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Lessons from the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard


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Want to learn how cities are reducing energy waste and becoming more sustainable? Take a look at these slides from an American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) webinar discussing the results of its 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

The City Scorecard assesses 51 large US cities on local government efforts to increase energy efficiency. ACEEE scores cities by evaluating them in five areas: government operations, community initiatives, buildings, utilities, and transportation. We identify cities that excel and those that need improvement. We highlight actions they can take to do better.

Boston, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Portland top the rankings of the 2017 edition, while Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City, and Phoenix are the most-improved since 2015. Here you can learn about cities' achievements, scoring trends, and best practices any community can pursue.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Lessons from the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard

  1. 1. Lessons from the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard ACEEE webinar May 25, 2017
  2. 2. Webinar speaker Dave Ribeiro Senior researcher
  3. 3. Webinar outline • Overview of the City Scorecard • Project goals • Policy areas and methodology • 2017 City Scorecard results • Top overall cities • Leading cities by policy areas • Most-improved cities • Scoring trends • Cities are improving and making real progress… • …but there is still room for improvement • Additional resources
  4. 4. Overview of the City Scorecard
  5. 5. City Scorecard goals 1. Compare large US cities exclusively on efficiency – creating friendly competition among cities to become more efficient 2. Focus on policies to highlight important actions cities can take – offering a roadmap for cities 5
  6. 6. Local government operations: 10 Community-wide initiatives: 12 Buildings polices: 28 Energy and water utilities: 20 Transportation policies: 30 Point distribution among policy areas
  7. 7. Policy area & subcategories Maximum score Local government operations 10 Local government energy efficiency-related goals 4.5 Procurement and construction policies 3 Asset management 2.5 Community-wide initiatives 12 Community-wide energy efficiency-related goals 7.5 District energy and combined heat and power 2 Urban heat island mitigation 2.5 Buildings policies 28 Building energy code stringency 8 Building energy code compliance 6 Requirements and incentives for efficient buildings 8 Benchmarking, rating, and transparency 6 Energy and water utilities 20 Electric efficiency spending and saving 6 Natural gas efficiency spending and saving 3 Low-income and multifamily programs 4 Energy data provision 2 Efficiency efforts in water services 5 Transportation policies 30 Sustainable transportation plan 4 Location efficiency 6 Mode shift 6 Transit 5 Efficient vehicles 3 Freight 3 Affordable housing in transit-oriented developments 3 Maximum total score 100
  8. 8. Leading cities from 2017 City Scorecard
  9. 9. 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard
  10. 10. Boston earned 84.5 points, scoring 2.5 points more than last time. Select city achievements Buildings policies • Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code • Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance Energy and water utilities • Renew Boston program to promote utility energy efficiency programs • Utility investment in energy efficiency programs, including those reaching underserved markets 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Local government operations Community-wide initiatives Buildings policiesEnergy and water utilities Transportation policies Points Maximum points Median score Boston
  11. 11. Leaders for Local Government Operations Denver (9/10 points) • 2020 Sustainability Goals • Facility Condition and Assessment Program • Energy performance contract for building retrofits Washington, DC (9/10 points) • Sustainable DC Plan • Green Building Act of 2006 • Clean Affordable Energy Act of 2008 Leaders have set policies to increase efficiency in city government, procurement, and asset management
  12. 12. Leaders for Community-wide Initiatives Austin (12/12 points) • Goals for energy efficiency and GHG emissions • District energy systems in redevelopment zones • Community Tree Program • Incentives for green infrastructure Minneapolis (12/12 points) • Climate Action Plan • District energy planning • Urban heat island mitigation goals Leaders have city-wide efficiency-related goals, strategies to mitigate urban heat islands, and policies or programs to plan for future efficient distributed energy systems
  13. 13. Leaders for Buildings Policies Boston (26/28 points) • Building energy code compliance • Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance • LEED building requirements (Article 37) Los Angeles (25.5/28 points) • Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency (EBEWE) Program • LA PACE • California Building Energy Efficiency Standards Leaders have adopted or advocated for stringent building energy codes, devoted resources to building code compliance, and established requirements and incentives for efficient buildings.
  14. 14. Leaders for Energy and Water Utilities Boston (20/20 points) • Renew Boston • Advocacy for energy efficiency • Energy data access Seattle (17/20 points) • Utility spending and savings from energy efficiency • Efficiency programs for underserved markets • Water System Plan Leaders have partnered with their utilities to encourage energy efficiency and pursed programs to save water and energy at the same time. The efficiency programs of utilities serving these cities offer high levels of savings and reach underserved markets.
  15. 15. Leaders for Transportation Policies Portland (24.5/30 points) • 2035 Transportation System Plan/Climate Action Plan • Location efficiency in zoning code • Sustainable Freight Strategy New York City (24/30 points) • NYC Transportation Strategic Plan • NYC’s zoning code • R-10 Program Leaders’ initiatives include location efficiency strategies, shifts to efficient modes of transportation, transit investments, efficient vehicles and vehicle infrastructure, and energy-efficient freight transport
  16. 16. Strategies for improving efficiency • Adopt energy savings targets • Lead by example by improving efficiency in local government operations and facilities • Actively manage energy performance, and enable broader access to energy use information • Adopt policies to improve efficiency in new and existing buildings • Partner with energy and water utilities to expand access to efficiency programs • Decrease transportation energy use through location- efficient development and improved access to travel modes
  17. 17. Most-improved cities
  18. 18. Most-improved cities City 2017 rank 2017 score Change in score Change in rank Select new programs and initiatives Los Angeles 4 76.5 +25 +8 Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program San Diego 13 59 +24 +14 Climate Action Plan Kansas City 19 49 +14 +8 Energy Empowerment Ordinance Phoenix 14 57 +13 +4 2050 Environmental Sustainability Goals
  19. 19. Scoring trends
  20. 20. City scores are improving Tier 2 median score change: +12 points
  21. 21. Cities have made real progress since 2015 • 8: Adopted benchmarking and transparency policies/advanced policies on the books (Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Orlando, Portland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City) • 4: Adopted new community-wide energy savings targets (New Orleans, Phoenix, Virginia Beach, San Diego) • 3: Adopted vehicle miles traveled reductions goals or GHG reduction targets (Boston, San Antonio, San Diego) • 75% of cities have bike share programs, compared to 50% in 2015
  22. 22. Room for improvement 1 city earned > 80 points 18 cities earned > 50 points
  23. 23. Most room for improvement in transportation 2 cities earned >70% of points for transportation
  24. 24. Summary
  25. 25. Summary • City Scorecard is a tool to benchmark the energy efficiency efforts of cities and inform policymaking • Findings indicate that cities continue to pursue efficiency, with Boston, New York, and Seattle leading the way • Over 60% of cities improved their scores, and did so by a wider margin than in the previous report • Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City, and Phoenix are most-improved • However, cities can do more. The policy and program data in the City Scorecard can help cities develop next steps.
  26. 26. Additional resources
  27. 27. City and regional score sheets policy/city-scorecard
  28. 28. State and Local Policy Database 29
  29. 29. Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool • User-oriented, spreadsheet tool for scoring any local gov’t on City Scorecard metrics • Users may be included in ACEEE Local Policy Database
  30. 30. Resources • 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard ( • City and regional score sheets ( • Local Policy Database ( • Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool – being updated ( report/u1511)
  31. 31. Thanks for listening! Dave Ribeiro Senior Researcher 202-507-4750 32