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Zero-Net Energy Buildings Training Cohort Series


Start: September 2019
End: November 2019
Client or funder: The California Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC)


California’s Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC) is an alliance between three statewide nonprofit organizations and California’s four Investor-Owned Utilities under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. SEEC provides no-cost support to California Local Governments/

ICLEI and other expertise provided SEEC’s 2019 Zero-Net Energy (ZNE) Cohort supported 14 local governments to advance high-efficiency, climate-friendly buildings as part of a facilitated 3-month training series.

Project Activity

Spanning topics including state and utility programs, Zero-Net Energy (ZNE) communications, microgrids, barriers, and buildings codes—alongside showcased examples of ZNE projects throughout California—participants jointly developed their roadmaps for overcoming barriers and increasing energy efficiency. From this cohort, attendees should come away with the necessary resources to create new building codes incorporating ZNE into their City. Invited experts included representatives from: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; WSP Consulting; the cities of Palo Alto, Santa Monica, & Culver City; Willdan Consulting; and Southern California Edison. The 6-part training series covered:

  • State and utility programs positioned to reduce energy emissions with local case studies.
  • Community outreach methods to influence businesses, residents, and special/school districts to pursue ZNE.
  • Microgrids as one strategy to achieve ZNE.
  • Overcoming barriers, including cost, regulations, acquiring the right technologies, or lack of interest in ZNE.
  • Varied strategies to achieve zero-net energy, including decarbonization, on-site renewables, lighting and appliance upgrades, and retrofits.

Following the series, attendees came away with the necessary resources to create new building codes to bring increased ZNE principles into their buildings portfolios.


ICLEI and invited experts provided a series of seix webinars to explore energy efficiency and aid local governments in achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE).

Those Involved

South Lake Tahoe, CA
Fresno, CA
Los Angeles, CA
City of Colton, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Ventura, CA
County of San Mateo, CA
City of Long Beach, CA
San Jose, CA
Pico Rivera, CA
Chula Vista, CA
Culver City, CA
San Carlos, CA
San Mateo County, CA
Sierra Nevada region, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
City of Piedmont, CA

“The 2019 Zero Net Energy Cohort webinar series provided me with the valuable and detailed expertise and case studies from professionals in the field that advanced our approach to zero net energy at the City of Fremont. This added knowledge will inform the Sustainability Team’s development of policy measures, local sustainability projects, and local building reach codes as the City continues to push towards its ambitious climate and sustainability goals.” – Robbie Barton, Sustainability Assistant, City of Fremont, CA