San Francisco ranked third on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s list of most energy-efficient cities.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy this week unveiled its first City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranked 34 of the most populous U.S. cities on their policies and other energy-efficiency advancements.
Boston had the highest ranking with 76.75 out of 100 points and scored particularly high in building policies that have adopted stringent building energy codes and requirements. The East Coast city also scored high in transportation policies, including investment in efficient modes of transit and energy-efficient freight transport.
Portland, Ore., was second, followed by New York City and San Francisco which tied for third with 69.75 points each. Seattle was fifth, followed by Austin, Texas. In PG&E’s territory, Sacramento finished No. 18 and San Jose was tied with Riverside for No. 21 on the list.
San Francisco scored high when it came to energy-efficient transportation but also tied with Boston for being the leading cities on utilities and public-benefit programs. According to the report, the cities have “productive relationships with their utilities on program implementation and access to energy data.”
In fact, PG&E’s use of SmartMeter data provides thousands of customers with Home Energy Reports. The reports are mailed to customers and show energy usage compared with similar-sized homes in their neighborhoods. Each report also includes personalized tips to help customers save energy.
And PG&E’s groundbreaking collaboration with the White House and other California utilities has led to the Green Button, which makes it easier for customers to share their energy data with the app developer community.
PG&E also works closely with businesses to help companies save energy and money.
The highest scores for Sacramento and San Jose, not surprisingly, also were for utility policies and programs.
The purpose behind the scorecard is to provide a kind of roadmap for any local government looking to improve its energy efficiency. And cities like Boston and San Francisco are leading the way.
Saving energy can be hugely beneficial for cities, the report said, by helping residents and businesses save money, creating local jobs, reducing the costs of infrastructure investments and protecting human health by reducing pollutants and greenhouse gases.
“Energy efficiency may be the cheapest, most abundant and most underutilized resource for local economic and community development,” the report said.