10.14 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

 

RESCHEDULED MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 5:00 P.M.

Department of the Environment

11 Grove Street, Eco Center

San Francisco, CA 94102

 

 


*The Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 5:00 p.m. Regularly Scheduled Meeting of the Commission on the Environment’s Operations Committee was RESCHEDULED to Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Rodriguez Heyman (Chair); Paul Pelosi Jr. and Matt Tuchow

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Operations Committee meeting was called to order at 5:08 p.m.  Present:  Chair Rodriguez Heyman, Commissioners Pelosi Jr. and Tuchow (5:15).

 

2.      Approval of Minutes of the July 16, 2008 Operations Committee Meeting. (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. and second by Chair Rodriguez Heyman, without objection, the July 16, 2008 Meeting Minutes were approved as written (Absent: Commissioner Tuchow) (Explanatory Document: July 16, 2008 Approved Minutes).

 

3.      Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

Item 6 was heard before Items 4 and 5.  Item 5 was heard before Item 4. Items 4 and 7 were heard together.

 

4.      Overview of Current Fundraising Efforts.  (Explanatory Documents Distributed in Committee Meeting: Grants List 1 and Grant List 2) Mr. Joseph Salem, Budget Manager, provided an overview of the Department’s current fundraising efforts and reported that Ms. Shawn Rosenmoss, Grants Manager, would be presenting on this topic in the future.  Mr. Salem distributed a handout identifying the funder, department program the proposed grant would be allocated to, proposed grant description, amount requested, granted amount, and grant duration.  Mr. Salem explained that the handout reflects (1) grants that have been awarded shown by a dollar amount in the granted column; (2) grants that have been submitted but have not yet been awarded shown by a blank space in the granted column; and (3) grants that no funds were received for shown by a ‘0’ in the granted column. 

 

Chair Rodriguez Heyman recommended revising the format of the explanatory document so that grants are listed into three categories in order of importance (1) pending grants; (2) approved grants; and (3) declined grants and to add totals.  Chair Rodriguez Heyman inquired whether it would be helpful for Commissioners to contact specific grantees. President Pelosi Jr. stated that he would also assist in this effort.  Mr. Salem indicated that he would ask Ms. Rosenmoss to provide a prioritized list of grantees to contact.   

5.      Department of the Environment Fiscal Year (FY) 2008-09 Quarterly Budget Update. (Continued Discussion from the July 16, 2008 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion) SPEAKER:  Mr. Joseph Salem, Department Budget Manager.  (Explanatory Documents Distributed in Committee Meeting:  1st Quarter Budget Summary by Fund for Fiscal Year 08-09 and 1st Quarter Budget Summary by Program for Fiscal Year 2008-09).  Mr. Salem reported that the two explanatory documents describe the budget for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2008-09 categorized by (1) program area and (2) by fund. It was explained that there has been no overspending in any areas, and that there is actually under-spending that would be made up in the second, third, and fourth quarters.  It is expected that by the fourth quarter, all targets would be met.  Mr. Salem discussed budget allocations for program areas and explained that any budget negative amounts or discrepancies were due to process and timing issues that have since been resolved.  

 

6.      Budget Process for FY 2009-10. (Informational Report and Discussion) SPEAKER:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director Assmann explained the budget process for Fiscal Year 2009-10 as follows:

 

·         The Mayor issues budget guidelines in early November.

·         The Department then goes through an internal budget process that involves each program area submitting their budget which is later combined centrally into one Department budget. Internal guidelines are scheduled to be issued in early December.

·         The first draft budget would be ready by the end of December. 

·         The budget would be presented to the Commission Operations Committee for approval at their January 21, 2009 meeting and then to the full Commission for approval at their January meeting. 

·         The budget would be submitted to the Mayor’s Office on February 21. There would be a month of discussions between the Mayor’s Office and the Department.

·         The budget is finalized and is submitted to the Board of Supervisors for their approval.  The Board of Supervisors groups their hearings by general fund and enterprise departments.  The Department does not fall into either category but is grouped into the enterprise department hearings in May.

·         Two hearings are scheduled before the Board of Supervisors.  The Board of Supervisors approves the final budget in June. 

 

Chair Rodriguez Heyman inquired why the Department has to go through the budget process if the bulk of funding is received from the impound account and grants. Deputy Director Assmann reported that no matter where the source of the money is derived, the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors still has control of what is approved and not approved. Mr. Salem explained that the Department receives funding from other City departments to support certain programs, and that this funding can be controlled by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors. Deputy Director Assmann explained that in the case of grant spending, the Mayor and Board can’t change the intent of what the grant is for, but they can decide on position approval or anything that goes along with the budget.  It was explained that critical budget meetings would be held in January, and that would be the best time to raise questions and go through the process that needs further explanation.  Deputy Director Assmann indicated that it is possible that the budget that is finalized in January may get changed by the Board of Supervisors and Mayor.

  

7.      Status Report on Grants Received. (Informational Report and Discussion) SPEAKER:  Joseph Salem, Department Budget Manager.  Mr. Salem distributed a list of grants that had been received by the Department categorized by program area allocation, project, amount granted, available balance remaining, start and stop date, and funder name. This agenda item was heard at the same time as Agenda Item 4.

 

Item 9 was heard before Item 8.

 

8.      Update on the Energy Watch Grant Progress and Future Prospects. (Informational Report and Discussion) SPEAKERS: Ann Kelly, Energy Efficiency Manager and Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager

 

Mr. Broomhead stated that the energy efficiency program for the past five years has been in a reactive mode to opportunities from the state.  The first one was an unprecedented $10 million that became available to the City from the State Legislature that was split with the City of Berkeley as part of an energy emergency bill.  The state required that (1) $8 million of that money be used in one year; (2) they wanted it to serve the small business sector only; and 3) it was supposed to be for lighting projects only.  It was the first time that a local government had run such a program which had previously always been run by utilities.  It was a precedent that PG&E and other utilities were not happy about, and they would have wanted to stop the program if they could. The funding for this program was not derived from rate payers.  The program which served over 4000 small businesses in San Francisco took 15 months to complete and a three-month extension had been granted.    

 

Mr. Broomhead reported that subsequent to the program mentioned above, in order to receive ratepayer funding to run energy efficiency programs, the Department was placed into a partnership with PG&E as a subcontractor.  However, PG&E did not want to provide funding for anything other than paying part-time staff to attend meetings while they did all the work.  Ms. Kelly was responsible for part of the negotiation to acquire over $1 million for City staff to provide marketing, quality control, and to search for contractors to participate in the program.  The program was reasonably successful as it achieved 12 megawatts of the 16 megawatt energy reduction goal.  Mr. Broomhead explained the difficulty in working with PG&E as its infrastructure was not set up to work with a local government in order to achieve City program objectives. 

 

Mr. Broomhead explained that the Energy Watch program originated in 2003 and went through December 2005, and then was extended for another three-year cycle from 2006-2008.  From the $11.5 million allocated to the 2006-08 program the Department received $10.7 million to do programs of our definition.  However, the programs are still operating under state rules and PG&E’s administrative structure which restricts what can be done.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the Department’s program has remained largely a commercial program because the rules of the state have cost-effectiveness criteria attached to everything that is done.  Everything is pre-designated and pre-assigned as to how much energy savings would be achieved, which works well in the commercial sector, but once you get into the single-family sector, the amount of savings is too small for the amount of cost that it takes to go after that savings.  As a result, most of the programs statewide have gone out for the larger customers as transaction costs are smaller.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the Energy Watch program does include a multi-family program.

 

Ms. Ann Kelly, Energy Efficiency Manager, reported that the Energy Watch program is a program that runs in three-year cycles.  The 2006-08 cycle ends in December, and a contract is being negotiated for the 2009-11 program cycle.  Ms. Kelly discussed Energy Watch program topics that include:  (Explanatory Document: San Francisco’s Energy Efficiency Program Presentation)

 

·2006-08 Energy Watch Budget of $11.5 million that includes $10.7 million funding for the Department to run the program and includes administration, audits, analysis, and customer service.  $5.1 million of the $10.7 million is for incentives for participants of the program.  The remaining $800,000 is for PG&E.

 

·2006-08 Assigned Energy Savings Goals. 

 

·Program elements for the Small Business Direct Install program for lighting and refrigeration that is administered by Ecology Action, the implementing contractor. Outreach and marketing efforts were described.

 

·Program elements for Commercial and Multifamily PLUS programs for lighting, refrigeration, heating and cooling, food service, hot water, and computer networks.  Staff and ICF are providing implementation support of this program that includes administration, marketing, outreach, presentations, and training of vendors and contractors.

 

·Small Business Direct, Commercial and Multifamily PLUS, and full San Francisco Energy Watch Energy savings goals, number of installations, average annual savings, total project costs, total program incentives paid, incentives as a percentage project costs to date, estimated total energy savings, and total CO2 reduction to date.

 

·Program Schedule—the end of the current cycle is December 31, 2008.  The next cycle starts on January 1, 2009, and bridge funding would be administered until a decision is made by the California Public Utilities Commission in mid-2009.  The new programs would start in 90 days.

 

·Other potential funding mechanisms through the Federal Agency Policy Act 2007 and Federal Climate Initiatives that would provide an opportunity for additional proactive programs other than ones being currently administered.

 

Chair Rodriguez Heyman inquired what the Commissioners could do to support this program.  Ms. Kelly stated that Commissioners could provide customer referrals to the Department.   Chair Rodriguez Heyman recommended focusing on the 10 or 20 largest users of energy particularly in commercial.  Mr. Broomhead explained that information is confidential and is not available to the department unless a waiver is signed by the customer.        

 

Additional information on the Energy Watch program can be accessed in the San Francisco’s Energy Efficiency Program Presentation explanatory document.

      

9.      Electrical Vehicle Charging--Update on possible strategies for San Francisco. (Informational Report and Discussion) Speaker:  Bob Hayden, Transportation Manager

 

Transcript of presentation:  Commissioner Pelosi asked Mr. Hayden to describe his background in this field.  Mr. Hayden introduced himself as a consultant with the Department of the Environment working for several years on clean vehicle technology matters. His background includes decades of working on alternative fuel vehicle programs.  Mr. Hayden stated that he was formerly the Executive Director of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Americas, a national association of all of the companies developing electric vehicle systems.  This agency is now called the Electric Drive Transportation Association which used to be in San Francisco, and is now housed in Washington D.C.  Mr. Hayden has continued to work as a consultant in the field of advanced technology vehicles in San Francisco. 

 

Mr. Hayden discussed the process that is being undertaken currently related to electric vehicles in the City is a continuation of programs and direction that have been taken by the City for a couple of decades.  Since 1999, an Ordinance has been in place that calls for the City fleet to use alternative fuel vehicles with the highest priority being placed on zero emission vehicles, which primarily means electric vehicles.  There has been an effort by the City going back a decade and a half to take advantage of the first round of electric vehicle technologies that were being produced primarily by the major auto companies and some independent companies as well.  There was a first effort at putting in some of the charging systems to support those electric vehicles that you can still see in place in the Civic Center Garage that services the City’s electric vehicle fleet.  It was explained that the City’s fleet has nine battery electric RAV 4s that are serviced at the Civic Center garage.  There are over 100 small neighborhood electric vehicles used by the City for mainly not in City road settings, but in the Presidio, parks and low-speed situations.

 

Mr. Hayden explained that the industry started moving away from battery electric vehicles about a decade ago, and that effort went into suspension.  In the meantime, there has been continued development of small electric vehicles, two-wheeled electric vehicles such as motorcycles, scooters, bikes, and also low- speed cars that are used in park situations and other low-speed roads.  That has continued and the City has continued to purchase some of those vehicles but at an ebb level.  In the past year there had been a true resurgence in electric vehicle activity as hybrids are moving forward to become plug-in hybrid electrics, and some of the car companies have also determined that advancements had been made in battery technology by way of lithium batteries, so that the car companies want to start producing some of their own full battery electric vehicles again.  From what can be assumed from what is being said from the marketing information from the car companies, it is believed that in 2010, we will begin seeing plug in vehicles from quite a number of the major auto companies and expect it to grow rapidly from that point forward.  The initiative is being taken to make sure that we are ready when those vehicles come into place, and that we can start taking greater advantage of some of the smaller electric vehicles that are on the market increasingly. 

 

Mr. Hayden stated that some of the companies began developing new versions of charging technology to take advantage of all of the current knowledge and technology from Silicon Valley that involves smart communications and networking that would take the electric vehicle charging concept to a new level where there are not just individual units hooked up to an electric grid, but network units that can communicate with one another and that can be dispatched by Central Systems so that people can charge only for instance during non-peak hours if that is what has been designed.  There is a whole resurgence of charging technology, and some of these companies approached the City to want to work together. In order to move forward in the right way, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued in July.  The RFI received a lot of attention from around the world and wide notice was provided to people within the electric industry, associations nationally, the electric utility industry, and non-profit organizations. Nineteen responses were received officially from a range of small individual entrepreneurs, to multi national companies and consulting firms, and others.  Facing a situation where the new vendors of the chagrining technology are all dealing with new technology and do not have actual products to implement now.   An effort would be made to pilot projects and demonstrations and find out what the best systems are. 

 

Mr. Hayden reported that two of the responses were general in that they wanted to work in the alternative fuel vehicle support area or renewable energy area generally and were involved with electric vehicle charging.  Three of the responses were from people focused on consulting services, and eleven companies had actual charging technology or charging systems, two of which were specifically connected to solar production of electricity to connect with the chargers.  An interesting and constructive response was from the San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association, which is comprised of people here locally that included hobbyists, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts on long-term electric vehicles, and who have a lot of experience on what is needed, what is useful, and offered to serve as a sounding board. 

 

Mr. Hayden explained that they are proceeding by digesting responses to find out the scope of intent.  The purpose of the RFI was not for responders to come back with a specific detailed response as if an RFP was issued as there are no specific projects known that would be undertaken.  Responders were asked to provide six pages on the ways they could work with the City that would meet our interest and serve their interest.  It would be another month or so of working here and with the Mayors Office on thinking of the best approach to take and whether it would lead to specific RFP’s or not.  This process has given a good sense of who is out there, who is most active, and has given notice to people in the industry to come to the City to introduce themselves.

 

Mr. Hayden reported that the focus is not on just municipal vehicles as there is already a City policy in place for the City to purchase electric vehicles when they become available and if they meet the duty cycle and are what the fleet managers need.  The focus is to push away from four wheeled vehicles to possibly electric bikes for employees.  The new direction is on how to put steps in place within the community and Bay Area that this becomes an active market.  When the car companies start to market these, it would be similar to the hybrids, they will pick areas where they want to concentrate their efforts and an effort will be made to show them which areas they should concentrate, not just for sales to the municipal fleet, but for sales to residents and businesses in the area and just as important, regionally.  A determination would be made on how to work with other counties, major Bay Area cities, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to make this a regional effort.

 

Chair Rodriguez Heyman inquired about Mr. Hayden’s statement that the use and popularity of battery driven electric-powered vehicles has declined, and asked if that had been replaced with any type of system.  Mr. Hayden explained that the resurgence is through battery systems.  The first is hybrid technology, which combines battery and an internal combustion engine.  Now the direction is to move into plug-in hybrid technology, which extends the range of the all battery capacity of a hybrid.  In addition to that, there is a renewed interest in full battery technology.  The other electric vehicle that has had a lot of attention and is still being worked on and still has had a lot of potential for the long term are the fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles, which is a different infrastructure and fuel system than battery.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired about the stats on hybrid vehicles in the City fleet. Mr. Hayden explained that the two types of alternative fuel vehicles that the City fleet has a high number of are Compressed National Gas (CNG) vehicles and hybrids, e.g., Civics, Prius and Ford Escape, and the number of hybrids is well over 150. Commissioner Tuchow inquired about the City’s Clean Vehicle Ordinance requirements for use of alternative vehicles.  Mr. Hayden stated that by virtue of this ordinance, City departments are required to purchase alternative fuel vehicles, and there is a hierarchy of which are the cleanest and most energy efficient of those, which are (1) zero emission battery electric and fuel cell; and (2) hybrids and CNG are second in terms of clean and efficient.  In addition to light duty passenger vehicles, like the Prius and Civic hybrids, the City has approximately 87 hybrid electric buses in MUNI.  In addition to the hybrid electric part of their drive system, the combustion engine in the hybrid buses is diesel and is using biodiesel B20, so it is a biodiesel hybrid.

.  

Commissioner Tuchow inquired whether there is a Taxi Ordinance. Mr. Hayden explained that the Taxi Commission voluntarily adopted a policy which is a Green Taxi Policy, which reflects what is in the City Climate Protection Plan to reduce green house gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2012.  The Commission has estimated what the greenhouse gas emissions from the taxi fleet was in 1990, and even though the taxi fleet is now almost twice as large in terms of numbers of vehicles, they would try to figure out how to get that taxi fleet down 20% below 1990 levels.  Mr. Hayden explained that the Department of Environment has worked with the Taxi Commission over the past year and a formula has been determined on how they are going to do that.  A policy has been put in place that the Taxi Commission would approve new taxis that are purchased.  The Taxi fleet turns over every three or four years.  New taxis purchased by cab companies have to be either a CNG or a hybrid or a very clean gasoline engine to meet the standard.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that the City can’t regulate non-city vehicles, that Ordinances are aimed for what the City can do and cannot apply to private vehicles. Mr. Hayden explained that the Taxi Commission has to sign off on the vehicles that cab companies purchase to meet the requirements of their medallion. The Taxi Commission has realized that clean vehicles are highly efficient vehicles, which means lower fuel costs, which is a key to their success.

 

10.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion).  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the 2009-10 Budget would be heard at the January meeting for recommendation to the Commission.

 

11.  Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

12.  Adjournment.  The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393

 

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) on the Committee’s website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/operations-committee as attachments to the meeting agenda or minutes, ;(3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.

 

*Approved:  February 4, 2009 

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