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Chapter 5: Local Action Plan
Best Bets (Index)

This section consists of nine sub-sections, grouped into municipal operations and the interface between city and citizens' residences and businesses.

Municipal Operations


Buildings are responsible for 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the amount of energy used in municipal buildings contribute significantly to a city’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. It can also save an enormous amount of money ... [read more].


LED traffic signals, traffic flow management, high efficiency street lighting, lamp and light fixtures, remote street light control, water and waste water, and landfill-to-gas energy projects...[read more].


Reducing the amount of emissions produced by municipal vehicle fleets has the potential to make a significant contribution to a city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. It will also save money and create a more beautiful place to live, work and play. Vehicle emissions reductions are .... [read more]

Waste Reduction

Cities and municipalities can realize substantial economic savings simply by reducing the amount of office waste they generate. Reduced use, increased efficiency, recycling and the reuse of materials can deliver numerous economic and environmental benefits to cities. There are many forms of waste. This chapter focuses on office wastes, especially paper. Similar analyses can be made for all forms of municipal waste.... [read more]

City Purchasing

The purchasing decisions that municipal offices make can have a substantial impact on the overall environmental impact of the office while serving as an example to the community. Purchasing “green” or more environmentally friendly products can also support local vendors, and often helps recycling programs by creating markets ... [read more]


Cities typically obtain their electric and gas services either from municipal utilities or under contract from utilities that provide power to a much wider service territory. A few cities still derive their power from Rural Electric Co-ops. ... [read more]


Municipal Interface with Residents & Businesses


In any city, the business sector is a major user of energy, and thus an emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). There is a great deal that businesses can do to reduce their emissions profitably, but businesses, especially the small businesses that are the backbone of any community’s economy need help to capture these opportunities. Most small businesses give little thought to how they use energy, have few resources to help them reduce their energy bills, and are reluctant to devote scarce management time, or scarcer funds to implementing significant changes in the way they do business. ... [read more]


This section includes residential home efficiency upgrades, local policies to promote renewable energy, weatherization assistance for lower income residents, split incentives in renter occupied homes, home size restrictions for large energy consumers, energy and water efficiency by smart metering, price signals and price structures as well as innovative electrical metering ... [read more]


Most of the best practices for transportation in this section focus on how municipalities use incentives to encourage residents and businesses to modify their transportation uses. Motor vehicles are major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters and sources of air, noise and water pollution. Transportation represents about 27% of total U.S. energy consumption and 70% of total petroleum consumption. ... [read more]

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