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The 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard ranks 75 cities in the U.S. on their efforts to achieve a clean energy future by improving energy efficiency and scaling up renewable energy. The report compiles data on local policies and actions to advance clean energy, comparing cities across five policy areas: (1) local government operations, (2) community-wide initiatives, (3) buildings policies, (4) energy and water utilities, and (5) transportation policies.
Local governments can advance energy-efficient technologies and practices in the marketplace by promoting energy efficiency in their own everyday operations, a practice commonly known as "Leading by Example" (LBE). Taking actions to improve the energy efficiency of government-owned and -leased facilities and fleets can accrue multiple benefits for both the government and the people it serves. Energy can account for as much as 10% of a typical local government's annual operating budget. As local governments attempt to act with heightened levels of austerity, implementing cost-effective energy efficiency processes and technologies is a proven solution to reduce unneeded spending.
The Sheboygan Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is recognized as a nationwide leader in energy efficiency in the water and wastewater treatment sector. Sheboygan WWTP has implemented numerous energy-saving measures, mostly by replacing aging equipment with energy-efficient models.
A local government can have immediate impact on the energy performance of one of the key facilities under its control by targeting wastewater and water treatment facilities. Wastewater plants and drinking water systems can account for up to one-third of a municipality's total energy bill. These facilities represent a significant portion of controllable energy usage and offer opportunities for cost-effective investments in energy-efficient technologies.