At its March 6 meeting, the Deerfield Village Board of Trustees received an update from Village staff since approving the Climate Action Report from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Ad Hoc Working Group last year that recommended a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050.
Highlights included meaningful strides in the categories of energy, transportation, waste and ecosystem.
- The Village retired 25 million kWhs of renewable energy credits through the Electric Aggregation Program, which is equivalent to 29% of residential households or 9% of the electricity consumption of the entire community (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial). Due to the results of this program the Village will now be able to obtain designation as a U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership Community.
- Solar energy use and awareness have both grown, thanks to the Community Solar Program and educational campaigns. Through the Northshore Electric Aggregation Consortium, 114 residents now receive 100% solar energy at a 20% discount from the going ComEd rate through the free Community Solar Program, more than any other community in the Consortium. Deerfield residents participated in the Illinois Solar Tour in September, sharing their experience with residential rooftop solar panels with their neighbors. The Village is currently investigating the feasibility of both ground- and rooftop-mounted solar installations on Village property and possible third-party locations.
- Village facilities will continue switching to LED lighting sources reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs.
- The Village Sustainability Commission is promoting ComEd’s free Home Energy Assessments, which save residents an average of $377 annually in reduced energy costs.
- The Village has replaced four outdated gas-powered vehicles with three new electric vehicles and one gas/hybrid vehicle, and will increase that to 16 electric vehicles by 2030.
- EV charging stations have been installed at Public Works, and will soon be installed at Village Hall and the Library for Village fleet vehicle charging. Additional public EV charging stations will be available later this year or early next year.
- An electric fleet assessment found that replacing eight gas-powered vehicles with EVs over a ten-year period saves $78,414 in fuel and maintenance costs while reducing emissions by 42%.
- The Village’s year-round curbside residential composting program is one of the first in the region. The program has been in effect at no additional cost, since May of 2020. At that time, the Village provided over 6,000 compost starter kits comprised of a kitchen counter top compost pail, compostable liner bags and an educational flyer with composting best practices. The Village provided on-site composting at last fall’s Harvest Fest. This was the first time that composting was offered at a Village special event, and the program was received very favorably. Due to the success of this initiative, staff has expanded the compost offerings to six special events in 2023.
- The Village’s Tree Preservation Ordinance has recently been amended to further protect the community’s tree canopy, specifically high-valued heritage trees. To further advance the Village’s understanding of the urban forest, the Village just recently approved a tree inventory survey to effectively track all of the trees in the right-of-way. The inventory will include the location, species, diameter, condition and maintenance history and will be recorded in the GIS database.
- In December 2021, the Village Board adopted the 2021 Illinois Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The IECC is a model code that regulates minimum energy conservation requirements for new buildings and additions for both residential and commercial properties. According to the Department of Energy, the adoption of the 2021 IECC improves energy efficiency by 9.4% and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 8.7% over the 2018 IECC; saving homeowners an average of $2,320 over the life of a typical mortgage.
“I could have never imagined all of these accomplishments in just nine months,” said Mayor Daniel C. Shapiro. “There is still work to do, but I think we should be proud of how much we have done. Thanks to Trustee Elaine Jacoby and to Trustee Mary Oppenheim, who lead the group, we’ve made a lot of progress in less than a year.”
Mayor Shapiro asked the working group to meet again this summer to track the progress of implementing the plan and to update the baseline carbon metrics.
Members of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Ad Hoc Working Group include Trustee Oppenheim (Chairperson), Trustee Jacoby, Sustainability Commission Chairperson Donald Anderson, Sustainability Commissioner William Mertes, Go Green Deerfield Chairperson Art Wilde, Go Green Deerfield Member Camilla Dadey, and Business Community Representative Victoria Street, Executive Director of the DBR Chamber of Commerce.
Released by the Village Manager’s Office
Contact: David Fitzgerald-Sullivan, Communications Coordinator