One of my first acts as Mayor was to sign on to the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. I knew that Gresham could make substantial progress on energy efficiency while also making our operations run more efficiently, saving our residents money. That is exactly what we’ve done.
Breathing clean air, while streamlining our operations and saving money in energy costs, remains an obvious priority going forward. We will continue to work through the City’s sustainability plan to identify opportunities to do right by the environment while trimming the City’s energy consumption portfolio, which has excellent returns-on-investment in all the right shades of green.
What We’ve Done:
- Transformed Gresham’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, previously the City’s biggest energy consumer, into a net energy producer, by deploying two cogenerator engines and transforming the plant’s methane gasses into electricity. This innovation, one of the first in the country, saves Gresham ratepayers around $800,000 each year.
- Gresham’s plant also won the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Award, a national award given to a community leading the way in sustainability.
- We replaced all 8,000 of Gresham’s streetlights, converting them to LED fixtures. The savings in energy costs not only paid for the deployment of new technology, but it saved the Streetlight Fund from going into the red, preventing potential future fee increases.
- We approved Gresham’s first ever Internal Operations Sustainability Plan, showing the roadmap to future savings and environmental opportunity, and committing the organization to pursing these issues rigorously.
- As Chair of the US Conference of Mayors Energy Committee, I taught communities across America about Gresham’s successes, helping them make progress as well, improving our shared environment.
- Worked with regional and community partners to deliver new nature parks at Nadaka and Hogan Butte, which showcase Gresham’s outstanding natural assets while preserving habitat and giving residents an opportunity to connect with our outstanding northwest ecology.
- For the first time in Gresham’s history, we became a Tree City USA, and have maintained this distinction each year since.