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.
Five years ago, ACEEE found that energy efficiency could reduce projected 2050 US energy use by 40–60%. As a result, ACEEE established a strategic goal to reduce projected 2050 energy use by 50%. We thought it was time to check on our progress and ask whether our goal still seems reasonable. We find that energy use has been stable in recent years, reversing historical growth, a very positive development that is due in significant part to increasing our energy efficiency.
Do you know which government in the United States is the biggest laggard on energy codes for homes? The federal government. But that’s about to change.
Manufactured homes and the “HUD Code”
Although building codes are mostly set by states, the federal government sets codes for manufactured homes (sometimes called mobile homes) because the factory does not always know where a home will end up. Manufacturers shipped 70,519 homes in 2015, more than the number of single-family homes built in any state except Texas.
Building codes have protected people with minimum health and safety requirements for buildings since the Code of Hammurabi in 1754 BCE. Energy provisions in US codes have protected owners and tenants from excessive energy waste since the 1970s. They set minimum performance levels for energy features in new buildings and renovations, notably insulation, windows, air sealing, and to some extent, lighting and heating and cooling equipment.
A recent paper by Charles Withers and Robin Vieira from the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) presents a fascinating story about the impacts of the Florida new home building energy code. The paper was presented at the recent Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference.
Energy Efficiency in Senate Bills will Make US Economy Healthier – But One Bill Contains a Poison Pill
Today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted out two bills—one shepherded by Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (the Energy Policy Modernization Act), and the other written by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) (the Energy Efficiency and Industrial Competitiveness Act, S. 720).
Massachusetts Tops California as Most Energy-Efficient State, while Arkansas, D.C., Kentucky, and Wisconsin are Most Improved
Top 10 States are MA, CA, RI, OR, VT, CT, NY, WA, MD, and MN; 5 States Most in Need of Improvement are ND, WY, SD, MS, and AK
Washington, D.C.—Governors and lawmakers in state capitals across the nation continue to take major steps to lower energy costs, reduce pollution, and save consumers money by increasing their states’ energy efficiency, according to the findings of the 8th edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
New Survey Finds Many Cities Already Responding to Record High Heat and Extreme Weather Events
Washington, D.C.—A survey of North American cities by the ACEEE and the Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) finds that confronting the challenges of extreme weather, adapting to a changing climate, and improving the health and resiliency of urban populations are driving cities to develop and implement strategies to reduce excess urban heat.
Washington, D.C.—In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposal to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants, Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), made the following statement:
New Study Outlines Plan for 26% CO2 Reduction from U.S. Power Sector with No Net Cost to the Economy
Energy Efficiency Would Allow EPA to Set More Aggressive CO2 Reduction Targets, Increasing GDP by $17.2 Billion and Creating 611,000 New Jobs, While Providing States More Flexibility to Manage their Energy Resources