LEED for Cities Gold
In October of 2022, the City of Billings achieved LEED® for Cities Gold certification. Billings is the first city in Montana to be certified using the LEED for Cities rating system. LEED was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the world’s most widely used green building rating system.
The City has a long history of leadership in energy efficiency, sustainability, and cost-saving efforts. Billings achieved LEED for Cities certification by submitting details about existing projects and strategies across the city that are aimed at improving sustainability and the standard of living for residents. The certification program is designed to help cities manage their performance across natural systems, energy emissions, transportation and land use, water, waste, and quality of life categories.
Historically, the City has implemented 168 energy efficiency projects, estimated to save 9.4 million kWh/year, equal to about $815,448/year in annual electric cost savings based on current electric rates. These included 143 lighting, electric equipment, Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), and special projects that received $1,222,416 in NorthWestern Energy (NWE) E+ Program incentives.
The City’s effort to become LEED certified was implemented by the Energy & Conservation Commission (ECC). In 2019, the Billings City Council created the ECC, composed of seven citizens with backgrounds in energy or conservation. The ECC is tasked with examining the City’s energy and water usage and developing strategies for energy and water conservation, recycling, alternate fuels, alternate transportation, alternate energy sources, and buildings that are more efficient.
Billings is the 21st city globally to be Gold certified. Currently, more than 300 cities and communities around the world are committed to tracking sustainability progress through the LEED for Cities and Communities program at USGBC.