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Mayors to Ramp Up Energy Efficiency

William Opalka

USCMEnergy efficiency remains a top priority among US mayors even in an era of tough budgets and rising costs. Mayors expect to increase spending over the next five years and are seeking private-sector partners.

This was revealed in a new survey of nearly 300 cities that was released in conjunction with the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) 82nd Winter Meeting in Washington, DC.

The survey, Energy Efficiency and Technologies in America’s Cities, confirmed that cities see investing in energy efforts benefits taxpayers and the communities as a whole, said the USCM.

The survey was done in conjunction with Philips. It indicates that mayors plan to make energy-efficient lighting technology (LEDs as the primary example) a top priority over the next two years.  LED/energy efficient lighting was also overwhelmingly rated as the “most promising” technology for reducing city energy use and carbon emissions, with more than four in five cities of those surveyed (82 percent) reporting.

In addition to lighting, retrofitting public buildings also ranked as a top priority in improving the energy efficiency of city infrastructure.  Mayors expect to use their own local resources, followed by partnerships with the private sector, as the sources of financing these technologies.  And in terms of the actual deployment of new technologies, survey findings reveal that more than seven in ten mayors believe their local utilities are now their city’s most important partner in doing so.

Of note, survey results also indicate that with recent weather events and associated power outages, three in four cities have developed plans to keep vital city services operating during sustained outages, and within three years, nearly 90 percent of all cities surveyed expect to have such plans in place.

 



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