This program, specific to businesses in Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Ventura, was rolled out in summer 2018. It provides free energy auditing and benchmarking services to local businesses.
Benchmarking: Under new California law (AB 802) all owners of buildings larger than 50,000 sq ft must report building energy use data to the California Energy Commission by June 1 annually, beginning in 2018 for buildings with no residential utility accounts, and in 2019 for buildings with 17 or more residential utility accounts. Building owners should complete their reporting using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online tool provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Utility companies are required to provided use data to businesses upon request. The Energy Commission will begin disclosing some of the reported data in 2019.
Benchmarking compares energy use with that of similar facilities across the country, with corrections made for climate and operating conditions. Over time it also allows businesses to see the effect of energy efficiency measures employed and changes in building performance. Free benchmarking is available to all interested businesses in the City who apply this year through kWh Countdown.
Energy Auditing: Energy audits provide a detailed analysis of the energy performance of a building and identify specific measures that can be taken to reduce energy use. Audits also provide a cost analysis and payback time for each of these, allowing owners to tackle the most cost-effective ones first. An energy consulting company, TRC Engineering, Inc., has been selected to provide these ASHRAE level 2 audits, valued at up to $5,000 each to qualifying businesses in the City through kWh Countdown.
Here’s how it the program works:
Step 1: (APPLY) Business will apply online at www.kWhCountdown.org
Step 2: (APPLICATION CONFIRMATION) Business will receive auto-response confirming receipt of application and advising that CEC will follow up via phone within 4 business days. The applicant may reach out to the City of Thousand Oaks with any questions or concerns at any time (Spencer Silverstein 805-449-2446 firstname.lastname@example.org)
Step 3: (PHONE CALL CONNECTION) Within 4 business days, CEC will call the business (or email if unable to reach by phone) and explain the next steps of data collection for the benchmarking process and may request further information and/or clarification of application responses.
Step 4: (RECOMMENDATION FOR ACTION) Within 2 business days of the phone call, CEC will forward the completed application, answers to additional questions, and a recommendation of one of the options below to the Selection Committee:
- Award audit: Applicant shows reasonable interest in energy efficiency, and reasonable access to financial resources/management of facility as determined by CEC through a review of the application and additional questions.
- Do not award audit: Applicant does not show interest in energy efficiency OR does not have access to financial resources/management of facility OR did not understand the program as determined by CEC through a review of the application and additional questions.
Step 5: (ACTION APPROVAL) Within 5 business days a decision will be made whether or not to award the audit to the applicant.
Step 6: (CONNECTION TO AUDITOR) If a decision to award an applicant has been made, CEC will send an email to TRC Engineering and the contact at the business, introducing them and congratulating the business! This email will also explain CEC’s availability as a resource in case there are any issues in completing the audits. CEC will request to be copied on all email exchanges between the auditor and the business to ensure excellent customer service.
Step 7: (BENCHMARKING) As steps 4-6 are being completed, CEC will complete the data collection, started in step 3, for Benchmarking. CEC expects to collect most of the data via email or phone, as is most convenient for the business. As the data is collected, CEC will complete Benchmarking of the facility using Energy Star Portfolio Manager (that’s right – CEC will do the work for you!).
Step 8: (AUDITOR CHECK INS) CEC will perform routine project status inquiries with TRC Engineering at the beginning of each month. CEC’s project management methods will ensure timely project completion.
Step 9: (AUDIT REVIEWS) As each audit is completed, CEC will review the reports and follow up with the businesses to determine if they would like to meet with CEC staff (or other Selection Committee members) to review the audit results and discuss opportunities (project priorities, funding options, etc.).
Free Online Energy Savings Advice
Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas Company both offer customized online energy surveys to help identify energy savings opportunities that can make a difference in your bill:
- Southern California Edison Business Energy Survey
- Southern California Gas Company "Ways to Save" tool
Energy Conservation Tips
Information on conserving energy, energy saving programs and controlling business energy costs can be found at the following websites:
- California Energy Commission: Energy Efficiency Programs
Information about notification services for electricity system emergencies and rotating outages can be found at the Southern California Edison Outage Center.
Green Business Certification
If you own or manage a small to medium sized business in Thousand Oaks and you're implementing ways to reduce your energy use, you should reap the rewards of becoming a Certified Green Business.