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(Image credit: 1000 Friends of Iowa video)

Many cities and towns are investing in renewable energy, and climate change is not the only motivation.

Kari Carney is the executive director of 1,000 Friends of Iowa. The nonprofit encourages responsible land use and sustainability in cities and towns across the state.

“A lot of the communities that have been taking action are really doing it for other reasons – economic reasons being a big part of it, wanting to have more control over utility systems, and so forth,” she says.

For example, the small city of Bloomfield, Iowa, has been looking to renewable energy as a way to help build the local economy, “as a jobs program, as a way to really help their low-income residents,” Carney says. “So they set a goal basically of 100% energy independence.”

To meet this 2030 goal, the municipal utility began installing solar.

And the city is investing in energy efficiency. For example, it’s offering energy audits for low-income residents, and helping finance efficiency upgrades that residents gradually pay off through their utility bills.

So Carney says cities and towns can help reduce carbon pollution – even if global warming is not their main reason for doing so.

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Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Energy, Jobs & Economy