2018 Fall Conference Recap
Senator Henry Stern, one of the California State Senate’s leading clean energy and climate champions, stated that the power to change is right in our homes, on our streets and at the conference. He emphasized that the jobs, dollars and brain power in this sector truly matter, both in Sacramento and to our State’s energy future. Senator Stern touted the Council’s recent legislative efforts as subtle and successful, and gave kudos to our lobbyists, Erin & Tiffany, noting their exceptional reputation as “substantive, straight shooters.” He had several words of encouragement for us:
- Energy crosses party lines. Energy efficiency is not an elite product; it’s for everyone.
- Dream Big! This is a time for ambitious proposals to achieve our ambitious goals.
- We have to be disruptive to break through the impasse.
- No pressure, but “Save the World!” – efficiency and demand management are key to doing so.
The Senator ended his inspirational comments with this toast to the Council’s members: “Here’s to a visionary and hopeful 2019—Hope is fuel!”
ICF’s Gene Rodrigues moderated our first panel of the day: California Utility Perspectives on the Path to 2030. Panelists discussed how we can reach the goals set forth in SB 100, which will require aggressive gains in delivering demand response and energy efficiency. To be carbon neutral by 2045, California will require new kinds of energy efficiency. We need bigger, broader solutions. We need sleek, sophisticated, competitive, focused EE. We need to remove barriers and make it easier for customers to do business. Their conclusion: “Collaborate—we are all in this together and we need to speak with one voice.” Panelist Meghan Dewey with Pacific Gas & Electric Company ended the panel by giving out some homework assignments and suggesting we use our Spring Symposium as a vehicle for a progress report on these assignments:
- Get smart. Use data to make informed decisions and lose our “emotional attachment” to existing programs.
- Update our values and load shapes.
- Value Integrated Energy Efficiency and Demand Response; break down siloes.
Former Council Policy Manager Michelle Vigen Ralston moderated a panel on Energy Efficiency for Everyone: Delivering Savings to all Communities. Nearly 40% of Californians live at or near the poverty line. Efficiency and demand management can improve the quality of their lives, and reduce their energy costs- which are a high proportion of their budgets. Bruce Ray of Johns Manville, one of our member companies, reported on a very successful efficiency pilot they completed in a Central Valley disadvantaged community, using cap-and-trade carbon funding. We were reminded that “Not everything that counts can be counted; not everything that can be counted counts.” Panelists encouraged us to share our ideas, make it personal, listen carefully to community needs and priorities, and participate.
After a networking lunch, Council Senior Policy Director Melanie Gillette moderated a panel on Demand Response: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going? Caitlin Pollock from the California Public Utilities Commission set the scene with a brief overview of the evolution of demand response in California and the transition to third-party participation in a new procurement mechanism. Panelists from CPower, OhmConnect, Leap and PG&E discussed aspects of the new mechanism that have been most successful and shared some learnings from the Demand Response pilots. They also shared what demand response needs to look like in the future to continue innovating and why demand response is a fundamental prerequisite to EV charging and storage.
Ann McCormick from Willdan moderated an informative panel on Community Choice Aggregation and California’s Clean Energy Future. CEO’s from Silicon Valley Clean Energy, East Bay Community Energy and Marin Clean Energy discussed CCA efficiency and demand management implementation challenges, including funding streams and data access. Panelists asked us to become climate warriors in our communities in order to make a difference.
The final panel of the day, moderated by Robert Kasman from Pacific Gas & Electric Company, explored (E)M&V in 2019 and Beyond. Program design must consider how to measure progress towards its targets, which will be an ongoing challenge as the goals grow beyond “all-day” energy savings to carbon reduction, grid support, and social benefits. Robert reminded us that saving energy is great, but when you save that energy will matter more in the future.
The conference concluded with the Art Rosenfeld Lifetime Achievement Award, which honored the accomplished career of Valerie Richardson from DNV-GL. Valerie has truly been a pioneer, mentor, and leader in shaping the energy efficiency industry. We congratulate her on this momentous award, and thank her for her ongoing inspiration.
The Fall Conference full slide deck is available Full Slide Deck – CEDMC Fall Conference. Please take a few minutes to complete our Fall Survey as we value your thoughts on how we can improve our events and other member services. Individuals who submit responses will be selected at random for a $20 Starbucks gift card! Five winners will be chosen!!
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