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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Holly Ferris, Ferris Communications, (562) 429-6456,

 
Consortium Kicks Off Energy Efficiency Project Funded by a California Energy Commission $1.35-Million Grant

LONG BEACH, Calif., February 12, 2014 — Five organizations will participate in a landmark demonstration sponsored through the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program’s “Building Energy Efficiency Research and Technology Grant Program.” The $1.35-million grant will fund engineering, project management, and construction to convert apartments at LINC Housing’s The Village at Beechwood property in Lancaster, Calif., to near zero energy. The consortium includes Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), BIRAenergy, LINC Housing, SoCal Gas, and Southern California Edison. The project launched on October 16, 2013 and will continue through June 2015.

“This latest award will allow LINC to expand its work to make all of our properties more energy efficient because we learn so much every time we're able to explore different environmental solutions,” said Hunter L. Johnson, LINC Housing president and CEO. “The Village at Beechwood is already benefiting from lessons learned to date from LINC sites that are part of a national program made possible through HUD’s Energy Innovation Fund. This newest grant will allow us to not only upgrade Beechwood’s energy equipment, but it will also allow us to conduct very thorough post-installation measurement and verification — a critical part of proving a lowered rate of ongoing energy use by our residents. We’ll also be helping the CEC test successful single-family dwelling whole-house approaches on multi-family buildings.”

Rob Hammon, president of BIRAenergy said, “Currently there is no financial motivation to improve the efficiency of low-income housing beyond the common areas. A goal of this watershed project is to change that and make efficiency upgrades a win-win for the owners and residents.”

The grant will leverage another $1 million of cash and in-kind funds to support the Very Efficient Retrofit (VER) work at Beechwood. Objectives for the project include demonstrating scalable models for VERs in low-income multi-family housing that combine cost-effective technology packages for California climates that are practical to install, replicable in quality, provide energy savings, and economic impact. The work at The Village at Beechwood should be complete in time for the fall chill this year.

In-kind co-funding for this project is provided by SoCal Gas’s Emerging Technologies Program. “We are proud to co-fund and partner with LINC in showcasing multiple gas emerging technologies along with renewable and electric solutions in such a multi-family setting,” said A. Ahmed, SoCalGas Emerging Technologies Program manager. “It will bring long-term energy performance and savings to both the owner and residents. The results could be a model and replicated statewide.”

The PIER team is engaged with Southern California Edison to identify opportunities and incentives for energy efficiency and solar photovoltaic technology.

The PIER program is the state’s premier energy RD&D program, advancing science and technology in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced electricity technologies, energy-related environmental protection, as well as transmission, distribution, and transportation technologies. To accomplish this, PIER enlists businesses, utilities, energy companies, public advocacy groups, and world-class scientists at California’s universities and national laboratories. In the last decade PIER has invested more than $700 million to bring to market energy technologies that provide environmental and economic benefits to California’s ratepayers.

About LINC Housing Corporation
LINC Housing, one of California’s most productive nonprofit developers of affordable housing, has helped create more than 7,500 homes in more than 65 communities throughout the state. The organization’s properties are known for excellent design, outstanding management and life-enhancing services for its residents. LINC has nearly 30 years of service to families, seniors, and local governments helping to create sustainable communities via new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation, and historic preservation.

About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state’s appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.

About EPRI
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. conducts research, development and demonstration (RD&D) relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, we bring together scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and the industry to help address challenges in electricity. Our work spans nearly every area of electricity generation, delivery and use, management and environmental responsibility. We provide both short- and long-term solutions in these research areas for the electricity industry, its customers and society.

About BIRAenergy
BIRAenergy has been a leader in evaluating and developing strategies for - pioneering clean energy technologies and concepts and their implementation, for over 20 years. BIRAenergy provides integrated clean energy solutions - combining energy efficiency and renewable energy generation technologies and systems.

About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. Southern California Gas Co. is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

About Southern California Edison
Southern California Edison has been delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity to Southern and Central California for more than 125 years. SCE provides electricity to 14 million people across a service territory of approximately 50,000 square miles. Over the past five years, SCE’s 100-plus energy efficiency programs have saved more than 8.6 billion kWh electricity- enough to power 1.2 million California homes for an entire year. The reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions equals nearly 3.9 million metric tons, the equivalent of removing 750,000 cars from the road.