County of Santa Barbara Long Range Planning Division

Energy and Climate Action Plan

The County of Santa Barbara has supported and prioritized efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and prepare for climate change since the Board of Superviors adopted the "Santa Barbara County Climate Change Guiding Principles" in 2009. The Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) is a significant part of the County's demonstrated commitment to reducing GHG emissions while protecting the aesthetic qualities and unique resources of Santa Barbara County.

County staff, residents, and businesses are making strides toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as outlined in the County’s Energy and Climate Action Plan.

Learn how the County and community together have cut carbon pollution equivalent to taking 6,465 cars off the road for a year. Read the Report


ECAP Wins Award of Excellence

The ECAP has been recognized by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association, Central Coast Section. The Award for "Innovation in Green Community Planning" was given to the County's ECAP.

Media: County Planning Department Honored with Awards


Implementation of the Energy and Climate Action Plan

Home Energy Checklist

Santa Barbara County’s Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) requires applicants to complete a Home Energy Checklist for residential building permits for additions, alterations, and/or remodels (excluding repair and/or maintenance). This Checklist will provide homeowners the tools they need to inspect the various areas of their homes for potential energy upgrade opportunities. Access the Home Energy Checklist and the Guidance Booklet at the following links:

Smart Build Santa Barbara (SB2)

SB2 is a free, voluntary programs that provides incentives for applicants to make their new or existing developments more energy efficient and sustainable. SB2 is being updated to take into consideration new Tigle 24 and Net Zero Energy standards. Learn more about SB2 here.



The County's Climate Action Strategy (CAS) was developed to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions pursuant to the Board of Supervisors’ March 2009 direction (BOS Resolution 09-059) “to take immediate, cost effective, and coordinated steps to reduce the County’s collective GHG emissions.“

The CAS followed a two-phase structure intended to promote an informed public dialogue prior to County commitment to concrete actions to reduce emissions.

Phase 1:  Climate Action Study. Learn more about the Climate Action Study here.

Phase 2:  Energy and Climate Action Plan.  The ECAP identified numerous ways the County can reduce GHG emissions and implement energy-saving measures in support of a thriving, well-balanced and sustainable community. The ECAP was prepared to assist the County with reducing its GHG emissions consistent with State Assembly Bill 32.

The GHG emission reduction measures within the ECAP were developed to successfully achieve a GHG reduction target of 15% below the 2007 baseline emissions inventory by the year 2020, and implement further reductions by the year 2035.

The Board of Supervisors adopted the Energy and Climate Action Plan on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. The Board Letter, Final ECAP, Final EIR, and related documents from this hearing are available below.:

Board Letter  (.pdf)

Attachments to Board Letter


Additional Related Documents


Selena Evilsizor, Planner:


Related Programs

Municipal Energy Efficiency

The County of Santa Barbara (County) recognizes that local government can play a significant role with respect to state and national policy efforts addressing the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In March of 2009, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors (BOS) adopted Resolution 09-059, which committed the County to take immediate, cost-effective, and coordinated steps to reduce the County's collective GHG emissions in order to protect the community from the effects of climate change and implement programs to comply with the State of California's GHG reduction goals. The Resolution maintains that the benefits of creating a coordinated plan (with measurements, evaluation, and reporting requirements) to reduce GHG emissions can outweigh the costs. As a producer, regulator, and incentivizer of GHG reduction efforts, the County is providing leadership across the region by implementing a multi-pronged strategy to reduce GHG emissions. The General Services Department has generated the following documents for County operations:

Resolution 09-059

Sustainability Action Plan

Energy Action Plan

Benchmark Policy

Sustainability Progress Report

emPower Central Coast

Existing buildings represent one of the largest sources of GHG emission. In fact, almost 25 percent of reductions necessary to meet the State's AB 32 target are attributable to the built environment. Accordingly, the County has initiated emPower Central Coast, which provides a convenient financing option to empower residents and businesses to green their property through energy efficiency, water efficiency or renewable improvements. More information can be found on the emPowerSBC website.


Useful Links


California Air Resources Board:

Assembly Bill 32 - Sets 2020 GHG emission targets

Senate Bill 32 -Set 2030 GHG emission targets

Senate Bill 375 - Reductions from vehicle passenger use and requires Sustainable Communities Strategy

Governor’s Office of Planning and Research – Senate Bill 97

California Energy Commission

Cool California

California Air Pollution Control Officers Association

California Climate Action Registry