City of Fresno
At a Glance
Commercial Energy Efficiency
Katie Altobello-Czescik helped promote clean, smart energy initiatives in the City of Fresno by working on the development phase of the City’s Power the Tower project.
The City of Fresno is embarking on a unique, community-scale energy project called “Power the Tower”, aimed at helping local businesses and creating a net zero neighborhood. The project--a collaborative effort led by the City of Fresno, EDF, California State University Fresno, and PG&E-- investigates ways to promote energy efficiency, demand response, renewable generation, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging station installation for the District. However, it needed on the ground research, design and management, and collaboration and networking building. To help the project transform Fresno’s Tower District into an efficient, clean energy hub, the City of Fresno enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Katie Altobello-Czescik.
Katie conducted research on what other cities, and the City of Fresno, are doing in terms of energy efficiency, renewable generation and electric infrastructure. To inform her plans, she developed a Technical Advisory Committee to receive feedback about the project’s design and scope. She also created a community roundtable and hosted an event with local businesses and community advocates to better understand energy wants and needs. Once she received feedback, Katie established potential working relationships and identified a group of ~100 local Tower District businesses that can benefit from participating in the Power the Tower project. She then connected with existing utility-run and-funded initiatives to identify programs that can provide no-cost energy assessment benchmarking and audits for local businesses. After assisting with the obtaining of yearly and hourly energy use data from the utility, she was able to frame the project within the Environmental Justice lens and participate in the EPA’s EJ in Action blog.
Katie also helped set up funding for the project. This included mapping out the Tower District, researching funding opportunities, obtaining energy use data and delegating the task of performing a GHG inventory for the Tower District.
Katie left the City of Fresno with a plan for rolling out the project. Moving forward, the City, in partnership with other Power the Tower team members, can use the data and recommendations to better understand Tower District energy use, provide some relief for energy-burdened businesses and begin installing energy related infrastructure. By implementing energy efficiency projects, demand response and solar power, the City will become closer to achieving its goal of transforming Fresno’s Tower District into a clean energy hub, helping local businesses with operating costs and reducing its carbon footprint.