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Top ranking energy saving US cities

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released a report entitled ‘2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard.’ The report ranks 34 of the most populous cities in the US on policies to advance energy efficiency. The report also includes recommendations and strategies for all cities to lower energy use.

Top place in efficiency rankings

The top spot has been taken by Boston as it is doing the most to save energy. Other top scoring cities included Portland, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin. The next tier of scoring cities were Washington, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia and Denver. They have also developed energy efficiency initiatives and they are now on the cusp of rising to a higher ranking in the future.

The report is the first to rank US cities on energy efficiency efforts alone. Cities are evaluated on what actions they are taking to reduce energy in five key areas:

  • Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Energy and water utilities
  • Local government operations
  • Community wide initiatives

Key findings

  • Local leadership and commitment to energy efficiency is strong. City leaders, with great influence, can implement initiatives that provide benefits where they are most tangible to citizens and businesses, directly improving the community.
  • Boston achieved the highest score overall.
  • Portland scored highest in transportation and local government operations.
  • Seattle ranked first in building policies.
  • San Francisco tied with Boston in the utility public benefits program.
  • Austin is the city furthest ahead of its sate on energy efficiency policy.
  • Only 11 cities scored more than half of the total possible points.


  • Lead by example by improving efficiency in local government operations and facilities.
  • Adopt energy saving goals.
  • Actively manage energy use, track and communicate progress towards goals.
  • Adopt policies to improve efficiency in new and existing buildings.
  • Partners with energy and water utilities to promote and expand energy efficiency programs.
  • Adopt policies and programs to lower transportation energy use through location efficient development and improved access to additional travel mode choices.

The full report can be found here:

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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