What Climate Actions has the City completed?

The City of Piedmont’s municipal activities are responsible for 2 to 3% of Piedmont’s total greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020, City activities contributed 722 metric tons of CO2e out of the total 33,402 tons emitted in total (approximately). More can be read about these findings in the July 2022 Council Agenda report.

2010 emissions: The above figure shows that most City emissions stem from transportation (employee commutes and vehicle fleet) and buildings/facilities. Combined, these two sectors account for 87% of Municipal emissions.

Although the City does not emit a large percentage of greenhouse gases in Piedmont, we always are taking actions to further reduce our emissions. Check out some of our ongoing and completed projects below. Updates will be added to this webpage so residents can remain up to date on City activities. If you have questions about anything listed here, please reach out to [email protected].

Facilities upgrades

In City properties we have …

  • Designed the new Piedmont Community Pool as an all-electric facility. The entire facility will be electrified through a combination of electric heat pumps, photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) panels, and integration with the clean electrical grid. The accompanying pool facility will be the City’s first LEED Certified Building. Piedmont will be one of the first cities in California to support heating large commercial pools with electricity. This project represents a market transformation model for the rest of the state and beyond.
  • Replaced all gas powered water heaters in City facilities with electric heat pump water heaters (HPWH). Read about the project here
  • Upgraded HVAC systems in City Hall, the Corporation Yard, and the Fire Department with electric heat pumps. The old system only ran on heat, while the new systems both heats and cools. Electric consumption has risen slightly, but natural gas consumption has decreased.
  • Upgraded light fixtures to high efficiency fixtures in buildings, making office space easier to work in while using less energy at the same time. 
  • Replaced all cobra-head sodium vapor streetlights with high efficiency LED bulbs. LED offers numerous advantages over sodium vapor, including lifespan and a larger variety of color options. They are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs (LED’s can offer the same amount of light as sodium vapor with only half the lumens). 
  • Installed water moisture controls in City irrigation systems to limit the total amount of water lost.
  • Adopted policies such as the Civic Green Building Ordinance and the Sustainable Procurement Policy. These policies influence behaviors at home and City purchasing decisions. 
  • All maintenance employees use battery powered tools instead of gas powered tools. 
  • Applied for and won an EPA grant, which was used to:
    • Compile PG&E data to better understand our utility usage
    • Researched and wrote a municipal energy action plan
    • Further researched solar at the Corporation Yard
    • Fund office improvements such as lighting and power cord installation
    • Provide financial incentives for completing home energy performance tests and retrofit work

Solid Waste

Piedmont has been responsible for maintaining residential recycling services and green waste mandates. The City continues to work with our waste hauler Republic Services and holds them responsible for meeting the terms of our contracts.

SB 1383

Senate Bill 1383 is a landmark CA effort to reduce emissions stemming from solid waste. Goals include a 50% reduction by 2020 and a 75% reduction in emissions by 2025. Organic waste is one of the leading sources of methane and other greenhouse gases in California. Over one third of materials that end up in landfills in California are organics. Reducing organics through legislation such as SB 1383 and other residential actions is an important step in our solid waste efforts.

Piedmont is already in compliance with the standards required by the state. Our three cart system was ahead of its time, and residents are meeting the required diversion rates. Next steps for the City include working on meeting the compost requirements. Questions about SB 1383 and other solid waste issues can be directed to our waste hauler, Republic Services.

Compost Giveaway Program 

In the fall of 2021, the City’s Sustainability staff launched a free compost giveaway program for Piedmont residents. Staff held five giveaway events (September and October 2021, February, March, and April 2022) distributing over 85 cubic yards of compost to more than 200 residents. The compost originally came from the green waste (yard trimmings and food waste) that is collected in Republic Services communities participating in curbside organics collection services. The green waste is brought to a processing plant in Richmond where it is converted into a highly aerobic, microbial compost. As the compost is locally based and free, it models the concept of a circular economy, where a resource is used and reused in a cycle that turns “waste” back into new products or materials than can reenter the supply chain. This process helps to keep organic materials from emitting greenhouse gasses in the landfill and creates opportunities to use these nutrient-rich resources to regenerate our soils. 


SB 2

Senate Bill 2 is a 2007 California state bill designed to bring affordable housing to communities throughout the state. Piedmont is currently working to determine the best locations in our city to add affordable units. Higher density housing with energy efficient appliances and a good energy envelope has potential to reduce costs and save energy. 


Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (WELO)

WELO is an ordinance that affects properties over a certain size that are pursuing new construction. This statewide law applies to single and multi-family residential projects, as well as public and commercial projects. WELO sets minimum water efficiency requirements for landscapes. To learn more about how WELO works and how Piedmont residents might be affected, please read here.


Ava Community Energy in Piedmont

In 2018, Piedmont started buying electricity from Ava Community Energy (formerly East Bay Community Energy), a Community Choice Aggregation program that gives customers more decisions for how to source electricity. Piedmont chose to make the “Renewable 100” choice the default. This means that over 90% of Piedmont residents decided to source wind and solar power to power their home’s electricity. You can read more about Piedmont’s relationship with Ava here.

Public Works

Public Works and the City Engineer regularly maintain and improve City sidewalks, adding curb cuts, bulb-outs, flashing pedestrian safety lights, and traffic islands, to continue to encourage the high rates of pedestrian travel in Piedmont.

Public Works and the City Engineer recently worked with City of Oakland to install traffic calming and bike lanes along Grand Avenue.

Public Works

The Parks and Project Manager and Public Works crew maintain thousands of City street trees and trees in public parks to sequester carbon, filter air, and provide natural cooling.

The Building Official implements Title 24 to meet state mandates for energy efficiency, and manufacturers make products to meet California standards, like energy-efficient dual pane windows, which are then sold nationally, improving energy efficiency beyond California in states without their own energy standards.

Piedmont staff participate in working groups with other jurisdictions to problem solve and increase resiliency on a regional basis.


Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

In October 2021, the Council signed an agreement with Ava Community Energy (Ava) for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on Magnolia Avenue. The Magnolia Avenue site will consist of 4 publicly accessible EV fast charging stations, also known as Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC). The chargers will serve 4 parking spaces, including one ADA space. The EV chargers will be installed, owned, maintained, and operated by Ava.

Municipal Fleet Electrification 

In Spring 2022, City staff began a project to develop a fleet electrification assessment with the assistance of Ava. The results of the fleet electrification assessment, which are anticipated to be completed by the end of this year, will provide baseline, critical information, including the evaluation of short- and long-term cost savings associated with the transition to light-duty electric vehicles (EVs), impacts and benefits to the City, and outlines steps to efficiently integrate EVs and charging infrastructure at municipal facilities in a fiscally responsible manner. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles will be evaluated during the 2023-2030 timeframe via pilot programs until EVs in these classes are cost effective and can meet the same duty cycle of existing vehicles. 

Bike to Work and School Day

Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, City staff has worked with community partners to host Bike to Work and School day tents. These efforts have included passing out information and resources while encouraging residents to bike more often. This work has been continued beyond Biking days into our Pedestrian and Bike Master Plan, the Piedmont Bicycle Advisory Committee, and the safer streets initiative

Corporation Yard

The Piedmont Corporation Yard (here) is home to Public Works staff that maintain City infrastructure, ensuring that residents can use City roads and other systems safely and consistently.

During storms and natural disasters, employees work at the Corporation Yard for as much as 24 hours a day, relying on the facilities for showers, dining, locker rooms, etc. Up until 2020, these staff members relied on a gas powered hot water heater and furnace for heat and heated water. In 2020, both of these appliances were replaced with more sustainable, all electric models.

This upgrade to all electric appliances is something that the City encourages residents to do in their households. By leading the way in municipal properties, City staff are showing residents that a more environmentally friendly future is possible.

The current gas-powered water heater was replaced by an electric heat pump water heater, and the existing gas furnace was switched to an electric heat pump. These changes are safer for workers, help reduce emissions, and reduce costs.

Below are pictures of both the electric heat pump, which can both cool and heat the space, and the electric water heater. Both of these appliances run entirely on electricity.

Heat Pump

Above: The Corps Yard's new electric heat pump. Below: Our newly installed electric water heater.

Electric Water Heater