We had a successful Spring Symposium!
2021 Vision: Taking Action – Tools & Tactics to Make an Impact
California is leading the way to a decarbonized future where energy efficiency and demand management are essential elements of that future. Because of the urgent challenges brought about by climate change, California must work to update the way these resources are valued, procured and equitably leveraged. The Spring Symposium is the Council’s once-yearly professional education conference, focused this year on practical ways that we all can take the actions needed to more effectively include efficiency and demand management resources needed to combat climate change. Our guest speakers inspired and informed us about the tools and tactics that will lead to a positive impact for our future.
Session 1: May 6th – Cost-Effectiveness Reform: Best Practices & Methods
- With the advancement of distributed energy resources (DERs) and the urgent need for integrating all DERs to ensure optimal performance, efforts are underway here in California (through the IDER proceeding and other venues) as well as at the national level (through efforts including the National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) initiative) to create a common framework for cost-effectiveness of DERs, including various reforms to long-standing cost-effectiveness methods that are outdated and in need of reform. This session took a deep dive into CE reform efforts at the state and national levels and explores developments in the CE reform movement.
- Speakers: Chris Neme (Energy Futures Group), Mohit Chhabra (NRDC), and Joy Morgenstern (CPUC)
- Moderator: Mike Rufo (Verdant)
Session 2: May 13th – Demand Response at the Crossroads
- During the immediate aftermath of California’s August 2020 extreme heat storms, it was widely reported that demand response (DR) measures helped the state avert more significant and consequential impacts. However, due to a number of performance and regulatory barriers, the initially reported savings were significantly discounted. State leaders acknowledge that DR can and must play a more significant role in addressing our grid challenges. As a result, policymakers are struggling to understand how to overcome these barriers and enable DR to scale up and meet its true potential. The purpose of this session was to identify the key barriers that are inhibiting DR from achieving better outcomes and discuss ways in which DR can become a more trusted and reliable resource for grid operators and distributors.
- Speakers: Michael Florio (Independent Consultant and Former CPUC Commissioner), Siva Gunda (CEC Commissioner), Anna McKenna (CAISO), and Stefanie Tanenhaus (East Bay Community Energy)
- Moderator: Jennifer Chamberlin (CPower)
Session 3: May 20th – Aligning Climate Policy with Social Justice
- As California continues its relentless pursuit of carbon reduction policies, one important topic that deserves more widespread attention is the extent to which social justice and racial equity factors are considered during the design and implementation of these policies. As California begins to recover from the ravaging effects of the COVID pandemic on the clean energy workforce, more attention needs to be paid to how we align these important climate policies with the people who are most affected by global climate change. Oftentimes people of color are left on the sidelines as states and localities pursue aggressive carbon reduction programs and initiatives. The purpose of this panel was to explore how climate policies can be better aligned with priorities of racial equity and social justice.
- Speakers: Paula Glover (Alliance to Save Energy), Jody London (Contra Costa County), and Julia Hatton (Rising Sun)
- Moderator: Pat Watts (FCI Management)
Each day we met from 12 noon to 1:30 pm