Boston Takes Top Spot Again in City Energy Efficiency Scorecard

May 26, 2015
Boston again took top place in the city energy efficiency scorecard, released last week by ACEEE. But the city may have to work harder to stay on top next time. U.S. cities are putting in place better and better energy efficiency policies.

Boston again took top place in the city energy efficiency scorecard, released last week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The capital of Massachusetts not only has its own energy efficiency initiatives, but also benefits from being part of a state that has been number one for four years running in a similar state competition conducted by ACEEE.

After Boston came New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Austin and Denver.

Boston seems to be getting even better at saving energy. The city received 82 out of a possible 100 points, an improvement of more than five points from when ACEEE last released the city scorecard in 2013

But Boston may have to work harder to keep its top position. Nine of the top 10 cities also have improved their scores since 2013, according to ACEEE.

Other key findings reported by ACEEE:

* Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle are the most improved cities compared to the 2013 City Scorecard, with many showing double-digit improvements in their scores. Los Angeles, for example, established a strong energy savings goal, and Chicago enacted a new commercial building benchmarking ordinance.

* Other cities have also improved their scores since the last edition, including several in the Southeast United States. Atlanta, the leading city in the Southeast, saw an improvement of five points, earning new points for local government operations, buildings policies, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. Charlotte made a strong showing as well, improving by nearly 8 points. Jacksonville, the lowest scoring city in the 2013 edition, saw a 50 percent increase in its score.

* All of the ranked cities, even the highest scorers, have significant room for improvement. Boston was the only city to earn over 80 points, and only 13 cities earned more than half of the possible points.

“Our findings show that cities continue to be laboratories of innovation when it comes to energy efficiency, with many pushing the envelope for more energy savings in the last few years,” said ACEEE research analyst David Ribeiro. “Cities are also improving their approaches when it comes to tracking and communicating their efforts to save energy. By capturing these efforts in the scorecard we hope local leaders from cities of all sizes can learn best practices from each other and deliver the benefits of energy efficiency to their communities, such as a stronger economy and a cleaner environment.”

In calcuating the socres, ACEEE uses metrics that look at policy actions by local governments. ACEEE included 51 cities in this edition of the scorecard, up 17 from the 2013 report. The organization releases the city scorecard every two years.

The report is available here.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is the editor and founder of She is co-founder and former editor of Microgrid Knowledge.