Boise’s city government uses approximately two percent of the total electricity in Boise, making the commitment a significant one. The announcement comes as a growing number of cities across the United States and around the world are establishing goals to address climate change issues, reduce energy use or transition to renewable energy sources. The goal further supports previous energy and climate actions at the city level, including Mayor Bieter signing the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
“A growing number of businesses want renewable energy,” Mayor Bieter said during last week’s State of the City address. “Consumers demand it and costs are coming down. To separate ourselves and attract the types of businesses we want, we need more clean energy. It’s a first step to creating a set of renewable energy goals for the entire city. It’s not a slogan. It’s our commitment to set the stage for what’s next.”
The steps and policies needed to accomplish the city’s goal are currently in development. A preliminary financial analysis has been completed to identify the costs to city government, with the next step of determining funding strategies to support the goal achievement and implementation.
The municipal goal is part of a larger effort currently underway to reach a community-wide clean energy goal. Named Boise’s Energy Future, the project’s objective is the identification of a community-wide goal for renewable energy transition.
A team of stakeholders with specialized knowledge of energy issues has been assembled to provide ongoing support, technical input and expertise throughout the process. The stakeholder team includes local utilities, large energy users, environmental groups and other community energy experts.
The team has completed the initial compiling and analysis of baseline energy source and usage data. Specific objectives, programs and initiatives to achieve the goal as well as an analysis of the economic, technical and regulatory feasibility for achieving the goal will also be provided. Additionally, a financial model to analyze the costs and benefits of the potential goal and objectives is being developed.
The public will be asked to provide input during the drafting of the plan, beginning in late fall. Additional information on how Boise residents can be involved, as well as project contact information, can be found here.
The focus of Boise’s Energy Future is around “community energy” which is the energy that Boise uses to power and heat our homes, businesses and other buildings throughout the city. It also includes other energy uses in the community including industrial processes, irrigation systems, streetlights, water treatment and other energy uses not specific to individual buildings.
The primary sources of Boise’s community energy are electricity (provided by Idaho Power), natural gas (provided by Intermountain Gas) and geothermal energy (provided by several entities). Currently, our city’s electricity is provided by a combination of renewable and non-renewable sources.
About the City of Boise: Our vision is to make Boise the most livable city in the country by fostering vibrant communities, innovative enterprises and lasting environments on behalf of our nearly 225,000 residents. Visit cityofboise.org to learn more.