A statewide survey of regional environmental factors found that Santa Barbara County residents enjoyed the shortest commute time of any of the 26 California regional zones studied. Our region also had the second lowest consumption of electricity, the seventh highest number of public transportation trips travelled (per capita), and the eighth highest number of green technology patents secured.
Santa Barbara ranked 12th in terms of number of clean vehicle rebates, but when it came to commercial, industrial, and residential solar use, Santa Barbara ranked 25th, 14th, and 20th respectively. In terms of solar installations, Santa Barbara lagged significantly behind Santa Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.
The survey, known as California’s Green Index, has been produced each year for the past nine years by the environmentally minded nonprofit Next 10, which explores the relationship between emission reductions and economic growth. According to this year’s results, California’s economy continues to thrive despite a host of climate change-driven emissions restrictions.