Climate Planning 

Sierra Business Council’s Climate Planning team assists communities throughout the Sierra to proactively plan for climate change by reducing emissions now and adapting to changes that we are experiencing today. The team works closely with local governments and community members to conduct greenhouse gas inventories and develop emissions reduction plans that will make their communities more resilient, efficient and vibrant.

Climate Planning Services

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories
  • Energy Action Plans (EAPs)
  • Climate Action Plans (CAPs)
  • EAP and CAP Implementation
  • Greenhouse Gas 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 community and government operations. 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. Additionally, the completion of a GHG inventory demonstrates to state agencies that the jurisdiction is moving forward on California’s energy and climate goals.

The Climate Planning team has completed 28 baseline inventories and nine re-inventories for local jurisdictions and special districts to measure their progress. Those entities that have completed re-inventories include: Amador CountyAlpine CountySierra CountyCity of JacksonTown of LoomisCity of Nevada CityCity of PlymouthCity of Sutter Creek. Our team is in the process of completing re-inventories for the City of Sonora, Placer County, and Town of Truckee.
GPER SutterCreek OriginalSize 2015 10 copy

Energy Action Plans

Once a GHG inventory is completed, the Climate Planning team works with local governments and community members to develop an Energy Action Plan (EAP). This in depth, community driven plan that serves as a roadmap for accelerating energy-efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable-energy efforts already underway in each jurisdiction. The document specifies the actions needed to achieve energy and cost savings in three primary sectors within the community: Residential, Non-Residential and Municipal.

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

Strategies and goals within the EAPs focus primarily on key voluntary measures that can be taken by residents, businesses and the local government to become more efficient and save money in the process. This in turn helps the community be more self sufficient and economically resilient in order to respond to future increases in energy prices and changes in the local climate and weather. Being energy efficient does not compromise the rural charm of the Sierra region, rather it reduces the costs to operate a business and live comfortably in the Sierra.

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

  • City of Sonora

Climate Action Plans

SBC also works with local governments and community members to develop Climate Action Plans (CAPs) which are very similar to our EAPs but address additional planning concerns using a holistic framework that includes energy, water, wastewater treatment, solid waste disposal, transportation, and land use changes.

Our team is also in the process of assisting in the development of a CAP for the following jurisdictions:

  • Placer County


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 jurisdictions 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

Greenhouse Gas Accounting

Our team also provides on demand greenhouse gas accounting services including calculation of business related climate impacts, carbon offsetting for events and business travel, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund grant assistance, project and plan level greenhouse gas calculation for CEQA review, development of greenhouse gas mitigation measures, and development of utility electricity emissions factors. Read more about our experience working with developers in Truckee to secure over $18 million in funding for affordable housing here, working with Truckee Donner Public Utilities District to quantify the impact of their efforts to switch from coal to renewable energy in the electricity they provide to community members here, and 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 through our partnership with Pacific Gas and Elctric Company to develop 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.