zero carbon


Carbon-Free Home
August 22nd
5:30 pm-7:00 pm    

Yes, it's possible: Carbon-Free Homes are being built in Central California. Be one of the first to see a working prototype during our next Green Building Tour.

Unique features of this home include passive house design features, a solar system covering all electric needs of the residents with charging capacity for two electric cars, and a layout flexible for multi-generational living. 

Join this cutting-edge project's developer and architect on August 22nd from 5:30-7pm for a tour of this exciting new home which is an example of Central Valley living being part of a carbon free future.

Space is limited. SIGN UP EARLY

Our members and sponsors make our work possible. Join us to become part of our continuing support base and save at events all year long. Questions? Please contact


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Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are you wEEkly updates:

News and Announcements

1. Updated Version of the Proposition 39 (K-12) Snapshot is Now Online

Updated version of the Prop 39 K-12 program snapshot is now online measuring expenditures, estimated annual energy savings, and GHG reductions. More information on Prop 39 (California Clean Energy Jobs Act) can found here.

2. Multi-family Solar Development Webinar

Informational webinar which will provide background about the goals of the Virtual Net Metering Market Development Project supported by the Center for Sustainable Energy. Learn more about Virtual Net Metering and solar for multifamily dwellings here.

3. RFP: Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP)

Notice of Intent to Award is Today! The Low-Income Weatherization Program is an energy efficiency program administered by California Department of Community Services and Development to install a variety of energy efficiency measures, solar photovoltaics and solar water heater systems on low-income households located in disadvantaged communities.

4. Getting to Zero Carbon in Menlo Park: A Northern California Suburb Revamps Its Approach to the Built Environment

“…small cities have an important leadership role to play on climate action, because they account for more emissions and represent a larger share of the population than big cities.”

5. San Diego’s Climate Action Plan Making Progress—And Creating Jobs

Highlighting the impact and progress of the city of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, not only providing environmental benefits but also improving the economy.

Reports and Resources

6. Integrated Emissions Visualization Tool

ARB has developed an integrated emissions visualization tool (IEVT) that allows users to locate and view emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and criteria pollutants from large facilities in California. ARB is looking for feedback from the public and others users on this initial version of the IEVT.

7. Updated Cap-and-Trade Funding Guidelines

The Air Resources Board has published the Funding Guidelines Supplement for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 Funds. The Supplement includes updated disadvantaged community investment targets for all FY 2016-17 budget appropriations and also provides criteria todetermine whether projects funded by the new FY 2016-17 appropriations will provide benefits to disadvantaged communities.

8. Draft 2015 SCE Home Energy Efficiency Survey Evaluation Report

The report is posted for public comment and review on the CPUC Public Document Area here. (Search: “Draft 2015 SCE HEES” ). Or you can click the title above to view the report directly.

Career Opportunities

9. Energy Specialist, San Francisco

The City and County of San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) is seeking an Energy Specialist who will assist in monitoring, evaluating, and implementing projects, programs and policies focused on Distributed Energy Resources including energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy storage and zero emission vehicles.

10. Energy Manager, San Francisco (Job ID: 6317)

San Francisco State University is seeking an Energy Manager to establish the campus as a national leader in sustainability and energy management. This position will provide a forward thinking energy professional with an opportunity to use the campus as a living laboratory to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote renewable energy.

11. Chief Executive Officer, Yolo County

The County of Yolo is conducting a recruitment on behalf of The Valley Clean Energy Alliance for the Chief Executive Officer position.

That's all for today! Cheers and have a great weekend!

Can number 10 save the environment?

The date 10/10/10 generates a number of concepts -- coolness, binary code, even fractals and chaos theory.

"Most predictions and opinions concerning 10/10/10 are based on or rooted in its mathematical uniqueness as a number," writes paradigmsearch.

But for, the concept is extremely concrete. That's the day the campaign, which was organized to urge a worldwide movement to reduce atmospheric carbon, wants people to launch serious efforts to combat climate change.

"This October we're organizing a 'global work party' all over the world," the website says. "People will put up solar panels, dig community gardens--and send a strong message to our leaders: 'If we can get to work on solutions to the climate crisis, so can you.'"'s site has a number of components. One explains the concept: Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity.

However, the atmosphere is currently saddled with about 390 ppm, and bad air days are as common in the San Joaquin Valley as they are in the heat-scorched East Coast this summer, which has coal-fired power plants working at full steam to keep up with air conditioning demands. functions as a web-based platform to organize, educate and help develop projects. It offers ideas, helps people communicate and offers contacts with others planning projects.

For instance, author and clean energy activist Bill McKibben and a team from Unity College are planning a road trip next week to the White House to encourage President Obama to restore the solar panels put atop the world's most famous residence by former President Jimmy Carter.

McKibben, founder of, put it this way: "All around the country and the world people will be putting up solar panels and digging community gardens and laying out bike paths. Not because we can stop climate change one bike path at a time, but because we need to make a sharp political point to our leaders: we’re getting to work, what about you?

"We need to shame them, starting now. And we need everyone working together."

Strong words. Yet, the effort to embrace energy efficiency and alternative energy has expanded greatly in the past few years with major corporations, both U.S. political parties and mom and pop businesses joining J.Q. Public.

We'll keep you posted.

Photo: Spiral Galaxy courtesy

Studies: More Smog, Less H20 Possible In California

Climate change will increase pollution levels and decrease water supplies in portions of the San Joaquin Valley, according to two just-released reports.

If both are true, the ramifications of climate change bode ill for residents of the Valley, which already has some of the worst air pollution in the nation and is one of the top farming regions in the world.

In one Air Resources Board report, scientists at Universities of California at Davis and Berkeley found that California by 2050 could experience as many as six to 30 more days with ozone concentrations that exceed federal clean-air standards.

The study also predicts that peak concentrations of dangerous airborne particles will increase in the San Joaquin Valley as climate change affects wind patterns. "Now we have scientific evidence that higher temperatures are hurting our lungs," Air Resources Board Chairperson Mary D. Nichols said in a statement released with the report.

The new study provides evidence of what is called "climate penalty" - where rising temperatures increase ground-level ozone and airborne particles, despite achievements by programs targeting smog-forming emissions from cars, trucks and industry.

"Climate change and regional air pollution are intertwined problems," added Dr. Michael J. Kleeman of UC, Davis. "We must consider climate change and air pollution together as we plan for the future."

The researchers merged results of large-scale global models with detailed models for the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley. One positive note: The study found that climate could decrease particulate matter concentratiosn in coastal California.

Still, it's not good news for the San Joaquin Valley, where childhood asthma rates are among the highest in the nation.

If that study isn't bad enough, there's another equally depressing report. This one, released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, says a study by Tetra Tech concluded that climate change could increase the risk of severe water shortages in 48 of California's 58 counties - including most in the central San Joaquin Valley - by 2050.

Those at-risk counties produce some $21.5 billion worth of crops, with farmers in Fresno County contributing $5 billion to that total.

The report uses publicly available water-use data and climate projections from models used in recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change work to evaluate water withdrawals. "The analysis shows...over one out of three U.S. counties facing greater risks of water shortages," said Dan Lashof, director of the climate center at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The report noted that already in some areas, including parts of California, water use exceeds supply.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.
(Graphic from

Clean energy policy could generate huge economic dividends, study says

The federal government could generate as many as 2.5 million jobs and $134 billion in economic activity in the next decade if it were to adopt clean energy policies and establish limits on greenhouse gases, a new report said today.

The report, aptly titled "Energy Policy Report: Impacts of Comprehensive Climate and Energy Policy Options on the U.S. Economy," based its conclusions on climate policies developed by 16 states. The report was created by the Center for Climate Strategies and published with Johns Hopkins University. It calls for "adoption of 23 specific policy approaches that have the potential to reduce pollution, are cost-effective, and improve energy, health, environment, and economic development."

"The economic analysis of these plans ... indicates that these stakeholder-recommended policies can, if designed properly, actually spur the economy, create jobs and reduce energy prices while significantly reducing emissions," the report says.

California, which has developed its own greenhouse gas reduction policy, the Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB 32, was not included in the list. However, its policies already have had effects, prompting utilities to snap up renewable power contracts to meet benchmarks established by the law, subsequently spurring growth in wind and solar installations.

"Several states have pioneered creation of comprehensive state climate action plans in recent years," said Tom Peterson, president and CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies, in a statement. "Our analysis provides the first clear indication of what would happen to the economy if such programs were adopted at the federal level."

The policies specified by Center for Climate Strategies include adopting crop production techniques to enhance greenhouse gas savings, increasing methane production from livestock waste, maintaining and replanting forests, enhancing recycling, capturing methane from landfills, adding nuclear power, capturing carbon, improving coal plant emissions, upgrading building codes, adding energy efficiency retrofits to buildings, creating biofuel standards and others. Policies would mean targeted funding, tax and price incentives, reform of codes and standards, technical assistance, information and education, reporting and disclosure and voluntary and negotiated agreements.

"These results may sound surprising to some, but detailed analysis shows opportunities for well-chosen policies to expand the economy," said Adam Rose of University of Southern California, a principal author of the study.

The report won the endorsement of Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA chief and New Jersey governor, who said, the "findings substantiate that advanced climate actions are essential to establishing a stable and strong economy, using clean energy sources, including renewables and nuclear power, as the primary drivers, long into the future." Whitman is co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, a proponent of nuclear energy.

Photo: One of Visalia's new buses that runs on compressed natural gas. Incentives would include upgrading fleets to reduce pollutants.

Norway tops zero-carbon index, U.S. improves

Norway topped the list of countries developing a zero-carbon environment, according to a recently released study.

The study by London-based Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showed Brazil in second place and the United Kingdom in third. China and Australia filled out the top five, tying for fourth place. The institute commissioned the the Environment Institute at University College London to develop the Global Zero Carbon Capacity Index, which seeks to gauge progress made toward "decarbonised built environment at the national level."

The United States came in at No. 25, just behind Mexico at No. 24.

The index measures energy consumption in residential, industry and transportation; the share of renewable energy in terms of total production; and policies that promote "zero-carbon
built environments."

"Governments must provide incentives and implement initiatives to create a zero-carbon built environment," said Stephen Brown, the institute's head of research, to

The study highlighted the importance of energy efficiency retrofits in buildings. It cited statistics from the International Energy Association, which said, buildings consume 40 percent of total energy demand today and will account for 30 percent of projected growth between now and 2050.

The rest of the rankings look like this: New Zealand No. 6, India No. 7, Austria No. 8, Germany No. 9 and Sweden No. 10.

"The countries that have made the greatest improvements in their ranking are the Slovak Republic, France, Germany and USA," said Yvonne Rydin, the report's author. "However, the absolute improvement in Index score for
the USA is less than that for the other countries, reflecting less movement in the individual indicators."