a2energy is an outreach and education effort that aims to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources to residents and businesses across the City of Ann Arbor.
The program, which was developed as a partnership between the City of Ann Arbor and Clean Energy Coalition, builds on Ann Arbor’s long history of advocating for energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy systems. In 1981, Mayor Louis Belcher created the Mayor’s Energy Advisory Board, which became the Energy Commission in 1985. This body oversees energy-related city policies and advises City Council, and implements or participates in a range of community programs, local government initiatives, and statewide issues.
Green Energy Challenge
In a speech to City Council on September 19, 2005, Mayor John Hieftje issued a Green Energy Challenge, calling on the Energy Commission to investigate how the City of Ann Arbor might use green energy for 20 percent of its total energy use by 2010 for municipal operations and by 2015 for the whole community. In April 2011, upon recommendation from the Energy Commission, City Council set new Energy Challenge goals in Resolution R-11-142. These new 2015 goals are to:
An Ann Arbor Energy Commission resolution in 2011 also established a Climate Action Planning Task Force to identify measures that would meet these 2015 goals and help set long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. This task force is made up of both community members and city staff. Learn more about the Ann Arbor Climate Action Plan, which was approved by City Council in 2012.
About the partners
With a goal of moving Ann Arbor towards more efficient and sustainable energy use, the Ann Arbor Energy Office operates in three major areas: Managing projects, programs and grants; Developing information resources; Advising City managers, elected officials and the general public.
In keeping with its mission, the Energy Office supports energy-efficient building projects for more than 50 municipal facilities including a performance contracting retrofit of City Hall. An innovative Municipal Energy Fund has been utilized to implement energy improvements in over 20 city facilities. Energy Office initiatives have saved city taxpayers more than $5 million in energy expenditures over the last decade. The Energy Office has also obtained and managed over $680,000 in grants and rebates from federal, state and corporate sources. Some of these grants, such as Clean Cities grants, have given the Energy Office valuable experience in nurturing partnerships between various departments, levels of government and public and private sectors in support of alternative fuel vehicles.
Clean Energy Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting clean energy technologies as a way to create healthier, energy independent communities. Based in Ann Arbor, Clean Energy Coalition operates a diverse array of programs and services to municipal, residential and commercial clients. The organization’s Communities division provides technical assistance to local governments to reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency, install renewable energy, monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop and implement environmental policies and programs. The Structures division offers a variety of services and programs to assist home and business owners in assessing critical needs and craft practical, cost-effective and sustainable energy reduction solutions. The Mobility division provides technical assistance to corporations, private industry, and municipalities to work toward sustainable transportation goals. Now managing more than 30 state and federal projects valued at more than $60 million, Clean Energy Coalition has worked closely with the City of Ann Arbor since Executive Director Sean Reed first launched the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ann Arbor Clean Cities program, which serves Washtenaw County.
The Ecology Center intervenes at a systems level to address fundamental problems in the food system, the material economy, and the energy economy. The organization is a membership-based, nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded by community activists after the country's first Earth Day in 1970, the Ecology Center is now a regional leader that works for healthy people and a healthy planet.