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City of Berkeley Efforts to Redu

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					City of Berkeley Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In 1998 the City adopted a goal of reducing community-wide GHG emissions by 15 percent by 2010. The City of Berkeley was one of the nation’s first cities to adopt the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. This symbolic statement has been backed up by a concerted effort to be a national and international model in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency Berkeley has taken the lead in reducing the energy use and environmental impacts through a series of green building efforts. • • Green City Buildings. The City adopted a requirement that all new/remodeled municipal buildings must be built to the LEED Silver standard. Sustainable Development Requirements. The City instituted a permit fee to fund sustainable development efforts and a green building coordinator. The City also requires all major projects to go through a green building review. Created Build It Green. The City helped create the BIG, a non-profit service agency to assist developers and homeowners with green building advice, technical assistance, referrals, and other services. At last count, there were over 75 buildings in the city that were identified as “green.” Created Office of Energy and Sustainable Development. In 2004, the City created the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development to coordinate our efforts to reduce energy use while building a sustainable economy. Residential Energy Requirements. The City instituted a “Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance” (RECO) that requires all homes or apartment buildings that are sold or are undergoing major renovation to meet strict energy and water efficiency requirements. Free Residential Energy Retrofits. The City offers free weatherization services through the LIHEAP and California Youth Energy Services programs (CYES work is done by local high school students). Platinum Green Building. The City is subsidizing the creation of the “David Brower Center” – a LEED platinum level office building in Downtown Berkeley.

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Green Business Development The City has identified over 200 sustainable businesses and organizations in Berkeley. The City is taking concrete steps to build on that success and put “green” at the center of our economic development strategy. • Mayor’s Sustainable Business Working Group. Mayor Bates created the Mayor’s Sustainable Business Working Group. Over 100 business, community, city, and university representatives helped create an Action Plan to grow Berkeley’s green economy.

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Small Business Retrofits. The City of Berkeley partnered with PG&E and Oakland to create Smart Lights, a program to retrofit small businesses with better, more efficient lighting. Smart Lights pays for 50-70% of project costs, provides free expert inspections and analysis, and handles all the paperwork. Over 1,200 businesses have made use of this service, saving them over $450,000 a year in energy costs. Sustainable Berkeley. The City is supporting the development of Sustainable Berkeley, an organization of local businesses, organizations, and institutions dedicated to greening Berkeley’s economy.

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Transportation The City of Berkeley has pursued significant efforts to reduce emissions from its own fleet and to provide alternative transportation options. • City Car Share Partnership. Under a partnership with City CarShare, the City retired 10 of its fleet vehicles and has replaced them with 5 hybrid cars operated by City CarShare. City employees have exclusive access to those cars during business hours, Monday-Friday. During the evenings and on weekends, any member of City CarShare may reserve one of the cars for their own use. Free Bus Passes, Transit Incentives. All City of Berkeley employees receive a free bus pass for the east bay’s bus system and subsidies for use with BART or other transit operators. Clean Air Fleet. Berkeley was the first in the nation to convert its entire fleet of diesel vehicles (from garbage trucks to street sweepers) to biodiesel fuel. The City also operates numerous hybrid, CNG, and electric vehicles. Low Energy Traffic Signals. The City has converted 100% of its traffic signals to energy efficient LED systems, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs and reducing the need for maintenance. Bicycle Boulevard Network. Berkeley created a network of bicycle boulevards to provide bicyclists with clearly marked and safe routes throughout the City.

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Clean Energy Investments • City Facilities. With recent energy efficiency improvements on City-owned facilities, the City of Berkeley is currently saving 2.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity, and 37,520 therms of heat (primarily natural gas) annually. This amounts to a savings of more than $370,000 of taxpayer' money annually. It also s reduced carbon emissions by more than 1,200 tons per year. Solar Power. The City has installed solar power at one of Berkeley’s public pools and the City’s corporation yard.

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Local Power Purchasing. Berkeley has partnered with several neighboring cities to work on creating a local power-purchasing cooperative. Called Community Choice Aggregation, this initiative would give local governments the authority to invest in more green power than is currently being purchased by the regional electric utility.

Greening Berkeley • Planting Trees. The City of Berkeley currently owns and cares for 36,000 trees, not including those on private property. That number increased by approximately 300 trees per year as part of an ambitious planting schedule. Zero Waste by 2020. Berkeley adopted a goal of reducing the amount of waste going to landfills to zero by 2020. Environmental Purchasing Requirements. Berkeley adopted purchasing requirements to ensure that all cleaning and other supplies meet strict environmental guidelines. Chicago Climate Exchange. Berkeley has joined the Chicago Climate Exchange, the nation’s first carbon emissions “cap and trade” program. Membership requires the City to reduce its emissions every year or buy carbon credits to make up the difference. This ensures verifiable monitoring and reporting of the City’s progress in reducing carbon emissions.

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posted:12/15/2009
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