On June 10, 2010, twelve team members from Jackson and Grand County began the process of developing an Energy Strategy for the region. The questions on the cover of this Strategy are those that they asked about energy use in our region at the first meeting.
While the planning process has been a local effort, the impetus and funding came from the federal level. In 2007 President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act which established the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG). The program supports the “deployment of the cheapest, cleanest, and most reliable energy technologies we have—energy efficiency and conservation—across the country”
In 2009, the EECBG program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Grand County Business and Economic Development Association applied for and was awarded grant funding for non-entitled2 EECBG communities through the Governor’s Energy Office to support the development of a regional Energy Strategy for Grand and Jackson Counties.
During the five month planning process the team discussed energy as a controllable cost, an economic opportunity, an economic vulnerability, a national security issue, a necessity and a comfort. The team expressed a strong desire to position the region so that it is more energy independent, more resilient to fluctuating energy prices and better able to capitalize on local sustainable resources.
The team explored the issues confronting the region and articulated a vision of an economy and environment worthy of passing on to future generations.
The mission of the Regional Energy Team is:
To ensure efficient resource use and support affordable, renewable energy so the local economy, environment and future generations will thrive.
The vision of the Regional Energy Team is:
A thriving economy supported by local energy solutions and sustainable use of resources.
View an online version of the Grand & Jackson County Energy Strategy here.