Silverton began by creating an energy plan. Working with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Silverton conducted an analysis on the energy use in Silverton, heat islands, and their carbon footprint. Silverton also conducted a resident survey to gather opinions on green energy and residents’ goals for the community. Using the information from the analysis, Silverton and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance worked together to create the energy plan.
Silverton decided to focus on three goals: making Silverton a leader in the region for energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 26 percent by 2030, and using energy efficiency as a community engagement pathway. The goals were incorporated throughout the plan, which focused on the topics of energy use and delivery, transportation and land use, residential energy efficiency, energy efficiency in commercial buildings, and renewable energy.
Silverton began by installing a solar panel system on the roof of the new Town Hall. The system was leased by Silverton initially and will be owned outright after 25 years, with guaranteed production at 80 percent or more of the initial level at that time. Silverton also upgraded their streetlights to LEDs to reduce their electrical costs. The maintenance costs for the streetlights will not increase, and the solar panels will continue to perform with little to no maintenance. Repairs will be covered by a warranty for the 25-year lease period.
What is energy aggregation and how does it work?
Community choice aggregation, also known as municipal aggregation or energy aggregation, are programs that allow local governments to purchase power for their residents and businesses from an alternative supplier while still receiving transmission and distribution service from their existing utility provider. These programs allow communities to have more local control over their electricity sources, which can result in choosing greener power sources and leveraging purchasing power to negotiate better rates. Community choice aggregation is currently authorized in California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
Under this program, communities can purchase renewable energy through renewable energy certificates (RECs). These certificates are the legal instrument used for accounting, tracking, and assigning ownership of renewable energy generation. While renewable energy purchased through an aggregation program may be produced elsewhere, it supports the renewable energy market as a whole and encourages renewable energy production on a broader scale.