Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 18-1084   
Type: Information Only Status: Information Only
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 12/18/2018
Title: Study Session Summary of November 27, 2018 - Encouraging Heat Pump Water and Space Heating (Study Issue ESD 18-01)
Related files: 19-0494, 19-0703


Study Session Summary of November 27, 2018 - Encouraging Heat Pump Water and Space Heating (Study Issue ESD 18-01) 



Call to Order:

Vice Mayor Klein called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.


City Councilmembers Present:

Mayor Glenn Hendricks

Vice Mayor Larry Klein

Councilmember Jim Griffith

Councilmember Gustav Larsson

Councilmember Nancy Smith

Councilmember Russ Melton

Councilmember Michael S. Goldman


City Councilmembers Absent:



Study Session Summary:

Melody Tovar, Regulatory Programs Division Manager, Environmental Services Department, in collaboration with Aimee Bailey, Director of Decarbonization and Grid Innovation, and John Supp, Manager of Account Services, of Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), delivered a PowerPoint slide presentation on the findings of Study Issue ESD 18-01 entitled Encouraging Heat Pump Water and Space Heating.


The presentation covered an overview heat pump technologies; their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Sunnyvale; their cost-effectiveness for different building types, appliances, and scenarios; methods to encourage the adoption of heat pump technology including outreach, incentives, and policy approaches; and SVCE’s proposed pilot program design.


The presentation also included staff’s proposed next steps: 1) Include Decarbonizing Buildings as a Climate Action Playbook Strategy; 2) Evaluate electrification and heat pump technology as a component of the Green Building Program Update; and 3) Work with SVCE on pilot program, potential “reach code”, and outreach approaches


Ms. Tovar noted that Trudi Ryan, Director of Community Development, Don Bray, Director of Account Services and Community Relations at SVCE, and Girish Balachandran, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SVCE, were in attendance.


Councilmembers asked questions and made comments on the information presented.


Comments provided by City Council (Note: some comments which were made by more than one councilmember are only listed once):


                     Council interest in exploring possibility of requiring heat pumps or having all-electric requirements for new construction.

                     Suggestion to update Eichler design guidelines.

                     Questions regarding timing of Green Building Program Update and CAP 2.0. Both are expected in 2019 and do not have fixed dates at this time.

                     Questions about whether heat pump water heaters are comparable to gas water heaters in terms of consumer experience and environmental impact (e.g., water conservation).

                     Questions and suggestions for refinement of SVCE’s proposed pilot program, including funding source, education and outreach focus, and high quality white glove service to provide solutions tailored for different scenarios, building types, and situations.

                     Suggestion to work with existing green job workforce development groups on training.

                     Suggestion to consider organizing a group-buy for interested customers.

                     Suggestion to leverage outreach on induction cooking to enhance acceptance of all-electric buildings.

                     Discussion of usefulness of rebates and pre-emptive readiness for heat pump retrofits.

                     Question and discussion about the possibility of funding heat pumps with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

                     Suggestion to encourage and educate permit applicants on heat pump technology when doing other upgrades such as solar.

                     Support expressed for staff’s proposed next steps.


Public Comment:

Nine members of the public addressed the Council and provided the following comments:

                     Expressed interest in participating in SVCE’s pilot program.

                     Provided suggestions for pilot program considerations (e.g., equity, funding, target audiences, contractor engagement).

                     Provided testimonials of heat pump performance, as several owned them.



Vice Mayor Klein adjourned the meeting at 6:55 p.m.