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Empower Lexington Wants Businesses, Residents to Reduce Energy Use by 1%

By Brenna Angel


LEXINGTON, Ky. – An energy efficiency plan for the city of Lexington is ready for public review before it goes before the Urban County Council early next year.

More than 70 stakeholders with Empower Lexington have been meeting since 2009, following a 2008 council resolution to take part in the International Cities for Climate Protection Program.

"A lot of folks have being doing things individually, either as an organization or at home, to reduce their energy use. But as a community we really haven't had much of a collective plan to move forward on how we could actually become more energy efficient," says Tom Webb with Lexington's Division of Environmental Policy.

Webb says the group learned a lot about how Lexington uses energy and identified areas for improvement.

"There was a Brookings Institute study that came out in 2008 that said we had the worst carbon footprint in the country of the 100 metro areas studied. But what we found out when we actually went into more detail is that when we looked at all the sectors in our entire community's energy use, we actually compared fairly favorably to some other communities. So we don't really have the worst in the country."

The Empower Lexington group found that emissions for the city are around 23.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per person per year.

The report makes several recommendations, but the main goal is for the community as a whole to reduce energy consumption by at least 1 percent annually. (Click here to view a draft of the plan. [PDF])

A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Fayette County Extension Office on Red Mile Place.