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.
*Graph reflects emissions data from 150 city-owned and operated buildings, with a total of 2.3 million square feet, benchmarked in B3 as of October 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.
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.
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: