2015 Agenda — Evanston Livability Plan
In summer 2013, we reached the goal set in Evanston’s 2008 Climate Action Plan, a 13% reduction in the community’s greenhouse gas emissions (relative to a 2005 baseline). Now we have a next climate action goal — a 20% reduction in emissions by 2016 (again relative to a 2005 baseline) — and a blueprint to reach that goal, the Evanston Livability Plan. CGE’s work is organized around implementing the strategies outlined in the plan.
I. Residential Green Power
The shift to 100% renewable energy for residents and small businesses was the largest factor in Evanston’s achieving its 13% emissions-reduction goal. And maintaining 100% green power is essential to achieving the new 20% emissions-reduction goal. Evanston’s current aggregation contract provides for 100% green power until summer 2017.
CGE is working to enroll additional customers in the aggregation program and is also promoting local renewable energy resources, including solar thermal systems and development of an offshore wind farm.
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II. Business Green Power
Many businesses are too large for the community aggregation program but are too small to have leverage in contracting for a lower-cost electrical supply. Efforts are underway to engage alternate energy suppliers to offer a cost-effective green power program to these businesses.
III. Building Retrofits
Buildings are one of the two biggest sources of Evanston GHG emissions, and improving their energy efficiency is a major focus of the 20% campaign. CGE is partnering with Elevate Energy, an energy efficiency nonprofit, to help homeowners and other property owners learn about cost-effective upgrade programs and the financial incentives available to help pay for these improvements. Read about our energy efficiency programs here.
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IV. Transportation Change
Transportation is the other big source of local emissions. CGE is engaged in several green transportation initiatives designed to get Evanstonians to walk more, bike more, and take public transit more. Our premier event is Streets Alive, which on September 13 will turn one mile of Main Street into a giant block party, giving the community a chance to reimagine Evanston as a place to walk and bike for transportation.
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V. City and Other Institutions
The city’s seven largest employers work collaboratively on sustainability initiatives as the Evanston Green Ribbon Committee. CGE is encouraging these employers to make a commitment to reducing their emissions by 2%/year through 2016.