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NAESCO News

January 2016

NAESCO Advocacy Initiatives

News From the Association

Industry Reports

Member News

Member Projects

New Product and Services Showcase

Industry News


NAESCO Advocacy Initiatives

Advocacy Report

NAESCO's advocacy work in 2015 has been built around growing market opportunities for ESCOS and their key providers and partners and we expect to build on this effort in 2016. Key priorities include the following:

  • Ensuring that federal administrative policies continue the high level of performance contracting work generated by the President's aggregate target of $4 billion of projects;
  • Supporting national and state policy initiatives that will boost energy efficiency and performance contracting;
  • Proactively advocating for ESCO business friendly laws, regulations, and guidelines, such as supporting the extension of federal tax deductions and credits that boost energy efficiency and performance contracting;
  • Defending ESCO enabling legislation or policies that are under attack; and,
  • Working to relieve the bottlenecks that are crippling state buildings ESPC programs in several states with large potential ESPC markets.

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Federal Issues

 
Federal ESPC Program

  • NAESCO continues to focus on facilitating the implementation of the $4 billion performance contracting projects commitment made by the President.
  • NAESCO is working with FEMP and LBNL to facilitate the rollout of the eProject Builder (ePB) system to ESCOs in the federal marketplace.
  • NAESCO is also working with FEMP and LBNL on an updated ESCO industry market survey. Initial results were presented at the 2015 Annual Conference in New Orleans and the full study is expected to be released by the 2Q of 2016.
  • NAESCO is working with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Energy Services Coalition (ESC) to assist the US Department of Energy in getting states and cities to commit to the ESPC Accelerator, which is part of the national Better Buildings Challenge, and seeks to implement an incremental $2 billion (over and above the business-as-usual) growth of the ESCO industry in the next two years.

179D and Tax Reform
NAESCO has worked successfully for the last two years with a group of interested NAESCO members and the lobbying firms Van Ness Feldman (VNF) and Prime Policy Group (PPG) to secure the extension of the Section 179D deductions for energy efficiency work in commercial buildings. We were initially successful obtaining a one year extension for 2014 and most recently at the end of 2015 helped obtain a two year extension for 2015-16. NAESCO held multiple Congressional lobbying days in 2014-2015 meeting with over 100 offices, Republicans and Democrats. We are in the process of forming a group for 2016 to work to ensure that the 179D deduction is preserved as part of any tax reform legislation considered this session or, at a minimum, is contained in a year-end tax extenders package.

Section 111 D of the Clean Air Act (Clean Power Plan)
NAESCO has joined a group of ten ESCOs that developed a substantial White Paper and a formal comment document on the proposed rule for submittal to the EPA in 2014.  The EPA, in response to the efforts of these ESCOs and our consultant (AJW) formally recognized the role of performance contracting as a distinct vehicle for delivering energy efficiency and said it would work with the industry to establish the infrastructure required for ESCOs to claim credit for the emissions reductions their projects produce and to trade the credits in national or state exchanges. Comments on the Federal Implementation Plan (for states that decide not to implement their own plan) and on energy efficiency EM&V are due on January 21. After that, the advocacy activities shift away from the EPA to the states that are drafting compliance plans for submittal in 2016.

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State Advocacy Issues

During 2015, NAESCO's state advocacy efforts were divided between defending against legislative attempts to cripple successful ESPC programs and working proactively to expand ESPC programs in states that have significant unrealized market potential. On the defensive side, NAESCO has focused its efforts working with member ESCOS and other interested organizations in Minnesota, Kansas, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wisconsin to defeat legislation and regulations that would hurt ESPC programs.

On the proactive side, the NAESCO Board Strategic Planning Committee developed a list of ten priority states. All ESCOs were invited to submit their priorities. The priority states include California, New York, Nevada, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Florida, and Arizona.

California - Legislation and Regulatory Proceedings

AB 802
In California, NAESCO and other parties have argued for the last decade that the existing CPUC policy frustrated the state's energy resource edict that utilities should procure all cost effective energy efficiency before procuring other resources. On September 11, the California legislature passed AB 802, which will dramatically expand the scope of the incentives available for California EE projects, by changing the baseline from which project savings are calculated. The passage of AB 802 will require that the California EE programs be extensively reworked in 2016 and participation in this effort will be a priority for NAESCO. NAESCO plans to add an additional lobbyist to its team in 2016 to assist in these efforts.

R13-11-005 - Conclusion of Phase I (2015 Programs) and Beginning of Phase II (Rolling Cycle)
NAESCO submitted comments in Phase II of the Proposed Decision to prevent the superimposition of a cumbersome project and program administrative structure onto the simple mandate of AB 802.

Lack of Innovative Programs
The 2015 and 2016 utility EE program proposals appear to be continuing the trend for utilities to minimize funding for innovative third party residential and small business programs. NAESCO has urged in its comments that the CPUC order the utilities to substantially increase their funding for innovative programs now.

New York - Reforming the Energy Vision
The New York State Public Service Commission is in the middle of a proceeding to consider the future of the utility and NYSERDA energy efficiency programs and the NYSERDA R&D programs and EE financing programs. NYSERDA has published a draft proposal on which NAESCO has submitted comments. NAESCO is also participating on the PACE Advisory Board of the EnergizeNY financing program, and has been part of a group of national EE experts that reviewed key elements of the NYSERDA proposal. NAESCO expects that participation in the New York PSC proceedings will be a priority in 2016.

Illinois
In Illinois, NAESCO is supporting the Illinois EE coalition that is working to maintain the funding for public buildings EE projects. NAESCO is also part of a coalition that supports legislation that would expand the states EERS and RPS requirements, which appeared in the spring to be making progress, but has been postponed by the ongoing state budget crisis.

Wisconsin
In response to requests from member ESCOs, NAESCO convened a working group of ESCOs to confront the challenge to the performance contracting business by CESA 10, a state-chartered cooperative that was competing with ESCOs for projects, and was not meeting the requirements of state law for those projects. The working group was successful in getting CESA 10 to back down, though their withdrawal from the ESCO business was also due to some significant internal management issues.

Pennsylvania
The goal of our activities in Pennsylvania is to get the Wolf administration to re-start the Guaranteed Energy Savings Agreement which had been the largest state buildings ESPC program in the country until disbanded by Governor Corbett. In addition, NAESCO has been asked by the Philadelphia Energy Authority to provide input on the design of an aggressive new citywide ESPC program.

Kansas
NAESCO convened a working group of ESCOs to defeat KS HB 2418, which was introduced by a state representative whose family owns a general contracting company and which would effectively outlaw performance contracting in the K-12 school market. NAESCO hired an experienced KS lobbyist, and met with the sponsoring legislator. We are now, at his invitation, proposing modifications to HB 2418 that would deal with the problems he identified (principally due to chronic understaffing of the Facilities Conservation Improvement Program that had been the champion for ESPC) without crippling the ESCO industry.

Mississippi
NAESCO is working with a group of member ESCOs to contest changes in the state performance contracting program rules that were imposed last summer without the proper administrative procedures. As a result of NAESCO actions, the MDA in the early fall issued an RFI for best practices in performance contracting programs and recently issued for public comment, some proposed rule changes.

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Section 179D Extended

FROM THE DESK OF MICHAEL PLATNER (VanNess Feldman) AND STEFAN BAILEY (Prime Policy Group)
On Friday, December 12, 2015, President Obama signed into law HR 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, which extends the Section 179D deduction through 2016.  The legislation also updates the standard to ASHRAE 2007 for projects placed in service in 2016.  In addition, the bill amends the Section 179 expensing provision to allow HVAC equipment in commercial buildings to qualify as Section 179 property and be immediately expensed by small businesses that are eligible for 179 expensing.

The extension of Section 179D represents a tremendous success for NAESCO, the member companies and our combined efforts.  NAESCO and its member companies' willingness over the previous years to devote time and resources to the advocacy in support of the extension was absolutely crucial to our success.  Congratulations.

While the landscape for extenders has changed dramatically following the year-end tax bill, we firmly believe Congress will work on tax issues (including extenders) in 2016.  Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady have both said the House will continue to work on laying the ground work for tax reform during 2016 to set forth the Republican agenda for the post 2016 elections.  In addition, there will be an opportunity for another tax bill in the lame duck after the 2016 elections.  There is a strong desire by many Members to extend these provisions in advance, so they can have an incentive effect, rather than having them expire and renewing them retroactively.

The year-end tax bill may have eliminated 20 of the 50 provisions from consideration in 2016, however, every single one of the extenders that now expire at the end of 2016 are very important to many interests groups and each one of those groups will be working to promote their provision over the next year.  That list includes 13 energy tax provisions including Section 179D.

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News From the Association

New Members

Acuity Brands, Inc.
Acuity Brands is a North American market leader and one of the world's leading providers of lighting solutions for both indoor and outdoor applications. With fiscal year 2014 net sales of over $2.4 billion, Acuity Brands employs approximately 7,000 associates and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with operations throughout North America, in Europe, and Asia. Our innovative lighting solutions cover both conventional fixtures and advanced solid-state technology that can seamlessly integrate with powerful digital controls and daylighting to create greater energy efficiencies and a higher quality of light. Our century of tradition, our current financial strength and our commitment to a sustainable future, provides us with an opportunity to grow, innovate and further capture the rapidly growing market opportunities before us.

Acuity Brands, Inc.
Acuity's lighting solutions

GEM Energy
A multi-faceted resource for power generation and conservation, GEM Energy is a trusted adviser to leading organizations in the institutional, industrial, governmental and commercial sectors. While what we do is technically complex, it's simple to explain: We optimize the efficiency of your facility for reduced operating costs. Our expertise includes combined heat and power (CHP) system design and integration as well as comprehensive solar development from funding through array installation. We procure energy, design building control systems, perform preventive HVAC maintenance service, and have design/build capabilities to manage your energy productivity project from construction through commissioning.

Gem Energy
Gem Energy's solar project at the Toledo Zoo

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2016 Federal Market Workshop in March

NAESCO Federal Market Workshop
March 10, 2016 - Washington, DC
Maximizing Energy Savings and Meeting High Performance Objectives at Federal Facilities through Strategic Use of ESPCs and UESCs

Capitol

Session Highlights

  • Achieving Federal Energy Savings and GHG Mandates
  • Accelerating and Maintaining Federal ESPC and UESC Momentum
  • Assessing the Impact of Changes in the Utility Industry on the Market for EE and RE
  • What's New in FEMP M&V Version 4.0 Guidelines
  • Congressional Energy and Environmental Initiatives in a Presidential Year

How Do I Register for the Workshop?

Online registration is open for the Federal Market Workshop to be held on March 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Space is limited, and the NAESCO Federal Market Workshop sells out quickly every year, so please register soon in order to secure seats for you and your team.

When & Where Is the Workshop?
Thursday, March 10, 2016, 8:00AM to 3:00PM. Continental Breakfast and Networking Lunch Included.

FHI 360 Conference Center
1825 Connecticut Ave, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
Map

NAESCO Does Not have a block of hotel rooms reserved for this event. Click here for a list of area hotels.

Thank you to our 2016 Federal Market Workshop Sponsors:

Platinum - Networking Lunch


Ameresco
     

 
Gold - Continental Welcome Breakfast

Southland Energy      

 
Silver - Workshop App Sponsor


 
 

 
Bronze

     
   
       

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New Slate of Board Officers Elected

During the Annual Conference held last November in New Orleans, NAESCO Board of Directors elected new officers to a two-year term.  Natasha Shah, Vice President of Southland Energy is the new Chairperson and leads the Board of Directors in oversight of NAESCO's management, communication and outreach initiatives, as well as advocacy efforts. Greg Collins, President of Energy Systems Group serves as Vice Chairman, Charles McGinnis, Senior Director of Energy Solutions for Johnson Controls serves as Corporate Secretary, and Scott Ririe, Managing Partner of Control Technology and Solutions will continue to serve as Treasurer. NAESCO is very appreciative of the hard work and leadership  provided by the previous slate of officers which consisted of David Weiss as Chairman, Mike Kearney as Vice Chairman, Natasha Shah as Corporate Secretary, and Scott Ririe as Treasurer.

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Accreditation Update

The second round of the Accreditation Program for 2015 culminated in the acceptance by the NAESCO Board of Directors of the recommendations of the NAESCO Accreditation Committee. The Board voted to renew the accreditation of the following companies that were up for renewal:

  1. ESCO Renewals
    1. ABM Building and Energy Solutions
    2. Climatec BTG
    3. Wendel Energy Services
  2. ESP Renewal
    1. Energy Systems Group

Congratulations to all of these companies who underwent a rigorous evaluation process by the NAESCO Accreditation Committee which is comprised of an independent body of reviewers.

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Accredited Member Spotlight - Climatec

Congratulations to Climatec for recently completing the necessary requirements to become a NAESCO reaccredited company.  Founded in 1975, Climatec is a leader in the application of advanced building technologies, delivering workplace comfort and energy efficiency.  As a systems integrator, they capture the value of legacy systems and bridge building automation, life safety, security and enterprise energy management into seamless business solutions.

Climatec works in the education, healthcare, government, manufacturing, commercial office, public works, and hospitality sectors.  Recent projects include Harrah's Casino in Lake Tahoe, Chase Field in Phoenix, and an ongoing, 53-building project at Edward's Air Force Base.

When asked, why NAESCO Accreditation is important to Climatec, Steve Siverson, President, said "Because NAESCO requires applicants and members undergo a rigorous evaluation of their project history, customer references and energy savings statistics in order to receive and maintain their accreditation, our customers commonly use this accreditation as a pre-qualification or minimum requirement. In doing so, our customers can employ this as a method for both eliminating unqualified ESCOs, and for ensuring respondents will be able to meet the rigorous financial and performance obligations required by traditional energy performance contracting programs. For this and many other reasons, Climatec feels that maintaining our accreditation by NAESCO is one of the best investments we can make in our business."

Climatec recently completed an extensive project for the Hesperia, CA Unified School District for infrastructure improvements and the modernization of heating and cooling systems for 300 classrooms as well as LED lighting retrofits and a computer power management system.   Read a case study on this project here.

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Affiliate Advisory Committee Report

In response to interest by NAESCO affiliate members in having a more active role in NAESCO, the Affiliate Advisory Committee was formed in November 2015. Rhonda Courtney of Energy Focus has agreed to chair this Committee with the support of NAESCO staff and several Board members including David Weiss of Bywater Partners who will serve as a liaison between the Board and Advisory Committee and Kurt Minko who serves as the Affiliate representative to the Board.

The committee has identified three key priorities for 2016 and subcommittees have been formed to work towards achieving the objectives identified.

Webinars/Workshops - The subcommittee will work with affiliate members to identify and develop webinar educational training and workshop session topics that cover emerging industry trends and practices, disruptive technologies already in the market, or, on the immediate horizon, and key financial and legal issues that should be a priority consideration during the project development and implementation process.

The Webinar subcommittee is planning to produce three new webinars in 2016, with the first occurring in late March.  More details will be available soon.

Advocacy - This subcommittee will serve as a point of contact with Donald Gilligan and the NAESCO Advocacy and Strategic Planning Committee as the advocacy strategy for 2016 is developed and executed.

Value Proposition - The Affiliate Value Proposition subcommittee will work to expand the Affiliate Value Proposition in order to increase the benefits and maximize the overall value of being a NAESCO affiliate member.

All NAESCO affiliate members are encouraged to have a member of their team participate on the committee and on one of the subcommittees.   If interested, or you would like more information, please contact Heidi Walters at Heidi@naesco.org.

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Annual Sponsorships Available

Supporting NAESCO through Annual Sponsorship allows NAESCO to continue to provide a range of market building initiatives as well as high-quality conferences and workshops while raising a member company's visibility and status as a market leader. We want to thank our current 2016 Annual Sponsors. Philips and Lutron serve as Platinum sponsors; Synergy Companies, UCONS, and Walker Reid Strategies serve as Gold sponsors; and Forest Lighting serves as a Silver sponsor.

In 2016, NAESCO is enhancing the prominence of annual sponsor logos on the home page of the website and in event announcements.  We have also augmented the annual sponsor benefits for 2016, which include, an increased number of registrations for all NAESCO events (Platinum), choice of booth location at the Annual Conference & Vendor Showcase (Platinum, Gold and Silver), participation in the Annual Conference Planning Committee (Platinum and Gold), and banner advertising in each issue of NAESCO News (Platinum).  The complete list of benefits for each sponsor level can be found in the 2016 Annual Sponsor Prospectus.

Become an Annual Sponsor this month so your company can take full advantage of the benefits offered throughout the coming year. Those interested should contact Heidi Walters at Heidi@naesco.org or 202-822-0954.

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Follow Us on Social Media

Follow NAESCO on Twitter as: @NAESCONews and on LinkedIn as: "NAESCO" for the latest news from State and Federal advocacy efforts, upcoming workshops, conferences, and webinars and other industry related news.

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Industry Reports

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Report - January 2016 Future Opportunities and Challenges with Using Demand Response as a Resource in Distribution System Operation and Planning Activities
This report acknowledges that the U.S. electric grid is aging and predicted to require substantial investment in the near future to maintain reliability.  At the same time, distributed energy resources, especially those with variable and the potential for two-way power flows, are gaining traction in areas served by the distribution portion of the grid.  As the penetration level of such resources approaches the physical hosting capacity of the system, increasing numbers of locations on the distribution grid will be challenged.  The authors suggest that these factors create a need to reassess planning and operation practices, particularly at the distribution level and focus on the option of demand response. The research described in this paper characterizes the abilities as well as limitations of current and future demand response opportunities to contribute to distribution system management. The report and an associated presentation that summarizes the key findings can be downloaded here.

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ACEEE Report, How Information and Communications Technologies Will Change the Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification of Energy Efficiency Programs
This report reviews traditional EM&V practices, explores new enabling technologies including the Internet of Things and remote building analysis, and describes the application of information and communications technologies to each stage of the EM&V process. The report then projects ways forward through a number of challenges (e.g., data overload) and concludes that ICT-enabled EM&V could eventually change the design of efficiency programs and the responsibilities of program administrators, implementers, and evaluators. Download the report here.

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NEEP Report, The Changing EM&V Paradigm: A review of Key Trends and New Developments, and Their Implications on Current and Future EM&V Practices
This report reviews how new data analytic tools serve to help identify savings opportunities and engaging customers in programs like never before, and explores the potential for advanced data collection (e.g. AMI, smart meters) and data analytics to improve and streamline the evaluation process.  Download the report here.

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Member News

Ameresco and National Archives and Records Administration Commemorate Award-Winning Energy Conservation Project
Ameresco joined officials at the National Archives and Records Administration II (NARA) in College Park, Maryland, to commemorate an award-winning multi-phase energy conservation project which began in 2005. Ameresco has completed construction of the most recent phase of an Energy Savings Performance Contract which provided for $7.3 million of new improvements, including water irrigation upgrades, rooftop solar and high-efficiency improvements to the lighting and HVAC systems in NARA's record storage areas.

During the past decade, Ameresco has used a combination of federal contract vehicles to assist NARA in achieving their energy and sustainability goals, including the U.S. Department of Energy ESPC IDIQ and GSA Schedules. Energy conservation measures installed include a broad spectrum of high-efficiency and sustainable upgrades, including upgrades to the Energy Management System--a mission-critical system that maintains archival-quality storage of national historic records and artifacts.

Combined, approximately $23 million in improvements have been installed by Ameresco at Archives I in Washington, DC, and Archives II in Maryland. Measures include cool roofs, vegetative green roofs, LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC, cogeneration, building controls optimization, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, mechanical upgrades, solar, and composting. The compost system at Archives II is producing approximately 1,000 pounds of compost daily which is used on site, thus reducing the need for purchasing mulch and hauling the waste.

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Climatec is recognized by Phoenix Business Journal's Best Places to Work 2015
Climatec announced its recognition as one of Phoenix's 2015 Best Places to Work, presented by the Phoenix Business Journal. Each year, the Business Journal celebrates employers who create the most rewarding work environments in Arizona. Climatec is ranked 10th out of 20 in the large-sized companies' category. One hundred and fifteen companies divided into five categories, were honored at the 13th Annual Best Places to Work event.

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Energy Focus Business Development Director, Rhonda Courtney, Appointed Chair for NAESCO Affiliate Advisory Committee
Energy Focus announced that Rhonda Courtney, business development director for Energy Focus, has been appointed the National Association of Energy Service Companies Affiliate Advisory Committee Chair. The newly formed Affiliate Advisory Committee was created to drive critical support to all affiliate members and enhance educational efforts around evolving new energy efficient technologies, financing and development of comprehensive efficiency projects.

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FMI Advises OST Energy in Acquisition by Edif ERA
Edif ERA has acquired OST Energy Ltd. FMI Capital Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisor to OST for this transaction. OST, based in London, is an award winning, global independent engineering consultancy specializing in technical advisory services for the renewable energy market, offering a complete package of services for investors, lenders, IPPs, utilities and developers. Edif ERA works in critical industries and environments world-wide, providing engineering and consultancy services to reduce risk, optimize performance and enhance capability, giving customers the confidence to build operational success. OST will enhance the Edif ERA offering by providing a through-life suite of services to the renewable energy market.

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Hannon Armstrong Completes $100.5 million, A-Rated, 19 Year Term, 4.28% Sustainable Yield BondsTM Offering With CarbonCountTM Score of 0.39 MT/$1000
Hannon Armstrong a leading provider of debt and equity financing to the energy efficiency and renewable energy markets, recently completed an offering of A-rated (Kroll) Sustainable Yield Bonds issued by its indirect subsidiary and secured by a portion of its utility scale solar and wind real estate related assets. The transaction was certified by the Alliance to Save Energy's CarbonCount, with a score of 0.39 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions reduced annually per $1,000 of investment.

The bonds consist of a senior class of bonds (the "Class A Bonds") in an aggregate principal amount of $100,500,000 with an interest rate of 4.28%. The junior class of bonds (the "Class B Bonds") consists of $18,112,000 aggregate principal amount with an interest rate of 5.00% and was retained by the Company. Both classes of notes have an anticipated repayment date in October 2034. Hannon Armstrong Capital, LLC, the operating subsidiary of the Company, will act as servicer for the securitization.

The Class A Bonds received an investment grade rating of A and the Class B Bonds received a rating of BBB from the Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc. The Company believes that the rating reflects the predictability and quality of the cash flows of the underlying assets, with strong, experienced publicly rated project sponsors and off-takers. This is a new asset class in the asset-backed securities market and the first Hannon Armstrong issuance to achieve a public investment grade rating. Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as structuring agent for the offering.

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NORESCO Provides Services for Eli Lilly Project Named New Jersey Association of Energy Engineers Energy Project of the Year
The New Jersey Association of Energy Engineers selected energy and infrastructure improvements at Eli Lilly and Company's Branchburg campus as the 2014 Energy Project of the Year. NORESCO provided energy audit services for the project, which was recently recognized at the NJAEE's annual awards gala in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

Lilly launched an initiative in 2009 to reduce energy intensity at its Branchburg, New Jersey, bio-pharma campus. NORESCO provided an extensive energy audit of the six-building campus, producing a list of more than 70 energy conservation measures for consideration. Highlights of the project include high-efficiency lighting upgrades, building envelope improvements, boiler controls upgrades, process-water system improvements, air flow improvements and installation of a new Carrier high-efficiency chiller.

Lilly completed implementation of the energy conservation measures in 2014 in its 270,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, known as Building BB50. The diverse mix of improvements saves energy in base facility systems and in manufacturing processes. Energy bills reflected energy savings of $700,000 from overall implementation that reduced annual electric use by 4.5 million kilowatt-hours and annual natural gas use by more than 56,000 therms. The $2.1 million construction cost was partially offset by more than $600,000 in incentives through the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy Pay for Performance Program.

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Southland's Natasha Shah, Writes Article on Energy Management for Facility Executive Magazine
In the recent issue of Facility Executive Magazine, Southland Energy's Vice President Natasha Shah wrote an article highlighting ten strategies for energy management.  Link to complete article here.

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Stinson Leonard Street Recognized Among the Top National Law Firms in the 2016 Best Law Firms Ranking
Stinson Leonard Street LLP has been named one of the best law firms in the nation in multiple key practice areas in the 2016 Best Law Firms ranking. The annual survey by U.S. News and Best Lawyers reviews more than 11,000 law firms and 120 practice areas within 170 metropolitan areas and eight states. The results are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes client and peer reviews and independent research. This year, twelve of Stinson Leonard Street's practice areas ranked in National Tier 1, nine in National Tier 2 and thirteen in National Tier 3, for a total of 34 practice areas earning national attention for excellence.

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Member Projects

The Union Star R-II School District (MO) selects Energy Solutions Professionals for Energy Efficiency Upgrades
The Union Star R-II School District (MO) has selected Energy Solutions Professionals as their partner in upgrading the heating, cooling and electrical systems for the district. A new high-efficiency variable refrigerant flow system will be installed that will add cooling, improve overall comfort, and significantly reduce the district's reliance on propane. The project is scheduled to be completed by August 1, 2016 so that students and staff can enjoy much cooler classrooms when school resumes after the summer break.

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Ameresco Partners with Newport News Public Schools for Second Round of Energy Savings Performance Contracts
Ameresco and the Newport News Public Schools announced  they are partnering on a comprehensive $14.8 million Energy Savings Performance Contract  to improve buildings and increase operational efficiency. The infrastructure upgrades are expected to deliver greater energy efficiency and operational cost savings, enhance comfort for building occupants, reduce greenhouse gasses and emissions, and demonstrate the schools' ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.

The ESPC project includes upgrades that will be implemented in 50 buildings comprised of approximately 4.3 million square feet. At Riverside and Sedgefield Elementary Schools, the heating, ventilation and cooling systems will be completely replaced and upgraded to a high efficiency water source heat pump system to provide both heating and cooling. In addition, Deer Park Elementary School will benefit from a complete boiler plant renovation. Some of the energy savings measures under this ESPC include: updated exterior lighting systems, LED technology and controls; energy management systems upgrades; bi-polar ionization and demand control ventilation (DCV); building envelope improvements; domestic water conservation; HVAC system renovations; boiler and chiller replacements; and other stringent energy control measures.

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ABM to Reduce Energy and Operating Costs of Irwin County (GA) School System by $5.7 Million
ABM Building Solutions business is performing extensive energy and facility improvements to public school buildings in Irwin County, Georgia. Following project completion in December 2015, ABM's Bundled Energy Solutions program guarantees the Irwin County School System will save more than $5.7 million in energy and operating costs over the next 15 years, cutting the district's energy usage by an expected 35%.

The improvements are projected to create annual energy savings of 1.98 million kWh, reduce annual propane usage by almost 1,300 gallons and cut annual potable water usage by over 600,000 gallons. The installation of all LED lighting across the school system alone will save in excess of 500,000 kWh of electricity annually. This project also enables the school district to provide an HVAC system for the physical education facility of the Irwin County Middle and High School.

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Schneider Electric Partners with City of Tupelo
Schneider Electric announced the start of construction on a $5 million energy savings performance contract  project with the city of Tupelo, Mississippi. The project will transform the city's buildings and community areas to improve the quality of life for residents and promote local economic development. It is expected to reduce the city of Tupelo's utility budget by 18 percent, saving more than $140,000 in annual energy costs or $2.8 million over the life of the project.

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ABM to Reduce Southern California Federal Buildings' Energy and Operating Costs by Nearly $50 Million
ABM announced it has signed a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration  to begin a second phase of extensive energy and facility improvements to federal buildings throughout Southern California, including the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles; the U.S. Social Security Building in Huntington Park; the 300 North Los Angeles Building; the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building in Long Beach; and the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Santa Ana.

In all, ABM's Bundled Energy Solutions program guarantees savings of at least $48.4 million in energy and operating costs over the next 20 years, reducing the buildings' energy use by 38 percent.

ABM recently completed the first phase of the multi-million dollar contract for GSA which centered on retrofitting the central plant's HVAC system and upgrading building automation controls to regulate energy usage. This upgrade is expected to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent. The central plant is shared by the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and the 300 NLA Building.

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Johnson Controls Helps One of the World's Largest Commercial Buildings Regulate Energy Usage
Johnson Controls is bringing its battery technology and building systems expertise to the growing energy storage market by installing distributed energy storage technology in Chicago's iconic Merchandise Mart, one of the world's largest commercial buildings and wholesale design centers. This represents one of a number of energy storage projects in development by Johnson Controls for customers across North America.

Identifying the need to install a distributed energy storage system through its partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Program, the Merchandise Mart chose to partner with Johnson Controls to enhance its energy storage capabilities. The Merchandise Mart has relied on Johnson Controls' Integrated Demand Resources Group for many years to generate energy savings through multiple demand response programs. Leveraging this new energy storage solution, the Merchandise Mart will be able to participate in advanced fast response programs such as frequency regulation to adjust demand in response to changing conditions on the electric grid. Johnson Controls' Active Load Management strategy coupled with distributed energy storage, which is being used by the Merchandise Mart, has the potential to reduce a facility's annual electric spending up to 35 percent.

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Entegrity Guarantees Harrison Schools (AR) over $140K in Annual Savings
Harrison Public Schools Board of Directors in Harrison, Arkansas voted to approve a district-wide energy conservation project with Entegrity.  The project  includes a comprehensive LED lighting upgrade, replacement of nearly forty percent  of the district's HVAC units, and several other energy-related improvements.

Entegrity has guaranteed Harrison Schools that the project will generate over $140,000 in annual energy and operational savings.  Utility incentives from Entergy and SourceGas, which are estimated at over $200,000 for the project, will also be used to fund the work.

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Energy Systems Group's Energy Efficiency Upgrades Will Reduce Costs and Improve Learning Environment at Selma City Schools
Energy Systems Group and Selma City Schools in Alabama have partnered to develop and implement comprehensive energy and infrastructure improvements. The $5.9 million project is anticipated to result in more than $9.3 million of total energy and operational savings over the 20-year term of the contract.

ESG will implement comprehensive energy conservation measures and building improvements including interior and exterior lighting upgrades, new energy management control systems in all buildings, occupancy sensors, water conservation upgrades, weatherization upgrades in all buildings, de-stratification fans in four gyms, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system  upgrades at Hudson Middle School, Meadowview Elementary School, and Payne Elementary School. The HVAC upgrades include state-of-the-art variable refrigerant volume systems which allow buildings to run at high efficiencies while providing comfort and flexible temperature controls.

The energy conservation measures will reduce Selma City Schools' carbon footprint by approximately 1,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to planting 1,300 acres of forest per year.

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Knox County and Ameresco Partner for 5 MW Solar Project at 14 Knox County Schools and Facilities
Ameresco and Knox County Schools recently gathered at the Knox County Central Building in Knoxville, Tennessee to commemorate the completion of the first of 14 solar arrays that are being installed at schools and select facilities throughout the county. Ameresco was selected by Knox County to install more than 5 megawatts  of solar photovoltaic systems on the rooftops of 11 schools plus the Central Building, and ground mount solar arrays at the Detention and Juvenile Justice Facilities. The $12.45 million project is scheduled to be completed in early 2016, and is expected to provide more than $29 million in energy savings to the County, as well as generating an aggregate approximately $14 million in positive bottom line cash flow for the County over the next 30 years.

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Truman State University Selects Energy Solutions Professionals for $10.5 Million Project
Truman State University and Energy Solutions Professionals are partnering on a $10.5 million project to address energy-saving opportunities, major infrastructure upgrades and deferred maintenance needs that will be paid for by over $1 million dollars in annual energy and operational savings.

A wide array of upgrades will be used to save energy, including LED and fluorescent lighting retrofits and lighting controls; water saving devices; building envelope improvements; enhancements to the building automation system; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment upgrades and replacements; retro-commissioning; chiller replacements; boiler replacements; duct and pipe insulation; lab hood improvements; steam trap replacements; and improvements to the steam distribution and condensate systems.

The environmental benefits from the project include a reduction of 9,521 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is the equivalent of removing over 2,000 passenger vehicles from the road each year.

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NORESCO Helps FAA Reduce Water, Energy Use
NORESCO and the Federal Aviation Administration recently showcased new renewable energy and water efficiency improvements at FAA Northern California TRACON, a regional radar control center. The project features a 1-megawatt photovoltaic system that can meet 50 percent of the center's annual electricity needs. The photovoltaic system was funded through the sale of renewable power to the FAA. A portion of the power is produced from photovoltaic-covered parking structures, which serve as a renewable energy plant that provides charging stations for electric vehicles, and offers shaded, covered parking for employees at the site.
NORESCO also provided lighting and controls upgrades, and water conservation through innovative xeriscape landscaping, which reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. Additionally, by using locally recycled tire rubber as mulch for the hardscape, the project prevented more than 60,000 tires from entering landfills.

Combining savings from the solar power system with the other energy-saving measures, the site will save $9.3 million over the 20-year contract term. Overall, the project will reduce water and energy usage by 40 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent. The project is also designed to improve operations, reduce maintenance costs and improve comfort and operating conditions for the staff at this critical 24/7 facility.

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New Product and Services Showcase

Acuity Introduces 179D deduction calculator based on new ASHRAE Baseline for 2016
Various incentive programs exist to encourage the use of energy efficient equipment in lighting projects.  These include tax incentives by various jurisdictions and rebates from states and utility companies. Acuity has created a website dedicated to Epact along with a calculator to determine the deduction for lighting based on the new ASHRAE 90.1 2007 baseline for 2016. The site can be viewed here.

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Forest Lighting Announces New T8 LED Lamp Designed for Both Ballast-Compatible and Direct-Wire Applications
Forest Lighting has announced the availability of new T8 LED Linear Lamps, named UniV8TM, designed for both Direct-Wire and Ballast-Compatible applications.  UniV8 LED Lamps give energy service companies, and their customers, a simplified choice when selecting products for lighting retrofit applications.  It is UL Listed and DLC Certified, a requirement for obtaining rebates from utilities and municipalities.

The Forest Lighting Univ8 T8 LED Lamp is four feet long, and available in 15W and 19W models.  Four color temperatures are available: 3500K, 4100K, 5000K, and 6000K.  CRI is >80 RA, and the efficacy range is up to 115 lumens per watt.  It will last 50,000 hours.

Forest Lighting
Forest Lighting UniV8TM LED Lamp

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Demystify Energy Codes with Lutron's Commercial Application Guides
Lutron recently announced the availability of its free, online Commercial Application Guides that will dramatically simplify the process for facilities staff, energy managers, contractors and engineers to stay up to date with rapidly-changing U.S. energy codes. Designed to provide users with examples of how Lutron controls can be used to meet or exceed ASHRAE 90.1-2010, IECC 2012 and Title 24-2013 code requirements, the Lutron Commercial Application Guides lay out different spaces and explain the setup of each space and corresponding products in a simple and user-friendly way.

Lutron  also announced the availability of an online tool to help lighting designers, consulting engineers, electrical distributors and contractors quickly find luminaires equipped with Lutron high-performance LED drivers.

The database is searchable by manufacturer, luminaire category, type, mounting options, dimensions, lumen output and color temperature.  These search filters help customers generate specifications that can be added to any project luminaire schedule.

The tool also conveniently links to participating manufacturer's specification submittal cut sheets so customers can find everything they need in one place.  Lutron plans to make this information easily accessible in the near future with other Lutron design and energy audit e-tools meant for lighting and installation professionals.

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Industry News

New Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Plan to Garner $8B in Benefits
According to Energy Efficient Markets, the new Massachusetts energy efficiency plan for 2016-2018 offers $8 billion in economic, environmental and energy benefits which cited information released by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. That amounts to three dollars for every dollar invested. The state intends to cut electricity use by 2.93 percent and gas by 1.24 percent, based on retail sales. The new plan creates more aggressive energy savings goals than the previous three year plan -- a 15 percent increase in electric savings and a 10 percent increase in gas savings.

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The Hospitality Industry Pays Attention to Energy Efficiency
According to Energy Manager Today, Hilton Worldwide said that it has become the first hospitality company to gain Superior Energy Performance (SEP) from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company gained the recognition at three lodges: The Washington Hilton, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and the Hilton Union Square San Francisco. The Washington property, which will host the 2016 Better Buildings Summit, was SEP Platinum Certified. It used 15.85 percent less energy than its 20011 baseline. The Hawaii and San Francisco properties were SEP Silver Certified. They achieved 8.4 percent and 6.3 percent reductions from their 2011 baselines, respectively. Last year, the company as a whole gained was certified for ISO 50001 Energy Management.

ARIA Resort & Casino, a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, said that it was adding 200,000 square feet of space. The $154 million project by the MGM Resorts International and World Development Corp. will be built to LEED Gold Standard, the company said. MGM last year installed a 6.4 MW solar array to serve The Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, which has the potential to provide 20 percent of its energy. MGM is part of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge and has pledged to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020. Part of that initiative will be the conversion of 1.3 million lights to LEDs.

The article cited a study by Arvind Upadhyay  and Sushil Mohan - both from the Business School of the University of Brighton, UK - and U.K.-based hotel development and investment consultant Celine Vadam breaking down typical hotel energy usage: 63 percent goes to room heating and hot water; 11 percent to the kitchen; 6 percent to air conditioning; 4 percent to lights, television and radio; 4 percent to laundry; 1 percent to ventilation and 11 percent to miscellaneous uses.

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House, Senate Energy Policy Bills Include Provisions to Boost Performance Contracting
NAESCO President Donald Gilligan was quoted in the December 7, 2015 Bloomberg BNA's Federal Contracts Report. He said that directives in the House and Senate energy policy bills (H.R. 8, S. 2012) for widening use of performance-based contracts will "put some additional teeth" into the president's push to make the government more energy efficient.

There has been "substantial progress" on agencies' use of performance-based contracts because of executive initiatives boosting performance contracting over the last few years, according to Gilligan. H.R. 8, passed by the House Dec. 3, and S. 2012, placed on the Senate calendar last September, requires agencies to consider energy savings performance contracting and utility energy services contracting to meet new performance goals related to energy information technology systems. The original bills took a similar approach to making federal buildings more energy efficient by encouraging, but not mandating, agency use of ESPCs and UESCs to meet energy efficiency goals.

They also would require annual reports from agencies updating the status of energy contracts, including their investment value, a comparison of guaranteed energy savings to actual savings achieved in the previous year, and year-ahead projections for new performance-based contracts.

The reports also are to include the rationale for failing to implement previous plans for these contracts. Asking agencies why "they didn't do these projects" could prove to be "really interesting," Gilligan said, particularly in light of the 2009 federal building audits identifying $8 billion to $9 billion in energy cost savings over a 10-year period.

The CBO Scoring requirements, however, were stripped from the House bill before it went to the floor.
Jennifer Schafer, executive director of the Federal Performance Contracting Coalition (FPCC),  said in the same Bloomberg BNA article that all bill language that would explicitly increase use of ESPCs was removed after being reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office. CBO scores legislation related to ESPCs and UESCs on a mandatory basis that doesn't account for the long-term discretionary savings guaranteed under the contracts.

Schafer also said that Senate legislation triggering use of ESPCs is now scored as budget-neutral -- the same approach the administration takes -- under changes in the joint budget resolution passed earlier this year. This allows for the provisions in S. 2012 clarifying ESPC statutory requirements and extending federal energy reduction goals without providing for offsets, she said.

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Energy Use by Federal Agencies Continues to Decline
The Energy Vortex reported that according to the Federal Energy Management Program, energy consumption by the U.S. federal government fell to 0.94 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in fiscal year (FY) 2014, the lowest level since data collection began in FY 1975. Declines in jet fuel consumption by the U.S. Department of Defense accounted for most of the decrease in federal energy use.

In FY 2014, energy consumption by the U.S. Department of Defense made up 78% of total federal energy use. Civilian agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Energy accounted for the next highest percentages of total federal energy use at 5%, 3%, and 3%, respectively.

The Energy Independence Act of 2007 included energy reduction goals for federal agencies, including targets for reducing energy intensity and fossil fuel consumption in buildings, reducing petroleum consumption in transportation fleets, and increasing the use of alternative fuels. An Executive Order established additional federal government goals to reduce energy consumption and energy-related emissions. Among the goals are:

Renewable and alternative energy sources: A target of 25% of federal building energy use to be sourced from renewable and alternative sources by FY 2025, with an intermediate goal of 10% by FY 2016. In FY 2014, 6.1% of the energy used in federal buildings came from renewables.

Greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fleets: A 30% decrease in per-mile greenhouse gas emissions from agency fleet vehicles by FY 2025 compared with an FY 2014 baseline. Over the previous five fiscal years, greenhouse gas emissions from the federal fleet have fallen by a total of 3%.

Energy intensity: An annual 2.5% reduction through FY 2025 in federal building energy intensity, measured in Btu per square foot compared to the FY 2015 baseline. From FY 2003 to FY 2014, the federal government reduced building energy intensity an average of 1.9% per year.

Water intensity: A 36% reduction in water intensity in federal buildings, measured in gallons per square foot, by FY 2025 compared with an FY 2007 baseline. Federal agencies have already reduced water intensity by 21% compared with the baseline.

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CaliforniaFIRST Program Launches in San Bernardino County
Homeowners in San Bernardino County, California will now be able to make cost-saving, environmentally friendly upgrades after the county's Board of Supervisors voted last week to opt in to the CaliforniaFIRST program. CaliforniaFIRST is Renew Financial's flagship PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing program and is geared toward residential and commercial properties. More than 200 cities and counties across California have adopted the program and now property owners in San Bernardino County can immediately take advantage of this process to finance energy efficient and water conservation upgrades.
For more information: www.californiafirst.org. For the latest news from CaliforniaFIRST: news.californiafirst.org. To hear directly from CaliforniaFIRST customers: news.californiafirst.org/category/video/.

SB 350 Signed into Law Making Great Strides for Energy Efficiency in California
By Jan Berman, Senior Director of Energy Efficiency Strategy, Research and Analytics, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Austin Whitman, Director of Regulatory Affairs, FirstFuel

Governor Jerry Brown, joined by a diverse group of utilities and industry partners, made history recently by signing into law California's most ambitious climate goals to date.  The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (also known as Senate Bill 350) calls for a 50 percent increase in building efficiency by 2030. Adopted in conjunction, Assembly Bill 802 provides the means to meet this goal by changing the way energy savings in buildings are measured. Combined, these two mandates expand the opportunity for Californians to pursue energy efficiency as a key part of reaching the state's overall climate goals.

Using technology to advance energy efficiency
Together, the bills empower utilities to take advantage of recent technology advances in energy efficiency to help customers simultaneously decrease energy consumption, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By allowing utilities to leverage California's investment in SmartMeters, Assembly Bill 802 changes the way energy savings in buildings are measured. The bill shifts away from using building codes as a baseline to determine energy efficiency, and standardizes by using a building's actual energy consumption measured at the meter.

By allowing utilities to pair meter data with data analytics to find and measure savings, Assembly Bill 802 empowers customers to reduce usage in their energy system as a whole, rather than focusing narrowly on replacement of equipment. Customers will be able to better track how they reduce energy waste in commercial buildings, as well as at home, and be incentivized for doing so.

Utilities will play a major role as trusted advisors for customers, leveraging the latest in data analytics, energy modeling, and other technologies. In this role, California utilities will need to:

  • Support their customers' energy efficiency actions by leveraging the wide variety of energy efficiency programs and tools they have developed as national leaders in energy efficiency program delivery
  • Participate in the development of energy saving building codes and home or workplace appliance standards
  • Explore new programs and opportunities for increasing efficiency and eliminating energy waste by measuring savings based on reduced energy consumption

A case study on meter-based savings
Customer intelligence technology is already helping to kick start this wave of new energy efficiency programs and tools. The 10 million gas and electric SmartMeters across PG&E's service area allow the company's customers to take control of their energy use through data via online tools and energy alerts.

With advanced meter data analytics, PG&E will increasingly be able to tailor recommendations for each and every customer, as well as track the impacts of energy efficiency at the individual building level. Both bills pave the way for PG&E customers to become even more efficient through no-to-low cost operational and behavioral changes.

Building a better California through energy efficiency
Meeting the ambitious goals of Senate Bill 350 presents huge opportunities for California and the future of energy efficiency, but will take work. By collaborating closely with customers, utilities have the tools at hand to make it happen. Leveraging data to provide building-specific insight helps customers make smarter energy choices, and opens the door for utility system benefits such as reducing peak load and incorporating energy efficiency into distribution system planning.

SB 350 and AB802 pave the way for utilities to do more to help customers save both energy and money with energy efficiency programs - working together to build a better California for the future.

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