Cities Take the Lead for Energy Innovation

Sept. 23, 2015

Targets include building efficiency, renewable power, and carbon emissions.

As more cities start to implement benchmark reporting and building codes to encourage energy efficiency, it’s important for facility mangers to keep tabs on what their local governments might have in the pipeline. A report from NREL details what major metros are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.

The analysis looks at a sample of 20 cities across the United States from Los Angeles to Boston. It compares climate, sustainability and energy plans to better understand how cities are creating policies and measuring their impacts. Common goals include reducing carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy, and promoting biking and walking.

The survey found that of the key actions a city would take to improve its energy profile, 26% of municipal efforts were aimed at building efficiency. These include policies that:

  • Require various levels of LEED certification
  • Encourage net-zero energy buildings
  • Set standards for greening historic properties
  • Provide incentives to upgrade equipment, including lighting, HVAC and water pumps
  • Promote the use of energy management systems

The report is part of the Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project, which delivers energy data and analysis that enables cities to make clean energy decisions.

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