Municipal Energy Master Plans
Municipal Energy Masterplans (MEPs)are detailed long-term plans established to reduce energy use, mitigate climate-change-related greenhouse gas emissions and improve the overall energy efficiency. MEPs propagate a community culture of energy conservation while also aligning communities for future development through sustainable energy generation and transmission infrastructure. Cities with poor unsustainable energy systems are likely to witness poor economic growth. In contrast, cities implementing sustainable energy solutions are more likely to witness rapid economic growth that is climate-resilient. Dr. Noel Brown, a former United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) director for the North American region, notes that although the national governments sign the Climate Change Conventions, the true leadership for energy conservation and emission reduction rests with the municipal leaders. Local governments determine the energy and carbon pictures of their cities. While each city is different, its energy plans must be built on the particular needs and resources at its disposal. This study accesses the Municipal Energy master plans of five such states in the USA, analyzing the energy strategies, energy goals, and energy opportunities.
Concord Energy Master Plan
The City of Concord developed the Concord Energy Master Plan was to provide information on sustainable energy and energy efficiency and enable Concord citizens to make informed policy decisions on energy use and efficiency.
The Concord energy committee is adopting a strategy that will ensure the energy performance of all public facilities is assessed and addressed comprehensively and consistently. Initiatives under this strategy include;
The overall goal of the Concord Energy Master Plan is to provide a roadmap to advance the people of Concord to a point where they have;
In 2007, Governor Patrick established the Development Committee to focus state policies and practices around a series of sustainable development principles. The principles included; advancing equity, protecting land and ecosystems, efficient decision-making, and increased job and business opportunities. The Smart Growth Energy program seeks to advance these principles through; state-funded grants and awards, technical assistance, annual educational conferences, and the development of a toolkit with model bylaws.
Los Angeles Public Works Renewable Energy Master Plan
The Los Angeles Public works developed a Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP) to provide a roadmap for renewable energy generation in Public Works facilities. The master plan explores numerous case studies, technologies and offers recommendations for the project’s future. The renewable energy projects are expected to offset energy usage in the public facilities on-site and off-site.
Los Angeles Public Works considers several technologies and solutions for the REMP. The renewable energy solutions considered for further research were selected based on; the Public Work operations, space availability in facility locations, and the potential for infrastructure integration. Public Works seeks to employ them to achieve its net-zero energy goals. They include;
REMP’s main goal is to define a high-level roadmap towards net-zero energy by 2030. It seeks to achieve this goal by identifying opportunities to expand renewable energy generation at Public Works facilities and developing about 20 projects that can be implemented to achieve this goal.
Other goals include;
Energy opportunities in REMP include;
The Philadelphia Municipal Energy Master Plan provides a roadmap on how the City seeks to lead by example in the fight against climate change. The City seeks to reduce energy use and costs, improve operations’ efficiency, and advance environmental stewardship per its commitment to a low-carbon climate-resilient development agenda.
The City’s energy goals include;
Philadelphia’s Municipal Energy Master Plan has two main strategies for the built environment; Strategy 1: Lower Energy use and Strategy 2: Clean Energy Supply.
Strategy 1: Lower Energy Use- The City, seeks to lower energy use and improve energy efficiency to save on costs and reduce climate change-related carbon emissions. To put the energy-saving potential of the City’s buildings into perspective, the Energy office is modeling and analyzing the impact of several potential energy conservation measures (ECM) and updating the Master Plan with the results as new technologies emerge.
Strategy 2: Clean Energy Supply- the City, seeks to clean its energy supply and electricity grid to meet both government and citywide emission reduction goals. To achieve a 100% transition to renewable energy per Major Kenney’s 2017 directive, the City seeks to generate and purchase clean energy. It is also working to influence the generation that feeds into the regional electricity grid.
Strategy 1: Lower Energy Use-Opportunities in this strategy include;
Strategy 2: Clean Energy Supply-The opportunities here include;
New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan is a comprehensive document that addresses New Jersey’s energy system, including electricity production, buildings, transportation, and related greenhouse gas emissions. According to the plan, the 2050 100 percent clean energy goal requires that the state attains 100 percent carbon-neutral electricity generation and full electrification of the transport and building sectors by 2050. It is the first in a series of steps that the state is undertaking to ensure it generates, consumes, and consistently manages energy with the climatic, societal, and economic demand s of its people.
The overall goal of the New Jersey Energy Master Plan is to provide a roadmap for the state’s administration to attain 100% clean energy by 2050.
The New Jersey Energy Master Plan identifies seven key strategies for the implementation of the plan.
Strategy 1: Reducing Energy Consumption and Emission from the Transportation Sector- seeks to electrify the transport sector, leverage technology to reduce emissions and miles traveled, and encourage electric vehicle adoption
Strategy 2: Accelerating Deployment of Renewable Energy and Distributed Energy Resources – to be achieved by developing community solar, solar thermal, offshore wind energy development and energy storage. It also entails the adoption of new market structures for energy development and cost reduction.
Strategy 3: Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Conservation and Reducing Peak Demand- to be achieved through enacting 0.75% and 2% utility energy efficiency standards for natural gas and electricity and improving overall energy efficiency programs in New Jersey.
Strategy 4: Reducing Energy Consumption and Emissions from the Building Sector- to be achieved through decarbonization and electrification of existing and new buildings and expansion of the statewide net zero carbon homes incentive program.
Strategy 5: Decarbonizing and modernizing New Jersey’s Energy System- To be achieved through investment in grid technology reducing reliance on natural gas, planning, and establishing Integrated Distribution Plans and sophistication of rate design.
Strategy 6: Supporting Community Energy Planning and Action in Underserved Communities- will be achieved through clean power generation, prioritization of clean transport options in communities, the establishment of community energy plans, and incentivization of local, clean energy production.
Strategy 7: Expand the Clean Energy Innovation Economic- the state seeks to develop clean energy knowledge services and products exported to other regions, thereby growing jobs and driving investment in the region. The attraction of supply chain businesses and fueling clean energy research and development in the state.
New York Five Cities Energy Master Plan
New York’s Five Cities Energy Master Plan represents a wide-ranging effort to rethink how municipalities can minimize their energy use cost-effectively and systematically. The plan integrates the Cities of Albany, Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. It seeks to complement Gov. Cuomo’s landmark BuildSmart NY program, which endeavors to enhance energy efficiency in its government buildings.
These energy goals cut across all the five Cities and include;
All five cities are implementing initiatives that revolve around the following ten strategies;
In conclusion, municipal energy master plans provide Cities and States with long-term plans for reducing energy use, improving energy efficiency, and mitigating climate change-triggering greenhouse emissions. They work to strengthen the community culture of energy conservation while also setting precedence for future planning and development. They highlight options for local renewable energy production and endeavor to support low carbon climate-resilient economic development. From the review above, it is clear that all master plans endeavor to set goals for energy use reduction and energy efficiency, set working strategies to achieve these goals, highlight benefits expected from implementing these strategies, and recommend suggestions for future consideration. Through energy master plans, states can achieve their emission targets while also steering towards a carbon-free economic development pathway.
Concord Energy Master Plan (2011). Retrieved from https://concordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3527/Concord-2011-Energy-Master-Plan-PDF
Los Angeles Public Works Renewable Energy Master Plan (2020) Retrieved from: https://dpw.lacounty.gov/adm/sustainability/docs/Public%20Works%20REMP.pdf.
New York Power Authority (2015). Retrieved from: https://www.nypa.gov/-/media/nypa/documents/document-library/operations/five-cities/2015-01-31-buffaloenergyplan.pdf
Philadelphia Municipal Energy Master Plan (2017.) Retrieved from https://www.phila.gov/media/20170927092513/MunicipalEnergyMasterPlan.pdf
State of New Jersey Municipal Energy Master Plan (2019). Retrieved from http://d31hzlhk6di2h5.cloudfront.net/20200127/84/84/03/b2/2293766d081ff4a3cd8e60aa/NJBPU_EMP.pdf
Vaughan Municipal Energy Master Plan (2013). Retrieved from https://www.vaughan.ca/cityhall/environmental_sustainability/Pages/Municipal-Energy-Plan.aspx
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