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Chester County Planning Commission - Sustainability News -Four Northern Chester County.....

Full copy of the Chester County Planning Commission article: Four Northern Chester County Municipalities Collaborate on Energy Transition Planning - Chester County Planning Commission - Summer 2023

In response to a recommendation in the Chester County Climate Action Plan, the Chester County Planning Commission amended its Vision Partnership Program, which provides planning grants for Chester County municipalities to offer funding for energy transition planning. Four communities in northern Chester County — East Pikeland, West Pikeland, West Vincent, and Schuylkill Townships — were the first to take advantage of this, and after an 18 month-long process, their plans are now complete.

The municipalities delegated representatives to serve on a task force — now called the Northern Chester County Clean Energy Future group — that met regularly with the selected consultant, Practical Energy Solutions (PES). The planning process resulted in two separate plans for each municipality — one for energy conservation, efficiency, and transition to renewable energy for municipal operations, and one for the greater community. PES worked with iSpring Associates, a Lehigh Valley-based sustainability planning firm, who created a detailed outreach strategy and materials for the group.

Each of these municipalities previously passed a resolution to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050, and these plans provide a roadmap for how to make this ambitious goal a reality. "Their goal is not to just get to 100% renewable energy for their township operations," explained Spiegel, "But also everybody in the township — residents, businesses, institutions." He noted that while it's no simple task, the program's development helped build a foundation for others to carry forward.

The Northern Chester County Clean Energy Future group has already started to implement the community outreach portion of the Plans. In June, West Vincent Township hosted a "Clean Energy 101" seminar at the Henrietta Hankin Library featuring information on energy efficiency improvements people can make at home. Attendees of the program received vouchers for free home energy assessments through PECO. The group also created a display at the Hankin Library entitled "On the Road to a Clean Energy Future," which is envisioned to rotate through several local libraries. East Pikeland Township hosted an informational session on electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to help those considering purchasing an EV understand charging requirements and the process of installing a charging station at their home. The group is now participating in the GET Solar Communities program through the PA Solar Center which will provide resources for recruiting non-residential building owners to develop solar projects.

Visit the Chester County Planning Commission website for all information and updates on the Commission's dedication to future growth and preservation plans to citizens, so that they can enjoy a Chester County that is historic, green, mobile and prosperous. Follow their Planning News and/or Sustainability News to keep up-to-date on their latest developments and programs.

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