The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has issued the first-ever scorecard that ranks cities exclusively on their energy efficiency efforts. Pittsburgh came in at number 25 on a list of 34 cities with a score of 34.25 out of a possible 100.
Boston was number one with a score of 76.75.
“We think it’s very important for cities to cut energy use in order to lower their energy costs, save money for their residents and businesses, as well as local governments and to improve living and working environments, reduce commuting costs, create jobs, and pump money back into their local economy,” said ACEEE Executive Director Steve Nadel.
The cities were ranked on metrics in five areas. Pittsburgh’s scores follow each category:
- Local government operations – 5.25 out of 15
- Community-wide initiatives – 6.5 out of 10
- Buildings – 7 out of 29
- Energy and water utilities – 7.5 out of 18
- Transportation – 8 out of 28
“The scorecard’s focus on policies and other initiatives is intended to identify and highlight important actions that can be taken to improve efficiency,” said Eric Mackres, ACEEE local policy manager. “The report offers the beginning of a roadmap for any local government aiming to improve its city’s energy efficiency and it does so, in part, by providing examples of best practices being implemented by leading cities.”
Recommendations for cities include adopting specific energy saving goals, adopt policies to improve efficiency in new and existing buildings, and partner with energy and water utilities to promote and expand energy efficiency programs. Leaders of top-ranked cities said public awareness is also key.
“Don’t just rely on conventional means of getting the word out,” said Portland, Ore. Mayor Charlie Hales, “For example we have, well every city does, summer festivals and neighborhood fairs and those kinds of events and folks from our bureau of planning and sustainability are often there, they’re out with information about these programs.”
Portland ranked second with a score of 70. New York and San Francisco tied for third place with scores of 69.75, Seattle and Austin round out the top spots. Jacksonville, Fla. was last on the list with a score of 17.25.