Sonora Setting Itself Apart This Spring With Energy Action 

Spring is in full bloom here at SBC and the Climate Planning department is excited to invite you along to witness the “budding” of the newest Energy Action Plan (EAP) in the City of Sonora!

SBC’s Climate Planning team met with Sonora’s Community Development Department staff and City Administrator earlier in May to discuss the process of developing the plan, engaging the community, and implementation scenarios should the City accept the plan.

COMM Sonora 2016 11In addition to being the 10th jurisdiction that SBC has engaged with to create an EAP, the City of Sonora is in a particularly unique position that highlights their commitment to energy efficiency and their community. Why, you ask?

Well, the City of Sonora receives its electricity from the Tuolumne Public Power Agency (TPPA) – a joint powers authority formed in 1983 that provides electricity to local government agencies at a very low cost. Therefore, the City itself does not pay into the same “Public Purpose Fund” that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and other large Investor Owned Utility (IOU) customers do; however, there are a significant number of PG&E customers who live and do business in Sonora city limits.

The Public Purpose Fund (sometimes known as the Public Goods Charge) is a small percentage of ratepayer bills that collectively forms a pot of money that goes back into communities via energy efficiency programs – programs designed to serve a good purpose for the public that pays into it.

Why then would the City engage with a program that they do not directly pay into?

I believe the answer lies in the commitment of the City to its constituents, both those served by PG&E and other utilities. Additionally, the City is receiving the plan and its valuable development process at no cost, thanks to the Public Goods Charge. If the plan is implemented, the outcome would optimally result in reduced energy use and cost savings throughout the community. Reduced costs and increased self-sufficiency very simply boils down to money savings that can be put back into the local economy. Even when the City government does not pay into the program that makes Energy Action Plans possible, it is a win-win for all involved. Upholding our own mission to foster community vitality, environmental quality, economic prosperity and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with a diligent and engaged staff dedicated to ensuring the community of Sonora realizes this value.

If you are a Sonora resident or business owner, the Climate Planning team and the City would love to hear from you. Please provide your input via an easy online survey …or in person at the upcoming EAP Study Session Workshop being held at the City’s Planning Commission meeting:
Monday, June 12th at 5:30pm. City Hall, 2nd floor 94 Washington St. Sonora, CA

Feel free to contact Kriselda Bautista for more information: