Public Institutions & Local Governments

Carolinas Energy Planning for the Future:

Local Government Toolkit 
 
In December 2014, the South Carolina Energy Office, in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Advanced Energy, and UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC),  received a State Energy Program Competitive Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to develop a bi-state coordinated vision for energy planning that can help meet state policy goals, support electric reliability, and comply with environmental standards.
 
As part of the two-year project, an air quality toolkit was created to provide resources to local governments. The goal of this toolkit is to help local officials learn about energy-specific programs and practices that can be implemented in order to improve air quality. The specific topics covered in the toolbox include: background information on electricity generation, rate setting and air quality, transportation, internal operations, funding and financing, and community programs.
 
The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-EE0006882. The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

 

Transportation

co2According to the Energy Information Administration, transportation emissions are now the leading source of carbon dioxide in the United States for the first time since 1979. Governments can greatly improve air quality by encouraging alternative transportation. These changes can include improving public transportation, carpooling and car sharing, constructing bike and walking paths, using alternative fuels in fleet vehicles and supporting electric vehicles.

The links below provide further information on the steps local governments can take to encourage a shift in transportation in order to be more sustainable and improve air quality. One example of a program that can be implemented is the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. The electric vehicles and local government document shares the benefits of charging stations, including economic development and a healthier community, and provides best practices and a case study.

Transportation is a great area for local governments to begin putting together a strategy to decrease emissions in their fleet and in their community. Alternative fuels and modes of transportation significantly decreases local air emissions and creates a healthier place for people of all ages to live, work and play.