8/27/18 – Irvine Green Ribbon Committee Meeting Notes – Part III, Strategic Energy Plan and CCE

Irvine Strategic Energy Plan and Community Choice Energy

The Green Ribbon Committee discussed three topics at their 8-27-2018 meeting. These three topics were Urban Forestry in Irvine, Green Ribbon Committee work plan and reorganization, and the selection of professional service companies to provide recommendations for an updated Irvine strategic energy plan and a Community Choice Energy (CCE) feasibility study. 

I wrote about the first two in previous posts (see the links at the bottom). Today I will write about what was discussed concerning the selection of professional service companies that will provide recommendations for an updated Irvine strategic energy plan and a CCE feasibility plan.

On September 12th of last year, the Irvine City Council approved the Green Ribbon Committee’s recommendation to put out Request for Proposals (RFP) for the two studies. After reviewing the submitted RFPs, City Staff recommended the Integral Group complete the updated energy plan at a price of $105,500. Staff also recommended EES Consulting to complete the CCE feasibility study at a price of $77,470, with the Great Park portion at $5,036. The Green Ribbon Committee confirmed the Staff recommendations and voted to send favorable recommendations to the Finance Commission and the City Council.

Note: On September 4, 2018, the Finance Commission voted to send the staff recommendations to the City Council with a favorable approval. The Finance Commission was particularly enthusiastic about the CCE study. The City Council will take this matter up at the September 25, 2018 council meeting.

For further clarification, see the following City Staff document quotes that provide background information on Irvine’s Strategic Energy Plan and Community Choice Energy Feasibility Study:

Strategic Energy Plan

The City’s General Plan contains an Energy Element, which provides a basis for long-range energy planning. To implement the objectives and policies identified in the Energy Element, the city developed an Energy Plan in 2008 which established best practices for the City to consider. Ten years after adoption of this 2008 Energy Plan, overall concerns relating to reducing vehicle emissions, reducing building energy use, and increasing use of renewable energy are still relevant, but tangible strategies with identified costs and efficiency gains are needed to assist the City in identifying and prioritizing future projects in Irvine. Staff proposes developing a Strategic Energy Plan to reassess Irvine’s energy needs. The objectives of the proposed Energy Plan are to:
–Analyze the City’s baseline energy use to project future energy needs
–Review statewide energy goals and mandates
–Evaluate and prioritize energy projects, including assessment of Return On Investment (ROI)
–Identify funding source to implement energy projects
–Engage community stakeholders to encourage energy efficiency measures that promote economic benefits

Community Choice Energy Feasibility Study

A feasibility study and technical assessment is requested to review the viability of reducing electricity rates for businesses and residents in Irvine, while possibly increasing the use of renewable energy through the formation of a CCE program. The Energy Element of the City’s General Plan promotes increased use of renewables, which can potentially reduce the need for the Investor Owned Utility (IOU) to expand energy production in the region. CCE programs serve as an alternative to the traditional IOU power procurement process, allowing local governments to purchase electricity and sell it to businesses and residents at competitive rates. The feasibility study will also assess the options available to the City of Irvine to join existing CCE programs, partner with other entities to form a CCE program, or initiate an individual/single jurisdiction CCE program.

Public Comments  

Kathleen Treseder, UCI professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, thanked the Green Ribbon Committee for their support for creating a CCE for our area.

The Green Ribbon Committee currently has two presentations planned for future meetings: one from the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) and the other on sustainability at the Great Park.
The next Irvine Green Ribbon Committee will be on December 10, 2018, 4:30 pm at Irvine Civic Center.

Related Posts:
8/27/18 — Irvine Green Ribbon Committee Meeting Notes–Part I, Urban Forestry in Irvine

8/27/18 — Irvine Green Ribbon Committee Meeting Notes–Part II, Work Plan and Reorganization