2020’s Leading Clean-Energy Cities


New York City, Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, and San Francisco took the top 5 spots on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) annual clean energy scorecard, which analyzed and scored 100 major U.S. cities. The report revealed that cities took 160 new actions since the 2019 scorecard. According to ACEEE Director of Local Policy, these actions ranged from practical steps that made their fleets more efficient to cutting-edge initiatives like building performance standards. To learn more, read 2020’s Leading Clean-Energy Cities.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Cities were scored on five policy categories:
    • local government operations 
    • community-wide initiatives 
    • buildings policies
    • energy and water utilities 
    • transportation policies 
  • New York City’s ascent from No. 6 in 2019 to No. 1 in 2020 was due primarily to its Climate Mobilization Act, which sets a greenhouse gas emission performance standard for large buildings.
  • The report singled out San Jose, Calif., as No. 1 on renewable energy policy and No. 9 overall, up from No. 11 in 2019.
  • ACEEE found 20 cities on track for their energy efficiency goals—a significant jump from 11 out of 75 cities in 2019—with nine returning cities this year.

Path to 100% Perspective:

The Path to 100% is possible, practical and financially feasible. However, strategic and effective policy is required to achieve ambitious clean energy goals. Policies that enable rapid reductions in fossil fuel use and rapid increases in renewable generation in the electricity sector will accelerate the sustainable transition. Additionally, effective policy steers electricity-sector decisions about investments, infrastructure and technology toward decisions that quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pave the way for a 100% renewable energy future.


Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash