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SoCalREN Energy Efficiency Project Delivery Program

SoCalREN Energy Efficiency Project Delivery Program

SoCalREN’s Project Delivery Program is our flagship program, established in 2014 to make it easier for public agencies to take immediate action to save energy. The program’s free services include high-level technical assistance, objective third-party expertise, access to financing and project staffing for all stages of an energy efficiency project at no cost. Learn more about our services below.

Services

Energy Consumption Benchmarking

The SoCalREN Public Agency Program offers a suite of energy analysis services and tools designed to educate and empower agencies to make informed decisions about their energy management. These tools compare agency-owned assets such as buildings and streetlights to highlight energy-intensive infrastructure with opportunities for cost-saving energy efficiency projects. To inform portfolio-wide energy analysis, our services and tools include a Comparative Energy Analysis Report, and ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® assistance.

Our Comparative Energy Analysis (CEA) report provides an agency-wide snapshot of building, streetlight, pumping and exterior lighting annual energy consumption and cost. It helps to flag issues and identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements by highlighting the highest users.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an online energy management tool developed by the EPA that allows building managers to track and assess energy use across their portfolio of buildings (learn more here). Although this tool can provide valuable insights, it can be challenging to set up an account and begin using it. SoCalREN can help your agency fulfill AB802 benchmarking requirements, monitor building energy performance, and establish a record of agency facilities for ENERGY STAR building certification.

Technical support, including facility energy audits, identifying energy efficiency improvement measures, and energy efficiency performance specifications

An experienced energy engineering team is assigned to work with your staff and provide technical assistance during all, or any phase of your project. We develop an energy audit, or if you have a streetlight project, a survey. This produces a detailed list of recommended energy efficiency measures, along with a detailed financial analysis of the energy savings and costs of the recommendations to help guide your decision-making. We work with you to select the final package of measures to be installed by a quality mechanical or electrical contractor. The energy consultant prepares performance-based technical specifications and a scope of work for the selected measures.

Projects supported by the project delivery program include:

  • Lighting, including interior and exterior LEDs, occupancy sensors, controls, and daylighting
  • Mechanical, including performance improvements such as heat pumps, variable frequency drives, energy monitoring and control systems, and retrocommissioning, for mechanical equipment such as heating,ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and pool pumps
  • Street lighting, including inventory analysis, photometric analysis, and technical oversight
  • Water, including pump optimization, well rehabilitation, load shift measures, and retrocommissioning
  • Wastewater, including plant improvements like blower replacement and optimization, mixer replacement, aeration/diffuser, sensor-based control systems, and chemical treatment systems
  • Note: for projects or efficiency measures that aren’t incentivized by utility programs, get SoCalREN’s support for your energy efficiency project through the Metered Savings Program.
Project management and other staff support throughout your energy efficiency project

Whether your agency is considering a whole building retrofit or a single measure such as street lighting, SoCalREN’s Project Delivery Program is your one stop solution. Each enrolled agency is matched with a SoCalREN Project Manager upon enrollment, who serves as your point person to access our suite of programs and services. Many agencies think of their SoCalREN Project Managers as “one of our energy partners” and “part of the team.”

Our Project Managers provide start-to-finish support to guide you from facility audits all the way through construction completion. Our job is to make your job easier--we can assist with staff reports, documentation for project approval, and many more of the variety of steps needed to complete projects and accomplish your goals.

Analysis of financing options, financial advisory services, and assistance with rebate and incentive applications

Energy retrofits save money and resources in the long run, but financing them can be a big challenge for public agencies. SoCalREN offers a suite of free services to overcome this challenge and move projects to completion, including:

  • Tailored solutions -  SoCalREN can help identify financing solutions that best fit your agency’s specific needs and circumstances.
  • Paperwork made easy - once your agency decides how to finance your energy efficiency project, SoCalREN can assist your staff with completing financing and incentive applications for the project.
  • Financial advisor - SoCalREN provides access to financial advisory services through PFM Financial Advisors (PFMFA). PFMFA is available on request, at no additional charge, to work directly with your agency to ensure proper communication of financial options, structures and obligations.
  • Exclusive financing options - SoCalREN offers Energy Project Lease Financing with flexible terms and low interest rates for energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy projects. For on-bill financing or other options that pay out after construction completion, our energy efficiency Revolving Loan Fund can help bridge the gap while other funding is being secured.

SoCalREN is your objective third party resource for financing support—as a ratepayer funded program, we have no financial stake in your decisions. Our mission is to support public agencies to increase energy efficiency adoption. Our success is your success!

Proposal and construction support, including procurement guidance, performance specification support, construction management support, and third party objective review

The slow procurement process that is typical for construction services through the traditional RFP/bid approach is a common barrier for many agencies to get projects started easily. SoCalREN’s simplified procurement provides project support from start to finish, bringing speed and efficiency to the construction procurement process.

Our Simplified Procurement option through Sourcewell (formerly NJPA) was designed to help public agencies get to construction faster than is typical since they can access a pool of pre-competitively bid contractors. Sourcewell’s ezIQC®️ is the smart, easy way to buy construction services at competitive prices. Take advantage of contracts that have already been competitively awarded and access local contractors for increased speed and efficiency. Becoming a Sourcewell member is easy and can be done online at no cost, no obligation, and no liability. Many agencies are already members!

Regardless of the procurement option your agency chooses, SoCalREN’s support on performance specifications will ensure communications with your contractor will be clear and that the project you’ve developed on paper is what gets implemented. We also provide recommendations for contract language specific to energy efficiency projects—nuances that may not be part of standard templates but are invaluable for smooth project implementation and securing utility incentives. SoCalREN’s technical performance specifications ensure that the design and performance intent of your project is not lost or derailed in construction and that upgrades are installed and commissioned for lasting performance.

Benefits

  • Enrolled agencies have worked with SoCalREN to successfully implement energy efficiency projects, resulting in significant energy and cost savings. Energy savings from projects completed with SoCalREN not only reduce waste, but free up resources to better serve your agency’s constituents
  • As a ratepayer funded program, we have no financial stake in your agency’s decisions. We serve as a public agency’s trusted partner by offering unbiased, objective third party expertise to guide agencies transparently through energy efficiency projects.
  • We offer customizable project management services from start to finish. All of the program’s available services can be used comprehensively throughout a project, or, an agency can select customized services based on its specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this program different than those offered by the utilities?

SoCalREN complements any other energy conservation program an agency might be participating in, helping the agency reach its goals quicker. SoCalREN staff works closely with utility representatives to coordinate offerings and services and avoid duplication of efforts.

 

Why are agencies joining this Program and what does the future of this Program look like?

Agencies are joining SoCalREN so they can lead their communities by taking bold action to complete energy efficiency projects, and in turn, serve their communities with shared benefits such as improved illumination, greater reliability, reduced energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions -- ultimately creating a healthier community. A business plan was recently approved by the CPUC which will carry the program through 2025.

 

Who qualifies, and how do agencies sign up?

Qualifying agencies include over 700 cities, counties, school districts, water districts, sanitation districts and other public agencies served by investor-owned utilities (IOUs) throughout Southern California. Enrollment is simple and entails an engagement meeting with the interested agency and utility partners, and signing of SoCalREN Enrollment form. The form is non-binding and involves the designation of an agency “Energy Champion” to work alongside a Project Manager to support project development. Complete our interest form or email us at info@socalren.org to get started.

There are no limitations on the size or the scope of energy efficiency projects that qualify for services; however, at the time of an agency’s enrollment, program managers will evaluate projects on a case-by-case basis to determine the services that can be provided for each project. Selected projects may be based on availability of program funds, agency ability to complete projects on time, and energy savings potential, among other factors.

Learn about our other Programs