The 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard

Research Report U1904


David Ribeiro, Stefen Samarripas, Kate Tanabe, Hannah Bastian, Emma Cooper, Ariel Drehobl, Shruti Vaidyanathan, Alexander Jarrah, and Mary Shoemaker


The City Clean Energy Scorecard measures the progress of city policies and programs that save energy, promote renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also focuses on efforts to embed equity in policymaking. We ranked 75 large US cities for their energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts across 5 policy areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings, energy and water utilities, and transportation. Boston retained its position at the top of the rankings this year, followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Washington. We also identified Cincinnati, Hartford, and Providence as cities to watch; all three have recently adopted major clean energy policies and programs. Overall, we found that cities across the country are ramping up their clean energy efforts but most are not yet on track to meet their community-wide climate goals. The Scorecard can help them take the next step in their emissions reductions by learning from others’ successes and adapting nationwide best practices to suit their own communities.