Once every two years the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks the largest cities in the US on their energy policies and programs using the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

The 2017 ACEEE city scorecard is encouraging for anyone with a commitment to energy efficiency. While federal government energy efficiency programs risk being cut back in the coming months, many US cities are stepping up to the challenge, working to increase energy efficiency while reducing pollution, and using energy efficiency tactics to reduce energy costs to their communities. Such actions, as the ACEEE notes, leaves energy efficient cities better prepared to meet the impacts of natural disasters, severe weather, and economic crises.

The Top 10 Most Energy Efficient Cities in the US

The top 10 most energy efficient cities on the US for 2017 were:

Boston ranked highest in the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard with a score of 84.5 out of a possible 100 points—a 2.5 increase from 2015. The scorecard also saw two ties this year: San Francisco and Denver tied for ninth spot while Portland and Los Angeles tied for fourth. Los Angeles made remarkable improvements since the 2015 scorecard, improving its score by 25 points to enter the top ten for the first time.

At the other end of the scale, the 10 cities most in need of energy efficiency improvement include:

  • 42. Indianapolis

  • 43. Raleigh

  • 44. El Paso

  • 45. Charlotte

  • 46. Miami

  • 47. Hartford

  • 48. Memphis

  • 49. Detroit

  • 50. Oklahoma City

  • 51. Birmingham

Scorecard Considerations

The ACEEE scorecard ranks cities on several factors related to energy efficiency. A city’s score depends on its performance in

  • municipal energy efficiency goals (stringency, progress and reporting);

  • procurement and construction (infrastructure, vehicle fleets, public lighting, new buildings and equipment);

  • asset management (retrofitting, benchmarking, reduced public employee commutes).

Overall, over half of the 51 cities covered by the scorecard improved their energy efficiency scores since 2015, and more are setting goals to benchmark and report on building energy use, update municipal energy codes, set community-wide energy reduction goals, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So congratulations to the 2017 top 10 most energy-efficient US cities, but don’t rest on your laurels—there’s plenty of up-and-coming competition out there.