Making Columbia 100% Clean Energy
Mayor Benjamin is working hard to protect and conserve the natural beauty and resources that the City of Columbia harbors. By implementing new programs and committing to clean energy, Mayor Benjamin is looking forward to transitioning to a cleaner Columbia for all of her residents.
In June 2017, Mayor Benjamin joined mayors from across the country in becoming co-chair of Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy campaign. He also sponsored the clean energy resolution at the US Conference of Mayors and encouraged City Council to unanimously approved a resolution establishing a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2036.
Various programs are being implemented to achieve this goal, and the following highlights exhibit the ways in which Columbia has already begun
- Columbia is the first city in South Carolina to power all City Council meetings on renewable energy.
- Columbia has invested more than half of a billion dollars in water and sewer improvements over the past 10 years.
- In 2016, Columbia launched a new program to teach citizens about the benefits of using rain barrels and how to use them effectively. This program should prevent approximately 50,000 gallons of rainwater from otherwise flooding into streets and potentially damaging infrastructure, homes and businesses.
- In 2018, Columbia will open the new $15 million water distribution and wastewater management facility. This facility is outfitted with pervious paving, with asphalt that is is 100% impervious. It also includes xeriscaping and six rain gardens. The project was designed to LEED Gold level.
- Columbia has converted 95% of traffic lights to energy-efficient LED technology.
- Columbia is on the way to becoming the first STAR Communities-certified city in South Carolina. Once Columbia has achieved this status, the city will be provided with the highest level of training and technical assistance for our sustainability needs.
The resolution committing Columbia to 100 percent clean and renewable energy is a goal that all community residents can help to achieve.