Power of the Plan: Energy Action Plans

For many of us, it makes sense to always have a plan: a work plan for completing your weekly and monthly task assignments, a financial plan to put us on track for a comfortable retirement, or even a training plan for how you are going to complete your first marathon. Planning is an important activity that can help ensure that you will achieve your goals, and provides a sensible and effective way of getting there. Here at Sierra Business Council we believe that effective planning can lead to even more effective action.

COMM BG Blog Loomis 2014 08Our Climate Planning staff has recently completed the development of Energy Action Plans and Strategic Energy Resource Reports for 5 Sierra Nevada local governments. These documents lay out simple and cost-effective strategies for these local governments to decrease energy use within their communities, which is necessary in meeting California’s strict greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. And these targets have recently become more aggressive by way of Executive Order B-30-15 aiming to reduce California’s emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The plans contain strategies that utilize existing programs and opportunities within local policy to provide the most cost-effective actions for community members to voluntarily participate in to reduce their energy use. And as we know, every kWh reduced can be putting $dollars$ back in our wallets. One of these existing programs is Sierra Nevada Energy Watch, implemented by SBC and administered by PG&E, which helps small and medium sized business owners upgrade their facilities to reduce energy use and save money on their energy bills. Some of these SNEW projects were highlighted as case studies and used as examples when presenting the plans to elected officials. The City Council Members and County Supervisors found it easy to say yes to a plan that promoted and increased the community’s participation in a program that can reduce their monthly energy bill and in some cases has a simple payback of under 1 year.

We are looking for cities and counties who would like to develop an energy action plan in 2016, so if your jurisdiction does not already have a plan for reducing their energy use, please ask them to give us a call. We can help!