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.
“Our city continues to demonstrate our steadfast commitment to the environment, our economy and future generations,” said Mayor Bieter. “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.”
In development for over a year, the plan is part of the city’s strategic 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.
“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 practical 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.