An Energy Newsletter for Local Governments
This was no April Fools joke! On April 1, 2003, the City of San José adopted a Sustainable Energy Policy and Action Plan. The purpose of the energy policy is to create a community where energy is generated and used in the most sustainable manner possible. By promoting energy conservation and efficiency throughout the community through the policy, the City of San José will be able to create a sustainable energy future. The Sustainable Energy Policy outlines five goals to help achieve a sustainable energy future.
The first goal is to lead by example in pursuing the most efficient use of energy in City facilities and activities. By educating San José residents, businesses and schools about the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy such as investing in energy efficient measures, like lighting controls and Energy Star products, San José will benefit by having reduced energy costs due to reduced energy use, increased reliability due to reduced demand on the grid, and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power plants.
As the second goal, the City of San José will explore opportunities to improve energy reliability, supply and price stability to meet current and future needs. Opportunities the City will explore include working with local and state agencies to ensure that power generation facilities are built in a manner that does not significantly impact environmental resources and by considering small clean and green power plants that can be built faster and relieve demand on the power grid.
The third goal of the Energy Policy is to promote collaboration on energy issues by creating partnerships with various communities, businesses and governmental organizations to promote joint action to achieve citywide energy goals and energy policies.
The fourth goal is to promote and achieve a cleaner and healthier environment, which includes improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Policies within this goal, for example, aim to reduce petroleum consumption in municipal and private fleets through improvements in fleet fuel efficiency, the use of alternative fuel vehicles, and alternative fuels, which will decrease oil dependence and increase national security.
The last and final goal is to encourage the development and use of renewable energy sources and alternative fuels. For example, the City of San José set a goal to have five renewable energy systems on City facilities by December 2008, such as photovoltaic solar systems.
Implementation of these policies provides infrastructure that values energy conservation and efficiency, energy reliability, reasonable and predictable energy costs, and the creation of clean, local energy sources. The Sustainable Energy Policy ensures that the City effectively plans for the future and continues its energy leadership through actions such as the installation of energy efficient streetlights and traffic signals and the purchase of alternative fuel fleet vehicles.