Do you live in one of the most energy efficient cities in the US?  Recently the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy put out a list of the most energy efficient cities across the country.

“Energy efficiency may be the cheapest, most abundant, and most underutilized resource for local economic and community development,” says the ACEEE.

The scorecard that was formulated to determine the winners was based on the following criteria:

  1. Transportation – looking at energy efficient transportation and the accessibility as well as the city’s focus on location-efficient development
  2.  Energy and Water Utilities – access that the community has to energy efficiency and water efficiency programs
  3. Local Government – looking into the efforts for energy efficiency in government operations and procurement
  4. Building Policies – looking at the requirements and incentives that encourage energy efficiency
  5. Community- Wide Initiatives – looking at community-wide efficiency efforts and goals

Top three most energy efficient cities in the U.S.

#1 – Boston, MA

In an effort to promote energy efficiency among consumers, Boston created the Renew Boston effort that created a partnership with investor-owned utilities. The Renew Boston effort offers financial incentives to buyers for using/purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

Boston also stood out with its energy-saving goals in the government operations and building policies where large buildings are required to report energy use.

#2 Portland, OR

Winning out in the transportation category, Portland took a close second. Portland stands out in the efficiency of local government as well as transportation. With the Climate Action Plan the city stays on track with their goals to fund energy efficiency. Policies have also been developed to help promote compact development, improve zoning and land use, as well as reducing vehicle trips. Like Boston, Portland also stood out when it comes to the energy-saving goals and practices of the local government.

#3 San Francisco, CA and New York City, NY

San Francisco stood out in local government practices as well as energy and water utilities.  To promote energy efficient homes, homes must improve their energy efficiency before they can be sold or they may be renovated under the Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance. Policies are also in place to promote energy efficient buildings as well.

New York City did not rise above in one single category, but overall, it stood out. Requiring buildings to go under occasional energy audits and system tune-ups is just one part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. New York boasts impressive efforts to make sure drinking water, wastewater and storm water management systems are efficient. New York also has a very high percentage of non-car commuters with 73%.

Looking at those who stand out, the importance of the promotion of energy efficiency is apparent both on a large scale as well as giving residents incentives to improve energy efficiency in individual homes.