January 12 2015 Policy Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2015, 5:00 P.M.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair) and Joshua Arce


1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Policy Committee meeting convened at 5:02 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Wald and Arce.  Commission President Arce appointed himself as a Committee member for this meeting.

2. Approval of Minutes of the November 10, 2015 Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  November 10, 2015 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Arce, second by Commissioner Wald, the November 10, 2015 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Wald and Arce).

3. Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

4. Overview of Current Energy Efficiency Programs, Policy and Development Activity; Renewable Energy, Policy Work, and Future Directions; and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Perspective.  (Explanatory Document:  Presentations) Speakers:  Allison Quaid, Senior Energy Watch Program Manager; Cal Broomhead, Climate and Energy Programs Manager; Lara Ettenson, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (Informational Report and Discussion)

Energy Watch Senior Program Manager Allison Quaid reported on Department of the Environment’s Energy Watch, Strategic Energy Resources, and Bay Area Regional Energy Network energy efficiency programs discussing program staffing, annual budget, funding sources, and future potential.   Ms. Quaid reported on education and marketing efforts for the Energy Watch program consisting of multilingual collateral and case studies, use of social media networks, providing technical assistance, and financing and financial incentives.  She reported on commercial and multi-family savings achieved and incentives disbursed.  Ms. Quaid presented a case study of annual savings achieved by Glide Memorial through implementation of a project.  She discussed the wide coverage of energy efficiency projects in San Francisco, program benefits of job creation, building community resilience, and energy savings result. A discussion was held on program challenges and potential solutions to achieve the goal of energizing San Francisco.  (Reference Presentation)

Climate and Energy Programs Manager Cal Broomhead reported on San Francisco’s energy strategy discussing program and financing opportunities provided by the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and GreenFinanceSF programs.  He discussed challenges presented in the single-family market and new and existing local ordinances being worked on to better influence energy upgrades.  Mr. Broomhead reported that it is believed that San Francisco is on track for meeting its 20 percent above 1990 greenhouse gas emission reduction goals as of today and is awaiting verification of that achievement.  It was reported that since the Climate Action Strategy was developed with Community Choice Aggregation in place, other strategies will have to be developed in its place to meet future greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.  

Mr. Broomhead reported on the estimated impact of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the potential for local renewable energy, and challenges that are faced to meet San Francisco’s needs.  He reported on efforts and funding received from the U.S. Department of Energy to start project planning of solar plus energy storage micro grids for the purpose of building resilience and plans to explore local wave potential technologies.  Mr. Broomhead discussed other issues and needs and potential projects that may be considered.   (Reference Presentation)

Natural Resources Defense Council Energy Programs Manager Lara Ettenson discussed work that NRDC has been working on at the agency level and with the Department of the Environment and the Energy Group’s main focus areas for 2015.  She reported that NRDC has a two part energy program focused on how to reform the utility regulatory structure working predominantly at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and another group working at the California Energy Commission (CEC) working on codes and standards.  Ms. Ettenson reported that her task is to work at the statewide level to make sure that the rules that dictate what the utilities are allowed to spend their money on and the rules by which local government partnerships and third party programs are allowed to design their programs around align with state objectives.  She reported that NRDC’s main focus for 2015 is mostly at the statewide level and discussed the importance of the City’s input and participation in identifying how statewide policies affect local programs. 

Commissioner Wald suggested that business agencies that have participated in programs and stopped because of Title 24 restrictions be invited to speak at the state level in order to elevate NRDC’s and the Department’s voice.   Mr. Broomhead and Ms. Quaid reported on support voiced by the Building Owners and Mangers’ Association, Apartment Owners Association and contractors.  Commissioner Wald suggested that it would be helpful for the Department to think about climate work and the role of energy efficiency as a whole.  She suggested creating estimates of San Francisco’s energy efficiency potential in order to make a stronger argument for removing obstacles and challenges that are in the way of reaching potential.  Commissioner Arce discussed the importance of showing direct and indirect job creation through environmental programs when advocating at the California Public Utilities Commission.  Commissioner Wald suggested setting up future certification/training programs as a way to advance policy goals and create jobs.  Commissioner Arce reported on available training offered by the California Conservation Corps and the need to develop a correlation between trainings and jobs. 

Policy and Communications Director Guillermo Rodriguez discussed the Commission and Department’s interest in developing an intersection between workforce training, jobs, and jobs tracking and having the ability to provide better data to share when program contracts are renewed.   He stated that the goal of this agenda item is to provide a snapshot of current programs, activities, and challenges faced in reaching goals.  Mr. Rodriguez reported that it is important that other City departments have a key role in the conversation and to make City policy consistent so other City agency programs can also move forward.

Commissioner Wald discussed increased electricity loads that are needed because of the increase in tech companies.  Commissioner Wald and Mr. Rodriguez discussed the need to identify potential programs that the City could deploy to help businesses manage their overall plug in load and the potential for piloting ideas.  Public Outreach and Program Manager Donald Oliveira reported on a behavior change pilot implemented at the Department for the purpose of monitoring each desk’s plug in load for tracking the largest users in an effort decrease energy use.  There are plans to continue measuring after conclusion of the program to assess whether there was continued behavior change and to pilot the program citywide.  Ms. Quaid reported that green leases are being considered for the tech sector.  She announced that PG&E is launching a City energy efficiency challenge focused on behavior change, energy efficiency retrofits, and seeing what can be done to the growing tech sector. 

Public Comment: Mr. Paul Gray responded to Commissioner Wald’s comment on tech companies and overall efficiency implementation challenges stating that there are benefits to the city from the increase in tech companies; however, one of the downsides is the overall increase in rent across the city putting financial pressure on other businesses.  I have experienced a large increase in the last year of businesses telling me they don’t want to invest in any long term energy efficiency projects because they don’t know whether they will still be in business at that location in the near future due to their landlords increasing their rent substantially.

5. Review and Approval of Department of the Environment and Commission on the Environment’s 2014 Draft Annual Report and Design for recommendation to the Commission on the Environment.  Speaker:  Donald Oliveira, Public Outreach Program Manager (Explanatory Documents:  Annual Report Concept, 2014 Department Draft Annual Report, and 2014 Commission Draft Annual Report Section) (Discussion and Action)

Public Outreach Program Manager Donald Oliveira reported on the new streamlined concept for the Department of the Environment’s 2014 Annual Report.  Commissioner Wald suggested making the report information more consistent throughout program areas as only the Energy, Transportation and Climate sections contain cumulative information.  Mr. Oliveira reported that there would be additional narrative and photos added in order to convey the story more and to bring an artistic, personal and cultural perspective to the data.  It was reported that since report data would be streamlined, links would be added to additional information.  

Mr. Oliveira reported that the Commission’s Annual Report section would be separated from the Department’s report this year.  The accomplishments section would be contained in the Department’s Annual Report with a citation in the Commission report that states “Accomplishments of the Department are to be described in the Department’s 2014 Report. They include:”    Mr. Oliveira reported that because data is reported for several of the program areas on a fiscal year basis, there are issues in preparing a calendar year report.  It was suggested that a footnote be added in program area data where this may be an issue.

Upon Motion by Commissioner Arce, second by Commissioner Wald, the Committee recommended approval of the design of the Department of the Environment’s Annual Report and amended Commission Annual Report for recommendation to the Commission on the Environment for consideration at its January 27, 2015 meeting (AYES: Commissioners Wald and Arce).

Items 6 – 8 were not heard at this time.

6. Director’s Update. Deborah Raphael, Director (Discussion)
7. Communications.  (Explanatory Document:  Correspondence Log) (Information and Discussion)
8. Announcements. (Discussion)

9. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  Commissioner Arce reported on the possibility of environmental justice topics for the February 9 Policy Committee meeting agenda. 

10. Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

11. Adjournment.  The Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Policy Committee is scheduled for Monday, February 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. in City Hall, Room 421.

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, California, 94103 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Photo identification is required for access to the building; (2) on the Policy Committee’s website http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/agendas, or (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected] The meeting audio can be reviewed at the website link by meeting date http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/audio. 

Approved: February 9, 2015