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Pathway to Zero Program

SoCalREN Pathway to Zero

Pathway to Zero was created to maximize energy efficiency opportunities while driving the integration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). The program supports public agencies on a path towards zero net energy (ZNE), which means producing all the energy needed on-site.

The program provides a customized high-level review of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) options, giving you the information you need to get started choosing the DERs that are right for your facility.  Through Pathway to Zero, SoCalREN also offers benchmarking and data analysis, DER audits, and project management support for DER projects, including support with incentive applications, assessing and applying for financing support, and obtaining the technical assistance agencies need to complete projects. 

Find out if you're eligible

Benefits

  • SoCalREN offers third-party unbiased support and has no financial stake in your decision. We aim only to support energy efficiency adoption and to guide agencies towards zero net energy.
  • Pathway to Zero complements SoCalREN’s energy efficiency programs, allowing you to see all energy opportunities at your agency’s facility/facilities.
  • A SoCalREN Project Manager will help guide you through your selected DER project. We don’t just give agencies a plan—we help make it happen!
  • Energy efficiency and DER upgrades can reduce energy bills to free up public resources for other services and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to improve air quality and the environment.
  • Like all of SoCalREN’s services for public agencies, Pathway to Zero is offered at no cost to public agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pathway to Zero?

Pathway to Zero is offered alongside SoCalREN’s energy efficiency services. It goes beyond analysis of energy efficiency opportunities at agency facilities to include a customized high-level review of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and other sustainability options, giving agencies the information they need to get started choosing the DERs that are right for their facilities. Through this program, SoCalREN can also offer project management support for DER projects, including support with incentive applications, assessing and applying for financing support, and obtaining the technical assistance agencies need to complete projects.

Can a facility that is not receiving an energy efficiency project proposal receive services from Pathway to Zero?

Pathway to Zero is offered alongside SoCalREN’s energy efficiency programs. As such, services from Pathway to Zero are provided only for facilities also pursuing energy efficiency projects.

Does our facility have to be in a disadvantaged community to receive support from Pathway to Zero?

Yes. At this time, facilities serving disadvantaged communities will be prioritized for Pathway to Zero services. Some communities in California are disproportionately burdened by, and vulnerable to, multiple sources of pollution. We use the term “disadvantaged community” to refer to these communities, and we identify them using CalEnviroScreen 3.0, a screening tool developed for CalEPA that incorporates a number of indicators based on geographic, socioeconomic, public health, and environmental hazard criteria. Find out if your facility qualifies here.

What services does Pathway to Zero provide?

Pathway to Zero provides a comprehensive analysis of energy opportunities at agency facilities through a high-level review of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) and other sustainability options, giving agencies the information they need to get started choosing the DERs that are right for their facilities. Through this program, SoCalREN can also offer benchmarking and data analysis, DER audits, and project management support for DER projects, including support with incentive applications, assessing and applying for financing support, and obtaining the technical assistance agencies need to complete projects.

How is the Pathway to Zero Program funded?

Pathway to Zero Program funding comes from California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) ratepayer funds, similar to the SoCalREN Project Delivery Program’s funding. Additional technical services, such as enhanced benchmarking and DER audits, are funded by the California Energy Commission. 

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