Reducing Carbon Footprint


EVs (Electric Vehicles)

Information about EVs:

Almost 43% of all GHG emissions in San Mateo County are in the transportation sector. California has pledged to selling only electric cars by 2035.

EV Rebates available:
Consumer Reports has rated 21 models

If you are a member, search for Hybrid/EVs and then check the box for EVs.  You can select either New or Used (listed by model year within Make and Model) EVs.  If you are not a member, you can get digital access for $ 39.95 a year. Their ratings include the following:
Predicted Reliability • Road Test score • Consumer Reports Overall Mileage • Acceleration 0-60 • Braking from 60 mph • Routine Handling • Emergency Handling • Ride • Noise

Transportation Rebates

Rebates for commuters in San Mateo County (origin or destination)

Solar Energy

Obtaining solar panels and installing them is an option available to each homeowner. There are federal and state rebates and tax incentives for those who install them on their home/buildings.

Credits for selling electricity from Solar panels: Due to policy changes from the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), beginning on 4/15/23 installing solar panels will be less favorable to homeowners.  Contracts signed by 4/15/23 will fall under the older, more favorable rules.

Websites that address solar power issues
  • has a referral service where there is information about Federal and CA solar programs that may make it possible to get solar panels installed at no cost upfront. (Only some homes qualify and there is limited availability due to ongoing supply shortages.)
  • provides the following:
    • Power On Peninsula will provide $500 to install solar and a battery backup
    • There is a lease and power purchase agreement with East Bay Community Energy ( EBCE), Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), Silicon Valley Power (SVP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) These entities have issued a joint solicitation for the installation of over 30 megawatts of battery storage.  They will provide resilient solar power with battery storage to about 6,000 homes/businesses in Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.  This fulfills the state “Resource Adequacy” requirements, to ensure the reliable operation of California’s electrical grid.
    • It is a PCE goal to be 100% renewable by 2025.  The ECO plus is over 50% renewable and the ECO 100 is 100% renewable now.

According to, the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of a solar energy system from your federal taxes after taking any state-level rebates if the system is in service by 12/31/2032. Ownership saves 3X as much as leasing. The website also answers frequently asked questions and explains how solar energy works and its environmental impact. provides a calculator of the cost estimate of a solar system for your home, based on information you provide.  Its general cost estimate of the cost after the Federal tax credit is:

System SizeCash Purchase
after 30% tax credit
Financed Purchase
after 30% tax credit
3 kW$6069$6555
10 kW$17,500$18,900
Rebates For Solar
Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)tax credit of up to 30% against cost of system
Self-Generating Incentive Program (SGIP)rebate for buying and installing a solar battery along with a rooftop panel system  (varies by utility and battery storage capacity
Solar Energy System Property Tax ExclusionProperty tax exclusion on the added home value from the rooftop solar system
Single Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) ProgramEligible low-income homeowners who get their electricity from PG&E, SCE, of SDG&E could qualify for cash incentives for every kw of solar power installed.
Net Metering
  • Homeowners with solar installed receive credits on their utility bill for excess electricity that their solar panels produce, as long as the system is less than 1000 kw.  There is a bill credit for one KWH of utility-generated electricity.  When the panels produce more than you need, you “bank” the excess to use for when you don’t produce enough.
  • NEM 2.0 (Net Energy Metering), from 2019, preserves the retail rate bill credits and prohibits many fixed charges.  However, on December 15, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reduced the NEM credit for solar customers who installed solar after April 13, 2023.  This will increase the length of time needed to pay back the costs of installation.  For current customers, the 2019 NEM rate is grandfathered for 20 years from the date of Permission to Operate (PTO).

Heat Pumps & Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat Pumps (heating and air conditioning)

Informational flyer on heat pumps

Costs will vary.  For example, costs will be higher for older houses that have not been upgraded, e.g., fuse boxes instead of electrical panels, electrical panels that need greater capacity, a lack of ductwork, removal of floor and wall furnaces that require repairs to floors or walls, etc.

List of Peninsula companies that install heat pumps

Rebates for HVAC heat pumps:

Rebates for Heat Pump Water Heaters

Induction Cooktops


Additional Incentives

By providing resistance to heat flow, insulation keeps your heating and cooling inside your house, and keeps the outside temperatures out. Insulation is a “building shell” upgrade.  Rebates are available for attic and wall insulation. 

Redwood City residents’ rebate for upgrading electrical panel (needed in older houses, especially). 

Inflation Reduction Act tax credits for 2022 or 2023. Scroll to section on making home and appliances more energy efficient.  Includes tax credits for 2023 energy audits.

Current California Climate Policy

The California Climate Crisis Act (AB 1395), passed on 12/28/22, will require CA to reach net zero GHG emissions no later than 2045 and to sustain that level into the future.   On 11/16/20222, the California Climate Commitment( ), a set of bills addressing climate change, was signed by Governor Newsom.  Policies enacted by these bills include: reducing oil use by 94% from 2022 levels by 2045; cutting carbon emission 48% below 1990 levels by 2030.  AB1279, passed in 2022, requires the state board to prepare and approve a scoping plan every 5 years.  The scoping plan is an outline of the strategies to achieve the state’s greenhouse reduction targets, including the goal of reducing emissions 40 % below 1990 levels by 2030.

Link to UC-Berkeley Law School Climate Policy Dashboard
The dashboard shows major CA climate laws, climate programs, and  State regulators, with links to the agency/program/text of legislation.

CA Climate Programs (see the dashboard in the previous item for links)

  • Cap & Trade
  • Climate Change Scoping Plan
  • Renewables Portfolio Standard (renewables 60% by 2030)
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard
  • Green Building Standard
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fun
  • CLEE (Center for Law, Energy & the Environment) Reports