California Public Utilities Commission
CPUC Rulemaking 15-03-010,
“Order Instituting Rulemaking to Identify Disadvantaged Communities in the San Joaquin Valley and Analyze Economically Feasible Options to Increase Access to Affordable Energy in those Disadvantaged Communities.”
This action grew out of the passage of AB 2672 in 2014, which identified three methods for energy “relief” for what became a list of 170 communities in the San Joaquin Valley who heated their residences with either propane or firewood. This is a significant expense (to them) that maintains poor local air quality in one of the dirtiest air basins in the U.S.
1 Extension of off-site natural gas lines to replace propane and wood heating
2 Boosted financial subsidies through investor-owned utility rate systems
3 Conversion to all-electric energy service and new household appliances
CaliforniaGeo partnered with one of its members, The Grey Edge Group to become a “Party of Interest” to this proceeding in January of 2018. Our application was approved by the Commission, and we are now one of 18 official POIs, while there are 107 entities who are “following” this proceeding via electronic notification. The CPUC principle is that all POIs have an equal voice to influence the Proceeding. We prefer the course of action afforded by #3 above, and have advocated for geo heat pumps to be part of the 12 community pilot projects that will be built to assess a wider course of action for the remaining 170 communities.
The Grey Edge Group is a working partnership of experienced professionals who’ve performed the engineering and supervised the construction and operational verification for dozens of medium-to-large geothermal projects on multiple continents. Together, we hope to be planning for a future community demonstration of all-electric conversion with individual residential heat pumps in one community and a “district loop” system that will serve all residences (in common) in another community. We know that emissions can fall to zero and the electric grid will be helped by the use of our technology.
You can read our full “Comment” to the CPUC that also went to all the other interested entities on March 2, 2018. It is a large PDF file with many illustrations.
CPUC’s “CA Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan” Includes Geothermal Heat Pump Implementation
“BIG BOLD” ENERGY EFFICIENCY STRATEGIES
In order to guide market transformation in a number of key sectors, this Plan embraces four specific programmatic goals, known as the “Big Bold Energy Efficiency Strategies” (BBEES), established by the CPUC in D.07-10-032 and D.07-12-051. These goals were selected not only for their potential impact, but also for their easy comprehension and their ability to galvanize market players.
1. All new residential construction in California will be zero net energy by 2020;
2. All new commercial construction in California will be zero net energy by 2030;
3. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) will be transformed to ensure that its energy performance is optimal for California‘s climate; and
4. All eligible low-income customers will be given the opportunity to participate in the low income energy efficiency program by 2020.
EXCERPT FROM THE HVAC IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
Goal 3: Building industry design and construction practices that fully integrate building performance to reduce cooling and heating loads.
Specific design and building changes addressing HVAC performance include:
- Placing more emphasis on the whole building as a complete interactive system and improving the thermal integrity of the building shell to reduce heating and cooling loads.
- Moving ducts and equipment off the roof and out of hot attics.
- Incorporating ductless systems, radiant heating and cooling, ground source heat pumps and thermal energy storage technologies with overall higher efficiencies.
Read more on: CPUC’s “CA Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan” (Specifically including Geo Heat Pumps)