VIEW (Valley Innovative Energy Watch). In 2010, the SJVCEO began its three-year role as the implementer of a local government partnership between Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas Company (SCG), the counties of Kings and Tulare, and the cities of Hanford, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, Visalia, and Woodlake. In this role, we facilitate communication between the two investor-owned utilities and the eight jurisdictions to ensure that the savings goals set forth by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). As the implementing Partner, the SJVCEO is responsible for delivering the program through community education and outreach, marketing to municipal employees and the tracking of utility savings programs. In this partnership, we have solidified relationships of trust and mutual respect with our jurisdiction representatives by providing timely and high-quality work in a consistent manner. Time and time, we have heard from our partners that they would not be able to be a part of such a project without the SJVCEO being involved.
The VIEW partnership focuses efforts in three main areas on impact: reduction of energy in government facilities through municipal retrofits, increasing community awareness through education, marketing and outreach, and support of the California Long Term Energy Efficiency strategic plan support.
Ultimately, all efforts lead to energy savings. In this Partnership, the CPUC mandated the following savings goals: 85,000 therms, 1,018kW, and nearly 4.5 million kWh. To date we have realized savings of 1,500 therms and 907.7kW, and our greatest achievement is that to date VIEW jurisdictions have identified over 6.6 million kWh through retrofit and design. What this has allowed for our Partnership, our account managers, and for us, as the implementer is to get more creative—look for innovation opportunities. It has also allowed us to put a hard push on our support of the CA long term EE Strategic Plan.
Each partnership has embedded funds from the CPUC to pursue goals for the EE Strategic Plan. The SJVCEO worked with the utility partners jurisdictions to identify the best use of our nearly $100,000 for Strategic Planning. Early last winter the SJVCEO and energy champions went through the goals, that include code compliance, reach code support, peer-to-peer best practices, and the like. What the group decided was to use half our funds to develop benchmarking processes and the other half to develop a regional template for energy action plans.
Now, the freedom from having reached VIEW savings goals is already paying off. Our original intention and stated goal to the CPUC was to have 20% of government facilities benchmarked in the EPA EnergySTAR portfolio manger system by the end of 2011. Right now, given our progress we have set our own goal at reaching 80% of all government facilities benchmarked by the end of 2011. Benchmarking is going to allow our local governments to identify their biggest energy hogs, and at the same time, it is going to help them to demonstrate, with quantifiable data, what their greatest successes have been. As part of our work in implementing the CA EE Strategic Plan, we are required to report quarterly to the CPUC on our progress towards goals.
In the area of Marketing and Outreach, the SJVCEO is actively implementing a community-based approach that is complex, comprehensive, and meaningful at a local level. In 2009, and 2010 we coordinated a holiday light exchange in all eight jurisdictions which got those energy hungry incandescent lights off of houses and replaced them with efficient LED strands. The program success in lower income demographics allows us to tie in the giveaway with the utility CARE program for qualified homes and to help more residents find a way to save money when they need it most.
Additionally, we are coordinating the promotion and roll out of Southern California Edison’s Direct Install to Small Business program. This will bring retrofit contractors to our cities to canvas small businesses for energy efficient upgrade opportunities in Spring 2010. The best part is-- the whole thing is FREE to businesses. The challenge is to convince skeptical businesses that the program is not a scam—and that is what we designed our outreach approach to address. Through mail, web, phone, and community engagement our goal is to record an 80% acceptance rate of those businesses contacted.
VIEW has become a corner stone project for the SJVCEO. Our status as an implementer between the Investor Owned Utilities and municipal governments, all the while answering to a regulatory office has built out our organization mission, and developed relationships with key stakeholders in all of these arenas.
(updated January 18, 2011)