How can an entire community become energy independent in less than 10 years time? The premise of this project is based on the optimal use of analytics - they plan to assign resources to capture the right metrics, and then to also understand how to address the needs of the community.

Exeter City Futures, a UK-based community interest company, is working to make the Exeter City region in the South West of England energy independent and congestion-free by 2025. A new report commissioned by Exeter City Futures, Energy Independence 2025, provides independent confirmation of many of the approaches to community energy planning set out in RMI’s Community Energy Resource Guide, such as the importance of collaborative planning, of including the private sector, and of data analytics. Exeter’s bold goals place it on par with other pioneering cities, such as Fort Collins, CO, and Austin, TX, and also serve as a model for ways cities can help transform energy use.

With cities consuming between two-thirds and three-quarters of the world’s energy, their role in driving a clean energy future is inescapable. Around 1.5 million people are added to the global urban population every week, and the proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas is heading for 66 percent by 2050. The global imperative for change is clear.

Uncontrolled, rapid urbanization presents acute challenges for national and local governments, with constrained capacity and finance for infrastructure delivery. Unplanned and poorly managed urbanization can give rise to inequality, pollution, and costly sprawling development plans. Too much of city development and planning is based on existing habits and behaviors, which oftentimes neither address the challenges, nor increase happiness.

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