Special Meeting, 2PM, September 22, 2020

City Council unanimously voted today to direct staff to explore hiring a consultant team to determine the feasibility of adopting a commercial solar PV requirement, and looking at a range of “reach codes” to include building electrification, battery storage and additional energy efficiency including cool roofs to make our buildings more energy efficient and reduce green house gas emissions.​ Council Member Devine moved the initial motion, which was then amended by Council Member Brotman to include additional elements in the study beyond solar PV. Council Member Devine accepted the amendments, the item was seconded by Council Member Kassakhian and unanimously approved.

Council member Brotman offered additional resources to staff, that will hopefully avoid the need for the consulting fees approved and suggested the city look at a requirement for buildings to report their green house gas emissions (GHGs) on a regular basis. He mentioned that other cities have begun requiring this and it is a good way to set up a benchmark so we can begin reducing our GHG emissions over time.  Brotman also asked staff to bring back a report on GWP’s Feed In Tarriff program, to take a look to see if there are any barriers that may currently be in place that limit the amount of solar certain types of properties are allowed to install or limit the amount of energy efficiency someone would be paid to put in, in order to see if some of those barriers could be lifted in an effort to get more of those resources built. You can watch the meeting here​ and read the staff report here​. ​

GEC offered a letter of support and concept paper​ for the commercial solar requirement,  advocated scoping for a broader program that would require solar on new construction, change of use or major renovations of commercial PLUS industrial and 3+ story residential buildings and which would include additional incentives for property owners to add solar beyond their needs to sell back to the city for grid use (via our Feed in Tarriff program.) All of these efforts could build on our local, clean energy efforts.