Energy efficiency is important to most cities and towns, and understanding the right paths to take to improve efficiency can be a challenge. 

Improving efficiency can result in long-term savings and will help municipalities meet local regulations while achieving broader climate change goals for lasting positive impacts. 

For cities and towns determined to attain long-lasting sustainable growth, continuing to develop their energy infrastructure is a must. Municipalities that cut waste and utilize clean energy bring lifelong improvements to their area. 

The cities of San Luis Obispo, California; St. Louis Park, Massachusetts; and Rockville, Maryland, are among the many that are making the switch to renewables.

What Are Strategies Municipalities Can Use to Improve Energy Efficiency?

Reducing energy usage is key to improving energy efficiency for heating, cooling, and lighting buildings. 

The report “Accelerating Building Efficiency” highlights the rapidly growing need for more urban spaces and states that how local governments build today will have lasting effects into the future of city planning. It also explains how municipalities should go about this. 

The report advocates that municipalities utilize and apply the following sustainability actions:

  • Implement minimum energy efficiency requirements for buildings. 
  • Set energy reduction goals.
  • Track and measure building energy performance to help future energy-related decisions.
  • Provide financial incentives, such as loans and grants, to encourage and help achieve higher energy efficiency.
  • Initiate energy projects/policies that set an example, encourage, and lead the rest of the community to follow. 
  • Create competitions and awards to improve acceptance and provide encouragement.
  • Arrange and maintain educational programs about energy conservation. This allows city planners to develop the skills necessary to implement future energy related concepts.
  • Strengthen and aid local utilities to achieve energy goals.

Taking these steps will help improve energy efficiency, help meet climate change goals, and provide long-term savings for municipalities. 

These steps are important not only for the city itself, but for individuals too, who are vital to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Individual Buildings Also Have an Impact

Not all buildings are created equal, but all buildings have an impact – big or small – on energy efficiency. 

Many things come into play for energy efficiency, but an owner’s individual temperature setting choices have little impact compared to that of retrofitting buildings. 

An analysis developed by Franz-Josef Ulm at MIT highlights the importance of this practice. They explain that retrofitting buildings “would be enough to eliminate 40 percent of the city’s natural gas usage” and that this can and should be applied to other cities. 

By adding insulation, sealing/replacing leaky windows, and fixing leaky doors, a big player in energy efficiency – the cold months – can be substantially improved. 

Collecting data on this is crucial for businesses to become more energy-efficient.

Energy Auditing for Commercial Properties

At EMAT, it’s our goal to help all businesses become more energy-efficient by first helping them determine where they’re losing energy. With EMAT Field Auditor, you get the tools you need to conduct faster, more comprehensive, more accurate energy audits than using a pen and paper. Schedule your demo today!

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