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D.C. misses deadline for release of new energy plan

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The D.C. Department of Environment missed its self-imposed deadline for issuing a comprehensive new energy plan. Called EnergySmart DC, the initiative launched May last year.

At an April 30, 2013 public meeting at the District Architecture Center, Department of Environment officials predicted that the Department would complete the revised energy plan by October 2013.

In September, a month before the original target date, a Department spokesperson said the agency expected to release the plan before December 2, 2013.

Then, in October 2013, a high-ranking Department official predicted the EnergySmart DC plan would issue in February 2014.

A person outside the Department of Environment who has contributed to the EnergySmartDC plan and a local political activist, each of whom spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the city administrator or the Mayor’s office, not the Department of Environment, is likely the cause of the delay.

The city administrator’s office referred calls about the EnergySmart DC plan to the Department of Environment and telephone calls to the Department of Environment seeking confirmation of the February 2014 release of the energy plan went unanswered.

The idea for a comprehensive city energy plan that sets efficiency and renewable energy goals, among other things, is not new.

Unlike prior plans, the city hoped that EnergySmart DC would be based on real city data, current market studies and updated economic analysis.

Once issued, the EnergySmartDC plan will establish a set of priorities for energy policy in D.C. It also will represent a work-in-progress with the data and concepts constantly evolving.

But it remains unclear whether the new plan, once issued, will address several broad and intractable factors that affect the price and use of energy in the city.

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