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Energy Use in Municipal Buildings

Progress

On time
  • Not started
  • Planning
  • In process
  • Continuous

Description

The City of Saint Paul is committed to achieving carbon neutrality in municipal operations by 2030, which involves continuous efforts to track energy use and identify energy efficiency opportunities across the portfolio of city-owned and operated facilities.

As shown in the graph below, emissions from the city's building portfolio have been declining since the baseline year of 2015. However, the City of Saint Paul will still need to make significant reductions in building energy consumption - particularly in natural gas use - in order to reach its goal of carbon neutral city operations.

2023 Municipal Building Emissions

*Graph reflects Scope 1 and 2 emissions from 141 city-owned and operated buildings, totaling over 2.4 million square feet, with complete energy data for 2015-2023.

Tracking Energy Use in City Buildings

The city is tracking energy use for more than 150 city-owned facilities using the B3 Benchmarking tool, which helps city departments identify opportunities for improving the performance of their buildings.

The city also discloses annual energy and water use for municipal buildings over 25,000 square feet under the Saint Paul Energy Benchmarking Ordinance.

Improving Energy Efficiency in City Buildings

Investments in building improvements - such as LED lighting projects or upgrading HVAC systems with more efficient equipment and controls - are decreasing energy consumption and saving money on utility costs for city departments. Many of these energy efficiency projects in municipal buildings have been paid for through the City's Green Revolving Loan Fund.

Since 2015, the average site Energy Use Intensity for city-owned and operated buildings has improved by about 14%. Here are some examples of energy efficiency projects completed at municipal buildings:

BCC logo reduced

In 2022, the City of Saint Paul joined the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Climate Challenge. As a partner in this voluntary program, the city will receive data analysis and technical assistance to support its efforts to reach carbon neutrality in city operations by 2030.

In January 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to the City of Saint Paul that will be used to develop a Municipal Buildings Decarbonization Plan during 2024. This plan will identify actionable pathways for the City to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral in municipal building operations by 2030.

Designing More Sustainable Buildings

The City of Saint Paul is also incorporating energy efficiency and other sustainability measures during the design and construction of new facilities, as well as during large renovation projects, by aligning with guidelines under the Saint Paul Sustainable Building Ordinance.

To date, a handful of municipal buildings have been recognized for integrating sustainable aspects into their designs:

Summary and contacts

Timeline

Continuous

Contact persons

  • Main contact person Cecilia Govrik
    Cecilia Govrik
    Energy Coordinator
    City of Saint Paul
Information updated 06/12/2024