Subject Line: Join us on October 14 for the Palo Alto S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee Meeting on Commercial Building Electrification

Sustainability eNews

October 2021

Getting to 80 x 30: Commercial Building Electrification

Building Electrification


Join the Conversation: S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee

On Sept. 9, 2021, 73 participants joined Vice Mayor Burt and Council Member Cormack for the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) Ad Hoc Committee meeting. Read the latest blog to learn more about the September Ad Hoc meeting, which focused on residential building electrification. A re-cap of the inaugural, August S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee Meeting can be found here.

The next Ad Hoc meeting will building electrification – including programs in development, planned goals and key actions related to commercial building electrification, and plans to electrify City buildings - and is Thursday, October 14 from 9 – 11:30 a.m. via Zoom.

Pre-registration is required to view the meeting in real time

Register today!

October meeting topics are:

  • Commercial Building Electrification
  • Permitting for all building electrification
  • S/CAP Near-term funding and resource options

We welcome your input in advance of the meeting and especially appreciate input on the following questions.

  1. Other than the goals already proposed (S/CAP Goals and Key Actions), are there other intermediate goals that the City should consider for the non-residential building sector?
  2. What are some ways that the community can help support non-residential building electrification?
  3. What are some ways that the City can acknowledge community business leaders who are electrifying their businesses?

You can submit comments and questions to

Meeting materials will be posted on the S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee page in advance of the meeting.


New Sustainability and Climate Action Survey

In addition to hearing your thoughts about non-residential building electrification, we recently launched an on-line survey to help inform climate and sustainability conversations taking place with the S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee and City Council. We welcome your input through the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Update Survey.

The survey should take about 5-7 minutes to complete, and we invite you to return to the survey as you learn more through the Ad Hoc Committee meetings. This survey is open through April 2022.

Take the survey today!


The City of Palo Alto launched an update to the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) in 2020 to help meet our City's sustainability goals, including our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee was formed by City Council on April 19, 2021 to guide the development, implementation, communication, and future community engagement of the S/CAP. To watch recordings of previous S/CAP topic webinars and S/CAP Ad Hoc Meetings visit our S/CAP Community Engagement page.

The S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee is not subject to the requirements of the Brown Act. There will not be an agenda packet and minutes will not be taken. However, information about future meetings, including Open Town Hall Surveys, will be posted on our S/CAP Community Engagement page.

Conserve Water and Help Prevent Future Restrictions 

With most of California, including the Bay Area and Palo Alto, considered to be in an Extreme and Exceptional Drought phase, we urge community members to act now to conserve water. In under six months, much of California was upgraded to the Exceptional Drought phase. Conserving water is more important than ever to help prevent possible future water restrictions. Find conservation tips, best practices, and permanent water use restrictions here

One way to conserve valuable water resources is by installing Green Stormwater Infrastructure such as rain barrels, cisterns, rain gardens, and pervious pavement to capture rain runoff from these hard surfaces. The City recently launched a pilot rain barrel program to encourage residents and businesses to purchase high-quality 50-gallon rain barrels that help conserve water and reduce water pollution. This is one way you can conserve water during rainy times. Learn more and order your rain barrel online at now through Nov. 14, 2021. 

Compost Bin

Composting is Good for the Environment and is Now the Law

A new legal requirement that takes effect January 2022, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring residents and businesses to separate organic waste. Materials such as food, yard trimmings, and paper products must be removed from garbage bins because they release methane gas when it breaks down in landfills.

Landfills are the third largest producers of methane in California, responsible for 20% of the state’s methane emissions.

By diverting organic waste away from landfills through curbside compost collection for processing at anaerobic digesters or composting operations, California can make significant strides towards fighting climate change, and improving public health and the environment. Palo Alto already meets most of the new requirements through existing Zero Waste programs and ordinances – but we have more to do.

Learn more about the SB1383 Regulations

The Switch is On

Find Your Energy Contractor

An all-electric lifestyle is cleaner and healthier than using fossil fuels and can also be more affordable. Through the Switch is On campaign, you can connect directly with trusted contractors and compare quotes to pick the right professional for your electrification project. 

Ready to make the switch? Apply online for a rebate of up to $1,500 to switch your existing water heater with an efficient, electric heat pump water heater. 

Tree-lined street in Palo Alto

Caring for Trees During Drought

Trees are important community assets—make sure yours are getting enough water. Check out our Tree Care Resources, Canopy's Tree Watering Guidelines and Tips for caring for trees during drought

Connect with Us!

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