FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2019
Howard Geller, Executive Director
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DENVER, CO) – U.S. cities are increasingly ramping up their energy efficiency efforts, notably with stricter energy-saving rules for buildings, but unfortunately only a few cities appear on track to meet their community-wide climate goals, according to the 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard, released today by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The Scorecard includes ten cities in the Southwest, with Denver (#8), Phoenix (#17), Salt Lake City (#30) and Las Vegas (#33) ranking in the top half of the survey. Tucson (#52 tie), Albuquerque (#52 tie), Reno (#61), Aurora (#64), Mesa (#67) and Henderson, NV (#71) finished in the bottom third.
The new scorecard, with rankings on more than 50 different metrics, represents the most comprehensive survey to date of cities’ progress on implementation of climate goals and policy efforts to accelerate energy efficiency improvements.
“Denver and Phoenix, in particular, deserve congratulations for their progress and leadership on energy efficiency,” said Howard Geller, executive director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “Their efforts directly benefit consumers, businesses and the environment in our region. We encourage other municipalities in the Southwest to replicate what the leading cities are doing.”
See the full report and materials at: http://aceee.org/local-policy/city-scorecard
Southwestern City Summaries:
DENVER, CO (Rank: 8/75): Over the last two editions of the City Scorecard, Denver has shown itself to be an established energy efficiency and clean energy leader. Since the last edition, Denver has continued its momentum with a series of initiatives. The Green Building Ordinance is designed to drive clean energy investment in buildings, the Energy Futures Collaborative will allow for closer alignment between the city and its utility, and the Mobility Action Plan sets strategies to encourage modes of transport other than personal vehicles. Denver can continue its progress by adopting additional policies to improve energy efficiency in transportation. (Learn More)
PHOENIX, AZ (Rank: 17/75): Phoenix continued to build on its strong performance in the 2017 City Scorecard. It had a top-five score for community-wide initiatives due in part to its 2050 sustainability goals and urban heat island mitigation goals and policies. The city has also taken positive steps to improve its scores for buildings and transportation, including being the first city to adopt the 2018 IECC, creating a partnership with Nissan to offer discounts for electric vehicles, and codifying a complete streets policy. Phoenix can keep the momentum going and increase its score in the future by adopting additional buildings and transportation policies. (Learn More)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Rank: 30/75): Salt Lake City performed best in local government operations; its score was among the top 20 cities in this category. Since the last City Scorecard, Salt Lake City took steps to improve the energy efficiency of its commercial and multifamily buildings by adopting the Energy Benchmarking & Transparency Ordinance. Salt Lake City has several options across most policy areas to improve its rank in the next edition, including further boosting its performance for buildings policies and improving its score for community-wide initiatives and transportation policies. (Learn More)
LAS VEGAS, NV (Rank: 34/75): Las Vegas performed well in local government operations and was among the 10 highest scorers in this category. The city’s strong showing was supported by the adoption of R-32-2017, a resolution that adopted climate and energy goals for the Las Vegas municipal government and included energy efficiency retrofit requirements for municipal buildings. Las Vegas also has taken steps since the last City Scorecard to improve the efficiency of commercial and residential buildings by adopting the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The city can improve across most policy areas, most notably community-wide initiatives, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. (Learn More)
TUCSON, AZ (Rank: 52/75 tie): Though the city still has room to improve, Tucson performed best in buildings policies. In 2018, the city took steps to improve the energy efficiency of its commercial and residential buildings by adopting the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Tucson was also among a group of fewer than 20 cities with solar-ready requirements for buildings. The city can improve across all policy areas to advance in rank in the next edition, most notably in community-wide initiatives, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. (Learn More)
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (Rank: 52/75 tie): Although it has room to improve across the board, Albuquerque performed best in local government operations and energy and water utilities. Starting in 2017, the city embarked on a streetlight retrofit project to achieve a local government energy savings goal. Albuquerque also adopted a renewable energy goal for municipal operations that further bolstered the city’s score for local government operations. Low-income and multifamily offerings by Public Service of New Mexico and New Mexico Gas, along with the city’s submission of comments to the Public Utility Commission in support of renewable energy, helped the city’s performance in energy and water utilities. The city has substantial room to improve across all policy areas—most notably community-wide initiatives, buildings and transportation policies. (Learn More)
RENO, NV (Rank: 61/75): Reno performed well in buildings policies. In 2018, the city took several steps toward improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. It adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential and commercial buildings and also established the Energy and Water Efficiency Program, a benchmarking and transparency program that calls for energy performance improvements. Despite Reno’s success in buildings policies, it has substantial room to improve in the other policy areas of the City Scorecard. (Learn More)
AURORA, CO (Rank: 63/75): Aurora earned its highest percentage of points in energy and water utilities, largely due to Xcel Energy’s energy efficiency programs, low-income and multifamily offerings, and renewable energy incentives. Otherwise the Scorecard showed it had few clean energy policies, leaving Aurora substantial room to improve across the board. To jump-start its efforts, the city can focus on its own operations by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with government buildings. It also can pursue other foundational clean energy policies like developing community-wide energy-savings and renewable energy goals; adopting a more stringent building energy code; and creating a stand-alone sustainable transportation plan to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) citywide. (Learn More)
MESA, AZ (Rank: 66/75): Mesa performed best in energy and water utilities, largely due to Salt River Project’s strong efficiency programs. In 2018, Mesa took encouraging steps to improve the energy efficiency of buildings by adopting the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Otherwise Mesa has a limited number of clean energy policies, so it has substantial room to improve across the board. To jump-start its efforts, the city can focus on its own operations by reducing energy waste in government assets and converting more street lights to LEDs. It also can pursue other foundational clean energy policies like developing community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, energy-savings, and renewable energy goals; running energy challenges to encourage efficiency in existing buildings; and encouraging greater use of electric vehicles and public transit. (Learn More)
HENDERSON, NV (Rank: 71/75): Henderson’s recent adoption of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) helped the city earn points for buildings policies. The city has substantial room to improve across the board because it has few clean other energy policies. To jump-start its efforts, the city can focus on its own operations by reducing energy waste in government assets. It also can pursue other foundational clean energy policies like developing community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, energy-savings, and renewable energy goals; adopting a benchmarking and disclosure ordinance; and encouraging more sustainable modes of transportation. (Learn More)