CURRENTS is the Local Government Commission’s free quarterly newsletter providing local elected officials and staff with current information on energy issues affecting California local governments.
Energy Resilience through MCE Storage Program

As a leading community choice aggregation (CCA) energy provider in California, MCE is taking a bold new step in its commitment to address climate change and support its local community. MCE launched an innovative Energy Storage Program this summer to provide energy resilience to its customers, preparing for expected public safety power shut-offs (PSPS) this fall. The program provides participating customers with behind-the-meter storage systems that will deliver back-up power during outages and lower customer bills during normal operations.

Nevertheless, EE persisted

Energy Efficiency in California is changing; it has been for years. I can’t say we’re on the backside of the upheaval, but the path ahead seems more clear than it ever has. If we’re to make it to the other side we have to double down on who we are and what we do. We fundamentally believe that all Californians deserve access to more efficient, more reliable, more affordable clean energy. We serve rural and Disadvantaged Communities; we serve the underserved. We always will.

All-Electric Momentum Moves to Southern California: New Financial Incentives Offered

Despite the remote nature of city business meetings since the arrival of Covid-19, dozens of Southern California local governments are advancing their Climate Action Plans (CAPs), building decarbonization efforts, and reach code goals. A reach code is a local building energy code that goes beyond or “reaches” past the state minimum requirements for building energy use, usually to address issues such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets, air quality, and public health and safety. It is a worthy target, since California burns almost as much natural gas in buildings as in the electric sector.

Leveraging Energy Efficiency during COVID-19

Communities throughout California and beyond, particularly marginalized communities that are disproportionately made up of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) residents due to histories of systemic inequality, continue to face a multitude of adverse impacts due to COVID-19. As extreme heat magnifies the impact of inequity, low-income households often face a higher energy cost burden from less access to energy efficiency improvements. Concurrently, shelter-in-place orders have created opportunities for building owners, managers, and tenants to complete energy efficiency retrofits in vacant and/or underutilized buildings. Expanding energy efficiency initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic offers multiple co-benefits – from energy cost savings to job preservation and workforce development.

CivicSpark Fellow Energy Sector Capstone Showcase

The following posters were developed by 2019-2020 CivicSpark Fellows who completed their service working on energy projects across California. These posters tell the story of their service projects, highlighting distinct replicable best practices for local governments.

American Climate Leadership Summit 2020 LIVE ONLINE

Join us at ecoAmerica’s 9th annual American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS 2020) — AMBITION • RESTORATION • JUSTICE on each Thursday during the month of August for a series of dynamic and interactive 3-hour webcasts, featuring engaging topics and speakers, with themes addressing our compounded crises and online features to engage with the sessions, speakers and each other. ACLS 2020 Live Online is the nation’s largest and most diverse virtual gathering of leaders dedicated to broadening and catalyzing action and advocacy for climate solutions. Learn strategies and ideas to help transform climate action into a true national priority. We will offer inspiring keynotes, thought-provoking information, immersive conversations, and collaborative sessions on accelerating efforts to restore our climate, raise ambition, convert our challenges into opportunities, and ensure that our pathways forward are centered on justice and equity. Register now, here!