Local leaders are pioneering approaches to building energy efficiency. In 2010, the Governor of Tokyo passed a Metropolitan Environmental Security Ordinance to launch “the world’s first urban cap-and-trade program” for the city’s buildings. As of October 2015, 15 U.S. cities and one county have adopted ordinances that require large commercial building owners and managers to report their energy consumption annually, either to the city or publicly. Boulder, CO and Austin, TX also require existing homes to achieve a specific level of energy performance by a target date.
Partner organizations supporting cities to advance energy efficiency in the built environment include:
- Better Buildings, a peer-to-peer learning network sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
- The City Energy Project, a collaboration of the Institute for Market Transformation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, which supports U.S. cities to develop building energy benchmarking policies and related programs.
- The New Buildings Institute (NBI), working to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings through technology assessment, advanced design approaches, and guidance on advanced policies and codes. NBI is a leading advocate of both market adoption strategies and advanced energy codes for deeply efficient buildings.
- The Efficiency Cities Network, a project of the Center on Wisconsin Strategies, which hosts informal peer-to-peer learning forums for local governments on how to advance energy efficiency programs and policies with an emphasis on building an equitable clean energy economy.
- The International Living Futures Institute, home of the world’s only net-zero energy building certification, the Living Building Challenge, which recognizes buildings for integration of deep energy efficiency, renewable energy, and resilient, green design.