• Houston has more stringent building codes than other cities in Texas.
  • The city has a focus on significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next year-and-a-half.

Of the major Texas metros, Houston ranks as the second-most-energy-efficient, behind Austin.

In a recent ranking by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Houston placed 13th out of the nation’s 50 largest metros when it comes to energy efficient-related policies and initiatives.

The city’s building policies and local government operations stand out as the reasons for the ranking.

Houston has passed residential building codes stricter than those required by Texas, and has approved an ordinance to increase energy efficiency by an additional 5 percent above the currently adopted Houston residential energy conservation code. It also provides upfront code support for all builders and developers through the Green Building Resource Center.

While the city has not adopted a “framework for sustainability or energy efficiency” or dedicated funding for investments in energy efficiency, it does have a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from local government operations by 36 percent before 2017.

Additionally, 100 percent of the city’s municipal buildings, which comprise 30 million square feet, are benchmarked, as the city is a Department of Energy Better Building Challenge Community Partner.

Email Erik Pisor.

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