Research Report

The 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard

October 6, 2020
Energy Efficiency Research

The fifth ACEEE City Clean Energy Scorecard measures the progress of city policies and programs that save energy, encourage renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also focusing on equity in development and delivery. We rank 100 large U.S. cities for their energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts across 5 policy areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings, energy and water utilities, and transportation. In this year's results, New York earns the top spot in the rankings for the first time. Joining New York at the top are Boston and Seattle (tied for second) and Minneapolis and San Francisco (tied for fourth). St. Paul and St. Louis are the most-improved since the 2019 City Scorecard. Overall, we found that many cities continue to ramp up their clean energy efforts, but bottom-scoring cities are years behind the policy efforts of the leaders. The Scorecard provides a roadmap for cities aiming to take the next step in their pursuit of clean energy by learning from others’ successes and adapting best practices to suit their own communities.

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Suggested Citation
Ribeiro, D., S. Samarripas, K. Tanabe, A. Jarrah, H. Bastian, A. Drehobl, S. Vaidyanathan, E. Cooper, B. Jennings, and N. Henner. 2020. The 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard analyzes the efforts of 100 major U.S. cities to make buildings and transportation more energy efficient and scale up the use of renewable energy. It provides the most comprehensive national measuring stick for climate progress and a roadmap for future improvements.

The Scorecard finds that leading cities are expanding their clean energy efforts to tackle climate change, while others lag far behind. One-fifth of those examined have community-wide greenhouse gas reductions goals and are on track to meet them.

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Highlights of each city’s progress are included in the fact sheets linked below, drawn from the report. To find extended details on each city’s clean energy efforts, visit our state and local policy database.


2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard Map

View the Fact Sheets

United States Fact Sheet

City Fact Sheets

• Akron • Albuquerque • Allentown • Atlanta • Augusta • Aurora  • Austin • 

Bakersfield • BaltimoreBaton RougeBirminghamBoiseBoston • BridgeportBuffalo

Cape CoralCharlestonCharlotteChicagoChula VistaCincinnatiClevelandColorado SpringsColumbiaColumbus •  

DallasDaytonDenverDes MoinesDetroit 

El Paso 

Fort Worth Fresno 

Grand Rapids • Greensboro

Hartford Henderson Honolulu Houston 

Indianapolis •

Jacksonville •

Kansas City • Knoxville 

Lakeland Las Vegas Little Rock • Long Beach Los Angeles Louisville 

Madison McAllen MemphisMesa Miami • Milwaukee • Minneapolis •

Nashville Newark New HavenNew Orleans New York City • 

Oakland Oklahoma City Omaha Orlando • Oxnard • 

Philadelphia • Phoenix • Pittsburgh • Portland • Providence • Provo • 

• Raleigh • Reno • Richmond • Riverside • Rochester

SacramentoSalt Lake CitySan AntonioSan Diego  • San FranciscoSan JoséSan JuanSeattle • SpringfieldSt. LouisStocktonSt. PaulSt. PetersburgSyracuse • 

Tampa  • Toledo • TucsonTulsa •

Virginia Beach • 

Washington, DC • WichitaWinston-SalemWorcester • 

This Article Was About

Local and Community Initiatives Government Lead by Example Building Policies and Codes Transportation System Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Climate Change


Headshot Dave Ribeiro
David Ribeiro
Director of Local Policy
Stefen Samarripas
Senior Local Policy Manager
kate tanabe
Kate Tanabe
Research Analyst, Local Policy
alex jarrah
Alexander Jarrah
Senior Research Analyst, Local Policy
hannah bastain
Hannah Bastian
Ariel Drehobl
Local Policy Manager, Energy Equity
Shruti Vaidyanathan
Transportation Program Director
Emma Cooper
Emma Cooper, Senior Research Analyst, Human Behavior and State Policy
Ben Jennings
Research Assistant, Transportation Program
nick henner
Nick Henner
Policy Analyst, Clean Energy Finance

Media Contact

Ben Somberg
Communications Director
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