In June 2011, National City approved several comprehensive land-use plans including a General Plan Update and a Climate Action Plan. The Planning Commission and City Council reconfirmed these plans in January 2012. During the process, Environmental Health Coaltion focused our efforts to ensure a sustainable National City by promoting specific policies in the General Plan.  

Although we supported the General Plan as adopted, we recommended greater specificity and made the following recommendations for the conservation and sustainability element. (You can find an online copy of both the National City General Plan and National City’s Climate Action Plan.)

Conservation and Sustainability Element

Energy (Electricity and Natural Gas)

Finally, a critical way that the city and the community can reduce its impacts on public health and the environment is to reduce its carbon footprint.  By reducing energy use through conservation and energy efficiency, as well as maximizing the amount of energy generated from local, clean resources such as solar, combined heat and power and fuel cells, National City can achieve cleaner air, create new jobs, and revitalize neighborhoods. Reaching these goals also avoids the need to build dirty energy power resources in our neighborhoods.

The city should commit to a plan that achieves measurable goals using the technologies and actions listed.  We recommend the following goal and policy changes to strengthen conservation and sustainability in National City.

Current Goal
Goal CS-6

Energy utilities sufficient to meet existing and future demand, and facilities and maintenance practices that are efficient and sensitive to the natural and urban landscape.

    • Recommended amendment
      Energy utilities sufficient to meet existing and future demand, and facilities and maintenance practices that achieve 1990 emissions by 2020 and 80% below 1990 ghg emissions by 2050.  

New Goal
Meet 50% of citywide electricity needs with clean energy by 2020.

Current Policy
Policy CS-7.3

Consistent with the California Public Utilities Commission’s California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, strive to achieve zero net energy use for new residential development by 2020 and zero net energy use for new commercial development by 2030.

    • Recommended amendment
      Consistent with the California Public Utilities Commission’s California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, achieve zero net energy use for new residential development by 2020 and zero net energy use for new commercial development by 2030.

Current Policy
Policy CS-7.3
Explore programs to encourage load shifting to off peak hours and explore demand response solutions.

    • Recommended amendment
      Develop a plan that will result in peak load shifting and demand response action that will reduce loads on the grid of at least 50% by implementing the State of California’s preferred loading order for energy use.

Current Policy
Policy CS-7.5
Promote availability of a variety of tools and services for implementing energy conservation and renewable energy generation, including financing districts, energy auditing, and energy efficiency retrofit services to all residents and business owners.

    • Recommended amendment
      Achieve 20% reduction in home energy use by 2015; 40% reduction by 2020.

Current Policy
Policy CS-7.7
Encourage LEED certification for all new municipal, commercial, and industrial buildings in the city.

    • Recommended amendment
      Require LEED Gold or equivalent for all city new or significantly remodeled buildings and require LEED Silver or equivalent for new significantly remodels of private sector building construction.