Twenty Cities Look to Tackle Energy Waste in Buildings

Twenty Cities Look to Tackle Energy Waste in Buildings

Source: City Energy Project
Source: City Energy Project

Buildings use 40 percent of the energy and about 80 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States, and much of that is wasted through the use of inefficient energy systems. NEMA has advocated for increased energy efficiency in buildings for a long time, and we are excited that, this week, ten new communities joined the City Energy Project (CEP). This project is a joint effort of the Institute for Market Transformation and Natural Resources Defense Council, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.

Launched in 2014 with an initial cohort of ten cities, the CEP is a national initiative to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Today’s announcement brings the total number of CEP communities to 20 (new cities are in bold):

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Houston, Texas
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Jose, California
  • Louis, Missouri
  • Paul, Minnesota

Existing technologies such as lighting systems, energy-efficient motors, variable-frequency drives, integrated building controls, and automation systems can reduce building energy consumption by 50–70 percent or more. But cities, counties, and states should promote the adoption of these technologies through the adoption of energy-efficiency policies like building energy benchmarking and transparency, which requires big buildings to measure and publicly report energy use.

We have seen that benchmarking policies save energy. A 2016 survey found that 77 percent of facility managers in New York City made operational changes to their buildings to save energy as a result of New York’s building energy benchmarking policy, and 75 percent of facility managers invested in new energy-efficient equipment to reduce energy waste as a result of the ordinance. This finding is consistent with the latest report from New York City that energy use intensity was reduced by 11 percent in office buildings and 5 percent in multifamily buildings over four years.

NEMA encourages all cities to pursue similar energy-efficiency policies as a way to support manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, and local economies.

Find out more on the City Energy Project website:

One thought on “Twenty Cities Look to Tackle Energy Waste in Buildings

  1. LED lighting retrofits with occupancy controls and manual dimming can reduce lighting energy to less than 10% of the total energy use in most building types, and do so cost effectively. Once completed, this should shift the emphasis of building energy use concern to plug loads, HVAC, process equipment, and the other uses of electric energy in buildings.

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