There’s Lean, and Then There’s Green!
Our ever-growing resource library has the tools and information you need to improve your community environment.
Included is useful tips and additional resources that could prove beneficial to you, your family, and your community.
Did You Know . . .
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the United States currently relies heavily on coal, oil, and natural gas for its energy. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable, meaning they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar energy, are constantly replenished. See below for a summary of renewable energy sources.
Most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Solar energy can be used directly for heating and lighting homes and other buildings, for generating electricity, and for hot water heating, solar cooling, and a variety of commercial and industrial uses. Certain regions of the country are more conducive to solar energy than others.
Wind energy can be captured with wind turbines. A wind turbine then transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical or electrical energy that can be harnessed for practical use. There are many opportunities to harness wind energy in the United States.
The organic matter that makes up plants is known as biomass. Biomass can be used to produce electricity, transportation fuels, or chemicals. The use of biomass for any of these purposes is called biomass energy.
Hydrogen also can be found in many organic compounds. It's the most abundant element on the Earth. But it doesn't occur naturally as a gas. It's always combined with other elements, such as with oxygen to make water. Once separated from another element, hydrogen can be burned as a fuel or converted into electricity.
Geothermal energy taps the Earth's internal heat for a variety of uses, like the heating and cooling of buildings. And the energy of the ocean's tides comes from the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun upon the Earth.
Ocean and Hydropower
The ocean can produce thermal energy from the sun's heat and mechanical energy from the tides and waves. Other bodies of flowing water can create energy as well. Flowing water creates energy that can be captured and turned into electricity, called hydropower.
What Is The City Doing?
In part of our green efforts, the City purchases energy from the Smoky Hills Wind Farm in Kansas and distributed and managed by the City of Independence Power and Light Department (IPL). IPL continues to seek renewable energy options as part of the department’s future power supply portfolio, while the City supplies residents with renewable engery options. Additionally, IPL participates in a Net Metering program, which allows customers to install a renewable energy generator to offset their electric rates.
The City of Independence Public Works Department is working with Independence Power and Light Department (IPL) to begin converting to solar-powered school crossing signals at locations without signals or that have signs that need to be converted to signals. The first two solar signals were installed on R.D. Mize Road just east of M-291 at the Blackburn School.
What You Can Do!
You can participate in the City’s Net Metering program which allows you to install a renewable energy generator to offset electrical rates. For more information, visit IPL’s website.
You may be eligible to receive local, state and federal tax credits or rebates for purchasing renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines. For more information visit theIndependence Power and Light website, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Energy Division website, and the Department of Energy website.
You can invest in renewable energy by donating or investing in renewable energy development. There are numerous financing and tax credit opportunities if you wish to install your own renewable energy source. For more information, please visit The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website.
You can also pursue a “Clean Energy” job. The renewable energy industry is growing and needs skilled workers. For more information about pursuing a career in clean energy, visit EERE: Clean Energy Job website.
Visit the IPL's website to learn about incentives that IPL offers to customers who utilize renewable energy.
The City of Independence supports green initiatives and sustainable methods. A green and sustainable city is a community of residents, neighbors, workers, and visitors who strive together to balance ecological, economic, and social needs. The City of Independence Public Works Department is working diligently to reflect environmental sensitivity in our daily operations.
DNR's Division of Energy is a nonregulatory state agency that works to protect the environment and stimulate the economy through energy efficiency and renewable energy resources and technologies.
NREL is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Backed by 32 years of achievement, NREL leads the way in helping meet the growing demand for clean energy.
EERE invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex.