Energy and Water Benchmarking Fellow - AmeriCorps

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San Jose, CA, United States

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30+ days ago

City of San Jose

200 East Santa Clara Street 10th Floor San Jose CA 95113


Additional pay

Location: San Jose, CA
Work Environment: Hybrid - 60% in-person; 40% remote. COVID vaccination required.
Term: January – August 2023; 1200 hours; 40 hours/week
Living Allowance Stipend: $2,636/month
Education Award: $4,546.50 upon program completion
Benefits: Healthcare coverage (w/dental & vision), Education Award, student loan deferment, child care allowance, CalFresh, professional development budget ($100), industry networking.
About City of San Jose
The City of San José (the City) was one of the first U.S. cities to adopt a Paris Climate Agreement-aligned climate action plan, Climate Smart San José (Climate Smart) in February 2018. Climate Smart includes goals and milestones to ensure San José can reduce its GHG emissions and water consumption, including building zero net carbon buildings, greening commutes, transitioning to a renewable energy future, and reducing overall water consumption by one third. San José has made significant progress towards its climate action goals through policies, such as the Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance (BPO).
San José is one of nearly 40 US cities with a mandatory building energy benchmarking policy for existing buildings. The BPO builds on the existing California state benchmarking law, Assembly Bill 802. Passed in December 2018, the BPO requires commercial and multifamily buildings 20,000 square feet or larger in size to track their whole-building energy and water usage data through the EPA’s benchmarking platform, ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® (ESPM), and share this data with the City through annual reports. This practice of annually tracking energy and water usage is what is referred to as “benchmarking.” The City will publish a subset of this data to support market transparency and recognize high-performing buildings across San José.
In 2023, the BPO will begin to phase in new “Beyond Benchmarking” requirements for energy and water efficiency measures. Building owners will be required to demonstrate either above average building efficiency or efficiency improvements, in annual cohorts and on a five-year, rolling cycle. If an owner can demonstrate that a covered building meets key performance standards through yearly benchmarking, the owner can then submit a Performance Verification Report. If a building is not able to meet these standards, the owner can perform an energy audit, retuning, or efficiency upgrade to improve performance.
Position Overview & Description
A motivated Fellow will gain firsthand experience and understanding of how community-wide sustainability initiatives are implemented through local government and strategic partnerships.
The Energy and Water Benchmarking Fellow will assist with communication and coordination among local business owners and municipal staff to facilitate Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance (BPO) compliance. BPO support will involve coordinating the program helpdesk, assisting building owners with their benchmarking reports, and working with both City staff and program stakeholders. Coordination of the helpdesk will involve assisting with managing the program’s email inbox and phone line, scheduling or assisting customer appointments, collaborating with program staff on resolving benchmarking issues, and utilizing a customer relationship management (CRM) system for program record keeping and implementation tracking. The Fellow will also help develop new BPO resources and fine-tune existing resources and processes, with the intent of better assisting building owners and improving communication between owners and program staff.
The fellow will also assist staff with first-year implementation of the BPO’s “Beyond Benchmarking” (BB) requirements. Tasks may include assisting BB report evaluation, conducting research on existing policies and studies to identify best practices, sharing findings and recommendations with BPO staff, and updating or developing specific resources needed for BB implementation.
The BPO Fellow will be a critical resource for creatively engaging stakeholders, coordinating with internal (i.e., Environmental Services, Financial, and Building Departments) and external partners (e.g., local government, private businesses, trade associations), and promoting program activities and uptake. Fellows are particularly well-skilled for these projects as they are actively networking and engaging with similar, if not the same, stakeholders through their cohort and cohort-facilitated activities. Previous fellows have excelled in comparable work and provided substantial capacity building for deeper engagement across all projects, a noteworthy achievement for any fellow, and high priority goal for the City.
Role Responsibilities
The BPO Fellow will be primarily engaged in three main activities:

  • Customer service and stakeholder engagement,
  • Benchmark reporting and general program implementation
  • Evaluating, researching, designing, or updating and implementing program resources, performance measures, trainings, and/or best practices.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with Microsoft Office products (e.g., Word, Excel, PPT, etc.)
  • Strong interpersonal and customer service skills, technical aptitude, and communication and writing abilities
  • Comfortable and willing to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Self-starter with excellent project management and analytical skills
  • Experience with database management or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems is a plus.

Fellowship Experience at City of San Jose
Skills: The Fellow will gain practical experience in several areas, including customer service, database management, project management, and government operations.
Mentorship Opportunities: The Fellow may take advantage of mentorship opportunities including but not limited to: regular meetings with supervisor, team members, and greater department colleagues; optional ride-along, mentoring, or interviewing opportunities with City employees in area(s) of interest (examples: Sustainability and Compliance, Watershed Protection, San José Clean Energy, Municipal Water, or Public Works, etc.)
Education & Professional Development: The Fellow will be encouraged to take advantage of education and training opportunities. The City hosts an array of trainings and professional development courses that the Fellow will have the opportunity to partake in, as time allows. Fellows may also take advantage of other forms of education that are offered by non-City entities (PG&E, ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, etc.), both related to the assigned fellowship and to the Fellow’s own professional interests.
Networking: Benchmarking and building utility efficiency are exciting and growing fields. Through regular program activities and stakeholder engagement, the Fellow will have opportunities to establish networking connections with the benchmarking and sustainability communities throughout California or nationwide. Our BPO has even begun to work with international Cities, such as London and Mexico City, that are starting up their own benchmarking programs.
Team Culture: The Fellow will be joining a productive and supportive team atmosphere; they will work alongside a group of kind, passionate, light-hearted, and sustainability-minded professionals with open doors. The Fellow will have the opportunity to participate in fun coworker meetups, either in person or via Zoom. Our staff also work to achieve results. For two years in a row, the City of San Jose has ranked 1st on the Mid-Sized Top Cities list for U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings.
Climate Corps AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a national service commitment that meets a community’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Bay Area Community Resources and SEI partner to implement Climate Corps AmeriCorps, an award-winning fellowship program that provides professional development opportunities for emerging leaders through implementation of sustainability and resiliency projects with local governments, nonprofits, and educational institutions.
Upon completion of the term, CCAC Fellows receive a Segal Education Award of up to $6,495.00 in return for your service. You can use the award to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs. Fellows who complete a 1700-hour term also receive a California For All Award of $3,505.00 in cash for educational expenses.
To see a full list of climate, energy, and sustainability positions posted by Climate Corps, please visit here. We are constantly adding positions, so make sure to frequently check this site to see if there are new opportunities available.
Basic Eligibility
AmeriCorps fellows must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  • Have a high school diploma/GED
  • Be 17 years old or older
  • Pass state criminal and FBI background checks, and a national check in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry
  • Test negatively for tuberculosis if working with minors
  • Be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing
  • Live in the state of California

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Statement
Bay Area Community Resources, the administrator of Climate Corps AmeriCorps, is an equal opportunity employer. We cultivate an environment that encourages fairness, teamwork, and respect among all employees and National Service members. We are firmly committed to maintaining an atmosphere in which people of diverse backgrounds and lifestyles may grow personally and professionally. Therefore, we enthusiastically accept our responsibility to make employment decisions without regard to race, religion or religious creed, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, medical condition, disability, military service, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local laws or ordinances. Our management is dedicated to ensuring the fulfillment of this equal opportunity policy with respect to hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, recruitment advertising, pay, and other forms of compensation, training, and general treatment during employment.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $2,636.00 per month