Report grades four Florida cities for energy efficiency efforts

(The Center Square) — A report by a nonprofit group graded four Florida cities for their policies on energy efficiency and steps taken to deal with climate change.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit organization devoted to advocacy on energy efficiency and decarbonization, said Miami was the second-most improved city in the annual City Clean Energy Scorecard behind New Orleans.

The Gateway to the Americas improved 22 spots from last year’s scorecard and was ranked 27th. Orlando was the highest finisher at 17th place, with St. Petersburg (62nd) and Tampa (74th) farther down the rankings.

The City Clean Energy Scorecard tracks clean energy plans, policies and programs implemented in 75 of the largest cities across the U.S., which, according to the report, provide a road map for local governments aiming to meet climate change mitigation goals.

For cities to qualify, the report focused on the most populous metropolitan statistical areas and the most populated cities in these MSAs with a minimum population of 100,000.

In total, four cities in the Sunshine State made the list. Orlando was 17th, Miami 27th, St. Petersburg 62nd and Tampa 74th.

Cities received additional points for state involvement; including stringent statewide building codes, renewable-ready building code provisions, electric vehicle infrastructure-ready building code provisions and electric transit bus goals.

Florida’s state involvement gave one point to the overall scores. Moreover, Florida doesn’t allow local governments to adopt separate building codes, so the net effect of state actions on city scores drops Florida to a minus-6.5.

Orlando earned an overall score of 96 out of a potential 250 points. Community-wide initiatives netted 20 points; building code policies scored 22.5 points; transportation policies tallied 18.5 points; community energy infrastructure received 24 points; and local government policies scored 11 points.

Miami scored 78.5 overall with community initiatives (15.5 points); building code policies (26 points); transportation policies (22.5 points); community energy infrastructure (10.5 points) and local government operations (4 points).

St. Petersburg scored 38.5 overall with four points for community initiatives; 8.5 points for building code policies; 9.5 points for transportation policies; eight points for community energy infrastructure; and 8.5 points for local government operations.

Tampa scored 21 points overall, receiving two points for community initiatives; 3.5 for building code policies; eight for transportation policies; 6.5 for community energy infrastructure; and one point for local government operations.

The top five cities in the scorecard were: San Francisco in first, followed by Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland.

Akron, Ohio was ranked last at 75th just ahead of Tampa with Chattanooga, Tennessee at 73rd; Toledo, Ohio at 72nd and a tie at 70th between Charleston, South Carolina and Fayetteville, Arkansas.