The Yolo County Housing Authority joined other local organizations in the Yolo County Climate Change Compact last week.The compact is part of a group of county jurisdictions that have agreed to implement programs to reduce the impact of global warming and climate change.
“We believe that working together with local governments,including the county,school districts,UC Davis and other special districts will help provide a framework and context for additional reductions in energy usage,” said Lisa Baker,YCH executive director,in a press release.
The Yolo County Climate Change Compact is part of a large-scale movement inCalifornia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by recruiting local governments to become involvedin reducing greenhouse emissions and creating new sustainability practices.
“Yolo County joined 13 other counties in the U.S.to participate in the Cool Counties Climate Stabilization declaration, making Yolo County one of only 13 charter counties in the entire country making this commitment,” according to the county’s website. “This act commits Yolo County to seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.“
As part of the Climate Change Compact,the county is conducting an energy conservation retrofit program with a projected savings of a half million dollars per year.The county also initiated an appliance replacement program to replace inefficient appliances aswell as to replace all incandescent lights with energy efficient fluorescent bulbs.
The Yolo County Housing Authority owns and manages431housing units,apartments and duplexes as well as154migrant farm worker units inYoloCounty.While it’s not a component of the county government,the organization does receive funding from county,state and federal programs.
AlthoughYCH just recently signed the Climate Change Compact,it has already begun implementing environmentally friendly policies.They have diverted13,000pounds of scrap lumber from local landfills to biomass electrical generation since2006,developedtolerant landscaping and installed solarenergy in housing developments.
Like the other local organizations involved in the Climate Change Compact,YCH has pledged to establish goals and make plans to reduce the agency’s energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
“YCH aims to further reduce the impact of global warming and climate change through energy and water conservation,purchasing sustainable products,using mass transportation modes and other beneficial practices,” according to a press release.
Many of the changesYoloCounty has been making are mandatory,said Louise Jackson,UCD professor in the land,air and water resources department.
“Many of the county governments inCalifornia have been mandated to change their greenhouse gas emissions due to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Act and have been asked to reduce their levels to1990levels,” she said.
But by increasing awareness,YoloCounty is giving other businesses and institutions a pathway and the ability to do it for themselves,Jackson said.
“YoloCounty is very tuned into thinking ahead about what this might require,” Jackson said. “YoloCounty and UC Davis have been very active in thinking about mitigating greenhouse gas emissions for awhile now.“
David Springer,president of Davis Energy Group,a local companythat uses new technology to develop efficient energy solutions,is another supporter of sustainable environmental practices.
“It is important to make alternative energies efficient,” he said. “You can take a home or business inCalifornia and improve it so that it’s using35percent less energy than with conventional,less efficient measures.“
Existing technologies,such as the ones the Climate Change Compact utilizes,are the most efficient,Springer said.
“As far as alternatives to current technologies,there are limited alternatives and not very much time to implement them,” he said.
“It takes decades to design,build and commission a nuclear or fossil fuel power plant,but by utilizing existing technologies,such as solar,it’s possible to immediately start providing a substantial impact on our energy situation because the infrastructure is already in place.“
KELLY KRAG-ARNOLD can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.XXX