Research Report

The 2021 City Clean Energy Scorecard

December 15, 2021

The sixth ACEEE City Clean Energy Scorecard measures the progress of city policies and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by advancing energy efficiency and moving toward a cleaner electric grid and fuels while also prioritizing equity in development and delivery. We rank 100 large U.S. cities on their clean energy efforts across 5 policy areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings, energy and water utilities, and transportation. In this year's results, San Francisco earns the top spot in the rankings for the first time. Joining San Francisco at the top are Seattle and Washington, DC as the second- and third highest-ranked cities, respectively. Madison, Charlotte, and Honolulu are the most improved since the 2020 City Scorecard. Overall, we found that many cities continue to ramp up their clean energy efforts, but all cities would improve their scores by increasing their commitment to racial and social equity, adopting more mandatory policies to improve the energy performance of existing buildings, and adopting and tracking progress toward stringent community-wide energy savings and transportation sector goals.

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Suggested Citation

Samarripas, S., K, Tanabe, A. Dewey, A. Jarrah, B. Jennings, A. Drehobl, H. Bastian, S. Vaidyanathan, D. Morales, A. Patronella, S. Subramanian, and C. Tolentino. 2021. The 2021 City Clean Energy Scorecard. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.


This Article Was About

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


Stefen Samarripas
Senior Local Policy Manager
kate tanabe
Kate Tanabe
Research Analyst, Local Policy
Amanda Dewey
Research Manager, Local Policy
alex jarrah
Alexander Jarrah
Senior Research Analyst, Local Policy
Ben Jennings
Research Assistant, Transportation Program
Ariel Drehobl
Local Policy Manager, Energy Equity
hannah bastain
Hannah Bastian
Shruti Vaidyanathan
Transportation Program Director
Diana Morales
Senior Research Analyst, Local Policy
Amy Patronella
Sagarika Subramanian
Senior Research Analyst, State Policy Program
Carolin Tolentino
Research Analyst, Buildings Program
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