Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Letter to Mendocino County’s Board of Supervisors: Reject Proposed Defunding of Energy Conservation and Decarbonization

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An Open Letter to the Mendocino County Supervisors – 

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 7th, the Board is scheduled to discuss defunding the County’s energy conservation & decarbonization program.

The CEO’s budget report spotlights that utility and fuel costs are driving a more than 22% increase in County operation costs.  The GrassRoots Institute has devoted extensive time and resources exploring options the County could take to cut ongoing energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.  We concur with the WilDan energy consultant’s recommendations to cut ongoing county costs through onetime energy conservation and decarbonization investments.  Decades of research demonstrates investing in energy conservation, solar systems, replacing obsolete inefficient HVAC with heat pumps, converting to energy-efficient lighting, insulating and weatherizing to conserve HVAC use, and converting to a fuel-efficient vehicle fleet produce ongoing enterprise-wide savings that far exceed costs.

In 2021, the Board wisely chose to set aside one-time PG&E settlement monies in order to fund energy conservation and decarbonization measures that reduce County operational costs.  Approximately half of those funds have been committed, and a plan by Supervisor Haschak and General Services has been developed to utilize the other half to further reduce ongoing energy & fuel costs.

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You’ve recognized that responsible management of the County means wise investment in ongoing energy reduction isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity.  Therefore the GrassRoots Institute urges you to stay the course that produces the best County outcomes.  Reject the unwise recommendation to eliminate one-time funding for energy conservation and decarbonization initiatives that cut ongoing County operation costs. Using those funds for ongoing costs means that when they are spent, the County will just be deeper in red ink.

Peter McNamee,

On Behalf of the GrassRoots Institute 

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  1. The argument makes sense if you don’t consider the context. These are not normal times, financially speaking. The County not only has limited resources, but it also can’t fund existing programs. So, if spending on this program is left intact, what other program suffers? Cost/benefit analysis is needed, it seems to me.

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MendoFever Staff
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