The city of Dallas purchased its first alternative fueled vehicle back in 1992. Ten years later, Dallas was the first city in Texas to use biodiesel fuel.
Dallas is proud to have 41 percent of its fleet, nearly 2,000 cars and trucks, that are running on alternative fuels or are hybrid - making Dallas' the largest fleet in Texas and one of the largest in the U.S.
The city of Dallas is the top municipal purchaser of clean, green power in the nation. In 2008, Dallas purchased nearly 334 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable power, primarily wind.
But it's not just air quality that Dallas is focusing on. The city has built an impressive list of accomplishments when it comes to supporting the environment and setting standards for the future.
Dallas' Environmental Management System (EMS) demonstrates a commitment to not simply comply with laws and regulations, but also to go above and beyond what's minimally necessary and do the best work possible on behalf of the environment, the citizens, and the city's resources.
Here's a partial list of improvements fostered by the EMS:
Building environmentally "green" buildings; Dallas' Green Renovation Program - replacing regular roofs with new "cool" roofs that promote energy savings.
Buildings also are being retrofitted with high efficiency heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and lighting systems.
Converting to energy-efficient LED traffic lights, the city cuts annual energy consumption by 14.5 million kilowatt hours per year. In addition, nearly half of the street lights in the city of Dallas are now lit by renewable "green power."
With Energy Performance Contracting, the city improves existing buildings without draining local tax revenues. It's all done by using a mix of energy conservation measures and more efficient heating systems. These savings, in turn, pay for building upgrades. At Dallas City Hall, a comprehensive energy project resulted in annual savings of about $1.49 million.
The city of Dallas has also dramatically increased its efforts to promote water conservation. A Five-Year Strategic Plan on Water Conservation was adopted, which has resulted in a significant reduction in per capita water consumption. Dallas' conservation program includes leak detection and main repair and replacement, audits of irrigation systems at city facilities, and educational initiatives, such as free Energy Efficiency Kits to save money on electric and water bills each month, as well as free composting classes.