The Santa Barbara City Council voted unanimously July 20 to prohibit natural gas in all new construction in the city.

$12 million in funding is coming to the Central Coast over the next two years to incentivize the building of electric vehicle chargers in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

The money is coming from the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project, or CALeVIP’s, South Central Coast Incentive Project. The goal is to provide rebates for the purchase and installation of chargers.

Courtesy of Annie Secrest

The County of San Luis Obispo just completed a major solar energy project at the County Operations Center on April 20.

The project is expected to help save the county money on its electricity bills and is the county’s largest at 1.2 megawatts. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that is enough to power about 500 to 1100 homes, but in this case it will power county facilities.

Rachel Showalter

A 20-year draft plan for the future of parks and recreation in San Luis Obispo is now available for public viewing.

Courtesy: City of Goleta

The city of Goleta is planning to replace more than 1,400 streetlight fixtures, which are expected to be more efficient and cost effective among other advantages.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

Texas residents have faced thousands of dollars in unexpected electric bills from an unprecedented winter storm last month.

But it’s unlikely California PG&E customers would experience similar spikes due to outages.

Katie Davis

Three projects aimed at expanding oil drilling in Santa Barbara County's Cat Canyon Oil Field were under consideration just three months ago. Today, only one remains.

California looks to GPS tracking to solve gas tax deficit

Apr 5, 2017
Capital Public Radio

Every time you pump gas in California, a portion of that price-per-gallon goes to building and maintaining roads. But the state’s transportation needs far outweigh the money generated.

Broadcast date: 2/16/2017

How can California fight climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and still meet its energy needs?

Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with guests about how to plan for a low emissions future for California. He will be joined by Dr. Ray Weymann, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, who since retiring from his career in astrophysics has used his experience to give numerous lectures in climate science and is one of the founders of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team,  George Williams, past chairman of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and James Kelly, Chief Executive Officer for ARES North America as they discuss how California’s energy supply, infrastructure and energy usage will evolve, and what it might look like by 2050.

emPower Facebook page

A Central Coast nonprofit, set up initially by the County of Santa Barbara to help residents improve the efficiency of their homes, has grown to include San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties.

emPower video still

emPower Central Coast was initially developed by the County of Santa Barbara to help homeowners countywide overcome obstacles to making energy saving improvements to their homes. 

Grand Jury Report Says San Luis Obispo County Behind in Efforts to Conserve Energy

Jun 25, 2015
Spencer Marley/KCBX

A San Luis Obispo County grand jury report released this week says the county is currently behind in its efforts to conserve energy at its facilities.

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 requires all cities and counties to develop specific plans to reduce energy consumption.

In response to this, San Luis Obispo County crafted its Energy Wise Plan in 2011.

Included in the plan was a promise to reduce energy consumption by 15% in county facilities by 2020.

The grand jury report states that the county has struggled to meet these goals.

The report also finds an energy manager position has been vacant for three years and the county lacks the adequate software to monitor the consumption at its approximately 200 facilities.

Flickr/Ben Klocek

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday night on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking' as it's more commonly known.

The vote was in line with what members of the local petroleum industry were requesting during the board's public comment period, in which more than 50 people were signed up to speak.

Flickr member Mike Baird

Santa Barbara County will begin work on the process for implementing a ban on certain forms of oil and gas drilling, should Measure P pass this November.

The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at a special meeting Tuesday to start the process.

Measure P calls for a ban on new forms of high intensity extraction, including fracking. Current oil and gas operations in the county should not be affected by the proposal according to the group that got it before the voters, the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians.

First Solar

UPDATE: July 22, 2014 at 5:53 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to approve plans for a large solar project in the Cuyama Valley.

The proposal passed with a couple of amendments aimed at protecting California condors.

Jefferson Litten with the Community Environmental Council says public comment ran 19 to 2 in favor of the project.

The issue now heads to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

Original Story

A pilot program aimed at increasing the number of energy efficient homes in Santa Barbara County, has now expanded to include much more of the Central Coast.

The program is called emPower and is designed to help homeowners discover what's inefficient about their homes, and then how to to fix the problems.

The assistant director of the county's Planning and Building Department Kami Griffin says, the program can even help with how to pay.

Wave energy, business incubators, local events

May 16, 2014


Mike Manchak, President and CEO for the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC), a non-profit working to generate jobs, promote start-ups, and increase investment throughout SLO County.


  • Potential Wave Energy Projects are being considered for the central coast from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo
  • Business incubators are starting to spring up, including a new one in Goleta.
  • Business-related events coming to the Central Coast in the coming weeks.