California utilities launch energy efficiency jobs initiative

San Francisco, August 25, 2011 — Since launching in late 2010, EnergySmart Jobs has worked to build a new sustainable workforce in California while helping businesses throughout the state lower their energy costs.

Key to this effort is the relationship between the program and participating utilities. This relationship is what enables the program to spread the benefits of energy efficiency and job creation to all parts of California.

EnergySmart Jobs works with investor-owned utilities as well as municipal and publicly-owned utilities. A breakdown of how the program reaches commercial customers within participating utility territories highlights the positive impact of this collaboration: First, EnergySmart Jobs trains energy surveyors from the California Conservation Corps.

These surveyors then conduct energy surveys of commercial retail outlets, facilitating the identification of opportunities for significant energy savings in refrigeration systems and lighting. Qualified installation contractors work with stores to complete the recommended high-efficiency retrofits.

"SMUD sees the EnergySmart Jobs Program as an opportunity to help our customers lower their electricity bills, reduce the demand on our system, and help train up and coming energy auditors for future work in the energy efficiency business," says Cheri Davis, a Sacramento Municipal Utility District energy efficiency planner. "It really is a win-win-win for everyone involved."

Through the coupling of participating utility incentives with those from EnergySmart Jobs, participating businesses can make these energy efficiency upgrades while having a large percentage of the upfront costs covered. This trims down the payback period and makes the savings even more immediate.

The following twelve California utilities are currently participating in the EnergySmart Jobs Program (listed in order of program enrollment):

Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Lodi Electric Utility, City of Palo Alto Utilities, Burbank Water and Power, San Diego Gas & Electric, Alameda Municipal Power, Southern California Edison, Roseville Electric, Turlock Irrigation District, and Silicon Valley Power.

The EnergySmart Jobs Program is expected to save California businesses an estimated $41 million in energy costs over the next five years, while producing hundreds of sustainable jobs in the fast-growing energy efficiency industry.

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