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Public Agency Program
October 2018 Newsletter

Spotlight on the City of Palmdale

City of PalmdaleLast month, SoCalREN announced some pretty big milestone achievements and we know these successes wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our agency Energy Champions. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to shine a spotlight on Ben Lucha, Environmental & Technology Manager for the City of Palmdale. Ben tirelessly champions Palmdale’s sustainability and energy efficiency goals, putting in the work to ensure that the City reaches their goals. His work is paying off—the City of Palmdale has made significant progress since joining the SoCalREN Public Agency Program in 2013, collectively saving over $150,000 annually and reduced annual energy use by 1.3 million kWh. We asked Ben to share his insights about the collaboration between Palmdale and SoCalREN.
How have you leveraged SoCalREN’s services to integrate with Palmdale’s goals? SoCalREN has helped us considerably with our goals. Without their help, many of the energy efficiency retrofits that we have accomplished would not have come to fruition. According to our Climate Action Plan, almost 22% of our in-house proposed greenhouse gas measures were focused on energy efficiency projects and SoCalREN has helped the City with the majority of those projects. Additionally, our Climate Action Plan included acquiring and retrofitting our streetlights to LED lights; through SoCalREN’s assistance with addressing our safety lights (street lights over signalized crosswalks), we were able to demonstrate the feasibility of accomplishing the larger project (SoCalREN is also assisting with the overall streetlights project, a high priority for the City).

Tell us about any challenges overcome during implementation of projects? Finding the way to finance a project was really difficult. SoCalREN helped us find a way to make the project financially feasible so we could make it happen.

Has the City’s staff or the broader community noticed benefits from Palmdale’s successful energy efficiency projects? Our maintenance staff has been very happy with the assistance provided by SoCalREN.  Additionally, our Library’s extensive lighting retrofits have received overall positive responses. Our City has received three awards for the projects that have been accomplished with the assistance of SoCalREN!

The City of Palmdale received a Beacon Spotlight Award this month for achieving a 12% reduction in energy usage within municipal operations. See a highlight to the right on the 2018 Beacon Awards and the Network cities acknowledged for their achievements!

Congratulations Beacon Awardees!

SoCalREN congratulates all the 2018 Beacon Award winners for their  accomplishments representing local government sustainability leadership and commitment to addressing climate change. The Beacon Program celebrated its tenth year supporting cities and counties across the state to take action, reduce greenhouse gas emission, save energy and adopt climate policies. The City of Long Beach received a Silver Beacon Award for their holistic approach to addressing climate change through achievements in 5 areas: agency & community GHG reduction, electricity & natural gas savings, and sustainability best practice activities.

Beacon Spotlight Award winners were also acknowledged for reductions in individual savings categories. We applaud our enrolled agencies for their accomplishments: the Cities of Santa Clarita, West Hollywood, Norwalk, Ventura, La Habra, Downey, Culver City, Rancho Cucamonga, Palmdale, Signal Hill, Malibu, and Lynwood.

Thank you! Satisfaction Survey Results

We recently concluded an annual agency satisfaction survey to can learn how our services have been useful and which, if any, could be further enhanced. The Program is proud to have received a 93% average satisfaction rating! Thank you so much for your input.


Peer-to-peer workshop: The Huntington Beach Experience
The Huntington Beach experience -- it’s more than sunny beaches and killer surf! The City of Huntington Beach is leading the way on energy efficiency and sustainability strategies, with the SoCalREN Public Agency Program as a partner helping to identify, fund, and implement projects. Join us Wednesday, November 7th from 10-11:30am for a workshop and facility tour where we’ll hear best practices, learn about Huntington Beach’s energy efficiency experiences, and engage in a peer-to-peer discussion on project identification, financing, and more. 

Register now!
Energy Efficiency Month Events
Celebrate Energy Awareness Month at one or both of these events in the LA area. 
  • COAST Event | City of Santa Monica Open Streets Event | Sunday, October 7th |10am - 4pm
  • EarthFest LA | Los Angeles - Culver City | Saturday, October 20th | 10am - 7pm
SCE Annual Water Conference
The SoCalREN team participated at SCE’s Annual Water Conference on September 11th & 12th at the Energy Education Center in Irwindale. SoCalREN hosted an exhibitor booth and engaged with participants throughout the conference. The General Session highlighted key challenges faced by the water sector, which was then followed by educational sessions ranging from Time-Of-Use Tariff Updates to Water Distribution Operator trainings. Day 2 of the conference featured classes addressing practical issues, such as managing pump testing and efficient pumping systems, water-energy savings technologies and strategies, and pumping control strategies for enhanced energy efficiency.

It’s Energy Efficiency Month!

Each year the U.S. Department of Energy declares October as National Energy Awareness Month with the goal of empowering communities to take action and join together to conserve energy.

Did you know? Today’s LED (Light Emitting Diode)  bulbs can be 6-7 times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights. And, LED bulbs can cut energy use by more than 80%. Celebrate Energy Awareness Month by learning more about how you use energy and how to make your energy choices more efficient. Here are some energy tips for the home and office:

  • Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms.
  • Unplug equipment that drains energy when not in use (ie.. cell phone chargers, fans, coffeemakers, desktop printers, radios, etc.).
  • Install a programmable thermostat that can be adjusted to temperatures according to your schedule.
  • Switch off all unnecessary lights when not in use to reduce energy use and costs (i.e. turn off lights when you leave at night.)
  • Turn off your computer, speakers, and monitors at the end of the work day.
  • Don’t forget that October 5 is Energy Efficiency Day! ACEEE invites you to join a nationwide campaign (#EEDay2018) to shout out the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, from reducing energy waste and saving money to lessening pollution and creating jobs.
What small changes can you make throughout the month of October (and all months) to conserve energy?

Regulatory Update

On September 4, 2018, Los Angeles County (the SoCalREN administrator) filed its Annual Budget Advice Letter with the California Public Utilities Commission to continue the SoCalREN and increase funding for its portfolio of programs, including the public sector services.
The SoCalREN proposes to continue and expand its current Public Agency program with three additional services directed to the public sector:
  1. New financing services in the form of an innovative revolving loan fund. This option will offer short-term construction period financing for public agency energy efficiency EE projects.
  2. Support for exterior lighting projects through an meter-based measurement based and performance incentive program. This new program will help fill gaps caused by the drastic reduction or elimination of exterior lighting retrofit incentives from the IOUs.
  3. Information and education on distributed energy resources (DERs) that can support and complement energy efficiency projects. These DER services will be primarily targeted to public agencies with disadvantaged communities (DACs) which represent over half of the jurisdictions currently served by the SoCalREN.
We look forward to continuing to support public agencies’ energy leadership. Please contact your Project Manager if you’re interested in learning more about our future!
Developed by The Energy Coalition on behalf of the SoCalREN Public Agency Program.

The SoCalREN Public Agency Program is administered by the County of Los Angeles and funded by California utility ratepayers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

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The Energy Coalition · SoCalREN Public Agency Programs · 525 Technology Drive Ste 350 · Irvine, CA 92618-3206 · USA