Implementation Model: Public-Private Partnership
To achieve 20% energy savings across 30 million square feet of existing buildings by 2020 and become the greenest most economically-competitive large city in America
Built a network of partners that bring complementary resources and programs to augment the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge’s City-funded offerings and become a “one-stop-shop” for energy efficiency in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has built a network of partners that bring complementary resources and programs to augment the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge’s (LA BBC) City-funded offerings, and has become a hub for energy efficiency in LA. Because there are so many green/energy-related initiatives underway in Southern California, many businesses and public entities have trouble distinguishing one from another and deciding in which to participate. One of the LA BBC’s main goals is to simplify the path to energy efficiency by serving as a clearing-house for relevant information, incentives, and support services.
The LA BBC goals fall in line with the City’s bigger picture goals by working in-step with building owners to get them the resources and information they need to achieve energy savings milestones, thus helping the City to achieve its overall goals.
The City of Los Angeles released its climate action plan, Green LA: An Action Plan to Lead the Nation in Fighting Global Warming, in May 2007. The Plan sets forth a goal of reducing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions to 35% below 1990 levels by the year 2030, one of the most aggressive goals of any big city in the U.S. This voluntary plan identifies over 50 action items, grouped into focus areas, to reduce emissions. While the emphasis is first on municipal facilities and operations, several measures address programs to reduce emissions in the community as well.
The LA BBC builds on three successful City-sponsored building retrofit programs, each targeting a different sector of real estate in Los Angeles: municipal buildings, affordable housing, and the commercial sector. The LA BBC builds on the success of these existing programs and brings additional resources to move projects forward, track results, and build demand.
Municipal Buildings – The LA BBC builds on the momentum generated by the Green Retrofit and Workforce Ordinance, which calls for retrofits of more than 1,000 municipal buildings, including libraries, parks and recreation structures, fire stations, and others. Since 2009, the City has launched more than 100 energy efficiency projects, encompassing one million square feet and representing an investment of over $16 million. The LA BBC provides resources to support City staff in tracking energy savings, banking cost savings for reinvestment in additional projects, and creating case studies to communicate the City’s commitment to the public.
Affordable Housing – In the Affordable Housing Sector, the City of Los Angeles Housing Department has extended loans to fund efficiency upgrades of ten affordable housing projects, encompassing over 650,000 square feet and representing over $4.5 million in investment. The LA BBC builds on this foundation by bridging key stakeholder organizations – the LA Housing Department, LADWP, and Enterprise Community Partners – to ensure that the organizational infrastructure is in place to support continued investment, supporting outreach to affordable housing developers and providing technical support to participating developers.
Commercial Property – Between June 2011 and May 2012, the LA Commercial Building Performance Partnership initiated energy audits encompassing over 35 million square feet of commercial space – from small neighborhood retailers to downtown skyscrapers – and developed a directory of capital providers to facilitate access to project funding options, with the goal of driving at least $25 million in investment. Of the 91 buildings audited, 32 have already completed retrofits or are planning to implement projects in 2013. In aggregate, these projects represent over $12.5 million in construction activity and are projected to achieve over $2.5 million in savings annually. The LA BBC builds on this foundation and offers an expanded suite of resources to commercial property owners that take up the Challenge, including: project development support, assistance in procuring rebates and incentives, assistance in evaluating project funding options, pricing discounts on various technologies and other services.
The LA BBC brought together a network of partners that provide LA BBC participating building owners and operators with a wide range of services, from building assessments and energy benchmarking, to utility rebate trainings and building permit expedition.
The LA BBC created marketing materials for potential participants and partners, designed public relations materials to inform the press and public about the initiative, and established a dedicated website for its partners, participating buildings, and the public.
The program also partnered with entities across the public and private sectors to facilitate networking between technology developers, building owners, and public utilities. The LA BBC formed these partnerships through its staff’s personal and professional connections and through proactive outreach to organizations that the team felt would add value.
Types of Meetings and Events:
Through the LA BBC network of partners, participating buildings are provided with streamlined access to their energy and water use data, and with assistance in benchmarking their buildings’ energy consumption through software provided by WegoWise, an energy data service provider. WegoWise can collect utility data automatically and link to Portfolio Manager, thus eliminating manual entry and ensuring that buildings’ data stays current.
Access to Data – Local utility partners, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and SoCal Gas (SCG), are working to automate the sharing of whole-building data for participating buildings. The LA BBC provides participating property owners with access to WegoWise (at no cost to participants), permits automatic facility-level data sharing with each building’s Portfolio Manager account, thus eliminating the need for monthly, manual uploads by building operators.
Data Tracking and Performance Measurement – Data tracking is managed through Portfolio Manager to the maximum extent possible, utilizing WegoWise or other systems to populate the data. For multi-family residential buildings, WegoWise serves as the primary performance tracking tool.
The LA BBC offers a range of technical support services to participants, some delivered by LA BBC staff and some through outside consultants and partners.
Through its new Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance Program (EETAP), LADWP and SCG will offer subsidized project development support including energy audits, assistance in development of bid specifications and documents, “selling” projects to decision-makers, project management, connections to qualified contractors, and identification of and application for rebates, tax incentives, and project financing. The LA BBC team serves as the main point of contact for participants, connecting them with subject matter experts and resources to serve the participants’ unique needs – essentially serving as a kind of energy efficiency concierge service to simplify the process for participants.
Training – Through its partnership with the Building Owners Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles (LA BOMA) and the LA Business Council, the LA BBC was able to extend invitations to its participants and partners to LA BOMA events and webinars. The LA BBC also linked its network with LADWP’s Trade Allies Program and Solar Feed in Tariff workshops. There, attendees learned the ins and outs of the latest local rebate and incentive programs, helping them to capitalize on energy efficiency projects. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the LA BBC also co-host monthly webinars on relevant topics, such as property valuation and technology selection.
Because financing energy efficiency projects is often the most difficult aspect of making the case for implementing upgrades, the LA BBC has put financing opportunities at the forefront of its program.
The LA BBC helps guide participants to the most appropriate financing option using a short questionnaire to assess the participant’s priorities and constraints, such as the need for off-balance-sheet treatment, term length, etc. The property owner’s answers translate to a scoring system, which leads to recommended financing options. The LA BBC has created a directory of capital providers which is now posted on the website, so that property owners can learn about the range available options and more easily locate firms that offer various financial products.
The LA BBC recognizes that participating buildings deserve public accolades, particularly when they have reached milestones within the program or met their reduction goal. Through press releases for Showcase Projects, lobby signage for all participants, and recognition on the LA BBC website, participants are recognized for their commitment.