Traditional utilities have simplified the delivery of energy to the point that it takes little effort for consumers to establish service and get the energy they need. While it is often cheaper in the long run to invest in energy efficiency than it is to buy more electricity, identifying viable efficiency opportunities, finding reliable companies to do the work, and financing the up front costs present substantial hurdles to homeowners and businesses that many never even explore the potential.
By aggregating demand for efficiency services, streamlining the process identifying and contracting with local companies, and coupling low-cost financing with guaranteed savings, Sustainable Energy Utilities aim to make energy efficiency as simple and affordable as traditional energy is today.
The Sonoma County Water Agency is launching a program to finance energy efficiency as well as water conservation retrofits for public and non-profit facilities. The Sonoma County Water Agency has partnered with the Foundation for Renewable Energy & Environment to develop the Sonoma County Efficiency Financing (SCEF) Program. Under the SCEF Program, participating organizations contract with an Energy Service Company to complete energy and water conservation measures. Improvements can include street lighting, building lighting, system controls, water pumps, HVAC systems, boilers, chillers, and others. The participating organizations will receive substantial utility cost savings, including a contractual guarantee sufficient to cover the full cost of all retrofit work. The Program intends to use tax-exempt bonds to finance the projects.