"Think Global, Act Local" Resource Site For Sonoma County

ENERGY: Home Improvements = Less Energy

Here is a video that current “Fellows” Brad Heavner, Joan Linney, Brian Yuen, and Peter Renfro created from The Leadership Institute of Ecology and the Economy.  These stories are from people who made their homes more energy efficient & received clean energy incentives from Energy Upgrade California.

Some people improve the energy efficiency of their homes to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on global warming. Some do it to save money. All of them are impressed by how much more comfortable it makes their homes.


Sonoma Clean Power Woody Hastings – SCP is a local program that buys and generates electricity for residents and businesses  “The biggest change you will never notice”.


Lean Energy

Sonoma County RESCO – Renewable Energy Secure Communities, a program funded by the California Energy Commission.

Sonoma County Water Agency

Sonoma County Energy Independence ProgramLiz Yager – Energy Upgrade California in Sonoma County – Whole House Upgrade Program                                   Go to:  My Action Plan to create or manage your money-saving plan!

Energy Upgrade California – One-stop-shop for home improvement projects that lower your energy use, conserve water and natural resources, and make your home healthier and more comfortable.

Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA)

Collaboration and Partnerships

Local (certified) Renewable Clean Energy:

Solar – PV PPA 12%

Biomass – Generator 15% – Alex Dolginow – Climate Protection Plan

Wind – PPA 6%

Geothermal –  PPA 26% Geysers

Water – Sonoma County Water Agency


Fossil Fuels: (Energy Dense)

Coal –

Oil –

Natural Gas –


Q:  What Can We Do?  Reduce WASTE and Use Clean Renewables


The Landscape Of Energy

Conventional Oil – Discoeries peaked in 1960s, production in terminal decline

Net Energy Ratio 30:1

Offshore Oil – Production challenged by extreme environments & significant technological complexity

Net Energy Ratio 18:1

Unconventional Oil – Significan energy, water, and infrastructure investment required

Net Energy Ratio 5:1

Natural Gas – Largely a regional fuel because of overseas transport complications

Net Energy Ratio 20:1

Shale Gas – Young sector with uncertainties about long-term productivity                                Net Energy Ratio: unknown

Coal – Worst polluter of the fossil fuels                                                                                                  Net Energy Ratio 80:1

Nuclear – No Good solution yet for extremely long-lived radioactive wastes; not economically viable without governmental underwriting.                                                            Net Energy Ratio 15:1

Hydropower – Best sites already developed; megadams destroy natural hydrology of river systems, may imperil species and displace human communities                                                Net Energy Ratio 40:1

Geothermal – Very small sector, would take decreases to develop to significant scale       Net Energy Ratio 15:1

Biofuels – Extremely low net energy ratio; competes with food for land & feedstock          Net Energy Ratio 1:1

Biomass – Large-scale development would put pressure on forest & agricultural land     Net Energy Ratio 35:1

Industrial Wind – Intermittent, requires backup energy source; large land footprint       Net Energy Ratio 35:1

Solar PhotoVoltaic – Intermittent, requires backup energy source: scalability may be constrained by dependence on scarce or expensive natural resources                                     Net Energy Ratio 18:1

Hydrogen – Key Limiting Factor: Massive investment needed to create hydrogen-related infrastructure

Concentrated Solar Thermal – Key Limiting Factor: Intermittent energy source; heavy water user Net Energy Ratio 17:1

Refineries –