NRDC just named 22 “Smarter Cities” nationwide. Check out the research methodology on their site. You can also see where Boulder qualified for certain of their criteria.
To assess the efforts to limit municipal demand of energy and provide clean energy, Smarter Cities surveyed city governments about the city’s aggregate kilowatt hour consumption, top three fuel sources, whether it had completed a greenhouse gas inventory, energy conservation programs (including targets for reduced consumption) and processes to measure energy conservation. The Smarter Cities team sought advice from experts both in and outside of NRDC to develop its plan. “It was important to establish a clear and reasonable description of the factor by which the Smarter Cities team would compare cities’ performance—a description that was researchable, meaning there was comprehensive, pertinent and reliable data to collect,” says Brandi Colander, an NRDC attorney with NRDC’s Air and Energy programs and a Smarter Cities project advisor.