New Orleans is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving building energy efficiency. It has successfully reduced energy use in its City buildings and launched the Downtown Energy Challenge. Despite restrictions on regulating natural gas use in private buildings, the City aims to lead by example and encourage others to follow suit. Their updated Climate Action Plan sets a new goal to decrease city building energy use by 40% by 2030. To achieve this, New Orleans will partner with FUSE to develop and gain approval for new energy use municipal ordinances. FUSE Executive Fellow Jackson Wright will conduct a listening tour, research successful models, and draft the ordinance. The project aims to reduce emissions, unlock energy and cost savings, and promote health benefits.

Wright will engage stakeholders and vulnerable communities through the listening tour, research national energy-use standards models, and draft the ordinance. Collaboration with city agencies, the City Council, and public/private stakeholders will be crucial in gaining legislative approval. Once approved, Wright will establish implementation frameworks, track goals and policies, and explore long-term funding opportunities. The project strives to improve building energy efficiency, increase housing affordability, lower business costs, and enhance residents’ well-being.