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Inefficiency Loves Company: Jacksonville, Other Florida Cities Rank Least Energy-Efficient

Chuck Coker
Flickr Creative Commons

Jacksonville is one of the least energy-efficient major cities in the country. That’s according to a scorecardby a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit.

Still, the city scored higher than it did two years ago.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy gave the River City a grade of 26 out of 100 for efficiency. That puts Jacksonville 40th out of the 51 cities surveyed.

The survey shows Jacksonville lacks in every category, from the amount of energy-efficient buildings to a robust public transportation system. But Council analyst David Ribiero says there’s at least one sign of improvement.

“The city’s 2030 mobility plan, which was actually developed or adopted in 2011, that was something that we actually didn't recognize in the 2013 edition. That was an oversight on our part, but we gave the city credit for it this time around,” Ribiero says.

The city’s mobility plan is aimed at decreasing the amount of miles people drive per year by 10 percent by 2030.

Jacksonville Chief Resiliency Officer Charles Moreland says the city is reviewing the survey to find ways to improve its score, but he doesn’t offer any specifics.

“There is so much more that I will be more exposed to in order to inform the mayor of things, which we need to do as a city,” Moreland says.

He isn't the only Florida city official facing that challenge. The state’s other major cities, Miami, Orlando and Tampa, scored just as poorly. And the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the Sunshine State a D grade for both its infrastructure and energy consumption two years ago.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.