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Green Team 2018 Summary

by Kim Lautner
Friday, December 28, 2018



Subject:          Traverse City Green Team 2018 Summary


       Jim Carruthers, Mayor – 231-922-7768 (

       Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk – 231-922-4480 (           

       Sarna Salzman, SEEDS Executive Director – 231-929-3663 (

 Issued:           December 26, 2018

In December 2016, the City Commission of Traverse City passed a resolution to meet 100% of the electricity demand for City operations - meaning the yearly total of all municipal electric meters - with clean, renewable energy sources by the year 2020. Renewable Energy sources are defined as wind, solar, geothermal, and/or landfill gas. The City also set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by pursuing renewable energy and energy efficiency, or other sustainability projects, with the goal of initiating at least two such projects per year through 2027. With these actions, the City Commission formed an advisory Green Team. This is a team of 6-10 people who meet regularly to update the 2011 Climate Action Plan to accomplish the new goals. The Green Team is charged with recommending sustainability projects and developing a plan to become carbon neutral by mid-century.

Mayor Jim Carruthers is a strong supporter and advocate of using clean energy, not only in Traverse City, but throughout our entire region. He has been a key participant in the Traverse City Green Team, and has a unique impact through his personal commitment as well as his position as the City’s top elected official. “I am proud of Traverse City – our commitment to be a leader in clean energy in the State of Michigan, the City’s continued support of our Green Team to give life to our clean energy goals, and the engagement of our citizens and local businesses who take daily steps to mirror the City’s commitment to environmental responsibility. It’s truly great to be a part of such a forward-thinking community and to help lead the way for a better and cleaner tomorrow.”

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette echoes the Mayor’s sentiment, “Traverse City is known for our beautiful connection with nature – be it the water, agriculture, or outdoor recreation, and our City is committed to operating in the cleanest and most green-ways possible through our energy use, the purchases we make, and the services we provide to our community.  I’m extremely proud and grateful to serve a community that values our role in preserving and maintaining our beautiful natural environment.”

Since December 2017, the Green Team has accomplished the following:

  • Full LED lighting upgrades were installed at the Governmental Center and County Jail.
  • The Civic Center pool installed a Variable Frequency Drive pump along with 2 new HVAC rooftop units to increase efficiency.
  • Various pieces of tier-4 low emission equipment were purchased for use by City crews.
  • The City purchased a solar-powered arrow board for use with street closures and detours. Traverse City was recognized as one of 30 communities in the Michigan Municipal League Green Communities Challenge achieving “Silver” status and receiving this year’s prize for most improved community.
  • City Crews planted over 150 trees throughout the City, as well as collected and processed leaves City-wide for composting.
  • Traverse City purchased its first electric car for use by the Parking Department.
  • The Traverse City Light & Power Board in 2018 approved in its Strategic Plan to become 100% renewable by the year 2040, with an intermediate goal of 40% renewable by 2025.

The City and The Green Team celebrate Traverse City Light and Power’s creation of a Green Rate.   So far, 130 customers have signed up for TCLP’s Green Rate, election to offset their energy consumption with renewable sources such as wind and solar, and investing in renewable energy technology.