Municipal Carbon Reduction and Renewable Energy Policy

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City of Tempe works with ASU, GCSO, SRP, APS, and local non-profits to consider new energy policy

A Tempe City Manager’s working group on the Municipal Renewable Energy Target is currently considering a change to Tempe’s municipal energy policy. The Working Group consists of Mayor Mark Mitchell, Councilmember Lauren Kuby, and Councilmember Randy Keating. The Working Group has proposed that the City Council adopt renewable energy targets of having 100% of its municipal energy come from renewable sources by 2035 and of having city operations pursue a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. 

jgm solar panel mitchell kuby

Carbon Reduction and Renewable Energy Presentation 

This policy is only for energy used in city operations (i.e. buildings, street lights, and water operations). Current city policy seeks to have 20% percent of our municipal energy use to be produced by renewable sources. In 2018, with the completion of the solar power plant at the Johnny G. Martinez Water Treatment Plant, the city will produce over 4 megawatts (MW) of power and receive approximately 10% of its total energy use from six solar power plants on city property, and participation in several regional renewable energy programs. A policy for citywide carbon emissions and renewable energy will be determined during a upcoming process to develop a Climate Action Plan.

Public Forum


The Working Group hosted an online forum that ended on January 24th, and a public forum on January 17th to receive feedback from residents and interested stakeholders.  

The feedback session at the public forum was led by Dr. Lauren Withycombe Keeler with a keynote from City of Portland Climate Manager Michele Crim. Dr. Keeler and Ms. Crim’s involvement was funded by the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes (

Michele Crim Presentation 




Next Steps

The Working Group will meet to make its final recommendation on January, 30th, and the item is expected to return to Work Study Session for Council direction on February 15th at 4 pm. For additional information on the Working Group email Kristin Gwinn ( and for information on energy and sustainability policy email Dr. Braden Kay(

A Climate Action Plan and the New Solution Series

The City of Tempe is launching an ongoing conversation with you, our residents and local businesses, as we take a serious look at our impact on climate change, and at the impact of climate change on our city. The goal is to develop a comprehensive Climate Action Plan that may serve as a foundation for future policy decisions in response to our changing world.

As we continue to adapt to the increasing effects of climate change, including extreme heat, flooding, and drought, the City of Tempe will spend the next two years working with citizens, businesses, and local organizations to develop potential solutions designed to reduce our local impact on the global climate.  

We have scheduled the first event in our new Solution Series, bringing people together to explore innovative and realistic actions that the city and its residents can take to create a more resilient and sustainable city.

Future events in the series will address additional community-wide energy and climate action topics, including a citywide carbon emissions target, and strategies for more sustainable waste, water, transportation, and food systems. 

Solution Series I: Municipal Renewable Energy Target

The first Solution Series will focus on the city’s renewable energy target. 

A council working group has been examining the potential to change the city’s goal for how much of our energy use comes from renewable sources. In 2014, the Tempe City Council set a goal of purchasing 20% of its total energy use from renewable sources by 2025. In 2018, we anticipate approximately 10% will come from these sources.

An increase in the current goal would provide clear policy direction for the city to pursue larger, utility-scale solar projects and other clean energy technologies.


Dr. Braden Kay, Tempe Sustainability Manager 

Lauren Withycombe Keeler