San José, California
Population: 1 million
San José is a city in Northern California with over one million residents, and is often considered the “Capital of Silicon Valley.” In 2019, San José became the largest city in America to create a community choice energy program that, by 2021, will offer 100% carbon neutral electricity. The creation of this community choice program, called San José Community Energy, will further reduce emissions and increase the impact from electrifying fossil fuel-based building systems throughout the city.
In 2018, San José was selected as one of 25 cities for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, placing San José among a set of leading cities in the United States working to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change and promote a more sustainable future for residents. San José is now in the process of adopting a Reach Code, along with as many as 50 other California cities, to strongly encourage all-electric construction that will help lower construction costs, energy costs, and significantly reduce citywide emissions. San José is also working on efforts through the American Cities Climate Challenge to decarbonize their transit sector and expand building energy use benchmarking requirements.
San José is working with BEI to complete an analysis of the local building stock to identify key opportunities and needs across technical, decision-making, and socioeconomic factors in order to shape future programs and lay out a roadmap to building decarbonization for the city. This year, San José also launched a pilot incentive program for heat pump water heaters, and will soon launch a Climate Leaders program that will encourage sustainable and climate-friendly actions across its large and rapidly growing community.