50 by 25 campaign launches in Harrisonburg

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Harrisonburg residents initiated a campaign to enable a responsible clean energy transition in the local community.

The 50 by 25 campaign wants Harrisonburg to join over 150 cities across the U.S. that have adopted a goal of 100 percent clean energy.

These communities have recognized that clean renewable energy is economical, affordable, and healthier.

On February 28, 2020, members of Renew Rocktown, including the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley and the Sierra Club, formally launched the campaign, which has three goals that can be accomplished only with the help of the Harrisonburg City Council:

  • to direct our electric utility to provide 50% renewable energy, including solar and wind, into our electric grid by 2025 and 100% by 2030.
  • to increase energy efficiency by 25% in school and municipal buildings by 2025.
  • to create programs that incentivize weatherization and energy efficiency to reduce energy costs for residential and commercial properties. By making homes and apartments more energy efficient, we make housing more affordable.

Over 900 community members including individuals, businesses, and civic organizations, have already signed a petition supporting a clean energy transition for Harrisonburg.

The campaign will be seeking many more signatures and endorsements.

Our community has bravely shown leadership through sustainability initiatives in the past. This campaign aims to build on that momentum and leadership. The city of Harrisonburg recently adopted an Environmental Action Plan. Additionally, based on the initiative of local residents, business owners, and our municipal utility, Harrisonburg Electric Commission (HEC), our city has the most solar installations per capita in Virginia.

In November, Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order that declared state-wide energy goals, including that Virginia’s electricity production should involve 30% renewable energy sources by 2030, and 100% carbon-free sources by 2050.

“Gov. Northam has set energy goals for Virginia. Harrisonburg has the ability to reach them,” said Doug Hendren, a member of Renew Rocktown and a 50 by 25 campaign supporter.

For more information, visit www.50by25Harrisonburg.org

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