City of Reno joins 20-city effort to cut climate pollution from buildings by 2030
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve announced that Reno, Nevada is one of 10 new cities joining the City Energy Project, a united effort to address the largest source of energy use and climate pollution in America’s urban centers: buildings.
The project is expected to save Reno residents and businesses as much as $11 million annually on their energy bills by 2030. By the same year, the 20 participating cities combined have the potential to save annually more than $1.5 billion in energy bills and reduce carbon pollution by more than 9.6 million metric tons, equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road for a year.
“The City of Reno is excited to join the City Energy Project and collaborate with participating cities defining next-generation energy efficiency efforts in communities nationwide,” Schieve said. “Energy efficiency is the least-cost approach to expanding clean energy in Nevada. The strategies we deploy will be good for the environment and our local economy. Investments in energy efficiency help to create jobs and generate savings that can be spent in our local community, helping with Reno’s economic recovery.”
A joint project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), the City Energy Project works with participating cities to create healthier, more prosperous American cities by making buildings more efficient, in turn boosting local economies and reducing harmful pollution.
Joining Reno are: Des Moines, Iowa; Fort Collins, Co.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; San Jose; St. Louis; and St. Paul, Minn.
“Mayors have the power to make real progress in combating climate change just by looking to their skylines,” said Shelley Poticha, director of the Urban Solutions program at the Natural Resources Defense Council in a press release. “The City Energy Project works with mayors who are in tune with the needs of local businesses and residents to develop plans that reduce climate pollution and wasted energy in buildings. By joining today, these mayors are demonstrating that local leadership and local improvements can have a significant global impact in this urgent fight.”
Funded by a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation, the project launched in January 2014 with 10 pioneering cities: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Orlando; Philadelphia; and Salt Lake City.
In December 2015, the project’s funders announced an additional $10.5 million investment to expand the project’s reach in the U.S. to the new cities joining today.
Projected Economic and Environmental Benefits
If U.S. buildings were considered a nation, they would rank third in global energy consumption, using more primary energy than all major energy consuming nations except the U.S. and China.
What’s more, buildings are the single largest user of energy and source of carbon pollution in the U.S., with much of the energy consumed wasted by inefficient systems and operations.
“Improving the energy efficiency of buildings not only helps residents, owners, tenants, businesses, cities, and utilities save money, it also increases property value, creates jobs, reduces harmful pollution, and creates healthier spaces,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of IMT in a press realease. “We’re proud to expand the work of the City Energy Project to cities such as Reno to help unlock the enormous benefits offered through increased investment in energy efficiency and create permanent markets that can drive continual return on these investments.”
By 2030, CEP is projected to cut about 95,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from buildings annually in Reno—equivalent to taking 73,835 cars off the road for a year.
How It Works
Through the City Energy Project, Reno will develop a locally tailored plan comprising multiple integrated strategies to significantly reduce building energy use, recognizing that a suite of initiatives can make more progress in each city than one program or policy could alone. In addition to providing efficiency expertise and guidance on initiative planning, design and implementation, the City Energy Project also offers a platform for peer-to-peer sharing of lessons learned and best practices.
“The energy efficiency goals of the City Energy Project align with the efforts of the Governor’s Office of Energy to reduce energy consumption in our state’s buildings, provide IECC training to facility managers and promote clean energy financing opportunities,” said Angie Dykema, Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy in a press release. “We look forward to working with the City of Reno on further implementation of these energy efficiency strategies and promoting a sustainable energy economy in Nevada.”
The energy efficiency solutions that CEP will help Reno develop are flexible to Reno’s unique situation, supporting the following goals:
Promote efficient building operations: Strong building energy performance can be achieved through efficient operations and maintenance, and the training of facilities personnel.
Encourage private investment: Common-sense solutions to financial and legal barriers to energy efficiency should be adopted to increase private investment in building energy improvements.
Bolster city leadership: Cities will lead by example and reduce taxpayer-funded energy consumption in municipal buildings, and encourage the private sector to match their actions.
Promote transparency: Building energy performance information should be transparent and accessible to enable market demand and competition for energy-efficient buildings.
“Congratulations to the City of Reno and Mayor Schieve for being invited to participate in the City Energy Project,” said Mary Simmons, NV Energy Vice President of Business Development and Community Strategy in a press release. “NV Energy is proud to support your environmental leadership and we look forward to continuing our work with you to increase building energy efficiency.”