The adaptation strategies below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks with alternative and renewable energy sources.
Adaptation strategies with alternative and renewable energy sources
- Take advantage of your state’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program (see if your state has one), which can allow local governments to offer the residential and/or commercial sectors renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation upgrades at no or little up-front cost (installations are paid back through property tax bills or other annual property assessment). PACE programs must be enacted by the state legislature.
- Implement a Solarize program, which diversifies energy supply at city facilities and provides a group-buy discount for residents.
- Adopt inclusive financing, a tool that allows residents to sign up for renewable energy installation while a utility pays for the installation. The resident then uses part of the savings to pay back the utility over time.
- Work with SolSmart, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to understand which policies could be adjusted and obtain a SolSmart designation.
- Establish working groups to review city, town, and county policies that could act as barriers to energy efficiency and clean energy.
- Installing on-site renewable energy can increase grid resilience to climate impacts and potentially save on energy bills.
- Note: Local governments in Indiana can use a guaranteed energy savings contract (GESC) to fund the installation. A GESC allows the local government to start the installation without a large upfront cost and pay off the cost over a period of time with the energy savings.
- Reduce permitting fees, minimize inspections, and/or simplify permitting processes for renewable energy systems.
- Align local permitting processes with the permitting policies of others in the region to ease the burden on contractors and installers of renewable energy.
- Provide an expedited review process for renewable energy development.
- Create property tax exemptions for renewable energy systems to prevent the taxable property value from increasing with the installation of a renewable energy system.
- Provide assistance programs to reduce the upfront burden of renewable energy costs for vulnerable populations.
These strategies are adapted from existing federal and other resources. Please view these strategies in the context provided by the primary source document:
- American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy: Indicators for Local Energy Resilience
- American Planning Association: Planning for Solar Energy
- American Planning Association: Planning for Wind Energy
- ERI Fact Sheet: Renewable Energy in Your Community
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Resilience Roadmap
- US Department of Energy: Energy Infrastructure Resilience
The adaptation strategies provided are intended to inform and assist communities in identifying potential alternatives. They are illustrative and are presented to help communities consider possible ways to address current and future climate threats. Read the full disclaimer.