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August 31, 2015

The drought has spurred increasing interest in water conservation. Landscape irrigation presents ample opportunities for saving water and has the added benefit of saving energy. Water-efficient landscape design can create a healthy environment for vegetation by taking into account the water needs of the plants, the location’s climate, and irrigation design. This report provides basic information on landscape types and irrigation systems, the methodology for estimating weather-based irrigation needs, and a case study. The case study estimates the water, energy, and cost savings, as well as carbon sequestered, as a result of renovating a Glen Arbor Park in Murrieta, California to a water-efficient landscape design.

April 20, 2015

The Climate Action Fellows Pilot Report outlines a program for using area university students (as Climate Action Fellows) to cost-effectively add capacity to local government to address climate protection mandates, voluntary goals and commitments. The report outlines the goals and objectives of the program, describes the timeline and process of program implementation, and provides a case study in which the program was piloted with the City of Covina. This resource provides energy utility program managers and local government associations with a blueprint to implement the Climate Action Fellows Program Model on a broader scale.

April 9, 2015

The Water-Energy Program Collaboration Guidebook is a new resource for energy utilities and water agencies in California. It is a result of the 2013 Utility Sustainability Roundtable, where participants from utilities, water agencies, and cities expressed strong interest in a joint water-energy efficiency program collaboration guidebook to support and enhance coordinated efforts towards a sustainable water-energy nexus. This resource offers guidance and real-world examples within a detailed joint program development and implementation process, as well as top collaboration strategies and other insights.

April 2, 2015

On August 21, 2014 the California Sustainability Alliance held a forum for the Southern California Gas Company (SCG)’s greenhouse, floriculture and horticulture customers in Tulare, CA. Twenty-three participants from twelve growing or post-harvest operations and four agricultural associations took part in the forum. The half-day forum agenda included a presentation by a soil scientist on Benchmarking irritation and best practices at Grimmway Farms and Paramount Citrus as well as a break-out sessions with the participants The primary goal of the forum was to “listen” to the growers, A) Determine what is their current level of use and acceptance of energy efficient practices, especially in relation to water usage, B) To assess what are their needs and opportunities that could be addressed by SCG. In September 2014, the Alliance completed a report entitled Sustainability Forum for Southern Central Valley Agricultural Growers and Post-Harvest Processors that documents presentations, discussion and general conclusions of the forum.

March 11, 2015

The drought has spurred increasing interest in the water-energy nexus. Industrial facilities present concentrated opportunities for savings in both energy and water. One of these opportunities lies in recycling hot water on site. By recycling hot water, water is saved and the gas used to heat make-up water is saved. When both of these savings are accounted for in determining cost-effectiveness, on-site water recycling becomes more attractive to industrial customers. This report outlines technical, economic, and communication barriers to recycling hot water, revealed through vendor interviews. 

Exploring Utility and Local Government Partnerships to Fund Energy Efficiency
June 19, 2014

The Cap-and-Trade market has added a new dynamic to California’s greenhouse gas regulations. Utilities are faced with finding cost-effective ways to comply with their emissions reductions requirements. Energy efficiency at the local government level presents a large opportunity for saving energy that is currently not incentivized by the Cap-and-Trade system. Nevertheless, the emissions reductions resulting from saved energy can be valued against the cost of compliance instruments, which are projected to increase in price over time. This whitepaper presents a new framework under which local governments could partner with their load-serving utilities to move cost-effective energy efficiency projects forward.

January 15, 2014

The path to sustainability is difficult. Collaboration and joint efforts can help ease our journey. To this end, leaders from water and energy utilities as well as representatives from local governments of Southern California joined the Alliance for a roundtable discussion on opportunities to support each other in their efforts to promote energy and water efficiency. The 2013 Utility Sustainability Roundtable, the fourth such event, was held in September. This document summarizes the participants’ conversations, which centered around three main topics: The Water-Energy Nexus, Aligning City Planning and Utility Incentive Cycles, and Cap-and-Trade. 

March 13, 2012

The Alliance has developed a set of tools to help guide organizations through the process of greening their operations and staff behaviors. Intended to be an ongoing reference, the Green Tenant Guide aims to walk organizations through planning and implementing their sustainability program. Readers will learn how to work with organization leadership, property managers, and staff to set clear and feasible goals, establish buy-in and excitement among employees, define metrics, and measure and communicate results.

March 13, 2012

The Green Tenant Guide is designed to guide local governments through the process of greening their operations and staff behaviors. Intended to be an ongoing reference, the Green Tenant Guide aims to walk agencies through planning and implementing their sustainability program. Readers will learn how to work with organization leadership, property managers, and staff to set clear and feasible goals, establish buy-in and excitement among employees, define metrics, and measure and communicate results.

November 14, 2010

In November, 2011 the California Sustainability Alliance presented this poster at the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference (BECC), on the role of utilities in overcoming split incentives in office buildings. Currently, commercial office buildings are responsible for over 14% of natural gas consumption and 24% of electricity consumption in the commercial sector, statewide. The poster discusses ways in which utilities can leverage the Alliance’s Green Leases Toolkit, which identifies how sustainability can be incorporated into the entire leasing process from both tenant and landlord perspectives. Additional potential utility programs are also outlined, such as rebates, financing, and marketing and outreach approaches.