The Local Government Challenge is an example of how the CEC is helping local governments achieve energy planning and take action to reach targets and goals to ensure a resilient and sustainable future. In 2017, the Local Government Challenge awarded $7.2 million for Energy Innovation Challenge grants and $3 million for Small Government Leadership Challenge grants.   

The energy innovation grants provided opportunities to deploy new energy efficiency and renewable generation projects that support local goals and statewide energy policy. Awardees were required to share best practices and implementation templates with the CEC and other local governments. The resources will be available on this page after projects are completed. As of early 2020, three projects are complete; the rest will likely be completed by the end of 2021. 

The small government grants made available dedicated funding to disadvantaged communities with populations fewer than 150,000. Awardees were given technical assistance and grant funding for citywide energy efficiency improvements that advance goals in adopted climate or energy action plans. 

Map of Local Government Challenge Grant Awardees

Image of California showing Local Government Challenge Grant Awardees locations

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Energy Innovation Challenge Awardees

Grant amount: $1,991,444 

The grant funds the launch of an advanced smart city open urban platform network, which will automatically track, benchmark, and reduce GHG and energy use of municipal facilities. The platform will help the city meet its climate action plan target to reduce municipal building consumption by 15 percent by 2020 and by an additional 25 percent by 2035.

Grant amount: $1,995,963 

The money will be used to implement high-efficiency light-emitting diode lighting, a building automation system, and a 1 megawatt solar photovoltaic power generation system at the city's water pollution control plant. The project will help meet the goals of city's climate action plan, which includes the target to reduce community emissions to 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Grant amount: $1,000,000 

The grant funds the launch of a project that will accelerate multi-family building upgrades in Bay Area jurisdictions.

Grant amount: $1,720,343 

The grant will be used to design and implement a replicable community choice aggregator program. The hope is to remove barriers in deploying distributed energy resources. The project will help implement the goals of SB 350 to increase existing building efficiency and increase renewable energy generation and storage.

Small Government Leadership Challenge Awardees

Grant amount: $275,008

The grant funds the Resilient Neighborhoods program, a grassroots effort to reduce residential building energy use. The project helps implement the goals of Senate Bill 350 to increase existing building efficiency and local government climate action plan goals.

Grant amount: $645,800

The grant will be used to develop a climate action plan, a transportation corridor management plan, and a master plan. The three plans are part of Galt's 2030 general plan goals to ensure the city’s growth complies with state and regional climate goals.

Grant amount: $523,672

The grant adds building automation system software and hardware to the police station and the city hall annex. These measures, along with previously implemented measures, will reduce the city's energy use by 41.8 percent. The city’s climate action milestone was to reduce energy use in municipal buildings by 40 percent from 2008 levels by 2020.

Grant amount: $327,206

The grant funds a transferable pilot project study identifying the technical, social, and organizational feasibility of deep neighborhood-based energy savings in a disadvantaged community. The grant also funds a zero net energy (ZNE) neighborhood feasibility, design, and implementation study that capitalizes on existing energy efficiency work and more strategically directs those efforts.

Grant amount: $186,708 

The grant will be used to develop a detailed ZNE roadmap and implementation plan. The plan will include energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrade measures for city-owned buildings to achieve ZNE and an implementation plan to install the measures by 2030.

Grant amount: $427,544 

The grant funds community and municipal energy action plans for four communities in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The money will also be used to develop a template that can be used by cities within the two counties to develop energy action plans in the future, and to develop a business energy efficiency pilot program.

Grant amount: $466,000 

The grant will be used to prepare a planning framework that members can use to develop and adopt climate action plans. The plans will help members consider additional steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

Grant amount: $250,635 

The grant funds an update to the 2014 San Bernardino County Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan in local jurisdictions. The eight cities participating in the update are Adelanto, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Hesperia, Needles, Twentynine Palms, Victorville, and Yucca Valley.

Grant amount: $388,893 

The grant will be used to install a 62.6 kilowatt photovoltaic system on the roof of the new city hall and to install a battery energy storage system that can provide a minimum of five hours backup or supplemental power. This project is a collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego, which will distribute information on the energy savings and performance metrics from the systems so the lessons learned can be applied to other building projects in Del Mar.


Daniel Johnson



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