Local & Community Initiatives
Many urban residents today can choose from a wide range of travel options. Public buses and trains, car-sharing options like Zipcar, on-demand ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and bike-share programs are available in major cities. However, many of these options are not widely available in low-income neighborhoods because they can be physically inaccessible or unaffordable to their residents.
How have your community’s energy efficiency initiatives also increased its resilience? Our new paper, Indicators for Local Energy Resilience, gives municipal leaders a unique set of tools to answer this question. We explore local energy resilience, our new term for the interconnection of community resilience and various aspects of energy supply and consumption.
Scorecard of 51 large cities reveals the top 10, including Boston, NYC, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Portland. Orlando, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Kansas City among those most improved.
Next week we will release the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Because it’s been two years since we published the last edition, here are some key scorecard numbers and facts to jog your memory about its contents.
100: Number of points cities could earn. No city came close to earning a perfect score in a past scorecard. Spoiler alert: it didn’t happen this time either.
Today, one in six American households resides in the apartments or condominiums of multifamily buildings. While new multifamily buildings are being constructed across the country, most residents still live in older buildings that are not energy-efficient. ACEEE’s newly released report provides encouraging news for apartment and condo dwellers who want to reduce the cost of their energy bills. Utility-sector energy efficiency programs that serve these buildings have nearly tripled their spending in recent years.
As the new year begins, we expect 2017 will bring increased investments in energy efficiency and other efforts to save energy.
Given the importance of small businesses to our national economy, ACEEE has examined successful utility program practices in the small commercial segment. We find there are still significant energy efficiency opportunities. Our new paper describes effective program strategies.
How is energy efficiency connected to community resilience? We answered that question in a report last year, Enhancing Community Resilience through Energy Efficiency. The report found that energy efficiency should be a core resilience strategy because it strengthens energy systems and the communities they serve by providing more reliable and affordable energy.
In a recent report released by ACEEE and Energy Efficiency for All, Lifting the High Energy Burden in America’s Largest Cities, we measured energy burdens in 48 of the largest cities in the United States. Energy burden means the percentage of household income that goes toward energy costs, and we looked specifically at utility energy bills (transportation energy costs are also a significant household expense, but it was outside the scope of the analysis).
Local governments of all sizes can invest days, months, and years into advancing energy efficiency programs and policies. Yet many go unrecognized for their efforts. Because the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard only covers 51 large cities, ACEEE created the Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool so that any community can evaluate itself.