Position Title: Energy and Water Benchmarking Fellow - AmeriCorps
Term of Service: Full-time, January 3, 2022 – August 31, 2022
Time requirements: 40 hours/week; 1,200 hours in an 8 month term
Location: San Jose, CA - Hybrid (in-person/remote)
About Climate Corps AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a national service commitment that meets a community’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Climate Corps AmeriCorps partners with local government, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations to provide full-time service opportunities in the Bay Area, Southern California, and the Central Valley to support communities’ critical needs for building climate resilience. Climate Corps AmeriCorps Fellows dedicate 1,200 hours of service in exchange for leadership and career development, and a living stipend supported by an AmeriCorps grant. Climate Corps AmeriCorps is an exciting opportunity for service-minded individuals who are passionate about building climate resilience for communities. For more information, please visit www.americorps.gov or www.climatecorps.org.
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, including building zero net carbon buildings, greening commutes, and transitioning to a renewable energy future. 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.
Description of duties:
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 the final roll-out and implementation of the BPO’s “Beyond Benchmarking” (BB) requirements. Tasks may include conducting research on existing policies and studies to identify best practices, sharing findings and recommendations with BPO staff, and 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.
The BPO Fellow will ideally live in proximity to San José City Hall and be available to work a hybrid remote/in-office schedule, consistent with City policies. Beginning December 1, 2021, ESD staff are expected to return to in office attendance a minimum of three days weekly and work remotely two days weekly. When in-office, the fellow will report to San José City Hall, in conjunction with their supervisor’s schedule. If the City’s attendance policy is adjusted (due to COVID or another reason), a fully remote schedule may be worked out, but the fellow will still be needed in the office a minimum of two days monthly.
Full vaccination for COVID-19 will be required throughout the duration of the fellowship. Currently City policy requires that masks must be worn while in City Hall or other City facilities.
AmeriCorps fellows must:
Be US 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 able and willing to commit to the 11-month service term
Be able and willing to work remotely if needed due to ongoing COVID-19 public health considerations and shelter-in-place orders.
The BPO Fellow will be primarily engaged three main activities:
1) assisting customer and stakeholder engagement,
2) assisting in benchmark reporting and general program implementation; and
3) assisting researching, designing, or updating and implementing program resources, performance measures, trainings, and/or best practices.
These tasks will require some experience with Microsoft Office products (e.g. Word, Excel, PPT, etc.), strong interpersonal and customer service skills, technical aptitude, and communication and writing abilities. Candidates must be comfortable and willing to work in a fast-paced environment. The ideal candidate will also be a self-starter with excellent project management, analytical, and public speaking skills. Experience with database management or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems is a plus.
Benefits of service
Receive a living allowance stipend of $2,255 per month
Receive free MEC healthcare, child care support, and qualifying federal student loan deferment throughout your term of service.
Upon the successful completion of your 1,700 hours and term of service, receive a Segal Education Award of $6,345 and a California for All Education Award of $3,655.
Receive ongoing training & support, including a 4-day orientation, monthly trainings, a 2-day retreat, and personal professional development support.
Benefit from the robust, ever-growing Climate Corps network of partner organizations and alumni.
Develop sustainability skills, implement impactful climate change resiliency projects, and build partnerships in your community.
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: 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.
Team Culture: The fellow will be joining a 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 meet ups, either in person or via Zoom.
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.