Council approves new energy plan

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

The city’s energy plan was approved unanimously at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Following the plan’s acceptance, the council also introduced several ordinances that reflect the recommendations and priorities laid out in the report.

“The report is very substantial,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu at the council meeting, which was cablecast live over Nutmeg TV. She noted that it was probably the most comprehensive report she had ever seen in her years previously on the council.

By accepting the report, the mayor said the city is now responsible to reduce its energy consumption—by 20 percent by October.

The report provides a number of priorities and strategies to achieve that, said Zoppo.

During Art Ward’s mayoral administration, the city established what was known as the Mayor’s Task Force on Energy Consumption. They had two main goals; to identify opportunities for “energy mitigation through improved efficiencies and a culture of conservation, and the increased use of clean and renewable energy sources.”  An initial plan was submitted in 2010, but it was not adopted, so the Task Force revamped the plan.

Following the approval of the report, council members offered several motions of actions the city intends to take to reduce energy consumption. Among the items on the city’s horizon is the possibility of a solar panel array on the city’s landfill, the creation of a new position for an energy manager, and a policy requiring that new construction meet green energy standards.

The motions made last Tuesday, said Zoppo-Sassu, were just the beginning of the actions to be taken by the city based on recommendations in the report.

“We’re well on the way,” said Zoppo-Sassu.

As a response to the report, Zoppo-Sassu said she had been asked by a member of the public to reinstate the city’s annual Earth Day celebration. Zoppo-Sassu said plans will move forth for the celebration’s return in April 2019.