More US Cities Begin Adopting Energy Efficient Initiatives

by | Jun 20, 2017

The City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has approved the spending of $30,000 to have energy audits performed on the city’s municipal buildings.

Honeywell International Inc. will analyze 14 city facilities, amounting to 152,000 square feet.

The initiative of making buildings within the city more energy efficient has been a topic of conversation among council members for some time, according to

“Periodic building energy audits help evaluate facility energy consumption while identifying energy-efficiency opportunities and renewable-energy potential given improvements in relevant technologies over time,” Nate Geisler, the city’s energy programs analyst, wrote in a memo to council.

“As utility rates for electricity also increase, identifying and ultimately implementing improvement projects can save facility and city expenses, while also advancing sustainability goals such as reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

Other cities across the US are also aiming to become more energy efficient. In Missouri, the Columbia City Council recently approved a plan to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. The plan will provide funding for property owners seeking to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. According to, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece signed onto Climate Mayors, which “committed Columbia to adopting, honoring and upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

And in March, the University of Missouri announced it had reduced its coal consumption by 73% through the use of a microgrid.

Fayetteville, Arkansas, recently created an Energy Action Plan that aims to cut greenhouse gasses, minimize energy use for homes and businesses, use more renewable forms of energy and minimize energy and water use in local government facilities.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, city officials negotiated an agreement with GreenMark Solar to power one-quarter of the state capital’s municipal buildings with electricity derived from community solar gardens. The agreement was adopted April 19.

According to The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the most energy efficient cities in the US are:

  1. Boston
  2. Portland
  3. New York City
  4. San Francisco
  5. Seattle
  6. Austin
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Minneapolis
  9. Chicago
  10. Philadelphia

The five cities most in need of improvement on energy efficiency are Hartford (#47), Memphis (#48), Detroit (#49), Oklahoma City (#50), and Birmingham (#51).

This month, more than 1,200 business, schools, investors, governors and mayors officially declared “we are still in” on the Paris Climate Agreement, which represents $6.2 trillion of the US economy and 120 million Americans.

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