San Rafael’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), includes Program BU5 directing the City to develop a program to achieve energy savings in existing buildings, with a goal of decreasing energy use by 20% as of the year 2020. In 2011 the City Council adopted the Sustainability Element of the City’s General Plan, which includes Policy SU-4 to increase the supply of renewable energy sources, and SU-5 to reduce dependency on non-renewable energy sources.
The City of San Rafael is currently in contract to install solar at several City facilities including Department of Public Works building on Morphew Street, the San Rafael Parking Services Division, and the Albert J. Boro Community Center. City Hall has been moved to phase II of this project.
Once the projects are completed, nearly 60% of the electricity used for San Rafael municipal buildings and facilities will come from renewable solar power and total municipal emissions will decrease by 18%. San Rafael will overall pay less money for solar energy than what the City would otherwise pay to the utility company, with an estimated savings of about $1.4 million dollars over the life of a 20 year contract. This also equates to a reduction of approximately 586 tons of greenhouse gases.