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Energy and Environment

Reno becomes first U.S. city to track carbon emissions in real time

A panoramic view of the city of Reno at sunset with red-orange clouds in the sky.
Beau Rogers
Reno, pictured here during a 2016 sunset, has a climate goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2025.

The City of Reno has taken a big step towards reducing its carbon footprint. It's the result of a partnership with a Reno-based startup that’s measuring energy and emissions around the city.

The City of Reno recently launched a platform that shows the carbon output caused by all city-controlled sources, from fire stations to waste treatment plants. The emissions are being tracked by Ledger8760. Their CEO, Adam Kramer, said Reno is the first city in the country to look at its emissions on a 24-7 basis.

"So, rather than waiting for 12 months to get this data, we're providing accurate, real-time data that is helping them to make decisions going forward, that will not only drive change within the city but also create some public transparency going forward."

Kramer said the data, which they’ve been tracking since July, has already allowed city leaders to find blind spots in emissions management. That includes identifying that Reno's carbon-free energy usage was higher in the summer when compared to colder months.

“Not only is this data allowing the city to make decisions to accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions, it's also allowing the city to do it in the most fiscally responsible way because we're tracking emissions side-by-side with the cost that goes into generating those emissions.”

Kramer said the City of Reno is paying Ledger8760 roughly $6,000 a month to provide its carbon tracking platform. Reno’s climate goal is to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2025.

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