For Immediate Release
April 7, 2017
Contact: Peter Nierengarten
Sustainability Department Director
City Begins Development of Energy Action Plan
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — City of Fayetteville staff, administration, and City Council has exhibited leadership over the years in deliberate pursuit to reduce energy usage through numerous City- and community-led plans, programs, and actions. In an effort to encourage and foster continued improvements in the climate and energy sector, the City has undertaken the development of an Energy Action Plan (EAP). This process was put in motion with the passage of Resolution 45-17 on February 7, 2017 when City Council voted 7-1 to support the study and development of an Energy Action Plan. The final plan will be submitted to City Council for adoption in fall 2017. Information and updates on the plan can be found on the City’s website at: www.fayetteville-ar.gov/EnergyActionPlan.
To begin drafting the plan, City staff convened a group of local stakeholders to provide input and guidance. The stakeholder group includes utility company representatives, experts in renewable energy and energy efficient buildings, facilities managers, policy experts, citizens, and elected officials. The group is working to prioritize and create action plans for a variety of projects and programs the City and community can implement in the coming years to reduce Fayetteville’s community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Development of the EAP will be structured around climate and energy goals and objectives identified in the STAR Communities rating guide. STAR Communities is a system adopted by Fayetteville and over 140 other cities & counties around the country to guide reporting, decision making, and planning for Sustainability initiatives. The STAR Framework begins with an overarching goal of reducing the community’s GHG emissions. To encourage GHG reduction, Fayetteville will address the following four specific objectives:
1. Increase energy efficiency in new and existing structures
2. Increase Fayetteville’s renewable energy supply
3. Reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled per capita
4. Reduce solid waste directed to the landfill through increased diversion and recycling
In the recently completed Community Perceptions Survey, 78 percent of Fayetteville resident respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the City should prioritize energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, 62 percent of residents requested that the City prioritize climate-change preparedness. To address these citizen priorities, and to maintain strategic direction in the face of changing federal priorities on energy, the City has begun development of this community-wide plan. The EAP will provide goals, action items, and implementation steps to make Fayetteville a more energy and resource efficient community.
Previous efforts by the City to promote and support community-wide energy reduction include:
- Invested in Ozarks Natural Energy utility-scale Solar Array in 2016 that offsets electricity consumption at Kessler Mountain Regional Park
- Created Arkansas’s first Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Improvement District in 2013 – which provides low-interest financing for weatherization and energy efficiency improvements for commercial properties in Fayetteville
- Adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in 2012 to promote greater efficiency in new home construction.
- Distribution of free energy efficiency and weatherization kits to qualifying low-to-moderate income residents to help reduce utility bills.
Past energy reduction efforts made by City departments and divisions include:
- Prosecutor’s Office/District Court building (completed 2010) and 2015-16 renovation/addition of the Recycling and Trash Collection facility are LEED-certified (resource efficient – using less water and energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions).
- The Meadow Street Parking Deck, Drake Field, Yvonne Richardson Community Center (YRCC), and many other facilities – including street, trail, and park lighting – have received LED lighting upgrades.
- Prosecutor’s Office/District Court building and the Fayetteville Public Library are partially powered with renewable energy in the form of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels.
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with a fleet that includes vehicles, heavy machinery, and mowers that are electric hybrids or propane-operated.
- Bio-solids are collected at wastewater treatment plants and converted into fertilizer through solar drying and other processes. This also reduces vehicle trips to and dumping at the landfill.
To learn more about sustainability efforts by the City of Fayetteville, visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/sustainability.