Local Government Assistance
The Energy Commission and other state agencies can help California's cities, counties, and regional planning organizations deal with their energy problems. The links below lead to a number of Energy Commission programs that encourage energy efficiency, help to cut down on the number of vehicle miles traveled, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Public Programs Office
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding (ARRA)
- California Energy Assurance Planning
- Competitive ARRA Energy Solicitations
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG)
- Local Energy and Land Use Assistance
- New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) Program
- State Energy Program (SEP)
- Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings
With loans and grants, the Energy Commission promotes energy efficiency not only in local government buildings but in schools and hospitals, as well as agricultural, industrial, and water treatment facilities.
Through the federal stimulus program the US government is awarding funds to encourage energy efficiency improvements, expand renewable energy sources, create and retain jobs, and promote economic growth and competitiveness. The Energy Commission is administering these programs:
With loans and grants, California's State Energy Program (SEP) is focused on increasing energy efficiency to reduce energy costs and consumption, cut reliance on imported energy, and shrink energy impacts on the environment. The program also includes $20 million for Green Jobs training, the development of a clean energy workforce in California.
At least 60 percent of the funding is targeted at small cities and counties for cost-effective energy efficiency projects.
The Energy Commission is helping the state and local governments prepare for energy emergencies. Training will ensure the integrity of the region's electrical grid, especially important in the new era of smart grid technology and cyber-security.
Competitive ARRA Energy Solicitations ($62 billion nationwide)
The Energy Commission is committed to capturing as much competitive funding as possible for the state through energy programs, tax credits and financial incentives. In some cases the Energy Commission can provide cost-sharing support through AB 118 funding.
The ways we design our cities directly affects with amounts of energy we use and the amounts of greenhouse gases that we generate. These land-use decisions take place at the local level but greatly influence the way Californians live and work.
Increasingly, local and regional governments are called to reduce the vehicle miles travelled by their citizens in order to meet the state's goals to reduce emissions. To battle global climate change, California must begin reversing its current two percent annual growth rate of vehicle miles traveled, and research shows that increasing a community's density and its accessibility to job centers are the two most significant factors for reducing vehicle miles traveled.
The Energy Commission is one of the state agencies providing help to local and regional governments and planning agencies striving to make energy efficiency choices through better land-use planning. Our Smart Growth & Land Use Planning section offers plans, tools, guidebooks, technical advice, and incentives that can help to make California cities more livable and efficient.
California has some of the most stringent building codes in the nation, and building officials at the local level are the ones who enforce them.
California builders must comply with rigorous energy efficiency standards as set forth in Title 24 Section 6 of the state's building codes. Section 6 of Title 24 establishes minimum energy efficiency standards, but some cities and counties have chosen to require even more stringent local codes.
The state's building efficiency standards -- along with ones for energy efficient appliances -- have saved Californians more than $56 billion in electricity and natural gas costs since 1978. These savings depend on the cooperation and enforcement of local governments and local building officials.
The Energy Commission also offers online training for local building officials and how-to videos about the Title 24 efficiency Standards at the Online Learning Center - www.title24learning.com/.
The Step-by-Step Guide for Local Governments to Go Solar is a "tool-kit" prepared for California cities and counties interested in encouraging energy efficient homes in their communities. It contains a variety of resources such as specific options for local government action, information about new legislation that helps local government finance solar energy installations and case studies from cities around the state. The website page contains Model Ordinances and Resolutions, NSHP Education and Outreach Materials, and Additional Resources.
- 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (See Chapter 8)
- California Air Resources Board Local Government Protocols for Greenhouse Gas Assessments
- California Association of Councils of Governments
- California Building Standards Commission
- California Land-Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN)
- California Solar Permitting Guidebook from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research
- California State Parks - Office of Historic Preservation
- Institute for Local Government - Resources, Tools, and Technical Assistance
- Land Use Subgroup of the Climate Action Team
- Local Government Commission - Ahwanee Principles
- Local Government Environmental Assitance Network (LGEAN)
- National Association of Counties Land Use Planning Assistance
- New Solar Homes Partnership Program Local Government Toolkit