Silicon Valley Clean Energy has made major achievements in reducing our community-wide emissions by providing clean electricity to nearly 97% of homes and businesses. Now, we are working to reduce emissions from buildings and transportation and accelerating innovation to find new ways to fight climate change and increase the use of renewable, carbon-free energy.
Through extensive community input, the Decarbonization Strategy and Programs Roadmap was developed and approved to reduce energy-related emissions from natural gas usage in homes and buildings, and cut emissions from power supply and transportation, all while enhancing energy efficiency and the grid’s ability to use more renewable energy. Programs also target local innovation and customer engagement to further reduce carbon emissions within our community.
These initiatives are built upon electrification, switching energy sources such as natural gas to clean electricity, and decarbonization, eliminating carbon emissions from our ways of life.
By 2030, Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s programs aim to cut energy-related emissions in half from the 2015 baseline. That would prevent 2 million metric tons of CO2e from being emitted into the environment each year. These efforts help create a more comfortable, efficient, and healthy future for community.
By providing clean electricity, Silicon Valley Clean Energy contributed to a 21% reduction of community-wide carbon emissions from 2015 baseline levels.
When powered with clean electricity, switching from natural gas usage in buildings to electric appliances, and swapping gasoline powered cars for electric vehicles, reduces the emissions associated with keeping your water hot and from driving a car. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is focused on providing sustainable, affordable, and carbon-free power to ensure that our buildings and cars are powered by clean electricity.
In addition, we are continuing to build new renewable energy projects and develop programs that help our customers with smarter energy use. Silicon Valley Clean Energy also aims to provide clean power offerings that go beyond traditional power sources at competitive rates for large corporate customers.
Buildings and Homes
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is ensuring that buildings and homes within our community are FutureFit for efficiency, comfort, and safety. The following programs intend to accelerate high-efficiency, all-electric new construction and retrofits.
Reach Code Development: By working with local governments, building officials, and stakeholders from the building community, we are developing reach codes that help encourage the construction of buildings and homes that are powered solely with clean electricity. Visit our Reach Code webpage to learn more about this program.
All-Electric Showcase Awards: We want to recognize the leaders within the community who are reducing local emissions and promoting a healthier community with their technology and building designs. This award program showcases existing all-electric buildings that utilize our carbon-free electricity. We intend to collect and display resources and examples to increase awareness of all-electric buildings within our community.
FutureFit Your Home: Water heaters are something many residents may not think of too often – that is until their water heater stops working. Most water heaters run on natural gas, which produces carbon emissions. With the FutureFit Program, Silicon Valley Clean Energy helps residents replace their natural gas water heaters with an efficient, electric, heat pump water heater at a cost comparable to replacement with a traditional, natural gas water heater. If you would like to indicate early interest in participating in the FutureFit program email: FutureFit@svcleanenergy.org.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is working to electrify transportation on all fronts because nearly 40% of Santa Clara County’s emissions come from transportation. Unlike conventional vehicles, which run on gasoline or diesel, electric vehicles are powered by electricity and produce no emissions. Silicon Valley Clean Energy plans on increasing adoption of electric vehicles and alternative modes of transportation to accelerate and transform how people get from place to place.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Adoption: For wide-scale electric vehicle adoption to occur, there needs to be infrastructure and facilities to support this transition. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is working with member communities and stakeholders to create an EV Infrastructure Strategy and Plan. This plan will help cities and communities expand their existing electric vehicle framework.
In addition, Silicon Valley Clean Energy is working on installing EV direct current (DC) fast charging facilities through a pilot program within our community to support electric vehicle charging for low-income residents, residents living in apartments, commercial and government vehicle fleets and drivers for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. DC fast charging lives up to its name – it can charge 80% of most EV batteries in only 20 minutes!
Grid Integration and Energy Efficiency
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is maximizing clean electricity utilization on the grid and with our power supply. Our relationship with the grid has changed as distributed generation, such as solar, has grown and as technologies that manage energy use have evolved. We will leverage these resources to take advantage of using power when it’s the cheapest and cleanest.
Education and Outreach
Education and outreach play a key role with each of Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s programs. Connecting customers to their electricity usage and providing the tools necessary to empower all of us to reduce emissions benefits everyone.
Community Engagement Grants: Silicon Valley Clean Energy awarded $75,000 in grant funding to six local nonprofits to reach underrepresented members of our community. The non-profit grantees (Acterra, El Concilio, Interfaith Power and Light, Sound of Hope, Sunnyvale Community Services, Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation) will help reach a broader audience and create an understanding of SVCE’s mission, programs, energy bills and benefits for the community.
Change requires innovation. Innovation is incorporated within each of Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s programs to accelerate emissions reductions. SVCE is also focused on cultivating innovative ideas outside of our designated programs to embrace new ideas and technologies. Our community is centered in the nation’s innovation capitol, Silicon Valley, leveraging this community will help accelerate our decarbonization mission.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is working with local partners, such as research institutions and startup incubators who are deeply embedded in the innovation ecosystem of Silicon Valley. Through research, investing, and mentorship, these organizations help foster novel program ideas for carbon reduction, such as startups working on new solutions for transportation electrification, energy management and financing that will help our communities meet their sustainability goals.
The application period for the Innovation Onramp will be open soon.