11th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Virtual Forum

Promising Solutions for a Clean Energy Future

June – November 2020 | 18 webinars | 6 virtual networking activities


All SEEC Virtual Forum webinars and activities are provided at no cost. Registration is required for all webinars and activities. Click the buttons below for full details and registration links for each webinar and activity.  The Zoom Guide provides guidance for the Zoom features that will be used throughout the forum, along with frequently asked questions. 

7/16: Webinar 6
Webinar 6: Identifying, Prioritizing, Financing Projects
Thursday, July 16th | 10 – 11 AM

In a time where competing interests and limited resources abound, it can be difficult to know where to start in order to identify, prioritize, fund, and implement energy projects. This panel will explore how several diverse jurisdictions and organizations have approached this dilemma and address critical factors that informed their pathway to success.

Whether you are a small, medium or large sized city and regardless of the amount of resources you have to direct at energy projects, this panel will have some valuable suggestions for you. You will learn about:

• innovative methods for project identification
• key internal and external stakeholders and their role in decision making
• organizations whose expertise you can leverage
• how to communicate the project benefits and opportunities to decision makers in order to build system-wide support for your work.

Innovative interactive tools will also be used to make the session intimately relevant to this audience.


Confirmed Speakers:


Moderator: John Rossi | Program Manager, C&I Programs | TRC Companies

Mr. Rossi is a professional engineer with over twelve years of experience in industrial and commercial energy audits, with a special focus on government and institutional customers. He has experience developing a wide range of energy efficiency projects and performing utility grade 3rd party technical reviews for customized projects.


Rochelle Thomas | Energy Manager | San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization (SJVCEO)

Rochelle Thomas is the Energy Manager with the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization (SJVCEO). Rochelle’s primary work has been on the Municipal Energy Tune Up (METU) Program which provides technical assistance to local governments, special districts, and school districts in the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley. Technical assistance encompasses energy benchmarking, project pipelining, and advanced project assistance. Rochelle has nearly 10 years of experience working in the energy efficiency sector overseeing both residential and public sector programs. As a native to California’s San Joaquin Valley, Rochelle has a passion for working in rural, hard-to-reach, and disadvantaged communities.


Alelia Parenteau | Energy and Climate Program | City of Santa Barbara

Alelia Parenteau, LEED Green Associate & Certified Energy Manager; runs the Energy and Climate Program at the City of Santa Barbara.

As Energy & Climate Manager, Ms. Parenteau identifies energy efficiency and conservation strategies, implements new technologies to reduce the City’s energy consumption and transition to 100% renewable energy and coordinates the development and implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan.

With expertise in utility operations, creative financing strategies, energy development, policy development and energy and climate best practices, Ms. Parenteau has helped position the City of Santa Barbara as a City to watch in the State when it comes to energy management and climate action.


Lindsey Hawes | Municipal Energy Program Manager | City of San Diego, Sustainability Department

Lindsey Hawes is the Municipal Energy Program Manager at the City of San Diego’s Sustainability Department. Lindsey and her team work closely with City staff, elected officials and public stakeholders to develop and implement strategic energy projects, policies and programs designed to push the City’s building portfolio toward the goal of zero emissions by 2035. Lindsey’s background in DER program consulting, classroom instruction, and project management lends a unique skill set that allows her to lead and affect change across a wide variety of initiatives. Lindsey has a master’s in environmental science and management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara. In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys exploring San Diego’s and the world’s natural and culinary treasures with her family and friends.


7/21: Networking Activity 2
Networking Activity 2: Climate & Energy Trivia Night!
Tuesday, July 21st | 4:30 – 5:30 PM

Ready to put your knowledge to the test? Join us on July 21st from 4:30-5:30 PM for Climate and Energy Trivia! Now is your chance to show off all that you’ve learned! Like the rest of the webinars in this forum, the networking event took place over Zoom.

8/20: Webinar 9
Webinar 9: Maximizing Value of Resiliency Programs: Case Study & Resources
Thursday, August 20th | 10 – 11 AM

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.

Confirmed Speakers

Moderator: Marie Gunter | Commercial Solar Project Developer & Manager | GRID Alternatives, Bay Area

Marie is the Bay Area commercial solar developer and manager at GRID Alternatives — the largest non-profit solar and workforce development provider for marginalized communities in the nation. Currently, she develops, and oversees the design and project management of GRID’s multifamily affordable & non-profit solar and stands as an active regional representative for Equity, Inclusion & Diversity, both speaking and writing on these topics. Marie is a committed environmental and social equity advocate, with a strong background in community service and over a decade of experience working in the renewable energy sector as a consultant, high-performance sales, and management professional. She was awarded the honor of Special Recognition for Outstanding Community Service by the United States Congress, and named one of Oakland’s top diverse leaders in the renewables industry by the Port of Oakland. Marie combines her work passion with some of her favorite past times, outdoor trekking adventures, travel, and learning about new cultures, while inspiring others to manifest their own visions of a healthy human-to- earth connection.

Marie studied Economics, and attended the California Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, with a focus on Resiliency and Wholistic Living Systems.


David Burdick | EVP Business Development | TerraVerde

David Burdick serves as Executive Vice President of Business Development for TerraVerde Energy, an independent energy advisory firm that supports CCAs in evaluating, deploying, and managing Distributed Energy Resource (DER) programs. Over the past 10 years, TerraVerde developed over $400Million of energy programs on behalf of its clients, including over 100 MWs of distributed solar PV and battery energy storage systems for which TerraVerde provided feasibility analysis, project development & implementation oversight, as well as ongoing asset management services. In addition to their continued efforts (funded by the CEC and NREL) in developing DER Program Software for CCAs, TerraVerde is currently supporting several CCAs in deploying programs that incentivize battery energy storage deployments that will both increase community resiliency and reduce CCA procurement costs. Prior to joining TerraVerde, David served as a General Manager for a solar & battery EPC firm.


Jamie Tuckey | Director of Strategic Initiative | MCE

Jamie joined local efforts to form and launch MCE as part of the original three-staff team in 2008. With over a decade of industry experience, she brings extensive knowledge of the history, growth, and operations of community choice programs throughout the Bay Area and California. As Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jamie works closely with the CEO as a strategist and implementer on mission critical initiatives like resiliency, microgrids, and equity.

Before becoming Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jamie served as MCE’s Director of Public Affairs where she supervised the growth and expansion of service to more than 470,000 customers across 33 member communities in 4 counties. Before working for MCE, Jamie was part of the County of Marin’s Community Development Department, specializing in Green Business and related sustainability programs. She also worked for the City of San Luis Obispo on conservation, open space, and cultural heritage programs.

Jamie grew up in rural west Petaluma spending much of her childhood connecting to nature and becoming passionate about honoring and protecting the earth. She also loves to travel and soak in the world’s beauty, leaving her inspired, rejuvenated, and humbled.


Woody Hastings | Energy Program Manager | The Climate Center

Woody Hastings is the Energy Program Manager for The Climate Center. Celebrating his tenth year at the Center, Woody is an energy and environmental policy analyst, strategic planner, and community organizer with over 30 years of experience in the non-profit, governmental, and private sectors. Woody specializes in Community Choice energy, a state policy that fosters energy democracy by empowering communities to establish their own not-for-profit electricity service, thereby taking control over decision-making about energy sources for electricity generation.

9/9: Webinar 11
Webinar 11: Not Your Grandma’s Regulatory Update
Wednesday, September 9th | 11 AM – 12:15 PM

Many public agencies have climate action plans (CAP) with ambitious climate and energy goals, targets and actions. These laudable strategies will only be realized if local government action is adequately funding, supporting local capacity to implement energy projects and programs. Some CAP actions are best pursued as part of Californiaʼs energy policy goals, and as a result necessitate effective collaboration with investor owned utilities (IOUs); Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Southern California Edison. A CAPʼs feasibility and effectiveness can be significantly impacted by the Stateʼs regulatory agencies, which can have an outsized influence in implementing legislative policies.

In 2020, the CPUC will engage on issues that are core to local governmentsʼ ability to deliver on their climate action and adaptation plans, including:

  • Wildfire mitigation
  • Public Safety Power Shutoffs
  • Microgrids
  • Distributed Energy Resource Planning
  • Transportation Electrification
  • Energy Efficiency and Electrification
  • Utility Customer Rates

The Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC) provides a robust expert voice for its 40 member organizations on crucial energy policy matters. No other group that represents local governments has a regular presence at the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board.

This webinar will provide an overview of the regulatory process and current issues that directly impact local governments. The speakers will highlight the challenges associated and opportunities local governments have to influence important policies that could have wide ranging impacts on their ability to make good on their climate action plans.

Confirmed Speakers

Moderator: Garrett Wong | Climate Program Manager / Board Chair | County of Santa Barbara / LGSEC

Garrett Wong is the Climate Program Manager at the County of Santa Barbara. He previously worked as a Senior Sustainability Analyst for the City of Santa Monica. He leads policy, programs and projects in climate action & adaptation planning, energy efficiency and renewable energy and electric vehicle charging.


Alejandra Téllez | Program Management Analyst / Board Member | County of Ventura / 3C-REN / LGSEC

Alejandra Téllez is the program analyst for Sustainability Programs for the County of Ventura. Alejandra, manages the Local Government Partnership; Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance which is the County’s local energy efficiency clearinghouse office for training seminars, project identification, technical project support and energy planning for municipal governments, school and community college districts, special districts and small commercial businesses. In partnership with the counties of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Alejandra oversees the residential programs which provide utility customers and contractors with a direct link to dozens of energy rebates, training workshops and customer programs. Also manages sustainability activities via building operations and program implementation in County of Ventura services.


Lou Jacobson | Director of Fiscal Services / Board Member | Eureka City Schools / LGSEC

In 2005, Lou Jacobson moved to Northern California from West Virginia to advance his career in the energy efficiency industry. Lou’s experiences with strip mining, mountain top removal and fracking in West Virginia and Ohio led to his desire to learn about, and work on, behind the meter programs. In 2019, he left the Redwood Coast Energy Authority team after over 10 years of implementing and leading a variety of integrated Demand Side Management programs. Lou is now working with Eureka City Schools (ECS) as the Director of Fiscal Services. In addition to supporting a variety of fiscal and business services, Lou continues to engage in the distributed energy resource space by supporting ECS’s energy efficiency and management, Proposition 39, fleet efficiency, and renewable generation efforts. Lou serves as a board member to the Local Government Sustainability Energy Coalition and is a California Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee Member.


Steven Moss | Partner / Regulatory Consultant | M.Cubed / LGSEC

Steven Moss specializes in resource economics and public policy analysis. He has led numerous assignments focusing on energy, environmental, and land use issues. He is co-author of A Guide for Reviewing Environmental Policy Studies and teaches in the Public Policy Program at Mills College.

Mr. Moss holds an M.S. in Public Policy from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a B.S. in Conservation of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.

Since receiving a graduate degree in public policy from the University of Michigan, Moss has spent more than twenty years engaged in various aspects of the policy process, such as policy analysis, public finance, strategic planning, and political campaigning. He’s worked on a variety of issues, including deep dives into civic engagement, health care, land use issues, energy, water, and air quality, including climate change. And while he’s focused most of his energies in California, Moss has led projects in India, Niger, Rwanda, and Senegal.


Livestream Option

If you cannot access Zoom for any reason, all webinars will be available via Livestream on Youtube. Visit LGC’s Youtube Channel to tune into the webinar.

During webinars, you can submit questions through the livestream chat only if you are logged in (you can log into Youtube using your Google account). SEEC staff members will be monitoring the questions submitted through Youtube Livestream. Note that there is a 20 second delay with live streamed content.

View the Calendar below to locate the particular webinar you’re interested in. Click the event and click “copy to my calendar>>” at the bottom of the pop-up box. The webinar with the livestream details will be copied to your calendar.

Virtual Forum Schedule

This 6-month virtual series takes place from June-November 2020 with the same date/time each month. Please see the schedule and calendar below for exact dates and times. Registration links will be made available as webinars and activities are confirmed. Click ‘copy to my calendar’ on any event to hold the times in your calendar.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for supporting the 11th Annual SEEC Forum!

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