As World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant Opens, California Looks to End Solar Wars

In a few weeks, the largest solar plant of its kind in the world will start producing power in California’s Mojave Desert. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will supply both Northern and Southern California, inching the state one step closer to its ambitious renewable energy goal.

But like many of the large solar projects being built in the Mojave, Ivanpah ran into delays and controversy over its environmental impact. Now, in an effort to streamline the process, state officials are trying to broker an agreement between conservation groups and solar companies on a path forward for renewable energy.

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Department of Energy Releases New Report on Energy Sector Vulnerablities

The U.S. Department of Energy released a new report which assesses how America’s critical energy and electricity infrastructure is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Historically high temperatures in recent years have been accompanied by droughts and extreme heat waves, more wildfires than usual, and several intense storms that caused power and fuel disruptions for millions of people.

These trends are expected to continue, which could further impact energy systems critical to the nation’s economy.

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Water-Energy Toolkit for Sustainable Development

The California Sustainability Alliance has released a Water-Energy Toolkit for Sustainable Development, a practical guide to implementing water-energy conservation policies and projects for local government, developers, water agencies and supporting parties.

As water-energy stakeholders grapple with the complex issues of crafting policies and implementing projects, it is important for those involved to understand not only the inextricable relationship of our water and energy resources, but also the actions they may take to aid in their conservation. With such knowledge these key stakeholders can help mitigate future water problems by encouraging the design of sustainable projects and communities.

The Alliance’s Toolkit is designed to provide four important stakeholder groups (water agency staff, policy makers, developers and water-energy conservation advocates) with the basic knowledge and resources needed to enable consideration of water-energy savings solutions in the community development process.

Structured as an action-oriented and practical guidebook, the Toolkit offers simple steps, example roadmaps, and exemplary California case study examples of working projects to guide stakeholders through the key components of the water-energy sustainability decision-making process.

About The California Sustainability Alliance

The California Sustainability Alliance was designed to help meet the State of California’s aggressive energy, climate and resource and environmental goals by increasing and accelerating energy efficiency in combination with complementary green measures and strategies. Founded in 2006, The California Sustainability Alliance is a program managed by Navigant Consulting, administered by Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company), and funded by California utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Download the Water-Energy Toolkit

CaLEAP Energy Strategies Workshop

CaLEAP conducted two Energy Strategy workshops for local governments for the purpose to identify energy technologies and strategies best matched to critical facilities and assets, which enable them to become more resilient to energy disruptions.

ICF International and EnerNex co-facilitated the workshops with the goal to provide a menu of choices of energy technologies and strategies that can be deployed to increase resilience in emergencies (disaster scenarios). The workshops provided:

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CaLEAP Member Governments & Contacts

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Lancaster Requires New Residences to Produce Solar Energy

The Lancaster, CA City Council unanimously approved changes to the city’s zoning code that require housing developers to install solar with every new home they build.

New single family homes must meet minimum solar system requirements in the same way that they must meet minimum parking space requirements.

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Energy Commission Awards More Than $5.5 Million to Support Green Transportation

Funded Projects Include Biofuels Production and Vehicle Buy-Downs

SACRAMENTO, March 20, 2013 – The California Energy Commission today approved $5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects ranging from producing biofuels to making trucks run cleaner.

“These investments are moving the state forward toward a clean transportation sector,” said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “Today’s awards will help to expand renewable biofuels, further the development of zero emission vehicles, and provide incentives to make alternative fuel vehicles more affordable. These projects protect the environment and public health, while keeping California in the lead in developing green transportation technologies.”

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Web Tool Background

The web-based tool is designed to assist local governments through the development of their Energy Assurance Plans (EAPs).

The intent of the tool is to augment the planning process, not necessarily replace it. The tool incorporates the CaLEAP Methodology to assist local governments to complete pieces of the planning process.

The tool allows users to go from start to finish in preparing their EAPs. It also allows users to just work with particular steps. It also allows information to be saved and shared with planning team members, supporting a centralized (or virtual office) system to manage the EAP development.

The web tool is available at the link below. The CaLEAP Team encourages your feedback and comments. The tool was vetted by select stakeholders and Advisory User Group members.

Web-based Tool

‘Catastrophic’ Cyberattack Could Hit Utilities like PG&E

Marin Independent Journal, 3/15/2013: Hackers are increasingly targeting electric, natural gas and other vital utilities, threatening a disaster of epic proportions that experts say firms are doing too little to guard against. …

The California Public Utilities Commission is considering rules to bolster cybersecurity protections. The agency…warned in a recent report that utilities are becoming increasingly vulnerable as their networks add smart meters and other computerized gear.

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Markey: GRID Act Passage Long Overdue

Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) is urging the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Fred Upton (R-MI), to take immediate action toward passing the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense (GRID) Act, which Markey calls a bipartisan bill aimed at hardening the nation’s electrical grid and critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

Broadly put, the GRID Act would give the president the authority to impose emergency defensive measures, with or without notice, on maintainers of critical infrastructure in response to what is perceived as an imminent threat to the nation’s electrical grid.

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A news release from Congressman Markey referred to the February 2013 revelations of computer intrusions by hackers associated with the Chinese military. Mr. Markey wrote:

“Most troubling were the theft of blueprints for the software control systems that control parts of our electrical grid, and hacking efforts that literally left the electronic infiltrators a keystroke away from being able to cause widespread destruction to our electrical infrastructure.”

Read news release

CaLEAP Tools & Materials

CaLEAP Fact Sheet — Download this two-page PDF document with a summary of the CaLEAP program's purpose and services to California local governments.

CaLEAP Slide Presentation — This brief slide set introduces CaLEAP.

Methodology — While there is not a "required" methodology for the CaLEAP project, a suggested methodology has been prepared. The methodology is seen as a "living document" and the project team will continue to solicit feedback and incorporate revisions as necessary. Review/download the current suggested methodology at this link.

Sample Energy Assurance Plan Table of Contents (TOC) — To help local governments to better understand the level of effort and possible requirements of the Energy Assurance Plan, the project team has prepared a sample Table of Contents (PDF).

Flowchart — The CaLEAP methodology was created utilizing the best industry standard information for local energy assurance, emergency management and other planning documents. The CaLEAP Methodology Flowchart is at this link.

Web Tool — The web tool is based on the suggested CaLEAP Methodology, with an emphasis on energy-related steps. Find the web tool at this link.

Development of EAPs — While recruitment is still being performed, the project team is currently working with over 20 local governments to prepare their EAP or incorporating energy assurance into other planning processes. Review a list of the current "active" local governments at this link.

Glossary — Find a comprehensive guide to Energy Assurance Planning terms at this link.

Coming Soon...

Sample EAP Sections — In support of the sample TOC, the project team is preparing samples of related sections. The intent is to further help local governments to understand the level of effort and the type of material that will need to be collected and produced.

Energy Overview — In support of creating an Energy Profile, the project team is preparing a brief overview of energy sectors (Electric, Natural Gas, Fuels and Renewables). The intent is to ensure that local governments have a basic understanding of energy; and understand the potential impacts at the local level.

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CaLEAP Fact Sheet

The goal of the California Energy Commission (CEC)‐sponsored California Local Energy Assurance Planning (CaLEAP) project is to assist local governments with generating plans to become more energy resilient; ensuring energy supply to "key assets."

The emphasis of "key assets" is to ensure functionality of essential services, thus protecting safety and public health, and minimizing economic loss. Meeting this goal will help local governments prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against potential emergencies that impact energy.

Download a CaLEAP Fact Sheet (PDF)

California City Will Power Traffic Lights with Solar Bus Shelters

The City of Perris, California is preparing to install six solar-powered bus shelters in different locations around the city.

The grid-tied shelters will have 1.2-kilowatt solar arrays on their roofs. They’ll also be connected to traffic lights at the location, and will be able to generate approximately 25 percent of the electricity needed to power the traffic lights.

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Methodology Document

The foundation of the California Energy Assurance Planning (CaLEAP) project is the creation of a California-specific methodology to help local governments develop Energy Assurance Plans. The methodology will not only guide local governments through the EAP process but will also be the basis on which the web tool will be designed.

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Glossary of Terms for Local Energy Assurance Planning

All-HazardsNatural, technological, or human-caused incidents that warrant action to protect life, property, environment, and public health or safety, and to minimize disruptions of school activities. Such incidents require a multi-jurisdictional and multi-functional response and recovery effort. [1]
American Public Power Association (APPA)A service organization for the Nation's more than 2,000 community- owned electric utilities.
Cascading Impacts or EffectsNegative impacts to the electric power system or other critical infrastructures that occur after the damage caused by the initial disruption of energy. This cascading occurs because of either dependencies or interdependencies (see glossary definitions for dependencies and critical infrastructure).
Combined Heat and Power (CHP)The use of an engine or power station to simultaneously produce electricity and useful heat.
Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)An effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents and technological or attack-related emergencies. [2]
Council of Government (COG)Regional bodies that exist throughout the United States. They are also sometimes called regional councils, regional commissions, regional planning commissions, planning district commissions, and development districts. A typical council is defined to serve an area of several counties, addressing issues such as regional and municipal planning, economic and community development, cartography and GIS, hazard mitigation and emergency planning services for the elderly, water use, pollution control, transit administration and transportation planning.
Critical Infrastructure SectorsSystems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital that the incapacity or destruction of such may have a debilitating impact on security, the economy, public health or safety, the environment, or any combination of these matters. Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7 has established 17 critical infrastructures (CI). Note, this number has since been increased to 18. [3] Most of these CIs are connected in such a way that if one CI is compromised, this compromise cascades to other CIs (see definition of cascading impacts or effects).
Cyber SecurityPreventing damage to, unauthorized use of, or exploitation of electronic information and communications systems and the information contained therein to confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Cyber security also includes restoring electronic information and communications systems in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster. [4]
DependencyIn the context of a local EAP, dependency means that Key Assets and essential services need (depend on) energy to remain operational during an energy disruption. It is a simple one-way relationship.
Distributed Generation/EnergyGenerates electricity from many small energy sources. Also called onsite generation, dispersed generation, embedded generation, decentralized generation, decentralized energy or distributed energy.
Electric Utility CooperativeA type of cooperative that is tasked with the delivery of electricity to its members. Profits are either reinvested for infrastructure or distributed to members in the form of patronage or capital credits (dividends essentially paid on a member's investment into the cooperative).
Electromagnetic PulseA burst of electromagnetic radiation that results from an explosion (usually from the detonation of a nuclear weapon) and/or a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field. The rapidly changing electric fields or magnetic fields that result may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.
Emergency Management AgencyAn agency at the local, regional, or State level that holds responsibility for comprehensively planning for and responding to all manner of disasters, whether man-made or natural.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)A central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation, and ensuring the continuity of operations of a company, political subdivision, or other organization.
Emergency Support Functions (ESFs)Grouping of governmental and certain private sector capabilities into an organizational structure to provide support, resources, program implementation, and services that are most likely needed to save lives, protect property and the environment, restore essential services and critical infrastructure, and help victims and communities return to normal following domestic incidents. [5]
Energy AssuranceEnsuring that local government essential services continue to operate during an energy disruption until normal operations are resumed.
Energy Assurance TechnologiesAny technology that can be applied to a key asset of a local government to assure the continuity of essential functions and services during an energy disruption. Examples include microturbines, fuel cells, energy efficiency measures, renewable technologies, UPS systems, satellite communications systems and backup generation technologies.
Energy Assurance CoordinatorThe individual responsible for leading and building consensus around the development of the EA Plan.
Energy Assurance PartnersThe group of stakeholders that work with the energy assurance coordinator to develop and implement the EAP for a local government.
Energy Assurance "Actions"Any non-tangible activity or measure that contributes toward the protection of Key Assets and community-level essential services. Examples include staffing, training, policies, programs, procedures, rules or regulations.
Energy Assurance "Projects"Equipment or hardware type investments — like a back-up generator — that protect or harden Key Assets and the community-level essential services they provide.
Energy ConservationThe reduction in energy demand through such means as insulation, passive solar design, , and the reduction in air infiltration.
Energy DisruptionThe shortage or curtailment of energy from any threat or hazard.
Energy EfficiencyUsing less energy while providing the same level of energy service. . Usually associated with mechanical and electrical systems such as efficient lighting systems (ballasts and bulbs) and more efficient motors.
Energy InfrastructurePipelines, power plants, distribution networks, transmission lines, storage tanks, transformers, compressors and the like.
Energy ResiliencyThe ability to respond effectively to an energy emergency and to recover quickly from damage. A resilient energy system is not necessarily damage-resistant. Rather, it is able to continue operating despite damage, and to return quickly to normal operations when damage occurs. Since energy systems are not 100 percent damage proof, resiliency is considered to be as important as damage prevention.
Energy Self-relianceThe ability of a local government to maintain the operation of its Key Assets, while providing essential services, without the assistance of its normal energy suppliers, for a minimum of 72 hours. Local government energy self-reliance is one means by which energy resiliency can be achieved.
Energy SupplierAn entity – utility or otherwise – that supplies energy in its various forms (electricity, natural gas, petroleum fuel, etc.) to a local jurisdiction.
Essential Service CategoriesA framework used to group essential services for the purpose of determining their importance during the development of the Local EAP. The categories are the 18 Critical Infrastructure Sectors as determined by FEMA.
Essential Services (definition, determination, prioritization)Definition: Services a local government provides in order to assure safety, wellbeing, and security for its inhabitants.
Determination: There are at least two ways to determine essential services: 1) by looking at mandated activities in a jurisdiction’s charter, enabling legislation, ordinances, rules and regulations and/or; 2) evaluating them according to the following tests:
  • the failure or loss of the service may result in death, injury, severe financial loss or legal liability and it would be impossible or impractical to work around;
  • the failure of the service could not be sustained for an extended period of time and it would be cumbersome or unlikely to be able to work around; or
  • the service is needed and would be evaluated and addressed depending on the event.
Prioritization: Prioritizing essential services can be accomplished by considering whether the service is related to 1) communication, 2) lifesaving, 3) life sustaining or 4) urban systems rehabilitation like repairing traffic signals. These are generally in priority order.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)The Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinates the Federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.
Energy SourceA naturally occurring resource/raw material that can either be used directly (e.g., natural gas) or converted to a useful form of energy such as electricity.
Energy TypeThe form of energy that a consumer pays for such as electricity, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel. Natural gas can be a fuel source and type because it is naturally occurring and sold/used in the same form. Manufactured gas on the other hand would only be a fuel type because it is derived or manufactured from another fuel source such as coal (coal gasification). Gasoline is produced from petroleum so it is a fuel type whereas petroleum is the fuel source.
FinancingAcquiring capital to underwrite projects and actions using private market instruments such as the issuance of general obligation or revenue bonds, utilizing tax increment financing, certificates of participation and the like.
FundingAcquiring capital to underwrite projects and actions using public sector authority such as budgeting from the general fund, capital improvement fund, and enterprise funding. Such funding can be from local, state or national sources and includes grant making.
GapThe specific area or function located in a Key Asset where an essential service is prone to being compromised due to an energy disruption. Also called an energy assurance gap or weakness.
HardeningThe process of implementing projects and/or actions to mitigate the possibility or severity of an energy disruption to Key Assets. Hardening is done to preserve the delivery of essential services.
HazardA situation that exists primarily due to circumstances or conditions beyond one's control, influence, knowledge or negligence (a hazard could emanate from the lack of equipment upgrade or timely preventive maintenance to an electrical substation, for example). Hazards are typically naturally occurring as opposed to being manmade; the latter are referred to as threats.
Independent Power Producer (IPP)An entity that is not a public utility, but which owns facilities to generate electric power for sale to utilities and end users. IPPs may be privately-held facilities, cooperatives such as rural solar or wind energy producers, and other industrial concerns capable of feeding excess energy into the system.
InterdependencyInterdependency implies a mutual dependency between two or more critical infrastructures such as water and energy; it is a two-way relationship. As energy affects, say, water pumping, so the pumping of water affects the ability to generate energy.
Investor-Owned Utility (IOU)A business organization providing a product or service (in this instance energy) regarded as a utility (often termed a public utility regardless of ownership), and managed as a private enterprise rather than as a function of government or a utility cooperative. An IOU is typically a regulated entity at the State level. The regulatory entity (e.g., Public Utility Commission) dictates responsibilities, energy programs and services and rates of return on investment. These dictates vary from state-to-state.
Key AssetsThe facilities, systems, and components owned, managed or operated by a jurisdiction that provide and maintain local government essential services. Example assets include 911 call centers, airports, emergency shelters, hospitals, first responder facilities, water pumping stations, telecommunications routing systems, and fire and police facilities.
Local GovernmentA village, township, tribal area, city or county.
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)A Federally-mandated and Federally-funded transportation policy-making organization in the U.S. that is made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities.
Municipally Owned UtilityAn electric company owned and operated by a municipality serving residential, commercial, governmental and/or industrial customers, usually within the boundaries of the municipality. These utilities are responsible for customer billing, wire, pole, and meter maintenance, connecting new customers, generation and distribution of electricity, and restoring power after an outage. An IOU is different than an MOU in that the latter is a public entity and the former is not. However, their responsibilities are essentially the same except for those as determined by the IOU's regulatory body. (See IOU above.)
Mutual Aid AgreementA signed document between parties (for example, units of local government) that allows for the sharing of functions and services between entities through specific labor and equipment agreements.
National Association of Regional Councils (NARC)An entity that serves as the national voice for regionalism. NARC advocates for and provides services to its member councils of government (COGs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).
National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)A national non-profit organization whose membership includes the governor-designated energy officials from each State and territory. NASEO was formed by the States through an agreement with the National Governors Association in 1986. The organization was created to improve the effectiveness and quality of State energy programs and policies, to provide policy input and analysis, to share successes among the States, and to be a repository of information on issues of particular concern to the States and their citizens. NASEO is an instrumentality of the States and derives basic funding from the States and the Federal government.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)Provides a systematic, proactive approach to guiding departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location or complexity in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment. [6]
National Response Framework (NRF)Presents the guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified national response to disasters and emergencies – from the smallest incident to the largest catastrophe. The NRF establishes a comprehensive, national, all-hazards approach to domestic incident response. [7]
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)The service organization dedicated to representing the national interests of cooperative electric utilities and the consumers they serve.
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)A legally constituted organization that operates independently from any government; a term usually used by governments to refer to entities that have no government status.
Portfolio ManagerAn interactive energy management tool developed by the U.S. EPA that allows the user to track and assess the energy and water consumption of buildings using a rating system.
Public Utility/Service CommissionThe body responsible for regulating investor-owned utilities at the State level.
Renewable Energy TechnologiesA suite of technologies that use energy sources that renew themselves or are non-depletable , as is the case with fossil fuels. Examples include wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal.
RiskThe potential that a loss can occur when an action is taken or not taken. Developing an energy assurance plan can reduce the downside effects from a disruption in energy services thus it is a risk reduction action. Risk is not a threat, hazard or vulnerability. It is the odds or chance of a disruption adversely affecting a Key Asset to essential service.
Smart GridA modernization of the electricity infrastructure to maintain a reliable and secure system that can meet future growth. It is characterized by a two-way flow of electricity and information that creates an automated, widely distributed electricity network. [8]
Ten-Step Local-Level Planning FrameworkA Department of Energy-developed process to facilitate local government development of effective Energy Assurance Plans in cooperation with energy providers, other public and private sector organizations, and State and Federal partners. [9]
ThreatsThreats are normally considered a purposeful act with the intent of causing harm. Threats are typically man-made as opposed to naturally–occurring which are termed hazards.
VulnerabilityThe extent to which a threat or hazard may disrupt energy services, the viability of Key Assets or the essential services which a community relies on for its health, safety and welfare.
Working Group/Task ForceThe team chosen to develop and in some cases implement portions of the EAP.




[4] NASEO_December_2010.pdf






Energy Aware Facility Siting and Permitting Guide

Energy Aware Guide

Publication Number: CEC-600-2010-007 (Consultant Report, published September, 2011)

The Energy Aware Facility Siting and Permitting Guide assists local governments with developing general plan energy and transmission elements and provides guidance on utility-scale electricity generation and transmission planning and permitting.

California has ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and renewable energy development targets that are spurring new energy infrastructure. The guide discusses the increasing role of local governments in energy planning and permitting; describes the energy regulations and policies (both federal and state) and planning processes that define future electricity generation and transmission needs; and identifies opportunities for local government involvement in electricity infrastructure planning and permitting. Examples of local government development of energy planning tools and involvement in generation and transmission planning and permitting are provided.

The Energy Aware Facility Siting and Permitting Guide also describes the environmental impacts associated with developing new energy generation facilities and transmission lines.

Download this document

California Solar Permitting Guidebook

Improving Permit Review and Approval for Small Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

Published June 2012

Solar photovoltaic systems, which use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity, have been installed in California for decades. The technology of solar PV systems and the methods to install and maintain these systems are well established. As a result, permitting for these small and simple solar PV projects should be as simple and standardized as possible.

Currently, local permitting agencies maintain differing permit processes for small solar PV installations. These differences have created a confusing patchwork of requirements, which has made installing solar PV more expensive and slowed the expansion of this technology in California.

The Governor's Office of Planning and Research has convened stakeholders from local government, the building industry, professional associations, solar companies, utility providers, and state regulatory agencies to tackle this problem. One result of this collective effort is this solar permitting guidebook, which provides local governments and solar contractors information and strategies to improve the permitting process.

These improvements to local permitting will enable more solar energy generation in California communities and expand the many benefits provided by this form of renewable energy.

Download this document

Energy Aware Planning Guide

Energy Aware Planning Guide

Publication Number: CEC-600-2009-013, published March 2011, 447 pages, 20.9 MB PDF

The Energy Aware Planning Guide, developed by the California Energy Commission in 1993 and updated in 2011, is a comprehensive resource for local governments seeking to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency, and increase usage of renewable energy across all sectors.

Wiser use of energy resources can lead to cost savings for local governments, residents, and businesses; reinvestment in the local economy; improved quality of life and public health; increased compliance with state and federal goals; and a more secure future. Additionally, strategies to reduce energy consumption promote progress towards aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals laid out in Assembly Bill 32 (Núñez Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006), California's Global Warming Solutions Act.

The Energy Aware Planning Guide presents a menu of strategies and best management practices to help local governments improve energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption through transportation and land use and enhance renewable sources of energy. Strategies explored include: transportation and land use changes; optimizing water use; building improvements; and other strategies. Each strategy section contains general plan language ideas; implementation ideas; case studies; and resources.

The Energy Aware Planning Guide also contains supporting information and references to help local governments organize strategies into an Energy Action Plan and estimate the likely energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction impacts of their strategies.

Download this document

Types of Technical Support

The CaLEAP team is available to support your jurisdiction in the creation of your energy assurance plan or merging of energy assurance into other planning efforts. It is available to assist local governments better understand the energy assurance process and determine the best course of action for moving forward.

Here is a summary of some of the technical support the CaLEAP team can bring to your local government:

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Methodology Flowchart

The CaLEAP methodology was created utilizing the best industry standard information for local energy assurance planning, including the Department of Energy 10-Step Local Government Energy Assurance Framework and Public Technology Institute’s Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines - Versions 1 and 2. These resources can be found at the LEAP website.

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Technical Support Materials

To help local governments to better understand the level of effort and possible requirements of the Energy Assurance Plan, the project team has prepared a sample Table of Contents (TOC).

Download the Sample Table of Contents (PDF)

California Local Energy Assurance Planning

The goal of the California Energy Commission (CEC)-sponsored California Local Energy Assurance Planning (CaLEAP) project is to assist local governments with generating plans to become more energy resilient; ensuring the energy supply to “key assets.”

The emphasis of “key assets” is to ensure functionality of essential services, thus protecting safety and public health and minimizing economic loss. Meeting this goal will help local governments prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against potential emergencies that impact energy.

Read more

Advisory User Group Members

Lori Herrick, Virginia Beach, VA

Linda Witko, Casper, WY

Julie Benabente, San Jose, CA

Karl Kassner, Visalia, CA

Craig Ruiz, Chula Vista, CA

Weather-Related Power Outages and Electric System Resiliency

High winds, especially when combined with precipitation from seasonal storms, can cause damage to electricity utility systems, resulting in service interruptions to large numbers of electricity customers.

While most such power outages are caused by damage from trees and tree limbs falling on local electricity distribution lines and poles, major power outages tend to be caused by damage to electricity transmission lines which carry bulk power long distances.

Download this Congressional Research Service report (PDF)

CaLEAP Introductory Slide Presentation

Can’t see this presentation? Ensure that your System Administrator has not blocked from your network.

Download this presentation

Your CaLEAP Team

Project Management

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), California Energy Commission, 916-651-3747.


Please direct inquiries about this site to the .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Getting Started

Identify a Champion

All your potential champions have experienced power outages and the aftermath that accompanies a power outage. Often scheduling a short session that will explain the CaLEAP program and the solution it provides shows potential advocates that your jurisdiction is being proactive and addressing the concerns of having critical assets operational during an energy emergency.

Once your champions see the options that CaLEAP represents, you will have a team full of advocates.

How CaLEAP Can Help

While it may not identify a champion within your jurisdiction directly, the project team is meeting with several strategic partners (Federal and State agencies, non-governmental organizations, regional council of governments, public and private utilities) to inform and educate them on the CaLEAP project.

Reaching beyond traditional partners and expanding the awareness across this diverse group has identified good regional champions. Many of whom have professional relationships with members within county and city government.

Recruit a Dynamic Planning Team

While it is recommended to keep the Planning Team to a manageable level, it is equally important to ensure your Planning Team is made up of the members in your community who are directly or indirectly affected by an energy outage or play a role in response and/or recovery operations.

Expanding the Planning Team will also introduce new perspectives that may not be otherwise considered. This requires expanding your Planning Team members beyond your local government.

How CaLEAP Can Help

The CaLEAP methodology suggests involving outside members that may not have been part of past planning efforts. This could include some private sector companies and organizations, as well as some surrounding regional and local governments. It is important to consider both decision-makers and subject matter experts.

Here is a sample list of members that you may want to consider:

  • General Services
  • Communications/Public Affairs
  • Fleet Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Health Services
  • Energy Management
  • Procurement
  • Electricity/Gas/Water Utilities
  • Information Technology (IT)

Develop a Stand-Alone EAP or Leverage an Existing Plan

Deciding which direction your jurisdiction will proceed could alter your planning process, even though work completed for the EAPs is similar to other planning efforts. If merging in with another planning effort it is important to figure out where and when to interject the energy assurance planning process.

This also includes figuring out how to ensure the planning team has some energy expertise and focus. Whereas, if an EAP is being developed the energy assurance planning process will be the driver, which indicates that energy will have the appropriate emphasis and focus.

How CaLEAP Can Help

The CaLEAP methodology provides helpful hints and illustrates both where local governments can locate existing information and where EAP material fits into other plans.

Additionally, as part of the Technical Support, the CaLEAP team is available to discuss your current planning processes and to help determine whether it is in your best interest to create a standalone EAP or to incorporate the EAP process into an ongoing planning effort.

Present a Comprehensive Planning Approach

Our communities are becoming more complex and interconnected. No longer can we plan in a vacuum or expect simple solutions to address certain issues. This is not to say that there are not simple actions that can help; it is to say that those solutions generally will not address the entire issue.

Historically, many plans were singularly focused and in some case, not even looking at the subject holistically. For example, many energy plans focus on the energy systems (generation, transmission, and distribution) and did not always consider specific community needs and/or hazards. By adding these considerations, the energy plans will become more comprehensive.

How CaLEAP Can Help

The CaLEAP methodology blends several planning processes and expands upon them. The intent is to "push" some planning efforts to the next level, looking at the true functionality of facilities and assets after disaster events.

Understand Energy Situation and Vulnerabilities

One of the first steps to any analytical process is to gauge your current situation. Developing an EAP is no different. In the case of EAP, the current situation is comprised of understanding certain characteristics of your community and the elements within it that are necessary to provide services to citizens after a disaster event.

A vulnerability assessment focuses on the impacts to the key assets from exposure to a particular threat or hazard. The purpose of this action is to determine the possible type and extend of damage and influence the threat and hazard will have on the key asset and ultimately, the larger system and/or a jurisdiction's ability to perform an essential service or function.

Understanding the root cause of the impact is crucial. Knowing whether the asset failed from initial exposure to the threat or hazard; if it failed over a period; or whether it failed due to cascading effects (loss of another key asset) is valuable information. This will help later in the process when trying to identify potential mitigation project and/or actions.

How CaLEAP Can Help

Our team can help you gather the necessary information to understand your unique energy situation and assist in the creation of your unique energy profile. Our team has created a draft energy profile for your use. Our team can also help identify your vulnerabilities from any variety of sources.

Identify Key Assets and Understand Energy Requirements

Identifying key assets is one of the most important elements in an EAP. While many assets within a community are important, this process is to determine which assets are key (or critical) to maintain the health, safety, welfare and economic vitality of the community after a disaster event.

The list of key assets goes beyond those owned, managed or operated by your local government and include those owned, managed or operated by others (e.g., hospitals, schools). Identifying those key assets outside of your control is vital because although a community may not have authority over the asset it is reliant upon its services to the community.

Some basic information should be collected for each key asset including: street address, owner(s) of the site, Point of Contact(s), type(s) of energy used at the site, seasonal energy demand, energy provider, and identification of any backup systems at the site.

How CaLEAP Can Help

Our team will assist in the collection and analysis of the energy information gathered for key assets. Our team will also assist in directing the prioritization of key assets.

Identifying Projects/Actions to Advance Energy Resiliency

With a good understanding of the vulnerabilities of the key assets and a good set of objectives, projects and/or actions can be identified to help make the community more energy resilient.

Here is an example of an energy assurance project:

Objective: Ensure Fire Fighting capabilities

Key Asset: A fire station

Hazard: Earthquake high shaking zone.

Analysis: The Fire Station is susceptible to high damage and power outages. The Fire Station is retrofitted but does not currently have any back-up generating capacity. Therefore, in the event of a power outage this fire station might not be available to perform its function.

Project: Purchasing a diesel powered back-up generator to provide power to the station with the capability of continuous operation for up to 72 hours or greater. This also means that the necessary amount of fuel must be part of the project.

How CaLEAP Can Help

The project team can sit with you to determine a list of viable projects to enhance your energy resiliency and better protect your critical assets.

Return to Home

Related News

Coming soon.

10 Questions to Ask Before Installing Solar Power on Agency Facilities

As the cost of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on agency facilities has declined over the past few years, local agencies are considering the benefits.

Solar PV systems convert sunlight to electricity and offer opportunities to reduce energy costs, save taxpayer dollars, save energy and increase sustainability. Asking the right questions can help make the project a success.

The information provided here is a starting point; local officials are encouraged to consult their legal, financial and public works staff as they move ahead.

Download this document

Cybersecurity and the Evolving Role of State Regulation

Cybersecurity and the Evolving Role of State Regulation: How it Impacts the California Public Utilities Commission

As the State moves forward with grid modernization, utilities must design and implement both cyber and physical security policies that protect public safety, enhance the reliability and resiliency of the grid and protect customer privacy from cyber threats, and do so cost-effectively.

Read more

California Vulnerability and Adaptation Study

In 2012 the California Institute for Energy and Environment concluded two years of work involving over 120 researchers from seven UC campuses and other institutions.

Comprised of over 30 reports, this expansive study of California’s vulnerability to climate change addresses questions like: What do rising sea levels mean for coastal communities? With the vital Sierra snowpack shrinking, can California ensure ample water for homes and for its world-leading agriculture and wine industries? And, as temperatures climb, where is California most at risk for devastating wildfires or public-health threats to our most vulnerable citizens?

The results reported give planners, public-health officials, land-use managers and others the research-backed basis they need to develop strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Visit the study site at this link.

ARRA Final Energy Assurance Planning Bulletin

Welcome to the 12th and final issue of the quarterly Energy Assurance Planning Bulletin, a service of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

The EAP Bulletin is issued to provide information on energy assurance planning resources, upcoming events, training opportunities and important grant deliverable dates. Past issues may be found at this link.

Download this document

Earthquake App Brings Red Cross Safety Information to Mobile Devices

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, September 25, 2012 – The American Red Cross today released its official Earthquake App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake prone areas.

Read more

Forming Your Energy Assurance Team

The CaLEAP team had a Conference Call entitled Forming Your Energy Assurance Team on August 22, 2012. This call was designed to assist our Early Adopter governments with the formation of their EAP Working Groups.

(Click Read more for presentation.)

Read more

Energy Assurance for Local Government Elected and Appointed Public Officials

Energy Assurance (EA) is gaining traction because of its far-reaching implications to local government in the arenas of economic vitality, health, safety, communications and continuity of government operations.

Energy Assurance involves ensuring that community assets such as fire stations, communication/IT facilities and maintenance fleets – and the essential services they provide – continue to operate during an energy disruption until normal energy services are restored.

Most, if not all, essential community services are highly dependent on energy supplies. To date, local governments have successfully prepared themselves for responding to emergencies, but have spent very little time preparing specifically for emergencies that impact the energy that flows into and through their communities.

Energy Assurance planning, preparation and investment is addressing this fact.

Download this document

2012 National Energy Assurance Conference

On June 28–29, 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), in coordination with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), held the 2012 National Energy Assurance Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

The event was the culmination of DOE’s ongoing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant program for State and Local Energy Assurance Planning, which has helped State and local governments improve their institutional capabilities to prepare for and respond to energy emergencies.

Read more

Energy and Water for Local Governments

Water and wastewater facilities are often the greatest consumers of electricity in a community, accounting for up to 40% of a municipality’s total energy bill.

As part of energy assurance planning, local governments should already be working with their electricity and natural gas service providers. Local governments may also be able to collaborate with these entities to understand their current and projected water needs, and work collectively to identify opportunities for water savings and alternative water sources.

Read more

Cyber Security Concerns for Local Government Energy Assurance Planning

PTI presented this webinar October 18, 2011.

Because cyber security concerns are usually handled by Internet-focused industries and IT departments, local governments may not typically consider vulnerabilities of computer systems to unauthorized use or attack.

Read more

Introduction to Energy Infrastructure Interdependencies

PTI presented this webinar December 14, 2011.

When developing energy assurance plans, local governments will want to identify energy interdependencies at the local, state, regional, and national levels and examine how they affect local critical infrastructures.

Download this webinar (WMV format)

Energy 101 Webinar: Key Energy Concepts for Local Governments

PTI presented this webinar August 24, 2011.

Energy 101: Key Energy Concepts for Local Governments provides an overview of energy resources and describes how various forms of energy are obtained, distributed and used within and outside jurisdictions.

It will help answer questions you may have in creating your energy assurance plan.

Download this webinar (WMV format)

Smart Grid 101 Webinar

PTI and the Department of Energy presented this webinar July 28, 2011.

In this webinar, you'll learn about the role of the smart grid in energy assurance. Find out how the smart grid can:

  • Communicate price variations directly to intelligent devices inside homes and businesses
  • Help educate consumers on the environmental impacts of their energy consumption
  • Pave the way for plug-in electric vehicles
  • Help utilities respond to electric outages and even implement self-healing systems that reroute power around trouble spots.
Download this webinar (WMV format) Download Webinar Presentation (PDF)

Local Government Guidelines for Working with the Media During an Energy Emergency

PTI presented this webinar on September 14, 2011.

Local governments play an important communications role during any emergency, and energy emergencies are no exception.

When energy delivery or availability is compromised, it is essential that the public be informed of the details and impact of the disruption.

Fostering a relationship with the media before, during, and after an energy emergency will help ensure that local governments can provide timely and accurate information about the emergency.

Play or download this webinar (WMV format)

Western City Magazine on Energy Assurance Planning

From Western City magazine, July 2012:

California’s cities lead the nation in disaster preparedness. But what will your city do if a disaster knocks out electricity supplies or interrupts delivery of natural gas, gasoline or diesel fuel?

A new program, California Local Energy Assurance Planning (CaLEAP), offers local governments assistance and support in developing a plan to deal with interruptions to energy supplies.

Sponsored by the California Energy Commission, CaLEAP is designed to help ensure that a community’s key assets continue to function during emergencies or disasters that impact energy. This protects public safety and health and helps to minimize economic losses.

Read more at this link.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grants are available for acquiring energy assurance products.

If the HMA Grant is used to purchase generators, then the generator(s) must be tied to a specific project, such as constructing a tornado shelter and using a generator for backup power. In general, HMA funds may be used to pay up to 75% of the eligible activity costs associated with the mitigation project in question.

These funds are usually administered by the State and require the local hazard mitigation plans to be up to date.

The DHS Regional Resiliency Assessment Program may also be a potential source of grant funding to mitigate capability gaps.

Energy Efficiency and Energy Assurance Planning for Local Governments

Energy assurance (EA) plans are designed to help local governments plan and respond to energy disruptions and emergencies quickly and effectively.

As part of the local government energy assurance planning (LEAP) process, local governments identify vulnerabilities that may cause or contribute to energy disruptions; develop plans to protect critical facilities and key services from such events and to restore services quickly following a disruption.

Increasing the energy efficiency of these facilities and services lowers the demand on backup systems and thereby mitigates or lessens the effects of an energy disruption or emergency. When critical facilities and key services use less energy, backup fuel supplies can last longer, thereby enabling these facilities and services to operate longer until traditional energy supplies – such as transportation fuel, electricity, or natural gas – can be fully restored.

This document examines how energy efficiency can enhance the EA of a community, including its residential and commercial buildings and transportation infrastructure. Reducing a community’s dependence on grid-supplied electricity and other traditional energy sources through energy efficiency measures and fuel switching can make the community less vulnerable to energy disruptions.

Download this document

2012 National Preparedness Report

Federal Emergency Management Agency

The 2012 National Preparedness Report (NPR) summarizes how prepared we are as a Nation. It focuses on five mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. These mission areas organize the 31 core capabilities needed to achieve the National Preparedness Goal.

Read more

Working with the Media During an Energy Emergency

Local governments play an important communications role during any emergency, and energy emergencies are no exception.

When energy delivery or availability is compromised, it is essential that the public be informed of the details and impact of the disruption.

Fostering a relationship with the media before, during, and after an energy emergency will help ensure that local governments can provide timely and accurate information about the emergency.

This document provides strategies that local governments can use for communicating effectively with the media, and for cultivating relationships with both the media and the public during energy-related emergencies.

Download this document

Role of Amateur Radio in Local Government Energy Assurance

Amateur radio operators ("hams") comprise a resilient, reliable option for mitigating communication losses during emergencies, including energy emergencies, particularly when telephone networks are damaged or jammed with calls.

This PTI white paper introduces the Amateur Radio Service, its purpose, organization and regulation. It summarizes recent FCC policy on utilizing radio amateurs in disaster drills, and recommends that public agencies form relationships with local radio groups for volunteer communications support.

Download this document

Energy 101: Key Energy Concepts for Local Governments

Energy 101: Key Energy Concepts for Local Governments is available at no charge. It provides an overview of energy resources and describes how various forms of energy are obtained, distributed and used within and outside jurisdictions.

This publication will help answer questions you may have in creating your energy assurance plan.

The PDF was produced by PTI's Local Government Energy Assurance Planning (LEAP) program with the support of the Department of Energy.

Download this document  Play or download the 8/11 Energy 101 webinar  Download slides

Energy Assurance for Municipalities

New Hampshire Town and City, October 2010

Energy assurance - as opposed to energy emergency response - is increasingly recognized not only as an important component of the nation’s energy emergency planning, but also as a more comprehensive approach intended to:

  • Reduce the likelihood of energy emergencies;
  • Reduce the potential severity and duration of energy emergencies; and
  • Increase the reliability of access to the energy that underlies every aspect of our lives and economy.
Read more

Training Opportunities

The Workforce Development Plan encourages the training of staff new to energy assurance efforts. DOE/OE and PTI are currently developing training opportunities, including webinars.

It is also important for each city to determine whether city-level emergency management training is available. In the interim, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and DOE have several online training courses available at this link and this link.

Appropriate choices include:

  • Introduction to Incident Command System (Course Code: ICS 100.a)
  • National Response Framework, An Introduction (Course Code: IS-800.b)
  • National Infrastructure Protection Plan, An Introduction (Course Code: IS-860.a)
  • Emergency Support Function (ESF) # 12 - Energy (Course Code: IS-812)

Smart Grid Library

Although the Smart Grid should be of interest to anyone who has ever flipped on a light switch, the U.S. Department of Energy has identified six stakeholder groups whose active involvement is required to realize a smarter grid.

These are Utilities, Environmental Groups, Technology Providers, Regulators, Policymakers and Consumer Advocates.

In addition to The Smart Grid: An Introduction, DOE has recently supported the publication of six Smart Grid stakeholder books, one dedicated to each of these groups. The following books are available from, for use with the Adobe Reader or other PDF-viewing software.

Direct Links

The Smart Grid: An Introduction – How a Smarter Grid Works as an Enabling Engine

Consumer Advocates – What the Smart Grid Means to Americans

Environmental Groups – How the Smart Grid Promotes a Greener Future

Policymakers – What a Smart Grid Means to Our Nation’s Future

Regulators – What the Smart Grid Means to You and the People You Represent

Technology Providers – What the Smart Grid Means to America’s Future

Utilities – What the Smart Grid Means to You and the People You Serve

Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency & CHP

Information on CHP market studies including qualitative and quantitative assessments of national, state, regional, and local trends related to clean heat and power deployment

Information on the operation of the CHP system at the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center during Hurricane Katrina

Combined Heat and Power Resource Guide, September 2005

Illinois Green Fleets

Alternative Fuels Programs

Renewable Energy Disaster Relief Fund (REDRF)

Florida Solar Energy Center response to Hurricane Katrina

Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost and Performance Trends 2007

Demand response programs in California

Cyber Security Resources

InfraGard FBI Cyber Security Collaboration

Smart Grid Cyber Security Blog

Smart Grid Cyber Security Strategy and Requirements
DRAFT NISTIR 7628 Cyber Security Coordination Task Group, Advanced Security Acceleration Project Smart Grid (September 2009)

National Electric Reliability Corp. Standard CIP-001-1
Sabotage Reporting (January 2007)

Roadmap to Secure Control Systems in the Energy Sector, Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security (January 2006)

Cyber Assessment Methods for SCADA Security, Idaho National Laboratory (2005)

Security Guidelines for the Petroleum Industry, American Petroleum Institute

A Comparison of Oil and Gas Segment Cyber Security Standards, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (November 2004)

Financing Options and Funding Opportunities to Support Local Government Energy Assurance Planning

This paper was developed in response to an increase in the number of events that have resulted in the loss or reduction of local government essential functions and services due to energy disruptions.

Although energy assurance is recognized as important by a large number of local governments, an impediment to action has been "How do we pay for it?" This guide was developed to help you understand the financing options and funding opportunities that can underwrite energy assurance Capital Projects and Actions.

The intended audiences for this document are local government energy officials and energy assurance managers, as well as those involved in maintaining and operating local government systems that depend on energy availability such as IT officials and emergency response professionals. Local policy makers, appointed and elected officials may also find this guide useful due to their direct accountability to taxpayers and their responsibility to serve the public.

Download this document

American City and County on Energy Assurance Planning

These excellent articles on Energy Assurance planning appear on the American City & County website:

Energy Assurance Plans Help Keep the Lights On
In an emergency, will your government have the power it needs to provide the services you and your constituents count on?

Having Enough Energy to Continue
The definition of sustainability has grown to include the ability of cities and counties to sustain their operations following significant power failures. However, most emergency response plans do not include actions that specifically address energy disruptions.

Energy Assurance Planning Tips and Resources
These tips and resources from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Public Technology Institute can help communities be more prepared for power outages.

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

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 ( has been established to present more project information, assist local governments with getting started, and provide contact information.

Who Can I Contact About CaLEAP?

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), CaLEAP Project Manager, 818 294 5472.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), CaLEAP Project Deputy Manager, 937 667 4142.

Renewable Energy and Energy Assurance Planning for Local Governments

Renewable energy can play a significant role in energy assurance planning by helping to ensure energy continuity, stabilize energy costs, and offset supply disruptions.

Advancements in renewable energy technologies, such as solar photovoltaic and wind turbines, have created unprecedented opportunities for local governments to incorporate renewables into their energy portfolios.

By harnessing renewable energy resources, local governments build energy resilience and reduce reliance upon fossil fuels. Renewable energy systems can also provide backup power for critical infrastructure facilities during an energy emergency.

This LEAP publication from PTI outlines the potential role of renewables in local government energy assurance planning and discusses the benefits, risks, and implementation challenges of various renewable energy technologies.

Download this document

The Importance of Energy Assurance Planning

This video provides various perspectives from federal, state and local officials on energy emergency planning, preparedness and response. It also examines the interdependencies of the nation’s critical energy infrastructures.

The video was produced by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and Public Technology Institute (PTI) during the Southeast Regional Energy Assurance Exercise held in Raleigh, North Carolina in March 2011.

It was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Read more

Cyber Security Shortchanged in US Smart Grid Push

The Energy Department’s January 2012 audit of Smart Grid programs found deficiencies in cybersecurity planning.

According to Risk Factor, a blog from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), “The audit found that in the Department’s rush to push $3.5 billion in smart grid stimulus grant money out to US utilities, they didn’t do such a good job of ensuring that effective cyber security controls were in place.” Thirty-six of 99 cybersecurity approaches submitted lacked one or more required elements.

Read more at this link. The audit is available in PDF format at this link.

Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines, Version 1

Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines, Version 1

Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines – Version 1 underscores the importance of preparing an energy assurance plan and offers a model tool to help officials assess their readiness in case of an energy emergency in their community by:

  • Identifying national and local government experts who can help with energy assurance planning needs;
  • Building organizational relationships and responsibilities within local government, the private sector and the region;
  • Discovering actions that can ease the impacts of short-term energy disruptions;
  • Defining long-term strategies and options for dealing with sustained disruptions or outages;
  • Providing a tool that can be used to prepare an energy assurance plan;
  • Improving all-hazards emergency preparedness through regional collaboration; and
  • Learning about innovative and traditional financing mechanisms for energy assurance needs.

"Local governments are on the front lines of virtually all energy emergencies, and local governments are going to be faced with an ever increasing number of energy-related emergencies in the coming years," said Alice Lippert of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). "The resources and energy assurance assessment tool provided in this document will help local officials in preparing for energy-related disruptions to their facilities and systems."

The DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) funded PTI's production of this publication. The OE is the primary DOE office responsible for energy emergency planning and response in the United States. Its mission is to lead national efforts to modernize the electric grid, enhance security and reliability of the energy infrastructure and facilitate recovery from disruptions to the energy supply.

Download Guidelines Ver. 1 PDF   Purchase Printed Copy from Amazon

Smart Grid 101 for Local Governments

Smart Grid 101 for Local Governments introduces the electrical distribution system, and explains how the smart grid will:

  • Communicate price variations directly to intelligent devices inside homes and businesses;
  • Help educate consumers on the environmental impacts of their energy consumption;
  • Pave the way for plug-in electric vehicles; and
  • help utilities respond to electric outages and even implement self-healing systems that reroute power around trouble spots.

The 19-page illustrated PDF was produced by PTI and its Local Government Energy Assurance Planning (LEAP) program with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Download Smart Grid 101

Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines, Version 2

Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines, Version 2

To help local officials plan for and respond to incidents and emergencies that result in energy outages, PTI has released Version 2 of the Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines.

Published in collaboration with the Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability (DOE/OE), this publication is available for free at this link.

Communities typically address energy emergencies from a post-disaster response and recovery point of view. The goal of Version 2 of the Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines is to enable these communities to engage in pre-disaster planning and risk reduction. The Guidelines also assist jurisdictions in the recovery phase, in which vital energy sources are restored.

"Very few local governments have a response and recovery plan that is specific to energy emergencies," according to Alan Shark, PTI Executive Director. "Once created, energy assurance plans help local governments provide life-saving services during an energy emergency."

The Guidelines are for all local government decision-makers: elected and appointed officials; senior staff; policy makers; and those responsible for energy and emergency operations.

Version 2 of the Local Government Energy Assurance Guidelines synthesizes material from the previous PTI Guidelines version with a more in-depth examination of the content from DOE/OE's 10-Step Local Government Energy Assurance Planning Framework, released last year.

PTI also offers a website,, to support local governments that want to learn more about creating energy assurance plans for their communities. It supports the energy assurance planning efforts of the cities selected by DOE/OE to participate in the Local Government Energy Assurance Planning (LEAP) program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Download the Guidelines Version 2 PDF

Energy Assurance Planning Informational Workshops

In December 2011, the CaLEAP (California Local Government Energy Assurance Planning) team conducted six workshops around the state to introduce local governments to this program, sponsored by the California Energy Commission (CEC).

Read more

LEAP Energy Assurance

You’re invited to visit It was created to initially support the 43 cities selected by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) to participate in the Local Government Energy Assurance Planning (LEAP) program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). is also designed to support all local governments, large, medium and small, across the nation that want to learn more about creating energy assurance plans for their communities. Once created, these plans will help ensure that local governments can provide life-saving services during an energy emergency.

Read more

Cybersecurity Concerns for LEAP Planning

Because cybersecurity concerns are usually handled by Internet-focused industries and IT departments, local governments may not typically consider vulnerabilities of computer systems to unauthorized use or attack.

However, with the increased use of interconnected, Internet-based technology in the energy industry, and with recent attempts to harm energy-sector control systems, cybersecurity is an increasing concern for energy assurance planners.

To mitigate the risk of cyber attack, it is necessary to harden computer and information systems by making them less vulnerable to external influences. This 15-page LEAP guidance document from PTI outlines cybersecurity standards, practices and concerns relevant to local energy assurance.

Download this document

DOE Energy Assurance Daily

Energy Assurance Daily is a publication of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

It is not published by the CaLEAP program or the California Energy Commission.

Published Monday through Friday to inform stakeholders of developments affecting energy systems, flows, and markets, Energy Assurance Daily provides highlights of energy issues rather than comprehensive coverage. Visit Energy Assurance Daily at this link.

How to Obtain Technical Support

Please send all requests for technical support and questions about energy assurance planning to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at PTI, 937 667 4142.

California Energy Commission & U.S. Dept. of Energy

Sponsored by the California Energy Commission through the U.S. Department of Energy
Website by ICF International and Public Technology Institute