ENERGY ACTION PLAN FOR SIERRA COUNTY

Sierra Business Council and Sierra County release Public Review Draft of the County’s Energy Action Plan

Downieville, Calif. – Sierra Business Council (SBC) and Sierra County have released the Public Review Draft of the County’s Energy Action Plan (EAP) and invite you to join us for a Planning Commission meeting on October 13th, 2016 at 10am at the Sierra County Courthouse, Board of Supervisors Chambers, 100 Courthouse Sq., Downieville, CA to learn about the EAP and provide public comment. The County has partnered with SBC to develop strategies for increasing energy efficiency in the unincorporated county that will result in reduced emissions and lower energy bills.

The strategies are augmented by concrete measures the County can readily implement within a reasonable timeframe. The strategies and implementing actions not only result in reduced emissions but also money saved on energy bills. Additional benefits include greater selfsufficiency in terms of local energy generation and use, potential to spur new business and boost the local economy, and possible access to funding for energy efficiency projects. There are five energy reduction focus areas: existing structures, new construction, renewable energy, municipal operations and water energy. The EAP is available for review at the Sierra County Planning Department website under Current Planning Projects, here: SIERRA COUNTY ENERGY ACTION PLAN.

For development of the EAP, input was widely sought within the County to help shape its content and ensure the document is relevant and realistic. The public outreach strategy included an online survey and a community study session hosted by the Sierra County Planning Commission (June 8, 2016). The online survey was kept open from April 4th, 2016 to June 27th, 2016 and received 34 responses.

It’s a huge achievement that Sierra County has taken the first steps in understanding the community’s energy use. Reducing a community’s demand on the energy grid helps lighten the load on the local electricity grids and reduce the need to import electricity from outside the region. Being more energy efficient also reduces the amount of money spent on utility bills, making housing more affordable while freeing up money that can be better spent within the local economy.

Sierra Business Council (SBC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit fostering thriving communities in the Sierra Nevada via “on-the-ground” projects that promote social, natural and economic capital. Information on SBC’s projects can be found at www.sierrabusiness.org. This program is funded by California utility rate-payers and administered by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.