Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Infrastructure
Why Buildings and Infrastructure?
After transportation, construction activities and building operations are the largest source of climate pollution in California. Increasing efficiency -- making changes that reduce energy use -- reduces those impacts, while lowering utility bills and improving individual’s comfort at the same time. Replacing indoor pollution sources such as gas-burning appliances with safer and more efficient electric models, also has many health benefits, such as reducing asthma risks and other respiratory problems.
Efficiency improvements range from very simple and low-cost (using less energy between 4 and 9pm), to comprehensive and expensive (air sealing and upgrading insulation throughout the home, and/or replacing all gas appliances with electric). Your options will depend on your budget and whether you rent or own your home or work place. But all our actions, from the very smallest, are important and contribute to making our homes, communities, and planet healthier.
What Can You Do?
Small Spaces Use Less Energy
The energy and resources required to run and maintain large buildings is significant. If you live in a large home, consider heating, cooling, and lighting only the spaces you are actively using.
Upgrade Your Lighting
Switch your existing lighting to more energy efficient LED lighting. LED light bulbs use about 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 years.
Renters and homeowners can request no-cost Green House calls from Rising Sun Center for Opportunity. The visit can include switching out your existing incandescent lamps for no-cost LEDs. Visit their website or call (510) 665-1501 extension 300 to schedule an appointment.
LEDs are directional light unlike CFLs and incandescent bulbs that emit light and heat in all directions. There are several LED brightness and color/appearance options available that mimic older and less efficient bulbs but use a fraction of the energy. Visit the Energy Star LED Buying Guide to better understand your options.
Assess the Energy Efficiency of Your Home or Business
Get an energy assessment! Learn how to save money and reduce your home or business energy use. Home Energy Score is a rating program that informs homeowners of how efficient their home is compared to similar-sized homes by using a 1 to 10 score. Each score also comes with a customized recommendation with information on measures that should be taken to improve overall efficiency. Call a Home Energy Advisor at (866) 878-6008 for help!
BayREN Business provides rebates, financing, and one-stop-shop technical assistance to ensure small and medium businesses can leverage all available energy saving programs.
The Marin Green Business Program also assists and recognizes businesses in identifying ways to save energy and water, reduce waste and prevent pollution.
Make Energy Efficiency and Electrification Upgrades to Your Home
When you are ready to make energy efficiency improvements to your home, or switch from gas appliances to efficient electric-powered alternatives, you can get no-cost technical assistance and learn about available rebates programs through the BayREN Home+ program. Marin residents can apply for additional rebates for electrification projects through Electrify Marin.
Participate in OhmConnect to Save Energy and Get Paid!
OhmConnnect is a program that pays you to reduce energy consumption during brief windows of time throughout the day, mostly at night time when households use more energy and that energy comes from dirty sources like natural gas. Learn more!
What is the County Doing?
Marin Green Business Program
The Marin Green Business Program is a voluntary partnership among business leaders, government agencies and non-profit organizations. The program recognizes and promotes businesses that demonstrate continuous compliance with applicable environmental regulations, conserve energy, water, and other materials, implement sound environmental practices that prevent pollution and waste generation, and share environmentally responsible practices with other businesses in our community. Over 300 Marin businesses are currently recognized through the program.
Civic Center LED lighting project
In 2017, the County replaced 2,054 existing fluorescent fixtures in the Administration Wing of the Civic Center with LED fixtures. The new fixtures use approximately 50% less electricity and save the County approximately $23,000 per year.
Local energy efficiency projects
Proof Lab is a local surf shop and outdoor equipment retailer located in Tam Junction in Mill Valley, CA. They have upgraded all of their lighting to LEDs.
Fairfax Market, located on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, secured incentives and 0% financing to convert the entire store to LED lighting and install motor economizers for all refrigeration units.