Although D.C. lawmakers continue to stall and deliberate on the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, the city itself has ranked highly in a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The first-ever ACEEE score card placed Washington D.C. seventh on a list of 34 major American cities for energy efficiency.
USA Today reports that the nearly three dozen major metropolitan areas were ranked based on five specific criteria:
- Community green initiatives
- Efficient public transportation methods
- Energy standards for buildings
- Local government campaigns
- Water and energy conservation programs.
Utilizing these parameters, ACEEE scored cities out of a possible 100. Washington, D.C., earned a 56. Boston, which won the top spot on the list, received a score of 77.
The results show that, regardless of legislation debates, major American cities are by and large making some impressive strides toward energy efficiency, and doing so at an increasingly quickened rate.
"Over the past five or so years, cities are rediscovering how important energy efficiency is to their economies," Eric Mackres, the study's lead author, told USA Today.
The eco-friendly improvements of these cities can be attributed to a number of new initiatives, including public disclosure of buildings' energy usage, enforcing more stringent building codes and helping low-income families afford energy-saving retrofits. Other effective programs include implementing more electric vehicle charging stations, adding bike-sharing programs, launching tree-planting projects and promoting "cool roof" modifications that curb the amount of solar heat a house absorbs.
Homeowners in the D.C. area looking to jump on the green bandwagon should consider scheduling an appointment for a home inspection. With an assessment from DC home inspectors, ways in which households may be wasting power can be identified and fixed, leading to fewer carbon emissions and cheaper utility bills.