Jane Elias has been named as the new Program Administrator of the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN), a regional collaboration of the region's nine counties that supports a greener Bay Area while tackling local issues such as housing, affordability, and resilience.
Elias comes to BayREN after 13 years of service with the County of Sonoma, where she managed the nationally recognized Sonoma County Energy Independence Program and the County’s implementation of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Local Government Partnership.
“I am excited to continue energy and climate work at a regional level and feel very fortunate to live in an area that is so committed to climate change work,” Elias said, refelecting on her new role.
As manager of the County’s Energy & Sustainability programs, she directed marketing, outreach, and implementation activities for several BayREN programs, oversaw Sonoma Green Business certification, and more. In 2020, the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program honored Elias as a recipient of a 2020 PACESetter Award for excellence in program design and implementation. Through the County’ Energy Independence Program, she was recognized for creating a best practices model to fund and improve energy efficiency in residential homes and commercial buildings, which was adopted by more than 2,000 cities across the United States.
Elias succeeds retiring director Jenny Berg, who has led BayREN since 2013. Berg spearheaded the implementation of a comprehensive portfolio of resource efficiency programs. After a decade under her leadership, the portfolio has blossomed into a successful and permanent energy efficiency program, seeing national recognition for exemplary program success. The newly approved 2024 – 2031 Business Plan, led by Berg, positions BayREN as the first regional energy network to run a statewide program and approves a nearly $40 million annual portfolio. As Elias transitions into her role, implementing the Business Plan will be a top priority.
“I could not be more thrilled about Jane Elias stepping in as the new BayREN Program Administrator,” Berg said. “Jane brings with her a wealth of local government and energy program experience and has quickly hit the ground running. I have full confidence in Jane and her ability to implement the new BayREN Portfolio.”
As Elias steps into her new role as Program Administrator, she does so as a reliable leader, said Dori Estrella, Education and Outreach Manager for Sonoma County’s Climate Action and Resiliency Division.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Jane for the last 13 years,” Estrella said. "Her leadership was instrumental in developing the County’s energy and sustainability programs and initiatives both internally and public facing. I am excited to see her work on a regional scale.”
To date, BayREN has helped mitigate 156 tons of carbon, upgraded 60,695 housing units and provided $55.4 million in incentives to make help make the region more environmentally friendly.