Energy & Climate Program

According to a report from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in April 2018 the average concentration of carbon in the atmosphere exceeded 410 parts per million for the first time in recorded history. We are emitting more carbon into the atmosphere than our atmosphere and oceans can handle, resulting in warmer worldwide average temperatures that are bringing the predicted impacts of a changed climate: more disastrous and unpredictable weather (severe storms, drought, and floods), a rise in sea level, more frequent and severe wildfires, and reduced air quality.

The good news is, there are steps we can all take to reduce our carbon emissions and slow down the rate of climate impacts, that will help create healthier air, water, and living conditions for future generations. Acterra’s Energy and Climate Program is helping to make it faster, easier, and cheaper for all of us to take individual and collective action on climate.  We offer education and advocacy to help accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy and make sure that everyone can benefit from the clean technology revolution.

Click on the programs below to learn more and find ways you can get involved.

Climate Resilient Communities: Equity and Action for a Healthy Future

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In the Bay Area, as throughout the world, low-income communities are disproportionately affected by the negative consequences of climate change. Acterra builds alliances between community residents, local government programs, and community-based organizations in low-income areas in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties to create resilience against the coming impacts of climate change. Working with partners such as GRID Alternatives, Habitat for Humanity, El Consilio, Rebuilding Together, and Build It Green, we have brought free home repairs and energy upgrades, free solar panels, and access to the Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) to hundreds of low-income residents. We are also conducting educational outreach, along with Resilient By Design, on impending effects of sea-level rise in our communities.

GoEV! Love the Planet AND Your Car

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As our local communities shift to clean electricity from wind and solar, electric vehicles provide continued mobility and convenience without impacting the climate. Acterra offers “Ride and Drive” events at schools and businesses, giving people a chance to experience emission-free driving. Our EV Ambassadors offer rides and answer questions about purchase options, range, and available models. 

Clean Energy Access for All: A Design Sprint on Funding Models


Clean energy technologies, like home solar rooftop systems, carry substantial ongoing economic and environmental benefits, especially in low-income communities where utilities can represent as much as 20% of household budgets. However, these technologies require substantial upfront investments, putting them out of reach for many. On October 18, 2018, Acterra organized a "design sprint" (an interactive, time-intensive prototyping session).

Watch the webinar here.

Download the whitepaper based on outcomes from the summit here.

Green@Home: Reduce Energy Waste AND Utility Bills

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Acterra’s signature Green@Home program offers educational programs that helps individuals take action to reduce their home energy waste while also reducing their energy bills. Hundreds of residents in Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park have already reduced their carbon emissions and energy costs through our workshops, online energy audits, hands-on demonstrations, and home visits. Contact Julie Noblitt, Energy & Climate Program Director at for information about how to bring Green@Home to your city.

Special Projects

Sunnyvale CAP 2.0

Acterra and OpenIDEO, along with DNV-GL, teamed up to provide community engagement and outreach in 2018 for the City of Sunnyvale’s new Climate Action Plan (CAP 2.0). A community engagement workshop of more than 160 residents was held in March 2018 to kick off the community engagement. We have collected more than 100 ideas for how we might create a carbon-neutral Sunnyvale by changing how we power buildings, how we get around, how we consume and conserve resources, and how we learn from and use data. In fall 2018, look for the public comment period on the draft plan.