America’s Mayors Strongly Support Clean Energy

USMayorsReportCoversmA new report, based on a survey of 288 cities of 30,000+ across the country, shows that America’s Mayors strongly support expanding energy efficiency and renewables in their communities.

Some key findings:

  • Many mayors anticipate further growth in the deployment of new energy technologies in cities. Two-thirds (67%) of the 288 cities participating in this survey expect the use of new energy technologies to increase over the next five years, with more than one in five cities (21%) in this survey expecting the increase to be “significant.”
  • Nearly a quarter of Mayors assigned a priority to retrofitting commercial/industrial buildings (after improving municipal buildings, providing energy audits, and improving energy-related building codes)

MayorsPrioritiesBuildingEnergy

  • Selecting among additional city energy priorities, a majority of all cities identified community outreach and engagement on energy efficiency and energy technologies as the top activity. Expanding community outreach and engagement was the top choice (54%) among other potential priorities, with nearly one-third (31%) citing helping citizens and businesses finance needed energy improvements.
  • A majority of mayors are creating programs to engage local residents in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GhGs) as their priority among other community-wide engagement initiatives. Asked to choose among six climate-related community engagement activities, the first choice of mayors are programs that engage local residents in reducing emissions (54%).
  • After working with residents, mayors turn to their business community (45%) to support city efforts to reduce emissions. Four in ten cities are developing a climate adaptation plan for the city (40%), and the same percentage is undertaking assessments and/or creating community-wide responses to predicted climate impacts (40%).

MayorsEngagingLocal

  • Cities identified the “most significant” challenges before them in advancing energy efficiency and conservation in these targeted areas, overwhelmingly citing financial concerns – budget/fiscal constraints (84%) and high up-front costs (71%) – as the top two challenges.
  • More than seven in ten mayors believe utilities are now the cities’ most important partner in deploying new energy technologies. Mayors rank utilities (71%) as their top partner in advancing new technologies, followed by state governments (49%) and the private sector (41%).
  • After city resources, private sector offerings are cited most often: private utility financing (14%), energy performance contracting (23%) and other public-private partnerships (26%).

Given these results, cities and towns in New Jersey should welcome the message that there is a new method of financing clean energy retrofits for private property owners through PACE.

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