The California PUC is currently engaged in the 2009-2011 Energy
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QUARTERLY PROGRESS REPORT QUARTER ENDING: 06/30/07 EPA GRANT XA – 83312101 Grantee: Small Business California EPA Project Officer: Kate Lewis Grant Project Manager: Hank Ryan This Report will address the grant period from April 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007, the end of the quarter. Work Status and Work Progress 1. Food Service Equipment Purchase or Lease Throughout the grant period, we have viewed site visits to distributors as one of our most important activities, and one of the most direct paths towards helping to encourage energy saving and energy efficient activity. Each site visit is not only important in itself, but also includes extensive follow-up. Several months ago, we reported that we had visited 54 FSE distributors, or slightly over half of the actual FSE distributors in California. This past quarter, we re-visited 8 of those distributors along with one additional new firm, San Diego Restaurant Supply. In addition, we’ve collaborated with Andy Doucette of PG&E to help take orders for and distribute a broad array of banners, brochures and other informational pieces with nine FSE distributors ordering supplies as a function of site visits so far. Similar efforts will be put into place with the other IOUs so as to bring added value to the site visits. For an up to date list of FSE distributor site visits see: http://www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org/FSE_site_visits.htm 2. DABC/Energy Star Initiative What had begun several months ago as our Alcoholic Beverage Control “Fast-Track” concept, and now gained both structure and momentum, and a new designation as the DABC/Energy Star initiative. The DABC/Energy Star initiative now represents a significant thrust of our efforts to gain visibility regarding the importance of developing entirely new pathways towards the increased acceptance of and investment in energy efficiency food service equipment. Following discussions with Kate Lewis regarding this direction, we organized the assistance and coordination efforts of consultants from the office of Assembly Member Juan Arambula to gain a meeting with the DABC Director. During the meeting, we were pleased to see that while significant hurdles would have to be considered to address our request, DABC supported the general concept of using funds from the utilities in a cooperative approach. (You may remember that in our last Report, we indicated that one of the IOU’s had indicated a willingness to compensate the DABC for the staff time DABC devoted to this project.) They suggested ideas for using the DABC channel to make businesses aware of utility rebate programs or to provide fee waivers. DABC clearly wanted to help be part of the solution. We agreed to coordinate efforts with the California IOUs to see what resources they can bring to the table so as to begin with information transfer projects first and work from there. These efforts using the DABC/Energy Star example are being used in a number of forums to help illustrate the “smart signals” approach. We presented to the AB32 ETAAC (economics and technology) on this subject at their request in June and we have decided that the initiative will be the basis for asking the Governor, as the SB- Cal contribution to the CARB (CA Air Resources Board), panel where we have a seat at the table, so that the full weight of this panel may help move this “smart signals” approach forward. The DABC/Energy Star language has been offered in numerous CPUC workshops this quarter and in Comments to the CPUC that make suggestions for program planning for 2009-11. We’ve also presented this information at a San Diego Small Business Roundtable where we were invited to speak. Finally, we’ve met face to face with each of the IOUs in meetings in their offices to present this line of thought and the ideas have been well received. Roland Risser, the head of PG&E’s energy efficiency division actually sent me an email asking how he could help as soon as we received and sent word that we’d received word of the pending DABC meeting. 3. Building Operator Certification The Building Operator Certification survey, which we initiated and mentioned in a previous Quarterly Report , has significantly paid off. Most Building Operators answer that they do have food service facilities, and that they had never thought about it before, because they contract out the services to a 3rd party food service provider and then forget about it. Our survey has had the duel effect of bring food service facilities and their energy needs to the consciousness of building operators and of laying a sound evidentiary basis for impact valuation for energy efficiency courses in the BOC program. 4. Changing the Big Picture – Policy Efforts We have devoted a significant amount of effort toward policy matters this Quarter. We have begun talks with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to try to convince them to include information concerning energy efficiency and available technology in their orders. The case in point which got us involved was their order on charbroiler requirements, which could have and should have contained information concerning items like demand ventilation. We have initiated discussions with discussions with the CPUC and with the IOU’s regarding improving the existing methodology for certifying appliance and processes for inclusion in Energy Star and energy rebate programs. We believe that the program will be more successful if the utilities invest more ‘up-front’ in case- studies, publicizing case studies, and acquiring a firmer statistical base, rather than doing the work later and then re-adjusting their credits We have actively participated in a variety of CPUC filings and workshops directed at their program decisions for the 2009-2011 period. We have been primarily discussing five items which we believe are important to energy savings, and concerning which we believe we can be influential: 1) demand ventilation, 2) On Bill Financing, 3) Building Owner Certification and impact valuation for the program, 4) the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control/Energy Star project, and 5) improved methodology for inclusion in the energy efficiency rebate programs. We have previously filed comments supporting Continuous Commissioning of installed energy-saving devices and the PUC’s program in support of hybrid vehicles. We particularly believe demand ventilation is an important opportunity for energy savings, and we are vigorously pressing for a Standard Performance Contract evaluation for this technology and working with PG&E to help support deemed savings status of this measure. In our dealing with the CPUC, we are pleased and encouraged by the fact that our proposals are now being supported by the utility critics, TURN (The Utilities Reform Network) and the CPUC Division of Ratepayer Advocates, who had previously been offering very limited parameters regarding Public Purpose Program programs. Of equal or greater importance than our policy advocacy with the CPUC is our work with the Energy and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee of the California Air Resources Board. This committee (ETAAC), is charged with reporting to the Air Resources Board and the Governor on the technology and technical approaches involved in meeting the State’s goals under California’s anti-greenhouse gas legislation ( AB32). We are able to advocate here, officially, for the same agenda for which we are advocating at the CPUC, with added dimension that we can help influence the Governor to use his influence and authority with his Departments— such as the BAAQMD and, especially, the DABC – which has noted the value of assistance from the Governor. Not all important policy comes at the utility or government level. For food service equipment, probably the most important institution is the AutoQuotes website, http://www.aqnet.com. AutoQuotes is the universally accessed location for food service equipment prices and vendors. We have begun discussing with San Diego Gas and Electric a plan to coordinate a campaign to have aqnet.com include information about energy-saving equipment, energy savings, and energy-saver rebates on their system. 4. On Bill Financing – and new technologies The most gratifying results in OBF this Quarter came from Washington, not California. The Senate Energy Bill contained provisions mandating and implementing OBF, to which we had made, we believe, a substantial contribution. We had met last year with Senate staff in a Small Business briefing, and then later in San Francisco with staff members from Senator Boxer’s office. This year, we were involved more directly, responding first to inquiries from Brian Rice of Senator Kerry’s office, then providing testimony for the Kerry-Snowe hearings, and then providing language to Brian Rice, who wrote the OBF part of the legislation and incorporated much of what we had conveyed to him. We have continued to work on the dilemma of OBF software and IT integration – which we have previously indicated is the real bottleneck (other than PG&E) in wider adoption and implementation of OBF. We have been in discussions with United Illuminating of Connecticut, which seems to have the best working OBF management software, advocating for changes in their proposed pricing structure which we believe would lead to wider adoption of their product. We have opened up a significant collaboration with the San Diego Regional Energy Office in the area of solar energy driven OBF development. While commercial pool applications have been ruled “off limits” to the SDREO solar Pilot program just approved by the CPUC, heavy water users like car wash businesses and laundromats are now being targeted for thermal solar applications and this is an area where all the metrics (cost/loan size/payback) look like they will match. SDG&E is encouraging this work and is staying in communication with SDREO as well. Budget Analysis During this period, we ended our grant year ( May 31st). We ended our year on budget, with approximately $ 120 left in our account – which our CFO had insisted was a minimum necessary margin. We are looking forward to budgeting for the current (6/07-5/08) year. Anticipated Activity 7/1 – 9/30 We anticipate that during the coming quarter we will continue to work on our ongoing activities: We will continue our successful re-visiting of food service equipment distributors with more close cooperation of IOUs beginning with PG&E, and continue our collaboration with the IOU’s in distributing their energy saving and energy rebate materials We will continue to actively and meaningfully participate in the workshops, hearings, and discussions of the CPUC and the ETAAC, moving our agenda of 1) demand ventilation, 2) On Bill Financing, 3) Building Owner Certification and impact valuation for the program, 4) the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control/Energy Star project, and 5) improved methodology for inclusion in the energy efficiency rebate programs as well as supporting Continuous Commissioning of installed energy-saving devices to help insure the working integrity of CA OBF programs. We will continue to work to solve the OBF software and IT issues, with continued discussions with United Illuminating looking to the possibility of federal legislation which puts more pressure on the need for a project/contractor management tool for OBF. We will continue to advocate for impact evaluations for demand ventilation and the Building Operator Certification program. That is a fairly substantial workload, but we are contemplating 2 new approaches: 1) Once the national Energy Bill is clarified with regard to OBF financing, we will again be approaching the municipally owned utilities ( MOU’s) to involve them in the entire energy-saving program. And, 2) we will attempt to use the idea of safe, secure, government-entity OBF financing to try and entice PG&E into the process (meeting just agreed to by Roland Risser slated for next week). San Diego has initiated a significant number of OBF projects with school districts, which surely are unobjectionable as far as credit-worthiness is concerned and that will be the suggestion we’ll offer as to how to get PG&E started successfully.