Energy - Energy Reductions
A municipal effort to reduce energy use begins with an energy audit to determine a baseline for future measurements. Once this is accomplished, municipalities can use the results of the audit to set targets for reduction and timetables for implementation.
Where municipalities create greenhouse gases through power generation, transportation or waste management systems, targeted reductions in greenhouse gases may also be appropriate. Energy reduction targets are often coupled with mandated increases in the use of sustainable energy sources; municipalities with this capability should consider this bifurcated technique.
The percentages set for mandated reduction and the schedule set for implementation should be both practical and achievable. In 2007, the U. S. Government established a schedule by which all federal agencies should reduce their total "energy intensity" by 30% by the end of 2015, relative to the baseline of each agency's energy use in fiscal year 2003. The State of Texas mandated an annual energy reduction of 5% in each of five years.
ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) can be helpful to member municipalities in establishing and promoting energy reductions, using the "five milestones" technique. We strongly recommend that every municipality join this non-profit organization.
Kyoto USA is a non-profit organization that encourages U.S. cities and their residents to reduce the global-warming greenhouse gas emissions for which they are responsible.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.