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Local View Column: New developments present opportunities for energy efficiency, clean energy

By District Energy posted 09-18-2019 11:45


Eric Enberg, Duluth News Tribune


On Aug. 26, by a 7-0 vote, the Duluth City Council chose to move forward with the possible developments of housing on 10 acres at Enger Park Golf Course and 50 acres at the Lester Park Golf Course. These projects would be a great opportunity to create housing stock that is efficient, clean, and green.

The City Council can insist developers of these public spaces take the following cost-effective actions.

Councilors can insist on energy efficiency with the use of high levels of insulation, energy-efficient lighting and controls, and all-electric appliances. A firm stand must be made by the City Council that no gas hookups be allowed. This would be a tough stand to take, considering the city owns a natural-gas utility, but it must be done if the occupants are to avoid being locked into fossil fuels for decades to come. It also would place Duluth in the rising number of cities with such a policy.

Councilors can insist on the use of solar energy, making sure that all rooflines are oriented to maximize solar power and that solar is installed on every house as a standard feature.

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