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City of Huntington Beach – Green Building Program to Address Climate Change

Case Story

Climate Action Connection: Green Building

Small programs that start modestly can help to educate and encourage homeowners to undertake energy efficiency measures and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Community:Huntington Beach (Orange County)

Population: 202,000


Huntington Beach offers permit fee waivers for energy efficiency and solar upgrades and provides recognition to homeowners for installing green features in their homes through the Huntington Beach Green Scorecard program.

Program Highlights

  • Energy Efficient Fee Waiver Program promotes energy efficiency that exceeds state requirements.
  • Huntington Beach Green Scorecard encourages residents who want to install energy efficient appliances and features to do so.

Lessons Learned

  • Encourage citizens to go green voluntarily and let them be an example to others.

Resources to Learn More

The Rest of the Story…

In late 2007, the Huntington Beach City Council adopted the Energy Efficient Permit Fee Waiver Program. The pilot program is voluntary. Homeowners who add energy upgrades, such as high efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, solar electric, solar hot water heating or tankless water heaters are exempt from permit building or planning fees. To date, three homes have participated in the program.

The Huntington Beach Environmental Board, appointed by the city council, proposed the voluntary program as a way to encourage energy efficiency in new and existing homes through a carrot, rather than a stick approach. The program provides recognition for citizens who take specified measures in greening their homes.

Any energy efficiency upgrades, such as adding Energy Star appliances or recycled content flooring, may be counted toward recognition on the Huntington Beach Scorecard. If homeowners meet certain goals on the Huntington Beach Scorecard, they receive a commendation from the mayor as recognition for their greening measures.

A green display board at the plan check counter of city hall provides information about the fee waiver program and the options for greening homes. Information is also presented about various utility rebate opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades.

Compiled May 2009

This case story was prepared in partnership with the California Air Resources Board.

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