State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Indianapolis, IN

24.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Operations
Score: 3 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

Indianapolis’ primary energy-related focus for its local government operations is increasing energy efficiency in municipal buildings and infrastructure. The Office of Sustainability is largely responsible for coordinating sustainability efforts among city departments.

Last updated: December 2014

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Indianapolis does not have an energy efficiency-related goal for its local government operations. The city did take part in the STAR Rating System pilot program and will be working toward objectives identified in the “Climate and Energy” goal area. 

Last updated: December 2014

Performance Management Strategies List All

Indianapolis does not have a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for local government efficiency investments.

Indianapolis publicly released annual sustainability reports until 2012 and it is unclear if the reports detailed energy efficiency activities for local government operations. The city has an energy manager who reviews energy savings from municipal building retrofits, but the city does not use an independent firm for evaluation, monitoring, and verification of energy savings from government operations projects.

Indianapolis has five fulltime staff, including an energy manager, dedicated to energy efficiency efforts within government operations. We could not confirm if Indianapolis offers financial or non-financial incentives for energy efficiency actions to departments or individual staff.

Last updated: February 2015

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Executive Order 6 of 2012 calls for all new city vehicles to be electric/hybrid, with the exception of police vehicles, and for the entire fleet to be converted by 2025. Indianapolis’s Vehicle and Equipment Idling Reduction Policy prohibits city vehicles from idling for more than five minutes except in case of emergency. 

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Public Lighting

Indianapolis has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. The vast majority of streetlights are owned by the local electric utility, but Indianapolis has installed LEDs in a couple areas with city-owned lights. All streetlights have photo sensors, so they only operate from dawn to dusk.

New Buildings and Equipment

The city does not have energy efficiency requirements for new public buildings. The Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority adopted a Sustainable Purchasing Policy for the City-County Building, but it is unclear if the city has adopted a procurement policy with energy efficiency requirements for all of its local government operations.

Last updated: December 2014

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Indianapolis benchmarks the energy use in 56 city facilities, including the 731,000 square foot City-County Building. The city could not determine the percentage of city-owned square footage these facilities represent. The Sustainable Facilities Initiative invested $8,000,000 in 61 city-owned buildings over a period of four years as part of the contracts with three energy services companies. The contracts involved energy audits of all 61 buildings, installation of identified energy-efficiency measures, and measurement and verification activities for 1 to 3 years afterward.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

We did not find information on the existence of sustainable infrastructure policies.

Public Employees

There is not a citywide flex schedule policy, but rather each department sets its own policies which are dictated by their work and schedule demands. The city offers IndyGo bus passes to those employees who have chosen to forego driving to work. The passes are distributed to employees on a monthly basis. In addition, employees can take advantage of the carpooling service provided through Commuter Connect

Last Updated: February 2015

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 1.5 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Indianapolis has few community-wide initiatives related to energy efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Indianapolis has not developed or implemented community-wide energy efficiency-related goals.

Last updated: January 2017

Performance Management StrategiesList All

Indianapolis has five fulltime staff in the Office of Sustainability dedicated to implementation of general sustainability goals. We did not find information regarding other performance management strategies. Information that we were unable to obtain includes the frequency of public reporting on community-wide energy efficiency initiatives, the use of independent EM&V to evaluate savings from community-wide efficiency projects, and the existence of a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for community-wide energy management or efficiency investments.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

We did not find information on any programs or policies to plan for future district energy systems.   

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city has not adopted urban heat island mitigation goals.

The city has also allowed for conservation subdivisions as part of its Consolidated Zoning / Subdivision Ordinance that encourage the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns. The city also requires that new developments be rated on a Green Factor Scale that assigns points for the of various low impact development techniques in site design.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 4 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

Indianapolis does not have building sector initiatives to improve energy efficiency. Building Code Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Indianapolis.

Last Updated: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Indiana has established mandatory building energy codes for commercial and residential construction. The Indiana Energy Conservation Code, updated in 2011, references the 2009 IRC and 2009 IECC for residential construction. The commercial construction codes are as stringent as the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard. Commercial construction must also achieve LEED silver certification. To learn more about the building energy codes for Indiana, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial construction in Indianapolis complies with the Indiana Energy Conservation Code. Indianapolis has not yet begun advocating to the state for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes.


Residential construction in Indianapolis complies with the Indiana Energy Conservation Code. Indianapolis has not yet begun advocating to the state for increased stringency in residential building energy codes.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Indianapolis reported a budget of $19,322,400 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $112 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Indianapolis has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Indianapolis does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: December 2014

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Building Energy Savings Goals

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

Green Building Requirements

Indianapolis has not yet established above-code building requirements for any class of building.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Indianapolis does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.  

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Indianapolis offers reduced permitting fees for residential buildings achieving energy efficient criteria.

Last Updated: December 2014

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Indianapolis does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage building benchmarking in any sector.

The region’s multiple listing service includes fields for energy efficiency features of homes listed on the market.

Last Updated: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is not available in Indianapolis.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 8.5 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), and investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility for the City of Indianapolis. Citizens Energy, an IOU, is Indianapolis’s primary natural gas utility. The City of Indianapolis is an active promoter of the energy efficiency programs. The State of Indiana requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and efficiency inclusion in utility Integrated Resource Plans (IRP)s.  To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Indiana page of the State Database. On the state level, Indianapolis strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for all of its utilities.

Citizens Water, an IOU, is the primary drinking water provider as well as the wastewater manager for the City of Indianapolis. Citizens Water and the Department of Public Works (municipal) both manage stormwater for Indianapolis. The utilities administer their programs to customers as a result of regulatory order.

Last Updated: December 2014

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2013, according to IPL, they spent $26,116,000 on electric efficiency programs, representing 2.23% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, IPL reported a net incremental electricity savings of 142,175MWh, representing 1.01% of its retail sales. In 2103, Citizens Energy did not spend or did not report spending on natural gas efficiency programs. Spending on electricity efficiency represented in this section covers the entire Indiana service territory, not just Indianapolis. IPL offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

Indianapolis partners with IPL in the promotion and implementation of its income-qualified weatherization program, administered by the statewide third-party administrator. The city has leveraged its Better Buildings Neighborhood Program (BBNP) grant funding with the utility DSM funding to increase benefits to customers while reducing the administrative costs associated with customer recruitment and delivery of energy assessments. The city also partners with Citizens Gas in administering a portion of their weatherization funds.

The city has advocated directly to the utility for both of the electric and gas utilities to offer "on-bill financing" for both utility and city-sponsored energy efficiency programs.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

Indiana’s utilities are not required to meet a local energy savings target, but instead are subject to state targets.

The City of Indianapolis does not have a franchise agreement or municipal aggregation contract in place to ensure energy efficiency while powering city operations. However, Indianapolis Power & Light has committed to increasing cost-effective investments in energy efficiency with a goal of achieving a 2 percent annual energy savings by 2019.

Last Updated: December 2014

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, IPL has committed to providing PowerView, a user-friendly, data sharing platform similar to Green Button. IPL does not provide energy usage data to building managers for input into benchmarking services. The City of Indianapolis does not have a data sharing agreement with IPL, and community aggregated data is not available. At this point, the City of Indianapolis does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by the utilities.

Last Updated: December 2014

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

Currently, Citizens Water does not have a specified goal for water efficiency. Though there aren’t programs in place to help customers save water, Citizens Water does provide this list of helpful tips for saving water at home.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

As of August 2011, the Citizens Energy Group assumed responsibility for Indianapolis’s water and wastewater utilities. Citizens Energy Group pledged to operate the utilities for community benefit and to create operating efficiencies that would lower costs. Combining the city’s water and wastewater systems with Citizens' natural gas, steam, and chilled water utilities will help to reduce future utility rate increases by 25% from the increases currently projected. In 2013, following energy audits at its facilities, Citizens Energy Group has identified and implemented measures in their operating facilities to reduce energy consumption and enhance the efficiency of their operations. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative's Green Supplemental Document provides design guidance to the design community for stormwater conveyance and treatment and to the office of code enforcement to approve site and building plans that incorporate sustainable infrastructure. Each year, the city’s Office of Sustainability and United Water collaborate on the Green Infrastructure Grant Program to promote the construction of green infrastructure, such as green roofs, porous pavement, and rain gardens.

Last Updated: December 2014

Score: 7.5 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Indianapolis is the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation. IndyGo also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Indianapolis MPO is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Indianapolis and many surrounding cities and towns. The Department of Public Works is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: December 2014

Location Efficiency List All

Indianapolis has not yet implemented location-efficient zoning codes to be used across the city or in any specific neighborhood. The city allows 2 off-street parking spaces per residential unit. Downtown districts may set their own parking rules. Indianapolis adopted its complete streets policy in 2012, through Chapter 431, Article VIII. The adoption of the guidelines encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all new transportation infrastructure construction projects. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: December 2014

Mode Shift List All

Transportation and Land Use Planning

Indianapolis has not yet written or implemented a policy to encourage improved integration of transportation and land use planning such as a VMT reduction or mode share target.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

Indianapolis is served by the Blue Indy car sharing program. Indianapolis’s bikesharing program, Pacers Bikeshare, is fully operable with 25 stations downtown. 

Transportation Demand Management Programs

Indianapolis has not yet implemented any transportation demand management programs to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips or trips during rush hour.

Last updated: February 2015

Transit List All

The IndyGo transit system that serves Indianapolis received $63,635,095 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $31.92 per resident in the service territory of the agency. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $51,728,283, or $61.96 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 0.52 to 1.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List All

At this time, Indianapolis does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of commercial or private EV charging infrastructure. The local government has made 25 EV charging stations available for public use. 

The City of Indianapolis and the Central Indiana Clean Air Partnership work together on the Knozone Program. Through this program, local businesses commit to implementing no idling policies outside of their place of business, and display a sign showing participation in the program. The local government of Indianapolis is an active participant in the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition

Last updated: February 2015

Freight List All

There are 19 intermodal freight facilities within the City of Indianapolis’s boundaries, 13 of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. Indianapolis’s share of regional freight traffic in 2011, normalized by population, is 22,559 ton-miles. As a result there are 0.576 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic, putting the city in the middle category for this metric (0.5-0.999) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014