Sacramento Goes 'Green'
On January 27, 2009, Sacramento’s Mayor and Council adopted the 2009 Sustainability Implementation Plan. This plan identifies key initiatives that will move the City to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.
Since 1992, over 110 energy efficiency projects have been installed in City facilities. Due to these measures, energy consumption is 9% lower than otherwise would have been projected.
Sacramento estimates that by retrofitting existing City buildings, the upfront cost would be about $5 million. However, the return on investment for these energy efficiency improvements would total $500,000 annually. The simple payback period would be 10 years for this type of investment.
In September 2008, through a competitive process, the City chose a performance contracting firm to review its facilities, make recommendations for energy efficiency improvements, and construct the improvements. This multi-year project will be completed in phases. This year, staff plans to get the first set of facilities through all phases of the project and begin construction improvements.
What Actions Is Sacramento Taking to Use Solar Energy?
The City of Sacramento has been announced as one of 12 U.S. cities to receive a Solar America Cities grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Based on a highly competitive national review, the City of Sacramento will receive $200,000 in direct funding with additional technical assistance and other resources. The grant will be used to develop programs supporting the advancement of solar energy over two years.
What Actions Is Sacramento Taking to Build Green?
In order to advance the plan to build sustainable buildings, the City is pursuing LEED certification on new buildings. North Natomas Library, Valley Hi Library, Pocket Library, Oak Park Community Center Expansion, and George Sim Community Center are all on track to be LEED Silver Certified for new construction.
What Actions Did Sacramento Take to Support Green Transportation and Water Conservation?
In 2007, the city purchased 33 Gasoline/Electric Hybrid Vehicles, 21 Liquefied Natural Gas Refuse Trucks, and 22 Flex-Fuel (E85 capable) vehicles. In 2008, the city achieved 5.7% water savings citywide, which equates to 3 million gallons saved. This is valued at an energy savings of $247,000 dollars.
What Actions Did Sacramento Take to Support Green Business?
The City is operating a pilot project that provides preferences for firms that show they operate in a sustainable fashion. Preferences are provided if firms meet certain energy independence criteria.
The City of Sacramento metro area decreased its per capita carbon footprint from residential and transportation uses by about 9% between 2000 and 2005, according to the Brookings Institution. By 2020, the City hopes to have most City operations be substantially fossil free. The City also aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 54,000 metric tons (equal to1990 levels), by 2020.
“Rather than just wait for things to naturally happen, we want to be a city that’s going out and seeking opportunity, clean technology, clean energy.” - Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
- Adopted Sustainability Implementation Plan, 2009
- Established LEED and Build It Green rating systems for City’s Green Building Program
- Converted 100 parking meter poles into bike parking devices in 2008
- Completed new bikeways for Downtown and H Street in East Sacramento
- Planted 4,000 new trees since 2005
- Retrofitted and rebatred 372 ultra-low flush and high efficiency toilets in 2008
- March 2007 Business Recycling Ordinance achieved 20% diversion of commercial waste
- Weekly curb side recycling reduced residential disposal by approximately 20%
- Increased curb side recycling from 12 tons per year to over 36 by converting from a three bin system to single stream recycling
- City Hall complex is among the top 5% of energy performers for large offices in nation
Annual Cost Savings:
- In 2008, achieved 5.7% water savings citywide, equates to 3 million gallons saved, valued at an energy savings of $247,000