Providence Joins 20-City Effort to Cut Climate Pollution from Buildings By 2030, participating cities combined could save $1.5 billion annually

 Providence Joins 20-City Effort to Cut Climate Pollution from Buildings By 2030, participating cities combined could save $1.5 billion annually

Providence, RI- Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced that Providence is one of 10
new cities joining the City Energy Project, a united effort to address the largest
source of energy use and climate pollution in America’s urban centers and buildings.
The project is expected to save Providence residents and businesses as much as $20
million on their annual energy bills by 2030. By the same year, the 20 participating
cities combined have the potential to save annually more than $1.5 billion in energy
bills annually and reduce carbon pollution by more than 9.6 million metric tons,
equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road for a year.

«Last spring I set a goal for Providence to become carbon neutral by 2050. Since
buildings account for 70% of our citywide carbon emissions, this investment in the
energy efficiency of our largest buildings will have a significant impact,» said
Mayor Jorge Elorza. «This is another step towards making Providence a leader in
environmental justice.»

A joint project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute
for Market Transformation (IMT), the City Energy Project works with participating
cities to create healthier, more prosperous American cities by making buildings more
efficient, in turn boosting local economies and reducing harmful pollution. Joining
the project today are: Des Moines, Iowa; Fort Collins, Co.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.;
New Orleans; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; Reno, Nev.; San Jose; St. Louis; and St.
Paul, Minn.
«Mayors have the power to make real progress in combating climate change just by
looking to their skylines,» said Shelley Poticha, director of the Urban Solutions
program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. «The City Energy Project works
with mayors who are in-tune with the needs of local businesses and residents to
develop plans that reduce climate pollution and wasted energy in buildings. By
joining today, these mayors are demonstrating that local leadership and local
improvements can have a significant global impact in this urgent fight.»
Funded by a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable
Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation, the project launched in January 2014 with 10
pioneering cities: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Los
Angeles; Orlando; Philadelphia; and Salt Lake City. In December 2015, the project’s
funders announced an additional $10.5 million investment to expand the project’s
reach in the U.S. to the new cities joining today.

Projected Economic and Environmental Benefits
If U.S. buildings were considered a nation, they would rank third in global energy
consumption, using more primary energy than all major energy consuming nations
except the U.S. and China. What’s more, buildings are the single largest user of
energy and source of carbon pollution in the U.S., with much of the energy consumed
wasted by inefficient systems and operations. In 2015, commercial and industrial
buildings in Providence used 10,454,392 mmbtus, which is equal to almost 1 million
metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

«Improving the energy efficiency of buildings not only helps residents, owners,
tenants, businesses, cities, and utilities save money, it also increases property
value, creates jobs, reduces harmful pollution, and creates healthier spaces,» said
Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of IMT. «We’re proud to expand the work of the
City Energy Project to cities such as Providence to help unlock the enormous
benefits offered through increased investment in energy efficiency and create
permanent markets that can drive continual return on these investments.»

How It Works
Through the City Energy Project, Providence will work with stakeholders to develop a
locally tailored plan comprising multiple integrated strategies to significantly
reduce building energy use, recognizing that a suite of initiatives can make more
progress in each city than one program or policy could alone. In addition to
providing efficiency expertise and guidance on initiative planning, design and
implementation, the City Energy Project also offers a platform for peer-to-peer
sharing of lessons learned and best practices.

«The Office of Energy Resources is pleased to support the City’s efforts to increase
efficient use of its largest buildings and strengthen sustainability in Providence,»
said OER Commissioner Carol Grant. «We are working on a lot of exciting projects
right now, and I think the City Energy Project will serve as a wonderful complement
to the nationally-recognized energy efficiency work we are conducting statewide. I
look forward to partnering with the City of Providence and helping our capital city
lead by example.»

The energy efficiency solutions that CEP will help Providence develop are flexible
to Providence’s unique situation, supporting the following goals:

* Promote efficient building operations: Strong building energy performance
can be achieved through efficient operations and maintenance, and the training of
facilities personnel.

* Encourage private investment: Common-sense solutions to financial and
legal barriers to energy efficiency should be adopted to increase private investment
in building energy improvements.

* Bolster city leadership: Cities will lead by example and reduce
taxpayer-funded energy consumption in municipal buildings, and encourage the private
sector to match their actions.

* Promote transparency: Building energy performance information should be
transparent and accessible to enable market demand and competition for
energy-efficient buildings.

«Emerald Cities Rhode Island is excited to partner with the City of Providence on
the Cities Energy Project. Increasing awareness of energy efficiency opportunities
isn’t just good for the environment it benefits the whole economy. The green jobs
sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the RI economy because of programs
like these,» said Brigid Ryan, Local Director, Emerald Cities. «Emerald Cities is
proud to work collaboratively with the City to ensure there is a direct link between
improving our environment, improving our economy and ensuring equity in the
resulting jobs creation.»