The City of Santa Barbara's Energy Team aims to minimize the City's energy use and energy expenditures. The City has accomplished significant energy efficiencies to date, which include lighting and HVAC upgrades, improvements to mechanical systems and plug load reduction devices. The Team has implemented an Enterprise Energy Management Information System to closely monitor energy use trends and identify new efficiency and cost reduction opportunities.
The City participates in the South Coast Energy Efficiency Partnership (SCEEP) - a partnership between the two utilities (SCE and SoCal Gas), the County of Santa Barbara and the Cities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and Goleta. This partnership provides additional incentive dollars (in addition to the utilities’ base incentive programs) to the City for energy efficiency projects and allows for interagency collaboration and innovation.
The City actively pursues renewable energy opportunities whenever possible and practical. Currently, about 38% of the City's electricity comes from renewable sources - including solar, hydro, cogeneration and the renewable mix in SCE's portfolio. This high percentage of renewable energy also translates into the City's relatively low GHG emissions, which are well below the Kyoto protocol.