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Good Morning America!
Wow. Things are popping in the world of energy and the environment! Every week there are major advances: One week Costco is going solar, the next Wal-Mart is doubling national CFL sales by committing to sell an additional 100 million CFLs this coming year!
And beyond corporations, this issue highlights states, cities, and private citizens taking pronounced actions to stem climate change.
This week’s bell-weather news in California was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dramatic acceleration of use of renewable energy source and reduction of greenhouse gases. Two major pieces of legislation put California in the lead and squarely amid heated controversy.
But quickly the excitement about these laws was scooped by a whopping $3 billion commitment to the Clinton Climate Initiative.
At EcoMotion, we delve into the world of finance and market-based solutions for responsible energy management. Specifically, after deducting rebates, tax credits, and any other discounts from the costs of a household energy efficiency make-over, the net cost is still more than most can afford. And it is more than most will invest, unless the monthly financing costs are less than the bill savings.
Can revenue neutrality or even positive cash flow be achieved for residential solar systems? How about packages of efficiency measures and solar systems?
With Bob Barton and the City of Santa Monica, EcoMotion is working on an exciting new model that gives great hope for a transformation to a sustainable energy platform.
At the City Council Meeting of September 12, 2006, EcoMotion was selected to help develop, market and implement a two-year, 50- building demonstration project to establish the foundation for a much larger, city-wide “Community Energy Independence Initiative” or CEII.
Earlier this year, the City concluded that Santa Monica could generate all the electricity it currently consumes by installing solar onto all suitable rooftops, bringing buildings up to current energy efficiency standards, and equipping appropriate facilities with neighborhood solar systems or cogeneration systems. Being a “net-zero energy city” would reduce the City’s dependence on outside energy sources, provide some offset to future energy price fluctuations, and respond to local and global air quality concerns.
“The CEII is an ambitious program that will likely take up to 20 years to complete,” acknowledges Susan Munves, Energy and Green Building Programs Administrator and City lead for this project.
“We are looking to our two-year demonstration project to show the best ways to move forward.”
EcoMotion has already played a key role in helping develop the two-year demonstration plan, and now will assist the city to formalize the program, make sure residents know about it, and help them get started on the “steps to solar.”
“Our strategy is to bundle efficiency measures with solar installations to make the whole package a good investment,” explains Ted Flanigan, EcoMotion’s President. “Where we can standardize equipment and installation guidelines we make it easier for homeowners, for contractors and for quality control. By doing at least 50 buildings, we can get discounts. We’ve already had a great deal of positive interest in the program, even though it is still in formation.”