Solarize Santa Ynez Valley

Solar panels installed during a previous Solarize Santa Ynez Valley program provide power to a home. 

Contributed photo

After adopting Santa Barbara County's Energy and Climate Action Plan in spring 2015, the Board of Supervisors will hear a report Tuesday documenting progress made toward the county's 2020 emissions reduction goal.

The 59-page progress report is the first developed by a sustainability committee appointed by the supervisors after the board adopted the plan. The committee is tasked with implementing, monitoring and reporting on the county's greenhouse gases reduction strategies identified in the document.

The Energy and Climate Action Plan targets a 15-percent reduction below 2007 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to be in line with California's Assembly Bill 32 through actions such as upgrading the county's vehicle fleet with newer, less polluting vehicles and encouraging business participation in Food Scraps Collection Program.

Other actions that can be taken to reach the county's goal, as identified in the report, include promoting homeowner participation in alternative energy programs, such as emPower Central Coast and Solarize.

On-road transportation at 44 percent and building energy use at 30 percent are the largest greenhouse gas emissions contributors in the county.

According to the report, absent implementation of the plan, the county's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decline to 1 percent below 2007 levels by 2020, which is attributable to state-level policies, such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard increasing the amount of the state's electricity that comes from renewable sources.

The county's plan is designed to close the remaining 14-percent gap.

The report also notes the county and community have made progress in implementing the Energy and Climate Action Plan, "having achieved an estimated 16 percent of the 2020 GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions reductions target," but more work will be needed.

"With three years remaining, efforts will need to be accelerated to reach the 2020 goal," the report reads. "Several emissions reduction measures (ERMs) require additional resources to make progress, and some ERMs likely will not be achieved without additional action due to changes in priorities and unforeseen delays since the ... (plan) was adopted in 2015."

The supervisors will meet at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Building, Board Hearing Room, fourth floor, 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. The meeting can be viewed online at

The committee's report can be read online at Click on the link for "Attachment No. 2."

April Charlton covers Santa Barbara County for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter@WordsDawn



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