State and Local Policy Database

Buildings Summary

Buildings are high energy users in cities, and clear targets for substantial energy savings. Policies that relate to land use and buildings are two of the core authorities of local governments, and, as a result, there are a variety of energy-related buildings policies over which local governments have control. Some policies that affect buildings are determined at the state level, but many cities have gone above and beyond state requirements in an effort to meet city-determined objectives for the reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Policies can be based on any aspect of buildings lifecycle, from construction and energy codes to maintenance and operations of new and existing buildings. This section focuses on policies regarding energy use in private buildings.

Arlington has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a savings target, residential incentives, and upfront code support. The Inspection Services within the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Arlington County.

Last Updated: October 2015

Atlanta has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including an energy savings target. The Office of Buildings within the Department of Planning and Community Development manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Atlanta.

Authored by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability in April 2015, Atlanta's Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance aims to reduce the city’s energy footprint. The City projects that the ordinance will drive a 20 percent reduction in commercial energy consumption and a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2013 levels by 2030.

Last Updated: January 2017

Austin has several building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including adoption of the most current versions of the model energy codes and setting energy savings goals, green building requirements, and required energy rating and disclosure. The Development Services Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Austin.

Austin has published energy reduction targets for buildings through the Austin Climate Protection Plan.

Last Updated: February 2017

Baltimore has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including building performance and green building standards. The Department of Permits and Building Inspection manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Baltimore.

The City of Baltimore's Climate Action Plan sets a target for citywide greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 15% below 2010 levels by 2020. Energy efficiency in existing commercial and residential buildings and schools, and education and outreach are strategies emphasized in the Plan.

Last Updated: January 2017

Birmingham has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Building Codes Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Birmingham.

Last Updated: January 2017

Boston has several building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a “stretch” energy code, energy savings goals, green building requirements, and required energy rating and disclosure. The Inspectional Services Department manages building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Boston, while many of the other building energy policies are managed by the Office of Environment.

Boston is a US DOE Better Buildings Challenge Community Partner, committing to a 20% reduction in energy intensity in a portfolio of public and private buildings. Boston's Climate Action Plan, published in 2007, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and includes energy efficiency strategies for buildings in meeting that target. The 2011 update to the Plan notes that 67% of planned reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are to be achieved through measures related to buildings and energy sources, with the majority coming from building efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Boulder has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including third-party compliance programs, upfront code support, and residential benchmarking requirements. The Department of Planning and Development Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Boulder.

Last Updated: October 2015

Burlington has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support. The Department of Public Works manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Burlington.

Last Updated: October 2015

Carrboro has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency.  The Inspections Division within the Planning Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the Town of Carrboro.

Last Updated: April 2014

Charlotte does not have building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Land Development Regulation, Plan Review, and Inspection manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Charlotte.

Last Updated: January 2017

Charlottesville has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency, including upfront code support and incentives for energy-efficiency building improvements. The Neighborhood Development Services Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Charlottesville.

Last Updated: October 2015

Chicago has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including an energy savings target, above code requirements, and energy rating and disclosure for residential buildings. The Department of Buildings manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Chicago.

Chicago's Climate Action Plan has set a 30 percent reduction in energy use in 50 percent of the City’s commercial and residential building stock.

Last Updated: January 2017

Cincinnati has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support and incentives for energy efficiency building improvements. The Buildings Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati has not yet published an energy-intensity reduction target for its private buildings.

Last Updated: January 2017

Cleveland has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a residential green building standard managed by The Office of Sustainability

The Department of Building and Housing manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Cleveland.

Last Updated: January 2017

Columbus has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including above code requirements and incentives for efficient buildings. The Department of Building and Zoning Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Columbus.

Last Updated: January 2017

Dallas has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including above-code requirements and a green building ordinance. The Building Inspection Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Dallas.

Last Updated: January 2017

Denver has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including an energy benchmarking program for both commercial and residential buildings. The Denver Development Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Denver.

Last Updated: January 2017

Detroit does not have building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Division of Safety within the Buildings Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Detroit.

Last Updated: January 2017

Dubuque has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support. The Building Services Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Dubuque.

Last Updated: October 2013

El Paso has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including grants for green construction. The Building Permits and Inspections division within the City Development Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of El Paso.

Last Updated: January 2017

Fort Worth has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency through strengthening amendments to the Texas Building Energy Code. The Planning and Development Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Fort Worth.

Last Updated: January 2017

Hartford does not have building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. Licenses and Inspections, within the Development Department, manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Hartford.

Last Updated: January 2017

Houston has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including strengthening amendments to the Texas Building Energy Code and incentives for energy efficient buildings. The Building Code Enforcement Branch of the City of Houston manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City.

Last Updated: January 2017

Indianapolis has some building sector energy efficiency initiatives. The City's Building Code Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Indianapolis.

Last Updated: January 2017

Jacksonville does not have building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Building Inspection Division within the Planning and Development Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Jacksonville.

Last Updated: January 2017

Kansas City has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a buildings energy benchmarking ordinance and incentives for energy efficiency building improvements.  The City Planning and Development manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Kansas City.

Last Updated: January 2017

Knoxville has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including an energy savings target and upfront code support. The Building Codes, Permits, and Inspections Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Knoxville.

Last Updated: October 2015

Las Vegas does not have energy efficiency initiatives above enforcing the energy code. The Permits and Licenses Division manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Las Vegas.

Last Updated: January 2017

Lawrence has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support. The Building Safety Division manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Lawrence.

Last Updated: October 2015

Los Angeles has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency, including the recent addition of the City's Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program. The Department of Building and Safety manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Los Angeles.

Last Updated: January 2017

Louisville has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Codes and Regulations manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Louisville.

Last Updated: January 2017

Madison has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including an energy savings target, residential and commercial efficiency incentives, and upfront code support. The Building Inspection Unit manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Madison.

Last Updated: October 2013

Memphis has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Code Enforcement in the Public Works Division manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Memphis.

Last Updated: January 2017

Miami has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including above-code requirements for large buildings. The City of Miami Buildings Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Miami.

Last Updated: January 2017

Milwaukee has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including an energy savings target and residential and commercial efficiency incentives. The Development Center manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Milwaukee.

Last Updated: December 2014

Minneapolis has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including density bonuses, energy rating and disclosure requirements and incentives for efficient buildings. The Department of Construction Code Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Minneapolis.

Last Updated: January 2017

Nashville has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency in private buildings. The Department of Codes and Building Safety manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Nashville.

Last Updated: January 2017

New Orleans has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Safety and Permits and the Louisiana State Fire Marshal manage building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of New Orleans.

Last Updated: February 2017

New York has several building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a stretch energy code, green building requirements and incentives, and required energy rating and disclosure for commercial and residential buildings. The Buildings Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for New York City.

Set forth by the City’s mayor, the New York City Carbon Challenge, has established a goal to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, and relies on private sector energy efficiency efforts to meet the target.

Last Updated: January 2017

The Planning and Building Department of Oakland manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement of codes. 

Updated: December 2015

Oklahoma City has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Development Services Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Oklahoma City.

Last Updated: January 2017

Orlando does have building sector initiatives to improve efficiency, including a recently-adopted citywide energy benchmarking and transparency policy. The City Permitting Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Orlando.

Last Updated: January 2017

Park City has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support. The Department of Building and Building Regulations manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Park City.

Last Updated: October 2015

Philadelphia has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency, including benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings. The Department of Licenses and Inspections manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Philadelphia.

Last Updated: January 2017

Phoenix has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support, third-party compliance programs, and incentives for efficient buildings. The Department of Development Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Phoenix.

Last Updated: January 2017

Pittsburgh has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Bureau of Building Inspection manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Pittsburgh.

Last Updated: January 2017

Portland has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency to support it's Climate Action Plan. The Plan has goals for reducing the total energy use across Portland’s building stock by 25% by 2030 and another goal of achieving zero net GHGs in all new construction. The Bureau of Development Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Portland.

Last Updated: January 2017

Providence has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Inspection and Standards manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Providence.

Last Updated: January 2017

Raleigh has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Inspections Division of the Planning and Development Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Raleigh.

Last Updated: January 2017

Richmond has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Code Enforcement Division within the Planning and Development Review Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Richmond.

Last Updated: January 2017

Riverside has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including incentives for efficient building. The Division of Code Enforcement within the Community & Economic Development Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Riverside.

Last Updated: January 2017

Sacramento has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency such as financing for efficient buildings. The Building Division within the Department of Community Development manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Sacramento.

Last Updated: January 2017

Salt Lake City has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Buildings Services and Civil Enforcement Division manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Salt Lake City.

Last Updated: January 2017

San Antonio has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency such as upfront code support. The Development Services Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of San Antonio.

Last Updated: January 2017

San Diego has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency such as incentives for efficient buildings. The Department of Development Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of San Diego.

Last Updated: January 2017

San Francisco has several building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a “stretch” energy code, green building requirements and incentives, and required commercial energy rating and disclosure. The Department of Building Inspection manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of San Francisco.

Last Updated: January 2017

San Jose has building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of San Jose.

Last Updated: January 2017

Seattle has several building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a “stretch” energy code, green building incentives, and required energy rating and disclosure. The Planning and Development Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Seattle.

Last Updated: January 2017

St. Louis has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including financing for efficiency upgrades. The Building Division within the Department of Public Safety manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of St. Louis.

Last Updated: January 2017

Tampa has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support. The Construction Services Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Tampa.

Last Updated: January 2017

Virginia Beach has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support for building owners and developers. The Building Permits and Inspections division within the Planning Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Virginia Beach.

Last Updated: January 2017

Washington has several building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including green building requirements and required energy rating and disclosure. The Division of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Washington.

Last Updated: January 2017