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Green Building News

Boston Tops Energy Efficiency Scorecard

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks the nation's 34 largest cities on their efforts to advance energy efficiency

Boston's efforts to promote energy efficiency include support for this demonstration project, a four-unit net-zero townhouse in the city's Roxbury neighborhood.
Image Credit: Urbanica

Among the country’s 34 largest cities, Boston, Massachusetts, is doing the most to promote energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Cities were judged on how well they advanced energy efficiency in five areas: transportation policies, local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings policies, and energy, water utilities and public benefits program.

“Energy efficiency may be the cheapest, most abundant, and most underutilized resource for

local economic and community development,” the Washington-based non-profit said. This first edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard was designed to help local officials improve energy efficiency in their communities by learning about successful approaches elsewhere.

Boston scored a total of 76.75 points of a possible 100. ACEEE said its community programs and utility partnerships, including the Renew Boston initiative, were particularly noteworthy. One of the city’s efforts is the E+ Green Building Demonstration Program.

Not far behind were the other top-tier cities of Portland, Oregon (70 points), New York City and San Francisco (both with 69.75 points), Seattle, Washington (62.25), and Austin, Texas (62).

Jacksonville, Florida, and Detroit, Michigan, scored the least number of points with 17.25 and 19 respectively.

The ACEEE said even the best-performing cities had plenty of room for improvement. “Energy efficiency is an abundant resource in every city,” it said. “And for all cities there is significant room for expanding and improving their efficiency activities.”


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