Energy Policy

City policies that support energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy, air pollution prevention, alternative transportation, and sustainable development:
  • General Plan Chapter 4 Resource Conservation
  • Land Use Code Energy Conservation and Solar Siting
  • City of Arcata Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan
  • City of Arcata Energy Committee
  • City of Arcata Green Fleet Policy
  • City of Arcata Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
  • City of Arcata Anti-Idling Ordinance

Energy Committee

On April 5, 2000, the Arcata City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1305 creating the Energy Committee. The Committee's primary function is to make recommendations and provide information to the City Council and Commissions regarding energy efficiency, energy conservation and conversion to greener energy sources.

City of Arcata Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan and Greenhouse Gas Inventory

A strong majority of the world's scientists have concluded that humans are changing the global climate primarily through the use of fossil fuels. This has serious consequences for all life on earth. In response, the City has joined an international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has committed to decrease locally generated greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below year 2000 levels by the year 2010.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan in 2006

To meet this goal, the City developed the Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan in 2006 which set a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of 20% below 2000 GHG levels by 2010. The Plan was developed in part by analyzing an inventory of community-wide greenhouse gas emissions that was conducted in 2000, along with community-wide public input. The Plan focuses on 6 action areas:
  • Cross-cutting approaches
  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy
  • Sequestration and other methods
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Waste and consumption reduction

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan Update

Although the City has reduced emissions by 30% within the Municipal sector through energy efficiency upgrades and the installation of grid-tied, rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at City Hall and the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center, overall energy use has not decreased within the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, according to an update inventory of community-wide GHG emissions conducted in 2007. Despite this, the City continues to strive to reduce emissions and is developing additional GHG reduction targets to reflect the community’s efforts.

Cities for Climate Protection

The City worked closely with the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) on developing the climate program. The website for the ICLEI program inspired hundreds of cities across America to make commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.