San Antonio Climate Action Plan

Over the past few months here in San Antonio, the greater San Antonio Community has taken up the debate over climate change and global warming on the local stage.

The SA Climate Ready, also known as the Climate Action and Adaption Plan, lays out a road map for the city to prepare for climate change and reach an overall objective of carbon neutrality. This means the city, its residents, and businesses would stop adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere by 2050. If adopted, the plan would make San Antonio one of dozens of cities worldwide seeking carbon neutrality.

The 84-page draft plan relies on scientific studies that predict a hotter, drier city with more intense storms if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. People who are economically disadvantaged would be impacted the most. The recommended strategies include switching to more renewable energy, reducing energy use in buildings and increasing the use of electric vehicles.

The 21-member SA Climate Ready Steering Committee, in coordination with working groups in five focus areas, helped the city and contractors develop a proposed Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. The Plan includes these recommendations to reduce greenhouse gases and increase local resilience to global climate change.

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More specifically, for the purposes of the real estate industry, below are strategies outlined in the plan which could impact both the residential and commercial communities.

Residential Strategies outlined:

  • Strategy #15- Residential Waste Reduction
    • Enhances pay-as-you-throw structure to provide a financial incentive to reduce landfill waste.
    • Encourage the increased diversion of residential waste from landfills by enhancing the pay-as-you-throw rate structure to provide a strong financial incentive to reduce landfilled waste, and investigate financial structures that account for the true cost of waste, including the GHG-impact.
    • Fund significant ongoing education on what can be composted or recycled.
  • Strategy # 25 – Electric and Water Rate Structures
    • Enact time-of-use, tiered, and/or EV charging rates for all San Antonio energy users to encourage energy efficiency and reduce peak load.
    • Identify and employ price signals to encourage energy and water conservation and ensure these resources are used when they are greener, i.e. when the grid is supplied by low-carbon sources.

Commercial Strategies outlined:

  • Strategy #4 –Reduce Building Energy Consumption – COMMERCIAL & MULTIFAMILY BENCHMARKING & DISCLOSURE ORDINANCE Implement a benchmarking and disclosure ordinance for large commercial, industrial, and multifamily buildings (above 50,000 sq. ft.).
  • Strategy #5 – COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL ENERGY AND WATER RATING SYSTEM – To inform owners, builders, renters, and potential buyers, research and develop an energy and water rating system for all commercial and residential properties.
  • Strategy #6 – ZERO NET ENERGY BUILDING CODE Continue San Antonio’s leadership in building codes by continually adopting the most recent update to the IECC code, with the goal of adopting a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) code for all new buildings and substantial rehabilitations by 2040, taking into consideration technical and economic feasibility.
  • Strategy #14- Commercial Waste Reduction
    • Only incentivizes and encourages businesses to move away from increased waste.
    • Incentivize and work with businesses to move away from single-use, disposable items.
    • Work with businesses to accelerate recycling efforts, utilizing CoSA’s ReWorks SA Commercial Recycling Program.
    • Incentivize innovative zero waste solutions, for example: provide incentives for the establishment of a zero waste grocery store.
    • Encourage waste certifications for all commercial facilities.

The Climate Action and Adaptation Plan has extended its timeline to allow for additional revisions and public comment. Public comment and stakeholder outreach period has been extended through April 25th with a revised plan scheduled for release to the public on May 30th.

The revised plan will undergo a review period this summer, followed by an approval process leading to City Council consideration in the fall. City Council adoption of the plan would not trigger regulations as each strategy will be evaluated and reviewed through its own processes.

Please click here to view the entire plan.

Questions? Please contact Brett Finley at (210) 593-1200 or brett@sabor.com.

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