Washington, D.C. City Council enacts America’s boldest renewable energy law yet

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Nation’s capital to hit 100 percent renewable electricity by 2032

Environment America

Yesterday, the Washington, D.C. City Council voted unanimously to enact legislation requiring that all electricity sold to residents, businesses and federal government agencies be renewable by 2032. The bill also requires electric-powered public transportation and passenger vehicle fleets by 2045, and includes strong requirements for energy efficiency in new and existing buildings.  

If signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, the nation’s capital would have a more ambitious renewable energy policy than any state. Both California and Hawaii have committed to generating 100 percent of their electricity from clean power sources by 2045.

Rob Sargent, Senior Director of Clean Energy Campaigns for Environment America, issued the following statement:

“We need to aim high and put forward ambitious solutions that match the scale of the environmental challenges we face. The bold leadership of the D.C. Councillors puts our nation’s capital at the head of the pack on clean energy, and this bill sends a strong signal to cities and states across America that it’s no longer a question of whether we’ll get to 100 percent renewable power, but how quickly.

“To create healthier communities today and a livable future for our children, we must transform the ways we produce and consume energy. That has to start with a commitment to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Yesterday’s decisive vote in D.C. represents a very good first step.

“The only way we will reach a clean, green and renewable future is by first setting the goal to get there, and then putting the full force of the people behind that goal. We look forward to building on the enormous momentum underway to convince more states to act.

“Despite tremendous progress on renewable energy in recent years, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. While the Trump Administration and Congress are still promoting antiquated fossil fuel technologies, we’re counting on our local and state governments, businesses and other institutions to lead the way by setting their sights on 100 percent renewable energy.”  


More details on the legislation: In addition to requiring that all electricity sold within city limits come from clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, the Clean Energy D.C. Omnibus Act of 2018 also:

  • Requires that 5 percent of the renewable energy target come from solar located within city limits;

  • Requires that all public transportation and privately-owned vehicle fleets in the city be zero-emission by 2045;

  • Creates strong energy performance standards for existing buildings to maximize energy savings in our homes and businesses;

  • Increases funds to assist income-qualified residents and affordable housing providers with energy improvements;

  • Promotes energy-related workforce development initiatives;

  • And encourages drivers to purchase electric vehicles, expands the number of electric vehicle charging stations, and requires buses and other large fleets to transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable electric power