Which cities across the U.S. have had the most success when it comes to the policies and programs they have implemented to focus on saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting renewable energy? Using data pulled from The 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard, compiled by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), we created a visual breakdown of the scores of 75 U.S. cities to see how they compared when it came to their energy policies and programs. This study focused on the central cities of the largest metropolitan statistical areas and also included the second-most-populous city if its population exceeded 250,000 people.
What sorts of metrics were used in grading these cities on their clean energy progress? The ACEEE graded these 75 cities using five policy areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, building policies, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. Each policy area was assigned a total number of points based on metrics that were laid out within each. Building policies and transportation policies both had the highest weight, with 30 points to award; community-wide initiatives had 16 points; energy and water utilities had 15 points; and the local government policy area had nine points to be awarded. See how many of these 100 total points each of the 75 cities scored in the clean energy chart below.
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The U.S. city that was found to have the best clean energy progress was Boston, MA, which earned a score of 77.5 out of the 100 total points available on the scorecard. With 22.5 points left to earn a perfect score, Boston still has some work to be done to meet their community-wide climate goals.
When it came to building policies, Boston had the best score out of all of the cities, with 25.5 points out of 30. They also tied with two other cities, Austin, TX, and Orlando, FL, when it came to local government operations, with 7.5 out of 9 points.
The U.S. city with the worst clean energy progress was Oklahoma City, OK, which earned a very low score of 5.5 out of the 100 total points available on the scorecard. With 94.5 points left on the table, Oklahoma City has a long way to go to meet their climate goals.
Oklahoma City scored zero points in both the community-wide initiatives and transportation policies portions of the scorecard. They were also one of the lowest-scoring cities for local government operations and building policies when it came to solar energy and other renewable energy sources.