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.

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

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