When it comes to a project being energy efficient, whether a single building or even on a city or a statewide basis, what’s important is obvious. The primary goal is to use less energy. Many organizations have created their own set of criteria that determine how efficient a project is. There are even organizations that look at how energy efficient a city or a state is. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy issues an annual scorecard that ranks cities and states on their energy savings, their reduction of energy waste, and their reducing the cost to produce the energy. Boston has ranked #1 for 2017, according to the ACEEE’ s City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, with New York City coming in second.

The US Department of Energy provides many links on its website that enable people to research and access information about energy efficiency. This topic, which at face value seems like an easy concept, is challenging to digest given the abundance of information available. Reducing energy usage by selecting efficient equipment and incorporating passive design techniques is a clear goal for all projects, regardless of what code or voluntary rating system is used to help achieve the owner’s goals. In the end, using less energy saves the building owner, the occupants, and the taxpayers money.