1) Conduct a qualitative, community-wide energy audit to quantify energy consumption in the community, its municipal facilities, homes, schools, businesses, churches and vehicles. The audit has comprehensively identified New Berlin’s current electricity, heating and transportation use. The NBEI Committee is using this information to develop an action plan to prioritize and then implement energy conversation measures within the community. The community-wide audit will inform the community-wide energy reduction goal, action plan and project timeline.
2) Develop a general plan of action to significantly reduce New Berlin’s current energy consumption. The action plan prioritized and then implemented cost-effective, practical energy conversation measures in structures within the community.
3) Attain community acceptance and adoption of the community-wide action plan. Through the NBEI Project, energy usage was identified and appropriate energy conservation measures were recommended, assisting the entire community’s residents, businesses, schools and public agencies in achieving greater energy independence.
4) Implement the action plan and start saving energy and money. Information was distributed on energy-related rebates, financial incentives and free energy-related services available through state, federal and PPL Electric Utilities’ programs, in order to help the community identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption. PPL Electric Utilities (PPLEU) developed a number of programs for customers throughout its entire 29-county service area (including New Berlin) which played an important part in the implementation process - programs like rebates for energy-efficient equipment, recycling of inefficient appliances, home energy audits, financial incentives for solar energy systems and geothermal units and pricing options to shift from peak demand energy use.
5) Exploring renewable energy sources derived from locally available feedstocks to further reduce New Berlin’s reliance on fossil fuels and potentially replace a portion of its fossil fuel-based energy needs. The cost of renewable energy remains uneconomical for most individual residents and businesses. There are few examples of community-based energy conservation and renewable energy projects that, due to scale, could economically advance collectively toward energy independence. New Berlin explored this potential as part of the NBEI Project and is in the process of replacing a portion of its fossil fuel-based energy needs as it moves toward energy independence.