Hidden Gems, Valued Savings

The Community Energy Partnership (CEP) has had success with a variety of less common energy project “gems”.

The Community Energy Partnership’s Less Common Energy Projects for Delivering Savings

The Energy Coalition


tecWhen Local Governments think of energy efficiency projects, common practices like retrofitting streetlights, interior or exterior lighting and HVAC systems usually come to mind. However, a Local Government Partnership in Southern California, the Community Energy Partnership (CEP) has had success with not only these typical types of projects — but also with a variety of less common energy project “gems”.

The largest portion of CEP’s kWh and kW savings traditionally come from water and wastewater pumping projects. In fact, 42% of all CEP kWh savings since 2010 have been a direct result of cities like Corona, San Bernardino and Santa Clarita completing pumping optimization projects — although a decrease in energy savings tracked by the program is now expected since the popular incentive for pump optimization is no longer offered.

Current “diamond in the rough” types of projects include Energy Management Systems (EMS) which are used to monitor, control, and optimize a building’s energy performance and Savings By Design — California’s statewide non-residential new construction and major retrofit energy efficiency program, which provides whole building analysis and comparisons of various energy efficiency alternatives.

Additional “hidden gems” include projects such as bi-level parking garage lighting where occupancy sensors provide full light levels when occupied and dimmed light levels when vacant.  Community pools also offer several opportunities, including boiler retrofits (pool heaters), variable frequency drives (VFDs) and projects such as pool covers can result in easy and unexpected savings with attractive financial incentives and paybacks.

Between 2010 and 2015, the six CEP cities have delivered over 130,000 therm savings, over 1,800 kW savings, and over 16 million kWh savings through municipal energy projects that are incentivized through utility programs — an average of over 2.6 million kWh per year!

A key to success in achieving savings is regular communication and the right partners. Many energy savings projects since 2014 were championed and managed in collaboration with The Energy Network Public Agency Program, which played an integral role in identifying and completing projects, along with the work of the SCE and SoCalGas partners.

Current CEP partners include SCE, SoCalGas, The Energy Coalition as the implementing partner, and the following six cities: Corona, Irvine, Moreno Valley, San Bernardino, Santa Clarita and Santa Monica. The six participating cities are very diverse in climate zones, population size, annual budgets, priorities and more; yet, all cities have delivered significant energy savings through their municipal projects and can share lessons learned and best practices with other cities looking to save.

To learn more, contact The Energy Coalition team at partnership@energycoalition.org or at 949-701-4646.