The City of Milpitas has a long-standing commitment to climate action and renewable energy, which recently culminated into a community-wide switch to carbon-free electricity, an initiative that was just recognized nationally. At this year’s U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 87th Annual meeting, Milpitas was one of five cities in the United States, and only city in California, to receive an Annual Climate Protection Award – Honorable Mention – in the small city category.
In June 2018, the majority of Milpitas residents and businesses began receiving carbon-free electricity and all City operations are now powered by electricity that is 100% renewable. This launch of community scale carbon-free electricity was enabled by the City’s participation in Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), a community choice energy provider that was formed to serve the communities of Silicon Valley, including Milpitas. Nearly 97% of Milpitas residents and businesses are receiving carbon-free electricity, and because generation rates are lower than the investor owned utility, these customers are also seeing savings on their electricity bills. In the first four months since the launch of the program in Milpitas, residents have benefitted from more than $1.2 million in on-bill savings, collectively.
Mayor Richard Tran accepted the award and stated, “It truly is an honor for Milpitas to be recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors for our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the environment for our families and future generations. This program has improved the quality of life for our residents by making cleaner, carbon-free electricity more affordable and, as an added benefit, many customers are seeing monetary savings on their monthly bills.”
In 2012, the City installed approximately 895 kW of solar photovoltaics at three City facilities, including our Sports Center which is used by more than 87,000 visitors annually. Each day, these solar installations serve as a visible model for our community. In addition, the City will begin a phased approach to decarbonizing the City’s fleet by introducing electric vehicles powered by 100% renewable energy and the City is also exploring partnerships an Energy Services Company to improve energy efficiency on the City’s infrastructure.
In 2013, the City adopted its first Climate Action Plan which served as its roadmap for reducing GHG emissions through 2020. An update to the CAP is planned for 2020 that will include additional strategies for long-term GHG emissions reductions and further community decarbonization.