Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Raleigh, NC, are joining hands this summer to develop an energy efficiency plan for the city's fire stations that will reduce operating costs and energy use. Raleigh is the first municipality in the country to participate in EDF's national Climate Corps program.
Climate Corps began in 2007 as a program to place top-tier MBA students in the nation's leading companies to help identify and implement energy efficiency plans. Its quick success in the corporate world led EDF to expand Climate Corps to the public sector in state universities, and now, to municipalities.
Last summer, EDF Climate Corps fellows conducted an energy efficiency analysis at North Carolina Central University in Durham. The fellows identified ways that efficiency could save the campus more than $13 million over five years and reduce greenhouse gas pollution by more than 50 percent.
"Firefighters are community role models and fire stations can be models of energy efficiency," said Jill Logeman, Climate Corps Program Coordinator with Environmental Defense Fund. "Climate Corps will help Raleigh identify the low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy, and also document the best investments to help Raleigh save even more energy and money in the future. Like universities, cities can play a pivotal role in energy conservation and education."
Raleigh's two Climate Corps fellows will assess energy use in more than 25 fire stations and develop a concrete plan for improving efficiency that will save taxpayer dollars, reduce operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fellows will also research sophisticated financing strategies to help the city implement the plan.
"We are thrilled to partner with EDF on this pilot project. We see tremendous value in conducting the financial and environmental analysis that is normally not accessible to government bodies, and we welcome the opportunity to build our internal capacity," said Paula Thomas, Sustainability Manager for the City of Raleigh. "We believe this program will be a model for municipalities in the state and country."
Recommendations for increasing energy efficiency are expected to be presented to the City Council in September.
Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 700,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. Environmental Defense Fund has a 20-year track record of success in partnering with business. To maintain its independence and credibility, EDF accepts no money from corporate partners; generous individuals and foundations fund its work. For more information, visit www.EDF.org.