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Albuquerque, NM, uses wind energy for 20% of its government operations

by Rena Ragimova Nov 30, 2008

The Achievement

In Albuquerque, NM, 20% of the electricity used by the city government comes from wind farms located in New Mexico through the Sky Blue Program. This totals 18 million kilowatt hours each year. Read more »

Saint Paul, Minn., breaks ground on mixed-use, eco-friendly development

by Rena Ragimova Nov 24, 2008

The Achievement

In 2007 Saint Paul, Minn., Mayor Chris Coleman broke ground on “The Winnipeg,” a mixed-use development that provides affordable housing and retail opportunities in an environmentally sensitive manner. The new development includes 6,000 square feet of high quality commercial space for small businesses and 56 residential apartments for families with varying income levels.  In addition, the building will be constructed with recycled materials and multiple energy saving amenities, including an underground storm water retention system and permeable green roof. Read more »

Chicago, Ill., leads U.S. in ‘green alleys’

by Rena Ragimova Nov 24, 2008

The Achievement

Chicago is the alley capital of America with its 2,000 miles of small service streets cutting across the city.  By the end of 2008 the city hopes to complete 46 “green alleys” under Chicago’s new Green Alley initiative. The green alleys will be retrofitted with environmentally sustainable road-building materials such as more permeable concrete where water can penetrate the soil through the pavement itself.

 

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San Francisco, CA, plants 16,034 trees

by Rena Ragimova Nov 24, 2008

The Achievement

As of May 2008, San Francisco, Calf., has planted 16,034 new trees toward the goal of 25,000 trees by 2010.

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Denver, Colo.’s green fleet policy becomes a national model

by Rena Ragimova Nov 23, 2008

The Achievements

On Earth Day, 1993, Denver, Colo., created the first Green Fleet program in the nation. The Green Fleets executive order mandates that managers of Denver fleets – both city vehicles and Denver International Airport vehicles – must purchase the most cost-effective and lowest emission vehicles possible, and fuel-efficiency standards are included in procurement specifications. The Green Fleets review process also includes "right-sizing" fleets by reducing vehicle size and eliminating old and underused vehicles. The effectiveness of the program is measured by fleet energy use and CO2 emissions.

 

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Gatlinburg, Tenn., fuels its entire City and transit fleets with B20 biodiesel

by Rena Ragimova Nov 09, 2008

The Achievements

  • In the City of Gatlinburg, Tenn., every piece of City equipment with a diesel engine runs B20 biodiesel, including garbage trucks, backhoes, ambulances, and most pieces of fire equipment (100 vehicles total) and around 300 smaller engines in lawn mowers, weed eaters, cutters, saws and other essential apparatus. Sixty percent of fuel bought by the City in 2006 was biodiesel.
  • The City’s entire fleet of mass transit system trolleys (20-plus vehicles) is fueled by B20 biodiesel, a 20 percent vegetable oil-based fuel product blended with 80 percent petroleum-based diesel. Gatlinburg began using B5 biodiesel in 2003 and began experimenting B20 with success in 2004.
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Santa Monica, CA, provides professional energy teams for home and business owners

by Rena Ragimova Nov 01, 2008

The Achievement

Santa Monica, CA, offers professional energy teams who will visit a home or business and first implement energy conservation measures, then offer a set of standardized solar system designs developed with installers, which reduces costs.  The city works with banks to provide solar system financing. Read more »

Seattle dedicates $1 million for more efficient buildings

by Rena Ragimova Nov 01, 2008

The Achievement

In 1998, the City of Seattle, Wash., dedicated approximately $1 million to pay for cost-effective energy and water conservation measures in City buildings and facilities. An energy services company was hired to identify, analyze, and undertake conservation measures. The program was managed by the City's Office of Sustainability and Environment and created incentives for departments to participate by offering them the opportunity to save money on their utility bills, which could then be applied to their programs. Energy-efficient lighting and HVAC projects were completed in police and fire stations, community centers, fleet maintenance centers, and office building, and red traffic signals and pedestrian walk signs were changed to LEDs.

The Benefits

After three years, an independent evaluation of the program concluded that the City's investment was sound: together, the projects saved $2.5 million. The internal rate of return to the City for all the projects was 14%, and the pay-back period was under six years. Read more »

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 »

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