Buildings in Ann Arbor make up 77% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated in Ann Arbor. Municipal operations account for less than 2% of communitywide GHG emissions, so while the City is taking steps to lower energy use in its operations, meaningful progress towards our GHG reduction goals means our entire community plays a role in conserving energy use. The City Council recently approved a resolution to actively support federal Carbon Fee and Dividend (CFD) legislation which would set a national fee on fossil fuels. This, in turn, would naturally incentivize all of the projects described below.
What projects are completed and underway?
In the Community
Ann Arbor Climate Partnership
The Ecology Center, the Huron River Watershed Council, the City of Ann Arbor, along with a growing list of other partners are coordinating a plan to implement Ann Arbor's Climate Action Plan.
Property Assessed Clean Energy
Ann Arbor started the first PACE program in Michigan to help commercial property owners finance energy improvements through a special property assessment. The first round of PACE financing funded over $500,000 in local energy efficiency projects, with more on the way.
Drive Electric Partnership
The Drive Electric Ann Arbor Partnership formed in 2014 in an effort to support wider adoption of electric vehicles in the community. The partnership includes the Downtown Development Authority, local non-profit and advocacy organizations, DTE, University of Michigan, and local businesses.
At the City
Ann Arbor replaced 2,000 streetlights with LEDs to both cut energy and maintenance expenses , and was one of the first cities to widely adopt LED technology for public lighting. LED lights use half the energy (or less) and last much longer than conventional bulbs, resulting in big savings and short payback periods.
- In 2004, the City developed a Green Fleets Policy that set a target to reduce the City's fuel use in municipal operations by 10%. In 2012, the City reached this goal. Fuel use decreased by 12.4% and gas and diesel use in City vehicles decreased by 14.7%.
LEED Gold Justice Center
In 2011, the City opened the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified Justice Center building along with an upgraded City Hall, to create the new Municipal Center. The Municipal Center features a green roof and rooftop solar thermal panels for hot water and boiler heating purposes. The Justice Center's high-performance building "envelope" has walls, windows and roofing designed to keep the cold and heat outside while maintaining comfortable interior temperatures. Learn more about the building's LEED features.
Home Energy Affordability Loan (HEAL) Program
In 2013, the City and Zingerman's partnered with DTE Energy and Clean Energy Coalition to pilot the HEAL program, which offered energy audits and qualifying loans to employees to make energy efficiency improvements in their homes.