Project Merit: Energy Efficiency


PMC (Oakland, Calif.) for its groundbreaking work with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) and Southern California Edison to develop regional energy efficiency climate action plans (EECAPs) for 27 cities in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. Starting with community and stakeholder outreach-including 35 workshops, meetings and presentations and 1,839 energy action surveys conducted with individuals-PMC assessed and compared energy trends and energy efficiency opportunities at a regional scale.

Then the firm prepared a Planning and Assessment Report, Best Practices Report, and Regional Framework for the 27 cities, each of which developed its own EECAP in a bottom-up collaborative process that was shaped by the identified regional goals, priorities, and strategies.

EECAPs include a baseline inventory and forecast of each community's energy use and activities, both for municipal operations and community-wide activities. The EECAPs not only aim to accomplish each city's goals and assist in meeting the regional goals, they allow the jurisdictions to comply with California's legislative mandates that require consideration of climate and energy impacts in community planning.

In total, the 27 EECAPs target the following annual savings by 2020: 409 Million kWh saved by residents with the average household reducing its energy usage by 16% to save an estimated $160 annually; 655 million kWh saved by commercial, industrial and institutional energy users; 18 million kWh saved by municipal entities.

The intense 15-month project culminated with a September 2012 regional climate change conference, led by PMC and the SGVCOG, where the participating cities shared strategies and lessons learned and discussed how to facilitate implementation and collaboration at a regional scale. The project was funded by SCE ratepayers through a surcharge for the California Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.

Energy Efficiency Funding Group (San Francisco) for ramping up the training opportunities it provides for energy efficiency sales professionals to become "financial ninjas" and make compelling business cases that show prospective clients the true return on investment that can be generated with energy efficiency measures. In 2012, EEFG launched its Efficiency Sales Professional Institute and debuted the Efficiency Sales Professional certification program which has been embraced by long-time client San Diego Gas & Electric and also adopted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which will underwrite half the $3,000 tuition for sales professionals in its territory to attend a March ESP training.

The ESP program is a six-day boot camp featuring 48 hours of instruction and paired with a yearlong support network. EEFG President Mark Jewell says it "finely tuned to address the challenges" of the energy efficiency industry, drawing on the experience "'sales rock stars' who have collectively brought energy solutions to more than three billion square feet of buildings over the last two decades." In testimonials provided to CCBJ, ESP training graduates called the program was "very valuable and enjoyable," was "one of the most effective, worthwhile training sessions I have attended," and "provided greater clarity and specific action items to move approval of projects forward."