As a matter of basic responsibility, the City is Miami is committed to reducing energy consumption at its facilities, maximizing energy efficiency and evaluating the use of renewable and alternative energy technologies for government operations.
Aware of the relationship between energy sources and environmental programs, the City of Miami established the Office of Sustainable Initiatives (MSI) to coordinate the City’s environmental programs and ensure the City of Miami becomes a model for environmental best practices.
With those tools at hand, we were able to elaborate our Strategy for Energy Sustainability and set a series of steps to be attained in the short and long term. A key component of the Strategy is MiPlan (the City of Miami Climate Action Plan) which focuses on five areas of sustainability: buildings, energy sources, transportation, land use and adaptation (i.e. mitigating the impacts of climate change). MIPlan states specific goals to be attained at set times, for instance: reduce greenhouse emissions to 25% below 2006 levels citywide by 2020 and 25% below 2007 governmental levels by 2015.
The City of Miami is a big consumer of energy, in 2011 residents and businesses used a total of 5,107,068,578 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity which resulted in a total cost of $524,076,517. These facts pushed us to find ways to assist the private sector to join our energy strategy. And last April, the City of Miami signed on to join South Florida’s Green Corridor District, a special mechanism administered and funded by Ygrene Energy Florida that enables commercial property owners to immediately tap into $550 million of private capital funds to perform energy retrofits, renewable energy installations and wind hardening improvements at no upfront costs. Retrofits are repaid via property owners’ tax bills amortized over 20 years. Participating in the Green Corridor will not only enable state-of-the-art retrofits that improve overall energy performance of commercial buildings, it is expected to create 5,000 stable jobs and inject almost $840 million into Miami and South Florida’s economy.
Unfortunately, our finances are as tight as most cities in the nation, and we had to apply for funds of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG). With the $4,742,300 received we performed energy efficiency improvements in 7 city buildings, renovated another building that now houses the “Miami Green Lab”, and staffed the Office of Sustainable Initiatives.
Our green energy promotion in the city has been crowned by a great accomplishment: the Intercontinental Hotel of Miami decided to go “green” and already partnered with the green power supplier “Green Energy” to buy 15,467,000 kilowatt-hours of wind power this year.
This event shows that Miami, though quietly, is jumping ahead in the important fields of saving energy and using green energy.
Written by Miami Mayor, Tomas Regalado . In September, 1996 he was elected Commissioner of the City of Miami. For his brilliant performance was reelected in 1999, 2003 and 2007, the latest one without opposition. In November 2009, Tomas Regalado was elected Mayor of the City of Miami