Even as its population grows, energy consumption in Lexington is on the decline. The group `Empower Lexington’ is working for a one percent drop each year in energy consumption. Amy Sohner, who directs Bluegrass Greensource, says so far, it’s been relatively easy.
“What we can do is continue on the same path. We are getting some of the low hanging fruit and there’s a lot more low hanging fruit to get to decrease our energy usage. I anticipate and experts anticipate the cost of electricity rising greatly over the next few years and so the more we can do to reduce our energy usage the more money we can actually save, either in not realized costs or in actual costs as well,” said Sohner.
Their review showed residential electricity use fell by seven-and-a-half percent between 2007 and 20-11. Over that same period, Sohner says the central Kentucky community grew by more than eight percent. She says landfill waste also decreased during those four years.
“Overall including composting, recycling, and landfill the total amount of waste that we’ve produced in those four years has gone down one and a half percent. So, even though our population has increased more than eight percent over the last four years the amount of waste we have produced has gone down one and a half percent,” added Sohner.
Progress has also been made in recycling…with less refuse going into landfills. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton admits more attention needs to be given to private garbage collection, so their recycling programs equal what the city offers..
“We’re waiting for some numbers to let us move forward on plans to standardize, so it is definitely in the works,” said Gorton.
The city is also incorporating Empower Lexington strategies within the local government operations.