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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Honors Southern Calif. Government Partners for Helping to Fight Climate Change

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (Huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is honoring Western Riverside Council of Governments, San Bernardino Associated Governments, and County of Los Angeles with a 2016 Innovative Partnerships Certificate for their leadership in addressing climate change. The group is being recognized for helping to increase the mass adoption of home energy and water efficiency across California.

"This year's Climate Leadership Award winners are setting a high bar for organizations across the country," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "They are proving that climate action isn't just the right thing to do; it's also the profitable thing to do."

This is the fifth year of the annual Climate Leadership Awards, a partnership between the EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry. Seventeen awardees were recognized for managing and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in internal operations and throughout the supply chain, as well as integrating climate resilience into their operating strategies.

Western Riverside Council of Governments, San Bernardino Associated Governments, and County of Los Angeles created the means to allow homeowners in California to finance a home improvement project through the HERO Program. Operated by Renovate America, the HERO Program is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program that partners with local governments to make energy-efficient, water-saving, and renewable energy products more accessible for homeowners.

The government partners are being recognized by EPA for accomplishments that include:

Developing and bringing to market the California HERO Program. The three entities took on significant roles to address climate change issues, and the challenges facing property owners at a time when the housing crisis was impacting their communities.
Forming a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) in 2014 so that other local governments could join the program and have it benefit their communities. By using the JPA and local government process, HERO has expanded across California, now representing 372 communities and over 85 percent of the housing units in California.
Providing key input that continues to guide and shape the partnership, including development of comprehensive consumer protections, crafting eligible product guidelines, and adjusting program policies in response to market feedback as well as establishing PACE as a key tool for local government in achieving local climate action goals.

The projects financed through the HERO Program, as of February 1, 2016, have resulted in the creation of more than 10,000 jobs in California and will realize more than 2.16 million tons in reduced emissions and more than 3 billion gallons in conserved water.

There are two additional winners in California for 2016:

The California Department of Water Resources (Sacramento) received the Organizational Leadership Award for protecting California's water supply.
Cisco Systems (San Jose) received the Supply Chain Leadership Award for engaging all suppliers to have strong sustainability programs.

The awards were presented at the 2016 Climate Leadership Conference in Seattle, Washington.

EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership establishes standards of climate leadership by encouraging organizations with emerging climate objectives to identify and achieve cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions, while helping more advanced organizations drive innovations in reducing their greenhouse gas impacts in their supply chains and beyond. The Center provides technical tools, guidance, educational resources, and opportunities for information sharing and peer exchange among organizations interested in reducing the environmental impacts associated with climate change.

More information about the 2016 Climate Leadership Award winners: http://www.epa.gov/climateleadership/2016-climate-leadership-award-winners

More information about EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership: www.epa.gov/climateleadership