California Offers $31M for Zero Net Energy Buildings, Efficient Communities

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Zero Net Energy

The Cherokee Mixed Use Lofts in Los Angeles, a model of green building. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

California is offering up to $31 million in grants for projects that demonstrate zero net energy building and integrated demand-side management (DSM) for communities.

Issued by the California Energy Commission on Sept. 23, 2015, the solicitation seeks pilot projects that use advanced technologies for existing and new buildings. The commission wants to develop ways to identify the maximum level of energy efficiency that can be cost-effectively achieved by climate zone and building type.

Grant money also will go toward demonstrations of large scale integrated approaches that cost effectively achieve zero net energy.

The $31 million is divided among six types of projects. Community-wide efficiency efforts will receive the largest portion of the $31 million.

Specifically, the solicitation allots $4 million for Group 1, which focuses on emerging building technology and approaches for existing buildings. The same amount goes to Group 2 for emerging technology pilots in new zero net energy buildings.

Groups 3 and 4 each receive $1 million. Group 3 money goes toward cost-effective approaches to achieve California’s zero net energy building goals. Group 3 money is for zero net energy cost-effectiveness models, by climate zone, for multifamily and commercial buildings.

For Group 5, the commission allotted $6 million toward integrated (DSM) demonstrations.  By way of example, an integrated DSM package may include such measures as:

  • Advanced building envelope materials or construction methods
  • Advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies and strategies, including right sizing systems and components based on increased energy efficiency
  • Building and occupancy controls or energy management systems for HVAC, lighting, plug loads and other energy-using systems
  • Advanced lighting technologies and daylighting controls
  • Demand response technologies

The final category. Group 6, will receive $15 million for large-scale, community-wide demonstrations to achieve zero net energy.

The commission does not require matching funds for Groups 1-4, but will give extra points to proposals that offer to share costs. Groups 5-6 must offer matching funds of at least 20 percent; a greater cost share will result in a higher bid score.

This solicitation is open to all public and private entities and individuals except for publicly owned utilities.

Proposals are due to the commission by Nov. 20, 2015. The commission expects to post awards Jan. 12, 2016.

For more details see the full GFO-15-308 solicitation on the commission website.

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