U.S. local governments, such as cities and counties, as well as many investor-owned electric utilities, are increasingly setting ambitious climate and energy targets. To achieve these targets, customer-utility innovation and collaboration is essential.

Although customers and utilities have traditionally collaborated, these working relationships may need to expand or go further than before to achieve their desired goals and galvanize the market transformation required to address the global climate challenge.

City-utility partnership agreements, which can be utilized to align and achieve climate and energy goals through agreed upon outcomes and expectations, offer one opportunity to explore and pursue long-term engagement.

Key Findings

  • Local governments, who are actively emerging as leaders in addressing climate change, and electric utilities in the United States, are increasingly setting climate and energy goals.
  • Utility-customer cooperation and collaboration will be essential to meeting their ambitious targets — partnership agreements provide one pathway to accelerate action to meet ambitious goals.
  • City-utility partnership agreements can provide a framework to align and achieve broad sustainability efforts and enable long-lasting and productive engagement to achieve climate and energy goals.
  • Based on the experience of several U.S. cities, this resource identifies common elements of partnership agreements, as well as tips and considerations for implementing them, which can help cities evaluate the opportunity to use agreements to meet their goals.

Executive Summary

Full executive summary available in the paper.