Michigan’s local governments are moving towards environmental sustainability

Jan 23, 2020

More  local governments in Michigan are moving towards energy efficiency, according to a new survey.


The survey, from the University of Michigan, found the number of Michigan communities enacting energy efficiency measures has more than doubled over the last decade.

The data come from the Michigan Public Policy Survey which covers every county, city, township, and village in the state.

Tom Ivako worked on the survey. He said roughly half of all the jurisdictions surveyed have enacted some kind of energy efficiency efforts - whether that means installing efficient light bulbs or more dramatic efforts like purchasing energy from renewable sources.

“In 2010 when we first asked about that 22% of local government in the state had taken that kind of action Now it’s up to 50%. More than doubling.”

More dramatic measures were rarer, according to Ivako.

“There were some deep commitment activities such as purchasing renewable energy or developing renewable energy themselves,” he said. “Relatively few jurisdictions are doing that far.”

Ivako said only5% of local governments had taken steps towards large scale efficiency in 2010. Now that number is closer to 13%.

Ivako said one of the survey findings is that the move towards energy efficiency at the local level has been non-partisan occuring in municipalities controlled by Democrats, Republicans, and Independants.

“This year 82% of Democratic local leaders believe that and 60% of Republican local leaders do. There are some differences but strong majorities across the board.”

Ultimately Ivako said the findings show that environmental sustainability is seen as important across party lines.