Thank you for attending the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum

June 26-27, 2019 | Long Beach, CA

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Watch our latest webinar on Local Energy Codes

This webinar is a repeat performance of one of the highest rated breakout sessions at this year’s SEEC Forum in June. To see additional Forum resources, click the “Program Resources” tab below.


Transforming Energy Efficiency: Bridging Opportunity and Community Need

The Local Government Commission, in partnership with the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, will host the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (SEEC Forum) in June 26-27, 2019 in Long Beach, CA.

The 10th Annual SEEC Forum will focus on empowering local governments and the communities they represent to implement impactful energy efficiency measures locally while helping meet the state’s ambitious climate and energy goals. To make real progress towards a decarbonized future, we must accelerate the pace of investment in, and deployment of, integrated energy efficiency strategies and more deeply engage underserved and disadvantaged communities. Through transformative action on the ground, the gap between opportunity and community need can be bridged.

Sponsor the SEEC Forum

The Local Government Commission invites you to become a sponsor of the SEEC Forum! By sponsoring the Forum, your agency, organization, or company can demonstrate your commitment to helping California local governments save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities, and catalyze climate action. For more information, please contact Helena Rhim at or Margaret Bruce at


The SEEC Forum provides learning, sharing, and networking opportunities to help local governments save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities, and catalyze climate action.

The forum features engaging sessions, expert plenaries and keynotes, and new innovative activities to help energy leaders and practitioners connect to learn about innovative projects and strategies, share best practices, and troubleshoot challenges.


The Local Government Commission (LGC) has hosted the annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum since 2010 to feature updates from key state agencies, highlight innovative local energy and climate change programs and resources, and provide opportunities for networking and collaboration.


LGC is a nationally recognized non-profit organization with a rich history of connecting leaders, advancing policies and implementing solutions for sustainable communities. For the last 35 years, the LGC has been at the forefront – identifying promising approaches and fostering persuasive models that can be replicated and used to inform public policy.

Forum Advisory Committee

In addition to our SEEC partners, we would like to extend special thanks to our advisory committee of local, regional and state government representatives, as well as others who are providing valuable guidance, for helping shape the forum program and format.

  • Elizabeth Bertrand, Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments
  • Bryan Early, California Energy Commission
  • Nils Strindberg, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Christine Viterelli, City of Arvin
  • Larry Rich, City of Long Beach
  • Tiffany Wise-West, City of Santa Cruz
  • Hoi Fei Mok, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA
  • Karalee Browne, Institute for Local Government
  • Margaret Bruce, Local Government Commission
  • Helena Rhim, Local Government Commission
  • Leif Christiansen, Local Government Commission
  • Leah Fisher, Strategic Growth Council
  • Brendan Havenar-Daughton, Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Lou Jacobson, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
  • Eric Drabb, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
  • Katie Ward, San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
  • Courtney Kalashian, San Joaquin Valley Energy Watch
  • Scot Mann, Southern California Edison
  • Alma Briseno, Southern California Gas Company
  • Jennifer Vaughn, Southern California Gas Company
  • Spencer Silverstein, City of Thousand Oaks
  • Anthony Segura, Western Riverside Council of Governments
  • John Mott Smith, Yolo Energy Watch
Program Resources

Wednesday, June 26th

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

EE 101 Bootcamp

New to local government EE and sustainability and looking to get oriented? Or been in the space for awhile and need a refresher? Join the Statewide EE Coordinator, CPUC, and SEEC partners for this EE 101 bootcamp! This short, intensive workshop will provide key information on policies, programs, and resources to support your local EE and sustainability efforts

1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Welcoming Remarks


  • Nancy Pfeffer,  Gateway Cities Council of Governments
  • Jeff Walker, Southern California Gas Company
  • Leif Christiansen, Local Government Commission

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

State Leaders Opening Plenary

To meet our ambitious state and local goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we must accelerate the pace of investment in, and deployment of, energy efficiency and other integrated energy strategies, as well as more deeply engage underserved and disadvantaged communities across California. This session will provide the opportunity for leaders from key statewide organizations to discuss their vision for California’s low carbon future and the role of local governments in this evolving policy and program landscape.


  • Leif Christiansen, EE Coordinator, Local Government Commission
  • Edie Chang, California Air Resources Board
  • Pete Skala, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Lara Ettenson, Natural Resources Defense Council


State Leaders Opening Plenary Volunteer Notes

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

Session Block #1
Regional Leadership to Support Local Action in Disadvantaged Communities

Faced with limited budgets and a lack of capacity, the small cities in the Gateway Cities region found themselves unable to develop the plans, inventories and projects needed to compete for valuable state Cap & Trade Funding. To remedy this, the Council of Governments led a multi-partner effort to create a Regional Climate Action Framework that now is helping cities advance their goals for economic development, public health, air quality, climate resiliency, equity, public engagement and job creation while planning for the impacts of climate change. In this session, you will get a preview of the innovative framework, learn about the resources and partners that led to this project and hear how it is helping local governments compete for state funding.


  • Karalee Browne, Institute for Local Government
  • Nancy Pfeffer, Gateway Cities Council of Governments
  • Brian Schuster, Environmental Science Associates


Chasing the Twin Goals of Carbon Reduction and Racial Equity

San Francisco’s “Zero Cities” project is a comprehensive, data-driven effort that articulates specific mechanisms to catalyze net zero emissions in the building sector by 2050. Learn about:

  • Analysis using publicly available information to gain understanding of building emissions by sector, size and other attributes, key intervention points and policy options to drive emissions reductions.
  • Partnerships to deploy data analytics to identify residential building retrofit opportunities that have a strong financial case and reduce the most emissions.
  • Effective community engagement with to empower stakeholders to partner with the City on building sector policy and program development and implementation.


  • Rich Chien, Department of Environment, City and County of San Francisco
  • Ammon Reagan, Department of Environment, City and County of San Francisco
  • Chris Selig, PODER
  • Leah Obias, Race Forward


Chasing the Twin Goals of Carbon Reduction and Racial Equity Volunteer Notes

Catalyzing Decarbonization and Market Transportation through Procurement

Many local government agencies are following California’s ambitious energy and climate goals. However, bandwidth, expertise, information availability, system and process deficiencies, and incumbent policies, behaviors and contracts make it difficult to overcome structural inertia that limits innovation. Recognizing these challenges, the California Energy Commission is launching a procurement assistance program that addresses widespread barriers and that is available for everyone. This panel will: (1) review technical potential for different end uses, (2) engage the audience in a facilitated discussion to highlight opportunities to innovate procurement systems, processes and policies, and (3) share how SEEC members can participate in the program.


  • Brian Barnacle, Energy Solutions
  • Kathleen Egan, Ecomedes


Catalyzing Decarbonization and Market Transformation through Procurement Volunteer Notes

Public/Private Partnerships Promoting Energy Efficiency: Green Business Programs and Incentives

California provides the California Green Business Network with funding for Cities and Counties to start Green Business Programs. A Green Business Program can be a powerful incentive for businesses to go beyond compliance. The best part is the process is fully fleshed out in an easy to use framework complete with training. Come to this session to learn what a successful Green Business Program looks like. Hear from one of our newest programs in Long Beach. In addition, learn how EnergyUpgrade California, CCAs and the IOUs partner with Green Business Programs to promote energy efficiency at small businesses.


  • Josephine Fleming, California Green Business Network
  • Courtney Chatterson, City of Long Beach
  • Laura Rosenthal, Energy Upgrade California
  • Shawn Orgel-Olson, California Green Business Network


Public/Private Partnerships Promoting Energy Efficiency: Green Business Programs and Incentives Volunteer Notes

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Session Block #2
TRC for the Rest of Us: Breaking Down Cost-Effectiveness

Everyone has been told that cost-effectiveness, and specifically Total Resource Cost (TRC), guides portfolio decisions, but do you understand the TRC calculation and why the programs that benefit your community may not make the cut? This session will continue the discussion started at the SEEC Forum in 2018. The panel will review the history and components of TRC, the impact that relying on the TRC has on energy efficiency programs, and what national best practices could improve California’s approach. The panel will also raise alternatives for how to accurately value efficiency, protect customer funds, and align with state policies.


  • Nicol Manzanares, The Energy Coalition
  • Lara Ettenson, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Chris Ford, The Energy Coalition
  • Lou Jacobson, Redwood Coast Energy Authority


Putting “Action” into your Climate Action Plan: Energy Master Planning

It can be a significant challenge to translate into action the ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of local government agencies’ Climate Action Plans. This session will demonstrate how Energy Master Planning (a cost-effective, strategic approach) addresses this implementation gap. Energy Master Planning is a process where emissions reduction goals are mapped onto clear and actionable implementation plans. It provides a roadmap for identifying, planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the impacts of high value projects. This interactive session will explore how Energy Master Planning optimizes existing assets, identifies cost-effective energy generation opportunities, generates predictable savings over time, and increases resiliency.


  • Rick Brown, TerraVerde Energy
  • Ken Loman, City of Woodland
  • Karly Zimmerman Fogg, TerraVerde Energy
  • Brian Barnacle, Energy Solutions


Putting “Action” into your CAP: Energy Master Planning Volunteer Notes

Fueling Energy Conservation and Efficiency through Gamification

This panel will showcase proven ways to engage employees in energy conservation and efficiency through gamification. The Port of San Diego, along with The Energy Coalition and Center for Sustainable Energy, will break down two recent engagement campaigns. Panelists will highlight lessons learned from each of the campaigns, while providing panel attendees with best practices to implement an educational campaign at their organization. You will even have a chance to participate in a game and slay energy vampires. Get inspired to test out similar behavior change campaigns with your employees to help reach your sustainability goals!


  • Rachel Stern, Port of San Diego
  • Amy Whitehouse, The Energy Coalition
  • Michael Arvizu, Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Rita de la Fuente, San Diego Convention Center Corporation


Fueling Energy Conservation and Efficiency through Gamification Volunteer Notes

Energize! A Municipal Residential Energy Efficiency Competition

Energize! is a municipal behavioral energy efficiency competition for high school districts (or other geographies) to compete against each other to deploy home energy retrofits. The Energize! program provides an innovative and effective tool for local governments to improve existing residential building energy efficiency, a sector in which cities typically have little programmatic authority. This session provides participants with cutting-edge big data tools, behavioral social science strategies, and program resources to implement new municipal EE programs.


  • Hal Nelson, Portland State University
  • Alex Polamero, Culture Cube Marketing
  • Harrison Kingery, Res-Intel


Energize! A Municipal Residential Energy Efficiency Competition Volunteer Notes

Thursday, June 27th

8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Morning Plenary I: Energy Efficiency Policies, Planning, and Funding for Climate Vulnerable Communities

This session will evaluate how energy efficiency investments currently target and benefit disadvantaged (DAC) and low-income communities. The speakers will discuss how that definition is broadening to include an understanding of climate vulnerability, incorporating climate impacts and adaptation, and how to target current and future investments based on this evolving definition. The session will cover the importance of a common framework, challenges and opportunities in this process, metrics to measure progress, and how various stakeholders including local governments, utilities, and community-based organizations are working toward a shared goal of climate resilience.


  • Leah Fisher, California Strategic Growth Council
  • Nuin-Tara Key, California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
  • Jodi Pincus, Rising Sun Center for Opportunity
  • David Jacot, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
  • Amee Raval, Asian Pacific Environmental Network


Morning Plenary I Volunteer Notes

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

Session Block #3
RENs: Lessons Learned and the Future of Energy Efficiency

Join to hear updates on the REN vision, programs, lessons learned, and case studies on how the RENs have been leveraged to meet community needs and addressing climate change. We will share how we address gaps in the energy efficiency marketplace and serve residential, business, and public customers that have been traditionally underserved. We will discuss new RENs, and enhancements RENs offer Local Government Programs and Community Choice Aggregators. Also learn how local governments can best diversify and partner with other EE implementers and climate change stakeholders to provide tangible impacts and to thrive in the midst of funding uncertainty.


  • Laurel Rothschild, The Energy Coalition
  • Jenny Berg, Association of Bay Area Governments/Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Lujuana Medina, County of Los Angeles
  • Alejandra Tellez, County of Ventura


RENs: Lessons Learned & the Future of EE Volunteer Notes

Revolving Loan Funds in a Post-Incentive World

For many public agencies, utility incentives and On-Bill Financing (OBF) with fund disbursement months after project completion can be a significant hindrance to program utilization and project implementation. A Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program overcomes this barrier by providing access to upfront funds that cover 100% of the project construction costs. The session highlights RLF models and provides practical and proven strategies to successfully design and sustain a RLF. Participants will learn why Revolving Loan Funds must be considered as an important tool to finance energy projects.


  • Genaro Bugarin, The Energy Coalition
  • Annie Secrest, County of San Luis Obispo
  • Matthew Skolnik, County of Los Angeles
  • Alelia Parenteau, City of Santa Barbara


Revolving Loan Funds in a Post-Incentive World Volunteer Notes

Addressing Barriers to EVI Deployment in Disadvantaged Communities

While some of the approaches to deploying EVI in rural and DAC communities compare to other regions (e.g., increase awareness, increase affordability, reduce range anxiety, provide funding opportunities, streamline permitting), there are also unique approaches that are beneficial to communities where: air quality improvement is a priority; Residents are multi-cultural and speak numerous languages; Significant residents do not have access to home charging (e.g., MUDs); Daily commutes to work are above average; Corridor travel is significant; and existing rebate programs have not been fully utilized.

In this session, we will explore the barriers that are common to all and unique to these communities. We will ask for audience participation to prioritize deployment strategies, share results of work conducted, and provide toolkits for decision-makers to utilize in their own community.


  • Kevin Wood, Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Linda Urata, County of Kern
  • Christine Viterelli, City of Arvin
  • Jack Axelrod, Envoy


Local Energy Codes: Tools for Reaching Your Climate Action Goals

Reach codes (local energy ordinances) are one of the tools local governments can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as save energy and money. This session will discuss the local goals that can be addressed with reach codes, including decarbonization, and will provide an overview of various reach code strategies and options local governments can consider. Attendees will also hear about experiences and lessons learned from local governments who have adopted reach codes in the past, and will leave with information about resources available to assist with reach code efforts.


  • Chris Kuch, Southern California Edison
  • Karen Kristiansson, BayREN
  • Amy Rider, Building Decarbonization Coalition
  • Misti Bruceri, Misti Bruceri & Associates, LLC
  • Gabriel Taylor, California Energy Commission


11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Morning Plenary II: The Future Decarbonization of California’s Energy

Reducing emissions from non-renewable fossil fuels from buildings is a key strategy for ensuring California meets its aggressive climate goals. This session will explore IOUs’ visions for the path forward for decarbonizing energy in support of these statewide goals.


  • Leif Christiansen, EE Coordinator
  • Joshua Torres, Southern California Edison
  • Ken Chawkins, Southern California Gas Company


Morning Plenary II Volunteer Notes

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Session Block #4
The Spirit of Free Ridership Policy and the Public Sector

This session will debate the merit of free ridership policy in the public sector. The goal is to promote a balanced perspective on the topic while increasing participants’ understanding of the policy and how it influences program design, implementation and cost-effectiveness calculations. Panelists will be prompted by moderator questions and participant feedback. Example questions include: What is free ridership and why are we so worried about it? How do we document program influence? Is the concept of free ridership in government valid? And, should we be concerned about how free ridership assumptions may impact hard to reach communities?


  • Lou Jacobson, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
  • Courtney Kalashian, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization
  • Rebecca Hausheer, The Energy Coalition
  • Brendan Havenar-Daughton, Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Jordan Garbayo, 3CREN – County of San Luis Obispo


Microgrids: Low Carbon Reliability & Resilience

Wild fire, extreme weather linked to climate change, ever-present earthquake threats, and other possible disruptions, along with decarbonization policy goals, are leading local governments to examine microgrids. What kinds of critical facility microgrids are moving forward today? How are they being financed? How are they designed? Communities can tap into new energy innovations to support critical functions while supporting business continuity and other local economic development goals.


  • Margaret Bruce, Local Government Commission
  • Peter Asmus, Navigant Research
  • David Liebman, Sonoma County Junior College District
  • Christine Houston, Port of Long Beach



Aligning Municipal Policies and Actions with Energy and Carbon Goals

A growing number of cities are setting ambitious energy and carbon goals. Buildings are often the largest source of municipal emissions. However, there is often a disconnect between day-to-day building operations, capital planning, and long-term goals. This team has been working with several cities around the country to “lead by example” in municipal building. Cities can leverage basic energy benchmarking data to cost-effectively develop a strategic plan for municipal facility improvement. Join us to hear about successes and lessons learned and to receive free, comprehensive resources and tools to strategically advance the energy performance of your own portfolio of buildings.


  • Cathy Higgins, New Buildings Institute
  • Sharon Patterson Grant, Eco Edge
  • Susan Freed, County of San Diego
  • Mike Grim, City of Carlsbad


Aligning Municipal Policies and Actions with Energy and Carbon Goals Volunteer Notes

A Tale of Two Cities

This session will explore the individual motivations of different public agencies throughout Southern California as they strive to achieve energy efficiency-equity across their regions through Local Government Partnerships (LGPs). LGP implementers The Energy Coalition (TEC), along with program administrators Southern California Edison (SCE) will share their first-hand experience with providing municipal energy efficiency project support to cities through the West Side Energy Partnership and North Orange County Cities (NOCC) Energy Partnership. Insider perspectives into the distinctive motives of each region that inspire local leadership actions will be explored.


  • Samantha Meza, The Energy Coalition
  • Jake Anderson, The Energy Coalition
  • Robyn Eason, City of West Hollywood
  • Joshua Soliz, City of Orange
  • Scot Mann, Southern California Edison


A Tale of Two Cities Volunteer Notes

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Closing Plenary: The Lasting Legacy of Local Government Partnerships

Gather around the campfire and listen closely, as masterful Local Government Partnership storytellers from around the state share perspectives about how the LGP program model has made a lasting impact in their region. Walk back in time to the origins of Local Government Partnerships, initiated as a single city-utility collaboration, and through the evolution into the statewide program offered by every Investor Owned Utility. By celebrating the countless accomplishments of LGPs, this presentation will serve as a celebration of this public sector program as we know it today while addressing the continued need to deliver support into the future.


  • Laurel Rothschild, The Energy Coalition
  • Lou Jacobson, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
  • Courtney Kalashian, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization
  • Alejandra Tellez, Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance
  • Renée Yarmy, Port of San Diego


Closing Plenary Volunteer Notes

Thank you to our generous sponsors for supporting the 10th Annual SEEC Forum!

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, incorporated in California in 1905, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, the company is a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.

SoCalGas is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility. We deliver clean, safe and reliable energy to 21.8 million consumers through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities.

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

SDG&E is an innovative public utility based in San Diego that provides safe, reliable and clean energy to 3.6 million people across a 4,100 square mile service territory that covers San Diego and southern Orange counties.

The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN), a collaboration of the nine Bay Area counties, is a regional implementer of energy efficiency programs.

The Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) Public Agency Programs believe in the power of public agencies to lead their communities towards a safe, secure, resilient, affordable, and sustainable clean energy future.

From industry-leading technologies to next-generation energy efficiencies, Rheem has been a pioneer in developing some of the most innovative advancements in heating, cooling and water heating.

The Energy Coalition is a California-based 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 45 years of experience designing and implementing programs and strategies that transform energy use and empower communities to take action.

BuildZero is a non-profit social initiative creating Apps for Climate Action in communities.

TerraVerde Energy is an independent energy advisor that helps public agencies and commercial enterprises reduce energy use and costs through planning, designing and implementing energy conservation measures, solar energy systems, and energy storage solutions.

Skeo works for agencies, organizations and social entrepreneurs that are deeply committed to building a smarter, more sustainable and more equitable future.

Renovate America provides residents with reliable home improvement financing.

Founded in 2010 out of a passion for advancing electric transportation, Volta has mastered the art and science of developing cutting-edge electric vehicle charging networks.

Calpine Energy Solutions is California’s largest and most experienced data management and customer services provider for Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), managing customer data, providing business intelligence and operating California-based contact centers for over 3 million active accounts across 17 different CCAs since 2010.

Thank you to our promotional partners for getting the word out about the Forum!