OverviewWhat roles can local authorities take to reduce energy use

Here are some of the roles local authorities can play to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in their locality. Depending on your context there may be more or less than these, but here are some transferable basics.

Regulator: Although local governments are not usually the actual designers of building energy efficiency codes and standards, they are often crucial for their incorporation in local bylaws and subsequent enforcement. In addition, local governments can encourage stakeholders to pursue energy efficiency through incentives and support programs, or through mandating compliance among the commercial, public and private sector.

Facilitator: Local government can help enable voluntary private action by convening actors, launching or facilitating public-private partnerships, or creating programs that address barriers to action. 

Owner/investor: Local governments are often owners of and/or investors in a city’s public buildings, such as public offices, schools, museums, and hospitals. City governments can lead by example, thereby helping to prove the case for zero carbon buildings and create market demand.