Office of Sustainability: Energy and Water (4040P)

Program Outcome Statement

Promote the conservation, planning, and management of our energy and water resources, to support a sustainable, resilient, and environmentally conscious community


The Energy and Water Section provides policy development and implementation to county ratepayers through two energy efficiency programs: the San Mateo County Energy Watch program serves municipal schools and businesses, and BayREN, which provides rebates and technical assistance for residential energy upgrades. The Section develops water conservation and reuse programs and supports groundwater assessment and management, as well as stormwater program implementation and reporting.

San Mateo County Energy Watch Program Cost Per Kilowatt Hour Saved

Number of Energy and Water Saving Library Kits Borrowed from Libraries Countywide

Percent of kWh Goal

Story Behind Performance FY 2017-18 Year End Update 

The San Mateo County Energy Watch is a grant-funded program between the County and the City/ County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG). The program targets buildings and operations with inefficient use of energy in the following sectors: municipalities, schools, non-profits, farms, and certain low-income residential homes. The program identifies energy-efficiency installations and retrofit projects, as well as rebates, that will favorably result in maximum energy savings. Program challenges include: changes in California Public Utility Commission goals, allowable rebates, legislation, changes in PG&E utility program structure, program partner transitions, and the initial costs of making larger energy upgrades for customers. In calendar year 2016 through 2018 (the current Program cycle), the San Mateo County Energy Watch Program is on target to exceed its energy savings goals, reducing Countywide peak energy use by 1100 peak kilowatts and 7.3 million kilowatt hours through energy efficiency projects.
For the San Mateo County Energy Watch program cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) saved, a lower number represents a more cost-effective use of funds. For fiscal year 2017-18, the cost per kWh was .40 cents per kilowatt hour, right at the target cost.
The program for Energy and Water Saving library kits countywide began April 2017 and completed its first (full) fiscal year 2017-18 with approximately 350 kits borrowed. A new goal has been set for fiscal year 2018-19 at 500 kits borrowed.
During calendar year 2017, the San Mateo County Energy Watch countywide energy efficiency program saved 4.4 million kilowatt hours of energy across completed municipality, school, and business projects, exceeding our goal by 80 percent.  For calendar years 2016-2018, the current program cycle, the program has already exceeded the energy savings goal.

FY 2017-18 Priorities

  • Collaborate with other County Departments to address sustainable management of stormwater and groundwater, explore the use of recycled water, and track success of a new water conservation pilot.
  • Meet the energy-saving and participation goals of the SMCEW and BayREN programs, ensure a smooth transition to a calendar year 2019 extension, and plan for a potential 2020 calendar program model redesign.
Author: Kim Springer, Resource Conservation Program Manager  Contact Email:  Last Updated: 08/24/18