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San Francisco, CA, provides payments for residential and commercial solar installations

by Rena Ragimova Oct 31, 2008

The Achievement

In December, 2007 the San Francisco Solar Task Force recommended a direct incentive process and a multi-year funding stream to support solar incentive payments. The city’s Public Utility Commission’s renewable energy and energy efficiency funds are used to provide payments ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 for residential installations and up to $10,000 for commercial installations. San Francisco also has the first solar mapping web portal for use by residents at www.sf.solarmap.org. Read more »

Newark, N.J., plants 500 trees to reduce energy use and pollution

by Rena Ragimova Oct 31, 2008

The Achievement

In 2004, Newark, NJ, undertook a new project to create a more attractive, healthier, energy efficient city with one simple tool: trees. Utilizing funding from a statewide urban forest energy efficiency initiative called “Cool Cities,” Newark planted 500 trees in strategic areas to employ the trees’ energy efficiency and air pollution reduction benefits.

The Benefits

The City anticipates each tree will reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 12% for buildings that are shaded by the trees, which will in-turn, reduce energy use and global warming pollution. Read more »

Boise, ID, heats 366 buildings with geothermal energy

by Rena Ragimova Oct 05, 2008

The Achievement

Boise, ID, uses geothermal resources underlying the downtown area to heat a total of 366 homes, businesses, and public buildings using four geothermal systems. Boise also has the only state capitol building in the U.S. that is heated by geothermal water.

Read more »

Greensboro, NC, produces $30,000 worth of landfill methane per year

by Rena Ragimova Oct 05, 2008

The Achievement

In 1995, the City of Greensboro, NC, entered into an agreement with Duke Energy to develop a renewable energy recovery system. This system collects and transports methane gas that is created by the decomposition of organic materials found in the landfill. The gas is collected from the landfill through a series of pipes that have been placed below the surface of the waste. The gas is then transported to the program’s industrial partner, Cone Mills, by way of a three-mile pipeline. The gas is burned in boilers to generate steam in order to operate machinery in the Cone Mills’ textile plant. The methane is sold to Cone Mills at a lower cost than other natural gases, thereby lowering their utility costs.

The Benefit

Historically, the City of Greensboro has received around $30,000 annually from the sale of the landfill gas.

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West Hollywood, CA, implements green building point system

by Rena Ragimova Oct 05, 2008

The Achievement

In 2007 the City of West Hollywood, CA began implementing a locally made green building point system by installing a green resources center at city hall to make education simple. The point system works so that once developers reach a point threshold (by planting more trees, using bamboo or other renewable building materials, using exposed concrete floors, etc.) they can choose between eight incentives, including expedited permitting and variances. Read more »

Chicago, IL, leads the way on green roofs

by Rena Ragimova Oct 05, 2008

The Achievements

In Chicago, IL surfacing the roofs of municipal buildings with greenery has not only reduce storm water runoff, but has also created large energy savings. While the degree of savings depends on the type of roof and the climate, the City found that installing a green roof on city hall lowered the temperature by 3 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit, which translated into a 10 percent reduction in air conditioning requirements. While the city’s green roof was 90 degrees on the summer’s hottest days, neighboring roofs measured over 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Read more »

Greensboro, NC, coliseum gets efficiency upgrades

by Rena Ragimova Oct 05, 2008

The Achievement

The city coliseum in Greensboro, NC received energy-efficient lighting system retrofits, water conserving plumbing fixtures and major upgrades to its HVAC system in 2007.

The Benefits

These measures will reduce electricity consumption by a quarter, cut natural gas use in half and cut emissions by more than 1,700 tons a year. The cost of these changes will be paid for by the net energy savings of the facility. Read more »

Santa Barbara, CA, first in nation to adopt 2030 Challenge for all buildings

by Rena Ragimova Oct 05, 2008

The Achievement

In 2007, the City of Santa Barbara, CA, took a historic step by passing an ordinance to become the first U.S. city to adopt the 2030 Challenge for all buildings within the city limits. The legislation seeks to reduce the fossil fuel standard for all new buildings in order to accomplish carbon neutrality by 2030. The ordinance will enact building regulations exceeding state standards for energy use by 20% for low-rise residential buildings, 15% for high-rise residential buildings and 10% for nonresidential buildings, among other measures. Read more »

Houston, TX, launches Residential Energy Efficiency Program

by Rena Ragimova Oct 05, 2008

The Achievement

In 2006, Houston, TX launched its Residential Energy Efficiency Program to weatherize homes in the neighborhood of Pleasantville.

Read more »

Seattle, WA, develops incentives for LEED-certified construction

by Rena Ragimova Sep 30, 2008

The Achievement

Seattle, WA was the first city in the nation to formally adopt LEED as the design and performance standard for all city projects and today Seattle has also developed strong incentives for the private sector. Developers who pursue and achieve certification at the silver, gold and platinum levels for new projects receive financial incentives and technical assistance. In order to get significant bonuses to increase building height and density, developers building New Construction (LEED-NC) or Core & Shell (LEED-CS) projects in the central city core and adjoining areas must contribute to affordable housing and other public amenities and achieve at least LEED silver certification. The City also offers financial incentives and provides technical assistance on a case-by-case basis. Read more »

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