Replacing Fossil Fuels in Buildings with Electric Alternatives

FUSE Corps - Los Angeles, CA

After launching its Green New Deal in 2019, Los Angeles set out to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035. Part of decarbonization is shifting to building electrification, but diverse community support and buy-in is critical to its success. The FUSE Executive Fellow will support leadership to coordinate community outreach, determine best practices, and develop a program strategy and framework for an equity-forward approach to building electrification in LA.

Fellowship Dates: October 24, 2022 – October 23, 2023

ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP

FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.

When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.

PROJECT CONTEXT

Serving 4 million businesses and residents in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the largest municipal water and power utility in America. A 2017 partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory yielded the comprehensive LA100 study. The study analyzed potential community pathways to achieving a 100% clean energy future, and its findings formed the basis of L.A.’s Green New Deal, which sets out ambitious climate, economic, and health goals. LADWP is currently working towards an 80% renewable and 97% carbon free grid by 2030, and 100% carbon free energy by 2035. However, achieving these decarbonization objectives will require shifts both at the energy consumer and energy producer level.

Electrification in the built environment provides one route to achieving these goals, but LADWP leadership recognizes the need to first convene and educate diverse stakeholders on building electrification. It is vital to raise awareness to gauge the level of interest in various initiatives to incentivize and increase adoption rates. Past decarbonization initiatives disproportionately benefitted affluent residents, so for the first time, LADWP is beginning with an equity-forward approach focused on low-income stakeholders. To center the needs of more diverse citizens in building electrification efforts, LADWP is considering integrating electrification into existing programs such as those focused on affordable housing, multifamily retrofit programs, and on-site solar through the virtual net energy metering program.

LADWP will partner with FUSE Corps to raise stakeholder awareness and knowledge around electrification of the built environment and to create a program strategy and framework for implementation of an electrification initiative. The FUSE Executive Fellow will organize diverse stakeholder focus groups and workshops, establish demand profiles and demographic data, and will report on these findings. Additionally, the Executive Fellow will research best practices, establish benchmarks, and assist in building out a set of tools for program implementation. These efforts will ensure that an electrification program supporting decarbonization is welcomed by and delivers direct benefits to Angelenos across the income spectrum.

PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES

The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.

Starting in October 2022, the Executive Fellow will begin to build deep relationships with a range of critical stakeholders, including Climate Emergency Mitigation Office (CEMO) staff, advocacy organizations and academic institutions, and diverse community stakeholders including faith-based organizations and community groups. They will familiarize themselves with existing LADWP decarbonization programs as well as initiatives launched by other utilities around the country. By studying CEMO community assessments and identifying pain points and solutions, the Executive Fellow can begin to determine who is currently included in conversations around decarbonization efforts and who should be there that isn’t.

After having identified diverse target communities and stakeholders, the Executive Fellow will begin to make a coordinated outreach effort to the community. Using best practices derived from existing data and benchmarks, they will convene focus groups and workshops to raise awareness and build knowledge around building electrification. Once the first workshop cohorts in South LA, West LA, East Valley West Valley, and San Pedro areas have completed workshops, the Executive Fellow will capture and synthesize data from these gatherings and develop a report.

Working closely with the LADWP Program Design Liaison Group, the Executive Fellow will use the data collected at the onset of the project along with data generated through stakeholder engagement to build out a set of tools for implementing building electrification programs. Intended to provide technical assistance and consumer education, these tools can be used to develop robust programs as well as effective incentive or rebate schemes. Finally, the Executive Fellow will identify the various opportunities to incorporate building electrification strategies into existing and proposed decarbonization programs such as CAMR housing retrofit initiatives.

By October 2023, the Executive Fellow will have accomplished the following:

  • Conduct a listening tour – Build relationships with stakeholders within LADWP and adjacent agencies as well as community groups — focusing on diverse and low-income populations. Determine who has been involved in past efforts and who should be included going forward. Gain an understanding of existing CEMO community assessments and outcomes and research the efforts of other utilities who are spearheading similar programs.
  • Complete first round of workshops – Conduct coordinated community outreach focusing on diverse stakeholders; reach out to environmental justice groups, community groups, and faith-based organizations to ensure a cross section of participants that includes underrepresented populations. Facilitate diverse focus groups and workshops in each pre-defined geographic area to measure interest, identify barriers, preferences, and demographic trends. Synthesize and report on data collected.
  • Build out tools for electrification project implementation – Develop a strategic framework for successful project implementation, especially increasing awareness and adoption rates. Create easily understood, jargon-free educational collateral that illustrates both environmental impacts and impacts on daily lives. Identify opportunities for incorporating building electrification into existing programs and new programs going forward.

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

  • Executive Sponsor – Nancy Sutley, Senior Assistant General Manager of External and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer; Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • Project Supervisor – David Jacot, Director of Efficiency Solutions; Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

QUALIFICATIONS

In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in customer service and/ or utilities, and the ability to maintain and project neutrality is strongly preferred for this project.

  • Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
  • Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
  • Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
  • Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies and other processes.
  • Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing, and excels in both active listening and conversing.
  • Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
  • Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground
  • Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.





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