City Renewable Energy Initiative
By Laura Paskus
Signed into city law last September, the initiative has nine main goals, which include:
• To develop a program that provides tax incentives and credits to companies that manufacture solar energy products or technologies.
• For all city-owned buildings and facilities to use 15 percent renewable energy within seven years—and for all new city-owned buildings over 100,000 square feet to be equipped with renewable energy technologies that would generate 25 percent of the building's energy.
• To expand current city investments in energy efficiency and to add investments in renewable technologies. (Currently, the city spends 1 percent of its capital improvements money on energy conservation projects.)
• To develop a citywide rebate program, similar to the water conservation program, that would offer rebates to city residents who use renewable energy.
• To amend the city's Industrial Revenue Bonds policy to award additional points to companies creating, producing or using renewable energy. (The city offers Industrial Revenue Bonds as incentives to encourage businesses to relocate to the area.)
• To revise new residential development standards based on energy efficiency.
• To apply for Clean Energy Grants from the state.
• To purchase environmentally safe products, including those that reduce exposure to toxic chemicals; reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants; protect water; increase water and energy efficiency; and favor reuse, repairability and recycling.
• To lobby the state Legislature to pass a net metering measure that would allow the city to sell the excess renewable energy they produce back to utilities.
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