Austin Climate Protection Plan Year One Highlights
A progress report on Austin's war on global warming
This information is excerpted from the ACPP office's Report to City Council, April 2008, a comprehensive matrix showing the status of its initiatives. Download the report here.
Make all city of Austin facilities, fleets, and operations totally carbon-neutral by 2020.
Action Item: Secure new wind power and other renewable-energy contracts, sufficient to 100% power all city facilities by 2012.
Status: GreenChoice Batch-6 becomes available for municipal use by end of 2008.
Action Item: Build solar installations on all new and existing city facilities, where feasible.
Status: Austin Energy has obtained city funding sufficient for the next eight years of solar installations.
Action Item: Make entire city vehicle fleet carbon-neutral by 2020: 1) Convert existing vehicles to alternative fuels, and 2) purchase hybrids and new technologies.
Status: New fueling stations for ethanol (E85, E10) and biodiesel will be ready for use by May '08. Vehicle purchases planned for FY 08: 155 biodiesel, 187 E85, 37 electric hybrid, 39 propane.
UTILITY PLANMake Austin Energy the leading utility in the nation for greenhouse-gas reductions.
Action Item: Municipal: Reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions by all city departments and facilities.
Status: All city departments are developing baseline energy-use audits, as well as energy efficiency/savings plans.
Action Item: Public: Communitywide, reduce overall energy consumption to achieve 700 megawatts of new savings by 2020.
Status: Developing overall Austin Energy plan to save an average 50 MWs, each of next 12 years, to meet 2020 goal. FY 07 savings: 65 MW.
Action Item: Develop new renewable-energy plan, based on demand and market realities.
Status: City to kick off Public Participation Plan, to gather community input and educate the public on options.
Action Item: Accelerate Solar Rooftop Program
Status: In eight-year capital improvement project plan. Installed to date: 1.6 MW.
Action Item: Establish prior CO2 footprint, in order to establish a realistic CO2 cap-and-reduction plan.
Status: CO2 emissions of AE in 2005-06 have been verified by California Climate Action Registry; Water Utility now in submission process.
HOMES AND BUILDING PLANImplement the most energy-efficient building codes in the nation, and aggressively pursue energy-efficiency retrofits and upgrades to existing building stock.
Action Item: New construction: Increase efficiency requirements by stages in 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2015, yielding a 65-75% improvement.
Status: 2007 goal achieved, took effect 2008.
Action Item: Existing homes: Require energy- efficiency retrofits and upgrades at point of sale.
Status: Task force meeting biweekly. Will report findings to council by June, develop ordinance by August, to be implemented by December 2008.
Action Item: Green Building Program: 1) Strengthen with enhanced technical assistance, incentives, and standards, and 2) draft proposal to require two-star rating for all existing programs, policies, etc., and PUDs.
Status: Sustainable City Building Resolution adopted November '07. Plan complete first quarter of 2008. Begin implementing phase one marketing plan first quarter of 2008. First through second quarter of 2008: Analyze existing programs, policies, etc., and prepare recommendations.
Through education, transportation, and land-use planning, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions citywide, by all citizens, in every activity.
Action Item: Climate Action Team: City of Austin departments.
Status: January '08: Ten city department liaisons began meeting bimonthly to discuss departmental plans and community plan.
Action Item: Community advisory team: Expand the team to include community members and groups.
Status: June/July '08: Form, meet monthly, and begin master inventory of GHG generated from all sources, communitywide.
GO NEUTRAL PLANTake Austin's net greenhouse-gas emissions down to zero by 2020.
Action Item: Launch ACPP website.
Status: Public launch April '08.
Develop local "carbon-footprint" calculator.
Status: Launch by September '08.
Action Item: Offer program for purchasing "carbon offset" credits; set up fund for city of Austin offsets.
Status: First funds received from South by Southwest.
Action Item: Fund carbon-offset projects of local nonprofits.
Status: Contracting with Earth Share to distribute funding to nonprofits.
POLICY WATCH: MILESTONES AHEAD
Target dates to track the city's implementation of the 2007 council policies that support climate protection:
Austin Energy: Town Hall Meetings
Involves the community in making tough energy-generation choices, through an Energy Resource Planning Public Participation Process.
Zero Energy Capable Homes
Requires that all new homes built be increasingly energy-efficient; by 2015, requires them to be capable (with the addition of solar panels) of consuming no net energy. Energy code successfully changed in 2007.
Next Energy Code amendments: 2009
Energy Efficiency Retrofit Task Force
Meeting biweekly. Upon sale of existing homes and buildings, new ordinance will require 1) energy-use disclosure and 2) retrofit to minimum energy-efficiency standards.
June: Task force report and recommendations to city manager
August: New ordinance at council
January: Ordinance in effect
Green Building Program: Upgrades
In progress. Goals: Raise required standard to two-star and apply uniformly and more broadly across zoning categories; expand requirements to more projects and apply to city affordable-housing programs. Require enhanced two-star for public utility district zoning. Offer certification for "carbon neutral" buildings.
By June: Recommendations and plan to be returned to council
Municipal Buildings: Sustainability
Initiative to ensure minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver construction for city buildings, greater consistency, etc. Addresses sustainable operations and maintenance for all municipal buildings.
By July: Incorporate into capital-improvement project tracking system; develop sustainability standards for small projects
Energy Depletion Risks Task Force
Meeting monthly. Citywide assessment and inventory of how city activities could be hurt by a decline in the supply of oil and natural gas. Recommendations (behind schedule) will go to council and city manager for strategic planning and reduced dependence on fossil fuels.
Fall: Report to council