WASHINGTON — The mayors from 10 major United States cities announced they will undertake a united effort to significantly boost energy efficiency in their buildings, a move that combined could lower energy bills by nearly $1 billion annually and cut emissions equal to taking more than a million cars off the road.
“New York City’s sustainability efforts are a major reason our greenhouse gas emissions are down 19 percent since 2007 and our air is cleaner than it has been in more than 50 years. They have also substantially driven down energy costs for consumers,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and former mayor of New York City. “The City Energy Project will bring the significant economic and environmental benefits that energy efficiency has to offer to other cities — and accelerate progress by helping them learn from each other’s successes.”
The mayors will be participating in the new City Energy Project (CEP), an initiative from the Institute for Market Transformation and the Natural Resources Defense Council that is designed to create healthier, more prosperous American cities by targeting their largest source of energy use and emissions: buildings. The following 10 cities will be CEP’s first participants: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City.
Funded by a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation, the City Energy Project will help the 10 cities develop their own customized plans for boosting energy efficiency in their buildings.
“The City Energy Project is a promising opportunity and partnership for the city of Chicago as we work to become a more energy efficient city,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “More energy efficiency means new jobs and continued economic growth, and a more sustainable city, which will lead to a further increase in the quality of life for the people of Chicago.”
“We have the skills and technology to make buildings more efficient, but we need a coordinated effort by major cities and the private sector to make it happen,” said Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation. “The City Energy Project will give city leaders and the real estate industry the support they need to make buildings better, improving the lives of millions of city residents.”
“City skylines have long been symbols of aspiration and innovation — this project takes that to a new level,” said Laurie Kerr, director of the City Energy Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “These mayors are showing there is the political will to put people to work to build a healthier, more prosperous future for America’s cities. In the face of a changing climate and increasingly extreme weather, they know they must act now to make their cities more resilient and sustainable.”
The CEP is projected to save ratepayers a combined total of nearly $1 billion annually on their energy bills (at current prices) and is projected to cut a combined total of 5 million to 7 million tons of carbon emissions annually. It is also expected to create jobs in a range of fields and skill levels to implement the energy efficiency measures — from electricians to architects, construction workers to engineers, and technicians to software providers.
For more information on the Institute for Market Transformation and the City Energy Project, visit www.imt.org.
Publication date: 2/24/2014