NEW YORK and WASHINGTON — Mayors from 10 additional U.S. cities announced that they are joining the City Energy Project, a united effort to address their largest source of energy use and climate pollution: buildings. By the year 2030, the 20 participating cities have the potential to save more than $1.5 billion annually in energy bills and reduce carbon pollution by more than 9.6 million metric tons.
A joint project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), the City Energy Project is working to create healthier, more prosperous American cities by making buildings more energy efficient, boosting local economies, and reducing harmful pollution.
If U.S. buildings were considered a nation, they would rank third in global energy consumption, using more primary energy than all major energy consuming nations except the U.S. and China. What’s more, buildings are the single largest user of energy and source of carbon pollution in the U.S., with much of the energy consumed wasted by inefficient systems and operations.
The new cities joining the project are: Des Moines, Iowa; Fort Collins, Colorado; Miami-Dade County, Florida; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; Providence, Rhode Island; Reno, Nevada; San Jose; St. Louis; and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Funded by a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation, the project launched in January 2014 with 10 cities: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Kansas City; Los Angeles; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; and Salt Lake City. In December 2015, the project’s funders announced an additional $10.5 million investment to expand the project’s reach in the U.S. to the additional cities that have joined.
“This is one of those rare projects whose demonstrable benefits are commensurate with its promise,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. “Every unit of energy that isn’t consumed not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but also bends down the energy cost curve. By expanding the project to 20 cities, we can demonstrate with even greater force how aggressive energy efficiency measures can make a difference on both fronts.”
To date, each of the first 10 City Energy Project cities have launched building-focused policies and programs that drive investments in energy efficiency, with a number of these efforts also addressing water efficiency. Six City Energy Project cities have enacted energy efficiency policies covering almost 12,000 buildings with more than 2.3 billion square feet of space, driving greater market awareness of how buildings are using energy and increasing investment in efficiency. More than 1,600 buildings representing over 270 million square feet of space have participated in City Energy Project-supported challenge programs encouraging energy efficiency improvements. And many of the pioneering 10 cities are exploring new financing models that will make over $1 billion available to finance energy efficiency improvements.
For more information on the Natural Resources Defense Council, visit www.nrdc.org.
For more information on the Institute for Market Transformation, visit www.imt.org.
Publication date: 11/29/2016