Adopt climate mitigation and/or energy independence goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan or in a separate policy document, and include transportation recommendations such as becoming an EV-ready city.
Energy generation and use affect a community’s character, economic vitality, and environmental footprint. Planning for local energy resources, infrastructure, and energy-related development is essential to achieving community goals for growth, change, development, and global climate change. See energy planning resources from the Regional Indicators Initiative that include an energy planning guide and workbook, a MN list of local government energy goals, sample RFP language to use in selecting a planning consultant, and a solar energy availability calculator. Also see How to Set Renewable Electricity Goals that Align with Community Priorities (GPI: 2018).
As of October 2018, 25 GreenStep Cities have committed to clean energy goals and/or policies and are engaged in energy planning and action. See Energy Planning Stories for detailed goals and links to city documents. See also a 2020 interactive tool that shows which cities in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council’s jurisdiction that have incorporated various climate, energy, or sustainability elements or participate in various climate, energy, or sustainability programs.
The Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy: 2020) quickly allows a city to score their energy efficiency (and cost-saving, GHG-cutting) efforts by evaluating locally-enacted programs and policies across local government operations, community-wide initiatives, building policies, energy and water utility policies, and transportation policies. The tool introduces communities to innovative energy practices that have been implemented and proven successful in small communities, and provides actionable guidance on which metrics to target to improve energy efficiency performance.
Cities have tremendous influence over how and where infrastructure is built and serve as a critical and necessary partner in the market transformation effort to make electric vehicles a significant part of Minnesota’s passenger car fleet. In its comp plan, cities can adopt EV language in the areas of policy, regulation, capital improvements, administration, programs and leadership that put the city on a path to become a EV-ready city.
Consider low-income energy affordability with the US Dept. of Energy LEAD Tool.
Specify numeric targets (reductions in energy usage, GHG emissions) and target dates for at least city operations (for example, Massachusetts challenges cities to reduce energy use 20% within 5 years); adopt infrastructure resiliency goals; include EV charging stations as a permitted accessory use in select or all zoning districts. Report stand-alone sustainability plans under action 24.5; report stand-alone climate adaptation/resilience plans under action 29.2
Become an EV-ready city, address climate protection in the private sector by, for example, establishing policies with numerical targets to reduce vehicle miles traveled, or setting a percentage renewable energy generation target for the entire city, such as a "25 by 25" goal (generating 25% of a city's electricity, heating and/or transportation fuels from renewable resources by 2025).
Adopt an aggressive goal, such as the Rochester, MN mayoral goal of carbon-free by 2031; report municipal utility targets for renewable energy generation; adopt social resiliency goals around education (STEM curriculum), population mix (retention of millennials, racial/income diversity).
Who's doing it
Duluth - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
The Energy & Conservation chapter in Imagine Duluth (the comprehensive plan adopted in 2018) outlines strategies the city can use to encourage community-wide investment in appropriate local renewable energy sources including solar, wind, and biomass. The city re-articulated its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80% by 2050. It also recommends adopting a plan to reduce emissions from the city owned steam plant by 50% over 30 years and mentions the importance of planning for EV infrastructure.
City/County Joint Energy Plan - Creation of a joint City and the County Energy Plan. In the summer of 2010, the Cook County Board, the City of Grand Marais, and the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP), formed a partnership to develop an Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan (ECRE Plan) that would pertain to both the City and the County. The purpose of this project was to better prepare our community for the challenges of a rapidly changing energy environment, and to be better able to take advantage of opportunities inherent in those challenges. The finished Plan was adopted by both the City and the County in 2012.
The Plan began by creating a database of baseline energy information and by soliciting public input about energy issues facing the governments, residents and businesses of Cook County and Grand Marais. The Plan included assessments of use and recommendations for improvements in both the public and private sector. The planning process engaged stakeholders throughout the county:
•A telephone survey of full-time residents, seasonal residents, and businesses.
•Collecting anecdotal information from a survey posted on the CCLEP website and e-mailed to a list of residents known to be interested in energy.
•Interviews in which residents are invited to comment on the Energy Plan development process.
•Energy Summits in which the process to develop The Energy Plan is presented and discussed.
•Issuance of Press Releases have been sent to the Cook County News Herald, WTIP and posted on Boreal.
•A printed copy made available at the Grand Marais Public Library.
In October 2018, the Morris Model team held a planning retreat at Camp Ripley with members of the Morris community from the City, the County, DENCO II, Superior Industries, Riverview Dairy LLC, the USDA Soils Lab, West Central Research and Outreach, UMM, the MAS School Board, and Ottertail Power Company. Over the course of the 2 day retreat, these community members were educated about the current state of energy usage and sustainability efforts in Morris, and they were able to give some input about what sustainability goals they'd like to see met in the near future.
In January 2019, a Strategic Plan was released with aggressive sustainability goals. The plan contains our overarching "Big 3" goals:
to produce 80% of the energy used IN our community BY our community, reducing our energy consumption by at least 30% by 2030, and ending the land-filling of waste in our community by 2025. It also contains goals for each of our community partners including the City, the County, the schools and University, and each of the various industrial businesses. The goals for partner organizations are based on 4 goal areas that were determined prior to the retreat, including energy, transportation, waste reduction and recycling, and education. In addition to goals, our strategic plan also set forth an updated list of 100 projects to work toward the goals, which has been dubbed "The Morris Model 100".
Our strategic plan has been adopted and ratified by Morris's City Council and UMM, and it is being presented to the MAS School Board, Stevens County, and the various industrial entities of the Morris community for ratification by or before June 1, 2019.
In it's 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update, the City of Oakdale adopted the following goal: Consistent with State-wide goals, reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2025, and 80% by 2050 from 2007 levels in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the community.
Rosemount has signed on to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Program. Under the Agreement, participating cities commit to take following three actions:
- Strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities, through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns;
- Urge their state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol -- 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and
- Urge the U.S. Congress to pass the bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which would establish a national emission trading system
The City of Rosemount Environment and Sustainability Task Force have worked with Xcel Energy's partners in energy program to develop a Energy Action Plan found here: https://www.ci.rosemount.mn.us/692/Energy-Action-Plan
The City of Bloomington is currently developing a Partners in Energy Action Plan, in partnership with Xcel Energy. The draft plan has been developed and will be reviewed by the Sustainability Commission in March 2018 and City Council in March or April of 2018. The draft plan has clear goals to reduce electrical, gas and transportation emissions; the goals are in the categories of municipal, commercial, residential and transportation.
As measured from the 2009 Burnsville City Operations emissions level of 23,487 tonnes, the City of Burnsville will reduce GHG emissions associated with City operations to below 2009 levels by the end of 2011. Recognizing Burnsville's Next Generation Act obligations, the City will continue to reduce emissions from the baseline by an average annual reduction of 4% (measured over the span of a decade), after indexing emissions to growth in number of City employees relative to the rest of the state. The City has several implementation strategies directly linked to this goal, as seen in the attached Sustainability Plan starting on p.3.
The newly updated Comprehensive Plan ( approved in 2016) includes goals of reducing the city's carbon footprint, actively pursuing alternative energy productions, adopting ordinances and policies to provide incentives for energy efficiency, renewable energy and reductions in greenhouse gases.
Please see the City's "Orderly Annexation Agreement", for numeric targets, target dates and infrastructure resiliency goals. The City has applied for EV grants to set up recharging stations for electric vehicles, but has not been successfully in receiving one.
The Comprehensive Plan has established broad energy independence goals that need to be further refined. The city has 5 buildings with plans to have solar energy installed with funding from Xcel Energy's Solar Rewards program and Minnesota Made Rebate Program. Applications were sent to Xcel in May of 2012 - 3 of 5 have been approved - working on the last two. Also, the Sustainability Commission is working on updates to the City Zoning code related to renewable energy sources including solar and wind. (http://www.red-wing.org/comprehensiveplan.html)
Rochester has adopted ambitious energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The first step, a baseline inventory of energy consumption, is in progress. While that is going on, Rochester has embarked on a Neighborhood Energy Challenge program (see http://www.rpu.org/your_home/power_services/neighborhood_energy_challenge/Default.htm)
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Metrics will be developed as part of the baseline inventory project.
The Comprehensive Plan has the following goals:
1. Incorporate sustainable practices and green building within the City of Shoreview’s local
2. Advance sustainability and green building within the development community, among
residents and local businesses.
3. Promote the use of renewable sources of energy.