Climate Action Planning in Santa Rosa
The City as a Leader in Climate Action
The City of Santa Rosa has a long-standing commitment to environmental protection and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The City’s Climate Action policies and strategies recognize the imperative to act and demonstrate a continued commitment to reducing GHG emissions. The City has and continues to actively implement GHG reduction measures to reduce emissions to meet local, regional, and State reduction targets.
On January 14, 2020, the City Council adopted Resolution NO. RES-2020-002 declaring a climate emergency and immediate mobilization to restore a safe climate. This Resolution committed the City to ongoing efforts related to climate change and GHG emission reductions through the implementation of Climate Action Subcommittee direction, the work of City departments, and collaboration with the Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA). The Climate Emergency Resolution includes a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
City Climate Action Planning Underway
The City is currently updating its General Plan. The General Plan plays the foundational role in regulating land use and contains goals, policies, and actions that together provide a roadmap for how Santa Rosa should prepare for and manage growth and change. Actions included in the General Plan can be viewed and used as an implementation program to guide City department work programs and budgeting.
The updated plan, called General Plan 2050 to reflect its planning horizon year, includes sustainability, equity, and resilience as key components of its vision statement. Chapters 3 and 5 of the General Plan delineate policies and actions regarding greenhouse gas reduction and climate resilience and safety respectively. To learn more about the General Plan 2050 project visit santarosaforward.com.
As part of the General Plan Update, the City is drafting a GHG Reduction Strategy which will update and replace the standalone Community-wide Climate Action Plan (CCAP). The GHG Reduction Strategy includes an updated GHG emissions inventory and will provide a comprehensive path to achieve carbon neutrality by incorporating quantifiable measures to reduce GHG emissions across Santa Rosa, both within City operations and communitywide. Learn more about the GHG Reduction Strategy at santarosaforward.com/Greenhouse-Gas-Reduction-Strategy.
Existing Climate Action Plans
- The Community-wide Climate Action Plan (CCAP), adopted in 2012, guides GHG reduction policies and activities at the community level. It consists of a citywide GHG emissions inventory, which separates activities that generate GHG emissions into sectors including vehicle transportation, building energy usage, water delivery systems and others. The CCAP also identifies GHG reduction measures for each of those sectors.
- The Municipal Climate Action Plan (MCAP) adopted in 2013, focuses on the GHG emissions associated with municipal facilities and operations including the municipal water distribution system, wastewater treatment activities, City buildings and facilities, public lighting, and vehicle fleet.
What You Can Do
- Reduce driving by walking, biking, riding public transit, and carpooling more
- Support local farmers and business to limit emissions for the transportation of your goods
- Plant trees, which absorb carbon monoxide, provide shade, and reduce the urban heat island effect
- Conserve wildlife and open space, so that plants can continue to absorb carbon monoxide and maintain healthy ecosystems
- Install solar or wind renewable energy sources
- Consider your travel
- Eat more plant-based foods
- Try to reduce your waste, including food, clothing, and plastics
- Rethink, Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle
- Plant native species
- Reduce electricity use
- Use more efficient appliances (EnergyStar)
- Use more energy efficient vehicles
Businesses and residents can also explore ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money by exploring the following resources and incentives.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) is a local public agency that procures electricity from a mix of renewable sources. SCP offers a range of energy efficiency and renewable energy options including but not limited to the following:
- Options for procuring 100% renewable electricity for businesses and residences, as well as other majority renewable energy services.
- Offers and Incentives
- The Advanced Energy Center offers home updates and education courses on a variety of sustainability and energy efficiency topics.
- DIY home tool-kits
- The Sonoma County Climate Action and Resiliency Division (CARD) serves Sonoma County residents, and businesses as a central clearinghouse of information about energy efficiency, water conservation and solar energy improvements, such as:
- Financing, Rebates and Incentives: Property owners can search for currently available rebates and incentives for the improvements they are planning here. As well as financing options through Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) here.
- PACE Financing: The County provides Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to property owners for energy efficiency, renewable generation and water conservation upgrades. Contractor Resources: Contractors can borrow tools from than online Building Performance Tool Lending Library, find out about education and training opportunities, participate in monthly contractor forums, and access an array of contractor-oriented information and resources.
- SCEIP List of Contractors: Search this list of contractors which includes independent business owners who have agreed to the Contractor Standards and Guidelines for the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program, and who have supplied information about their business, services, and qualifications to help plan and complete your residential or commercial project.
- The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) empowers Bay Area home and business owners by offering training opportunities, rebates and incentives that help lower bills and increase energy savings. Examples of past BayREN rebates include energy efficiency upgrades including air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, high efficiency water heaters and more. Check the BayREN website for current training, rebate, and incentive opportunities.
- Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) offers a wide variety of programs, rebates, incentives, and analyses to help customers save energy and money, such as:
- Tools to analyze your usage
- Savings solutions and rebates
- Energy savings programs
- Help paying your bills
- Resources for conservation and energy efficiency
- The U.S. Department of Energy supports several grant, loan, and financing programs. To learn about current opportunities, visit the Energy.gov website.
City residents and employees have many options for reducing GHG emissions from transportation and transit. The City is served by several transit providers, including:
Clipper Card provides discounts for Sonoma County transportation including:
- Discounted rides on transfer rides between Sonoma County Transit and other transit providers, including SMART, Santa Rosa CityBus, and Golden Gate Transit
- Discounts for youth, seniors, and those with disabilities
Go Sonoma offers multiple programs to assist and promote sustainable transportation for Sonoma County commuters including:
- The commuter rewards program which offers incentives for commuting to work via carpooling, public transit, biking, or walking. The program allows users to track their commute daily, find alternative routes or methods of transportation, and offers rewards,
- The Emergency Ride Home (ERH) Program provides eligible reimbursement of rides home in cases of a qualifying emergency for Sonoma County Residents, who utilize alternative transportation.
- Employer resources for creating incentives or programs within the workplace
Sonoma County Transit is FREE to all local college students with ID, including Sonoma State, Empire College, and SRJC, and children under five. Discounted fares are available for seniors, disabled riders, Medicare cardholders, and U.S veterans with valid ID.
Santa Rosa Junior College has partnered with Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, and Petaluma Transit to allow SRJC Students to ride for FREE by simply showing their virtual ID.
Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) has several programs to reduce GHGs (Green House Gas) from transportation, as well as provides qualified customers with free electric vehicle charging equipment for their home.
Federal and State agencies have multiple financial incentive programs to help residents buy hybrid or electric vehicles, including:
The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition’s Bike2it! Campaign supports residents in switching to bicycles for destinations within two miles. They also offer free bicycling workshops, valet bike parking, and other programs to support two-wheeled transportation.
Agriculture and Farming Resources
The California Department of Food and Agriculture and Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation offer many resources and incentives for farmers to implement in their production including:
- Programs for healthy soils, biodiversity, conservation, and pollinator habitats
- State Water Efficiency Enhancement Program (SWEEP)
- Alternative Manure Management Program (AAMP)
The Santa Rosa Water Department has several programs for residents and business owners to receive rebates for water efficiency upgrades. Be sure to check out the website for current programs and updates. Some key programs include:
- Free Water Smart Toilets
- Water Smart Rebates for a variety of home and garden water improvements
- Commercial rebates
- Informational resources on property water efficiency improvements
The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership provides informational resources related to water-efficient landscaping. The Partnership has publicly available landscape plan templates and planting guides for easy drought-tolerant landscape plan preparation and rainwater collection.
The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency is the joint powers authority of the nine incorporated Sonoma County cities and unincorporated county. The SCWMA coordinates a household toxics collection program countywide, and identifies facilities for special wastes like paint, electronics, fluorescent lights, and others.
Visit the Recology website for information about conventional recycling services as well as household battery and motor oil curbside collection.
Additional Resources and Partners
California Climate and GHG Legislation
- Berkeley Law's California Climate Policy Dashboard
- California Climate Commitment (2022)
- Climate Change - California Air Resource Board
- California Environmental Quality Act guidelines
- AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
- SB 32 (2016) and SB 1383 (2016) California State Air Resources Board Responsibility (UC Davis)
- SB 350 Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (2015)