Our History

A Long and Proud History of
Helping People Act Now

For over four decades, we’ve been helping people act now by creating effective programs that benefit the environment, businesses, and communities. Follow our timeline below to learn how our unique history shapes the way we do business today.


Ecology Action is founded by
Cliff Humphrey on the nation’s first Earth Day


Ecology Action launches Santa Cruz’s first recycling center


Ecology Action’s drafting of critical legislation inspires county-led curbside recycling program


Ecology Action supports launch of Bike to Work Day in Santa Cruz, one of the first events of its kind in the nation


Ecology Action expands Bike to Work Day throughout Santa Cruz County


Ecology Action expands bicycle advocacy to include Bike to School Day


Bike to Work Day is recognized internationally through a United Nations proclamation


Ecology Action’s Bike to Work Day is recognized nationally by The League of the American Bicyclists recognized for its original artwork utilized to promote every day biking


Ecology Action launches first energy efficiency program, RightLights, for PG&E

Ecology Action launches the Livestock & Land program to support California coastal livestock property owners with best practices that protect water quality


Ecology Action launches program to replace pre-rinse spray valves, helping restaurants and grocery stores in PG&E territory save energy and water

Ecology Action wins prestigious Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award

Ecology Action launches Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program in coordination with local agencies


Ecology Action expands RightLights service territory through a contract with the City of Palo Alto Utilities



Ecology Action expands energy efficiency programs to include hotels with the launch of LodgingSavers

Ecology Action launches energy efficiency programs in the city and county of San Francisco under the San Francisco Energy Watch Program

Ecology Action launches Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping/Green Gardener Certification Program


Ecology Action expands service to Local Governments to include the Silicon Valley Energy Watch and San Mateo County Energy Watch partnerships

Ecology Action expands bicycling advocacy with Ebike Voucher Program, incentivizing 1,600 participants to purchase electric bikes for transportation


Ecology Action revives Earth Day Santa Cruz celebration

Ecology Action named Pollution Prevention Advocate of the Year by the Western Region Sustainability & Pollution Prevention Network

Ecology Action receives Comprehensive Recycling Award from the Department of Conservation


Ecology Action joins the California Energy Efficiency Industry Council as a Sustaining Member in its year of inception

Ecology Action named “Organization of the Year” for Climate Change Leadership by CoolCalifornia

Ecology Action expands professional consulting services to include a full service energy efficiency engineering practice

Ecology Action begins providing comprehensive engineering services to municipalities, non-profits and special districts through the San Mateo County Energy Watch program


Ecology Action expands cycling safety education programs with the launch of the Youth Bike Safety program

Ecology Action launches Energy Upgrade California, a comprehensive statewide residential energy efficiency market transformation program; includes innovative Property Assessed Clean Energy financing

Ecology Action expands energy efficiency programs to include Native American owned casinos through the CasinoGreen program


Ecology Action earns LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold Certification at Santa Cruz Headquarters

Ecology Action installs one of the first Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in the Monterey Bay Area

Ecology Action supports the California Green Business Program with the launch of a statewide database


Ecology Action assumes sponsorship of Friends of the Rail & Trail (FORT) effort to advance a 32-mile rail trail, in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission

Ecology Action expands electric vehicle advocacy through fiscal sponsorship of Monterey Electric Vehicle Alliance (MBEVA)


The US Department of Energy contracts with Ecology Action to implement the SMARTScale program, which expands our innovative DI 2.0 Model, which brings deeper savings and more comprehensive retrofits to the small and medium business market

Ecology Action expands energy efficiency program offerings to Sacramento Municipal Utilities (SMUD) territory with the launch of the Complete Energy Solutions program

Ecology Action completes installation of 40 Electric Vehicle charging stations in the Monterey Bay Area

Ecology Action partners with Strategic Energy Innovations to launch energy efficiency and education services under PG&E’s Energize Schools program

Ecology Action wins first schools-specific energy efficiency contract under California Prop 39; goes on to serve 21 school districts

Ecology Action develops the Modified Lighting Calculator (MLC) – the MLC is soon adopted for use throughout PG&E territory, dramatically improving the efficiency of the way energy savings are determined for certain measures

Ecology Action becomes the first organization to win the prestigious Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for a second time


Ecology Action expands energy efficiency programs with a new contract to serve Alameda Municpal Power’s small and medium businesses

Ecology Action responds to California’s historic drought by launching the “Take the Pledge” Direct Installation and Conservation Education program with the Water Conservation Coalition of Santa Cruz County

Ecology Action hosts first trainings on State Building Code (Title 24) for local government partners and utility staff

Ecology Action permits and installs the first rainwater harvesting systems for indoor uses in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties


Ecology Action awarded a Department of Water Resources grant to launch WaterLink, our largest initiative combining our expertise in both water and energy efficiency

Ecology Action wins contract renewal with Alameda Municipal Power, expanding program to include HVAC and refrigeration, and to serve schools and municipal facilities

Ecology Action is invited to join the California Public Utility Commission’s Stakeholder Advisory Group (StAG) to advise and inform the Direct Install Effectiveness Study, a statewide review of the impacts and best practices of DI programs in the small- and medium-business market

Ecology Action successfully initiates and passes Title 24 language modifications with the CEC that will have a huge effect on the energy efficiency market in the years ahead

Friends of the Rail & Trail and Ecology Action successfully meet milestone of funding 25% of the Coastal Rail Trail for construction; the 32-mile trail will connect Santa Cruz County coastal communities via a car-free, flat scenic trail


Ecology Action wins renewal of 3-year contract as implementer for the Complete Energy Solutions program in Sacramento Municipal Utilities (SMUD) territory

Ecology Action launches WaterLink, a program that helps people and businesses located in specific areas of Santa Clara County save water and energy

Ecology Action rolls out the SMARTScale toolkit to the nation, providing free, innovative and cost-effective tools for implementing small- to medium-sized commercial building energy retrofits

The Hospitality Program with PG&E is launched, replacing the former Lodging Savers and Casino Green programs, and expanding to include restaurants, health clubs, camping facilities and more. This program has the largest kWh savings target and budget for a single Ecology Action PG&E program to-date


Ecology Action wins the 2016 Corporate Services Supplier of the Year Award by PG&E

Ecology Action wins $5M in grants from the Department of Water Resources to expand WaterLink program in disadvantaged communities.

Ecology Action’s WaterLink program is recognized as the “2017 Organization Award” winner by the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards.


EA's 45-year logo
Celebrating 45 Years of Helping People Act Now