EBCE Pitches in on Building and Transportation Task Forces

May 28, 2020

EBCE Pitches in on Building and Transportation Task Forces

EBCE has been busy in its role as a corporate citizen, serving on coalitions and committees that are guiding energy sector policies in California.

JP Ross, our Senior Director of Local Development, Electrification and Innovation, sits on the Advisory Board of the Building Decarbonization Coalition.

The Coalition “unites building industry stakeholders with energy providers, environmental organizations and local governments to power California’s homes and workspaces with clean energy.”  About 100 member organizations collaborate on market transformation, public education, policy, and research activities. EBCE is a top-level member, along with other California utilities and CCAs.

“We want to put all of our clean electricity to work cutting emissions, by replacing natural gas in buildings,” says Ross. 

The Coalition released a strategy roadmap in 2019,  laying out a plan for the state to cut building emissions 20% by 2025 and 40% by 2030. The Roadmap recommends:

  • adopting a Zero Emission Building Code for the residential sector by 2025, and commercial sector by 2028.
  • setting GHG reduction standards for buildings, including appliances, scaling up to 100% reductions by 2045.
  • increasing the market share of heat pumps for space heating and water heating from 5% and 1%, respectively, to 50% in 2025 and 100% in 2030.

A key target of the Coalition, and of EBCE, is carbon emissions from appliances. About half of all building emissions result from electricity use, while the other half come from gas and propane appliances used for heating. As California’s power mix becomes cleaner, emissions from electricity will decline. To cut the remaining emissions, fossil fuel burning appliances must be replaced with all-electric models.

Meanwhile, our Zac Thompson, an associate in our Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Program, has been invited to sit on the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program Investment Plan Advisory Committee. EBCE is the first electric retail supplier to serve on the 33-member Advisory Committee and represents the CCA community in this capacity. 

The state Clean Transportation Program invests up to $100 million annually in a broad portfolio of transportation projects throughout the state. The program was established by 2007’s AB 118 and extended through 2024. Using funds collected from various vehicle fees, the program supports alternative fueling and charging infrastructure, the adoption of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, in-state production of low-carbon renewable fuels, and manufacturing and workforce training.

The Committee held its first meeting on March 18, 2020 to discuss a draft 2020-2023 Investment Plan.  The final plan was scheduled to be released in June, but will likely be delayed due to the COVID pandemic.  

Zac has been focusing his efforts on funding that would address the impacts of transportation and goods movement, which are currently the largest contributor of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. This includes incentives for electric cars, charging infrastructure, medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles, and e-mobility options, like electric bikes and scooters.

“Alameda County is a hub for shipping goods,” Zac says. “The Port of Oakland is the fifth busiest port in America, moving 2.5 million containers each year. And Oakland Airport moves 1.5 million tons of air freight per year. 

“As a result, we have one of the highest volumes of truck traffic in the state, and all the pollution that entails,” he adds. “Installing charging stations to help electrify those trucks will be a good way to clean up emissions along our freeways and in other impacted areas, like West Oakland.”

Zac assists with EBCE’s transportation electrification, as well as local solar and storage initiatives. Zac previously served as the Zero Emission Vehicles Analyst at San Francisco’s Department of the Environment where he helped lead the development of the City’s EV Ready Community Blueprint, assisted in coordinating a public-private EV Working Group, and succeeded in acquiring grant funding for medium- and heavy-duty EV pilot projects.