The Council’s Fall Conference
In=Person at the Scottish Rite Center, Oakland, CA
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Wrap-Up of the 2023 Fall Conference: Crossing the Clean Energy Chasm: How California Can Successfully Navigate the Gap Between Early and Mainstream Markets.
The Council’s Fall Conference is a policy and networking-packed event that focuses on key issues impacting energy efficiency, demand management, decarbonization, electrification, finance, and equity. The Conference will explore the challenges and solutions to achieving the state’s clean energy and climate goals through the necessary transition from early adopters to mainstream consumers.
Attendees at this annual event represent a cross-section of executives and senior staff from energy agencies, utilities, implementers, service providers, technology companies, research organizations, and the legislature.
Drawing from the latest research and analysis, speakers will highlight critical actions and innovative strategies to accelerate decarbonization at scale throughout the day. Expect candid views on what’s working and what’s not, where to course-correct and how, and signs it may be time to rethink a plan in its entirety.
The event started with an opening reception on Tuesday evening featuring live entertainment, food, and drinks courtesy of CalNEXT. It was an excellent opportunity to meet new people and catch up with old friends. The band was fantastic, and their energy filled the space for the 3-hour event.
On Wednesday morning, we were thrown a curve ball with the news AT&T had an Internet service failure throughout the Lake Merrit area of Oakland. It knocked out Internet service everywhere, including at the Scottish Rite Center, and delayed the start by 30+ minutes. Kudos to Kira and the audio-visual team, who were able to MacGyver a solution with hot spots and secondary slide controls until AT&T service returned hours later.
Our theme, Crossing the Clean Energy Chasm: How California Can Successfully Navigate the Gap Between Early and Mainstream Markets, connected the presentations throughout the day.
Assemblymember Damon Connolly delivered a fantastic keynote on California’s commitment to clean energy, efficiency, and decarbonization. He impressed everyone with his depth of knowledge and experience on energy issues.
Ryan Hledik, Principal, Brattle Group, helped set the stage for the day with his presentation, Rediscovering Efficiency: Value for a Decarbonizing Power Grid, which highlighted the critical sources of value from Improved affordability, Consistent reliability, Reduced emissions, and Mitigated risk.
Next, representatives from all four Investor-Owned Utilities provided an overview of their respective Energy Efficiency budgets and fielded questions from Moderator Cody Coeckelenbergh, ICF, and the audience. The Council looks forward to continuing the conversation in the coming months.
A fireside chat moderated by Patricia Watts, FCI Management, followed. Speakers Karin Burns, CEO of San Diego Community Power, and Courtney Henderson, Truckee Town Council Member, and Former Mayor, each spoke passionately and eloquently about the role of Local Governments while sharing their personal stories.
This year’s Art Rosenfeld Achievement Award recipient was California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, a 30-year champion of energy efficiency. His heartfelt remarks, dedication, and support for the Council’s work inspired everyone.
The afternoon sessions continued delivering high-value content. Strategies to Accelerate Building Decarbonization featured three nationally recognized experts speaking about financing strategies: Vincent Barnes, SVP Policy and Research; Martha Campbell, Principal, RMI; and Dr. Holmes Hummel, Managing Director, Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, Standford University. Each delivered a fact-filled presentation, followed by a great discussion moderated by Andrea Marr, SVP Energy Services Division, Cadmus.
Attendees were treated to another informative session on Pathways to Meeting California’s Load Shift Goal moderated by Michael Romeo, VP of Business Development, Franklin Energy. Speakers included Erik Lyon, Reliability Program Decarbonization Lead, CEC, who provided an overview of the Lod Shift Goals and the framework adopted earlier this year, along with several policy recommendations, such as ‘incentivizing load-shifting technologies paired with dynamic rates.’; Patty Cook, SVP of Market Development, Distributed Flexibility Solutions at ICF, discussed how the utility is moving to an “Orchestrated Decentralization” model to manage distribution costs to enable affordable electrification. Jill Powers, Demand Response & Distributed Energy Sector Manager, CAISO, articulated the agency’s continued support for DERs. Finally, K.R. (Ammi) Armarnath, Principal Technical Executive, Electrification and Sustainable Energy Strategy Sector, EPRI, highlighted the importance of DERs, drawing from EPRI’s work in this area and providing context for demand flexibility.
The closing session, The Role of Market Transformation, moderated by Margie Gardner, CalMTA at Resources Innovations, offered a variety of perspectives. Charley Cormany, Executive Director of Energy First California, spoke frankly about the challenges for contractors and programs while providing practical recommendations grounded in his years of experience. Kelly Delaney, GoGreen Financing Programs, California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), provided an overview of their successful financing program leveraging private capital to remove the upfront cost market barrier preventing customers from making energy efficiency retrofits. Teddy Kisch, Senior Fellow, Building Decarbonization Strategy, Energy Solutions, spoke to the long-term market structures needed to achieve the heat pump market transformation, drawing comparisons to other programs such as the C.A. Solar Initiative and E.V.s. Maya Wolf, Principal, Clean Energy Transportation, PG&E, closed out with remarks about PG&E’s commitment to transportation electrification and details about new pilot programs for heavy-duty vehicles.
One final note: unfortunately, the delayed start impacted the Community Choice Aggregators session on Delivering Program Results: What’s Working and What to Expect in the Future. The Council will include that Session at the 2024 Spring Symposium.
Last Year’s Agenda:
Keynote Speaker: California State Assemblymember Damon Connolly
Assemblymember Connolly was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022. Over his nearly two decades in public service, he has been a capable and effective leader who is thoughtful, dedicated, and focused on achieving important policy victories that improve the lives of all North Bay residents. His legislative responsibilities include serving as Vice-Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policy and is a member of the following policy committees: Utilities and Energy, Judiciary, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No.3 on Climate Crisis, Resources, Energy, and Transportation, and Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.
Building Efficiency and Flexibility: Reducing the Cost of Grid Decarbonization
The U.S. is pursuing ambitious climate mitigation goals, including zero-carbon electricity by 2035 and net-zero economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; deep decarbonization of buildings is critical for meeting both goals. A comprehensive portfolio of building efficiency, flexibility, and electrification measures can help get us there.
Local Governments play a significant role advancing the state’s clean energy and climate goals. Two accomplished leaders will share their experiences and recommendations on how local entities can maximize community impacts, taking into account the specific needs of their constituents. You will also learn about their plans for the future.
Strategies to Accelerate Building Decarbonization
Buildings are energy-intensive and a primary source of US end-use sector carbon emissions. Although the nation’s buildings emit 25% fewer GHG emissions today compared to their 2005 peak, far deeper reductions are needed to reach California’s 2045 net-zero GHG emissions goal. In this session, speakers will present recent findings addressing finance strategies, and new approaches that address equity while enabling decarbonization at scale to help achieve the State’s ambitious goals.
Seven Thousand by Thirty: Pathways to Meeting California’s Load Shift Goal
Senate Bill 846 (Dodd, Chapter 239, Statutes of 2022) directed the CEC to develop a goal for shifting load to reduce net peak electrical demand and policies to increase demand response and load shifting, along with other actions necessary to support California’s clean energy transition and grid reliability. In May, 2023, after consultation with the CPUC and CAISO, and considering research conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the CEC established a 7,000 MW goal by 2030, the first of its kind in the nation.
In this session, experts, regulators, and a report author will discuss pathways to accelerate demand flexibility, additional support under consideration, and recommendations on how the industry can play a constructive role along the way.
Crossing the Clean Energy Chasm: The Role of Market Transformation
Clean energy technologies must “cross the chasm” between early adopters and mainstream consumers in order to cut costs and scale up to general market maturation. However, policy and market headwinds persist. Statewide experts will discuss their experiences and insight on what’s needed to ramp up technologies and policies to successfully cross the chasm and transform clean energy markets.
Given the increasingly dire situation brought about by climate change, we need to move faster and smarter to realize the very goals that are aimed at curbing these impacts. Over the course of the day, we will bring together policymakers, regulators, implementers, administrators, evaluators, and advocates from across the energy efficiency, demand response, and DER communities to explore critical topics that are essential for advancing California’s clean energy industry. Through interesting keynote addresses and a number of engaging panel sessions, the Fall Conference will focus on ensuring attendees receive timely information that will help everybody thrive in California’s increasingly challenging energy landscape.
2022 CONFERENCE AGENDA
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