Climate Action Campaign — 20% by 2016

Thanks to Community Choice Aggregation (CCEA), Evanston residents and small business owners are enjoying lower electric bills — and 100% green power, too. In selecting an energy supplier for the CCEA program, the Evanston City Council has twice chosen suppliers offering 100% renewable energy. As a result, at the end of the first 12 months of the program (mid-year 2013), Evanston has succeeded in achieving the 13% reduction target set in its Climate Action Plan.

But much more remains to be done to reduce our collective carbon footprint. CGE has endorsed a next emissions-reduction goal of 20% by 2016 (relative to a 2005 baseline). Assuming a continuation of 100% renewable energy for electricity, meeting the new goal will require additional emissions reductions of about 2% each year for the next four years.

The 20% by 2016 campaign will pursue five strategies.

  1. Retain 100% green power for Evanston residents and small businesses. This is absolutely essential to achieving the new 20% emissions-reduction goal. In selecting a provider for the second year of the CCEA program (2013-2014), the City Council has again chosen a supplier offering 100% renewable energy.
  2. Develop and implement a green power program for larger businesses. Many Evanston businesses are too large for the community aggregation program but are too small to have leverage in contracting for a lower-cost electrical supply. A business green power program has been launched, and an alternate energy supplier is in the process of contracting with local businesses to provide 100% renewable energy.
  3. Improve building efficiency through an intensive retrofit program. Buildings are one of the two biggest sources of Evanston GHG emissions and are a major focus of the 20% campaign. The campaign will help Evanston homeowners and business owners learn about and take advantage of building efficiency upgrade programs and rebate programs offered by the local utility companies.
  4. Reduce transportation emissions through system innovations and behavior change. Transportation is the other big source of local emissions. The campaign will promote system innovations aimed at making alternatives to the private automobile more attractive and will encourage Evanstonians to try different modes of travel that produce fewer GHG emissions.
  5. Promote further energy savings by the City and other major Evanston institutions. The city’s seven largest employers are working collaboratively as the Evanston Green Ribbon Committee to advance the strategies outlined in the Climate Action Plan. The campaign will encourage their continued efforts to set and achieve new sustainability goals.

Let’s Get Started!

Here are two ways in which you can participate in the campaign and help Evanston reduce its GHG emissions 20% by 2016 —

  1. Visit the campaign’s “livability means:” website and learn about easy steps you can take to live more sustainably and help reduce our collective carbon footprint. Building on the City of Evanston’s vision statement, Creating the most livable city in America, “livability means:” encourages all of us to walk more, bike more, and/or use public transit more as well as take steps to save energy at home and at work.
  2. If you have been thinking about improving the energy efficiency of your home, now is the time. The Nicor/ComEd Home Energy Savings Program makes it both easy and affordable to save on your home energy use. The program starts with a home energy assessment and provides an instant rebate of 50% off the cost of implementing the recommended energy-efficiency improvements (up to $1,250).

For more information — or to help with the campaign, please contact: campaign@greenerevanston.org.