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What is Ann Arbor's Energy Challenge?

[Wind Turbines]

In a speech to City Council on September 19, 2005, Mayor Hieftje issued his Green Energy Challenge, calling for Ann Arbor to use 20 percent green energy by 2010 for municipal operations and by 2015 for the whole city. After the Energy Commission reported to Council on a path to 30 percent green energy, Mayor Hieftje raised the goal for municipal operations for 2010. On May 1, 2006, City Council unanimously passed a resolution to formally adopt these goals.

The City reached its original 20% renewable energy goal for municipal operations in 2010. A re-evaluation of the Green Energy Goals by the Energy Commission and Energy Office in early 2011, utilizing available data and forecasting future scenarios, resulted in new City Council approved municipal operations and community goals for 2015:

 For municipal operations:
     - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% from 2000 levels;
     - 30% renewable energy   

 For the entire community:
     - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 8% from 2000 levels;
     - 5% renewable energy

It will be important to continually re-evaluate and refine energy goals for Ann Arbor as opportunities arise, technologies emerge, and the cost for conventional sources change over time.

There are two important parts to meeting our energy challenge. The first step is
energy conservation, because a primary goal of the challenge is to reduce our dependence on foreign, non-renewable sources of energy. Using less energy also makes it easier to meet our renewable energy goals. The second step is to start replacing our conventional energy sources with renewable energy. These steps can be taken for each of the three forms of energy we use every day: Electricity, Natural Gas, and Transportation.

So, Where Are We Today?

Ann Arbor currently produces the equivalent of 20% renewable energy of its municipal operations, mostly due to generation from landfill gas capture and two hydro-electric dams 

What Are Other Cities Doing?

  • Chicago currently buys 10% renewable energy and plans to buy 20% by 2010.
  • San Francisco voters approved a $100 million bond for renewable energy investments that pays for itself through energy savings.
  • Portland, OR established a goal of using 100% renewable energy in city facilities by 2010.
  • A consortium in Montgomery County, MD purchased 5% electricity from wind as part of plan to meet EPA air quality standards.

Energy Challenge Background

In 2006,Ann Arbor's Energy ChallengeThe Energy Commission reported to City Council
on ways to meet the 20 percent green energy goal. The Commission's presentation detailed a path to 30 percent (or more) green energy for municipal operations by 2010 and outlined strategies for energy conservation and green energy in the community.

Download the presentation as a (4.7 MB) PDF file.



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