March 2020 Newsletter: Sustain Louisville

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March 18, 2020


In this issue:

What You Need to Know about the Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus has made its way to Kentucky, and Gov. Andy Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer are taking quick action to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Internally, Louisville Metro is doing our part to reduce the spread. While Metro is still open and operating, many employees are working remotely in accordance with the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness’ guidance regarding social distancing. All in-person meetings, gatherings and events sponsored by Metro or held in Metro facilities are canceled until 4/5/2020. As this is a dynamic situation, we will do our best to keep you all informed. In the meantime, we will continue our daily work to ensure progress on all current projects and initiatives. 

For more information on Metro's guidelines, resources and daily briefings, click here

For regular updates from the State, click here


100% Clean Energy Resolution

On February 6, 2020, Louisville Metro Council adopted a resolution calling for 100% renewable electricity for Metro operations by 2030, 100% clean energy for Metro operations by 2035, and 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040. Louisville is the first city in Kentucky and 160th nationwide to commit to 100% renewable energy. 

The Chair of the Parks and Sustainability Committee, Councilwoman Cindi Fowler, stated that although the Resolution is non-binding, it is a step in the right direction for getting sustainable renewable energy for the city.The bill's sponsor, Councilman Brandon Coan, also stated that the Resolution puts Metro Government first in terms of leading by example. To learn more about how the Resolution came to be, click here.

Solar Panels

Amendments to Louisville's Tree Ordinance

Tree Canopy

Metro Council's Planning and Zoning Committee has approved new regulations to help strengthen Louisville's Tree Canopy Ordinance.

Amendments would require development sites that have 50% to 100% existing tree canopy coverage to preserve 20% of that the site area with existing tree canopy coverage.

The changes to the ordinance are set to go in front of the full Metro Council this Thursday, March 19th. To show your support for tree preservation, contact your Metro Council member and urge them to approve the amendments.

LEED for Cities Grant Award

Louisville has been selected to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2020 LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program. Funded by a grant from Bank of America, the program helps local governments, planners, and developers track and accelerate progress on climate change, resilience, and social equity using the internationally-recognized LEED rating system. Participants will receive access to education resources and technical support as they pursue LEED certification. To see the full list of 2020 participants, click here.

LEED for Cites

Submit a Building for the Kilowatt Crackdown!

Kilowatt Crackdown

Registration for the 2020 Kilowatt Crackdown is now open! Every year, the Louisville Energy Alliance recognizes building owners and operators that track and report their energy use with Portfolio Manager. This year's competition will recognize the Best Performer in 2019 and the Most Improved from 2018 to 2019. Awards are presented across multiple building types. Deadline to register is April 15, 2020.

The winners for each award category will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 15th, 2020 at the Kentucky Science Center. 

Cool Roof Rebates Still Available

The Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability's Cool Roof Rebate Program still has funding available for properties located in Metro Council Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15. The program aims to combat urban warming and reduce energy costs for districts significantly impacted by Louisville's urban heat island.  The rebate provides up to $1 per square foot of cool roof that is installed with an ENERGY STAR roofing product. Rebates are available for both residential and commercial buildings and offered on a first come, first served basis.

Cool Roof Rebate Program

Job Openings

Louisville Sustainability Council Intern

The Louisville Sustainability Council is looking for an intern! Are you (or do you know of) a student who has a passion for creating community and implementing environmental initiatives?

If interested, candidates can send a letter of interest to:

LSC logo

Recommend Reading

Finding Connection and Resilience During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The New Yorker

During a time of uncertainty and fear, a columnist for The New Yorker writes an uplifting article on the continued social resilience of people across the globe as they face they COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, human creativity has enabled our species to remain adaptive and stay connected despite harsh conditions. Although the need to adapt almost certainly will not end with a vaccine for COVID-19, humans tend to be an altruistic and cooperative species when it comes to survival. Throughout this evolution, we’ll develop new cultural habits, new rituals, and new ways of communicating to ensure the survival of our species as pandemics are likely to become more common.

ARCHITECT - The Carbon Issue

The Carbon Issue

This Special Issue of the ARCHITECT is meant to help architects get CO2 out of their systems for the health, safety, and welfare of us all. The collection of articles describe how architects have the specialized skills and perspective to help minimize the threat of climate change. The profession has already made great progress toward eliminating carbon emissions from new buildings’ operations, but energy efficiency is just the first step. The next step is to shift to renewables.

Helpful Resources

Renewables Accelerator

ACC Renewables Accelerator

Created by the Bloomberg American Cities Challenge partnership, this Renewable Accelerators tool provides an overview of your state’s electricity mix, renewable portfolio standard progress, regulatory status, and renewable procurement options that may be available to cities in your state.

The materials available are a living resource, and as states and cities progress towards a renewable future, the website will be updated accordingly.

LG&E Solar Share Program

Are you interested in supporting the growth of local solar energy, but unable to install solar at your place of residence? LG&E's Solar Share Program is ideal for customers who want grow solar in Kentucky but are not able to install a private system. It’s especially appealing for renters, those with properties predominantly in the shade, and those who want to avoid the up-front installation costs and long-term maintenance required for a private system. The Solar Share Calculator can help you choose a subscription level that is right for you. To learn more about the benefits and how to enroll, click here

Solar Share

Be Counted in the 2020 Census!

2020 census

The U.S. Census will help determine Louisville's future for the next 10 years — representation in government, the allocation of federal resources affecting communities and families, education funding, and much more. 

Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Municipal Complete Count Committee are working to help ensure a complete and proper count of all Louisville residents and are seeking the community's help in spreading the word. The official Census Day is April 1, 2020 and invitations to respond to  should start arriving at households this week. To learn more, click here

Subscribe to Advanced Planning E-newsletter

The Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability sends out two regular newsletters - Sustain Louisville and Advanced Planning. If you're interested in hearing the latest updates and news on multi-modal initiatives, neighborhood planning, and public art, click here to subscribe and stay informed. 

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leed for cities

Louisville is rated as a LEED City for its sustainability achievements. The rating was awarded in November 2018 by U.S. Green Building Council when the STAR Community Rating System was fully integrated into LEED for Cities and Communities certification programs.