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City Adopts Municipal Energy Action Plan

energy wind turbineOn August 27, City Council adopted a Municipal Energy Action Plan (MEAP). What is a MEAP, you ask? Well, a MEAP is the City’s plan to reduce the amount of energy it uses in providing municipal services. This includes energy used in buildings as well as for street and traffic lights, water and wastewater pumping, and irrigation systems for landscaping.

Our MEAP first analyzes energy use over the past several years, including the different sources of energy (electricity from the grid, solar, natural gas), and the energy costs. City staff and consultants gathered additional information like when buildings are occupied and what kinds of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting equipment are used. Then they looked for ways to save energy. Those actions that will save the most energy based on the cost of the action are included in the MEAP. These not only save money, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve valuable resources.

Include in the energy savings strategies are adjustments to HVAC system schedules to better match building occupancy, lighting upgrades to LED throughout (already in progress), and installation of insulation on hot water tanks and pipes. Based on the expected savings from the actions in the MEAP, the City has set a target of reducing energy usage by 15% by 2025 relative to 2010 usage.

With the MEAP being adopted, you might think about an energy action plan of your own. A lot of the actions in the MEAP are things that you can do at home to save energy. You can install a smart thermostat and program a schedule to match when you’re at home. You can also upgrade your lighting to LED inside and out. It’s likely that there are LED light bulbs that fit into your existing lamps and light fixtures. Another thing you can do is install insulation on your hot water tank and pipes, and in your attic and walls. By doing these things, you’ll lower your monthly bills as well as lower your carbon footprint!

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