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California Center For Sustainable Energy

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (Energy Center) provides San Diego with broad climate change services

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Climate Change Resource Center for Southern Californians

California Center For Sustainable Energy's scope responds not only to the growing concern about Climate Change among Californians, but to the escalating need for state-wide leadership to help address transportation emissions and consumers dissatisfaction with rising fuel prices.

A recent field poll showed that 80% of Californians are concerned about climate change,said Energy Center Executive Director Irene Stillings. Businesses and consumers are hungry for information on what they can do to assert their energy independence, cut energy costs and help the environment.

The Center is here to help not only with free energy audits, transportation events and related energy efficiency recommendations, but with education, training and that all-important economic stimulus: millions of dollars in rebates and related incentives.

The California Center for Sustainable Energy provides energy efficiency expertise, education and rebate program administration in five critical areas: green building, education, renewables and now, transportation and climate change.

The California Center for Sustainable Energy Services

  • Green Building: The Energy Center helps businesses and public agencies evaluate their facility design and consumption practices and identify cost-saving opportunities through adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices (and rebates to help fund them) from concept to installation.
  • Education: The Energy Center provides San Diegans with a robust complement of free, expert-facilitated workshops (and tool and resource libraries) on topics like green building, solar power and efficient lighting to educate contractors, consultants, businesses and homeowners on how they can become more efficient at work, recreationally and at home.
  • Renewable Energy: The Energy Center offers professional advice and cost-cutting strategies to help consumers identify, navigate and evaluate their options in deploying renewable, energy-efficient programs and solutions.
  • Transportation: California is the ninth largest emitter of carbon in the world -- and a full third of that carbon comes from fossil-fuel burning vehicles. The Energy Center is committed to educating Californians on the benefits of alternative fuels and vehicles, while affording them financial incentives for contributing to the resolution of California's transportation woes.
  • Climate Change: The author of the San Diego region's Energy Strategy, the Energy Center collaborates with key government agencies, fellow non-profits, businesses and elected officials to support the community with ideas and resources to equip them to do their respective parts to reduce consumption and deploy technologies and practices to counteract the alarming effects of climate change.

The California Center for Sustainable Energy's 30-person team of energy engineers, program managers and energy policy gurus have been tapped by the State of California, the Department of Energy, the Department of Forestry, the North American Development Bank and sundry private sector organizations to administer a wide array of incentive programs to stimulate markets for energy efficient technologies and practices. Among those programs are:

State of California Solar Initiative (CSI)

The California Center for Sustainable Energy is the only non-profit in the state to administer CSI. CSI is a $2.1 billion, 10-year state-wide program designed to provide rebates to homeowners, businesses and public agencies who deploy rooftop solar panels to cut energy consumption. The Energy Center is administering nearly $250 million of the allocated $2.1 billion within the San Diego Gas & Electric Service Area.

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

The SGIP provides businesses and public agencies with between $25 and $40 million in targeted rebates annually to promote the installation of clean, renewable, on-site power generation systems. Since 2001, the SGIP has provided incentives for more than 15 MW of installed generation capacity (about the equivalent of 11,000 homes), reducing consumers' dependence on the utility grid.

CA Air Resources Board (CARB) Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive Program

$1.8 million awarded for a state-wide program providing rebates to businesses, public and governmental agencies and consumers purchasing or leasing electric, fuel-cell, plug-in hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles.

Tax-Exempt Customer Incentive Program (TEC)

The $12 million TEC program provides technical and project management assistance to help tax-exempt organizations implement energy-efficiency measures and to take advantage of available rebates. TEC has the expertise and resources to take projects from concept to successful implementation.

Energy Resource Center

Funded by utility rate payers, the California Center for Sustainable Energy's Energy Resource Center provides free on-site expert-facilitated workshops, interactive technology displays, technical assistance, videos, periodicals and diagnostic tools (via its free lending library) for businesses, facility managers, contractors and the community at large on a broad spectrum of energy topics and implementation strategies, from the latest in heating and cooling (HVAC) and advanced lighting to do-it-yourself, energy-smart remodeling.

Cool Communities Shade Tree Program

The perennially-popular, four-year Cool Communities Program provides free trees to area residents and K-12 schools to shade their homes and facilities, reduce air conditioning use, save energy and improve air quality. The Home Depot Foundation recently provided a grant to augment this program.

For more than 10 years, the San Diego Regional Energy Office has served as a trusted, unbiased resource on energy-related topics.

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (Energy Center) is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to fostering public policy and administering programs, services, information and forums to facilitate the adoption of clean, reliable, renewable, sustainable, and efficient energy technologies and practices. For more information on California Center for Sustainable Energy programs and services, please visit or call 1-866-SDENERGY.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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