How the city of Ann Arbor plans to be carbon neutral by 2030

Downtown Ann Arbor sign
Posted at 1:29 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-09 18:22:36-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Ann Arbor city leaders are continuing a path toward becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and taking another big step to make that a reality now.

Plans are under review to limit the use of natural gas and convert to all-electric power for heating and cooling for new construction.

“I think it is something that’s important, especially in the Ann Arbor community. It’s something that we strive for. Ann Arbor has a more progressive environment,” says student Laura Collins.

Among those looking into the benefit are members of the city council, like Lisa Disch.

“Natural gas is associated with methane emissions," says Disch.

Currently, DTE provides both gas and electric power to the city.

“You have to start somewhere. Ann Arbor is a good place to start. Here in Ann Arbor, we have the political will.” says Disch.

Part of what’s being considered when it comes to possibly ending gas hookups for future construction is the cost. It's something people have a lot to say about.

Student Sandrine Ponath says, “I feel like you can’t put a price on the health of the earth.”

Since 1978, the popular cafe known as Afternoon Delight had served delicious food to the community. Among the business owners responding to the city’s review, is owner Joanne Williams.

“I think it’s a great thing. We definitely need to do something and need to do it quick,” says Williams.

We also checked with DTE for their view.

“This won’t happen overnight. We are relatively confident we would have the correct infrastructure and capacity in place today,” says HJ Decker.

DTE is also acting independently to lower emissions across the state.

Yet, they also are raising concerns saying their position is not to support an all-out ban.

“The technology of all-electric heat doesn’t perform as well in cold weather climate like ours that get down into the single digits,” says Decker.

A vote may not happen until Spring. Council is expected to hold more public comments at upcoming meetings.