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City of Atlanta Energy and Climate Initiatives ICLEI Regional Workshop. Mandy Mahoney Director of Sustainability 9/16/09. BaCkground. Learnings From Other Cities About How to Structure Our Process. Get own house in order first

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city of atlanta energy and climate initiatives iclei regional workshop

City of AtlantaEnergy and Climate InitiativesICLEI Regional Workshop

Mandy Mahoney

Director of Sustainability


learnings from other cities about how to structure our process
Learnings From Other Cities About How to Structure Our Process
  • Get own house in order first
  • Focus on green basics first (air, water, energy, recycling, etc.)
  • Focus on action not planning
  • Don’t forget internal communications and education efforts
  • Prepare to push externally beyond city government walls as quickly as you can…
guiding principles behind recommendations
Guiding Principles behind Recommendations

Economic Development Rationale: Use Sustainability Leadership to Increase Atlanta’s “Competitive Advantage” by positioning Atlanta as a model for the region and a magnet for talent

Quality of Life Rationale:

  • Energy security: Ensure multiple reliable, affordable, local, and renewable energy sources.
  • Air & climate quality: Enhance citizens’ health, maintain clean air, and stabilize contributions to climate change.
  • Water security: Ensure availability of high quality water
  • Land quality: Preserve and maintain plentiful natural lands and green spaces
  • Resource security: Eliminate wasteful resource uses

Prepared for the City of Atlanta by the Rocky Mountain Institute

core focus areas of current initiative
Core Focus Areas of Current Initiative

City of Atlanta’s Options for Addressing Sustainability

Inward Looking

Outward Looking


Lead By Example


City Sponsored Programs

City Incentives

City Guidelines Attached to Receiving City Funds

General Education & Advocacy

Lobbying at the Metro, State & Federal Level

Internal Changes to City Government

  • Required Citywide Policy
  • Ordinances (e.g. new required building standards)
  • Fees & Taxes (e.g. new fee for excess water usage)
  • Enforcement (e.g. new tougher penalties for violating a law that impacts sustainability)
  • Capital Expenditures Policy
  • Operations Policy

Future Focus Area

Current Focus Area

atlanta s green goals initiatives
Atlanta’s Green Goals & Initiatives
  • Goals
  • Economic Development
  • Energy security
  • Air quality
  • GHG Reduction
  • Water security
  • Land quality
  • Resource security
projected success by end of 2009
Projected Success by end of 2009
  • 10% drop in energy use in general fund facilities through low/no-cost conservation measures, resulting in avoided energy costs of $300,000-$500,000 per year
  • 5% drop in water use in general fund facilities
  • 2 renewable energy demonstration projects
  • Major progress towards meeting Governor’s Energy Challenge*
  • 3% drop in fossil fuels used by municipal fleet yielding $267,000 Savings
  • 30% of employees using a commute alternative
  • Recycling in municipal buildings over 50%
  • 10% drop in GHG emissions from energy consumption in general fund facilities

*Governor’s Energy Challenge: Reduce energy consumption per square foot in government facilities 15 percent below FY2007 levels by 2020.

total municipal carbon footprint down 5 6 between cy07 and cy08
Total Municipal Carbon Footprintdown 5.6%* between CY07 and CY08

Electricity use remains largest source of emissions ~72% of total

Total CY07: 542,082

Total CY08: 511,713



Metric tons of CO2e




No change



*Georgia Power shift in fuel mix to less carbon intense fuel sources resulted in a reduction of 1.47% in the city’s ghg footprint

Note: Refrigerants and waste water treatment emissions measured but not shown here. They compose 1.2% of total footprint.

implementation of efficiency projects top priority
Implementation of Efficiency Projects Top Priority

City Hall No Cost Efficiency Improvements

Expected Annual Savings

Before Shutdown

After Shutdown

Results to date

  • The graph above shows the electricity demand for July 2008 (left) when HVAC systems operated 24 hours per day versus unoccupied-period shutdown beginning in mid-August (right).
grants actively under pursuit
Grants Actively Under Pursuit
  • Division of Sustainability is actively pursuing or involved in15 energy & environment related grants
  • The total value of the grants to the City could amount to $36.5 million or more
  • The total project value exceeds $105 million
  • 9 of these grants will reduce the City’s energy use and municipal carbon footprint
ghg related grants generate substantial operational savings
GHG Related Grants Generate Substantial Operational Savings

*ESCO leverage is a preliminary estimate. Actual savings to be determined after audits. Assumes participation by DWM and Airport.

**Note: (1) DOE Transportation Electrification (20 Plug-in Hybrid Nissan Minivans) and (2) Clean Cities (13 Hybrid Vehicles for the Fleet) grants will create demonstration projects that will drive reduction in municipal GHG emissions but reductions will be minimal.