A resolution to explore forming an Energy Efficiency Development District was adopted by the City Council at an April 18 public meeting.
In 2010, the city won an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to identify new approaches to achieving greater energy-efficiency. One concept that emerged was forming a citywide Energy Efficiency District to increase both energy efficiency and economic development.
The Resolution directs the City to work with potential partners, including UIG Applied Energetics and Rubenius US, in exploring the formation of an Energy Efficiency Development District. Information will then be provided to the City Council for further consideration.
No city funds are required for exploring the concept.
The idea behind the Energy District is to have an organization that provides leadership on achieving greater energy efficiency throughout the city, encourages sustainable development, and implements projects with assistance from public and private partners.
The District could be operated by a Sustainability Board. Implementing partners may include utility agencies, equipment vendors, installers, community colleges, lenders, and community organizations.
The concept was discussed at Council meetings on March 5 and April 14. On April 18, the City Council adopted the Resolution, which will kick off a process to investigate forming the Energy Efficiency District.
Such districts are fairly common in Europe. With increased energy demands and conservation needs, some cities in the U.S. and Canada are also pursuing the district option.