Recent Studies Recognize Top Energy-Efficient Cities

Recent Studies Recognize Top Energy-Efficient Cities

Lisa Markowski for Zondits, July 16, 2014

Four US cities—Boston, New York, Portland (OR) and San Francisco—were recently identified by as ranking in the top ten energy-efficient cities in the world. The rankings were determined by a multi-category scorecard system that took into account building policies, community-sponsored initiatives, transportation efficiency, and local government efforts toward saving energy. Boston ranked among this American quartet, with a score of 76.75.

Yet it was a city not among those four, Washington, DC, that topped the US Clean Tech Leadership Index’s list of cities with the largest number of energy-efficient buildings. Clean Edge, Inc., which publishes the annual list, was founded in 2000 as the first research and advisory firm focused completely on clean tech.

Of’s four lauded American cities, San Francisco ranked second on Clean Edge’s list, Portland was 4th, and Boston came in 7th. New York was the only one not to make the top ten, coming in at an unexpected #37. The five lowest-ranking cities were New Orleans, St. Louis, Memphis, Birmingham and Oklahoma City, supporting the South’s reputation for efficiency deficiency; the region is notoriously resistant to adopting energy-saving measures. Dixie did have a couple of bright spots, however: 10th-ranking Atlanta and 11th-place Charlotte.

The District of Columbia’s achievement is mainly owed to excellent efforts to lower energy use in federal buildings. The factors weighted by the US Clean Tech Leadership Index came under three general categories: Capital, Policy and Technology. The individual indicators within those categories included factors such as LEED-accredited and net-zero construction, government policies, public-private investments, money spent on efficiency efforts, energy storage advancements and installations, efficiency-related patents, number of all-electric vehicles registered, and renewable energy generation.

Read more about the Clean Tech Leadership Index here.