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Transform Communities’ Energy Systems

What’s Needed

By 2050, we need all U.S. communities to have transformed how they use energy in transportation, industry, buildings, and electricity. To achieve this, we need to work with individual communities to create beacons of success and share the models that will enable other communities to follow a similar path.

2025 Goal

By 2025, we need a broad base of communities across the U.S. to be making the transition to sustainable energy futures. We will directly engage with communities representing 10 million people to plan and execute towards a clean, prosperous, and secure energy future; enable communities representing 40 million more people to do the same with RMI-developed tools and approaches; and see 700 university campuses substantially reduce their carbon footprint.

Our Program

Our community energy program will improve neighborhoods, accelerate economic development, reduce traffic, improve building stock, and create a more resilient energy system in communities by applying Reinventing Fire’s cross-sector approach. And we will get over 100 large universities to reduce their carbon emissions by 50 percent, inspire 600 others to 25 percent reductions, and get 10 million students, faculty, and staff to cut their personal carbon footprint by at least 10 percent.

Commitments to Impact

Over the course of the next 1–2 years, we’re going to:

Get community energy transformation under way

  • Directly engage with communities representing a total of at least one million people to obtain 60-percent-or-better carbon emission reduction commitments, and take active steps along an implementation pathway
  • Develop resources and tools to help even more communities take steps towards a cleaner energy future, used by at least ten communities, and develop a platform to make our approach to community energy system transformation replicable and scalable
  • Establish partnerships with and provide expertise to five leading community change groups
  • Continue our support of Fort Collins in helping them implement steps to reach their carbon reduction goal, and work with at least three other communities embarking on sustainability transformations.

Expand campus energy transformation programs

  • Partner with at least six university “leaders” to provide guidance, tools, processes, and know-how to get 100 other universities to commit to reduce their carbon emissions 50 percent
  • Bring together diverse stakeholders in an Arizona State University (ASU) summit to help ASU, the nation’s largest university, adopt and act upon an action plan to achieve its climate neutrality target
  • Execute at least one deep retrofit project at ASU to save over 40 percent from current energy use
  • Form a University Carbon Reduction Accelerator (DE-CARB) working group and hold a kickoff workshop with at least 100 universities
  • Hold six webinars through DE-CARB viewed by at least 250 schools
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