Celebrate Earth Day by Working Towards A Clean Energy Future!
By Chris Richter, Springfield Township Environmental Advisory Commission
Did you know that Springfield Township is committed to getting to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2035, and 100% clean, renewable energy for our vehicles and building heat by 2050? In fact, our Township is proud to be one of the first municipalities in Montgomery County to sign on to the “Ready for 100% Clean Energy” nationwide initiative, and passed a resolution establishing these goals in January, 2019.
The shift to clean energy may seem like a tall order. Fortunately, to help guide the transition process, keep the public informed and let citizens know what they can do, the Springfield Township EAC is here to help.
Meet the Springfield Township EAC
The Springfield Township Environmental Advisory Commission (EAC) advises and promotes education about issues relating to the management, use and protection of our local environment. Created in 2006, the EAC holds monthly meetings open to the general public, and also has several working committees to advance the EAC agenda, which includes assisting the township transition to a clean energy future through the development of a 100% Clean Energy Transition Plan focusing on municipal operations.
The Clean Energy Transition Process
The Township has started the transition by ensuring that current operations are efficient and conserve as much energy as possible. We have performed an energy audit of the municipal buildings which is expected to generate annual cost savings and reduce annual carbon emissions by up to 200,000 pounds per year. Another step already underway is the replacement of the Township’s traditional (internal combustion engine) vehicles with hybrid models. In fact, Springfield Township has already purchased its first hybrid cruiser for the Springfield Township Police and expect it to hit the streets this Spring/Summer. The hybrid police cruiser is expected to pay for itself in less than two years, saving taxpayers approximately $2,200 in annual fuel costs and avoiding 25,000 pounds of carbon pollution annually.
What’s Next and What You Can Do
Committing to a cleaner and healthier tomorrow is a monumental undertaking and the Township cannot do it alone. Residents, businesses, and community groups alike will all have a role in ensuring a brighter future for us all. This means exploring opportunities to switch to cleaner sources of energy (i.e. residential/business solar installations, switching to a “green” utility company, etc.), promoting the use of hybrid/electric vehicles, and reducing our community’s overall carbon footprint.
Again, this is no easy task. However, if we all do our part and mark this Earth Day by making a commitment to act, we will all be one step closer to a cleaner and healthier future in Springfield Township.
The Springfield Township EAC encourages all residents to keep in touch and get involved. Interested individuals can reach us on the web at springfieldmontco.org/eac where you can also join our email list, likewise you can follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/SpringfieldEAC/, and finally you can join our monthly meetings which are held the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM (agendas and Zoom meeting links are posted on the web page).
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