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City of El Cerrito

Beacon Participant Profile

“Energy efficiency and conservation is a great way to both save money and combat global climate change. For every kWh you save, you prevent about 1 pound of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Similarly, for every therm of natural gas you save, you reduce CO2 emissions by almost 12 pounds. For these reasons, El Cerrito has applied for grants and has partnered with various groups to help make energy efficiency improvements in both our own facilities and in the community.” -City of El Cerrito Energy and Climate Page

About El Cerrito

  • Incorporated: 1917
  • Population: 23,596
  • Location: In Contra Costa County, along Interstate 80 adjacent to Richmond, approximately 6 miles north of Oakland
  • Elevation: 69 feet above sea level
  • Area: 3.9 square miles

Climate Action Activities

  • ICLEI member
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Signatory
  • HEAL Cities Campaign Participant
  • Certified STAR Community, certified May 17, 2014
  • Climate Action Plan adopted May 2013
  • Reduced energy use over two years by nearly 245,000 kWh per year, resulting in over $30,000 in avoided energy costs and a CO2 emissions reduction of 79 tons per year.
  • Established Energy and Water Efficiency Program revolving loan fund for projects that improve the resource efficiency of City operations
  • Developed Environmental Quality Committee
  • Received Showcase Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to help fund business energy efficiency efforts 2010 the Small Cities Climate Action Partnership. 
  • Recognized as WaterSmart Business by the East Bay Municipal Utility District for it’s City Hall and San Pablo Avenue Landscaping.
  • Provides free Solar Assessments from Smart Solar to residents and rebates of up to $250 to improve the overall efficiency of residents home.
  • Adopted Weekly Green Waste Service, a Food Scrap Composting Collection

Climate Action Resources


Gold Beacon Award (2019)

Agency Energy Savings

  • Platinum Level, 26% (2018)
  • Gold Level, 14% (2013)

Agency Natural Gas Savings

  • Platinum Level, 52% (2018)

Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Gold Level, 10% (2019)

Community Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Gold Level, 14% (2018)

Sustainability Best Practices

  • Platinum Level (2019)

The Recycling Center that has become the Heart of El Cerrito

The City of El Cerrito has constructed a Recycling Resource Center that is showcasing the true value of recycling and environmental responsibility. The “Center”, as it’s known, not only provides residents a place to recycle a wide range of conventional and hard to recycle items, it serves as the environmental heart of the city, proving that thinking about how you dispose of your waste can be lucrative to the entire community.

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