The Strides of Boston
According to a new ranking by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), many U.S. cities are implementing a variety of energy-saving measures such as requiring more efficient building designs, building electric vehicle charging stations and promoting bike sharing. This knowledge comes on the heels of an ACEEE evaluation involving 34 U.S. cities. The criteria: Just how “green” were these places in terms of building design, transportation, utility programs, local government operations and community-wide initiatives?
Which city is at the head of the class? Boston, it turns out, earned the highest score. With 76.75 out of a possible 100 points on ACEEE’s scorecard, Beantown beat out other front-runners like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Austin and New York City. Of course, Bostonians must’ve done their part by being receptive to a host of changes, but at least partial credit must go Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
In 2009, he created the Renew Boston initiative, which set a goal of reducing the city's electricity consumption by 200 megawatts—enough to power 92,000 homes.
According to Patrick J. Kiger’s article on www.nationalgeographic.com, “Menino unveiled a new program to help residents make energy-saving improvements in their homes. The city is offering up to $3,000 per home in subsidies for upgrading insulation and as much as $250 to defray the cost of replacing obsolete, energy-wasting wiring.”
In a phone conference unveiling ACEEE’s results, Menino had this to say: “I always believed that mayors have a responsibility to push the envelope on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”