April is Earth Month and it’s a good time to share news on progress on the City’s environmental sustainability goals. In 2018, the City adopted the Hood River County Energy Plan, a blueprint to improve the community’s resilience and increase energy independence and economic benefits related to energy use in the county. In 2019, the Hood River City Council approved a resolution and commitment to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2035. Progress toward this goal was recently reviewed by City Council. From 2018 to 2021, the City reduced overall facility emissions by 26%. This graph shows energy use and associated municipal emissions by year in kWh and Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (MTCOe).
The City of Hood River is on track to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions 70% by 2035 by implementing planned emission reduction projects. The majority of this reduction will be realized between 2022 and 2025 with the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s UV disinfection system upgrade and digester improvement projects, the Dee Bridge In-line Hydro-Electric project and Pacific Power’s mandated transition to renewable energy sourcing to reduce emissions 100% to net zero by 2040.
Eliminating the final 30% of emissions will depend on energy-saving technological advancements and carbon offsets. Remaining emissions after 2030 are generally tied to vehicle use and natural gas heating for buildings. Viable alternatives to gasoline and diesel do not yet exist for some specialized vehicles needed for public works and emergency services. The future availability of low-carbon fuels or a wider variety of electric vehicles are a possibility to meet emission reduction goals.
As the City actively pursues achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 in its City facilities, there are many ways community members can help. Think about ways your household or business can contribute to a more environmentally sustainable and resilient community as we face global climate change.
Here are some ideas from the 2022-2025 Hood River County Energy Council Work Plan.
- Create more healthy, efficient homes and businesses.
- Encourage home labeling that reveals energy costs.
- Encourage leadership by example.
- Reduce energy use for your highest household or business users.
- Consider electric vehicles.
- Support efficient, resilient public transportation.
- Understand the alternative fuels policy landscape.
- Encourage infrastructure that makes it safer for people to walk, bike and use public transportation.
Here is a link to the full report: April 2022 City Energy Usage and Emissions Assessment.