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City of Sacramento

Beacon Participant Profile

About Sacramento

  • Incorporated: 1849
  • Population:  466,488 (2010) 
  • Location: It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California’s Central Valley.
  • Elevation: 25 feet
  • Area:  100.1058 square miles

Climate Action Activities

  • ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, founding member
  • Green Municipal Buildings and Fleet Policy adopted in 2004
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Signatory, 2006
  • Sustainability Master Plan, adopted 2007
  • HEAL Cities Campaign Participant
  • Tree City USA
  • 2030 General Plan: adopted in 2009, consistent with the Sacramento Regional Blueprint and implements the City’s vision for smart growth and creating a sustainable community by the year 2030.
  • Planning and Development Code Update: initiated in 2011, substantial overhaul of zoning, subdivision, and other sections of City Code to align with the 2030 General Plan policy framework and key Climate Action Plan measures. To be completed by 2014.
  • Pre-Approved Infill House Plans:  streamlines process for development of high-quality single-family homes in older neighborhoods and redevelopment areas.
  • Zipcar Carsharing Program: in 2011, the City worked with Zipcar to start a 10-car program in the downtown Sacramento area. In late 2011, Zipcar expanded to add 2 cars to the Sac State University campus.
  • Fleet Telemetrics Program: GPS technology and integrated software management and reporting leads to substantial reductions in fuel usage and maintenance costs.  Preliminary phases of deployment show fuel savings in some of the City’s work units of nearly 25 percent.
  • Fleet Fuel Efficiency and Alternative Fuels: Significant reductions in total City fleet fuel usage between 2005 and 2009, despite an increase in the size of the city’s fleet during the period.  The City is also expanding use of alternative fuels (EV, biofuels, LNG, and various hybrid technologies).
  • Clean Energy Sacramento:  in partnership with Ygrene Energy Fund, created a property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing district, launching in Fall 2012.
  • Complete Energy Solutions for Small Business:  partnership with SMUD to offer rebates for efficiency upgrades in small businesses, covering up to 80 percent of project costs.
  • Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA):  installation of 3.4 MW of solar on existing City facilities will be completed by end of 2012.
  • Green Facility Retrofit Program: 2009-2011, $1.9 million in EECBG financing for City facility retrofits, including LED lighting retrofits in 8 City-owned parking garages.
  • Traffic Signal LED Replacement Program: 85 percent conversion as of 2009, completion expected by 2015..
  • In-Region Waste Disposal Policy: beginning in 2012, all solid waste will be disposed in Sacramento County vs. trucked out of state to Nevada landfills.
  • Sustainable Purchasing Policy:  adopted in 2010 for all City operations.
  • Water, Sewer and Drainage Pumping Efficiency and System Optimization: pump retrofits using variable frequency drives at various locations since 2005.
  • Centralized, Weather-Based Control Systems in City Parks: over 55 acres retrofitted since 2005.
  • Advanced Water Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Field Leak Investigations: over 1,000 completed in 2010-2011, resulting in 236 million gallons of water saved per year.
  • Rebates for High-Efficiency Toilets, Washers (ongoing): 588 toilet and 394 washer rebates provided in 2011.
  • Free Shade Tree Program (SMUD, Sacramento Tree Foundation)
  • Spare the Air Alerts (Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District)
  • Flex Your Power – SMUD’s Energy Tracking Service and Voluntary Emergency Curtailment Program
  • Greenwise Regional Action Plan: Mayor Kevin Johnson’s initiative, lauched in 2012, to create  regional sustainability to grow the economy, improve the environment, and engage the community.  Greenwise Joint Venture was launched in 2011 to spearhead the effort to implement the plan. 
  • Sacramento Area Climate Partnership: interagency working group that completed a countywide baseline GHG emissions inventory in 2009, and continues to collaborative on local climate action planning and implementation efforts in the region.

Climate Action Resources


Gold Beacon Vanguard Award (2020)

Silver Beacon Award (2017)

Agency Energy Savings

  • Platinum Level, 43% (2017)
  • Gold Level, 15% (2015)
  • Silver Level, 6% (2014)

Agency Natural Gas Savings

  • Gold Level, 15% (2017)
  • Platinum Level, 41% (2022)

Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Platinum Level, 25% (2015)

Community Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Gold Level, 19% (2020)
  • Silver Level, 5% (2014)

Sustainability Best Practices

  • Platinum Level (2014)
  • Gold Level (2013)

Sacramento’s Journey to a Sustainable Future

The City of Sacramento is the state’s capital and sixth largest city in California. The city’s population is just shy of 500,000 people, and is expected to grow by approximately 165,000 residents in the next 20 years. The guiding vision in the city’s General Plan is to be the most livable city in America. Underlying this vision are six basic principles: grow smarter, maintain a vibrant economy, create a healthy city, make great places, develop a sustainable future and live light to reduce the carbon footprint.

Case Story

Sacramento Lighting Retrofit Project

Beginning in 2011, the City of Sacramento began replacing more than 4,000 existing lights, known as high intensity discharge lights, throughout eight city-owned public parking garages with new light-emitting diodes, known as LEDs.

Case Story

City and County of Sacramento – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

The Sacramento Regional Solid Waste Authority, under a joint powers agreement between the City of Sacramento and Sacramento County, has a business recycling ordinance that requires non-exclusive franchised haulers to provide – and businesses to subscribe to – recycling services.

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