The Atlantic hurricane season is just beginning, and experts are predicting another active year.
At the North American Climate Summit this month in Chicago, city officials from several countries recognized energy efficiency as an important emissions reduction strategy. Many described how they are making it part of their climate action plans.
Many cities have started benchmarking initiatives to reduce citywide energy consumption. This could be good news for people living in apartments and condominiums, because many are renters and low-income residents who would benefit from lower energy bills. Low-income families can struggle to find affordable and energy-efficient homes. The apartments they rent are often in need of repairs, have older appliances, and operate with less-efficient heating and cooling equipment, which partly explains their higher energy bills.
The federal government’s plan to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord galvanized many cities. Within hours of the announcement, 369 mayors signed on to the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, which aims to uphold the US commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) under the Paris Agreement. So, what comes next for these cities?
Southeastern residents currently face historically high poverty rates, and low-income households spend an average of three times as much on energy bills, as a portion of their monthly income, than other families. Energy efficiency investments could help lower energy bills, but low-income residents in the region often lack access to energy-saving upgrades.
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.
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.
As the new year begins, we expect 2017 will bring increased investments in energy efficiency and other efforts to save energy.
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.
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.