City Energy Project Participants Lead in ACEEE’s Scorecard

Ten City Energy Project cities rank in the “Top 20” cities in the third edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released yesterday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Ten City Energy Project cities rank in the “Top 20” cities in the third edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released yesterday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The Scorecard ranks 51 of the largest cities in the United States based on scores in five key areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, building policies, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. The work that City Energy Project supports in our cities touches four out of the five categories, so the opportunity to influence a city’s performance on the scorecard is significant. Prior Scorecards were published in 2015 and 2013.

The City Energy Project is a national initiative to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The Project is a partnership between NRDC and the Institute for Market Transformation. The first ten cities to join City Energy Project in 2014 were Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City MO, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City. The ACEEE City Scorecard has captured the relative performance of this cohort of cities compared to peer cities before and during each city’s participation in City Energy Project. Back in 2015 these cities all ranked in the top 30 cities in the Scorecard. Now, in 2017, every city in the cohort ranks in the top 25. And in 2013, only Boston and Chicago ranked in the top 10 cities nationwide. In 2017, Denver and Los Angeles join the top 10 as well.  

There are a few specific accomplishments worth celebrating. Throughout all three issuances of the scorecard, Boston has ranked first due to its comprehensive building energy efficiency policies and the utilities’ deep investment in energy efficiency. Los Angeles was the most improved city in 2017, now ranking fourth in the nation (it had been 12th on the 2015 and 28th on the 2013 ACEEE City Scorecard) in large part to due having passed one of the most ambitious energy and water efficiency policies for existing buildings in the nation. Orlando rose in the ranks from 30th in 2015 to 20th this year, with the improvement largely attributed to the recently passed PACE legislation and Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy. And Kansas City rose eight positions in the ranks this year to 19th, due largely to the adoption of the Energy Empowerment Ordinance requiring energy benchmarking in large buildings. City Energy Project had an active and longstanding role in supporting these cities’ initiatives, and we’re proud that the leadership of these cities is being recognized.

The second cohort of locations to join City Energy Project in November 2016—Des Moines, Ft. Collins, Miami-Dade County, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Providence, Reno, San Jose, St. Louis, St. Paul—have a wealth of opportunity to improve energy efficiency in their communities. Seven out of the ten cities are ranked on the ACEEE Scorecard. This includes Pittsburgh who has improved its rank from 25th in 2013 to 17th in 2017 due to the passage of a benchmarking and transparency policy and building energy code compliance. Strikingly, San Jose improved its score by nine points, but maintained it rank of 16th because so many other cities also improved their scores. Several of the cities in the second cohort currently rank in the 30s and 40s on the Scorecard. But the work of City Energy Project with this new set of city leaders has just begun, and we are excited to work closely with this second cohort to accelerate energy efficiency locally. We look forward to seeing the fruits of our labor on the 2019 Scorecard!  

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