The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is launching the Better Communities Alliance (BCA), a new collaborative effort among 60 local governments, philanthropies, nonprofit organizations, and leading private companies to accelerate local clean energy progress across the country. The BCA was announced today by the White House during Smart Cities Week.

With 87% of total U.S. energy to be consumed in cities by 2030, America's local governments are stepping up to the challenge. Through the BCA, city and county leaders are making commitments to reduce the wasted energy in homes and buildings, expand renewable energy and sustainable transportation options for their residents and businesses, harness new energy-saving technologies, and invest in resilient power systems and community infrastructure.

As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the BCA will deliver new clean energy resources, technical assistance, and facilitate collaboration between public and private partners by making it easier for participants to connect and exchange ideas.

"Cities and counties are already centers for clean energy innovation across the United States," said Franklin Orr, DOE's Under Secretary for Science and Energy. "Through the Better Communities Alliance, DOE is committed to further supporting America's local governments and working with leaders from the public and private sectors to deliver energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation solutions that create cleaner and more prosperous communities for millions of Americans."

There are 34 local governments serving 40 million Americans that are committed to the BCA and working with DOE to accelerate local clean energy progress and bolster leadership. Local government partners will receive streamlined access to DOE clean energy resources, opportunities to apply for resources, access to forums for peer networking and expert dialogue, and federal recognition of clean energy achievements. The participating cities and counties are:

  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Broward County, Florida
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Chula Vista, California
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Huntington Beach, California
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Kauai County, Hawaii
  • King County, Washington
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Los Angeles County, California
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • New York, New York
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Roanoke, Virginia
  • Rochester, New York
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Francisco, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Sonoma County, California
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Will County, Illinois

The BCA is also partnering with 26 public and private organizations. BCA affiliates will help identify specific opportunities for collaboration with DOE and local governments. The full list of charter Affiliates is below:

  • The Kresge Foundation
  • Energy Foundation
  • Surdna Foundation
  • The Solar Foundation
  • Governing Institute
  • Philips Lighting
  • C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  • National League of Cities
  • National Association of Counties
  • International City/County Management Association
  • National Association of State Energy Officials
  • Urban Sustainability Directors Network
  • Smart Cities Council
  • ICLEI USA - Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Arup
  • Hatch
  • Cityzenith
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Emerald Cities Collaborative
  • Alliance to Save Energy
  • American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
  • Institute for Market Transformation
  • STAR Communities
  • Global Cool Cities Alliance

Additionally, DOE is announcing new community-focused initiatives to further the Better Communities Alliance:

  • Launch a Better Buildings Accelerator to assist local governments in developing Zero Energy Districts within their communities. DOE will partner with city leaders, district developers, planners, owners, and key additional stakeholders to develop a business case and energy master planning documents needed for replication of Zero Energy Districts;
  • Provide technical assistance from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to local governments to analyze community data and create clean energy outcomes;
  • Develop new sensor technology and networks, data integration and analytical and visualization tools, and computational capabilities for modeling urban systems and infrastructure;
  • Empower American startup companies and entrepreneurs to catalyze the rapid creation of products and solutions to advance clean energy in communities;
  • Assist local governments in analyzing publicly owned buildings to identify opportunities to reduce taxpayers' energy expenses and improve energy performance; and
  • Measure the impact of building energy benchmarking and transparency programs in localities and determine best practices.

The Better Communities Alliance is part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, which aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20percent more energy efficient over the next decade. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate successful strategies to drive energy efficiency. This means saving billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating thousands of jobs.

Learn more about joining the Better Communities Alliance.