Our Municipal Story

Though municipal emissions are less than 1 percent of total community emissions, our city operations still add tens of thousands of metric tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere each year. Since 2011, the City has saved over 14,000 metric tonnes of CO2 cumulatively. Beyond reducing our own footprint, the city also has a role to play in designing walkable neighborhoods, encouraging energy-efficient buildings, and requiring environmentally responsible growth. The city has developed a list of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor our progress on a range of environmental areas.

How is the City doing overall?

In February 2007, Bellevue City Council passed Resolution 7517, formally adopting a goal to reduce emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 (which aligned with the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol). This goal was extended to municipal operations as well.

Bellevue Municipal Emissions, Compared to City Council Goal of 7% Below 1990 Levels

What are the largest contributors to our municipal emissions?

Government operations take energy, from the fleet fuel we use to the electricity to power streetlights, traffic signals, and pump stations. You may be surprised to learn that municipal building electricity is the largest source of our emissions! Note: Materials purchased includes the CO2 impact of paper. Buildings and Stations include electricity, fossil fuels, and waste emissions from all of Bellevue's city owned or operated facilities, such as pump stations, community centers, and city hall.

Municipal Emissions by Sector, 2016 (Tonnes)

What is the percent building energy use by Department?

The chart to the right shows the percent breakdown of energy use, in million-BTU, by Department, for most city buildings and stations. Civic Services includes some of the city's largest buildings, including City Hall and the Bellevue Service Center.

Bellevue 2016 Energy Use by Municipal Department (MMBtu)

What is our average energy use per square foot?

Over the years, efficiency improvements made in Bellevue municipal buildings have saved substantial amounts of energy. Improvements include switching to LED lighting, installing highly-efficient heating and cooling systems, adjusting set-points, fine-tuning operating schedules, buying more energy-efficient computers, and installing faucet aerators to reduce hot water. These improvements have reduced energy use by almost 20 kilo-British Thermal Units (kBtu) per square foot from 2011 to 2017.

Bellevue Municipal Energy Use per Building Square Foot

Municipal water use trends

The City is one of the largest consumers of water in Bellevue. These charts include city buildings and other water meters throughout the city. Irrigation is approximately 70% of our water use, compared to indoor use. Take a look below at the top water users by building site. Values include both indoor and irrigation use in the building and for the building’s landscaping. Bellevue City Hall and Downtown Park had significant water leaks, that were corrected, in both 2011 and 2012. Extended hot summers in 2014 and 2015 caused significant outdoor water use. This data signals that management of water use should be a priority for the City as we experience hotter and drier summers as a result of climate change impacts in decades to come.

City of Bellevue Total Water Use

Bellevue Municipal Month by Month Water Activity (100s cubic feet (ccf))

Top Municipal Building Water Users

How is our Fleet Doing?

The majority of the city's fleet emissions comes from gasoline vehicles, or the "light duty" fleet. The purchase of biodiesel over the years has kept our emissions from biodiesel at a steady state. The City has been buying B5 since 2008, and in 2014 started buying B10. In late 2014, Fleet switched to B15. Then in 2015, the City of Bellevue joined the City of Seattle contract for B20, saving a significant amount of money and emissions. The purchasing contract stipulates that at least 51% of the used cooking oil must be sourced within 50 miles of Seattle. The new B20 blend is being purchased at an average cost savings of $0.28 per gallon over the previous B15 blend, saving the city an estimated $25,650 per year.

Bellevue Fleet Emissions