Here are a few highlights of recent accomplishments
We helped create a local power provider to buy and generate cleaner electricity than what we currently receive. Known as Sonoma Clean Power, this program provides tremendous advantages such as rate stability, stimulation of the local economy, green job creation, and energy policy that can cause an explosion of renewable energy development. We helped drive the steering committee for the feasibility study and successfully navigated adoption of the program in five cities and Sonoma County. The new power provider began operation in May 2014.
Through our vision and work, Sonoma County received a $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission for a 3 year project to design the transition of our energy infrastructure from fossil fuels to renewables. Partners on the RESCO (Renewable Energy Secure Communities) project include Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Regional Climate Protection Authority, Local Power, and the Climate Protection Campaign. The project created a refined map of the best locations for renewable energy facilities, proving the feasibility of developing clean power at scale.
The Center for Climate Protection has been a lead partner in launching Carma real-time carpooling. Using new software, smart phone technology, social networking and financial incentives, this project links riders and drivers into carpools. We are working with the software company, Avego, to refine the software as we learn from real world experience. It is now a three-county program funded by a $1.5 million regional grant.
The Center for Climate Protection was instrumental in bringing in $2.6 million for a countywide, comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit initiative. We have been the guiding force and implementation manager for this initiative in Sonoma County, which has been used as a model for the statewide program. Energy Upgrade California offers rebates up to $4000 per household.
Designed and advanced a pilot program for water and energy conservation in the Town of Windsor, allowing people to pay for the cost of retrofits via a small charge on their water bills. This will be the first time this innovative financing mechanism has been used in California.
Operated service learning programs with high school students, using greenhouse gas reduction projects to teach leadership skills.
Educated public officials about market-based solutions that protect middle and low income people from higher energy costs and their relevance to the effective implementation of California state law AB32 (Global Warming Solutions Act). Our advocacy helped in the creation of a panel of experts appointed by the California EPA that recommended that 75% of revenue from carbon polluters is rebated back to all Californians to help with higher energy prices, which will build political support for even stronger carbon pricing.
Led a coalition to block the sale of the county landfill and a poorly structured deal with an Arizona based corporation. Subsequently we have coordinated a group of stakeholders to encourage an approach to the future operation of the landfill that will focus on operation by local businesses, incentives for increased waste recycling, and maximizing renewable energy opportunities.
Assisted Napa cities and the County with development of their Community Climate Action Plan.
Involved students throughout Sonoma County in International Climate Action Day, and sponsored a competitive grant program for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in schools. Awarded three high schools a total of $3000.
Worked to defeat Proposition 23 that would have gutted California’s Global Warming Solutions Act.
Provided a status report and analysis by sector of Sonoma County’s greenhouse gas emissions at the annual climate protection conference.
Contracted with the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District to recommend ways their agency can – and acquisition.