“We will get
there,” says Peters. “But
in the meantime, we are negotiating
with the Northeast Ohio Public Energy
Council, which has agreed to fund a
couple of EV charging stations for us.”
These stations – at Thornton Park
and City Hall – will bring the total
number of public EV stations in Shaker
to four. The other two are at The
Dealership (3558 Lee Road) and the
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of
Cleveland (21600 Shaker Boulevard).
(Continued on page 70)
Among the main areas of focus since 2019 has been energy.
The first step to improving the City’s energy footprint was understanding
how the City is using it.
“We subscribed to a software called EnergyCAP, which is basically a cloudbased
repository of all the City’s energy bills,” explains Peters, who is also
the managing director of Coventry Labs, a sustainability consultancy, and a
contributing writer to Shaker Life. “This helps us understand the big picture and
also allows us to drill down to see, for example, information about the lights in the
Police Department’s parking lot.”
When it came time to renegotiate the electric contract for the City’s seven
buildings and hundreds of streetlights, Peters worked with the Law Department
to lock in a three-year, 100 percent renewable energy plan – achieved through
renewable energy credits – that would save the City 40 percent as compared to its
previous, non-renewable plan.
“We’ve made a lot of progress. We are tracking our energy use and now we
have these three-year contracts that are 100 percent renewable,” says Peters,
adding that this makes Shaker the first city in the region to adopt a 100 percent
renewable electric plan.
In addition, the Committee is also working to help the City use energy
more efficiently. This effort started with an energy audit, which was free thanks
to a program offered by the Council of Smaller Enterprises, a division of the
Greater Cleveland Partnership.
“This helped us determine the
best return on investment for
improvements, given the City’s
limited budget,” explains Peters.
This was determined to be
LED lighting. For starters, the City
now replaces old bulbs with LEDs.
“We have thousands of bulbs,” says
Peters. “So this is not insignificant.”
Additionally, the City will use
the savings from its new electric
contract to replace outdated lighting
fixtures with LED versions. Another
goal: upgrade streetlights to LED,
but this is more challenging and
will take longer to achieve because
streetlights are owned by FirstEnergy.
That effort is starting with an audit
of all streetlights in the City, so the
Committee can get a handle on the
scope of the project.
Longer term, Peters and the
Sustainability Committee are
exploring the potential for solar on
City buildings and elsewhere, as
well as working with the Recreation
Department on the purchase of an
electric vehicle to replace a 16-yearold
former police cruiser as a proof
of concept for eventually greening
up the rest of the City’s fleet.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis
has temporarily put this effort
68 FALL 2020 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
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Another way the City is seeking to make its operations more sustainable is
the establishment of an internal Green Team. Made up of City employees, the
Green Team has been working to evaluate how day-to-day operations could
be, well, greener.
“This has ranged from simple things we can do to reduce consumption to
making sure we’re recycling as much as possible,” says Peters. For example,
shredded paper cannot be recycled through Shaker’s recycling program with
Cuyahoga County. So the Green Team is working on a way to allow departments
to easily combine shredded paper in central locations in City buildings for
collection and recycling by an outside vendor.
Meanwhile, much of the work of the Sustainability Committee – and its several
subcommittees, which include Recycling, Storm Water & Greenspace, Renewable
Energy, and a High School Advisory Group (see sidebar on page 70) – has focused
on helping residents become more sustainable.
“One of the big wins has been the residential composting program,” says
Peters. In 2019, Rust Belt Riders selected Shaker Heights as the first community
in which to roll out its residential composting program, including at several City
buildings, where staff are able to compost food waste, coffee grounds, certain
paper products, and other common waste (see sidebar on page 69).
The Committee also worked with Peters on the City’s LEED for Cities
application. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
In 2019, the City was selected to be part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s
LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program. This program will allow the
City to become LEED for Cities Certified in 2020, which means the City has met
certain requirements across six categories, including water efficiency, energy and
greenhouse gas emissions, and transportation and land use. Currently, there are
almost 100 LEED certified cities and communities in the United States.
Committee members also work to raise awareness of existing programs among
residents, whether about how to recycle correctly or how to reduce storm water
run-off, which can earn residents a credit on their regional sewer district bill.