Thousand Oaks Honored with Beacon Spotlight
City honored at Beacon program awards ceremony
In September 2016, the City of Thousand Oaks joined more than 40 municipalities from all corners of the State to receive a Beacon Spotlight Award. The Beacon program honors voluntary sustainability efforts by local governments that take a holistic approach to addressing climate change.
This year, after submitting its first application to the four-year old program, Thousand Oaks earned Spotlight Awards in three categories: Sustainability Best Practices (Platinum), Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions (Gold - 17%) and Agency Energy Savings (Silver - 7%). Spotlight Awards recognize individual accomplishments of cities and counties as they work toward completing all five elements necessary to achieve a Beacon Award (agency greenhouse gas reductions, agency electricity savings, agency natural gas savings, community greenhouse gas reduction, activities in each of the Institute's 10 sustainability Best Practice areas).
The sustainability programs that earned the City its Spotlight awards include:
Energy and Water Savings
- Conversion of over 500 street and traffic lights to LED
- Upgrades of mechanical systems at libraries and City Hall to increase energy efficiency
- Adoption of an Energy Action Plan, which sets a goal of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at City facilities by 10% by 2017
- Participation in programs that connect residents and businesses with energy efficiency advice, financing and rebates, including PACE and emPower Central Coast
- Conversion to water efficient fixtures and installation of local water treatment options (e.g., bioswales) at City facilities
Sustainability Best Practices
- A new, state of the art Household Hazardous Waste Facility, which is free to residents and open two days out of every week
- Free on-site waste assessments for businesses
- Adoption of an environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) policy for the City
- Discounted compost bins for residents
- Free deskside recycling boxes for businesses
- Implementation of a bottle and can recycling program at schools in the Conejo Valley Unified School District
- Installation of neighborhood traffic calming roundabouts to reduce speeding and traffic volumes and increase safety for walking and bicycling
- Implementation of the Green Business Certification Program, which is affiliated with the California Green Business Network.
- Establishing the City’s GoGreen webpage as a portal for the City’s environmental programs
- Launching the toaksgogreen.org blog, which informs and engages residents and businesses on energy savings, rebates and events.
- The GoGreen email list, with over 9,500 recipients who receive our monthly e-newsletter, reduces direct mail and print advertising costs.
Greenhouse Gas Reductions
- 13 solar-powered bus shelters
- Renewable energy generation at the Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant (HCTP) makes it a zero net energy facility.
- The City's first fully-owned solar 300 kW array, located atop the Conejo Recreation & Park District and the National Park Service offices, provides over 40% of the facilities' electricity needs.
- Almost 2/3 of the City pool vehicle fleet are now alternative fuel vehicles.
- Conversion of the City’s 19 public transit city buses and vans to 100% natural gas with bike racks on every bus
- 22 electric vehicle charging stations placed at 11 strategic locations around the city.
- Adoption of a Bicycle Facilities Master Plan and Bike Rack grant program
- The Adopt an Oak Program, an innovative way to raise funds for open space maintenance. This program helps support Thousand Oaks’ 15,135 acres of public open space, which comprises 40% of the city.
VCREA is Champion of the Year
A special award for Beacon Program Champion of the Year was also given to the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance (VCREA) Joint Powers Authority, in which Thousand Oaks is a municipal partner. VCREA worked overtime to make sure the Beacon applications for all its partner agencies were complete. The City of Thousand Oaks congratulates VCREA and thanks it for its efforts.