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Tampa, Jax among least energy efficient cities in America

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Whether it’s the construction of green buildings, pushing more public transit, or investing in sustainable infrastructure, the Sunshine State is practically flunking when it comes to energy efficiency.

That’s according to a new scorecard by a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has issued grades to Florida’s four largest cities.

Jacksonville got a 26 out of 100 for efficiency. That puts it 40th out of the 51 cities surveyed.

Tampa’s at 42, with an even lower score of 25, while Orlando does relatively better, with a ranking of 30 and a score of 33.50. Miami comes in at 36 in the rankings with a 28.50 score overall.

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 Ribeiro 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 told WJCT.

This isn’t a new issue for Florida. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the Sunshine State a D grade for both its infrastructure and energy consumption two years ago.

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]

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