9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum

June 20-21, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

About the Forum
About the Forum

The Local Government Commission, in partnership with the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, hosted the 9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (SEEC Forum) in June 20-21, 2018 in Sacramento, CA.

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

The forum featured 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.

Check out the Program Resources and Posters tabs to view presentations, resources, and the posters presented at the 2018 forum!

Scaling Up and Out

With increasingly aggressive energy and climate goals, there is a clear need for proven solutions that can be adapted and implemented at the regional scale. Scaling Up and Out emphasizes the need to identify, replicate, and scale programs and practices from communities across the state.

Keeping with the theme of Scaling Up and Out, the 9th Annual SEEC Forum focused on policies and practices that have been successfully implemented and can be adapted to fit the needs of communities elsewhere. Presenters provided energy tools, financing models, and policies that can encourage increased adoption of energy efficiency and climate adaptation actions in communities across the state.

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 have provided valuable guidance, for helping shape the forum program and format.

  • Kathleen Bryan, City and County of San Francisco
  • Iris Lee, City of Buena Park
  • Dan Schoenholz, City of Fremont
  • Garrett Wong, City of Santa Monica
  • Demetra McBride, County of Los Angeles
  • Susan Freed, County of San Diego
  • Hanna Grene, Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Pam Bold, High Sierra Energy Foundation
  • Lou Jacobson, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
  • Jose Carranza, Fresno County Economic Development Corporation
  • Taylor Helgestad, California Air Resources Board
  • Bryan Early, California Energy Commission
  • Nils Strindberg, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Brendan Havenar-Daughton,Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Chris Malotte, Southern California Edison
  • Kapil Bhagvan, Southern California Edison
  • Christina Chi, Southern California Edison
  • Alma Briseno, Southern California Gas Company
  • Jennifer Vaughn, Southern California Gas Company
  • Eric Drabb, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
  • Julia Kim, Local Government Commission
  • Cary Garcia, Local Government Commission
  • Steve Sanders, Institute for Local Government
  • Karalee Browne, Institute for Local Government
  • Hoi Fei Mok, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA
Forum History

The Local Government Commission 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.

Forum Organizer

The Local Government Commission (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 Sponsor

The Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum is sponsored by the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC). SEEC provides support to cities and counties to help them reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and save energy. SEEC is an alliance between three statewide non-profit organizations (The Local Government Commission, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, USA, and the Institute for Local Government) and California’s four Investor-Owned Utilities.

Program Resources

Wednesday, June 20th

8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Forum Registration
EE 101 Pre Forum Workshop (Agenda)

The 2018-2025 Energy Efficiency Business Plans were approved this year bringing new changes to the implementation of energy efficiency programs and Local Government Partnerships. In this workshop, utility representatives will provide an overview of the new Business Plans followed by an opportunity for open dialogue and Q&A with local partners.

Energy Efficiency Business Plans Workshop
Networking Lunch
Forum Welcome (30 mins.)


  • Eric Guerra, Councilmember, City of Sacramento
  • Kate Meis, Executive Director, Local Government Commission
  • David Poster, Director of Energy Efficiency Programs, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Kickoff Plenary (60 mins.)

As California continues to lead the country in combating climate change, state leaders are focusing on making the low-carbon future accessible and affordable for all. New regulations require zero net energy, or near zero net energy, buildings, solar on all new residential homes, and increased funding for hard-to-reach communities. These state policies continue to place local governments at the front lines of expanding programs, providing access to funding, and developing local energy policies – the main drivers behind future savings.


  • Moderator: Kate Meis, Executive Director, Local Government Commission
  • Ken Alex, Executive Director Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
  • Yana Garcia, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs, California Environmental Protection Agency
  • Andrew McAllister, Commissioner, California Energy Commission
Networking Break
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Session Block #1 (4 concurrent sessions, 75 mins.)

Regulations and Legislation Impacting Local Energy Programs

Local climate and energy program staff, organizational leaders and community members have a need to know about policy and regulatory proposals affecting their programs and how to engage meaningfully in policy development.  This session will provide attendees with the most current information on priority legislative proposals, Public Utilities Commission proceedings, and Energy Commission building benchmarking regulations.


  • Moderator: Margaret Bruce, Program Manager, Local Government Commission
  • Irene Moosen, Regulatory Consultant, Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition
  • Eugene Lee, Residential Supervisor, Efficiency Division, Existing Buildings Office, California Energy Commission
  • Nidia Bautista, Chief Consultant, California Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications


Decarbonization, Democratization, Decentralization: Tools for Implementing Climate Change Plans

As local governments pursue increasingly aggressive climate change and public health goals, interest in electrification is growing. Communities are looking to decarbonize full buildings and public facilities including: electrifying heating, hot water and cooking. The good news is that highly efficient heat pumps for heating air and water and induction and convection appliances for cooking are coming into the market with increasingly competitive installation and operating costs and prices. In addition, heating technologies are being outfitted with communications and control devices that will enable them to be used as thermal storage solutions in support grid needs, and for generating revenues for home and building owners. This workshop will provide up to date research that can be used to help policymakers reach informed decisions about their energy source. It will also describe a practical road map, including: policies, tools and programs, that public agencies can adapt to their local conditions to cost-effectively electrify. Finally, the workshop will include several case studies demonstrating how public agencies are already launching decarbonization initiatives.


  • Moderator: Rick Brown, President, TerraVerde Energy, LLC
  • Panama Bartholomy, Founder, Building Decarbonization Coalition
  • Jessie Denver, Energy Program Manager, San Francisco Department of the Environment
  • Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Climate Resolve


Connecting with the State’s Financing Pilots and Reaching Underserved Communities

CAEATFA, in partnership with the Investor Owned Utilities, is launching innovative financing pilot programs, designed to make more private capital available for energy efficiency retrofits. The workshop will cover what financing is, and will be available for homeowners, renters and small businesses so that local government participants can connect constituents with these resources. Making capital available for underserved communities is a priority for the programs. We will explore how the programs can best serve disadvantaged communities, balancing access with consumer protection, the challenges of supplying credit to the small business market and opportunities for collaboration with local governments.


  • Moderator: Andrew Nih, Financing Supervisor, Southern California Gas Company
  • Miriam Joffe-Block, Program Manager, California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority
  • Carmelita Miller, Legal Counsel, The Greenlining Institute
  • Ben Brown, Senior Program Manager, On Bill Financing, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • Siew Yee Lee, Business Development Officer, Minority Business Development Agency


California Energy Commission Updates: Building Energy Use Benchmarking Program (AB 802)

California has launched its Statewide Benchmarking Program under AB 802 which was approved by the Governor in 2015. With the regulations enacted in April of 2018, and enforcement commencing June 1st, 2018 building owners must submit benchmarking data to the California Energy Commission. Learn the long awaited details on compliance procedures, available resources, intersection with existing local government ordinances, and participate in Q&A directly with the California Energy Commission staff. The conversation will wrap up with how benchmarking is uniquely applied in the local government sector.


  • Moderator: Marc Costa, Policy & Regulatory Manager, The Energy Coalition
  • Erik Jensen, Energy Specialist, California Energy Commission
  • Daniele Horton, Founder and President, Verdani Partners
  • Barry Hooper, Green Built Environment Senior Coordinator, City of San Francisco
  • Sarah Farell, Energy Policy Advisor, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization



4:00 PM – 4:15 PM
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM
Networking Break
Session Block #2 (4 concurrent sessions, 75 mins.)

Role of Renewable Gas in Climate Action and Resiliency Planning

What are PG&E and SoCalGas doing to help cities and counties achieve their climate action and resiliency goals? How can communities combine organic waste diversion with renewable energy development while reducing emissions from transportation? How can utilities assist local governments embarking on resiliency plans and incorporating climate adaptation strategies into their General Plans? Please join to learn about existing utility programs as well as R+D efforts related to: renewable gas (organic waste, landfills, wastewater, dairies, agriculture), Power-to-Gas and renewable hydrogen technologies, renewable gas vehicles and fueling infrastructure, and distributed energy resources (fuel cells, combined heat and power systems)


  • Moderator: Geoffrey Danker, Franchise, Fees & Planning Manager, SoCalGas
  • David Lewis, Director, Wholesale Marketing & Business Development, Pacific Gas & Electric


Partnering with Chambers of Commerce to Reach the Business Community

This session will have a brief presentation and a panel discussion. The speakers will represent local government and the business community bringing chamber of commerce representatives and a business representative, the discussion will be facilitated by a representative from the local utility SDG&E. The panel will speak about the journey of the cities of Chula Vista and National City in becoming energy efficiency outreach partners in the local business community. 

Speaker Roster:

  • Moderator: Eric Drabb, Local Government Partnership Advisor, San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Barbara Locci, Conservation Specialist, City of Chula Vista
  • Jacqueline Reinoso, President and CEO, National City Chamber of Commerce
  • Lisa Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce
  • Dee Baker, Director of Sales, Pery Plumbing Heating & Air


Drivers of Change Analysis for Cities GHG Emissions Inventories

Since the mid-1990s, local governments have engaged in periodic inventories of municipal and community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the ultimate goal of achieving emission reductions. The field has matured with documented protocols for performing and reporting inventories, and many communities are now conducting inventory updates to establish trends. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the City of Bellevue Washington, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) Program, are creating methods and tools to attribute changes between two inventories to the impacts of policies and programs along with other external drivers, such as economic activity and weather. Specifically, ICLEI has developed a “contribution analysis” that is now in testing by a set of participating communities. By eliminating as much uncertainty as possible through normalizing for factors like weather and economic activity that isolate out the “noise” of external factors, the impact of actions or programs can be reasonably inferred.


  • Moderator: Hoi-Fei Mok, Program Officer, ICLEI USA
  • Garrett Wong, Senior Sustainability Analyst, City of Santa Monica
  • Mike Steinhoff, Program Manager, Tools & Technical Innovation, ICLEI USA


Microgrids for Community Resilience: Integrating Generation, Storage and Interoperability

Recent disasters have driven home the importance of maintaining energy service to critical systems: water, communications, refuges, life safety systems, etc.  Microgrids, including energy generation, storage and grid inter-operability, can provide resilience and reliability for vital public safety, communications and economic functions.  This session will explore the experiences of three microgrid implementers from diverse situations: their motivations, decision-making, cost/benefit and risk/benefit criteria, and their key take-aways and advice.


  • Moderator: Margaret Bruce, Program Manager, Local Government Commission
  • Rachel DiFranco, Sustainability Manager & Smart City Co-Facilitator, City of Fremont
  • Dr. Shelly Morr, Superintendent, Santa Rita Unified School District
  • Matthew Marshall, Executive Director, Redwood Coast Energy Authority


5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Hosted Networking Reception and Poster Session
Optional Evening Activities

Thursday, June 21st

7:30 AM – 8:15 AM
8:15 AM – 9:15 AM
9:15 AM – 9:30 AM
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Forum Registration and Networking Breakfast
Day 2 Morning Plenary Session (60 mins.)

The SB 350 Barriers Study identified structural policy, and programmatic barriers to equitable access to energy services and clean energy technologies. In addition, the recent decision from the CPUC addressing the Energy Efficiency Business Plans calls on utilities to measure the economic impacts and co-benefits of energy efficiency programs on low-income, hard-to-reach, and disadvantaged communities. This session will explore the need to address inequities in our local energy policies and programs and how local leaders can ensure they are providing opportunities for clean energy access to all members of their community.


  • Moderator: Cary Garcia, Statewide Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator, Local Government Commission
  • Luis Sanchez, Chief Executive Officer, Community Resource Project, Inc.
  • Alana Matthews, Public Advisor, California Energy Commission
  • Leslie Martinez, Leslie Martinez, Policy Advocate, Leadership Council for Justice and Accountability


Networking Breakfast
Session Block #3 (4 concurrent sessions, 75 mins.)

Advancing the Skills of Your Building Operations Workforce to Achieve Carbon Goals

Improving the energy performance of municipal government buildings can help California avoid construction of new power plants, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and accelerate climate action – in addition to saving municipalities money on energy bills. A diverse panel of professionals from local government, workforce development, and training organizations will share their perspectives on the challenge of preparing the municipal building operations workforce for California’s zero net energy future. Join this session to learn about energy efficiency skill building for your workforce, the elements of successful workforce partnerships, pitfalls to avoid in building partnerships, and lessons learned. Participants in this session will come away with ideas and resources for building the capacity of their workforce through partnerships in their own communities.


  • Moderator: Robert Marcial, Director, Pacific Energy Center
  • Leigh Lain Walker, Program Manager, Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance
  • Katie Ward, Program Associate, San Gabriel County Council of Governments
  • Rosie Kang, Sustainability Program Manager, Willdan
  • Samantha Miller, Business Services, Alameda County Workforce Development Board
  • Melanie Danuser, Project Director, Northwest Energy Efficiency Council

Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs: Evolving Policy, Requirements, and Challenges

So, you think you’re ready to implement efficiency? You’ve gathered buy-in and perhaps earmarked a potential project, and you are counting on incentives to bridge funding gaps and maximize performance. But, have you considered how the evolution of energy policy and technologies will impact your project? Amidst growing scrutiny of efficiency projects moving through utility incentive programs, public agencies that have previously leveraged ratepayer resources to overcome barriers to adoption are meeting new obstacles along the path to implementation. This session will open with a presentation on the origins and evolution of efficiency programs and will include a highlight of the end-user experiences gathered from agencies who have leveraged ratepayer resources to achieve efficiency. Its goal is to serve as an educational forum and workshop for sharing dialogue among local government customers, energy efficiency program implementers and service providers, IOU program stakeholders and California Public Utilities Commission staff.

Speaker Roster:

  • Moderator: Laurel Rothschild, Director, The Energy Coalition
  • Nils Strindberg, Energy Division, California Public Utilities Commission
  • John Rossi, Program Manager, TRC Solutions
  • Brendan Havenar-Daughton, Local Government Energy Efficiency Strategy Lead, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • Athena Besa, Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric


Reaching Up and Out: Advancing Reach Codes Together

Local governments frequently adopt amendments to the California Building Code (sometimes called reach codes) to leverage jurisdictions’ ability to act quickly to advance energy efficiency and emissions reduction goals. Especially in growing areas, reach codes ensure inclusion of desirable measures and capture otherwise untapped cost-effective savings. This session provides an overview of the adoption process, documentation requirements, and shared experiences from other jurisdictions.  The session also introduces resources to streamline adoption to help individual jurisdictions “scale up” the reach code mountain, and “scale out”, enabling many jurisdictions to leverage one set of materials rather than duplicating the process each time.

Speaker Roster:

  • Moderator: Misti Bruceri, Principal, Misti Bruceri & Associates, LLC
  • Christopher Kuch, Codes and Standards Engineer, Southern California Edison
  • Ingrid Neumann, Associate Energy Specialist, California Energy Commission
  • Mike Grim, Senior Programs Manager, City of Carlsbad
  • Lindsey Tillisch, Program Manager, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • Garrett Wong, Senior Sustainability Analyst, City of Santa Monica


Top Measures to Accelerate Local Clean Energy Programs: How to Push the Envelope on a Budget

Local governments across California play a vital role in shaping the state’s energy future and advancing sustainability. Leading municipalities have developed innovative and cost effective ordinances and programs to drive adoption of energy efficient technologies, renewable energy systems, and electric vehicles. We researched the most innovative local government efforts that serve as ideal models for other communities to adopt towards their climate action plan and clean energy goals. This panel will highlight our top findings on the best practices, costs, and benefits for encouraging development of a clean energy future across five areas: energy efficiency, renewable energy, zero net energy, energy storage, and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The panel will also discuss how model policies can be adapted for local use in the most cost-effective way. Our project team engaged cities and stakeholders throughout San Mateo County to determine which clean energy policies were most appealing. The team then did an extensive cost – benefit and carbon analysis of eight clean energy programs that could become model ordinances to support EVs, solar carports, electric heat pumps, time of sale energy audits and efficiency measures for new commercial buildings. The project also includes case studies of the most advanced energy facilities that already exist, such as Stanford University’s district scale heat recovery system. We will explore different models and case studies that could be combined and adapted to create model advanced energy communities within a reasonable budget. This work was done in collaboration with the Clean Coalition and several dozen other partners of the Peninsula Advanced Energy Community (PAEC) initiative funded by the California Energy Commission.

Speaker Roster:

  • Moderator: Cary Garcia, Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator, Local Government Commission
  • Diane Bailey, Executive Director, Menlo Spark
  • Betty Seto, Sustainable Buildings and Communities Department Head, DNV GL
  • Justine Burt, Founder and CEO, Appraccel


10:45 AM – 11:00 AM
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Networking Break
Session Block #4

Controlled Environment Agriculture: Facility Types, Carbon Footprint and Electricity Benchmarking

Fresh, year-round fruits, vegetables and herb cultivation is driving controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility development.  The two new “decentralized agriculture” facility types are high-tech greenhouses and indoor warehouse grows. Energy efficiency for greenhouse and indoor horticulture is challenging to predict on an annual PSF basis, but it’s relatively simple to monitor.  Dimmable lights and complex HVAC systems are crop and site dependent. Can we benchmark a “carbon footprint” for crop by benchmarking the facility? How do we handle reporting? What’s the reward for farms who achieve annual net positive energy and net negative carbon? One in three shoppers will pay 25% more for “local”.  How shall we approach carbon labeling and reward CEA farmers for achieving energy efficiency? Come see the latest examples and CEA case studies from across California!

Speaker Roster:

  • Moderator: Liz Yager, Program Manager, County of Sonoma Energy and Sustainability Division
  • Nicholas Maderas, Owner, F4DESIGN
  • Stefan McCulloch, Owner, iPonix


A Recipe for Making a ZNE Building: Lessons Learned from New Construction and Existing Building Renovations

Faced with the reality of changing codes and energy reduction requirements, the County of San Diego and the City of San Diego have been proactively practicing Zero Net Energy. The County chose to start practicing early, with two new ZNE facilities already occupied and 4 more in the making. The City was awarded a grant to retrofit several existing buildings to demonstrate cost-effective pathways in the small commercial and municipal building sector. These local governments have learned some hard lessons about why the process of getting a ZNE building is very different from any other industry-standard building. A recipe of best practices will be presented for getting from the idea of ZNE to occupancy and on into performance monitoring and certification.


  • Moderator: Susan Freed, Project Manager, County of San Diego
  • Bryan Olson, Senior Civil Engineer- Energy & Sustainability, City of San Diego


Youth Engagement for Climate Action Implementation

Many California communities have robust climate action goals, but lack the resources necessary to achieve them. By leveraging the unbridled enthusiasm of the youth population, the City of Fremont, Strategic Energy Innovations, Rising Sun Energy Center, and The Energy Coalition have proven successful in implementing environmental sustainability efforts while also providing climate literacy and green training opportunities. The speakers will discuss an array of effective engagement projects, programs, and strategies that empower youth, foster community connections, provide workforce development opportunities, and deliver on climate action targets, all while providing a fun and meaningful experience for kids!


  • Moderator: Rachel DiFranco, Sustainability Manager, City of Fremont
  • Chelsea Marcell, CivicSpark Climate Fellow, City of Fremont
  • Emily Courtney, Program Director, Education, Strategic Energy Innovations
  • Rachael Van Schoik, Project Coordinator, The Energy Coalition
  • Julia Hatton, Director of Programs, Rising Sun Energy Center


EV-Ready Communities: Blueprints for Accessible EV Charging

California cities are working hard to respond to an increasing demand for EV charging infrastructure. Sacramento, San Francisco, and LA County each recently received proposed awards from the California Energy Commission to develop EV Ready Community Blueprints. This session will explore key planning areas of these Blueprints and highlight specific solutions and projects from the cities of Sacramento, San Francisco, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica. We will also discuss some of the most pressing challenges facing urban areas, such as identifying viable EV charging sites, meeting the needs of residents in multi-family dwellings, and addressing competing interests in the public right-of-way (e.g. curbside charging).


  • Moderator: Jessie Denver, Energy Program Manager, San Francisco Department of the Environment
  • Ariana Vito, EV Program Coordinator, City of Santa Monica
  • Sami Taylor, Assistant Sustainability Planner, City of West Hollywood
  • Jennifer Venema, Sustainability Manager, City of Sacramento
12:15 AM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Lunch
Afternoon Plenary Session (60 mins.)

The Changing Electric Utility Industry – Roles & Opportunities for Local Governments

The electric utility industry is in the midst of dramatic change.  Future opportunities for local governments within the design, operation and maintenance of the electric “grid of the future” have been presented at many venues.  However, many of these opportunities exist now under current grid operator programs and are being developed at energy regulatory venues. This presentation will describe how and why local governments should be participating in ongoing grid operations programs, how that participation is funded, and where past challenges local governments faced in this participation may be mitigated.

These opportunities arise from regulatory and industry trends including the retirement of nuclear and fossil fuel generating stations, policies in advancing clean power utilization, and the advancement and utilization of clean energy market technologies by retail customers.  San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been decommissioned, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Station is scheduled for retirement, coast-based thermal generating stations and fossil-fuel peaking stations are being phased out, and independent market participants and retail customers are adopting new, clean technologies for integration into the grid at astounding rates.  This presentation will describe the opportunities for local governments to participate in programs today, and in the near future, that impact the well being of the electric grid and their communities.


  • Moderator: Howard Choy, Owner, Howard Choy Consulting, LLC, Vanir Energy
  • Craig Perkins, President and Executive Director, The Energy Coalition
  • Gene Rodrigues, Vice President, ICF International
  • Randy Britt, President, Vanir Energy
  • Gary Saleba, President/CEO, EES Consulting


Networking Break
Session Block #5 (4 concurrent sessions, 75 mins.)

Leading by Example: Municipal Zero Net Energy

Local governments throughout the state are beginning to practice Zero Net Energy (ZNE) in their facilities to help meet GHG reduction goals, and the goals set by SB350.  This panel describes different approaches to ZNE municipal buildings and portfolios, ranging from large-scale ZNE plans to municipal ordinances to building or retrofitting individual municipal buildings. From design through implementation, this panel will provide practical tools and stories to assist other local jurisdictions to explore a range of approaches to ZNE.


  • Moderator: Chris Nanson, LGP Program Adviser, San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Susan Freed, Project Manager, County of San Diego
  • Betty Seto, Sustainable Buildings and Communities Department Head, DNV GL
  • Rachael Londer, Energy Efficiency Specialist, County of San Mateo
  • Barry Hooper, Green Built Environment Senior Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment


How Community Choice Agencies Can Advance Energy Efficiency Goals

This session will explore the challenges and opportunities for local governments advancing energy efficiency goals via Community Choice agencies (CCAs). There are now over a dozen operational CCAs in California with more on the way. CCAs can initiate self-funded programs, and also have the statutory authority to receive public benefit funds in order to fund and administer efficiency programs. The session will highlight CCAs that have acted on this and explore the potential that all such agencies, prospective and operational, have in this regard. Many of the newly operational and emerging agencies are considering to self-fund as well as the option to elect to receive state EE funds.


  • Moderator: Woody Hastings, Energy Program Manager, Center for Climate Protection
  • Kathy Wells, Energy Projects Coordinator, Lancaster Choice Energy
  • Alice Stover, Director of Customer Programs, MCE Clean Energy
  • Rick Brown, President, TerraVerde Energy, LLC


Driving Forward: Accelerating Opportunity and Equity for Communities through EVs

Low-income communities often lack access to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), yet clean transportation solutions are most needed in these mobility deserts. When designed with equity as a goal – and not an afterthought – ZEV programs can simultaneously address the challenges of air quality, equity, and opportunity access. In Sacramento, public, private, and non-profit partnerships are developing California’s first low-income ZEV car-share, micro-transit, community charging, and other innovative programs. Panelists will share how Sacramento’s collaborative model has positioned the region for ZEV deployment, working from a regional policy framework to on-the-ground pilots and projects, and discuss lessons learned, successful partnerships, financing, and scalability.

Speaker Roster:

  • Moderator: Raef Porter, Climate and Energy Team Manager, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
  • Jennifer Venema, Sustainability Manager, City of Sacramento
  • Steffani Charkiewicz, Air Quality Engineer, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
  • Judy Robinson, Sustainability Manager, County of Sacramento
  • Simeon Gant, Executive Director, Greentech Education & Employment


Learning to Scale in the Great Wide Open: Lessons Learned from Non-EE Organizations

Implementing energy efficiency programs in any setting can come with a variety of barriers to success. Rural ratepayers face the additional barrier of being geographically removed from resources. This session will focus on learning from other organizations outside of the energy efficiency industry that operate in the rural and rural-urban connected environments. The panelists will focus on best practices that can be scaled up and out to energy efficiency implementers serving all California communities.


  • Moderator: Lou Jacobsen, Director of Demand Side Management, Redwood Coast Energy Authority; Co-Chair, Rural Hard to Reach Working Group
  • Connie Stewart, Executive Director, California Center for Rural Policy, Humboldt State University
  • Ismael Herrera, Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Rural Development Center, CSU Fresno

  • Leslie Botos, Director of Community Relations and Development, Central California Blood Center

  • Marisol Aguilar, Community Equity Initiative Programs Director

  • Courtney Kalashian, Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Closing Plenary: The Revolution will be Financed: How to Run Energy Programs That Produce Results, Attract Investors and Protect Your Citizens (60 mins.)

The days of stretching limited public budgets to fund small numbers of energy projects are insufficient to meet our climate and energy goals and are drawing to an end. Energy programs and procurement will increasingly need to partner with third-party financing for communities to be able to scale their efforts and bring about the results they seek. This capital is readily available and eager to partner but is unimpressed with current project development models that often return spotty results.

This session will feature top financiers, utilities, implementers and practitioners offering direct and usable tools, resources and ideas that need to underpin any energy project, program or procurement that wants to attract outside capital. Come hear what models are working, how future regulatory changes will affect your community and how to get ready for your future.

Come hear where the money is, how to get it and how to protect your citizens.


  • Moderator: Panama Bartholomy, Director, Investor Confidence Project
  • Maria Fields, Senior Vice President, Business Development, JouleSmart
  • Peter Thompson, Expert Program Manager, Energy Efficiency Finance, Pacific Gas and Electric
  • Courtney Kalashian, Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization
  • Matt Golden, CEO, OpenEE