Cities increasingly are looking to reduce energy and water use and limit emissions. 2030 Energy Districts, which are voluntary standards upon which municipalities and building owners agree, are one structure under which these efforts are moving forward. News has been made in several cities in relation to this program in recent weeks.
Yesterday, The San Diego Union Tribune reported that the city is on the way to becoming a 2030 District. Like other member cities, participating buildings pledge to cut energy use by half, water use and emissions by half by 2030. There also are incremental goals that must be met. The story says that recruitment of participating buildings just is getting under way. The goal is to have millions of square feet in the city covered.
The story says that the San Diego 2030 District initiative will be managed by Cleantech San Diego. Other participants include the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inuit, DNV GL, Verdani Partners and Measurabl. San Diego already has laws in place mandating the halving of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
On the east coast, The Delaware Valley Green Building Council has announced that it is forming the Philadelphia 2030 District, according to PlanPhilly. The story says that the aim is to launch the district in October with commitments from at least 10 million square feet. The story says that three-quarters of that space already is booked.
The goal is to get everyone on board, the organization says at its website:
The initiative would have owners and managers from buildings larger than 50,000 square feet (already participating in the city’s benchmarking program) sign on to meet the goals on an individual level, but progress would be measured on a district level. Based on the experience of other cities, this creates an exchange of knowledge of what conservation strategies are most effective.
The 2030 District provided an update for Tucson, which earlier has committed to becoming a 23030 District. There are three phases to 2030 District membership: Prospective, Emerging and Established. Tucson is in the second, which means that it has established an exploratory committee with participation of at least three property owners who stated their intentions to meet goals outlined by the organization.
More news is likely soon. “Interest is accelerating,” Dave Low, the Network Liaison for the 2030 Districts, told Energy Manager Today. “We continue to have conversations with new cities which are showing interest. We feel the recent changes in the political environment may be a driver of interest as there will need to be more local efforts to combat climate change and the 2030 District model is an ideal method for enacting local efforts.” Low cited moves by Burlington, VT and Ann Arbor and Detroit, MI recently as evidence that that cities are moving forward aggressively.