County: Update From Los Alamos Resiliency, Energy And Sustainability Task Force


The Los Alamos Resiliency, Energy and Sustainability Task Force is now over halfway through its chartered time; we are scheduled to sunset next February. We have submitted our Interim Report to the County Council with preliminary ideas for recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the county (exclusive of LANL). Nothing has been finalized, and these interim recommendations are subject to change, modification, or elimination in the final report.  Council will then consider whether to accept, reject, or modify them.

The LA RES Task Force has five subcommittees: Community Planning & Zoning; Electrical Supply & Demand; Natural Gas Reduction; Transportation & Mobility; and Waste, Consumption & Natural Resources. Recommendations are currently organized by these categories, along with a “General Recommendations” section. 

While listing all interim draft recommendations is not possible in this format, below are some of the highlights. Again, these are not set in stone, and no final decisions have been made.

  • Perform a baseline greenhouse gas emissions study upon which future reduction targets/goals can be based and creating a Climate Change Action Plan and an Annual Report to be shared with the public, much like the Annual Water Quality Report. 
  • Update the building code to include the most up-to-date energy efficient standards. 
  • Develop a low-interest loan program (repaid through utilities) to help property owners upgrade/retrofit their homes. 
  • Continue to pursue renewable energy sources as well as energy storage options
  • Develop an intermittency management strategy.
  • Encourage residential rooftop solar and electric vehicle (EV) purchase. 
  • After some date, all new buildings should have solar hookups and solar access, and no more natural gas hookups should be installed in new construction. 
  • Encourage compact architectures for new construction. Two- and three-story and multi-family homes require less winter heating and summer cooling than single-family detached homes. 
  • Encourage energy-efficient non-natural gas appliances, such as heat pumps, solar hot water, tankless water heaters, induction stoves, etc. Any new natural gas appliances should use electric ignition rather than pilot lights.
  • Incentivize public transportation to encourage commuters to drive less. 
  • Invest in more EVs for the County fleet and grow the EV charging infrastructure. 
  • Divert all waste from the landfill through waste reduction, recycling, and composting. 
  • Build a water conservation and watershed stewardship plan. 
  • Increase ways of sequestering carbon in our community.
  • Provide residents with easy-to-use tools to calculate their own individual carbon footprints and paths to reduction. 

For further details and information about how these recommendations have worked in other communities, please see the full Interim Report on the County’s website. Comments, ideas and concerns are welcome to Feedback will also be welcome at the LA Resiliency, Energy and Sustainability Task Force Town Hall on Wednesday, October 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.