Silicon Valley Power Honored for Business Efficiency Efforts
City of Santa Clara Municipal Electric Utility Program Deemed Best Among Peers
Silicon Valley Power (SVP) has been awarded the 2017 Resource Efficiency & Community Service Award by the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA). SVP, the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility, won the Best Energy Program for a Large Municipal Electric Utility for its successful community program to help small business customers with a demand of 200 kilowatts or less to install energy efficiency products and lower their energy bills.
The Small Business Snapshot Audit and Direct Install Program first provided a free “snapshot” energy audit with a report for energy-saving recommendations, then installed specified energy efficiency measures. Energy efficient products were recommended and installed through a third-party contractor, Efficiency Services Group, so the customer did not have to manage the process. Because many of the qualifying customers operate on a slim financial margin, Silicon Valley Power opted to provide the measures at no cost to the customer, provided the program was still cost-effective.
“This was an opportunity for Silicon Valley Power to offer a valuable, energy-saving service to those smaller businesses in our community that can benefit the most,” said Mary Medeiros McEnroe, SVP Public Benefits Manager. “The work we partnered with Efficiency Services Group to perform for our customers had a very positive economic impact, as we were able to save small businesses in Santa Clara over $300,000 annually.”
While there is nothing new about offering energy audits or direct install programs, the originality of this program comes in its implementation approach. The program was designed to be a high-penetration, low-cost program with a focus on the customer experience, as well as achieving energy savings. And this program not only promoted the use of energy efficient equipment, it also achieved water savings for those customers who also have electric water heating and were eligible for the water efficiency measures.
The program did so well in the first year that it was extended for two additional years (through Fiscal Year 2016-2017) and additional products were added. Information gathered in the snapshot audit included all electric equipment in the facility so that Silicon Valley Power could use the information in future program development or targeted marketing beyond this direct install program. Over both phases, the program has provided snapshot audits to 3,045 customers and achieved a total energy savings of 1,975,586 kilowatt-hours in first year savings, which equates to a cost savings of approximately $300,000 per year to this class of small commercial customers. This program also was shown to increase customer satisfaction with the utility.
“The customers of Silicon Valley Power should be proud of their locally owned electric utility,” said Barry Moline, CMUA executive director. “Their leadership and innovative ideas are helping save our natural resources, as well as bringing great value to the community.”
Mary Medeiros McEnroe, Silicon Valley Power
Email: mmedeiros (at) svpower.com
Danielle Blacet, CMUA
Tel: 916.326.5802 (o) 916.847.8444 (c)
About Silicon Valley Power
Silicon Valley Power is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA serving residents and businesses for over 100 years. SVP provides power to more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, and Owens Corning at rates 15 to 45 percent below neighboring communities.
About California Municipal Utilities Association
The California Municipal Utilities Association is the statewide trade association of municipal water and power utilities. CMUA members are not-for-profit utilities representing 70% of water delivered and 25% of electric delivered in California. The awards were judged by five individuals and were chosen in a competitive process. These professionals include electric and water utility directors, legislative staff from the California Senate, and electric and water industry representatives. These awards represent best practices and innovative ideas for these industries.