Archived News Release: April 18, 2022 -
In 2020, the City of Ann Arbor adopted an aggressive climate and sustainability plan and framework, called A2ZERO, which sets the goal of achieving a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by the year 2030. Supporting this goal are seven overarching strategies, one of which is to power the Ann Arbor community with 100% clean and renewable energy.
The city is looking at multiple pathways to achieve this strategy, including the creation of what is known as a Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU). An SEU is a community-owned energy utility that provides electricity from local solar and battery storage systems installed on homes and businesses throughout the city.
“The envisioned Ann Arbor SEU would be a community-owned utility that would provide 100% clean, reliable, locally built and affordable electricity; built by the community, for the community," said Missy Stults, City of Ann Arbor Sustainability and Innovations director. “It would be a supplemental utility to what residents currently have and could provide our community members with a choice for how to procure their energy; a choice most do not have today."
Earlier this year, City Council passed a resolution directing city staff to gather public interest in a potential Ann Arbor SEU. To do that, the Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations has created an online survey for community members to complete by June 30 at https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/116/Issue_11807. Results from the survey will help inform next steps.
To learn more about the Ann Arbor SEU, visit www.a2gov.org/a2seu. The project website includes a 10-minute video that provides a high-level overview of the proposed SEU as well as the services the community-owned utility could provide, including:
Improved energy reliability via the installation of solar and energy storage systems on homes and businesses.
Robust energy waste reduction (efficiency) programs that save residents money while improving comfort, safety and health.
Financing tools to help lower the upfront costs and increase flexibility of paying for comfort improvements (e.g., on-bill finance).
Support with transitioning appliances to electric and associated workforce training to high-road, local job creation.
Microgrids between neighboring households, where solar and storage are shared.
Community solar programs that provide residents the benefit of solar installed in shared areas of the city.
Energy justice initiatives to ensure that everyone in the community has the benefit of the clean energy economy.
City staff will discuss the SEU, gather feedback and answer questions at two webinars in April and May.
Friday, April 29, at 3 p.m. — An Introduction to Ann Arbor's Proposed Sustainable Energy Utility.
Wednesday, May 4, at 6 p.m. — An Introduction to Ann Arbor's Proposed Sustainable Energy Utility.
For more information about the Ann Arbor SEU, visit www.a2gov.org/A2SEU or email [email protected].
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