First Assembly Bill 811 World Conference

  • Emily Langenbahn
  • Promotions and Public Relations Manager

Palm Desert AB 811 Conference, June 12, 2009, hosted by EcoMotion

Focus on "How to Design a Successful Program" for Local Governments

When California passed AB 811 in July 2008, it gave cities and counties the go-ahead to arrange for low-cost energy loans for their residents. Residents then pay the loans back through property tax assessments. So far, only three such programs have been launched in California - in Berkeley, Palm Desert and Sonoma County -- but similar legislation has been passed in other states, and since Stimulus money may be available, interest in new programs has intensified.

However, each program to date has been so unique - with different funding levels, "eligible" technologies and levels of customer service - that the arena remains murky. Bond market and tax law changes have added to local governments' uncertainty.

"Our goal is to add clarity to decision-making about AB 811," says Ted Flanigan, President of EcoMotion, the Irvine consulting firm that helped design two of the leading programs. "We've found that each local government has three major decisions. Plus we have discovered a number of key go - no go questions. We intend with this conference to lay out the program planning process in a step-by-step manner."

The conference will be held June 12, 2009 from 9-5 at the Palm Desert Campus of UC Riverside. Attendees will get the latest results from California and Colorado programs and input from advisors and industry experts. Attendees will also walk away with EcoMotion's written Guide to Designing an AB 811 Program. Cost is $195 for local government officials, $295 for others. Full details, including travel and accommodations information, are available at

"We are eager to see more programs in place," says Jim Ferguson, Mayor of Palm Desert and Chairman of the Conference. "Energy improvements funded through AB 811 have the potential of saving California consumers millions of dollars on energy bills and creating tens of thousands of new, local jobs."

EcoMotion is no stranger to program design. In 2006, it laid out Palm Desert's 30:30 Program, intended to cut city-wide electricity and natural gas use by 30% in five years. In that same year, EcoMotion helped develop Solar Santa Monica, aimed at helping that city achieve complete energy independence by 2020. EcoMotion continues to work with each of these cities as well as others, managing sustainability planning efforts and demonstration projects.

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