Climate Planning 

Sierra Business Council’s Climate Planning team assists communities throughout the Sierra region in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. We work closely with local governments to conduct greenhouse gas inventories and develop emissions reduction plans that will make their communities more energy efficient.

Climate Planning Services

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories
  • Energy Action Plans (EAPs)
  • Climate Action Plans (CAPs)
  • EAP Implementation
  • Carbon Accounting

Greenhouse Gas Inventories

A greenhouse gas emissions inventory is an important first step in a jurisdiction’s climate protection initiative. Quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions establishes a baseline against which to measure future progress and develops an understanding of the scale of emissions from the various sources within government operations and the community. A GHG inventory identifies areas in which local governments and special districts can lower energy bills, improve air quality and increase efficiency of government operations. This is done by increasing energy efficiency in facilities and vehicles, reducing waste, conserving water and utilizing renewable energy resources, among other things. The community-wide approach also incorporates benefits such as lower energy bills and improved air quality.The completion of a GHG inventory also demonstrates to state agencies that the jurisdiction is moving forward on California’s energy goals.

The Climate Planning team has also completed six re-inventories for local jurisdictions to measure their progress. Those six entities are:

Energy Action Plans

Once a GHG inventory is completed, the Climate Planning team creates an Energy Action Plan (EAP). This in depth report acts as a roadmap for expanding energy-efficient and renewable-energy efforts already underway in each jurisdiction. The document specifies the actions needed to achieve energy and cost savings in 3 primary sectors within the community: Residential, Non-Residential and Municipal.

Strategies and goals within the Plans focus on key voluntary measures that can be taken by residents, businesses and the local government to become more energy efficient. This in turn helps the community be more self sufficient and economically resilient in light of probable future increases in energy prices due to either market conditions or the regulatory environment. Being energy efficient does not compromise the rural charm of the Sierra region, rather it enhances its ability to respond to the ever changing external conditions related to energy supply and demand.

SBC’s Climate Planning team has developed 7 EAPs through our partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The following local governments have officially approved their EAP and are now in the process of implementing its content.

We are also in the process of developing EAPs for the following jurisdictions: 

  • Alpine County
  • Sierra County

Climate Action Plans

SBC also creates Climate Action Plans (CAPs) which are very similar to our EAPs but address other planning concerns in addition to energy, such as water, transportation, etc.


We support each jurisdiction by assisting with initial implementation for the first year after their EAP has been approved. You can learn more about this side of the process through published blogs here and here. There are several key goals that guide the process, including the following:

  • Renewable energy trainings and resources
  • Benchmarking and auditing municipal buildings with the help of the Sierra Nevada Energy Watch team. 
  • Community outreach at local events
  • Establishment of a local working group
  • Providing each with energy efficiency web content and other informational materials for the public
  • Creating an Implementation Toolkit that will allow each jurisdiction to expand on SBC's implementation efforts

Carbon Accounting

Our team has the skill-sets to analyze and quantify the carbon impact of events or business operations, and then identify local projects with verified offsets to mitigate the effect of these impacts. Read about our previous experience working with Squaw Valley to make the 2014 US Alpine Championship a carbon neutral event here


SBC has worked with 26 local governments in the Sierra Nevada on developing GHG inventories. Jurisdictions with completed or in progress reports include: County of Alpine, County of Amador, City of Amador City, City of Angels Camp, City of Auburn, City of Biggs, County of El Dorado, City of Grass Valley, City of Ione, City of Jackson, City of Lincoln, City of Live Oak, Town of Loomis, County of Mariposa, City of Marysville, County of Nevada, City of Nevada City, City of Oroville, County of Placer, City of Placerville, City of Plymouth, County of Plumas, County of Sierra, City of Sutter Creek, City of Wheatland, City of Yuba City.

Some of the projects are funded by California utility customers and administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.