Sustainability starts at home, something that’s not lost on the Town of Basalt. The Town’s newly adopted Basalt Climate Action Plan and Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community promises a path to reduce emissions, starting with its own operations.
The plans include an aggressive goal for the Basalt community: reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.
But, perhaps the biggest pledge of the Basalt Climate Action Plan is the vow to share the responsibility: the Town will consider allocating $100,000/year to fund energy efficiency projects in town facilities.
The Town realizes that energy efficiency is an extremely effective way to reduce emissions and generate utility bill savings. Approximately 70% of Basalt’s emissions come from the energy used in homes and businesses. To that end, building energy became a focal point of the Plan.
The commitment to retrofit the Town’s building stock is a major milestone in Basalt’s climate efforts. “We want to show a new level of leadership by walking the walk,” said Susan Philp, Basalt Planning Director and Green Team staff liaison.
The Plan lays out six strategies to achieve real results. This blueprint for action is so utilitarian and common sense that it goes on for just two pages.
Green Team member and town councilman Auden Schendler said: “We’re trying to be like Warren Buffet here with his one-page contracts. We know our carbon goals are wildly ambitious. That’s why we want to spend our time on action, not extensive analysis and reports. So we’re focusing on carbon reductions in buildings and influencing public policy.” Among other actions, the Plan calls on Basalt to advocate for more clean energy, and to enforce more stringent building codes.
Adoption is just the beginning. Next comes the hard part: actually taking action. Encouragingly, Basalt is off to a great start, with help from CORE.
In 2016, CORE helped to kick-start the climate action planning effort by completing an emissions inventory. Since then we have partnered with the Town to upgrade all streetlights to LEDs and identify other climate friendly projects. On tap is an effort to upgrade bulbs in town facilities to LEDs. With CORE’s support, the Town has secured a grant from the Aspen Skiing Company’s Environmental Foundation to make this happen.
Next up on Basalt’s plate for 2017:
- Advocate for 100% clean energy
- Engage in regional, state, and national advocacy
- Enforce and develop policy and code
- Boost municipal energy efficiency
- Engage the community
- Perform annual progress reports
Now it’s your turn to bring it home. Where will you begin? For inspiration, connect with The High Five, a new social movement that CORE and the City of Aspen are launching to take action on the environment by saving energy. Get action ideas, start saving energy and win!