How can I reduce energy use in my city?

Sun, 2015-03-22 16:35 -- SCC Staff

Smart energy solutions give citizens, businesses and local government the tools and systems they need to reduce their energy usage and costs. In this collection of articles and resources, you’ll find reports about cities deploying smart street lights, smart grids, intelligent building systems, renewable power plants and other projects designed to use energy more efficiently. Scroll to the end for financing ideas.


8 Spanish cities cut energy consumption by 64% with smart street lighting
Eight Spanish cities reduced electricity consumption by 64% with efficient lights and smart controls at every lighting point. MORE>

Why Fort Collins calls a web app the heart and soul of its smart grid efforts
In Fort Collins, Colorado, the Energy Engage Mobile app enables users to see the current cost of electricity and shift usage to off-peak times to avoid higher energy rates. MORE>

How Envision Charlotte "cracked the code" to energy savings for city businesses
Uptown Charlotte buildings have reduced energy consumption by 8.4% since the public-private partnership known as Envision Charlotte was launched in North Carolina's largest city. MORE>

Ka-ching! Cities see bright future in LED street light savings
Read how cities from San Diego to Detroit -- and smaller ones too -- are moving to budget-friendly LED street lights. MORE>

Power to the people: Let city office workers turn up the heat
When it comes to wasting energy, offices are among the biggest offenders. However, one study suggests giving employees more control could cut energy use by a whopping 30-40%. MORE>

IBM's building whisperer: If we want smarter cities, start with smarter buildings
David Bartlett discusses how buildings work and how they should be managed for maximum sustainability and efficiency. MORE>

FP&L's smart street lighting program becoming one of the world's largest
A massive Florida Power & Light project calls for the utility to install nearly a half-million street lights that are networked and use energy-efficient LED lamps. MORE>

Alstom helps pave the smart grid future at Philly's Navy Yard
The new 10-year Energy Master Plan for Philadelphia’s Navy Yard is helping pave the future path for energy innovation at the massive redevelopment site. MORE>

How flash-charge buses could give smart transportation a lift
A new high-capacity flash charging system for electric buses may pave the way for switching to a more flexible, cost-effective public transport infrastructure while reducing pollution and noise. MORE>

Gainesville got CLEAN – and so can your city
Learn how The Clean Coalition is helping cities such as Gainesville, Florida transition from an outdated energy system built around centralized, fossil-fueled power plants and miles of inefficient transmission lines. MORE>

Itron shows how IoT is changing utilities (and why it's good news for cities)
Learn about a powerful new communications platform designed to help improve the reliability and efficiency of a large power grid in Brazil. MORE>

Is it time to pay attention to hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars?
A research team with the Institute of Transportation Studies contends fuel cell vehicles are still a viable option in the race to build zero-emission automobiles. MORE>  

Why Alstom is helping teach old EV batteries new tricks
The Eco2charge project is testing a charging solution that takes old batteries which once served to power electric vehicles and re-uses them to charge batteries currently installed in the cars. MORE>

Smart street lighting is a key element in smart city programs
Smart street lighting networks provide greater control, reduced maintenance costs and the possibility of integrating street lighting with traffic light controls, security cameras, environmental sensors and more. MORE>

Case studies

Microsoft Brings Smart Buildings to Seattle
A smart buildings pilot for downtown Seattle used big data to provide forecasted energy savings of 10% per year. MORE>

French University Centralizes Facility Management with Wonderware Software
The University of Strasbourg in France, learns how to better manage facility operations for 140 buildings on multiple campuses to save time, money and energy. MORE>

S&C Provides Community Energy Storage to Smooth Solar Power in California
A California utility launches a microgrid project to enhance grid performance and help meet the state’s renewable energy goals. MORE>

Griffin Empowers Residents with Smart Meters
Learn how Griffin, Georgia’s Electric Department gave customers the ability to monitor their electric usage to help manage utility costs when it replaced its aging mechanical meters with smart meters. MORE>

Smart Cities Council guides

Smart Street Lighting 101
Smart Street Lighting 101 offers useful information and brief case studies highlighting the benefits cities are accruing as they move to LEDs and integrated street light networks that can serve as a backbone for other smart city applications. MORE>

Smart Cities Readiness Guide
The Energy chapter of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide examines a variety of energy-saving solutions that cities are embracing -- including smart meters, building energy performance systems, renewable energy generation plants, delivery of real-time consumption data to residents and demand response incentives.  MORE>

Financing resources

Finding the smart technologies that will make cities more livable, workable and sustainable is the easy part. Paying for them is typically more challenging. The resources linked below can help.