New EPA Resources to Help Local Governments Achieve Energy Goals

January 23, 2012
by Carolyn Berndt

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched two tools to help local governments make policy decisions pertaining to greenhouse gas reduction, particularly through energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. 

The first, a Clean Energy Financing Decision Tool and Guide will help local governments evaluate options for financing clean energy programs, either in municipal facilities or in the residential and commercial sectors. Also, an interactive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions map allows users to view and sort GHG data for calendar year 2010 from more than 6,700 facilities in a variety of ways, including by state, county, facility, industrial sector and the type of GHG emitted.

Clean Energy Financing Decision Tool and Guide

States and communities are increasingly investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy to achieve their air quality, economic, and energy goals. By adopting clean energy financing programs, local governments can make energy efficiency and renewable energy more affordable for homeowners, building owners and businesses. To support local government efforts, EPA's State and Local Climate and Clean Energy Program launched two new resources. 

The Financing Program Decision Tool is designed for state and local staff to identify clean energy financing programs suited to their jurisdiction's specific needs.

The Financing Program Decision Guide includes the basics on financing-program options, as well as key considerations and factors for local governments to weigh as they start up or expand their clean energy financing programs. 

To access the Financing Program Decision Tool and Guide, visithttp://epa.gov/statelocalclimate/state/activities/financing.html

Greenhouse Gas Data Publication Tool

For the first time, comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data reported directly from large facilities and suppliers across the country are now accessible through EPA's GHG Reporting Program. The 2010 GHG data includes public information from facilities in nine industry groups that directly emit large quantities of GHGs, such as power plants, landfills, government and commercial facilities and others, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels. An additional 12 industry groups will begin reporting their 2011 GHG data this year. 

The information from the GHG map can be used by communities to identify nearby sources of GHGs, provide information to state and local governments, and help businesses compare and track emissions.

While the GHG Reporting Program provides data on roughly 80 percent of total GHG emissions in the U.S., it does not provide full coverage of total annual U.S. GHG emissions.

To access EPA's GHG Reporting Program Data and Data Publication Tool, visithttp://epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgdata.