February/March CAP Update

A lot of work has been underway behind the scenes this early spring!

Consulting Support: We are pleased to announce that Cascadia Consulting Group has been selected to support our entire CAP process. This is a great outcome, as this local firm has deep experience helping to draft many Climate Plans in WA and along the West Coast, including those for our neighbors in Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Redmond, Shoreline and more. We are working extensively with the new team to build out the MI CAP process.

Review of Other Plans: Cascadia is reviewing a broad range of our current City-wide plans (e.g Parks, Recreation & Open Space Plan; Transportation Plan; Comprehensive Plan; & more) to extract useful items and context for the CAP, and ensure harmony with other City actions.

Data Analysis: We have been transmitting raw energy and consumption data, along with other metrics, so that Cascadia can help us get caught up on our City and Community GHG inventories, and assess our recent sustainability performance. This will be imported into a cloud-based software platform. In the meantime, if you are interested in some of the more fundamental measures of City activity and energy use, check out the graphs on this updated City data page.

Engagement Plan: Cascadia has been helping build out the public engagement plan and you can hear us present on that at the start of the April 19 (moved to May 3) City Council Meeting. This important part of the CAP process identifies the different methods we will use to spread the word, gather input, hear from under-represented voices, and respond to feedback. For those who participated in the recent Park, Recreation, & Open Space Plan (aka PROS), you will find a lot of this to be familiar. We are also booking dates to present to our various City Boards and Commissions, identifying tabling and pop-up event opportunities, and mapping out the next community-wide meeting (moved from March to approx. May). Many events are now posted on the Key Dates column to the right.

Online CAP Survey Results: We closed the online survey a few weeks ago and the distilled results are now available for viewing. We received a total of 82 responses, which adds to all the live feedback we received at the December Kickoff meeting. Thank you for your extensive and thoughtful feedback and dozens of good ideas for evaluation. View the Survey Results.

Finally, there are two NEW climate and energy initiatives in the pipeline that we hope to launch soon:

1) Personal Climate Footprint Tracking Platform: This online tool, customized for Mercer Island, will help residents gauge what their own Carbon Footprint is and what actions they could take (from easy to more complex) to start shrinking it. If you want to get started now on some lifestyle and habit changes, before the CAP wraps up in December, this is for you! You can also form teams, or even compete with friends and neighbors. More coming soon about a launch this April…

2) Heat Pump Installation Campaign: Many people are very interested in getting this highly-efficient technology installed in their homes, especially because it offers heating as well as cooling from the same equipment, all for much lower operating cost than a traditional furnace and conventional A/C system. Mercer Island hopes to partner with 4 other Eastside cities (Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah) on a campaign that would run similar to a rooftop solar campaign (aka “Solarize”), where education, pre-selected installers, and small group discounts are part of the offering. With a little more scoping and feasibility research we hope that this pilot could launch in July. Here’s an example of a similar campaign from Boulder, CO.

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