Rainbow Over Boston

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy yesterday released a report ranking the 34 largest US cities on energy efficiency. “By considering both policies and energy performance, the City Scorecard reflects the current activities and historical legacies in each city, and as a result provides actionable information to policymakers and residents,” the group writes in the report’s executive summary.

Boston came in first and Portland, Oregon second. “This is an incredible honor, I always believe that mayors have a responsibility to push the envelope on greenhouse gas emissions reductions,” said Boston Mayor Thomas Manino during a media call announcing the report’s release.

Representing the Rose City, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales remarked that in his experience, “energy efficiency policies are good for business…and customers expect to see commitment to energy efficiency in new construction.”

Hales mentioned a recent poll that indicated Oregon residents believe economic growth should be subordinate to environmental sustainability and new population growth should be directed to existing cities in an effort to protect undeveloped wilderness. In this context, as cities look to serve more people, increasing energy efficiency will be critical.

“Our report shows that cities are laboratories of innovation for energy-saving solutions that directly benefit people where they live, work and play,” Eric Mackres, ACEEE’s local policy manager and the report’s lead author said in a statement. “Local governments have great influence over energy use in their communities and many have initiatives that result in significant energy and cost savings.”