Improving energy efficiency in Athens-Clarke County

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In this report, Emerging Fellow for Energy and Environment Shreya Ganeshan argues that Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCUG) retrofit inefficient public buildings identified using existing data on energy use and costs. In order to finance these upgrades, the ACC Commission should employ capital improvement funds raised through a preexisting special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST). This should be accompanied by a reorganization of the county’s annual operating budget such that all utility costs are housed in one Utility Internal Service Fund (ISF) rather than disbursed as line items in certain departments’ budgets. Doing so would allow the ACCUG to better utilize taxpayer dollars while acting on long-overdue energy efficiency improvements and fostering a healthier community.