Ann Arbor has long believed that local government plays an important role in protecting the environment. The Ann Arbor Energy Plan was created in 1981 as part of this longstanding commitment to environmental quality. This plan established goals and programs to reduce energy use and costs in Ann Arbor while moving the City towards more sustainable energy use. Consequently, the Ann Arbor Energy Office was created in 1985. In addition to reducing energy consumption and advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at the municipal level, the Energy Office is working to support these efforts throughout our community.
The Energy Office administers or is a member of a number of energy-related programs, including:
The Energy Office has initiated a number of projects over the years, including:
With a goal of moving the City towards more efficient and sustainable energy use, the Energy Office operates in three major areas:
- Managing projects, programs and grants: project management for energy purchases, energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy use at City-owned facilities and for City-owned vehicles
- Developing information resources: maintain an energy database for all city operations to provide baselines for energy use and savings analysis. Produce and distribute educational materials about energy use, policies and programs.
- Advising City managers, elected officials and the general public: provide expert advice on programs, policies and ordinances for intelligent purchase and use of energy both by City facilities and City transportation.
Activities and Accomplishments
In keeping with its mission, Ann Arbor Energy Office supports energy-efficient building projects for over 50 municipal facilities including a performance contracting retrofit of City Hall. An innovative Municipal Energy Fund has been utilized to implement energy improvements in over 20 city facilities. Energy Office initiatives have saved city taxpayers more than $5 million in energy expenditures over the last decade.
The Energy Office has also obtained and managed over $2,000,000 in grants and rebates from federal, state and corporate sources. Some of these grants, such as Clean Cities grants, have given the Energy Office valuable experience in nurturing partnerships between various departments, levels of government, and public and private sectors in support of alternative fuel vehicles.
Clean Cities is a Department of Energy program whose goal is reduce the consumption of imported petroleum and improve air quality. It provides a forum for members to promote alternative fuels, vehicles, and infrastructure; share information; leverage resources; develop joint projects; and collaborate on public policy issues in our community.
The City has developed partnerships with Washtenaw County for the Cities for Climate Protection Program; University of Michigan, DTE Energy, Ann Arbor Public Schools and others for the Clean Cities Program; and provides support to Washtenaw County as the lead organization for the Rebuild Michigan initiative. The local coalition, called Rebuild Washtenaw, will offer energy efficiency services and sets the foundation for a program that can be extended to neighboring townships.
In addition, the Energy Office recently organized and implemented a municipal Green Fleets policy with the goal of reducing municipal fuel use to 10% below 2003 usage by 2012.
Did you know Ann Arbor has an Energy Plan?