Sonoma County Water Agency Achieves Climate Registry Platinum Status
May 7, 2012 - PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Amy Bolten, Public Information Officer, (707) 547-1981, (707) 322-8156
(Santa Rosa, CA) - The nation’s leading verifier of carbon emission inventories has recognized the Sonoma County Water Agency as a Climate Registered Platinum member. Platinum status is the highest achievement level recognized by the Registry and the Water Agency is one of three entities nationwide to receive the recognition.
According to Chairwoman Shirlee Zane, “We are thrilled to be recognized for our leadership and aggressive approach to reducing emissions at the Water Agency. It is a great honor to be one of only three entities nationwide who have achieved this ranking.”
Platinum status is open to entities that can meet three requirements: 1) Adoption of a carbon reduction plan, 2) achieve greater than 20% reduction in emissions and 3) demonstrate implementation of five or more best practices for climate protection. The Water Agency actually exceeds the best practices requirements through implementation of the following:
- Energy Audit/Evaluation: The Water Agency monitors all energy use on an annual basis to measure energy use compared to prior years.
- Financing: In partnership with the County of Sonoma, the Water Agency launched the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program which finances energy and water efficiency retrofits, as well as renewable energy, on private buildings.
- Building Energy Efficiency: The Water Agency’s administration building has been retrofitted with window film, LED installation and high efficiency lighting. In addition, the Water Agency is implementing energy efficient geothermal heat pumps for air conditioning needs in its new buildings.
- Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Fuels: 2 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic systems have been installed on Water Agency’s property to offset operational electricity use. In addition, the Water Agency purchases renewable power generated from a 2.6 MW hydroelectric dam and the Meacham Road Landfill gas to electricity project.
- Water and Wastewater Systems: A broad range of water conservation programs and rebates have been developed and implemented through the Water Agency including direct install retrofits, appliance rebates and programs for homes, businesses and agriculture.
- Efficient Transportation: 22% of the Water Agency’s 147 vehicle fleet are hybrid or electric vehicles. In addition 13 electric vehicle charging stations have been installed at the Agency’s properties.
“The Sonoma County Water Agency has made amazing progress towards its goal of carbon-free water by 2015, and we are thrilled to be recognized for our innovative progress,” said Water Agency Director Efren Carrillo. “We will continue to be on the cutting edge of best practices for climate protection in and around Sonoma County.”
Although the bar for Platinum Status was a 20% reduction in emissions, the Water Agency reported emissions reductions of 56% between 2007 and 2010. These emissions reduction are the result of reducing both electricity use and vehicle fuel use as well as utilizing renewable energy sources. The Water Agency has reduced its emissions from its electricity use alone by 67% since 2007.
In compliance with the Water Agency’s Energy Policy and Carbon Free Water by 2015 goal, the Agency is striving to achieve a carbon neutral energy supply by 2015. For more information about the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Energy Policy or Carbon Free Water by 2015 program please visit http://www.scwa.ca.gov/carbon-free-water/.
The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment. The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at www.sonomacountywater.org.