Designing a Revolving Energy Fund in a Post-Incentive World

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For many public agencies, utility incentives and On-Bill Financing involving fund disbursement months after project completion can be a significant hindrance to program utilization and energy project implementation. A Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) overcomes this barrier by providing access to upfront funds that cover 100% of energy project construction costs. This session will highlight internal Revolving Funds established by two local governments as well as the Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) Revolving Loan Fund Program. Strategies to successfully design and sustain an “evergreen” fund will be shared and participants will learn why RLFs must be considered as an important tool to finance energy projects. Participants will gain valuable insight into the methods of fund establishment and ongoing fund management. They’ll hear of the County of San Luis Obispo’s experiences with waning utility incentives and capital investment for projects and why it recently sought to develop an RLF. The County researched existing local government RLFs, conducted case study interviews, and met with numerous stakeholder groups to design an innovative fund well-suited to the County’s preferences and assets. The City of Santa Barbara has a well established RLF and participants will also hear best practices and lessons related to structuring and seeding the initial fund as well as maintaining a pipeline of project opportunities. Finally, the SoCalREN’s new Revolving Loan Fund Program will be introduced, which is available to any public agency eligible for SoCalREN services. It is uniquely designed to serve as short-term construction and bridge financing to permanent sources of capital for energy efficiency projects. Whether it be by program provider or local government staff, RLFs can be designed to suit the communities it will serve, no matter the geographical, socioeconomic, or demographic barriers.

Speakers

Annie Secrest, Energy & Water Coordinator, Publc Works Department, County of San Luis Obispo

As the energy and water coordinator for the County of San Luis Obispo, Annie Secrest manages the energy and sustainability efforts at County facilities. Before joining the County in June of 2017, she worked at The Energy Coalition for three years managing energy efficiency projects for public sector clients under the Southern California Regional Energy Network program. Prior to The Energy Coalition, Annie worked for Chevron Energy Solutions as a business development research analyst. Annie has a master’s degree in environmental studies from California State University, Fullerton and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and policy from California State University, Long Beach.

 

Genaro Bugarin, Energy Programs Director, The Energy Coalition 

Genaro has more than 12 years of professional experience with a background in mechanical engineering, real estate, commercial retrofits and energy management. He is a graduate of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and obtained an M.B.A. from USC’s Marshall School of Business. Genaro is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and LEED Accredited Professional (AP).

 

Alelia Parenteau, Energy Program Supervisor, City of Santa Barbara

Alelia Parenteau, LEED Green Associate & Certified Energy Manager; is the Energy and Climate Program Supervisor for the City of Santa Barbara. As Energy and Climate Program Supervisor, Ms. Parenteau identifies energy efficiency and conservation strategies, spearheads new developments to transition the City to renewable energy generation and works within the City organization to implement climate action strategies to reduce the communities overall GHG emissions. Since the Santa Barbara City Council adopted their ambitious goal of 100% renewable electricity – communitywide – by 2030, Ms. Parenteau has been tasked with getting the City there and has developed a strategic plan that will inform the City’s actions to achieving the goal. With expertise in utility operations, creative financing strategies, energy development and energy efficiency best practices, Ms. Parenteau has helped position the City of Santa Barbara as a leader in the State when it comes to energy and climate management.