By The Numbers
Did you know that one-third of Marin’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from residential and commercial natural gas and electricity energy use? (About two-thirds come from transportation.) We use gas – a fossil fuel – to heat our homes and businesses, dry our clothes, and cook our food. Commercial and residential gas accounts for slightly more than 60% of our energy use here in Marin.
Whether you're a resident or a business owner, you have the power to change the amount of renewable energy that is put on "the grid". If we switch from gas to electricity, and that electricity is renewable, we can significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Switching to 100% renewable energy through your electricity provider (MCE or PG&E) costs the average household about $4 more each month. In Marin, that’s the price of a cup of coffee.
Typical homes that use 100% renewable energy eliminate a metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions each year! All of the electricity for your home or business can come from certified 100% Green-e Energy certified wind and solar power produced in California. And if you are an MCE Deep Green customer, half of that $4 premium funds the build-out of local renewable energy projects. Not only are you purchasing renewable energy, you’re helping to get new renewable projects onto the grid.
- The average Marin home uses 5,736 KWh per year
- There are 3,840 100% Renewable Energy customers in Marin - that’s just 3.1% of all energy customers
- There are 1,302 Marin Deep Green Businesses
- 1,775 Kilowatts of solar have been installed on public buildings in Marin County
Here's What's Being Done:
Marin County Unites to Adopt 100% Renewable Energy
In 2017 Marin County became the first county in the state to have 100% renewable electricity for all of its county, town, and city accounts. Together, all 12 municipalities have eliminated an estimated 3,570 metric tons of pollution, or the EPA equivalent of removing 764 cars from the road in one year! But that's just a start - consider the impact we could have if all of Marin's homes and businesses were powered by 100% renewable energy.
Local Marin County Renewable Projects:
Novato: Gas-to-Energy at the Redwood Landfill
Yesterday’s trash is tomorrow’s electricity. Waste Management and MCE ushered in a new era of power generation with the launch of a landfill gas-to-energy plant. It produces 3.9 MW, enough power for 5,000 homes annually.
The state-of-the-art plant uses methane gas produced by garbage at the Redwood Landfill to power two engines that generate electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This renewable energy source closes the loop on trash by turning a greenhouse gas into electricity instead of releasing a destructive gas into the atmosphere. A sophisticated, multi-step scrubbing system removes carbon particulates, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, making this plant the first of its kind to be nearly emissions free.
San Rafael Solar at the San Rafael Airport
Airports have a lot of roof space to spare. In 2012, the San Rafael Airport decided to convert their airplane hangar roofs into solar surfaces. The airport is selling 100% of the 1 mega watt (MW) of locally generated electricity to MCE through MCE’s Feed-In Tariff contract – enough electricity to power 300 homes a year. You can see how much energy the airport is generating right this minute.
Novato “Local Sol” at Cooley Quarry, a New Community Solar Farm
Not everyone is a homeowner, and not every homeowner can install solar panels on their home, but everyone should have access to solar energy, and this project in Novato was designed to fill that need. This 1 MW project can power 300 homes annually and supplies Local Sol customers with new, local 100% solar energy. Local Sol customers directly fund a local solar project, promote the growth of our local green economy, and ensure their ratepayer dollars foster sustainable energy development right here in our community. See below for details on how to sign up.
Larkspur Solar at Cost Plus Plaza
The owners of this shopping center decided to utilize the rooftop at the Cost Plus World Market in Larkspur. To help incentivize local renewable projects such as this, MCE purchases electricity from Feed-In Tariff (FIT) projects at an above-market rate.
Novato Buck Institute for Research on Aging
A one MW solar carport shade structure was built on a parking lot at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, the nation’s first independent research facility focused solely on the connection between aging and chronic disease. Like the San Rafael airport, enough energy is generated to power 300 homes a year. The project came online in 2016 and supported 25 union construction jobs.
What Can You Do?
Sign up for 100% renewable energy with your electricity provider: MCE Clean Energy, Opt up video or PG&E.
Become a Local Sol customer if you can’t add solar to your own roof: Enrollment Form
Local Sol video
Reduce fossil fuel use by switching to electric appliances and building systems (heat pumps for HVAC, induction cooking to replace gas stoves and ovens).
Support local policies that phase out fossil fuels and increase renewable energy production.
Form a Living Lightly Team – these are community, religious, and school groups that promote Deep Green 100% California renewable energy to their members. You can help an existing team or form your own.
Install solar on your home or business. Check to see if your site is suitable at Project Sunroof