Comments on DiSC 2022 Technical Memorandum
Valley Clean Energy launches an innovative program for agricultural customers to reduce grid stress and save farmers money.

Valley Clean Energy Hires New Program and Community Engagement Analyst

Sierra-1(From press release) Valley Clean Energy announces the hiring of Sierra Huffman as its new program and community engagement analyst. VCE is the local electricity provider for the cities of Winters, Woodland and Davis as well as the unincorporated portions of Yolo County.

Huffman is responsible for developing and implementing programs, maintaining stakeholder relations, opening avenues for community engagement, and using analytical methodologies to educate and inform. With nearly two years of experience with community choice aggregators such as VCE, Huffman has brought relevant skill sets to the team.

Before joining VCE, she created greenhouse gas reduction measures for Humboldt County’s Climate Action Plan and established long-term planning goals for Redwood Coast Energy Authority’s Repower+. Much of her work focused on energy prices and rates, electric vehicle adoption, rooftop solar installations, and gas appliance retrofits.

She also completed an internship with Silicon Valley Clean Energy before coming to Yolo County.

“At VCE, I’ll be focusing on how we engage our customers and get the information out there so they are excited and want to participate in various programs,” Huffman said. “I’ll help them learn about VCE and be in better control of how they use energy.”

Huffman will also be implementing two VCE programs that are currently in the development phase. The first is an electric vehicle rebate that is designed to enhance the affordability of EVs, with VCE’s rebate for income-qualified buyers complementing other existing rebate options, she explained.

The second program offers rebates for the installation of dual-fuel residential heat pumps to provide heating and cooling, Huffman said. Under ideal conditions, a heat pump can transfer 300 percent more energy than it consumes. By contrast, a high-efficient gas furnace is about 90 percent efficient.

“If you’re replacing older or ill-functioning equipment, you’ll definitely have a cleaner household and high efficiency with updated electric technology,” she added.

Huffman has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from Humboldt State University and is a certified LEED Green Associate. Originally from Auburn, she plans to move to Davis in January.

When she’s not promoting workable solutions to climate change challenges, Huffman enjoys hiking; she needs to climb only one more California mountain peak to reach her goal of summiting 12 throughout the state. Among her favorites are Pyramid Peak in the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe and Clouds Rest in Yosemite.

About VCE: Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit public agency formed to provide electrical generation service to customers in Woodland, Davis, Winters and the unincorporated areas of Yolo County. Its mission is to source cost-competitive clean electricity while providing product choice, price stability, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reductions and reinvestment in the communities it serves. For more information about VCE, visit www.valleycleanenergy.org or call 855-699-8232.

Comments

Todd Edelman

She seems qualified and it's great that VCE is expanding.

If they achieve their apparent missions the two programs mentioned seem great for the climate, but what will they do for the huge numbers of people in Davis who are not in a position to purchase a new EV even with multiple rebates, and who don't own or otherwise have agency on their own power supply, aside from from picking VCE over PG&E for energy source? We pay for heating, cooling, lighting and energy for other appliances ourselves, but our water is included in rent, and I have no way to change its energy source... except for asking.

PG&E will provide some energy-saving equipment and related improvements to certain low-income households in town, but these programs are not well-marketed and there's no opportunity for energy generating and storage equipment.

Why will landlords whose tenants pay their own utility bills choose to install the mentioned heat pumps? Who will benefit from the EV incentives?

I kind of get the sense that the modest- and low-income outreach is being farmed out to Cool Davis, who really doesn't have experience thus far yet in this area. Yet VCE reaches every single utility customer every month, and this includes a lot of renters, mostly unpowered... for power.

The Social Services Commission should form a sub-committee with the Natural Resources Commission and the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission to use the CAAP and other tools and angles to provide energy equity in the areas of transportation and housing to Davis residents who are not owners of property and the most likely buyers of EV's.

We need solar panels and heat pumps on other "green" equipment in modest- to low-income rental housing, and we need electric bicycles that can carry kids and shopping (and parking at home and destination to match) for people who live in that housing. Landlords need incentives and we shouldn't expect people to wait for more used EV's in the future -- they need e-bikes now.

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