PRESS RELEASE: DowntownDC BID Promotes District Energy System to Get "Recharged"

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

*The following report and release were prepared in advance of the April 7, 2015 regional power outage, which is directly related to the proposals set forth.

WASHINGTON, DC—The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), with input from D.C. business organizations and leaders, is proposing to modernize the District's energy system in a new paper released today titled "Recharged: Reshaping DC's Energy Future."

[Download the report here.]

The District pledged to cut consumption in half by 2032, but there's currently no concrete plan to make this a reality and as time passes, the city lags further behind New York City, areas of Maryland and other jurisdictions in upgrading one of the most important infrastructure systems in the city.

The time to modernize the D.C. energy system to meet sustainability goals, save money, reduce risk and make the system more self-reliant is now, the paper explains. Weather-related emergencies are making this painfully apparent. The 2014 cold weather "polar vortex" plunged area power systems into crisis and required emergency action to remove price caps on electricity. 

"Recharged" proposes transforming the city’s current power infrastructure to support distributed power such as solar, fuel cells and microturbines, seek involvement in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act and utilize the District in lowering the regional carbon footprint, enable dynamic energy pricing with Advanced Metering Infrastructure or "smart meters," change the way the District purchases power and pays for it and establish a new standard of data performance and transparency, in part, by making smart meter data available to all energy users. 

"'Recharged' offers a way to change the District’s energy trajectory and help make Washington, D.C. a leader in efficient, cleaner and cost-effective power," said BID Executive Director Richard H. Bradley. "We believe the Grid 2.0 project being recommended is a path towards a transformative energy program for the city."

About the DowntownDC BID

The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) is a private non-profit organization that provides capital improvements, resources and research to help diversify the economy and enhance the Downtown experience for all. This special district, where property owners have agreed to tax themselves to fund services, encompasses a 138-block area of approximately 520 buildings from Massachusetts Avenue on the north to Constitution Avenue on the south, and from Louisiana Avenue on the east to 16th Street on the west. As a catalyst, facilitator and thought leader, the DowntownDC BID promotes public/private partnerships to create a remarkable urban environment. For more information, visit www.DowntownDC.org or follow us on Twitter @DowntownDCBID.