City looking to become more energy-efficient

Federal stimulus money will go toward retrofits of public buildings.

July 08, 2010|By Melanie Hicken,

CTY HALL — The City Council this week authorized city planners to create a plan to guide increased energy efficiency and conservation at public facilities.

The plan is required as part of the city's receipt of $1.88 million in federal stimulus funding for energy-efficient retrofits of city buildings and public education efforts.

On Tuesday, council members allocated up to $160,000 for a temporary employee who would help create the plan. Money for the position, which is funded for a year, comes from federal stimulus funding and state fees charged to all utility customers.


The Community Planning Department will create the plan, but other city departments will be involved in the process, officials said.

"Everyone needs to look at green alternatives within their own budget," said Councilman Frank Quintero.

Officials said the plan will also help the city meet state climate change laws by compiling a greenhouse-gas inventory and strategies to reduce the emissions.

The plan will also include existing city policies, officials said.

"A lot of our policies, such as the Downtown Specific Plan, have policies that are based on basically green principles," Principal Planner Laura Stotler said. "We want to use this as an opportunity to put all of our existing policies into one document."

The plan is separate from the green building standards the City Council is expected to consider later this year.

"That's next on the agenda," Quintero said. "And that will be another step forward in improving our sustainability."

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