The Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative honored the City of Santa Barbara with three Beacon Spotlight Awards for the city’s efforts to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability. The awards were presented on October 1st during the 2015 League of California Cities Annual Conference. Santa Barbara received the following awards:
• Platinum Beacon Spotlight Award for 26% Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions
• Platinum Beacon Spotlight Award for Sustainability Best Practices
• Silver Beacon Spotlight Award for 7% Natural Gas Savings
Santa Barbara also received a gold level Beacon Spotlight Award in 2013, for 14% Agency Energy Savings.
To achieve these impressive reductions, the City upgraded its lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning units (HVAC) in City facilities to more energy efficient models. An engine cogeneration facility converts methane from the wastewater treatment plant to electricity. A hydroelectric plant was also reactivated to generate electricity through water received from the Gibraltor Reservoir via Mission Tunnel. These energy efficiency and renewable energy projects reduce electricity use, saving over $540,000 on the City’s annual electric bill and earning over $200,000 in annual revenue from energy added to Southern California Edison’s power grid.
According to Mayor Helene Schneider, “The Beacon Awards recognize the efforts of the City organization and community to use less energy, generate less waste, protect our natural resources, and prepare for potential impacts of climate change.”
“The City of Santa Barbara is implementing sustainability measures that save money and conserve resources. As a result, the city is creating a more vibrant, healthy and prosperous community for its residents,” Martin Gonzalez, Director, Institute for Local Government.
The Institute for Local Government is the nonprofit research and education affiliate of the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California Special Districts Association.
For more details on the City’s environmental programs and achievements, visit the City’s website.
Photo of Mayor Helene Schneider and City Administrator Paul Casey accepting the Beacon Awards.