A new report says that cities are stepping up efforts to reduce energy waste. More mayors and local lawmakers in America's largest cities are turning to energy efficiency to reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses, according to the third edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The ACEEE report finds that Boston remains the top US city for energy efficiency, receiving 84.5 out of a possible 100 points, an improvement of 2.5 from its 2015 score.

Following Boston, the top 10 US cities for energy efficiency are New York City (#2), Seattle (#3), Los Angeles (tied for #4), Portland (tied for #4), Austin (#6), Chicago (#7), Washington, DC (#8), Denver (tied for #9), and San Francisco (tied for #9).

Watch a video about the report's findings.

Based on a 25-point jump from the last edition of the Scorecard in 2015, Los Angeles was the most-improved city. It entered the top five—and the top 10—for the first time.

San Diego, Kansas City, and Phoenix are the second, third, and fourth most-improved cities, respectively. Seven other cities, including Orlando, showed double-digit improvements since the last Scorecard.

The five cities most in need of improvement on energy efficiency are Hartford (#47), Memphis (#48), Detroit (#49), Oklahoma City (#50), and Birmingham (#51).

Additional findings in the ACEEE report include the following:

  • Phoenix is the fourth most-improved city, with a gain of 13 points.
  • Orlando is another of 11 cities that improved by at least 10 points. Austin, Philadelphia, Denver, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Portland, and the four most-improved cities mentioned above round out this group.
  • Los Angeles is home to a new Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency program, which requires an energy audit, retrofit, and benchmarking for many commercial and multifamily building.
  • San Diego passed a Climate Action Plan that established goals to reduce energy use by 15% in select homes and to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2020.

More than half, 32, of the 51 cities improved their scores from 2015 to 2017, ACEEE says. More cities are requiring building owners to benchmark and report buildings' energy use, updating building energy codes, and setting community-wide goals to save energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

In five areas covered by the report, the key findings are:

  • Local Government Operations. Leaders in efficiency in local government operations are Denver, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, and Washington, DC.
  • Community-Wide Initiatives. The top-scoring cities in community-wide initiatives are Austin, Minneapolis, Portland, and Washington, DC.
  • Building Policies. Leading cities in building policies include Boston, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City.
  • Energy and Water Utilities. The cities with leading energy utilities are Boston and Providence. Austin, Boston, Columbus, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Diego are the leading cities in tackling efficiency in their water systems and water uses.
  • Transportation Policies. Cities with the top scores for transportation policies include Portland and New York City.