“Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
An energy plan is a powerful tool for making progress toward clean energy. It presents a way to set and communicate goals and actions. It can educate readers about the key building blocks of the transition to clean energy. It enables your team to engage a range of stakeholders around a transparent set of planned actions. And, once approved, an energy plan lends credibility and authority to your team’s work as you implement its action items. It can give direction and focus to your team’s meetings and work.
However, drafting an energy plan is not a simple task and many towns have struggled with limited resources to complete one. To this end, in addition to sharing links to sample plans drafted by other towns, PACE has created a template for a plan that can be adapted for use by any town. Of course, the PACE plan sets a goal of 100% renewable energy!
If you haven’t done so already, start by discussing and agreeing upon a vision for your community’s energy future. What are your high-level goals and interim milestones? What will be the scope of your vision (e.g., residents, businesses, municipality, schools)?
Next, asses the resources available to you. Does your town have a prior plan you can build on? Is the municipality able to provide assistance such as staff time, publication tools, work space? Are you able to partner with local educational institutions or other organizations? Are there individuals in your town with particular skills or expertise that you might recruit to help? Do you have funding to engage consultants or graphic designers?
Peruse a range of plans from other towns. You will find a rich diversity of styles and content. What features, language, charts or images appeal to you? (Don’t be shy about reaching out to that town—or to PACE—for assistance or permission to use their images or other features.)
Finally, decide on the style, scope and organization of your plan. Is there a particular plan or template you want to start with, or will you start from scratch?