city skyline with solar panels in foreground

US Cities & Communities

Accelerating Local Clean Energy for All

Jump to RMI’s policy analysis and modeling for: US Federal | US States | US Cities | Back to overview.

What It Is

RMI’s US Cities & Communities team partners with local governments and community organizations to develop and scale impactful, equitable decarbonization projects and programs. Leveraging years of experience working with communities, our team enables innovative local project deployment by building capacity, supporting stakeholder engagement, and providing key technical insights. RMI then seeks to scale proven approaches by developing resources to help communities overcome key barriers and engaging external partners to create turn-key solutions for local communities.

Why It Matters

Local governments and communities have proven to be persistent, powerful climate champions. With federal programs providing an unprecedented level of financial resources to support climate action, these groups now have the means to implement ambitious programs to address key community objectives such as air pollution, water scarcity, energy affordability, equity, and community health. However, while available funding and financing for local governments and communities has increased dramatically, their time and capacity are still limited. As such, it is more important than ever to provide communities with the insights, innovative models, and tools to help them make these unprecedented federal resources go further, faster.

What We Are Doing

RMI enables local government and community action by:

  1. Supporting ambitious, high-impact projects through direct technical assistance and thought leadership. Examples include:
  2. Scaling impactful solutions by engaging groups of communities through workshop series that build local capacity and enable peer engagement. RMI has leveraged this “cohort” model over 25 times to help communities:
  3. Providing simplified, streamlined approaches to enable broader uptake of solutions. Recognizing local communities have many competing priorities, RMI seeks to provide accessible means for communities to achieve their objectives. In some cases, this can take the form of resources such as the AFFORD tool, which provides a pathway to easily identify and prioritize federal funding opportunities, or our Green Upgrade Calculator, which provides a simple, tailored, and technically rigorous analysis of residential decarbonization opportunities. In other cases, our team engages with external partners such as energy developers, policymakers, financial institutions, and other partners to deploy turn-key solutions to streamline equitable, local clean technology deployment.

Who’s Involved

RMI’s US Cities & Communities team works closely with a variety of external entities including local governments, community-based organizations, CDFIs, green banks, non-profit partners, and others.