Officials in Cedar Rapids are developing a plan to cut down on energy use in hopes of saving the city one million dollars. Megan Murphy, the Utilities Communication/Education Coordinator for Cedar Rapids, says the city spends around 11 million dollars per year on electricity, natural gas and fuel for vehicles.
She’s hoping the plan can cut that spending by 10%. City workers have been providing ideas that range from turning off computers and lights to driving more fuel efficient vehicles. For example, city workers could choose to take a smaller vehicle, if it’s capable of performing the task, rather than driving a gas guzzling truck.
Murphy has been studying energy saving techniques in other U.S. cities – including Fort Collins, Colorado…Madison, Wisconsin…Portland, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona. “Phoenix has a revolving loan fund that they established shortly after the energy crisis of the 1970s. That’s been very successful for them, so we’re considering finding a way to incorporate that into our plan to help with the up front costs for departments that are strapped on cash,” Murphy said.
An open house is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art for local residents to learn more about the plan and provide input.