Envision believes that it is vital for our community to focus on sustainable energy use and climate resilience. Envision fully supports the City of Frankfort’s 100% Renewable Energy commitment, which aims to supply 100% of City government operations with renewable energy by 2023 and all energy used in the community by 2030. The transition to clean energy offers many opportunities for improving the quality of life in Franklin County, by improving the energy efficiency of homes, reducing energy costs for residents and businesses, and spurring new economic development to drive the transition, to name but a few of the benefits.
A report published in 2021 by Apogee – Climate & Energy Transitions details one strategy for efficiently and economically meeting the city’s electricity needs with solar energy. Local Solar, Local Savings: How to Cut Electricity Costs in Half for Public Schools and Local Governments in Frankfort, Kentucky describes how local governments and public schools in Frankfort could reduce their electricity costs by fifty percent and dramatically reduce carbon emissions by developing a collaborative solar project within Franklin County. With the cooperation of their local municipal utility, the Frankfort Plant Board (FPB), a 20 megawatt (MW) solar facility on about 150 acres could supply 100% of the annual electricity needs of these four public agencies, providing combined savings to local taxpayers exceeding $1.2 million per year.
Envision’s Vision for Frankfort’s Energy Future:
In 2016, Envision Franklin County published Frankfort's Energy Future a report that explores the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy to the Frankfort Plant Board (FPB), their customers, and the local community. These benefits include protecting customers from rising electricity rates and helping them to reduce their bills; reducing the risks from being heavily dependent on coal power; lowering the FPB’s demand charges and extending the life of utility infrastructure; and generating local investment and economic development.
The report cites examples of utilities that have achieved great success with energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Burlington Electric Department in Vermont has been operating energy efficiency programs since 1990. Their programs save their customers about $11 million per year on their electric bills. Burlington also sources nearly 100% of their electricity from renewable energy, consisting mainly of biomass, hydro, and wind.