This program focused on implementing common strategies from climate action plans: increasing the use of solar energy, accelerating electric vehicle deployment, and reducing energy use in water and wastewater treatment. In each of these three focus areas, communities receives training and technical support from industry experts, including the Great Plains Institute, the Electrification Coalition, and the US Department of Energy.
First, communities learned how to lower barriers to residential solar energy in their communities, working towards designation in the SolSmart program, a national program that recognizes local governments who make it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar.
Next, communities learned how to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in their communities. Participants hosted events to increase awareness, distributed surveys to better understand barriers, assessed the electrification options for municipal fleets of vehicles, and began developing EV plans.
Finally, guided by experts from the US Department of Energy (DOE), program participants learned how to utilize DOE tools to benchmark, monitor, and reduce energy use in water and wastewater treatment—a major source of local government emissions. The implementation program also included in-depth equity training and one-on-one coaching, as well as translation services to facilitate more inclusive public engagement.
Participants included Bloomington, Carmel, Elkhart, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Gary, Goshen, Lafayette, Michigan City, Richmond, West Lafayette, and Zionsville.