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The Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool

Where does your community stand in the race to an energy-efficient economy? The Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool will help you find out.

Using the scoring methodology of the 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the downloadable Self-Scoring Tool gives you the ability to score the energy efficiency efforts of your community and compare it against its peers. By answering a series of questions, you’ll obtain a numerical score indicative of your community’s progress toward enacting and implementing sound energy programs and policies. In addition to the score, the tool also allows for analysis of the score through:

  • A comparison to other communities’ scores to put numerical scores in perspective and introduce your community to innovative energy practices that have been implemented and successful in other communities
  • A customized assessment indicating where your community is doing well when it comes to energy efficiency, where your community can improve, and specific metrics for your community to target for improvement
  • Aggregation of scores by policy type to provide a flexible framework through which communities in different stages of energy policy implementation can view their progress

And who can use this tool, you might wonder? Anyone interested in knowing how energy efficient their community is—from the local policymaker to the informed citizen.

Click here to download the Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool, Version 1.0 BETA and User Guide.

How Does the Self-Scoring Tool Calculate an Energy Efficiency Score?

You find your community’s score by answering multiple-choice questions related to energy efficiency policies across these five policy areas:

  • Local Government Operations
  • Community-Wide Initiatives
  • Buildings Policies
  • Energy and Water Utility Policies & Public Benefits Program
  • Transportation Policies

Within each of these policy areas, there are questions about your community’s efforts to save energy. If you were working on the transportation policies worksheet, for example, you would see questions such as “Does your community have an operational bike sharing program?” or “Has the community adopted a vehicle miles traveled reduction target?” In answering each series of straightforward questions, you will obtain a comprehensive view of the effectiveness of energy efficiency efforts in your community.

How Do I Use the Self-Scoring Tool?

It’s just like those multiple-choice tests we loved in school. These instructions provide a quick snapshot of how to use the tool, but to fully understand the goals of the tool as well as the embedded features and analysis, it is best to review the User Guide before scoring your community.

Step 1 : Download the Self-Scoring Tool and read the information provided on the Introduction tab.

Step 2 : Proceed to a policy area tab (such as Local Government Operations) and begin reviewing the metrics and questions found in Columns A & B respectively.

Step 3 : Return to the top of the tab and provide any preliminary information requested.

Step 4 : Respond to the first question in Column B by answering it in your own words in the Answer Column, Column C. It is important to complete this column as fully as possible in order to record the policy or program names, local government ordinances, or other pertinent information for a community.

Step 5 : After answering a question in Column C, select a scoring criterion from the dropdown in Column D that best fits the answer provided in Column C (see image). Once the scoring criterion is selected, the numerical score will be displayed in the Score Column, Column E.

Step 6 : After working through all questions in the initial policy area tab, proceed to the next policy area tab and complete in the same manner as outlined in Steps 3 through 6. Repeat this process until all policy area tabs have been completed.

Step 7 : After completing a community’s scoring, proceed to either analysis tab to review a community’s total score and see a comparison of the community’s score to eight peer communities.

How Can I Improve the Self-Scoring Tool?

The Self-Scoring Tool is being released as an open beta version, so ACEEE is looking for feedback. We welcome comments on the format and functionality of the Self-Scoring Tool, and suggestions on possible improvements. Please send all comments to