Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency in your community

Completing energy efficiency upgrades and operational improvements in public facilities is one of the most impactful and immediate ways for local governments to cut carbon pollution and save taxpayer dollars. Local government leadership can also encourage energy efficiency upgrades in non-governmental buildings, which drives deeper, community-wide carbon reductions and monetary savings.

Some local governments conduct efficiency improvements using internal resources, while others partner with energy service companies (ESCOs). Many ESCOs provide all-inclusive efficiency solutions that pay for themselves through energy savings over a specified time period. It is even possible to negotiate an energy savings performance contract with no up-front costs, paid for entirely with energy savings.

Each $1 invested in electric energy efficiency produces $1.25 - $4.00 in benefits

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

The benefits of energy efficiency

Fewer GHG Emissions—In most communities, saving energy reduces greenhouse gases (GHGs), the emissions that trap and hold heat in the atmosphere, creating the greenhouse effect, which contributes to global warming and climate change.

Lower Operating Costs—Saving energy in public facilities reduces building operating expenses, demonstrating effective government stewardship of tax funds and freeing up resources for other needs.

Improved Building Function and Comfort— Many of the same features that drive energy savings also make work environments healthier and more comfortable for employees and visitors.

Support for the Local Economy— Because energy efficiency improvements often require onsite work, they are good opportunities to use local workers and expertise.

Public Leadership— By making a serious commitment to improving energy efficiency, local governments can catalyze investment in commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.

What about the cost of upgrades?

Energy efficiency measures include no- and low-cost improvements, as well as incremental efficiency investments that offer rapid payback when combined with scheduled maintenance and equipment replacement. Local governments can also take advantage of new diagnostic tools, proven technologies, and well-established conservation tactics. By generating reliable, predictable cost savings, energy efficiency investments create opportunities to use private capital, shared savings contracts, or revolving energy efficiency funds (in addition to traditional infrastructure financing).

Energy-efficient operations enjoy lower costs and better financing terms, resulting in short payback periods.