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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Operations > Standard Operating Procedures for Green and Sustainable Business Operations > Energy Efficient Operations

Big Bucks with Big Strings for Energy Efficiency at California Energy Commission

Overview of programs being managed by the California Energy Commission to provide energy efficiency services for residential, commercial, low-income and governmental buildings.

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ARRA funding is still flowing into very specific areas and programs. In fact, some programs are just getting started in 2010.

For local and small businesses to partake, you need to know which programs are being funded, how to apply, and what requirements are in place -- and they are considerable!

Here is an overview of programs being managed by the California Energy Commission to provide energy efficiency services for residential, commercial, low-income and governmental buildings.

The California Energy Commission is responsible for four American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funded programs totaling $314.3 million.

    State Energy Program (SEP) Programs include:

  • $25 mil | Energy Efficient State Property Revolving Loan Program
  • $25 mil | Low Interest Energy Efficiency Financing Program
  • $110 mil| Municipal Financing Program, Comprehensive Residential Building Retrofit Program, Municipal and Commercial Building Targeted Retrofit Program
  • $30.6 mil | Clean Energy Business Finance Program
  • $20 mil | Green Jobs Workforce Training Program

    Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Programs:

  • $33.3 mil | Small City and County Direct Grants
  • $12.9 mil | Discretionary Funds

    Other Programs

  • $35.2 mil | State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program
  • $3.6 mil | Enhanced Energy Assurance and Smart Grid Program
ARRA programs will be the subject of intense scrutiny.

Measuring, Verifying and Evaluating Energy Efficiency Programs

Technical staff carefully scrutinize funding recipients’ projects and proposals prior to making any awards and work with applicants to develop the “best projects”.

Obligations Common to All Funding Recipients

  • Comply with federal reporting requirements
  • Allow access to facilities and records
  • Provide data needed to measure and verify electricity and fuel reductions
  • Provide associated data as necessary to establish baseline energy and/or fuel use

Tell the Energy Efficiency Story

What benefits did we provide to California? At what cost?

What worked and what didn’t?

Why did some approaches work better than others?

How did efficiency technologies developed though the PIER program perform in practice?

What information is applicable when developing future building and appliance standards?

Program Objectives

  • Ensure proper use of program funds
  • Confirm progress towards program implementation milestones
  • Verify installation of appropriate end-use technologies
  • Verify the accuracy of reported energy savings
  • Assess programs’ cost-effectiveness
  • Determine energy savings/generation and peak demand reductions
  • Estimate climate change impacts (carbon emissions)
  • Evaluate market-transformation impacts (For SEP –funded programs)
  • Assess job impacts

Highest Ranking Team: KEMA, Inc, whose team members were responsible for designing and implementing the vast majority of the 2006-2008 IOU energy efficiency program impact evaluations on behalf of the California Public Utilities Commission.

KEMA estimates that 80-86% of the contract will be allocated to California resources ARRA funding is being dispersed from "Now" till April & September 2012 and June 2013

Executed first work authorization covering Administrative Support Services was scheduled for contacting on May 10, 2010 ... followed by:

  • Evaluation pre-planning work has commenced
  • SEP funded projects must be completed by March 31, 2012
  • EEBG Projects must be completed by September 13, 2012
  • MV&E contract ends June 30, 2013

Subcontractors to KEMA, Inc. include:

  • Itron
  • kW Engineering
  • Global Energy Partners
  • KatinEngineering Consulting (DVBE)
  • Robert Thomas Brown Company (DVBE)
  • Engage (DVBE)
  • SBW Consulting
  • ERS
  • Michaels Engineering

ARRA-related Evaluation frequently have short timeframes and jobs will be assessed, as well as implications for carbon emission reductions (California specific versus national average) and to make things even more complicated, attribution of effects for jointly funded projects, market transformation. No easy task for companies of global size... let alone small companies.

Once again, ARRA funding seems to be targeted to large companies and very large "small businesses."



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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