The Energy State of the Union: Ranking Cities' Efficiency Efforts

Oct. 29, 2013
Boston took the top spot this year.

The Red Sox had an impressive playoff run, and Boston is hitting home runs in energy efficiency.

The city took top honors in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard report. In addition to ranking the 34 most populous U.S. cities on energy policies, the study includes recommendations and strategies for all cities to lower energy use.

ACEEE also launched a new interactive infographic accompanying the report that highlights each city’s best practices and scores, available here.

“Boston is a world-class city, and we know that our economic prosperity is tied to its ‘greenovation,’ which has helped create jobs and improve our bottom line,” says Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “Reducing our energy use is just one smart step in improving the quality of life in Boston and around the world.”

While Boston scored highest overall, Seattle ranked first in building policies and San Francisco tied Boston for first in utility public benefits programs.

The report found that local leadership and commitment to energy efficiency is strong and city leaders can implement initiatives that provide the most tangible benefits. With plenty of room for improvement – for example, Boston missed nearly a quarter of possible points – the report offers several recommendations:

  • Lead by example by improving efficiency in local government operations and facilities.
  • Partner with energy and water utilities to promote and incentivize programs.
  • Actively manage energy use, track and communicate progress, and enable access to data on usage.

Data access is a key aspect of the Shaheen-Portman energy bill S 1392, which has taken a backseat due to the shutdown, debt ceiling, and healthcare. However, if the proposed legislation is ever enacted, it could save over $65 billion and create 174,000 jobs nationwide.

And with a united front on energy efficiency, maybe your neck of the woods will turn up on next year’s scorecard.

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