Local Government Lead by Example

Local governments can advance energy-efficient technologies and practices in the marketplace by promoting energy efficiency in their own everyday operations, a practice commonly known as “Leading by Example” (LBE). Taking actions to improve the energy efficiency of government facilities (both leased and owned), fleets, and operations can accrue multiple benefits for both the government and the people it serves. Energy can account for as much as 10% of a typical local government’s annual operating budget (EPA 2009a). As local governments attempt to act with heightened levels of austerity, implementing cost-effective energy efficiency processes and technologies is a proven solution to reduce operating costs. 

LBE program benefits include:

  • Demonstrating leadership
  • Reducing energy consumption and costs
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants
  • Fostering markets for energy-efficient products and encourage economic development in local and regional communities
  • Offering greater energy price certainty
  • Promoting sustainable alternatives to conventional practices
  • Providing health and productivity benefits
  • Increasing asset value in energy-efficient buildings
  • Reducing maintenance costs in energy-efficient buildings
Key Participants

When developing a LBE program, it is imperative to engage stakeholders in a variety of positions. These participants can play roles of varying importance, but their awareness and participation is critical to create buy-in for the program and sustain it for the long term.

  • Mayor or County Executive
  • City or County Council
  • Energy and Environment Staff
  • Local Planners
  • Facility Management Teams
  • Other Local Governments and Regional Entities
  • State Energy Offices
  • Utilities and Other Energy Efficiency Program Administrators
  • Energy Service Companies
  • Nonprofit Organizations

 

ACEEE Resources

The following resources describe measures governments should consider when deciding how to lead by example: