be a call for places section of the Empower Innovation website to help create connections for project partners.

Name: Katrina Leni-Konig
Title: Supervisor Technology Scale-up and Outreach, Assistant Tribal Liaison
Organization: California Energy Commission
Organization Type: State Government/Agency
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Financing/Funding, Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices, Case Study

Local Governments Leading the Way through Resilient Microgrids

Wildfires, power shut-offs, and other climate effects are driving the critical need for energy resiliency across California communities. Local government and institutions are taking the lead on microgrids in many areas to ensure their residents continue to receive critical services and back-up power. Given the technical complexity and range of possible microgrid models, local governments can best benefit by learning from one another and working together to implement a sustainable future for us all.

This panel session will feature diverse local experts, each with a unique perspective on developing innovative, resilient microgrid solutions across the state:

  • Mike Grim, City of Carlsbad – Feature project: Carlsbad microgrid
  • Craig Lewis, Clean Coalition (non-profit) – Feature projects: City of Camarillo solar microgrid and City of Santa Barbara community microgrid
  • Jim Zoellick, Humboldt State University – Feature project: Redwood Coast Energy Authority and Pacific Gas & Electric community microgrid

Presenters will discuss the goals and multiple benefits their microgrid projects address – from resiliency to carbon reduction, reliability, and government operations. They will explore the process and funding sources they have leveraged to develop studies and designs. And they will highlight the stakeholders and partnerships behind many of their microgrid projects which have been critical to their success. Finally, presenters will share important lessons learned and recommendations from their experiences for other communities eager to explore similar opportunities.

Name: Mike Grim
Title: Senior Programs Manager
Organization: City of Carlsbad
Organization Type: City or County, Nonprofit Organization, Academia and/or Research
Region: North Coast, San Diego, Statewide
Date: 09/29/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Distributed Energy Resources, Renewable Energy & Storage
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Learning Event

Maintaining Local Momentum towards Climate Goals: Reach Code Collaboration

2019 was a watershed year for California’s local jurisdictions taking action on achieving strategic climate action and greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals. More than 25 jurisdictions developed and adopted local energy ordinances. In January 2020, the Energy Commission approved its 100th reach ordinance, noting the milestone by observing “… generally we are heading, as a state per the Executive Order, towards carbon neutrality by 2045. And we need local partners to get there.” Since January, 16 more reach code packages have been approved.

Statewide, regional and local organizations offer tremendous potential for maintaining this momentum through collaborative partnerships in sharing resources, best practices for outreach, stakeholder engagement and consensus building, model language and cost analyses assets, and more.

This webinar gathers experts from local jurisdictions, statewide programs and Energy Commission staff to explore some of the most effective ways to collaborate as well as understand the needs attendees present from their own jurisdictions. The two panelists from the cities of Palo Alto and Chula Vista will be able to share actual and valuable lessons learned from their own experiences. Each of these cities is at a different point on the reach code development timeline and have quite different local variables; the insights they offer will be extremely valuable to participants from all regions of the state.

The session will begin with a short series of introductory comments from each panelist (approximately 5 minutes/panelist), followed by an open discussion using the Zoom chat capability to propose questions and managed by the session moderator. Panelists will use slides for presenting resources, posting prompt questions or sharing dense information sets. For instance, city representatives may share specific reach code resources their teams have used successfully, while the Energy Commission representative and the Statewide Reach Codes team may provide insight into specific statewide resources available at no cost.

Name: Chris Kuch
Title: Codes and Standards Engineer
Organization: Southern California Edison
Organization Type: Other Local Government, State Government/Agency, Electric Utility or CCA, Other Private Sector Business
Region: Statewide
Date: 06/18/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Codes and Standards
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Learning Event, Case Study

Mapping Energy Efficiency, Climate Planning, and Regional Partnerships

This webinar maps the energy efficiency measures, climate planning, and local partnerships that form the basis of energy efficiency implementation efforts in the San Diego region.

Local jurisdictions in the San Diego region have been supported in their climate planning and implementation efforts by a range of organizations including planning agencies, utilities, and nonprofits. Mapping regional planning and energy efficiency efforts provides a unique opportunity to identify gaps, opportunities for further programming, and to highlight areas of success for replication.

Panelists from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will outline the planning that happens at a regional level and the partnerships in place to inform and support local climate change and implementation plans. The San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative will introduce its new ESRI Story Map which provides a unique, interactive overview of climate planning and maps how individual jurisdictions are taking action on energy efficiency. The City of Carlsbad will then share their own experience developing their climate action plan and implementing energy efficiency ordinances.

It is through collaboration and sharing knowledge and best practices that organizations can work to bridge the gap between climate planning and energy efficiency implementation. Understanding key trends and the needs of individual communities can also help frame the discussion as we look to the next stage of supporting local communities in meeting their energy needs and adapting to climate change challenges.

Name: Chris Nanson
Title: Senior Account Executive
Organization: SDG&E
Organization Type: City or County, Governmental Association, Electric Utility or CCA, Nonprofit Organization, Academia and/or Research
Region: San Diego
Date: 11/04/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Climate Planning, Energy Efficiency, Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments, Nonprofit
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Case Study

Maximizing Value of Resiliency Programs: Case Study & Resources

A diverse group of presenters will share a case study and best practices on leading-edge approaches to region-wide energy resiliency programs that maximize economic, climate, and reliability benefits.

Resiliency programs leveraging distributed energy resources (DERs) are increasingly recognized as a solution to address multiple goals, including: increased reliability for residents and businesses during Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events and/or natural disasters; increased reliability for the grid; reduction of GHG emissions; and the creation of economic value for both program participants and implementers.

COVID19 underscores the urgency and necessity of creating resilient systems. California could be in a position to experience PSPS events that push those who’ve been sheltering-in-place into crowded critical facilities, where COVID19 can more easily spread. This makes resiliency efforts even more necessary, especially for vulnerable populations

The presenting panel includes a Community Choice Aggregator (MCE), a policy-focused climate non-profit (The Climate Center), and a clean energy advisory firm dedicated to public agencies (TerraVerde Energy). The panel discussion will be moderated by the Manager of Commercial Solar Project Development for GRID Alternatives. GRID Alternatives is the largest nonprofit solar installer in the nation, and a leading voice driving results in low-income solar policy. Through its mission to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to at-risk communities, GRID brings equitable solar solutions to families and non-profits throughout California, Colorado, the Mid-Atlantic region, and tribal communities nationwide.

MCE will share a case study demonstrating their best practices for most effectively targeting critical facilities, prioritizing high-needs residents, encouraging/incentivizing program participation, and leveraging funding from different sources to support program implementation.

TerraVerde will provide an overview of the opportunities, challenges, tools and best practices for intelligently designing and effectively deploying resiliency programs that result in the best environmental and economic outcomes. One of the tools that will be shared is the NavigaDER software, made publicly available with funding from the California Energy Commission. NavigaDER runs analyses on DER resiliency program scenarios, identifying optimal program participants for maximized economic value, environmental impact, and regional job creation.

The Climate Center will discuss the policy drivers accelerating the needs and opportunities for energy resilience and GHG reduction programs, including current relevant pending legislation and regulatory proceedings.

Name: Marie Gunter
Title: Commercial Solar Project Developer & Manager
Organization: GRID Alternatives, Bay Area
Organization Type: Electric Utility or CCA, Other Private Sector Business, Nonprofit Organization
Region: San Francisco Bay Area, Statewide
Date: 08/20/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Resilience
Sectors Targeted: Commercial, Local Governments, Residential
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

New York Start-up Leverages Partnership to fund Microgrid Network

A New York start-up LO3 Energy leveraged group purchasing to fund the Brooklyn Microgrid network, which allows individuals to buy and sell renewable energy in a peer-to-peer network. This both increased community resilience to frequent power outages and supports local economic development while reducing the community’s carbon footprint.

Organization: LO3
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Out of State
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Distributed Energy Resources, Financing/Funding, Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Commercial, Residential
Best Practices, Case Study

Next Generation Building Decarbonization: Policy Evolution in California & Washington

This Pacific Coast panel will discuss the latest in decarbonization policy in Brisbane, San Francisco and the State of Washington. From small cities like Brisbane, to dense urbanized cities like San Francisco, to the Evergreen State of Washington, we will discuss how to address any scale of policy creation to meet big bold climate goals. With less than 5,000 residents, the City of Brisbane is an unlikely hero in California’s journey to decarbonization, but in 2019 it passed the most comprehensive benchmarking and auditing ordinance in the country. San Francisco has recently launched an innovative approach, helping commercial asset managers plan for decarbonization, to better connect their local ordinance to the city’s Climate Action Plan. Lastly, the State of Washington will discuss their Clean Building Act, which aims to lower costs and pollution from fossil fuel consumption in existing buildings through a performance standard and incentive program.

Name: Marc Costa
Title: Director of Policy & Planning
Organization: The Energy Coalition
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: San Francisco Bay Area, Out of State
Date: 08/18/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Learning Event, Case Study

One Vision, Many Policy Paths to Local Decarbonization

Local governments and regional organizations are seeking to encourage building decarbonization through a range of innovative policies. Electrification-focused action plans, reach codes, rebates, incentives, and other strategies are critical to supporting cities progress. This webinar will feature diverse local experts—each with a unique perspective on developing, adopting, and implementing effective local policies in California communities.

Panelists will share details on the creative policy strategies each has considered and/or implemented through a lively exchange. They will explore the benefits, challenges, similarities, and differences between the policies. They will also explore partnerships and community engagement has been central to successful adoption. This session will hold important lessons learned and practical applications for other jurisdictions considering similar decarbonization policies.

Name: Farhad Farahmand
Title: Senior Project Manager
Organization: TRC
Organization Type: City or County, Electric Utility or CCA, Other Private Sector Business, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Statewide
Date: 11/12/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Codes and Standards
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Planning for Energy Reliability Solutions That Do More Than Keep the Lights On

Power disruptions and changing energy usage patterns in the past several years have underscored the urgent need for reliable energy. More than ever, local, State and federal governments are looking for the best ways to actualize commitments to economic recovery in ways that also advance climate action, energy assurance, and environmental justice. Through thoughtful load, feasibility, and financial analysis, local governments can strategically implement solutions like solar microgrids, battery backup, and coordination with utility providers to maintain critical public facilities and services. Plans can also identify programs and policies to encourage private property owners to implement these solutions and target attention where vulnerable populations may be being left behind. This session will highlight the latest energy reliability news, planning case studies, and financing best practices from communities across California to help local governments as they consider their own energy reliability or microgrid initiatives.

Name: Peter Asmus
Title: Research Director
Organization: Navigant
Organization Type: City or County, Other Private Sector Business, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Central Coast, Statewide
Date: 08/17/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Resilience
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Planning for Equitable Existing Building Electrification

While many cities have begun the transition to decarbonize new construction through electrification ordinances, the conversion of existing buildings from mixed fuel to all-electric must consider the implications for low-income, disadvantaged, and historically under-invested communities. This session presents a facilitated discussion with the parties involved in the recently completed City of Berkeley Existing Building Electrification Strategy, which serves as a guide to an equitable transition of existing buildings from fossil fuel reliance to primarily renewable electricity by identifying the policy, funding, and regulatory processes which must be addressed. The City of Berkeley strategy is a first of its kind document which combines a parcel level cost and energy assessment of electrification options, funding mechanisms for the electric building transition, and a thorough evaluation of the equity impacts on the community. To develop the strategy, the project team conducted extensive and targeted outreach to Berkeley’s marginalized communities and received substantial feedback that guided the goals, timeline, and associated actions. The discussion panel will address topics relevant to their expertise and development of the strategy, including the detailed analysis of existing residential buildings, extensive community engagement, equity considerations, regulatory constraints, and electrification policy development.

Name: Reema Shakra
Title: Senior Planner
Organization: Rincon Consultants, Inc.
Organization Type: City or County, Other Private Sector Business, Nonprofit Organization
Region: San Francisco Bay Area, Statewide
Date: 08/10/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Port of San Diego’s Sustainable Incentives Best Practices Assessment

The Center for Sustainable Energy has prepared a Sustainable Incentives Best Practices Assessment for the Port of San Diego, released April 2016. This is a great resource for local governments considering green leases and landlord-tenant energy efficiency solutions. The full Port Best Practices report is available here.

Organization: Center for Sustainable Energy
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: San Diego
Published in 2016
Topic Areas: Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Preparing Workers to Build Back Cleaner

As California recovers from the pandemic and prepares for forthcoming effects from the climate crisis, local clean energy workforce development programs will play an essential role in sustainable recovery efforts aimed at “building back better.” Local agencies help people obtain skills and good jobs and, therefore, can be strategic about increasing the number of skilled workers needed to achieve a vision for efficient, decarbonized, and resilient buildings in the future. This session features speakers from local and regional workforce development programs that demonstrate innovative approaches to putting people to work in the energy and building trades. Join us to learn what these programs are doing to boost skills and job opportunities, how they were developed, what lessons they’ve learned, and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead.

Name: Jordan Garbayo
Title: Program Manager
Organization: Tri-County Regional Energy Network
Organization Type: Electric Utility or CCA, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Greater Los Angeles, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Workforce Development
Sectors Targeted: Commercial, Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Regional Decarbonization through Reach Codes

Reducing natural gas usage by analyzing various building types and establishing reach codes across the region. Awareness, availability, assuredness, and affordability.

Name: John Supp
Title: Account Services Manager
Organization: Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Organization Type: Electric Utility or CCA
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Codes and Standards, Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Residential
Best Practices

Regional Partnerships

Regional partnerships provide energy engineering, regional climate action, and climate program support. It takes a village to move the needle and evolve work to support the region. Collaboratives provide an umbrella for everyone to come together to progress forward and explore activities, funding, and innovative techniques that LGs aren’t in the position to do alone. Facilitating and sustaining relationships can go a long way.

Name: Anna Lowe
Title: Senior Regional Planner
Organization: SANDAG
Organization Type: Other Local Government
Region: San Diego
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

Resilience Hubs, Spaces and Blocks

Resilience Hubs, Spaces and Blocks are community-driven gathering places which are demonstrations for climate solutions, and serve to coordinate & exchange communication, distribute resources, and support community programming during emergencies and year-round. The Northern California Resilience Network, the cities of San Leandro and Oakland and the Disability Justice Culture Club based in Oakland are all working to help build more resilient neighborhoods and robust resilience hubs. Part of this effort was a Resilience Hubs Leadership training held between February and September 2021.

Name: Susan Silber
Title: Executive Director
Organization: NorCal Resilience Network
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: North Coast, Sacramento Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Partnerships
Sectors Targeted: Disadvantaged Communities
Best Practices

SoCalREN Case Study: Conejo Valley Unified School District

After enrolling in late 2013, the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) worked alongside the SoCalREN Public Agency Program to identify and implement several energy efficiency projects.CVUSD is benefiting from the positive impacts these energy efficiency projects have had on their facilities, as well as the people who inhabit them including the nearly 19,000 students currently enrolled. By implementing efficiency upgrades, the District models smart energy behaviors while creating a learning environment where students and teachers can thrive.

Organization: SoCalREN
Organization Type: Other Local Government
Region: Greater Los Angeles
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices, Learning Event

Soup to Nuts: An Interagency Approach to Guiding Constituents from Education to Energy Savings

This session will present a framework for collaboration between county, regional, and state agencies that provides a continuum of support for constituents to improve their energy efficiency. With many energy-focused programs and resources available statewide, it can be difficult for constituents to navigate the options and overcome barriers to making energy upgrades. Collaboration across multiple agencies is key to raising awareness about available support for efficiency and sustainability improvements at the local level. The webinar will begin with an overview of available rebates and financing that can be used together by constituents undertaking energy upgrades, followed by a panel discussion about how the three presenters work together to streamline the complex energy retrofit landscape for constituents. Participants will learn about available energy efficiency resources for their constituents, how to pair them together to provide continuity of support, and best practices for interagency collaboration to raise awareness in their community.

Name: Kaylee D'Amico
Title: Soup to Nuts: An Interagency Approach to Guiding Constituents from Education to Energy Savings
Organization: CAEATFA
Organization Type: City or County, State Government/Agency, Electric Utility or CCA
Region: San Francisco Bay Area, Statewide
Date: 08/05/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Learning Event

State Panel on Promising Solutions for a Clean Energy Future

Local governments throughout California have been making tremendous progress towards State goals to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build a more resilient future for all. While the adoption of new technologies is on the rise – from electric vehicles to microgrids, local agencies are increasingly under pressure to respond to new threats to their communities such as Public Safety Power Shutoffs and COVID-19. However, ambitions to achieve local and State goals still remain high as these challenges underscore the importance and highlight the urgency of creating a clean energy future.

The SEEC Virtual Forum launches with a panel discussion featuring state leaders who will speak to the forum theme of Promising Solutions for a Clean Energy Future. Participants will hear from leading key State agencies, such as the California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and more. This webinar will include a brief moderated discussion and quickly pivot to take questions from the audience to provide opportunities to engage with California’s energy leaders in this time of urgency to create a clean energy future.

Name: Serena McIlwain
Title: Undersecretary for Environmental Protection
Organization: CalEPA
Organization Type: State Government/Agency
Region: Statewide
Date: 06/02/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Renewable Energy & Storage
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Case Study

Strategic Planning for a Clean Energy Future: How to Phase, Scale & Finance Smart Cities Solutions

The Willdan Smart Cities Working Group will share 5-7 case studies illustrating how to phase, scale and finance smart cities solutions. The panel will include interactive discussion with representatives from the City of Irvine, City of Long Beach, and City of West Hollywood who will share tips, tactics and tools for implementation of smart cities strategic planning efforts. The panel will also include valuable examples of how to fund smart cities infrastructure with input provided by experts in New Markets Tax Credits, Opportunity Zones, and traditional forms of Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding.

Name: Molly McMay
Title: Principal
Organization: Willdan Financial and Economic Consulting
Organization Type: City or County, Other Private Sector Business
Region: Greater Los Angeles, Statewide
Date: 10/07/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Climate Planning, Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

TerraVerde’s Economic Value of Resilience

TerraVerde’s defensible accounting methodology for quantifying the financial benefits of having solar + battery backup power resources. The Economic Value of Resilience equals the avoided costs of an otherwise applicable solution (i.e. equipment & installation, operation & maintenance, fuel costs, permits) plus the avoided cost of power interruption (i.e. business interruption costs, electrical equipment damages, IT system damages, productivity losses, and spoilage).

Name: David Burdick
Title: Executive Vice President
Organization: TerraVerde Energy
Organization Type: Other Private Sector Business
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Resilience, Renewable Energy & Storage
Best Practices

The Clean Coalition’s Standardized Value-of-Resilience

The Clean Coalition has created a standardized VOR that will allow all stakeholders to effectively consider VOR when analyzing microgrid economics — making microgrid economics far more favorable. The increased valuation, in turn, will accelerate the proliferation of microgrids throughout the country and well beyond.

Name: Craig Lewis
Title: Executive Director
Organization: The Clean Coalition
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Distributed Energy Resources, Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices

The Future is Local: Just and Equitable Clean Energy Transformation

Local government leadership is truly the best driver for transformation to a clean and democratized energy economy. Regional Energy Networks (RENs) and Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) are leading the charge and have deep and expanding roots in climate program deployment. They are crafting unique programmatic solutions to address local risks, including energy resilience, climate change mitigation, and workforce preparedness. Panelists representing RENs and CCAs will provide a peek into pilot efforts, programs, and partnerships offering community-focused initiatives with the potential to scale up and spark innovation in this era of renewed national commitment to climate change work. This session celebrates the change-makers and initiatives harnessing the power of local mobilization and engagement to shepherd in a cleaner, environmentally just energy future—one that succeeds by increasing access while building community equity and resilience.

Name: Laurel Rothschild
Title: Vice President
Organization: The Energy Coalition
Organization Type: City or County, Electric Utility or CCA, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Greater Los Angeles, North Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Statewide
Date: 08/12/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Energy Resilience, Workforce Development
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices, Guide

The Home Energy Score (HES)

The HES is about gaining knowledge and information about your home. It’s an assessment process that helps you make better decisions about potential upgrades.

An assessor uses a formula developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to score your home’s energy use on a scale of 1 to 10. It estimates home energy use, associated costs, and provides energy solutions to cost-effectively improve your home’s efficiency. 

Organization: BayREN
Organization Type: Other Local Government
Region: Statewide
Published in 2023
Topic Areas: Building Decarbonization, Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments, Nonprofit, Residential
Best Practices

The State of Local Climate Planning: A Needed Evolution

A group of climate change practitioners convened in 2019 and again in 2021 to develop a collective statement regarding the State of Local Climate Planning. Released in May 2021, this Statement found that local climate action planning had reached an inflection point, and progress has become stagnant. In order to achieve the rapid transformational GHG reductions needed, the field must identify lessons learned from the last decade and move beyond traditional climate action planning processes to prioritizing implementation. The work ahead does not live with a single organization or small group of people: we hope these observations support reflection, spark dialogue, and fuel an appetite to work in a new direction with new partners. This session will be a facilitated discussion to support this reflection towards the goal of shifting practitioners and practices to implementation and action.

Name: Michael McCormick
Title: Founder and President
Organization: Fallon Strategies LLC
Organization Type: City or County, Business or Trade Association, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Date: 08/18/2021
Published in 2021
Topic Areas: Climate Planning
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2021 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

Using Community Energy Data to Drive Program Success

Best practices implemented: understand local market conditions; define and locate hard-to-reach customers and target programs accordingly, as appropriate; conduct sufficient market research.

Organization: SEEC
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2014
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices, Case Study

Virtual Beacon Award Ceremony (2020)

The Institute for Local Government is celebrating Beacon Award winners virtually this year, in conjunction with the virtual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum. For more than 11 years, the Beacon Program has encouraged, supported and recognized voluntary action by local governments throughout California to address climate change, promote energy innovation and foster more vibrant communities. Beacon participants are leaders in creating communities that have cleaner air and water, more efficient transportation options, and a healthier use of natural resources. Join us in a virtual award celebration, featuring recorded remarks from Former State Senator Fran Pavley, honoring 36 award-winning cities from across the state that have taken significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, implement sustainability best practices, and so much more.

Name: Fran Pavley
Title: Senator
Organization: State of California
Organization Type: State Government/Agency
Region: Statewide
Date: 10/27/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

What are resources local governments can leverage for energy efficiency activities?

  • Your utilities: The Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) of the state are Administrators of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programming, which includes financial incentives and technical assistance for energy efficiency activities. The IOUs also work with local governments on special projects under the Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, through local government partnerships (see examples here). Contact your utility to learn more. Publicly-owned and municipal utilities also often provide incentives and support for energy efficiency. (If you don’t know who at the utility level you should be contacting, contact the Coordinator.)
  • Regional Energy Networks (RENs) and other EE Program Administrator: So far, the non-IOU Administrators of energy efficiency programming are BayREN, SoCalREN, and the Consumer Choice Aggregator (CCA) Marin Clean Energy (MCE).
  • State Agencies: You can see energy-relevant resources and workshops offered by the California Energy Commission (CEC), the CA Air Resources Board (CARB, or ARB), and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by clicking on these links. A great 101 EE overview of the makeup and resources of these agencies, presented by Jody London, is available here.
  • Federal agencies: Check out posts on this website of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)’s State and Local Climate Action newsletter, which shares a digest of funding announcements and webinars provided by different federal agencies.
  • Consider developing an energy efficiency fund: A great way to find funding for energy efficiency is to take the savings from a funded, implemented energy efficiency project, and develop a fund for further projects. For resources on this – and example funds led by California local governments, click here.
Organization: SEEC
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2016
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency, Financing/Funding
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
Best Practices, Learning Event

What Do We “SEEC” Next? An Interactive Forum Closing

Another SEEC forum is in the books and the SEEC program as we’ve known it is sunsetting after a decade of success. Join us to celebrate all we’ve learned together and help us think into a promising new chapter for CA local government energy efficiency collaboration. This event will feature updates from each SEEC NGO, IOU representatives, new tools to help you access useful information, and a listening session where you can help drive what we do next.

Name: Angie Hacker
Title: Statewide Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
Organization: Local Government Commission
Organization Type: Governmental Association, Electric Utility or CCA, Nonprofit Organization
Region: Greater Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Statewide
Date: 11/17/2020
Published in 2020
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments, Nonprofit
Additional notes of interest: 2020 CCEC Forum Resources
Best Practices

What does Local Government action on energy efficiency look like?

  • Develop an energy efficiency, sustainability, or climate action plan: A plan is a power tool to transparently set goals, get the many stakeholders of energy projects on the same page, optimize project selection, and check baselines to ensure you can measure project success. Follow the strategic planning or climate action plan links for more resources covering planning, and for examples of climate action plans drafted and adopted by other California local governments. SEEC also provides trainings on use of the no-cost ClearPath tool for development of a strong climate action plan.
  • “Lead by example” and make EE improvements to the City: Implement energy efficient improvements in your own buildings. Improvements may include capital equipment upgrades (to lighting fixtures, boilers, air conditioning units, fan or pump motors, wastewater or other industrial facility energy-consuming equipment), or retro-commissioning of how that equipment works (e.g., checking the setpoint temperatures, scheduling, and staging of equipment, ensuring controls are working properly, testing and balancing, etc.).

EE improvements may be integrated into existing capital planning – EE improvements may also paired with clean energy installs or a campaign to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by implementing an employee carpool program.

If you’re looking for data on the most cost-effective project to start with, it may be a good idea to benchmark your buildings first and learn what buildings are using what amounts of energy. For more information on benchmarking, visit the Benchmarking Resources page. Looking for benefits of benchmarking? Check out this post.

Some local governments may prefer to start leading by example by implementing a program to encourage energy-efficient employee behavior (e.g., encouraging turning off the lights, using energy efficient computer setting, or low hot water usage). For best practices in implementing successful behavioral programs, see this post.

  • Educate, promote and support EE improvements in the community: Local governments are a critical source of information and organization for their communities. Local governments can support residential, commercial, industrial, and/or agricultural energy efficiency by promoting programs offered by the state, utilities and others, or by offering programs themselves. Programs may include community challenges and campaigns motivating behavioral changes, residential or small business assessments, direct installs, or incentives for energy efficient lighting or HVAC, green business programs, and more.
  • Set ordinances or local codes that raise the bar on EE in the city and community: California’s energy code (aka California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards, or Title 24, Part 6) spurs energy efficiency by requiring energy efficiency construction. Your jurisdiction can raise that bar even higher by adopting a Tier 1 or Tier 2 “reach” code to set energy efficiency requirements 15 or 30 percent higher than the energy code. Or, rather than taking a percent-above approach, you can hone in on measures or specific installs that may clarify the requirements and help you meet goals in your climate or energy action plan (for example, requiring solar photovoltaics, or cool roofs). For more on this see reach codes.
  • Support and increase EE code compliance: The energy code is a major driver of energy savings – but your community won’t see the benefits if it’s not enforced. Make sure your building department staff know the current energy code, and consider what your jurisdiction can do to encourage compliance from the building community – including technical assistance and energy efficient recommendations during plan review (either by city staff or by a volunteer buildings or energy community committee), online permitting, permitting expediting or fee reductions, and/or connection to energy efficiency incentives.

ll of these types of activities are actions promoted under the CPUC’s California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.

For numerous examples of what actions local governments are taking, check out Local Government on the EE Strategic Plan.

Organization: SEEC
Organization Type: Nonprofit Organization
Region: Statewide
Published in 2016
Topic Areas: Energy Efficiency
Sectors Targeted: Local Governments
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