Energy efficiency is becoming an increasing topic of discussion and consideration in city planning and in environmental action. Energy efficiency planning also creates avenues for employment and improvements in health. Modification in buildings' stock is a focus given they account for 1/3 of US energy consumption. Square footage and purpose also determine building occupancy and energy use. According to guidelines published in January, buildings over 50,000 sqft will need to meet minimum efficiency standards. Even before these standards are implemented, a lot of retrofits are being conducted independently on older buildings. Washington's energy-efficiency practices focus on the health and wellbeing of city residents. Healthcare facilities will most benefit from retrofits given they improve air quality and overall building environment. Standard rebates are being publicized to incentivize energy efficiency upgrades, mainly as rate-payers are billed a surcharge that goes into trust funds that support energy efficiency projects. However, while the foregoing effort is remarkable, we do have to think about the burden that is placed on consumers, rather than for-profit utilities and agencies, to transition to energy efficiency cities.
Catherine Nabukalu, "Why the District of Columbia is a leader in energy efficiency", contributed by Briana Leone, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 20 August 2020, accessed 29 November 2023. https://energyrights.info/content/why-district-columbia-leader-energy-efficiency