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City of Novato Goes “Deep Green” in Commitment to Sustainability

Novato upgrades to 100% renewable sources energy plan

City Council unanimously votes to participate in Marin Clean Energy’s (MCE) Deep Green/100% Renewable Energy Program

At their May 2 meeting, the Novato City Council unanimously voted to participate in Marin Clean Energy’s (MCE) Deep Green/100% Renewable Energy Program, in which all the energy used comes from renewable sources—50% wind and 50% solar generated in California. Additionally, the Council vote included  conducting energy audits on City facilities to further reduce energy use.

“This year we are taking our commitment to sustainability to the next level,” said Mayor Denise Athas. “We are going beyond only greening our city operations and vehicle fleets. We are investing in programs and staffing to set a new standard for climate leadership and ensure a sustainable future for our community.”

Currently, the City is a participant in MCE’s Light Green program, which means at least 50% of the City’s electricity is being provided by renewable sources. For the past year, MCE has been able to provide 52% renewable energy, which is broken down as follows: Wind: 36%, Biomass/bio-waste, geothermal and small hydro: 11%, Solar: 5%. The remaining portion of the City’s electricity is generated through large hydroelectric, gas and unspecific sources of power (as reported by the California Energy Commission’s Power Source Disclosure Program).

MCE partners with PG&E to give residents and businesses choices about how much of their electricity comes from renewable sources. There are currently three different levels of MCE participation customers can choose from:

1) Light Green: 50% of energy used comes from renewable sources.

2) Deep Green: 100% of energy used comes from renewable sources.

3) Local Sol: 100% of energy used is locally produced solar energy (program is limited to residential customers).

The City’s participation in the Deep Green program, a stated goal in the City’s adopted Climate Change Action Plan, will save approximately 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which would meet 86% of the City’s 2020 target to reduce its emission levels.

Within the last 12 months, the City used 1,691,381 kilowatts per hour of electricity. The cost to participate in the Deep Green program is one cent ($.01) per kilowatt hour of energy used, which translates to approximately $17,000, or an increase of about 5% per year.

As part of the City’s commitment to sustainability, the City Council recently approved the hiring of a full-time Sustainability Programs Coordinator to manage the administration and implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan and support community action plans, sustainability strategies, and local and regional energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

Novato residents can enroll in MCE’s Deep Green program online: or by calling 888.632.3671.

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April/May Newsflash! Take Action!

With the terrible and dangerous environmental news coming out of Washington D.C. the need to take environmental action at a local level is greater than ever!  

Here’s what we can do – ask local government to decrease greenhouse gas emissions during budget deliberations starting in April. This spring City and town councils and the County of Marin will be considering opting up to 100% green electricity (renewable, greenhouse gas-free from MCE Deep Green). San Anselmo, Fairfax, Sausalito and Belvedere already buy 100% clean energy, as does Marin Municipal Water District.
Sustainable Novato would like to see Novato take the lead and use 100% green energy for municipal uses, setting an example for all its residents.   
MCE Deep Green offers the best 100% renewable electricity option – revenues go significantly to fund local clean energy projects – and could be Novato’s next  best chance to achieve its worthy climate action plan’s goals.
Councilmembers and Supervisors rely on communications from citizens to guide them in decision making.  Writing letters and attending Council meetings can have a real impact – we know this firsthand.
We urge you to do the following:

Write a letter or email to Novato City Council

  • 922 Machin Avenue, Novato 94945 or – 
  •  encouraging them to purchase 100% green electricity, MCE Deep Green, in the forthcoming budget cycle.  
Write the County too.

*  Template sample letters are attached, one for Novato and the other for the County. You can personalize them.  Please consider writing to both the Novato Council and the County.  A list of all the email addresses to whom the letters should be mailed is attached.

Your attendance at a budget hearing can make a big difference. 
*     We don’t yet know the date for the first Novato hearing. The County of Marin will be addressing Deep Green at a budget hearing on April 24.   You can choose to speak at the hearing in the comment period or simply attend to show support.

  We’d urge everyone in Novato – homeowners and businesses alike – to opt to MCE Deep Green.

A few dollars more a month on your electricity bill helps save the planet, gets us cleaner air, and protects the climate.

 If you would like more information about this initiative, contact 
Helene Marsh (415)-300-7233 or Sarah Loughran (415) 717-8581.
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Go Solar Locally – Even Without Panels on Your Roof!

Solar panels against sky“Local Sol,” a new feature of Marin Clean Energy’s “Deep Green,” promises 100% “real” local, distributed solar power from the solar facility in the old Novato Cooley quarry outside town, not the problematic reliance on unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs), which do not fund actual addition of new solar capacity.  Check out MCE’s website to see how you can go Local Sol and other options for greener energy.

Click here to learn more about Local Sol.



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