Evaluation Tool for Community Energy Efficiency

Jan. 20, 2016

Designed to improve initiative assessments, information sharing.

Conducting reviews of community-wide energy efficiency programs and goals will become easier thanks to a new tool from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool can evaluate the effectiveness of efficiency programs in local government initiatives and policies regarding buildings, utilities and transportation.

The tool uses metrics similar to ACEEE’s City Energy Efficiency Scorecards and can be used to benchmark current energy efficiency improvement projects and gain a fresh perspective when new policies are implemented.

The tool will also allow users to submit results to ACEEE, which plans to publish a collection of best practices and innovative ideas that communities are using to cut back energy usage. Much of the information required to complete the tool is readily available, such as the Building Codes Assistance Project, but for some metrics community leaders will be encouraged to conduct “community research” whenever no existing data source directly addresses the metrics.

As part of the launch, ACEEE has scored eight localities for comparison purposes, with population sizes from under 10,000 people to nearly 250,000. Seven Excel worksheets comprise the tool, including five that address specific policy areas: buildings, local government operations, transportation, energy and water utilities and community-wide initiatives. The tool is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Excel and can be used on either a PC or a Mac computer.

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