The City of Columbia has been highlighted as a “city to watch” by a nonprofit group based in several northwestern states.
The report, released last week by the nonprofit Climate Solutions, highlights small and mid-sized communities finding creative solutions in clean energy. Nine communities, including Eugene, Oregon and Oberlin, Ohio, are profiled at length in the report – Columbia is not one of those. Instead, Columbia is one of 12 cities considered a “city to watch” for energy-efficiency initiatives such as the downtown District’s City Green program and Columbia Water & Light’s home-energy program.
Columbia Water & Light’s Connie Kacprowicz said the city is working to address both alternative renewable energy sources and efficiency in its energy use.
"Columbia has a very aggressive approach to energy efficiency as well as renewable energy. So I think when you’re looking at our energy future, you have to take both of those things into account. You don’t want to waste the energy that you are producing. You want to get the most out of it. And plus be looking at alternate resources," said Kacprowicz.
The report – titled “Powering the New Energy Future from the Ground Up” – found that many of the innovations were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but others, such as initiatives in Boulder, Colorado and Jackson, Wyoming, were funded without any grant money.