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Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA)

What Is the Regional Climate Protection Authority?

In 2005 the ten local governments within Sonoma County set a mutual greenhouse gas target in partnership with the Climate Protection Campaign (CPC). The target is to reduce GHG emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2015, one of the most aggressive targets in the country. To help Sonoma County local governments reach this goal, CPC published the Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) (link to ), which recommends regional solutions to reduce emissions from buildings, transportation, the electrical grid, agriculture, forestry, and solid waste.

The Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) was created in 2009 to improve coordination on climate change issues and establish a clearinghouse for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The RCPA is made up of the same Board of Directors as the SCTA and includes representatives from each of the nine cities in Sonoma County and the Board of Supervisors.

First Step: Reducing Emissions from Buildings

The first CCAP solution addresses GHG emissions coming from homes and businesses. Buildings emit greenhouse gases by using electricity, natural gas and other fuels, consuming water, and also by generating wastewater. In 2007, buildings emitted 40 percent of all of the County’s GHG emissions, and are therefore a major contributor to the county’s overall emissions. To reach the GHG reduction target (168,000 tons/GHG), we need to reduce energy consumption by about one-third in 80 percent of the buildings in the county!

One of the most cost effective ways to reach this goal is to retrofits homes and businesses to be more energy efficient and use renewable power. For this reason, RCPA initiated the Countywide Retrofit/Renewables Program (Retrofit Program) in 2009.

The Countywide Retrofit/Renewable Program

The Retrofit Program will work with homeowners, the business community, contractors, non-profits, and local governments to create the best approach toward achieving widespread energy retrofits. An essential element of the program will be creating local jobs by training contractors and others to provide retrofit services, from simple weatherization to “whole-house” retrofits.

The Retrofit Program will:

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