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Supervisors OK Motion to Form Conservation and Sustainability Team

Supervisor Janet Wolf calls on the county to 'get its own house in order' with a bold plan.

At Tuesday’s Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors hearing, 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf called for the county to “get its own house in order” by reconstituting the county’s Green Team as the Conservation and Sustainability Team, under the direction of General Services, charged specifically with developing a strategic plan and action steps within 90 days so that county departments can begin to immediately and significantly reduce their energy consumption in existing buildings and activities.

Wolf’s motion to the board calling for a bold strategic plan and action steps within 90 days was approved 4-1.

In the past year, Wolf advocated for the hiring of the county’s first energy manager, who began work in April.

In a recent briefing, Wolf learned that the county could be doing much more to reduce energy costs and establish sustainable practices.

“While the county has been moving ahead with some good programs in conservation and sustainability, we need to quickly and comprehensively reduce energy use in our existing county buildings and practices,” Wolf said. “We need to model sustainable, energy-efficient practices in the county, and we need to do it now.” 

The county is in the process of certifying its carbon footprint and establishing a baseline.

“Not only can we reduce energy consumption and save money, we could choose to bank the dollars we save and invest them in renewable energy with the goal of someday making the county ‘carbon neutral,’” Wolf said.

Mary O’Gorman is chief of staff for 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf.

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