The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its inaugural City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranks cities on their energy efficiency efforts, specifically on initiatives for buildings, transportation, energy and water utility efforts, local government operations and communitywide projects.
Austin placed in the top ten at #6, followed by Houston (#13), Dallas (#14) and San Antonio (#16) in the top 20 and El Paso (#23) and Fort Worth #26 falling just below that mark. Austin and San Antonio probably don’t surprise too many people, especially in light of my previous posts, but Houston, the nation’s oil and gas capital, and Dallas, a high-powered business center, probably don’t spring to mind for most people. However, these two cities have recently turned the tide and are gearing up for a big Texas clean energy showdown.
I think it’s worthwhile to mention that these two cities are impacted by the drought, although Houston feels the strain less due to its location in the Gulf Coast flood plain. But this locational drought-buffer carries its own problems, namely the threat of rising sea-levels, which are predicted to significantly affect Houston.
On top of that, both cities are in non-attainment with ozone standards, meaning their air quality is worse than the minimum threshold set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Therefore, there is a great need to improve the cities’ air quality in order to protect local citizens from health hazards. This gives them a further incentive to undertake clean energy initiatives. Read More