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Online Tool to Help Municipalities Adopt Renewable Energies
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The Rocky Mountain Institute developed the Community Energy Opportunity Finder in order to help your community realize the benefits of wise energy use.

A famed energy consulting group has launched an internet tool to demonstrate how renewable energy can be an integral part of economic development.

The Rocky Mountain Institute says its ‘Community Energy Opportunity Finder’ will determine a community's “best bets for energy solutions that benefit the local economy, the community and the environment.”

The Energy Finder
A Great Tool for Communities
Community Energy Finder Tool
The Community Energy Opportunity Finder is an interactive tool that will help you determine your community's best bets for energy solutions that benefit the local economy, the community, and the environment.

The Finder helps you collect information on your community's energy use, and then demonstrates the potential energy savings, dollar savings and job creation from energy efficiency programs.

U.S. Energy Consumption by Source, 2001
Energy Consumption pie chart
Source: Energy Information Administration, 2001
The ‘Community Energy Opportunity Finder’ compiles information on energy use in any community, and then demonstrates the potential energy savings, cost savings, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and job creation from energy efficiency programs and provides an overview of the green power sources that are available. It also contains case studies on programs that have been successful in other U.S. communities, sources of advice and ideas for funding energy projects.

Municipalities create jobs and a tax base by attracting industry, and often offer tax breaks to new companies. The new entities then compete with existing firms for resources and increase infrastructure costs, which often puts the community into a worse state than before it attracted the new investments. The Finder is designed to be used by economic development advocates, business owners who want to reduce operating costs, communities that want to ensure their economic development is compatible with sustainable development principles and renewable energy advocates.

“Renewable energy is an important piece of a comprehensive and self-reliant community energy plan,” says the site. “When it becomes necessary to increase the energy supply or if a community wants to replace polluting energy sources with clean, renewable ones, community leaders can consider developing the local solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower resource potential.”

The Community Energy Opportunity Finder was developed by Rocky Mountain Institute staff with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and support from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Renewable Energy Policy Project, American Wind Energy Association, and more than 50 others.
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