City governments must lead the way in energy conservation efforts. Mayor Mike Cooper published the following article in the local Edmonds Beacon newspaper this week. The article highlights what the City has done, and emphasizes the compounding benefits of reducing waste.
The article is published on the Edmonds Beacon website , and is reproduced in its entirety below.
Energy Efficiency Saves Money
by Mayor Mike Cooper
In communities across America local residents, businesses, and public agencies spend millions of dollars each year to buy energy—often dirty energy—from outside the community. By using energy more efficiently and by producing more energy locally, communities can reduce the outflow of energy dollars. This keeps more dollars circulating among local businesses close to home.
When communities harness millions of dollars for energy efficiency retrofit work and new energy infrastructure projects, they directly create good, family-wage local jobs in the trades as well.
Over the past several months Edmonds has been involved in several exciting partnerships that will substantially reduce our energy costs and move our community towards energy independence.
Shortly after my arrival as Mayor we entered into an agreement with New Energy Cities to assist the city with an energy action plan. We engaged a group of over 60 stakeholders from across the community to set priorities and discuss actions. The plan is complete and I will be making recommendations to the council for next steps in the near future.
The purpose of this action plan is to guide the collaborative work of regional public, private, and civic leaders in Edmonds to create a model for new energy leadership so successful that it inspires others to follow.
With gasoline near $4/gallon, we have taken action to purchase hybrid and all electric vehicles in our city fleet, saving over $6,500 in fuel costs per year! In addition to the economic benefit of lower fuel consumption, this will also reduce carbon emissions by 303 metric tons of CO2. We are moving forward with plans to install electric car charging stations around the city to encourage consumers to consider using electric vehicles.
Our partnership with the Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative establishes Edmonds as a leader in efforts to have local governments sign agreements with private investors. These agreements form an important partnership between the City of Edmonds and a growing number of our citizens wanting to take decisive action to address energy independence, energy efficiency, and climate change. When this project is installed it will save the city over $3200/year in electricity costs.
The City has improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization by making cost-effective improvements to its buildings. These efforts earned our City Hall the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. Buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
While the city has made major strides in energy savings, there is more left to do. The city is committed to reaching our goal of reducing our energy use 20 percent by the year 2020. We are currently undergoing an assessment of our fleet and facilities to determine where we can gain the most savings.
In these difficult and challenging economic times, these efforts will help keep our finances sustainable and at the same time reduce the amount of emissions your city government is putting into the atmosphere.