Highlights from the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum

The Local Government Commission (LGC), in partnership with the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, hosted the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (SEEC Forum) in June 26-27, 2019 in Long Beach, CA. LGC has hosted the annual SEEC Forum since 2010 to feature updates from key state agencies, highlight innovative local energy and climate change programs and resources, and provide opportunities for networking and collaboration.

This year’s Forum focused on empowering local governments and the communities they represent to implement impactful energy efficiency measures locally while helping meet the state’s ambitious climate and energy goals. Below are a few highlights from the Forum that was attended by over 300 local and state government, nonprofit, and private sector participants.

Plenary Highlight: Morning Plenary II – The Future Decarbonization of California’s Energy

This plenary explored SoCalGas’s and SoCalEdison’s vision for the path forward for decarbonizing energy in support of statewide goals to reduce emissions from non-renewable fossil fuels. California law sets an ambitious goal to slash GHG emissions to a point 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, which means utilities must work to decarbonize California’s energy sources not only with local governments, but with each other as well. Read more notes from this plenary here.

“California is making a very clear shift away from fossil fuels,” said Southern California Edison representative Joshua Torres. “We definitely want to accelerate this change.”

“Clearly we believe in a balanced approach, not just electric,” said Southern California Gas Company representative Ken Chawkins.

Session Highlight: Block #1 – Chasing the Twin Goals of Carbon Reduction and Racial Equity

This session featured discussion on San Francisco’s Zero Cities Project and the role of community engagement, racial equity, and environmental justice in lowering cities’ emissions. Through a bottom-up approach toward community engagement, where communities come to the table with cities and public servants to craft equitable policies and programs, community knowledge will lend itself to the solutions we need for healthy, equitable, and climate-ready cities and environments. Read more notes from this session here.

If you start with equity, you will get to efficiency. If you start with efficiency, it’s much harder to get to equity.

Leah Obias from Race Forward

Session Highlight: Block #2 – Fueling Energy Conservation and Efficiency through Gamification

The Port of San Diego piloted two energy saving behavior change games targeting public agency employees and business tenants, and engaged with session participants by playing sample game tasks. This session demonstrated that turning education and behavior change into fun and games can be a way to make employees think about environmental impacts of their actions and make positive, lasting changes. Read more notes from this session here.

Mentorship Program

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This year, we also held our first-ever SEEC Forum Mentorship Program Meet & Greet where emerging professionals in the climate and energy sector had the opportunity to network with and received one-on-one guidance from mentors. Mentees and mentors participated in a speed networking activity followed by a one-on-one career planning session. We also challenged Mentees to complete a SEEC Bingo Card during the Forum to receive a zero-waste kit as a prize!

Networking and Poster Reception

The annual Energy Champions Networking Reception included the poster session and space on the balcony for participants to network and enjoy the evening after Day 1 of the Forum.

Be sure to check out this year’s presentations and notes at www.californiaseec.org/2019-forum.

We look forward to seeing you next year!