City of San Carlos - Green Programs & Climate Protection


Green Programs & Climate Protection

Home > ... > City Manager / Communications > Green Programs & Climate Protection

San Carlos Beacon Awards: Environmental Sustainability

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) is here! San Carlos joined with the County and every city in San Mateo County to offer an alternative supplier to PG&E to provide energy from renewable sources. Click on the link to learn more about PCE, who became the electrical provider for all San Carlos electricity customers in April 2017 and how you can opt out completely or opt up to even greener energy. 

Climate Action Plan.

PACE Financing.
CaliforniaFirstHERO  and Open PACE financing are options available in San Carlos.

CoolCalifornia Challenge. California cities vied to become the Coolest California City. Residents were encouraged to join the challenge to help win prize money for the City to put back into the community. The last Challenge ran from October 1, 2015 to March 30, 2016. The City earned just over $1,000 thanks to the efforts of our residents. For more information, go to

Green Business Program - administered by San Mateo County. 
San Mateo County Green Business Program Web Site. San Carlos business continue to be certified Green Businesses! We thank these businesses for their efforts to protect the environment. The updated list of businesses is available on the program website.

Bay Area Green Business Web Site

San Mateo County Energy WatchSign up for a free energy survey and rebates for residents and businesses in San Carlos.

Subscribing to Green Programs & Climate Protection Information
To subscribe to updates of this section by email, you will need to join the City's
eNotify service. Click on the link below to start your subscription. Once on the eNotify service, you will also be able to have Agendas and Minutes from the City Council and over 30 other documents and program updates emailed to you if you like. Subscribe to eNotify here. 


On October 1, 2015, the City received two Gold Beacon Spotlight Awards from the Institute for Local Government for Energy Savings and Greenhouse Gas Reductions.

In September 2014, the City received the Beacon Spotlight Award from the Institute for Local Government for Sustainability Best Practices. This Platinum Level award recognizes the City's overall accomplishments as it continues to work toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and save energy.

In September 2013, the City received the Beacon Spotlight Award from the Institute for Local Government in recognition of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in City facilities by 12% from 2005 to 2010. This Gold Level award celebrates the individual accomplishment of the City. 

Sustainable San Mateo County's 17th Annual Ruth Peterson award was presented in March 2016 to two San Carlos residents:
David and Nancy Crabbe. Congratulations for all your continuing sustainability efforts throughout the County.

Sustainable San Mateo County's 16th Annual Awards presented in March 2015 recognized two of our local business:
Sustainability Award
Devil's Canyon Brewing Company
Green Building Honorable Mention
Johnston's Saltbox

Solar Resources:


Solar Education:

Overview of Local Industry Training and Education Program Benefits
This resource provides an overview of solar industry training and education programs and the benefits they offer to the local community and its solar market.  Click here to view and download.
Source: US Department of Energy. “Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments.” Published January 2011.  
Available at:

2.  Exemplary Solar Education and Training Programs
This report presents information on six exemplary solar education and training programs. These programs are complete, integrated, and well-organized and provide a solid foundation for those
entering the solar workforce. They do not require significant background, experience and prerequisites of entering students.
Click here to view and download

Homebuilder's Guide to Going Solar
This 8 page guide is designed to help homebuilders assess the benefits to their business and customers of installing solar equipment or building houses to be solar-ready. The information 
comes from studies of builders who have successfully integrated solar into their operations as well as conversations with builders and solar professionals. Page 7 features a Solar Ready Homes 
Checklist that walks builders through the process of building a solar ready home.
Click here to view and download. 
Source: US Department of Energy. "Homebuilder's Guide to Going Solar." Published 2008. 
Available at:

4.  Pacific Energy Center Training Program
Pacific Gas & Electric's Pacific Energy Center offers educational programs, webinars, design tools, advice and support to create energy efficient buildings and comfortable indoor environments. 
Visit the source link below for more information about program offerings.
Source: Pacific Gas and Electric. Pacific Energy Center website. Accessed July 2012. 
Available at:

5.  Free Open Source Solar Education
SolPowerPeople offers Free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), that are designed for anyone and everyone interested in the Solar PV Industry, especially for those who seek NABCEP, Rise, or UL Certification.
This is a very collaborative effort amongst leading professionals in the solar industry and all the active participants from around the world. Visit the source link below for more information about course offerings.
Source: SolPowerPeople. SolarMOOC Academy website. Accessed August 2012. 
Available at:

6.  Hands-on Training and Online Solar Education Network
The Solar Living Institute offers training courses by experienced practitioners who bring years of real world knowledge to the classroom with a focus on helping students prepare for job opportunities and start
businesses. Visit the source link below for more information about course offerings. 
Source: Solar Living Institute. Solar Living Institute training website. Accessed August 2012. 
Available at:

7.  Developing a Quality Course for Solar Education
This resource is designed for higher education institutions that are interested in offering a solar energy education course. This report explores the process of developing a quality course or unit of instruction and the models and practices that can be used for solar education or other purposes. 
Click here to view and download.


The City of San Carlos supports the maintenance of trees in our community in an effort to support the goals of our Climate Action Plan, including the encouragement of new tree planting. The City adopted an Ordinance to ensure the planting, protection and replacement of trees, along with a procedure to address violations.

The City’s Tree Protection Ordinance is found under the Landscaping Standards within the Zoning Ordinance, Section 18.18.070.  New trees are required to be planted in conjunction with new development. For example, for construction in single-family zoning districts, one tree is required for every 1,000 square feet of lot coverage.  For projects in multi-family, mixed-use and commercial development, one tree is required for every 2,000 square feet of lot coverage.  Once trees are established, the City has regulations to protect trees of a certain size and species.  A “Protected Tree” is one that is either a “Significant” or “Heritage” tree.  Significant trees are those that are at least 36 inches in circumference (i.e., approximately 11 ½ inches in diameter) measured 4 feet above the ground.  Heritage trees are indigenous trees, including buckeye, madrone, coast live oak, valley oak, interior live oak, redwood and California Bay Laurel trees.  Each of the Heritage tree species have their own unique size requirements that classify them as “Heritage” trees. 

If a property owner wishes to remove a Protected (i.e., Significant or Heritage) tree, he or she must apply for a Tree Removal Permit (SCMC 18.18.070, C).  The City sends out a licensed arborist to evaluate the tree and sends a report to the City outlining the health or conditions of the subject tree.  To issue a Tree Removal Permit, the City must find that the Significant or Heritage tree is either diseased, is causing substantial property damage, is in danger of falling, or is affecting the general health and safety and that removing the tree is necessary to utilize the property in a manner that has greater public value than any environmental degradation as a result of tree removal.  If Protected tree is removed, the City can require a replacement tree to be planted.

For anyone removing a Protected Tree without a permit, additional fees and fines are imposed.  For example, a Tree Removal Permit is required at double the cost, the tree that was removed must be replaced and the violator must pay a civil penalty in the amount of $2,500 or the value of the tree, whichever is less.  

For more information on the City’s Tree Protection Ordinance, please visit and select 18.18.070 to review the requirements of the Code. The City of San Carlos adopted an Ordinance to ensure the planting, protection, and replacement of trees, as well as procedure to address violations.