Skip to Content

San Luis Obispo County, California

 > County of San Luis Obispo > Planning and Building > EnergyWise Plan (Climate Action Plan)

EnergyWise Plan (Climate Action Plan)

EnergyWise Plan
Designing Energy and Climate Solutions for the Future
The Board of Supervisors adopted the EnergyWise Plan on  November 22, 2011. 


  • The Executive Summary provides a short description of the Plan.
  • Chapter 1 provides an Introduction to the Plan. 
  • Chapter 2 provides the scientific and regulatory framework for addressing climate change and greenhouse gases (GHGs) at the local level.
  • Chapter 3 identifies sources of GHG emissions from sources within the unincorporated county and estimates how these emissions may change over time.
  • Chapter 4 forecasts emissions to reflect the County’s desired growth projections without regulatory or technical intervention to reduce GHG emissions and provides an emissions reduction target consistent with Assembly Bill (AB) 32 and the County’s General Plan.
  • Chapter 5 provides energy use, transportation, land use, water use, and solid waste strategies to reduce San Luis Obispo County’s GHG emissions and quantifies the potential emissions reductions that will be achieved by implementing each strategy.
  • Chapter 6 identifies existing and proposed strategies to reduce emissions from County operations and facilities.
  • Chapter 7 This is a new chapter that addresses adaptation to climate change.  Climate adaptation is an adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic change and its effects.
  • Chapter 8 presents an implementation program to assist with monitoring and prioritization of the reduction strategies through 2020. 
  • Plan title page and table of contents
  • Glossary 

There are four technical appendices that contain the data behind the GHG reduction calculations:

  • Appendix A contains detailed community GHG emissions.
  • Appendix B contains detailed County operations emissions.
  • Appendix C contains detailed community reduction measure calculations.
  • Appendix D contains detailed County operations reduction measure calculations.
  • Appendix E contains GHG reduction forecasts attributed to state and federal policies.

The entire Plan can be downloaded here (9.7 MB)


What is a Climate Action Plan (CAP)?

A CAP is a planning document that identifies ways in which the community and County can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sources in San Luis Obispo County. Looking at four key sectors — energy, waste, transportation, and land use — the CAP will incorporate best practices with public input to produce a blueprint for achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the unincorporated towns and rural areas of San Luis Obispo County.

Greenhouse gases are certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, ozone, halocarbons, and methane, for example) that trap energy from the sun in the Earth's atmosphere (i.e., Greenhouse Effect). Greenhouse gases are released by natural processes and human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests, and developing land for farms, cities, and roads. (Sources: U.S. EPA, California Air Resources Board)

The Climate Action Plan will include goals and strategies that the County, residents, visitors, and business owners can implement to reduce their contribution of GHGs into the atmosphere from human-caused activities in San Luis Obispo County in balance with the County’s vision for economic growth.


Goals for Climate Action in SLO County

Achieving long-term sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the overarching purpose of the County’s Climate Action Plan. The CAP will also provide the community with a comparison of two different scenarios for the future. The CAP compares a business-as-usual scenario of projected GHG emissions with a second scenario showing projected GHG emissions after the implementation of the CAP’s GHG reduction measures. The reduction measures, which will be part of the final CAP document, will be developed through a collaborative process between the community and County staff.

Achieving Sustainability

The CAP will be implemented through a variety of programs and with extensive public involvement. San Luis Obispo County residents, businesses, and government will collectively play a role in achieving the goals of the CAP and, in turn, a sustainable future. The CAP process will highlight the most effective ways to reduce GHG emissions, specifically for San Luis Obispo County.

The County is actively seeking public input for guidance and support to continue to foster a livable, vibrant, and sustainable community.

Climate Change Adaptation in SLO County

 In 2009-2010, the GEOS Institute and the Local Government Commission, through a grant from the Kresge Foundation, studied the potential effects of global climate change on natural and man made systems in SLO County. The report, entitled "Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Planning in San Luis Obispo County" was based on climate change model projections from three global climate models (provided by NCCSP), as well as peer‐reviewed scientific publications and local experts. The Report’s Executive Summary states,

     "Climate change is a global phenomenon that has the potential for severe local impacts to agriculture, human health, natural resources, infrastructure, emergency response needs, tourism, and many other facets of society."

 The report provides a suite of adaptation strategies that was developed by local leaders and experts during a series of workshops in 2009‐2010. These strategies should be viewed as a critical first step in what will need to be an ongoing process as the climate, other stressors, and the scientific understanding of the earth’s processes continue to change over time.


The County hopes to use this report as a foundation for the adaptation chapter of the County’s Climate Action Plan.




Meetings & Workshops





facebook  Twitter

Creating Our Legacy. Sustaining Our Resources.