City of Savannah holds community meeting on 100% sustainability plan

Our Changing Climate

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Hostess City is pushing to go green after approving a plan for 100 percent sustainability. City leaders say the goal is to depend on renewable energy by the year 2035, but the city needs Savannahians’ input to create the plan.

The plan will help battle climate change while potentially finding ways to lower monthly energy bills. Savannah’s Sustainability Director Nick Deffley said burning fossil fuels to create energy is causing too much harm to the environment.

“Creating a sustainable planet begins with creating a sustainable home,” Post 1 Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter said.

The largest city on the coast of Georgia is making a push to transition the city to 100 percent clean energy. City council members voted unanimously in March to pass the resolution.

“While we take these initial steps it is our hope that our citizens via awareness, education and implementation will also get on board and recognize that it is a greater benefit for us to engage in this activity,” Gibson-Carter said.

The city held the first community meeting of many on Monday to hear feedback from Savannah residents. Deffley is leading the effort but not without the help from Savannahians.

“We’re going to make sure everyone has the ability to participate and lend their voice to this,” Deffley said.

Focus groups will help reach the goal of 100 percent of all electricity used in the city of Savannah by generating safe, clean, renewable energy by 2035. All other energy will be generated from renewable energy by 2050.

“We’re experiencing more storms, we’re experiencing more floods, more fires and other natural disasters than ever before,” Deffley said.

Deffley admits this is an ambitious goal as $22 billion a year flows out of Georgia for non-renewable energy. The city is working to create jobs to keep the money in the Hostess City.

“Everyone wants clean air, everyone wants clean water, and clean soil. We want to breathe in deeply outside and not cough,” Deffley said.

The city would create energy from the sun using solar panels, geothermal technology, and the wind. Savannah’s Office of Sustainability is asking for your help to complete a 10-minute survey.

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