In 2016, the City of Mountain View and twelve other local communities formed Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) to provide our region with clean electricity at competitive rates, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. At the end of 2019, 38,100 households and businesses in Mountain View were receiving clean electricity from carbon-free sources. Mountain View customers also saw a combined $3,885,000 in electricity savings, and $48,700 in cash payments were given to customers for generating surplus solar energy. We at the City are proud that 100% of electricity used at municipal facilities is sourced from renewable wind and solar energy. Mountain View has achieved a 98% reduction in electric utility-related emissions. We hope you'll celebrate these successes with us as we continue pushing for a more sustainable future!
What is the Sustainability Division working on? Check out our Fiscal Year End Sustainability Memo that we prepared for the City Council to follow up on direction given at the April 30, 2019 Council meeting and provide an update on sustainability initiatives. We have a lot going on right now in everything from buildings to transportation to community engagement!
Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) hosted a rooftop solar workshop where they explained how their Net Energy Metering program works, how it benefits participants, how to understand your bill, and introduced upcoming SVCE programs.
Sustainability staff presented the Sustainability Strategic Plan to the City Council on April 30. The City Council wants to address sustainability and climate change more aggressively, and supported creating a sustainability reserve of several million dollars, with the exact funding level from existing sources still to be finalized. The Council also directed staff to investigate several new funding sources as a means of supporting the program long-term.
We had a great Earth Day celebration on April 20! We were so happy to see so many passionate and curious community members (around 500!) come out to learn about sustainability topics from experts, local organizations, and fellow community members. Many attendees conveyed their intent to change their habits based on what they learned, which was the goal of the event. Enjoy some of our favorite photos here!
At the Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting we discussed:
Thank you to the community members who attended and commented as we discussed sustainability updates and progress. You can find the Agenda Packet here.
We presented the results of our 2017 community GHG inventory to the City Council on March 19, including where we stand on transportation, energy, waste, water, and off-road mobile emissions. You can find the Council Report and other attachments here under Agenda Item 8.1.
Experts from Acterra and Silicon Valley Clean Energy answered questions and walked residents through their energy bill at the Mountain View Senior Center on January 28, explaining the information and charges on your PG&E energy statement. They also provided tips to reduce your energy use and lower your monthly costs.
In December 2018, the City Council voted to divest all previous City investments from fossil fuel companies, by way of adopting a resolution stating, “No investment is to be made in entities that engage in the direct exploration, production, refining, or marketing of fossil fuels.” The move was recommended by staff as a way to not only reduce City funds being used by the companies, but to redirect those funds into economically sustainable sources with long-term growth opportunities.
Read the Council report here.
The Environmental Sustainability Task Force 2 (ESTF-2) developed 36 recommendations to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and make Mountain View a leader in sustainability. City staff analyzed the recommendations and presented this analysis to the City Council on December 4. The Council Report can be found here under Agenda Item 8.2, as well as the summary table (ATT 1) and detailed staff analysis (ATT 2).
At the meeting, the City Council approved several early actions and up to half a million dollars in the current budget to achieve them. The ESTF-2 recommendations and staff analysis will inform development of the City’s fourth Environmental Sustainability Action Plan (ESAP-4) by April 2019.
Seventy-five homeowners joined us and the County of Santa Clara to learn how to take advantage of rebates and incentives up to $5500 on home upgrades throughEnergy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade in the Bay Area.
Eighty community members came out on November 5 to hear about an exciting sustainability collaboration between Mountain View and Google. You can find the presentation from the event here and the video recording of the event here.
Working with Google through its Civic Leadership program, we've significantly streamlined our greenhouse gas inventory process, and through a community engagement process we better understand key motivations and barriers to sustainability action among different segments of Mountain View’s diverse community, as well as which communication channels are most effective for outreach.
We also worked with Google on their recently-launched tool, “Environmental Insights Explorer.” Based on Google-derived data, and designed for the general public, city staff, and elected officials, this tool lets you explore estimated carbon emissions in selected cities to help make informed decisions and take action on climate change. And, Mountain View is one of the first five pilot cities!
Find complete information on Mountain View's "Environmental Sustainability Task Force 2" (ESTF-2), including general meetings and community events, here.
On Monday, April 30, more than 60 community members joined the Environmental Sustainability Task Force 2 for a first look at potential new sustainability recommendations and a chance to give feedback. Divided across ten tables and two rounds, members of the Task Force presented selected proposed recommendations and topics. Robust discussions occurred at each table, with community members giving feedback on specific aspects of recommendations, brainstorming new ideas, and discussing the merits of, and barriers to, adopting the recommendations. Table topics ranged from alternative forms of transportation, to a ban on single-use plastics, to achieving Zero Net Energy in new buildings. Participants brought a lot of concern and passion, and felt strongly that Mountain View could and needs to do more to become a leader in managing carbon emissions.
More than 70 community members joined the Environmental Sustainability Task Force 2 on January 31 to share ideas for how to keep Mountain View sustainable as our population grows. Participants brainstormed ideas around various sustainability topics in small groups, followed by the participants walking around to each group’s flip chart and putting dots next to the ideas they liked the best. The three ideas that received the most dots were “walkable, connected, green spaces,” “public transportation improvements,” and “zero waste.”Other popular ideas centered on housing (dense, affordable, zero carbon), land use (mixed-use developments, more trails), sustainable living (local food production, sharing resources), and transportation (more electric vehicles, better bike lanes).
Santa Clara County and the City of Mountain View offered a FREE informational workshop on the benefits of an energy upgrade and how to qualify to receive rebates for making energy saving home improvements. Single-family homeowners are eligible for incentives up to $5,500 with the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program. For more information, visit: BayAreaEnergyUpgrade.org. Slides from the program are available here.
On June 28, Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) offered a Spanish-language presentation and Q&A session at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View, 113 Escuela Ave. For more information, visit: SVCleanEnergy.org.
Residentes de Mountain View, están invitados Miercoles 28 de Junio a las 8:30 am para una presentación en su comunidad para responder cualquier preguntar que tengan sobre SVCE. Centro de los Trabajadores de Mountain View, 113 Escuela Ave.
On June 22, the City of Mountain View teamed with Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) representatives for a second community meeting to help residents and businesses better understand their new electricity provider. SVCE is in the final phase of its roll-out as the official electricity provider in Mountain View. It will deliver 100% carbon-free electricity at lower rate than PG&E and help the City reach its carbon reduction goals. The City is proud to be a founding member of SVCE, which brings choice and competition to the power marketplace. City staff and SVCE representatives presented informative presentations and offered an extensive Q&A session. For more information about SVCE, visit SVCleanEnergy.org. Slides from the meeting are available here.
In honor of Earth Day, the City participated in Google’s first ever “Environment Day” on April 25th. Environmental Sustainability staff provided lots of resources for how to be more “green” at work and home. In addition, Mountain View’s Sustainability Coordinator, Steve Attinger, offered welcoming remarks and a keynote presentation. Steve provided a “State of the Planet,” and then highlighted the City’s success in reducing carbon emissions from municipal operations 38% below 2005 levels by 2015, well beyond the goal of 20%. However, from a community-wide perspective the City’s emissions have increased approximately 15% above 2005 levels, where the goal was a decrease of 10%, so a big gap! Steve asked for help from both residents and businesses to close this gap, requesting everyone to take the City’s “Top 10 Challenge” to be more “green,” minimally taking 2 new actions in the next 2 months.
On April 20, 2017, Intuit held it's Earth Day Site Social from 3-5pm. Our Top 10 Challenge proved to be a great way to get the conversation started on more sustainable behaviors. Folks who committed to pursuing two or more actions were entered into a raffle for two fun prizes:
1. a waste-free lunch sack
2. a bike-friendly package.
Congratulations to our winners! And a special thanks goes to Mountain View resident, Jane Horton, for organizing the event and leading Intuit's Green Team! This is the 10th Earth Day event that she has led. Go Jane!!
The City hosted a community meeting with Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) on March 23. SVCE will be the new electricity provider for residents and businesses in Mountain View starting in April 2017. Fifty-six (56) people attended the meeting to learn what the change means for them. By default, participants will receive the GreenStart electricity service, with 50% renewable power. For a very small additional fee, participants can opt up to GreenPrime, with 100% renewable energy.
Attendees learned that Mountain View residents and businesses, among the 12 communities participating in SVCE, are leading the pack in opting up to GreenPrime - a testament to the environmental ethic of our community! In addition, all electricity used in city operations will be 100% renewable at the GreenPrime level. The City’s Sustainability Coordinator, Steve Attinger, also explained that while SVCE is a critical component of the City’s plan to reduce its carbon emissions, the City will still be shy of its 2020 carbon reduction target, so community action is crucial to further reducing emissions.