Climate Showcase Community

Montclair's Climate Showcase Community Grant Measures CO2 Footprint

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored the Township of Montclair by designating us a Climate Showcase Community, providing us with a grant for an innovative program to help our residents, schools, businesses and the municipal operations to reduce their energy usage, their utility bill costs, and their greenhouse gas emissions.

Montclair had previously won the N.J. Board of Public Utility's first municipal N. J. Clean Energy Leadership Award, and we were a charter, certified Sustainable Jersey Community, so we were pleased to be able to use this federal support to create a baseline energy use map – known as a carbon footprint – to guide us as we implemented measures to reduce our town’s energy use and save money for residents, businesses, and our local government.

Montclair used its municipal and community energy measurements to demonstrate that significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are possible in small- and medium-sized communities.

The energy reduction program was titled “Our Power Montclair”. Actions included enrolling residents and local businesses in state and federal energy-efficiency financial incentive programs, efficiency retrofits of municipal buildings, and utilizing more energy-efficient vehicles in municipal fleets.

Montclair’s project team - the Climate Committee, coordinated by Township Sustainability Officer Gray Russell and assisted by Sustainable Jersey Project Coordinators Randy Solomon and Tony O'Donnell - were tasked with determining the Carbon Footprint for the whole community (including data from the private sector, business districts, institutions, and municipal operations), and setting aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Our Power Montclair reported on the community’s progress one and two years later; a summary report is attached for residents.