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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Building Local Capacity for Clean Energy and Climate Change Initiatives: An Intergovernmental Partnership Program

Warwick, East Greenwich, North Providence, and South Kingston, Rhode Island

Federal Funding: $497,492
Project Timeline: February 2010 – December 2012

Latest Update

The City of Warwick and its partners at the University of Rhode Island (URI), North Providence, East Greenwich, and South Kingston continue to implement the Intergovernmental Partnership Program to mitigate high energy costs and climate change impacts. The utility data for several cities have been entered into EPA’s Portfolio Manager. The five Fellows of the 2012 Energy Fellows Program have analyzed the utility data for North Providence and completed a baseline report, and are now working to finalize utility data for the three other communities. One of the communities is piloting the use of a web-based utility data tool to collect the data for FY12. Each community has agreed to develop and adopt an energy policy through the city/town council, designed to formalize their commitment to implementing sustainable energy measures and the East Greenwich Town Council has formally adopted its policy statement. Additionally, URI is drafting chapters for Energy Management Guides that will serve to guide municipalities through the process of developing and implementing energy improvement plans. Completed chapters include the Plan-Do-Check-Act model and the Model Standard Operating Procedures & Building Codes. The Town of East Greenwich completed the LED streetlight retrofit project and URI is working with the other communities in developing similar showcase projects.

Project Summary

An Innovative Partnership to Implement Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects and Training Programs

To mitigate high energy costs and climate change impacts, four Rhode Island municipalities and the University of Rhode Island Energy Center have partnered to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in municipal and residential buildings and facilities. This innovative partnership will:

  • implement energy efficiency, alternative fuels, and on-site renewable energy projects, and
  • address behavioral change through a training and outreach program.

The four municipalities will begin their energy efficiency projects by measuring energy performance in municipal buildings, schools, and water treatment facilities. With support from Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), municipalities will then develop energy management plans to implement energy efficiency and conservation measures, and energy policies and guidelines.

To address behavioral change, the four municipalities will implement training and outreach programs. They will identify behavioral barriers to saving energy by working with stakeholders and opinion leaders. Based on these results, the project will provide a suite of training programs for municipal employees and residents.

The project's benefits include reduced energy use, water use, and GHG emissions that reduce municipality costs. Municipal employees and residents will have increased knowledge of—and increased capacity to change—energy use patterns. The project is integrated with complementary actions through the EPA Community Energy Challenge and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Through these linkages, it will generate programs and resources that can serve as models for other communities. Other benefits include improved air quality, reduced solid waste, and a stronger green economy in Rhode Island.

Community Characteristics

Population: 86,000 (Warwick)
33,500 (North Providence)
13,000 (East Greenwich)
28,000 (South Kingston)
Area: 515 square miles
Government Type: City
Community Type: Urban
Median Household Income: $63,309 (Warwick)
$46,997 (North Providence)
$63,309 (East Greenwich)
$71,056 (South Kingston)

Program Results/Estimated Results

Expected GHG Reductions: 3,080 metric tons CO2e annually
Actual GHG Reductions (as of June 2012): 381 metric tons CO2e annually
Expected Electricity Savings: 1,913 MWh annually
Expected Renewable Energy Projects: 4, one for each municipal partner

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