City Programs Energize Sustainability
Redding is California's largest city north of Sacramento. It’s the northernmost designated metropolitan area with a population of over 100,000 people. The City’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7% below 1990 levels by 2012.
Many of the sustainable energy efforts are headed by the Redding Electric Utility (REU). REU is locally owned and governed by the Redding City Council. It provides electric service to more than 86,000 residential and business customers. REU has contracted renewable energy for more than 31% of its customers’ needs. Including large hydroelectric sources, more than 61% of its contracted energy is non-CO2 emitting.
Redding's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions focus on: recycling programs; use of renewable energy; a green building program; solid waste diversion; water efficiency and conservation; energy efficiency and conservation; and the availability of City documents online to reduce paper use. In addition to these efforts, the City’s Public Benefits Programs give rebates to customers for the purchase of energy-efficient clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, windows and more. Over 7,500 metric tons of CO2 are prevented each year from these rebate programs.
What Actions Did Redding Take to Save Energy?
Through REU’s Public Benefits Program rebates, the City saves 18.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy a year. The City performed more than 1,100 insulation upgrades and installed 5,113 high- efficiency air conditioners, saving 15.2 million kWh of energy. To date more than 8,000 energy efficient refrigerators were purchased, saving the City an annual 3 million kWh of energy. In 2008, the City gave out 17,000 CFLs to low-income households, saving an additional 750,000- 1,000,000 kWh/yr of energy. REU also provided rebates to retrofit more than 200 lighting systems, saving the City more than 590,000 kWh of energy. All of these energy actions save the City $2.6 million in energy costs per year.
What Actions Did Redding Take to Use Solar Energy?
REU has helped install over 50 solar (PV) photovoltaic systems (including direct installations) that will reduce 83 metric tons of CO2e annually. This is equivalent to planting 70 acres of trees or emissions from 34,544 gallons of gasoline. The City has 56 solar PV systems installed, 48 are residential and 8 commercial, totaling 143.8 kilowatts of energy. The total cost of the system was $1,412,235 and REU’s rebate share was $651,821, or 46% of the installed cost.
What Actions Did Redding Take to Build Green?
In 2005, the City launched the Earth Advantage green building program, which requires builders to exceed the energy-efficiency standards by 20% compared to typical new home requirements. The City plans to require new construction to to exceed the 2008 Title 24 Energy standards in August 2009. The program’s recycling and waste management requirements have seen waste stream reductions by some builders of as much as 40%. The City also helped construct the Earth Advantage Green Resource Center to provide important information on green building practices.
The City of Redding and REU continue to look for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach their reduction goal of 7% below 1990 levels by 2012.
"REU has worked hard to help its customers reduce energy use and, in turn, to be more environmentally conscious." - Rick Bosetti, Mayor of Redding
- Installed 56 photovoltaic (PV) panels
- Replaced all traffic signals with LED lights
- Increased Redding Electric Utility’s renewable energy mix
- Provided rebates for energy efficient appliances and systems
- Adopted Earth Advantage green building program
- Redding Fire Department Station No. 8 utilizes a solar array that produces 14.4 kilowatts of energy, 20% of the station’s electricity demand
- Redding gave out 17,000 CFLs to low-income households that save 750,000-1,000,000 kWh/yr
- Rebate programs save 18.8 million kWh a year
Estimated Annual Cost Savings:
- $35,000 from net metering cost avoidance
- $2.6 million from energy efficiency Public Benefits Programs
Estimated Annual Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions:
- 5.8 metric tons of CO2 from Library solar array
- 7,500 metric tons of CO2 from rebate program
- 83 metric tons of CO2e from 56 PV panels