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El Paso, TX
The City of El Paso strives to be a model of sustainability and smart growth by building on its roots as an international hub, promoting sustainable enterprises, and wisely using natural resources. The City adopted an aggressive Sustainability Plan in 2009 and is currently implementing a new smart growth comprehensive growth plan that was recognized for its excellence by the EPA with the 2011 National Smart Growth Award.
El Paso has a robust energy efficiency program that includes retrofits of municipal buildings, an ordinance requiring all new City buildings meet LEED Silver standards, and one of the largest green building grant programs in the nation. These efforts have led to a 23% reduction in City energy use since 2007. In 2012, the City launched the El Paso Green Business Challenge, encouraging local businesses to conserve energy, reduce waste, save water, and consider alternative means of transportation. The City’s Sustainability Plan also mandated a 30% reduction in energy use below 2007 levels by 2014. The natural synergy between the City’s Sustainability Plan, the El Paso Green Business Challenge, and the Better Buildings Challenge will take El Paso’s energy efficiency efforts to the next level.