Property owners need to make sure that they are not only setting goals for when they should be 100% renewable but also make sure they are moving towards them. And that means active measures to verify the goals, not once per year but every day.
If we are truly looking for sustainable cities we can’t put a stamp of approval on our website and then lean back for a couple of years until the next evaluation. We have to make sure we are always moving forward, always looking for improvements even if we think we are good enough.
If your energy provider claims to be 100% renewable ask them to prove it. If your favorite company claims to only use wind power, ask them to show you how that is possible. If there are no solar panels on the roof of your apartment ask your landlord why.
“Running away from a problem only increases the distance from the solution.” – Anonymous
The consumer is responsible for lowering their energy consumption in their own home through smart energy saving devices but also simple things like turning off lights that are not being used. The property owners should make sure their customers can only choose energy companies that can verify a 100% renewable energy supply. The communication between producers, distributors, property owners, and customers should be totally transparent and everyone has to feel included to get the best results. The responsibility does not stop at the utility bill, you have to make sure that the promise of renewable energy in your socket is true and that it can be verified.
The global goal for sustainable cities is ranked at number 11 but in a country like Sweden, the electricity consumption for this sector is close to 50% of the country’s total. A strong effort to lower consumption and making sure the energy is as renewable as possible will have a huge impact.
One of the keys towards making the global goals a success is to make sure that the follow up is transparent and always live. No yearly reports or old certificates, just open and transparent figures that will encourage change in a positive way.