In recognition of energy-conservation efforts in Portola Valley Town Hall between 2008 and 2015 -- energy use declined 43 percent, according to figures provided by Pacific Gas & Electric -- the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative have given the town a high honor: three platinum Beacon Spotlight awards.
The other two awards were for cutting back on natural gas use by 34 percent during that same period, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent between 2005 and 2015, according to the institute. The awards were presented to the Town Council on Dec. 9.
The institute noted two key factors in Portola Valley's lower use of energy: an energy efficient Town Center complex, completed in 2008, and the installation of two electric-vehicle charging stations, each capable of charging two vehicles at a time.
The town has the highest percentage of "reported energy savings" of any of the Beacon program's 76 participants, institute spokesperson Karalee Browne said.
The institute, located in Sacramento, is overseen by California State Association of Counties, the League of California Cities, and the California Special Districts Association.