Free energy and water efficiency evaluations have been integrated into the City'
Free energy and water efficiency evaluations have been integrated into the City's business licensing process.

The City of Chula Vista is one of the first local governments in the region to continuously track its greenhouse gas emissions in order to inform the adaptive management of its sustainability and carbon-reducing initiatives. Specifically, the City’s Climate Action Plan, an update from the city’s previous Carbon Dioxide Reduction Plan developed in the 1990s, features policies aimed to lower energy and water use, expand the installation of solar energy systems, promote alternative fuel vehicles, and create walk able, transit-friendly communities.

Some of the policies that have resulted from the Climate Action Plan are described in this section.

Municipal Building Energy Efficiency Ordinance

As part of its green building standard, the City of Chula Vista adopted a municipal building policy requiring all new and renovated city facilities to exceed Title 24 standards by at least 20% and incorporate on-site renewable energy systems.

The city has a goal of meeting at least 20% of municipal demand through onsite renewable energy generation, and will soon complete installation of approximately 500 kW of solar photovoltaic systems on 11 sites.  Once complete, the project will increase total onsite renewable energy generation capacity to approximately 12% of municipal demand.

The city uses funds from the federal government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program to enable it to move forward with a number of projects.  The city finances the costs of these municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofit projects from future cost savings resulting from the projects, many of which have expected payback periods of 10 years or less. 

Green Building and Energy Efficiency Standards for Private Sector

Chula Vista implemented a citywide, mandatory green building standard for new construction and major renovations in the private sector. The new standard has two main components: (1) the early and expanded adoption of the new California Green Building Codes (CalGreen) for all residential and commercial projects and (2) a minimum energy efficiency requirement to exceed Title-24 standards by at least 15%

Since the green building standards went into effect in 2010, 1,090 residential units and commercial buildings have complied with these standards. New buildings, remodels, and additions constructed under these standards are estimated to decrease indoor water consumption by 20% from baseline code, offer a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment, and potentially have lower operations and maintenance costs.

“Solar Ready” Building Code

In February 2009, Chula Vista instituted a “solar ready” ordinance that requires new residential units to be pre-wired for photovoltaic and pre-plumbed for solar hot water systems. The code facilitates future installations of renewable energy systems by reducing future installation costs and complexity for homeowners. In its first 18 months, approximately 500 residential units were built “solar ready.”

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