Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Energy Assurance?
Energy assurance is about making “key assets” more resilient to disruptions within your energy supplies during an emergency. The emphasis of “key assets” is to ensure functionality of essential services, thus protecting safety and public health, and minimizing economic loss.
Ensuring “key assets” are functional will help local governments prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against potential emergencies that impact energy.
What Is an Energy Assurance Plan (EAP)?
An Energy Assurance Plan (EAP) is an emergency management plan that focuses on energy and the functionality of “key assets” within the community. The EAPs should incorporate an all-hazards approach, meaning that impacts from all potential disasters - manmade incidents (equipment failures, terrorism, sabotage) and natural events (earthquakes, wildfires, floods) - should be considered when analyzing the impacts of energy loss.
A comprehensive EAP should identify:
- Energy roles and responsibilities
- Sources and usage of energy
- Energy interdependencies
- Essential services “key assets”
- Vulnerabilities of “key assets” from various disaster events
- Solutions to reduce and/or eliminate the impacts on key assets.
What Is CaLEAP?
The California Local Energy Assurance Planning (CaLEAP) project was implemented to assist California local governments with preparing EAPs and/or incorporate energy assurance into existing planning efforts.
This project will outline a planning process, and offer Technical Assistance, to help local governments build local energy expertise and awareness of impacts and interdependencies, identify deficiencies and vulnerabilities, and explore energy choices, including alternative resources, that are reliable, safe, diverse, affordable, and environmentally acceptable.
The project will also develop a web-based tool to assist with the implementation of the planning process.
Who Is Funding CaLEAP?
The California Energy Commission (CEC) is sponsoring the CaLEAP project, with funding through the Department of Energy (DOE).
What Is the Timeframe of CaLEAP?
The CaLEAP project started in late 2011 and will run through March 2013. CEC is exploring options to fund this effort beyond March 2013, so stay tuned!
What Are the Benefits of Creating an EAP?
Developing an EAP will help local governments prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against potential emergencies that impact energy. EAP will help build vital relationships and partnerships — relationships that will be critical after a disaster event.
The energy assurance planning process will also build local expertise on energy-related issues. All of this is vitally important since the frequency and duration of energy emergencies are increasing.
Is There Funding Available to Help Develop an EAP?
There is no direct funding currently available to assist with developing an EAP. However, the CaLEAP project does provide technical support to assist local governments to begin the process and work through the different stages of the CaLEAP project.
What Kind of Technical Support Is Available?
The CaLEAP project can provide technical support in several key areas: project management, emergency management, current and evolving energy technologies, risk assessment, and quality assurance/quality control.
This assistance can involve on-site and/or remote support.
Are There Examples of Energy Assurance Plans?
Currently, 43 cities across the United States are assembling formal EAPs, including Chula Vista, San Jose, and Visalia in California.
However, at this point in time, very few EAPs can be shared. As EAPs are finalized, the CaLEAP project will make every attempt to obtain copies. For a list of these 43 cities please see www.energyassurance.us.
Can We Incorporate the Energy Assurance Plan with Other Plans?
Yes, the CaLEAP Methodology is designed to help develop EAPs and demonstrate how to incorporate energy assurance into other planning efforts (i.e., Emergency Operations Plan, General Plan, Continuity of Operations Plan, Hazard Mitigation Plan, Sustainability Plan, Community Energy Efficiency Plan, Climate Action Plan, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Plan).
In some cases it may make more sense to design a stand-alone EAP, while in others it will be more practical to incorporate an EAP into an existing plan. It is your decision.
How Do I Get Started?
First determine you are going to develop an EAP or incorporate energy assurance into an existing process. Next, review the CaLEAP Methodology flowchart to get a better sense of the stages and subsequent steps.
The CaLEAP project is developing a Methodology Guidance document and web tool to assist local governments through the EAP process.
How Can I Find More Information About CaLEAP?
This project website (www.CaLEAP.org) has been established to present more project information, assist local governments with getting started, and provide contact information.
Who Can I Contact About CaLEAP?
03-13-2012 #12 • Send a link