Boston has been named America’s most energy-efficient city by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, coming in first among 51 large cities measured. The study assessed the results of city policies and initiatives designed to be environmentally friendly while also promoting economic growth and examined five key areas: local government operations, community initiatives, building policies, energy and water utilities, and transportation.
Coming in after Boston were New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Seattle, rounding out the top five. Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle were also noted as most-improved since the biennial study was last performed.
ACEEE’s report also includes individual rankings for city building policies, with Boston barely edging out New York City for the top spot. Building policy scores were based on five metrics: stringency of residential and commercial building codes, energy code compliance efforts, energy saving targets, incentives and financing for efficient buildings, benchmarking requirements, and availability of efficiency service programs and providers. The study’s authors point to benchmarking and energy use transparency as the biggest opportunities to improve city efficiency, as the policies have been adopted by relatively few cities.
Looking to begin energy benchmarking in your own facility? Check out this guide to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.