Cities Boost Efforts to Reduce Energy Waste: Here's How They Rank
16 May, 2017
As the federal government weighs budget cuts to energy efficiency programs, cities are stepping up efforts to reduce energy waste. More mayors and local lawmakers in America's largest cities are turning to energy efficiency to reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses, strengthen the resilience of their communities, and reduce pollution, according to the third edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The ACEEE report finds that Boston remains the top US city for energy efficiency, receiving 84.5 out of a possible 100 points, an improvement of 2.5 from its 2015 score. Following Boston, the top 10 US cities for energy efficiency are New York City (#2), Seattle (#3), Los Angeles (tied for #4), Portland (tied for #4), Austin (#6), Chicago (#7), Washington, DC (#8), Denver (tied for #9), and San Francisco (tied for #9).
Based on a 25-point jump from the last edition of the Scorecard in 2015, Los Angeles was the most-improved city. It entered the top five---and the top 10---for the first time. San Diego, Kansas City, and Phoenix are the second, third, and fourth most-improved cities, respectively. Seven other cities, including Orlando, showed double-digit improvements since the last Scorecard.
The five cities most in need of improvement on energy efficiency are Hartford (#47), Memphis (#48), Detroit (#49), Oklahoma City (#50), and Birmingham (#51).
Additional findings in the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard include the following:
- Phoenix is the fourth most-improved city, with a gain of 13 points. The city increased its score in community-wide initiatives because of its adoption of the 2050 Environmental Sustainability goals, which include both energy savings and climate goals.
- Orlando is another of 11 cities that improved by at least 10 points. It aims to improve efficiency in existing buildings by benchmarking its energy use and making the data transparent and accessible. Austin, Philadelphia, Denver, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Portland, and the four most-improved cities mentioned above round out this group.
- Los Angeles is home to a new Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency program, which requires an energy audit, retrofit, and benchmarking for many commercial and multifamily buildings, as well as water efficiency measures.
- San Diego passed a Climate Action Plan that established goals to reduce energy use by 15% in select homes and to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2020.
"Across the nation, cities are taking steps to save energy, and they are creating more economically vibrant and resilient communities in the process," said ACEEE senior researcher David Ribeiro, the lead report author. “More than half, 32, of the 51 cities improved their scores from 2015 to 2017, with several making substantial point increases. More cities are requiring building owners to benchmark and report buildings' energy use, updating building energy codes, and setting community-wide goals to save energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. We also see a new set of cities emerging as leaders for energy efficiency, knocking on the door of the top 10."
Click here to watch the lead author discuss the report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-7IdhYQPpQ&feature=youtu.be