City Reaffirms Commitment to Climate Action with Proclamation Recognizing Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
Hoping to inspire the community to conserve energy, the City of San Luis Obispo will declare June 20 Net Zero Energy Day.
The City chose June 20 because it is the Summer Solstice, which has more daylight than any other day of the year. The proclamation aligns with City actions to address climate change, one of the City’s major goals for 2017-19, said Mayor Heidi Harmon.
“Recent events to change federal climate action policies will not prevent the City from taking a leadership role on what many people consider the defining issue of our time,” Harmon said. “I am proud that the City has prioritized taking action to address climate change as one of our major city goals, and that we recognize the positive impacts net zero energy will have on our economy, environment and community.”
The term “net zero energy” has been gaining in popularity and often refers to energy-efficient buildings. Generally speaking, a zero energy building produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, thereby reducing the use of non-renewable energy in the building sector.
The City’s proclamation recognizes and celebrates governments and organizations that are committed to advancing energy efficiency, energy management and sustainability for a healthier, more prosperous future. The City also hopes to provide education and outreach about net zero energy.
“We are committed to cutting carbon emissions to ward off the worst effects of global climate change,” said Harmon. “The world cannot wait and neither will the City of San Luis Obispo.
Since the adoption of the Climate Action Plan in 2012, the City has reduced GHG emission by 15 percent. This was accomplished through a focus on reducing emissions associated with City operations, including increasing the alternative fuel vehicle fleet, green waste recycling and energy efficient retrofits in City buildings. The City has also updated policies and regulations to help reduce community GHG emissions, including new construction energy efficiency standards, water efficient landscapes standards and encouraging alternative transportation.
In 2015, the City joined the Compact of Mayors, which is the world’s largest cooperative effort among mayors and city leaders, to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The City is compliant with the compact by 1) having a GHG inventory, 2) working with the County to identify climate hazards/potential adaptation strategies, and 3) adopting a Climate Action Plan in 2012 with emissions reduction targets.
Based on substantial community interest the City Council made climate action a major city goal for the next two years.
To make this major city goal successful, the City allocated full-time staff resources to the effort by creating a sustainability coordinator position and a City Green Team.
The action plan for the climate action major city goal includes:
- Assessing requirements to achieve a “net-zero carbon city” target (June 2018)
- Feasibility analysis and implementation of Community Choice Energy (CCE) program (June 2018)
- The City is involved in the Tri-County CCE effort (Ventura, Santa Barbara, SLO) and expecting a feasibility report this summer.
- The City is involved in an Intra-County CCE effort (City only or City/County) and is expecting a feasibility report this summer.
- Updating the Climate Action Plan by December 2018 to reflect changes in state and regional energy policies.
- Developing enhanced incentive programs to encourage energy efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions in the community.
Read more about the City’s efforts to conserve energy and become more sustainable at http://www.slocity.org/government/department-directory/community-development/sustainability.