Local Energy Efficiency Policy

Local policies related to energy efficiency — implemented at the scale of a municipality, county or metropolitan region — can improve community self-reliance, save consumers and citizens money, create local “main street” jobs, catalyze local economic investment, and protect the environment.  The responsibilities of local governments give them large influence over energy use in their communities through land use and zoning, building requirements, property taxes and transfers, transportation investment decisions, economic and workforce development, and, in many cases, the provision of services such as water and electricity.  Additionally, local governments can lead by example through improving the energy efficiency of their own facilities and operations.

ACEEE’s State and Local Policy Database includes comprehensive information on energy efficiency policies and programs being implemented in dozens of leading localities around the United States. Click on the map to learn more about the efficiency activities underway in each place.

  • This new report ranks 51 large U.S. cities on what they are doing to save energy in five key areas. Click on the map to see how each city scored.     
  • The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is engaged in a multi-year project to improve and expand utility energy efficiency programs that target multifamily...
  • ACEEE acts as a technical assistance advisor to numerous local governments and authorities by providing analyses on the potential for energy efficiency and presenting policy opportunities. This toolkit was developed as a result of our experience...
  • For decades, states have demonstrated leadership in developing and implementing energy efficiency policies. To support further development of energy efficiency at the state level, ACEEE prepares thoughtful, innovative research and maintains a...
  • Government facilities, fleets, and operations offer a unique opportunity for federal, state, and local governments to lead by example, incorporating energy efficiency measures into their facilities and achieving significant energy cost savings....
  • As the saying goes, “All politics is local”—and the same could be said about energy efficiency. By definition, the implementation of energy efficiency programs happens at the local level—everything from installing insulation to changing light...
  • Fuel economy and emissions standards are not the only components to consider when addressing transportation sector energy use in the long term. U.S.highway vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) is projected to grow 28% by 2030, substantially outpacing...
  • Efforts to minimize tailpipe pollution and reduce oil consumption target fleets because they represent a concentration and level of planning that are missing for personal vehicles. Fleets are often centrally purchased, fueled, maintained, and...
  • The value of energy efficiency in properly implemented construction standards is universally recognized as the easiest and most cost-effective way to help consumers save energy and money, make housing more affordable, and reduce air pollution. All...
  • Building owners and potential purchasers and renters rarely have access to the information they need to understand the energy efficiency of a given building and opportunities for improvement. This information can motivate owners to upgrade their...
  • America' existing housing stock offers tremendous opportunities for energy savings. However, capturing this savings potential within the established structure of the home improvement market has proven to be quite a challenge. Homeowners face a...
  • Multi-family homes include partially-detached homes, townhouses, and apartment buildings and range from small units of less than four units to high-rises or apartment complexes with hundreds of units. Residents may own or rent the unit they occupy...
  • Distributed generation, also called on-site generation or decentralized generation, is the term for generation of electricity from sources that are near the point of consumption, as opposed to centralized generation sources such as large utility-...
  • Public buildings (buildings owned by the federal or local government) represent a significant portion of buildings in the U.S., and therefore a large potential for energy efficiency savings. Federal buildings are already required to purchase...
  • Municipal water supply and wastewater treatment (W&WW) systems are among the most energy-intensive facilities owned and are operated by local governments, accounting for about 35% of energy used by municipalities. Water and wastewater...

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