How Green Is Your City?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:05

The American Council For An Energy-Efficient Economy released its score card that ranks the top-rated cities. You might be surprised by which cities make the list.

Boston tops the list primarily because of its community-wide efforts and programs. The city offers free energy assessments and opportunities to receive up to $2000 off insulation and air-sealing work. These rebate programs fuel a lot of interest for homeowners who are looking to cut utility expenses. Boston scored 76.75 percent out of a possible 100 percent.

The Renew Boston program is a public-private partnership that was established to help achieve ambitious goals to save energy, create green jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the organization's website, "Energy efficiency may be the cheapest, most abundant, and most underutilized resource for local economic and community development. Local leadership and commitment to energy efficiency is strong in many communities around the United States."

The scorecard certainly shows that. It ranks 34 of the most populous U.S. cities by reviewing their policies and actions to advance energy efficiency in five policy areas: local government operations; buildings; energy and water utilities; transportation; and the community as a whole.

In the top 20 are the following cities:

  1. Boston, Massachusetts
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. New York City, New York
  4. San Francisco, California
  5. Seattle, Washington
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  9. Chicago, Illinois
  10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  11. Denver, Colorado
  12. Baltimore, Maryland
  13. Houston, Texas
  14. Dallas, Texas
  15. Phoenix, Arizona
  16. Atlanta, Georgia
  17. San Antonio, Texas
  18. Sacramento, California
  19. Columbus, Ohio
  20. San Diego, California

You can view the full list by visiting the aceee.orgsite.

Portland, New York, San Francisco, and Austin all received a 60 percent score or better. According to the organization, these cities have a history of long-running energy efficiency initiatives as well as broad-ranging efficiency policies and programs in place.

So what does all this mean to you if you're selling your home? If you're in one of these top-ranked cities, it's a chance to highlight the energy-efficient savings you have done to your home.

Have you increased your insulation? Maybe you've added newer energy-efficient appliances? Are your windows upgraded? What about your home lighting -- is it energy efficient? Have you put in solar panels?

It's amazing how some of these things are overlooked when selling a home; yet they can create quite a cost-savings for the new buyers.

When you're searching for a real estate agent, look for one who is tech savvy. That type of agent will likely already be on the lookout for unique "green" home modifications to highlight in sales materials.

Green homes can and often do sell faster and for more money. If you've had an energy audit, share it with your potential buyers–it's a fast way to get the conversation rolling about not only how you've made your home more comfortable but also how the modifications have made a positive impact on your wallet.

Even if you don't live in one of the top-ranked energy-efficient cities, you can still find ways to make your home an energy-saver and that will make buyers want to put down their green to pick up your home.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or [email protected]. Visit for more information.

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