Durham County Renewable Energy Transition
With the help of lobbying efforts from our group, the Durham County Commissioners on November 13, 2018, passed a resolution setting the goal of transitioning the operations of the county government to 80% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. The commissioners also allocated $40,000 to complete work on a plan to implement these goals.
The resolution was initiated by a 2017 recommendation of the Durham Environmental Affairs Board, a group of environmental professionals appointed to advise the county and city governments on environmental matters.
Durham Grandparents and Parents congratulates the county commissioners for taking this far-sighted action, and we will continue to monitor the county’s progress in implementing their transition to renewable energy.
City of Durham Renewable Energy Transition
As of this writing (early January, 2019) the city is expected to soon consider adopting a resolution similar to the one the county adopted on November 13, 2018 (see above). When this item makes its way to a city council agenda, we will be lobbying for the city to follow the county’s lead. In preparation, in December 2018 we sent the mayor and each city council member a “heads up” letter of support signed by 38 of our members.
Durham Public Schools Efficiency & Solar Projects
The Durham Public Schools (DPS) will soon be selecting projects to be part of an upcoming 2020 county bond issue. We want to make sure these projects include energy saving retrofits of existing school buildings and that all new school buildings have solar panels. Further, we hope to encourage the DPS to develop a strategic energy plan, and to earmark some of the money saved through energy savings to ongoing energy retrofits and solar projects. See a first draft of our proposed projects for the 2020 bond issuance.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Low-Income Housing
We are helping Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT) raise money to insulate and weatherize 50 low-income homes they recently purchased in East Durham. We often hear how low income people pay a high percentage of their income on rent. But what we don’t hear is that, living in drafty, poorly insulated houses these same folks then have to spend as much or more on utilities as they do on rent. The Durham Community Land Trust is committed to keeping their homes truly affordable—and energy efficient. Click here to learn more and make a donation.