Boston Tops Energy Efficiency Scorecard

May 24, 2017

How cities are stepping up efforts to lower energy consumption.

Boston is the most energy-efficient U.S. city for the second time, according to the third edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The Massachusetts capital received 84.5 out of a possible 100 points, improving 2.5 points over its last score in 2015.

However, the scorecard also contained a few surprises. Los Angeles jumped 25 points from 2015, entering the top 5 (and top 10) for the first time. San Diego, Kansas City and Phoenix nabbed the second, third and fourth most improved spots, and 7 other cities showed double-digit improvements since the last scorecard was issued.

Other findings include:

  • Phoenix gained 13 points to qualify as the fourth most-improved city. Its improved score in the community initiatives category was due to its adoption of the 2050 Environmental Sustainability initiative, which included both energy savings and climate goals.
  • Orlando was one of 11 cities that improved by at least 10 points. It accomplished that by emphasizing existing building energy efficiency through benchmarking energy use and making building energy data transparent and accessible. The other cities with double digit improvements are Austin, Philadelphia, Denver, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Portland, OR, and the four most-improved cities.
  • Los Angeles launched a new Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency program for commercial and multifamily buildings. It requires an energy audit, retrofits and benchmarking, as well as water efficiency measures.
  • San Diego passed a Climate Action Plan that tackled both commercial and residential energy use. It established the city’s goals to reduce energy consumption by 15% in certain homes and to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2020.

The scorecard covers five key areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, building policies, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. Learn more about the scorecard at

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