Leading by Example
As a unit of local government, public power utilities are uniquely positioned to capitalize on many energy efficiency opportunities. For example, efficiency improvements to the municipality's own buildings and facilities can help limited budgets go further, and allow public agencies, such as schools, to spend more on their mission (education), than on energy costs.
Locally-owned utilities can also link energy efficiency initiatives with other municipal functions, like codes, permitting, water and transportation to maximize savings across sectors.
Another advantage is that the governing boards that oversee public power utilities typically have the funding authority to make programs happen and the ability to initiate policies that can encourage local action.
Leading by example not only demonstrates environmental stewardship – it displays fiscal responsibility. As the case studies and examples here prove, municipal-sector energy efficiency projects and programs can lower the municipality’s own energy bills and operating costs. They also help to raise public awareness of the benefits of clean and efficient energy technologies, and build the local market for products, and service providers, making it easier for the people in your community to follow suit and choose energy efficiency.