Resources for States and Localities
Table of Contents:
- Alliance State and Local Initiatives
- National Organizations and Coalitions
- State and Local Tools and Programs
The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) is an initiative of the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The BCAP team provides technical advice and assistance, energy code support and general information to stakeholders as well as national, state and local government officials. More specifically, BCAP maintains a collection of maps highlighting states’ energy code adoption and implementation status. BCAP also helps counties and cities successfully enforce energy codes through technical and strategic assistance and coalition building.
The Clean and Efficient Energy Program (CEEP) for public power is an initiative of the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Public Power Association (APPA) and the Large Public Power Council (LPPC). The CEEP team assists public power utilities in the implementation and evaluation of renewable and energy efficient technologies. The community-based website provides best practices, success stories and general resources for utilities and other stakeholders. CEEP also maintains a series of state profiles with statistics and information about each state’s energy efficient policies and commitments, as well as individual state building codes and appliance standards.
International Mayoral Exchanges
The Alliance periodically works with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to lead delegations of foreign mayors and ministry officials to the US, and vice versa. On these trips, the mayors meet with local leaders to discuss how to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, and to share best practices. The mayoral exchanges promote policy innovation and build stronger ties between government leaders and businesses in different countries.
The Council of State Governments (CSG) serves all three branches of state government, facilitating the exchange of resources and ideas for state officials and policymakers. The organization was founded in 1933 and is made up of multiple committees which allows for delegation and organized communication. The Council runs an online Knowledge Center that contains publications, articles, resolutions and bill summaries on a number of issues, including energy efficiency.
ICLEI is a coalition of over 1,000 local government entities advocating for sustainability and clean, efficient energy. To help businesses and localities improve their environmental performance, ICLEI has put together the Green Business Challenge where organizations compete in saving money, water, waste and energy. Case studies and other resources provided by ICLEI inspire cities and communities to develop their own successful strategies and resolutions.
ICLEI maintains a number of tools, including a greenhouse gas emissions reporting platform called the carbon Cities Climate Registry (cCCR), where localities can report emissions data and communicate on reduction strategies. ICLEI also has a Municipal Clean Energy Toolkit to assist localities with the implementation of energy efficiency measures and to provide information on financing, building performance and regulatory matters. ICLEI’s downloadable Clean Air & Climate Protection Software (CACP)is an emissions management tool that allows users to organize emissions information, including future emissions predictions and reduction goals.
The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) supports local communities and their goals by providing professional management support, assistance and training. As part of their Knowledge Network, ICMA hosts an online Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy group where members can exchange best practices and seek advice on implementing energy efficient technologies. The ICMA also provides resources such as financial value calculators, new building design manuals, build upgrade manuals and benchmarking starter kits.
The Local Government Commission is an organization of local leaders and elected officials with the aims of making communities more livable and resource efficient. The Commission has teamed up with ICLEI, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and other organizations to set up the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC), an alliance committed to assisting localities with reducing their GHG emissions and saving energy. In addition to providing tools and resources for climate change and energy solutions, SEEC recognizes and commends successful localities and provides space for leaders to network.
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) is a national organization consisting of energy officials from each state and territory. The group advocates for state energy interests to the federal government and facilitates communication between the states, allowing energy officials to learn best practices and lead by example. NASEO runs multiple committees, focusing on topics like financing, buildings, government affairs and industrial and advanced manufacturing, in order to better focus their work and progress.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is a national organization representing all American counties. The organization assists counties with implementing energy projects, including renewable and efficiency programs, by educating citizens and providing funding. NACo has established a Green Government Initiative which provides resources on energy, air quality, transportation, water quality and recycling issues, while facilitating communication between local governments and the private sector.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is an organization that provides research and assistance to policymakers at the state level, advocating for innovative policies that will improve the effectiveness and influence of state legislatures. NCSL maintains a list of pending and enacted energy efficiency measures in state legislatures as well as a selection of other resources such as building energy codes, bill summaries, efficiency requirements and legislative meeting notes.
The National Governors Association (NGA) is a public policy organization made up by governors of the 55 states, commonwealths and territories. The NGA works collectively to communicate about and work on issues of state and national interest. In 2011, the NGA published a report entitled “A Governor’s Guide to Clean Power Generation and Energy Efficiency” and has since maintained a series of profiles on state energy actions, providing stakeholders and state officials with best practices and ideas for their own implementation plans.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is made up of members of municipalities across the United States. NLC participates in lobbying and campaigns in Washington, DC, provides services and assistance to localities, promotes examples of best practices as model opportunities and generally strengthens the voice of small municipalities at the state and federal level. The NLC has a committee dedicated to environment, energy and natural resources issues as well as a sustainability program, the Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI), which provides resources to help localities establish sustainable practices on economic, social and environmental levels in their communities. The Institute’s website contains a series of case studies, city profiles, model RFPs and policies and calculators (including a lighting retrofit analysis tool and a bio-retention calculator).
The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) with the goal of achieving all cost-effective energy efficiency in the United States by 2020. The network is a coalition of over 200 members from state and local governments, non-profits, businesses and other associations that share information, technical assistance and resources useful for implementing tools and programs to save money, reduce emissions and provide public health benefits through energy efficiency.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is made up of representatives from American cities that have a population of 30,000 or more. The primary objective of the USCM is to strengthen urban communities through federal connections and the promotion of effective urban policy. The USCM is highly motivated on energy efficiency issues and has formally adopted the Energy 2030 goal of doubling energy productivity by the year 2030. The USCM also put together a comprehensive report on clean energy solutions for cities nationwide.
The Local Energy Efficiency Policy Calculator (LEEP-C) allows local stakeholders and policy makers to analyze different energy efficiency implementation ideas and determine which fits best with their local attributes and needs. LEEP-C calculates various outcomes when particular policies are applied, including energy savings, pollution levels, money savings and job production.
ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard is released annually and ranks states based on their energy efficiency programs. In addition to recognizing the top ten states, the scorecard also identifies the most improved states and the states in need of improvement. The program incentivizes states to incorporate efficiency into policy plans and allows stakeholders and leaders to acquire inspiration from high ranking states’ plans.
ACEEE released their first City Efficiency Scorecard in September of 2013. This new report ranks America's 34 largest cities on their policies and other actions to increase energy efficiency. The Scorecard considers policies, current energy performance, and historical performance, and outlines best practices that other cities can begin to incorporate.
ACEEE maintains both state and local technical assistance toolkits to provide local leaders and organizations with the resources required for implementing successful energy efficient policies and programs. Resources within the toolkits include white papers, case studies, outlines of CHP projects, building codes, transportation and land-use reports, utility regulations and general financing and technical assistance materials.
The Advanced Energy Legislation (AEL) Tracker is an online database containing information and resources for state officials and citizens. It organizes resources by state and policy, including electricity generation, energy efficiency, financing, regulatory, natural gas, emissions, transportation, infrastructure, economic development and other energy policies. Users can search the database by state and policy category and view corresponding bills; the AEL Tracker contains 2,690 bills and organizes information, bills, trends and analysis in maps and graphs.
C40 Cities is an international network of megacities working toward significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions through local action and city government collaboration. The website enables users to view and compare all C40 Cities, their carbon emissions, targets for the future and specific case studies, including information on successful energy efficiency programs. A 3-D animated infographic shows viewers eight different solutions to climate change in an urban setting, and various factsheets and case studies can inspire stakeholders to implement sustainable urban practices in their own locality. (infographic is wrong link)
Georgetown University offers a $5 million prize for a community that acts as an influential leader in energy efficiency. The competition encourages creativity and imagination from cities, counties and small communities with populations of 5,000 to 250,000. Judges consider energy savings, community outreach, sustainability and replicability when selecting a prize recipient.
ICLEI, the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the National League of Cities and the Center for American Progress developed the STAR Community Index, a rating system for sustainable communities. The rating system claims sustainable communities possess the following qualities: the ability to think and act systematically, instill resiliency, foster innovation, redefine progress, live within means, cultivate collaboration, embrace diversity, inspire leadership and continuously improve. These guidelines allow communities to strategize for environmental, economic and social benefits simultaneously.
The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) provides assistance to government officials and leaders on energy and environmental issues, particularly sustainability in the power and natural gas sectors. An important resource for information and technological assistance, RAP finds solutions and provides reports to help leaders simultaneously achieve environmental and economic goals through energy regulation. RAP divides its work into regions (Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, Southeast, Western) and topics, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, power markets and air quality.
MIT’s Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) established the Green Economic Development Initiative (GEDI) to assist economic development leaders in localities across the nation implement greener economic practices. GEDI, along with a few community sustainability offices, has developed an Energy Efficiency Market Transformation Strategy to guide regions on energy and economic system transformation. GEDI also has a webinar program to educate localities on growing markets for energy services and is performing research on energy program financing and green infrastructure.
The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is made up of municipal government sustainability directors and enables members to exchange ideas, solutions and best practices to better develop sustainable urban environments and community resilience. The network has over 100 members who receive funding to work in small groups on innovative sustainability plans.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has commissioned a Smarter Cities online project to facilitate discussion between cities attempting to be more sustainable, energy efficient, equitable and livable. All citizens, including students, city planners and government members can collaborate and share best practices on the web portal. The initiative identifies leader cities, which have implemented best practices and passed relevant legislation, to serve as models for other municipalities. The project releases research papers on energy, transportation and green infrastructure to educate cities and maintains a news section – entitled “Cities to Watch” – to report on new innovations and ideas.
The Center for the New Energy Economy is a privately-funded initiative to develop a clean energy economy in the United States. The Center is led by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and works with stakeholders, policy makers and leaders to create effective policy that will benefit national security, economic vitality, energy supply sustainability, job creation and environmental health. The Center provides resources, technical assistance and other tools.
The regional (Western, Southern, Midwestern) governors’ associations are made up of coalitions of governors and their staffs to work on region-specific policy and issues, including energy. In order to address challenges, members can collaborate and exchange ideas, best practices and innovative solutions. Energy is an issue that transcends state borders, and all three organizations have named energy a top policy priority.
The Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) is an association made up of the governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Rhode Island. The members collaborate to ensure the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Northeast is maintained, focusing particularly on regional transportation and energy markets.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the US Department of Transportation collaborated to form the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The aim of the initiative is to protect the environment while improving access to affordable and energy efficient housing, increasing transportation options and reducing transportation costs. The Partnership offers grants to help communities make proactive decisions to meet the objectives of the Partnership. The website community provides resources, case studies and outlines of past successes for all to access.
The Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, run by the EPA, provides a series of guides and case studies on local government strategies to reduce GHG emissions. The series, which is designed to be utilized by policy makers and program managers, covers energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design and a variety of other energy-related matters.
EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program provides technical assistance and other tools to states, and also identifies peer-exchange opportunities and proven, cost-effective best practices to help states lower their greenhouse gas emissions and save energy. Although the program acknowledges the vast differences between states, it lays out a general framework to help states begin to develop climate change and energy strategies.
The Roadmap for Incorporating Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Policies and Programs into State and Tribal Implementation Plans
The Roadmap is part of EPA’s efforts to encourage states, tribes and localities to incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in their State and Tribal Implementation Plans (SIPs/TIPs) to abide by air quality standards. Electric-sector energy efficiency and renewable energy policies can have huge impacts on reducing emissions at existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units, helping states, tribes and localities improve air quality and cut energy use.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains a listing of state, regional and local programs to help small businesses increase their energy efficiency. These programs, which offer a range of grants, loans and technical assistance, are organized by state.
The government-backed ENERGY STAR program provides an overview of local government energy use and energy efficiency opportunities. The fact sheet identifies the ENERGY STAR resources available for localities, including the Portfolio Manager tool, which helps measure and track energy and water consumption in buildings.
ENERGY STAR maintains a directory of regional and sector-based programs that leverage ENERGY STAR resources and tools to promote energy efficiency. Included in the directory are programs that provide benchmarking assistance, financial assistance, technical assistance and other forms of support. The directory offers a quick and effective way for building managers to find ways to improve the energy performance of their commercial buildings.