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Utilizing City-Utility Partnership Agreements to Achieve Climate and Energy Goals

To address climate change, more and more cities around the world are developing new and innovative solutions.

U.S. local governments, such as cities and counties, as well as many investor-owned electric utilities, are increasingly making commitments and pursuing actions to address climate change. 

It is important to note that to help ensure the success of a partnership agreement, cities and utilities should determine how they will measure progress toward meeting the goals of the agreement. As goals vary, so will the form of measurement. 

To meet the growing need to combat climate change and increasingly ambitious city sustainability goals, collaboration among local governments and investor owned electric utilities will be essential. City-utility partnership agreements, where appropriate, offer a promising avenue to align on and achieve climate and energy goals.

The key findings of this paper are:

  • Local governments, who are actively emerging as leaders in addressing climate change, and electric utilities in the United States, are increasingly setting climate and energy goals.
     
  • Utility-customer cooperation and collaboration will be essential to meeting their ambitious targets— partnership agreements provide one pathway to accelerate action to meet ambitious goals. 
     
  • City-utility partnership agreements can provide a framework to align and achieve broad sustainability efforts and enable long-lasting and productive engagement to achieve climate and energy goals.

Based on the experience of several U.S. cities, this resource identifies common elements of partnership agreements, as well as tips and considerations for implementing them, which can help cities evaluate the opportunity to use agreements to meet their goals. 
 

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