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Local Energy Efficiency Policy

Local policies related to energy efficiency — implemented at the scale of a municipality, county or metropolitan region — can improve community self-reliance, save consumers and citizens money, create local “main street” jobs, catalyze local economic investment, and protect the environment.  The responsibilities of local governments give them large influence over energy use in their communities through land use and zoning, building requirements, property taxes and transfers, transportation investment decisions, economic and workforce development, and, in many cases, the provision of services such as water and electricity.  Additionally, local governments can lead by example through improving the energy efficiency of their own facilities and operations.

ACEEE’s State and Local Policy Database includes comprehensive information on energy efficiency policies and programs being implemented in dozens of leading localities around the United States. Click on the map to learn more about the efficiency activities underway in each place.

Local Policy Resources

This new report ranks America's 34 largest cities on what they are doing to save energy and costs in five key areas. Click on the map to see how each city scored.  
Where does your community stand in the race to an energy-efficient economy? The Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool will help you find out. Using the scoring methodology of the 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the downloadable Self-...
These cases describe efforts by local communities across the United States to improve their energy efficiency.  Included are examples of notable initiatives across a variety of policy approaches, economic sectors, regions of the country, and...
What energy efficiency policies make the most sense for your community?  Use LEEP-C to find out.  The Local Energy Efficiency Policy Calculator is a downloadable analysis tool intended for use by local policymakers and stakeholders. It...
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is undertaking a multi-year project to improve and expand utility programs to improve the energy efficiency of...
ACEEE has acted as a technical assistance advisor to numerous local governments and authorities on energy efficiency potential analyses and policy opportunities.  These tools have been developed out of our experience working with...
For decades, states have demonstrated leadership in developing and implementing energy efficiency policies. To support further development of energy efficiency at the state level, ACEEE prepares thoughtful, innovative research and maintains a...

Policy Priorities

Government facilities, fleets, and operations offer a unique opportunity for federal, state, and local governments to lead by example, incorporating energy efficiency measures into their facilities and achieving significant energy cost savings....
As the saying goes, “All politics is local”—and the same could be said about energy efficiency. By definition, the implementation of energy efficiency programs happens at the local level—everything from installing...
Fuel economy and emissions standards are not the only components to consider when addressing transportation sector energy use in the long term. U.S.highway vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) is projected to grow 28% by 2030, substantially outpacing...
Efforts to minimize tailpipe pollution and reduce oil consumption target fleets because they represent a concentration and level of planning that are missing for personal vehicles. Fleets are often centrally purchased, fueled, maintained, and...
The value of energy efficiency in properly implemented construction standards is universally recognized as the easiest and most cost-effective way to help consumers save energy and money, make housing more affordable, and reduce air pollution. All...
Building owners and potential purchasers and renters rarely have access to the information they need to understand the energy efficiency of a given building and opportunities for improvement. This information can motivate owners to upgrade their...
America' existing housing stock offers tremendous opportunities for energy savings. However, capturing this savings potential within the established structure of the home improvement market has proven to be quite a challenge. Homeowners...
Multi-family homes include partially-detached homes, townhouses, and apartment buildings and range from small units of less than four units to high-rises or apartment complexes with hundreds of units. Residents may own or rent the unit they occupy...
Distributed generation, also called on-site generation or decentralized generation, is the term for generation of electricity from sources that are near the point of consumption, as opposed to centralized generation sources such as large utility-...

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