Programmatic Efforts

    The Sonoma County Water Agency is currently participating in several programs in order to facilitate the reduction of the carbon footprint of our water supply and operations. In addition, the Sonoma County Water Agency is working on a national level to leverage its existing pioneering efforts with those of other communities to develop legislation and more in depth programs to empower local governments to achieve similar goals.   

    Applied Solutions

    Applied Solutions is a group of counties and cities across the country who are working to develop replicable, integrated, and sustainable community infrastructure projects. These communities are developing infrastructure that achieves four goals: 1) reduces water use; 2) reduces energy use; 3) reduces petroleum-based single-car transportation; and 4) reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Workshops are held yearly at member cities around the country to share ideas, best practices and "what works and what doesn't". The Agency is one of the founding members and is very active in the development of the program. For more information, visit the Applied Solutions website.

    Energy Efficiency Behavioral Change Study

    Changing Behavior for a Better Environment was prepared by the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy for the Sonoma County Water Agency to investigate best practices for stimulating energy efficiency action among citizens of Sonoma County. The study sought to answer the question: What makes people change their behavior to improve energy efficiency? Reviewing case studies around the world, the study explores policy design and implementation and the potential application to Sonoma County. The report offers recommendations such as stacking behavior change strategies and collecting feedback as ways to successfully implement an energy efficiency program efficiency in Sonoma County. For the full assessment, please read Changing Behavior for a Better Environment.

    Energy Efficiency Study

    Sonoma County Biomass Feasibility Study

    The Water Agency conducted a feasibility assessment of converting Water Agency produced woody biomass to electric power. The assessment evaluates several alternative renewable energy technologies on the following criteria: lifecycle cost, maximize energy efficiency, minimize air pollutant emissions, maximize feedstock availability, and maximize system modularity. The assessment suggests that biomass gasification would be a viable alternative for the agency to produce electric power. The assessment also provides a detailed benefit-cost analysis for a pilot-scale system at three possible sites in Sonoma County. For more information, please read the assessment, Feasibility of Using Residual Woody Biomass to Generate Electricity for Sonoma County.

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    Bay Area Green Business Certification

    The Bay Area Green Business Program is a partnership of environmental agencies and utilities. This partnership recognizes and certifies the efforts of businesses that protect, preserve, and sustain the environment. It also offers incentives and verifies that members conserve energy and water, minimize waste, prevent pollution, and shrink their carbon footprints. The agency received its certification on April 22, 2008. For more information, visit the Bay Area Green Business website.

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    The Climate Registry

    Since 2007, the Agency has registered its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the California Climate Action Registry, which is a program of the Climate Action Reserve. This program serves as a voluntary greenhouse gas registry to protect and promote early actions to reduce GHG emissions by organizations. By registering its emissions annually, the Agency is able to track its performance in reducing its emissions. By establishing baseline data on its performance, the Agency will be able to take credit for the reductions in its GHG emissions when regulations on the water industry take effect. In addition, performing a GHG inventory can illuminate areas where further reductions can take place. The Water Agency was recognized as a Climate Registered Platinum member by the nation's leading verifier of carbon emission inventories. Platinum status is the highest achievement level recognized by the Climate Action Registry and the Water Agency is one of three entities nationwide to receive the recognition. For more information, visit the California Climate Action Registry website.

    Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP)

    The County of Sonoma partnered with the Agency to launch this innovative program in late March 2009. SCEIP is a financing mechanism through the County to help home and building owners finance energy and water efficiency retrofits, as well as installation of renewable energy systems. The financing is repaid through the property tax system. As of march 2011, over $43MM has been disbursed to 1,367 projects to fund efficiency and renewables on private buildings. The program has been a huge success and has helped promote the growth of local green jobs. Other counties in California and across the nation are making efforts to replicate this program in their area. For more information about this project, visit the SCEIP website.