The Mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, and Mayor of West Sacramento, Christopher Cabaldon, have teamed up and formed the Mayor’s Commission on Climate Change. This commission was created to develop common goals and strategies for both cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make suggestions as to what they would like to see in terms of environmental policy in the near future. Their overall goal is to reach Carbon Zero, or zero carbon emissions, by 2045.
SAR focuses on being involved in climate change efforts while assisting our community, avoiding the negative impact other policies have fiscally on home owners. We created a program 6 years ago, the Home Energy Conservation Program, which works to help low income home owners improve their homes with greener options. SAR created this program in conjunction with the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, and Rebuilding Together Sacramento. These options range from environmentally friendlier light bulbs to insulating water heaters, and caulking windows. Every improvement makes a small difference. These improvements end up saving each family in the program an average of $300 a year in bills, and around a ton of greenhouse gas emissions per household per year. To date, the program has helped over 800 low income homeowners in the Sacramento region.
Sacramento has continued to adopt advantageous goals when it comes to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. While this is an attitude that SAR supports, there is concern that certain measures such as mandatory retrofits for housing stock, could occur to meet those goals. Educating homeowners on the benefits of desired retrofit(s) and creating incentives to make changes to homes voluntary would encourage more cooperation without causing financial stress or delay in home sales. We are devoted to helping our community fight climate change, but we believe there are more progressive and favorable ways to do so, and ways that don’t potentially threaten a family’s livelihood by requiring further expenditures in a time of immense stress. It is crucial that we help our community and the people in it, not create more problems while attempting to combat another.