Abita Springs becomes the first Louisiana city to commit to 100 percent renewable energy. Mayor Greg Lemons says renewable energy, in particular solar energy, just makes sense from an economic and environmental standpoint.

“We have a lot of sun here in Louisiana, a lot of sun. So economically, we can start reducing our costs. Second of all, reducing our footprint on the environment. That’s very, very important to the town of Abita Springs,” Lemons said.

Lemons says achieving this goal is like eating an elephant, you take one bite at a time. He says one of the first steps the city has taken is replacing old lighting in the Town Hall with low energy lights and replacing old window seals and insulations to cut energy costs by 20 percent. But he says they have a long way to go.

“We’re looking at solar panels for this building. After that, we’re looking at solar panels for the rest of our buildings, and then we’re looking at part of our sewer system, we’re looking at solar panels for our list stations,” Lemons said.

Lemons says they’re also looking at installing electric vehicle charges in town. He says it’s the town’s goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. He says they’re trying to achieve a balance of environmental ethics and good business.

“We’ve had some issues here in the community where the environment was being pressured, and we in Abita, our citizens and our town council, have stepped up and tried to protect the environment as best we can,” Lemons said.