Measures in the energy sector incentivize the installation of solar photovoltaic panels on residences in the unincorporated area and require an increase in the amount of renewable electricity supplied to unincorporated county residents through the grid. The County also generates renewable energy on-site through solar and renewable electricity installations on County-owned property through power purchase agreements. Measures in this sector will help the County achieve reductions of 125,140 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020 and 553,449 metric tons in 2030.


Strategy E-1: Increase Building Energy Efficiency

Strategy E-2: Increase Renewable Electricity Use


Electricity and natural gas used in buildings contribute 33% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the unincorporated county. The County works to incentivize solar photovoltaic systems and incorporates new technologies and practices that increase energy savings, lower utility costs, and improve air quality in County buildings. The County also strives to increase the generation and use of renewable energy on-site at facilities and across the unincorporated county to reduce emissions from fossil fuel-generated electricity.

Looking to the future, the County plans to achieve 90% renewable electricity for the unincorporated area by 2030 through a renewable energy program. 

2019 Accomplishments

  • Prepared a Community Choice Energy (CCE) feasibility report
  • Adopted an Ordinance Electing to Implement a Community Choice Aggregation Program
  • Designed the new Santa Ysabel Nature Center and South Bay Regional Center facilities to be zero net energy (ZNE), which means that they produce as much energy as they consume
  • Installed a 1.4 megawatt system at the South Bay Regional Center
  • Analyzed all new County construction for ZNE potential
  • Processed 7,224  residential solar permits
  • Achieved a 23% reduction in energy use intensity at County facilities in 2019


  • Received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties in 2020 for the Santa Ysabel Nature Center (NACo Category: Parks & Recreation)
  • Recognized as the first local government in California and second in the nation to receive U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Communities Platinum certification
  • Awarded the US Green Building Council San Diego Sustainable Public Organization Award, LEED BD+C Honor Award, and Zero Net Energy Honor Award for Alpine Library
  • Designated as a SolSmart Gold-level community for stellar solar permitting services

In Progress

  • Establish a renewable energy program based on the adopted Ordinance to Implement a Community Choice Aggregation Program