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Boise becomes Idaho’s first city to set 100% clean electricity goal

Posted: 11:32 AM, Apr 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-03 13:33:02-04

BOISE — The Boise City Council Tuesday evening passed a clean energy goal, committing to establishing community-wide use of 100 percent clean electricity in the city by the year 2035.

“The commitment comes on the heels of two important announcements impacting clean energy in Boise. Last year, at his 2018 State of the City address, Mayor David Bieter set a municipal government goal of 100 percent clean electricity for city-owned buildings by 2030. Last week, Idaho Power, the electricity utility for the City of Boise, announced their own goal of 100 percent clean energy system-wide by 2045,” said Boise City spokesman Mike Journee.

“Boise has always been a city of bold action to ensure the success of those who come after us, and this goal commits Boise as a national leader on policies that dramatically strengthen that commitment,” Bieter stated.

In development for over a year, the plan is part of the city’s initiative called Boise’s Energy Future. “It has been guided by City of Boise staff and a stakeholder group of community organizations and businesses including local utilities. The plan was developed with extensive public outreach, including a citywide survey in partnership with Boise State University. Highlights from the survey include: 77 percent of polled citizens either strongly or somewhat agreeing with the city’s effort to establish goals to reduce energy use and transition to clean energy,” Journee pointed out.

“I’m pleased that, last night, we approved a plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2035, highlighting affordability and equity in access to energy efficiency and clean energy for all residents,” said Council President Lauren McLean, the city council sponsor of the effort. “Leading on clean energy is in the best interest of all of our citizens, and ensures a more prosperous future for our city. Boise’s innovative spirit will help us seize the opportunity to grow our economy by incentivizing homegrown clean energy and technology, which creates good jobs and better choices for consumers and improves our health.”

The plan includes a list of six actionable electricity strategies with targets that demonstrate a cost-effective path to 100 percent clean electricity. Boise residents currently spend approximately $245 million dollars per year on energy in their homes, businesses, institutions, and industrial processes -- 75 percent of which is spent on electricity and 25 percent on natural gas. The plan also includes goals around natural gas and geothermal energy, officials said.