Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.35
Liaison Mo Lovegreen
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Santa Barbara
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jewel Snavely
Campus Sustainability Coordinator, TGIF Grants Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The Campus Community and Government Relations staff develop and maintain relationships with local elected officials, their staff, and departments to advocate for the interests of their campus, including sustainability. Many host Annual Advocacy Days in their community and work to strengthen university engagement on sustainability issues through community participation and support of community organizations.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

UC State Government Relations (SGR) serves as the University’s primary representative to state elected officials and agencies, providing advocacy on legislation and public policies that provide for, extend, and enhance the University’s authority to conduct its business operations in a manner that is efficient and sustainable as well as advocating against measures that would limit this authority.
• The UC System continues to pursue state cap-and-trade revenue and other sources of funding for campus energy-efficiency projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower future energy costs. Many of the proposed projects would also serve as highly visible demonstrations for state-of-the-art energy conservation technologies. UC supported the proposed $25 million allocation of cap-and-trade funds for the University included in the 2016-17 budget and requested additional funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects beyond the scope of the proposal that would have provided even greater environmental and economic benefits.
• The UC Office of the President’s Wholesale Power Program (“WPP”) Public Policy Involvement: The University of California Wholesale Power Program is in regular communication with UC’s state government relations and policy teams review and track proposed energy-related legislation at the state level. As a regulated load serving entity (“LSE”, a.k.a. an Electric Service Provider or “ESP”) UC often participates in the implementation phase of legislation within state regulatory proceedings.
UC, in its role as an ESP, is regulated by the CPUC and CEC (California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”), the California Energy Commission (“CEC”).) We also have to transact through/via the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) for our energy needs. We also report the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”).
Recent highlights of WPP activity at the state level include:
UC staff attended a series of CPUC En Banc meetings and informal public workshops focusing on consumer and retail choice in California. Mark Byron, the UC Office of the President executive director of renewable energy programs, was a panelist on the topic of “What Consumers Want” for the May 2017 En Banc meeting hosted at the CalEPA building in Sacramento.

UC became a party to two CPUC proceedings related to the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (“PCIA”), which is an exit fee borne by customers who do not take full service from an Investor Owned Utility (“IOU). UC has approximately 300,000 MWh of load in this category. In the consolidated ERRA proceeding we are seeking PCIA credits that have been withheld by PG&E. In the PCIA Reform/Replacement proceeding, we are advocating for revisions to the PCIA that are transparent, predictable, and prevent cost shifting to departed customers, as well as establishing a PCIA “sunset” timeline and creating a buy-out option for future PCIA charges.

UC also filed comments regarding:
Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) penalty/waiver reforms,
Implementation of mandatory Integrated Resource Plans (“IRPs”) for all LSEs, pursuant to SB350, and
The CEC’s proposal to implement Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”)Accounting methodology as part of the required annual power source disclosure process, pursuant to AB1110
As a regulated LSE, we also routinely file progress reports with all the aforementioned agencies related to capacity obligations, RPS compliance, power supply sources, and retail sales.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

UC Federal Government Relations is the University’s liaison to the federal government, working with Congress, the administration, federal agencies and national organizations to advocate for the University and its missions in education, research and public service. Examples include:
-- Convening UC faculty and staff to host Congressional briefings. Congressional briefings that highlight the impact of the University’s sustainability efforts on campus operations and showcase UC as a model for other institutions are a part of the University’s effort to demonstrate the value of investing in UC and advocate for the federal funding that supports the University’s energy and sustainability goals.
-- Participating in DC lobby days, including the annual Coalition for National Science Funding Day on Capitol Hill. Representatives from UC campuses attend meetings with members of Congress and their staff and contribute to the National Science Foundation (NSF) project exhibit.
-- On June 2, 2017, one day after the White House announced that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, the University of California released a statement affirming its commitments to the goals of the Paris agreement and doubling down on its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. UC simultaneously launched a call to members of the UC community through the university’s UC Advocacy Network (UCAN) urging students to make pledges to support and work with California’s Governor, Congressional delegation, and state legislators to ensure that California and the UC system stay at the forefront of combating global climate change.
-- In October 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the University of California for its commitment to green energy. UC was one of only eight organizations nationwide to receive an Excellence in Green Power Use Award from the EPA. The annual award recognizes the nation’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. David Phillips, UC’s associate vice president for energy and sustainability, attended the 2017 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in New York, where EPA bestowed its award.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

On February 6, 2018, the University of California announced that it had assembled an international coalition of 13 research universities across the United States, Canada and Mexico – called the University Climate Change Coalition, or UC3 – who were committing to work together to galvanize local and regional action on climate change. Member institutions represent more than 1.5 million students across North America. The coalition will release a report in fall 2018 that will serve as a roadmap for how local, state, and federal lawmakers, higher education institutions, businesses and community leaders can work together to achieve ambitious, research-tested climate goals.

As mentioned above, on June 2, 2017, one day after the White House announced that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, the University of California released a statement affirming its commitments to the goals of the Paris agreement and doubling down on its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. UC simultaneously launched a call to members of the UC community through the university’s UC Advocacy Network (UCAN) urging students to make pledges to support and work with California’s Governor, Congressional delegation, and state legislators to ensure that California and the UC system stay at the forefront of combating global climate change.

UC’s MOU with Mexico
• UC has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Mexican Secretariat of Energy (SENER) to promote increased collaboration between the University and Mexico on energy and sustainability efforts, including research; visits from scholars, scientists and administrators; and the development of graduate programs in the field of renewable energy. The goal is for Mexico and California work together in areas that are needed to secure a more sustainable future and a long-lasting regional economic development.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
---

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.