Inter-Departmental Correspondence

County Manager's Office



October 13, 2009


October 20, 2009







Honorable Board of Supervisors


David S. Boesch, County Manager


ABAG Regional Residential Energy Assistance Grant Application



Adopt a resolution directing the County Manager or the Manager’s designee to execute all documents necessary for San Mateo County to participate in the ABAG Regional State Energy Program grant application.



In July of this year, the Board of Supervisors’ Environmental Quality Committee directed staff to develop a residential energy efficiency program (REEP) for San Mateo County. The program will be based on the Berkeley and Sonoma County models, which offer property owners the opportunity to borrow funds to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The resulting debt obligations are repaid via property taxes and stay with the property until paid in full. The Committee further directed staff to take advantage of any available regional and statewide efforts to develop residential programs.


The State of California has allotted $93 million for a State Energy Program (SEP) competitive grant program. The SEP grants include three project categories, one of which is funding for REEP projects. The SEP guidelines give collaborative proposals favorable consideration.


ABAG has offered to coordinate a collaborative SEP grant for a REEP program in the nine Bay Area counties. The total grant request will be $10 million with $2.3 million budgeted for consulting work to be shared by all the counties. The remaining $7.7 million will be allocated to the participating counties. The county funding distribution formula is still being refined, but preliminary numbers indicate that San Mateo County will receive between $500,000 and $700,000 if the proposal is fully funded.


In response to the Environmental Quality Committee’s request, staff convened a city/county workgroup to research program options and develop consensus on the design and implementation of a countywide effort. The workgroup learned that REEP programs have two components, financing and program implementation, which can be developed separately but must both be in place for a successful program. After a number of informational sessions, the workgroup recommends that the county and the cities participate in the ABAG regional SEP grant to help develop and implement the program aspects of the San Mateo county REEP project. The workgroup agreed that a regional approach would share both the risk and the costs of developing a program and provide the benefits of regional collaboration.



San Mateo County has allocated $500,000 in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds for a countywide residential energy assistance program. The additional funds provided to the County through the SEP grant would pay for local outreach, education, and staff support for program implementation.


The State is requiring SEP program applicants to commit to submitting an application by October 30, 2009. By that date, ABAG must have a firm commitment from participating counties. If adopted at the October 20, 2009 Board meeting, the attached resolution will support San Mateo County’s participation in the grant application and enable staff to respond to all due dates set by ABAG.


The Environmental Quality Committee supported the County’s participation in the ABAG SEP grant at its October 6, 2009 meeting.


This action supports the 2025 Shared Vision outcome of an Environmentally Conscious Community by promoting residential energy efficiency which will reduce the Countywide carbon footprint.


County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Resolution as to form.



Other than the staff time to participate in the proposal development process, there is no cost associated with supporting the County participation in the ABAG regional SEP grant application. If the grant is awarded, the County would receive the benefit of $2.3 million in consultant work for the development and implementation of the regional program, and additional funding of between $500,000 and $700,000, which would support local outreach and program support activities.