2022-23 Southern California Projects

Energy Efficiency Support

Host: South Bay Cities Council of Governments 
Region: Southern California
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Energy Efficiency
Skills Needed: Project Management, Data Analysis, Communication

Service Needs & Plans

The South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG) is a joint powers authority located in the southwest region of Los Angeles County with members of 16 cities and the South Bay portions of Los Angeles County. Members share the goal of maximizing the quality of life and productivity of the South Bay sub-region. The sub-region is diverse in geography, population, ethnicity, industry, and climate zones. Residential areas include both disadvantaged (based on CalEnviroscreen 3.0) and affluent communities – each with their own challenges. With much ethnic diversity, several languages are spoken.

The SBCCOG developed a Sub-Regional Climate Action Plan (CAP) and Adaptation Plan. In addition, the SBCCOG assisted member cities in developing their own CAP and vulnerability assessments and worked with several cities on the next step which was identifying adaptation strategies. One main focus of both the CAP and Adaptation work is to implement energy efficiency at government facilities and other community buildings. These agencies require assistance in assessing, identifying, and implementing energy efficiency projects. Due to limited staff time and resources, as well as impacts of COVID-19, these agencies need significant support. To help address this need, the SBCCOG formed a partnership with the Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN). Through this partnership, public agencies can access resources to help reduce energy use. The Fellow will support and manage various SoCalREN initiatives unique to the region. As a result, cities will further their climate action and adaptation planning and activities.

Project Description

The Fellow will work with at least 15 South Bay public agencies, including various school districts, water agencies, and the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and Torrance. The Fellow will engage with key stakeholders and help agencies access energy efficiency resources provided through the SoCalREN.

Engagement, with guidance from SBCCOG staff, requires facilitating and attending meetings with agencies, helping obtain energy data and agency documents, analyzing data from benchmarking facility energy use to identify projects, developing behavior change initiatives to engage agency staff or community members to conserve energy, leading or assisting with special project initiatives including facility equipment inventory, promotion of agency accomplishments via social media, and agency recognition program. It is envisioned that the Fellow will also work with volunteers to help facilitate program delivery.

Desired project outcomes include heightened engagement that result in increased energy efficiency action and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, successful completion of projects will result in documentation of city accomplishments, a behavior change best practice report upon initiative completion, coordination and implementation of special project initiatives, enhanced engagement with communities through social media platforms for agency recognition, and overall increased regional public agency undertaking of energy efficiency projects.

Based on resource restraints facing regional public agencies, the work of the Fellow will increase the South Bay’s advancement toward energy efficiency goals and implementation, as laid out in the Sub-Regional CAP and Adaptation Plan. The Fellow will facilitate the offering of various energy programs and services that regional public agencies would not otherwise receive.

Additionally, the Fellow will help agencies with disadvantaged communities to access advanced SoCalREN services that provide support beyond basic energy efficiency such as distributed energy resources including solar, battery storage, and EV to help ensure that these communities are not left behind with the changing energy landscape.

Desired Skills

The ideal Fellow will be curious, can work independently but also within a team, and have strong project management skills. The Fellow should have strong written and verbal communication skills; be an efficient multitasker; hold an interest in data; and have basic knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and social media platforms. They should have an interest in learning about local and regional government, energy efficiency, energy use, project development and delivery, climate and adaptation strategy, and state policy on energy efficiency. Familiarity with local government structure, governance, graphic design, GIS and ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager skills would be a plus but not required.

Organization & Community Highlights

The SBCCOG work culture can be described as inclusive, diverse, talented, collaborative and outcome oriented. Staff members reflect a range of characteristics including race, sex, gender, age, work experience and educational background. The SBCCOG prioritizes diversity in order to gain varying perspectives that enhance the workplace environment and project outcomes.

Serving with the SBCCOG will provide opportunities to work with stakeholders across various public agencies, utilities, and non-profits in Southern California. Networking activities are abundant, along with the opportunity to develop new skills. The Fellow will leave the service year with personal references and projects under their belt to add to a professional portfolio.

The South Bay region is an interesting place to live and work due to its economic and cultural diversity as well as its varying geography – inland, coastal, and hillside communities. Local neighborhoods and towns have unique styles and a variety of food, museums/historical sites, cultural activates, and recreation areas.

Remote or On-Site Placement

Our office provides telework options, however, it would be beneficial to have a Fellow on-site most of the time. This will provide greater opportunities to network through activities like SBCCOG’s Annual General Assembly, in-person meetings with public agencies, and attendance of community events. Additionally, special initiatives will require on-site data collection at city facilities.

SBCCOG follows LA County COVID-19 guidelines.

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