Meetings: Climate Action Now holds periodic topic oriented public meetings to highlight special events regarding climate change issues. All are welcome.
Link to our facebook page!
NC CAN is a group of people dedicated to addressing global warming and its causes and effects. Several NC CAN members participate in the county's Energy Action Plan Working Group (EAP WG). The EAP WG is actively engaged in implementing the steps necessary to reduce fossil fuel consumption through improvements in building energy efficiency across western Nevada County. The steps include cultivating relationships in the government and commercial sectors for workforce development and in providing resources to the public on state (California Energy Commission, Public Utilities Commission) and Federal (Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure) incentives available in undertaking the rapid electrification and efficiency transition for both residential and commercial buildings.
In addition, the EAP WG is coordinating a pilot residential energy upgrade program for home-owners. Here the process of completing home energy audits, identifying contractors, obtaining permits and realizing energy improvements will be established. If you are interested in participating in either the pilot program or becoming a member of NC CAN's Energy Planning Committee please contact Don Rivenes at email@example.com.
Your Decarbonization Journey
Remember you don’t have to tackle all these energy decisions this year or even within the next few years. Think of it as your decarbonization journey over the next decade, and plan for it, as you would for any trip. Ideally, begin by spending a few hours assessing your current energy use. You can do this on your own, by using free on-line tools, such as HomeIntel (PG&E) or QuitCarbon.
A professional home energy auditor can come by and conduct an in-depth, comprehensive home energy assessment and provide data driven recommendations for making improvements that will make the most sense for your decarbonization journey. An on-site home energy assessment costs between $300 to $500, but you may be eligible to offset part of the cost (up to a maximum of $150) through a new tax credit provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.
Where to find more information?
For more information on building decarbonization and electrification, finding out about incentives, and locating contractors, visit TheSwitchIsOn.
If you are interested to learn more about electrification, read the home guide on RewiringAmerica, and make sure to use their IRA incentives calculator, which will give you detailed information about which incentives are available to you based on your location and income category.
Go to the Building efficiency/electrification sub-page under the Energy heading for more information.
Go to Invest/Divest page for how you can act for the environment
Link to the WasteNot facebook page for information on Can I Recycle This?
An affiliate of the nationwide Beyond Plastics project, WasteNOT-Plastic focuses on creating an equitable and plastic-free future for our local community and beyond.
IRA Tax Credits are available now
The IRA 25C and 25D Tax Credits allow households to get tax credits for up to 30% of the cost of upgrades to their homes including the equipment and installation costs.
The actual credits available to you will depend on household income.
ITEM MAXIMUM YEARLY CREDIT
Rooftop Solar 30% of cost
Battery Storage 30% of cost
Geothermal Heating 30% of cost
Energy Audit $150
Electric Panel $600
Heat Pump Water Heater $2,000
Heat Pump AC/Heater $2,000
Exterior Doors $500
Exterior Windows $600
Yearly Total Tax Credit Limits
There are yearly caps to the aggregated tax credits allowable for residential energy efficient home improvements.
Go to WasteNot Page for what to recycle and what not to recycle information
Go to Education - Health page for what you can do to reduce health impacts of CC
Go to the Energy Sub-Pages to see information about what individuals, businesses and cities can do to reduce their energy usage and switch to renewable resources.
Community Choice Aggregation for Nevada County Cities
This is an update on Grass Valley and Nevada City joining a Communication Choice Aggregation (CCA) offered by Pioneer Community Energy of Placer County.
Grass Valley and Nevada City have joined Pioneer Community Energy. It is expected that Nevada County will also join the CCA, so everyone in Western Nevada County will have the same opportunity to save money on their electric bills and have the option for the electricity to be 100% renewable.
Why are local governments looking at CCAs?
CCAs provide communities with more local control over their energy supply. As a result, communities can choose to increase the amount of electricity procured from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal. CCAs can also develop innovative energy programs tailored specifically for each community and support the development of local renewable energy projects.
What is a CCA?
CCAs are public, non-profit agencies that enable city and county governments to pool (or aggregate) the electricity demand of their communities together for the purpose of supplying electricity. A CCA buys electricity on behalf of residential, commercial, and municipal electricity users in its jurisdiction. The electricity continues to be distributed and delivered over the existing PG&E electricity lines
It is important to note that CCAs, once they are operational, are completely ratepayer funded and are not subsidized by taxpayer dollars.
How does it work?
Once approved, all citizens and businesses are automatically enrolled in the CCA. All are given an opportunity to remain with PG&E or can opt out later. Bills will still be prepared by PG&E with an additional section showing the amount paid to the CCA. Rooftop solar owners are part of the program and are paid a small bonus beyond what PG&E would have paid for the excess energy exported to the CCA.
How does this relate to Nevada County Energy Action Plans?
Nevada County, Nevada City and Grass Valley all have Energy Action Plans. These plans are meant to assist citizens in reducing their electricity use through rooftop solar, and energy efficiency. But many citizens cannot afford home retrofitting or cannot use solar panels because of their physical location or because they are renters. CCAs are an alternative where all in the community can participate.
What are the economic advantages of CCA?
CCAs can accelerate the development of local renewable energy projects, which can result in significant local job creation. In general, renewable energy facilities provide many more jobs per unit of investment than traditional natural gas and coal plants.
What are the environmental advantages of CCA?
CCAs can choose to purchase from and develop electricity sources that are more heavily weighted towards renewable energy. Renewable energy can provide electricity with little or no greenhouse gas emissions.
If the power goes out, will PG&E still fix a CCA customer’s outage problem?
Yes, PG&E will still provide the same delivery and customer services regardless of whether that home or business is a CCA customer.
If I joined a CCA, would my electricity rates go up?
A technical study will examine the impacts of a CCA on rates, but so far CCAs have been around 5% lower than PG&E prices. This is dependent on the customer class and the CCA option each customer chooses. Pioneer has an option called Green100 that costs a little more but all of the electricity bill is used to produce renewable energy.
More information on this wonderful opportunity will become available to citizens at the end of this year.
Current NC-CAN Actions
Go to Energy sub-page Individual Energy Solutions to check your individual climate footprint!
Go to Social Action Page for info on Centennial Dam project.
Update on Nevada County Renewable Energy plans
Currently major cities in Nevada County and the County itself are all in various stages of having completed Greenhouse Gas inventories.
Nevada City has an Energy Action Plan from 2015 and passed a resolution for 100% renewable energy.
Grass Valley has completed an Energy Action Plan, but at this time has no resolution for 100% renewable energy.
Nevada County has completed an Energy Action Plan for its facilities and all of the unincorporated areas of the County. It has no 100% renewable resolution.
Truckee will not be preparing an Energy Action Plan but has a GHG emissions inventory and will be updating its general plan with policies that will support its resolution for 100% renewable energy.
NC-CAN - A Focus On Youth Actions
More than 15,000 people in Nevada County fall under the age of 14. Another 15,000 are 15-30. “Many of these youth do more than tweet or rally to participate in a good cause. They tether their skills to tangible outcomes and study solutions to local and global challenges,” according to the Nevada County Climate Action Now (NC-CAN) Education Committee conveners, who believe that “the attitudes, actions and initiatives of these youth help them emerge as potential change makers of the future.”
Go to the Education Climate Change Agents Page for report on the 2022 camp.
Reaching Grass Valley, Nevada City and Nevada County Energy Action Plan goalsI
The Grass Valley Energy Action Plan set goals to improve energy efficiency in buildings, facilities, and City operations, and to expand the utilization of renewable energy and resilience measures. It projected a decrease of annual grid supplied electricity use in 2035 by 36% and annual natural gas use by 29%. Nevada County and Nevada City have passed similar plans.
Electricity from rooftop solar on existing homes is part of the goal for reducing the export of electricity to the grid.
For new homes, the updated California solar mandates of 2020 require that all new residential homes meet Title 24 requirements that require solar for electricity for newly built homes. It also requires all other buildings to set aside a solar zone for future solar panel installation and to be ready for electric heating and water.
What about natural gas in homes?
“Natural” gas is methane (CH4), 40 to 80 times deadlier than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. A large amount of methane does leak into the atmosphere all along the production process, from the well head through the transmission and distribution lines, and from the stove even when it is turned off. Over 20 years, the methane released would trap about 80 times as much heat as the CO2.
To reduce the annual natural gas usage part of the Energy Action Plan and to help California meet its goals, Grass Valley, Nevada County and Nevada City can do what other cities and counties are doing. They are anticipating California requirements for all buildings to be all-electric by adopting municipal ordinances now. The ordinances state that fuel gas infrastructure shall be prohibited in newly constructed buildings, and existing fuel gas infrastructure shall not be extended to any system or device within a building. Inactive fuel gas infrastructure shall not be activated or otherwise operated. This also applies to building additions of over 50% of existing framing.
The additional electric usage replacing natural gas again does not count against Energy Action Plans when solar panels are used for the electricity.
Are all-electric homes more expensive?
Rocky Mountain Institute recently stated that in every city they analyzed, a new all-electric, single-family home is less expensive than a new mixed-fuel home that relies on gas for cooking, space heating, and water heating.
A ordinance requiring new homes and businesses to be all-electric would help meet our Energy Action Plan goals and support current and future California zero emission goals.
Meeting the 1.5°C warming goal
Under the Paris climate agreement, nations set a goal of limiting warming to 3.6°F, or 2 °C, increase in global average temperatures, with ambitions of a stricter limit of 2.7°F, or 1.5°C of warming. The UN asked the IPCC to figure out what it would take to hit the 1.5°C target, and what’s in store for the world if we did pull it off.
Staying at or below 1.5°C requires slashing global greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Current level is 37 billion tons of CO2 each year.
We have just 7 years to make massive and unprecedented changes to global energy infrastructure to limit global warming to moderate levels, the United Nation’s climate science body said in a monumental new 2018 report released Sunday.
By 2030 the world must triple emission reductions to reach 2 degrees centigrade and reduce 5 times to reach 1.5 degrees centigrade.
In 2015 Obama said the United States would cut its emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord. Under President Biden's day one executive order, the United States officially rejoined the landmark Paris Agreement on February 19, 2021, positioning the country to once again be part of the global climate solution.
In 2018 California passed SB100 which is to achieve a 50% renewable resources target by December 31, 2026, and to achieve a 60% target by December 31, 2030. This bill states that it is the policy of the state that eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100% of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by December 31, 2045. Governor Brown also announced an executive order directing California to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and to be net greenhouse gas negative thereafter. The order will require California to undertake additional decarbonization efforts, such as capturing and sequestering carbon in soil and building materials.
In selecting a GHG reduction goal for 2030, the Energy Commission staff is recommending a stay-the-course, 46 million metric ton (MMT) target, the same target the Commission used before the passage of SB 100. That target and the accompanying Reference System Portfolio will put California far behind the curve in 2030 when electricity demand is expected to accelerate due to growth of electric vehicles and electrification of other sectors of the economy. The Reference System Portfolio is also seriously flawed because it fails to consider or model low cost hybrid resources, like solar paired with battery storage, as new candidate resources that should be procured. With the risk of catastrophic wildfires and other climate disasters increasing, California cannot afford delays in implementing SB 100. Vote Solar and many other parties to the Commission’s Integrated Resource Planning proceeding have called on the Commission to adopt a significantly lower 2030 target of 30 MMT, which was previously modeled by the Commission staff and, if adopted, will provide much more confidence that California can get to the zero carbon emissions goal by 2045.T
The California State Legislature raised the bar again in 2022, setting interim goals of 90% zero-carbon electricity sales by 2035 and 95% by 2040.
California 2017 GHG emissions by sector:
Electricity in state 9%
Electricity imported 6%
Building Energy Efficiency Standards goals
2013 ~ 30% more efficient than 2006 code
2016 ~ 28% more efficient than 2013 code
2019 ~ 7% more efficient than 2016 code
7% without PVs and 53% of entire house with PVs
2016 ~ 5% more efficient than 2013 code
2019 ~ 30% more efficient than 2016
Nevada County Energy Action Plans
Nevada City Energy Action Plan goal of 28% electricity reduction by 2020 and natural gas use by 10%. Ensure the transition to 100% renewable energy for its community electricity supply from PG&E and independent providers by 2030 and 100% Renewable Energy by 2050.
Grass Valley Energy Action Plan goal of 36% electricity reduction by 2035 and natural gas use by 29%.
Nevada County Energy Action Plan goal of 51% electricity reduction by 2035 and natural gas use by 30%.
The California Climate Center Goals for California
Climate-safe California Rapid Decarbonization Campaign.
California measured emissions in 1990 were 431 million metric tons (MMT)
California actual measured emissions in 2017 were 424 MMT
California goal is 40% below 1990 by 2030 (259 MMT)
The Campaign goal is 80% below 1990 by 2030 (86 MMT)
This also includes sequestration of 100 million metric tons per year though healthy soils and habitat restoration for a net of minus 14 metric tons per year.
Earth Day 2030: California Celebrates Reaching Net-Negative Emissions Nation & World Collaborating for Speed & Scale Climate Action
Today, Earth Day 2030, we celebrate the deep systemic changes we have collectively made for a healthy, equitable, and climate-safe future. We reflect back on an exceptional ten years of climate action. The decade began with a nightmare, COVID-19, which woke us up to the deadly consequences of ignoring science. We quickly realized that we must heed the warning of climate experts and take immediate, bold action to avert climate catastrophe. It took an exponentially growing body of diverse advocates putting pressure on policymakers to create bold change in line with the science. COVID-19 showed us how quickly and dramatically we could change government policies, unleash market forces, and create opportunities for everyone to participate in a climate-safe economy.
Today we look back on our many achievements, including:
California accelerated the phase-out of fossil fuel development, production, and use. Legislation enacted in the early 2020s is showing enormous benefits for health, the environment and the economy as the state halted all new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure and began rapidly phasing-out fossil fuel-powered cars, trucks, buses, trains, and equipment. We dramatically increased investments in public transportation, housing near jobs, and innovative programs that reduced toxic air pollution, especially for frontline communities. The state also enacted zero-emissions building codes and began phasing out methane gas. We are grateful to the workers whose livelihoods were dependent on fossil fuel industries for making this rapid transition to a 100% GHG-free, clean energy economy possible.
We are rapidly drawing down carbon from the atmosphere through sequestration on natural and working lands for net-negative emissions, making sequestration greater than emissions. Ranchers, farmers, and public resource managers were incentivized to implement climate-friendly habitat and soil protection and restoration programs on millions of acres from the Sierras to the sea. Farmers led the way in reducing emissions while supporting food and water security with climate-friendly, regenerative production.
Unavoidable damage from extreme climate events meant that California became heavily invested in community resilience and protecting the most vulnerable, lower-income communities. Legislation enacted in the early 2020s funded and supported California's counties and cities to develop and implement clean, local, decentralized, resilient energy and storage, building independent capacity to address climate and other emergencies. Major new state programs funded and supported local climate emergency response and preparedness measures, including early warning systems, resilience centers, and public education programs that are now benefitting all Californians.
California created new financing mechanisms, from frequent flyer fees and carbon taxes to private sector investments that generated the billions of dollars needed annually for speed and scale climate solutions.
Millions of people took action to bring about the changes in policy that accelerated our transition. On this Earth Day 2030, we commit to continuing our efforts to secure a healthy, vibrant, and equitable future for all.