Energy Efficiency

We use energy every day in our homes and offices to power our lights, appliances, heating and cooling systems, and other electronic devices. Energy efficient practices allow us to enjoy the comfort and performance of these modern conveniences while keeping our energy use, and our utility bills, low. Aside from just comfort, energy efficiency is becoming more critical as the earth warms. Each year fires get worse, drought lingers longer, average temperatures rise, and the Sierra snow-pack is diminished. These cumulatively threaten our homes, forests, towns and water supply. The culprit? Greenhouse gases. Carbon is released into the atmosphere creating heat trapping greenhouse gases from our homes, cars and businesses. Collectively, human carbon release is changing weather patterns raising air and ocean temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, and threatening agriculture and ecosystems. Energy efficiency is critical in reducing carbon and reducing the impacts of climate change. What can you do?

Upgrades can save a significant amount of energy and make a huge difference in your energy bills. Replacing an older, energy-intensive refrigerator with an efficient EnergyStar® rated appliance or outdated compact fluorescent bulbs with highly efficient LEDs are just a couple changes that produce drastic savings. Home weatherization improvements, like changing out single-paned windows with double-paned, offer better insulation and can reduce the costs of heating or cooling your home. There is significant energy used in the transportation and treatment of water, reducing water waste helps us conserve the limited water we have, as well as save the energy needed to deliver it. Switching to renewable energy, energy that comes from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, water, biomass, and geothermal activity, can also reduce energy costs.

  1. Energy Action Plan
  2. Energy Efficiency Programs in Nevada County
  3. Energy Efficiency Toolkit & Biggest Bang for your Buck Guide

Renewable Energy , Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency

On February 12, 2019, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved the Energy Action Plan (EAP) as the County’s unincorporated area’s roadmap for expanding energy-efficiency, water-efficiency, and renewable-energy, and the cost-savings that accompany these efforts. The EAP was prepared by Sierra Business Council, and contains a three-year implementation action plan.

Nevada County’s EAP focuses on the unincorporated areas of the County. Nevada City and Grass Valley have adopted similar Plans in 2015 and 2018 respectively. The Town of Truckee is in the process of developing its own Climate Action Plan. Each jurisdiction’s plans have its own set of goals and actions to reduce emissions.

The full Nevada County Energy Action Plan can be viewed here.

Nevada County Energy Action Plan Goals and Strategies

Goal 1: Energy Efficiency: Improve Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Facilities, and County Operations

  • Strategy 1.1: Expand outreach and education on existing energy efficiency practices, programs, and financing options for residential and non-residential utility customers.

  • Strategy 1.2: Improve compliance with current California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Part 6) by providing informational materials when available.

  • Strategy 1.3: Continue to increase the energy efficiency of County buildings, facilities, and operations.

Goal 2: Renewable Energy: Expand the Utilization of Renewable Energy and Resilience Measures

  • Strategy 2.1: Prepare for the inclusion of renewable energy systems in new construction and large retrofit projects in order to meet California Zero Net Energy Goals by providing informational material when available.

  • Strategy 2.2: Encourage renewable energy projects through education, outreach, and local leadership.

  • Strategy 2.3: Encourage energy storage and grid optimization infrastructure projects that support local renewable energy systems and community resilience.

Goal 3: Water Energy: Encourage the Efficient and Safe Transportation and Use of Water Resources

  • Strategy 3.1: Improve and increase the County’s outreach and education efforts in collaboration with Nevada Irrigation District and other water agencies by providing information on existing and future water efficiency and conservation programs.

  • Strategy 3.2: Coordinate with Nevada Irrigation District and other water agencies to participate in proactive leak detection programs in order to reduce water losses.

  • Strategy 3.3: Continue to improve the efficiency of County Wastewater Treatment operations and encourage and collaborate with Nevada Irrigation District and other water agencies to improve the efficiency of agency water operations.

Energy Forecasting

In 2005, the Nevada County community consumed 349,789,663 kWh of electricity and 3,433,874 therms of natural gas. The Nevada County EAP forecasts that just under $46 million can be saved and kept within the community by 2035 within a 51% reduction in electricity and 30% reduction in natural gas.

EAP Chart

To achieve these savings, Nevada County EAP was developed to provide a broad view of energy use in the County, set energy and water-energy saving goals, recommend actions that result in short and long-term energy savings, and educate the community on existing resources designed to save utility customers money, energy, and water. By implementing this plan, the community could realize the following benefits:

Energy and Money Savings

Community Resiliency

Local Air Quality Improvements

EAP photo edited 2