State and Local Policy Database

Las Vegas

City Scorecard Rank

29

Las Vegas, NV

34.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Score:
8.5 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

The Sustainable Energy Strategy, adopted in 2008, details Las Vegas’s greenhouse gas goals for its local government operations and the community. The city focuses on energy efficiency and conservation projects, including green building construction and improvements at local government facilities and fire stations, and streetlight energy efficiency upgrades to reduce costs and the amount of energy consumed.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

The Sustainable Energy Strategy includes goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from local government operations 10% below 2008 levels by 2011, 20% below 2008 levels by 2020, and 30% below 2008 levels by 2030. The strategy was adopted by the city council in 2008. The city also has a goal in its 2013 Strategic Business Plan to reduce its local government operations energy consumption 20% from a 2008 baseline by FY 2016.

Stringency

To meet their greenhouse gas reduction goal, Las Vegas would need to reduce emissions by 1.7% per year.

Progress

Las Vegas is on track for its local government greenhouse gas goal.

Reporting

Las Vegas publishes quarterly scorecards detailing the local government’s energy and water use and costs. The city also publishes an annual report that includes details on some government operations-related efficiency projects and briefs for the city council. According to their 2016 submission to CDP, the city reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from local government operations by 38% between 2008 and 2016. The city has already achieved it GHG-related 2020 local government goal.

Last updated: January 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Las Vegas does not have fuel efficiency requirements for the public fleet. Nevertheless, the city has converted more than 95% of its non-emergency fleet to fuel efficient vehicles. The city does not have a formal energy-efficient vehicle procurement policy and it does not employ technologies to increase public fleet efficiency.

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

We could not confirm if Las Vegas has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. However, this city has adopted regional standards set forth by the Regional Transportation Commission, which mirror the industry American National Standards Institute/ Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (ANSI/IESNA) to upgrade nearly 80% of its streetlight inventory to LED. Energy-efficient streetlights was recognized by the city as the next key component to attaining the city’s energy savings. Las Vegas began a streetlight replacement program in 2013.

New Buildings and Equipment

As a part of the Green Building Resolution, adopted by the city council in 2006, the city constructs and upgrades all new or existing facilities to LEED Silver standards. The city has a Sustainable Purchasing Policy and a Sustainable Contracting policy that encourages staff to purchase ENERGY STAR products.

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Las Vegas uses ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark 24 facilities. These facilities account for 53% of the local government’s total floor area. This City includes public building retrofits in its annual 5-year capital improvement plan. Specific energy efficiency upgrades over the last years have included major interior lighting upgrades, efficient pool pumps, building HVAC, motion controls/sensors, and mechanical improvements at City Hall, the City’s Development Services Center, five community centers, and the City’s Detention Center.

Public Employees

The City allows a four-day work week for all non-emergency personnel.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The Las Vegas Office of Sustainability leads the city’s energy efficiency initiatives.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Las Vegas has not identified or implemented a community-wide energy efficiency target.

Last updated: January 2017

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

Downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Medical District have been identified as opportunity areas for district energy or microgrids. There have not been any formal efforts to assist with planning an efficient distributed energy system.

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city passed the Urban Forestry Initiative in 2008 (R-26-2008) to improve air quality, reduce the urban heat island effect, and increase quality of life in terms of shade, beauty, and privacy for Las Vegas residents. The initiative includes an urban heat island mitigation goal to increase urban tree canopy coverage to 20% by 2035.

The city requires all non-residential developments greater than one acre in size to use low impact development techniques in site design. The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance or policies that require or incentivize conservation of private land.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 5.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

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

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Nevada is a home rule state and allows local governments to adopt building energy codes for their own jurisdiction. Effective July 2015, the 2012 IECC with state specific amendments for residential buildings and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 for commercial buildings were adopted by the State of Nevada.

Commercial

Las Vegas is located in Clark County; the County is responsible for adopting and enforcing the energy code at the local level. The 2012 IECC is required for commercial construction. Las Vegas has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes.

Residential

Las Vegas is located in Clark County; the County is responsible for adopting and enforcing the energy code at the local level. The 2012 IECC is required for residential construction. Las Vegas has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in residential building energy codes.

Last Updated: March 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Las Vegas does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Las Vegas 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. Las Vegas provides upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance through referrals to state program. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

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

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Las Vegas 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

Las Vegas does not currently offer incentives or financing options for energy efficiency improvements.

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

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

The multiple listing service (MLS) that serves the Las Vegas metro area includes fields for energy efficiency features.

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 10.5 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Nevada Energy (NV Energy), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving Las Vegas. Southwest Gas, an IOU, is Las Vegas’s primary natural gas utility. The State of Nevada has established requirements for energy efficiency programs provided by the state's investor-owned electric utilities, as well as integrated resource planning. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Nevada page of the State Database.

Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) provide drinking water services to residents of Las Vegas. The City of Las Vegas Water Pollution Control Facilities is the municipal utility which provides wastewater treatment services and the Clark County Regional Flood Control District is responsible for stormwater management services.

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to NV Energy’s demand side management report, they achieved 131,029 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.59% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, NV Energy spent $22,004,108 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 0.94% of annual revenue. In 2015, Southwest Gas reported savings of 1.60 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.37% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, Southwest Gas spent $3,929,850 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $5.79 per residential customer. NV Energy offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industry customers. Southwest Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

At this time, the City of Las Vegas does not have a formal partnership with NV Energy or Southwest Gas in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement. Even so, Southwest Gas, NV Energy, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) work with the Desert Research Institute (DRI) to help fund and promote their GreenPower Outreach programs. Through GreenPower Outreach, DRI offers Teacher Trainings and Workshops focused on STEM subjects including energy conservation and management. Additional resources are also offered to Nevada students in the form of Green Boxes, speakers, and field trips.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

NV Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers. Southwest Gas offers the Low Income Energy Conservation Program to income-qualified residential customers in its northern Nevada service territory. The program provides funding for qualifying weatherization measures which include insulation, air-sealing, heating system repairs and tune-ups, as well as mitigating heat gain through windows, doors, and other infiltration points. Southwest Gas helps fund low-income weatherization programs which are administered by local state agencies.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, NV Energy and Southwest Gas do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: January 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, NV Energy makes use of the My Account data sharing platform which includes tools that enable households to compare usage to similar households. Southwest Gas does not yet provide a service to allow customers to access their energy use data. Neither SW Gas nor NV Energy provide energy usage data to building managers for input into automated benchmarking services. NV Energy and SW Gas both provide annual aggregated energy usage for the annual regional greenhouse gas emissions inventories. At this time, the City of Las Vegas does not advocate for improvements in data provision by its utilities.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

Southwest Gas and NV Energy collaborate with the Southern Nevada Water District to offer energy and water conservation tips to local business and residential customers as well as provide separate electric efficiency, gas efficiency and water efficiency programs. The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) established a conservation goal of 199 GPCD (gallons per capita per day) by 2035. In order to meet this goal, the SNWA and Las Vegas Valley Water District use a four-pronged approach of tiered pricing, drought and water use restrictions, incentives for purchasing equipment like pool covers and green landscaping, and education and outreach. Since 2002 when the drought response plan was first developed, Southern Nevada has reduced its water demand from about 314 gallons per person per day to less than 220 GPCD in 2016.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

Las Vegas Valley Water District is pursing energy efficiency initiatives in accordance with the city’s Sustainable Energy Strategy, but a specific energy efficiency goal for operations is not in place. The City of Las Vegas Water Pollution Control Facility digesters use methane capture and have 3.3 MW of solar power generated on site. In addition, power transmitted to the wastewater plant is received from the Colorado River Commission which receives power from Hoover Dam’s Hydropower Systems.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

As outlined in the City of Las Vegas Master Plan’s Conservation Element, the City of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the Regional Flood Control District, and The Southern Nevada Water Authority each encourage green infrastructure, such as bioswales, artificial turf, and xeriscaping on properties to manage stormwater for new and existing developments. A regional clean water team does exist, and most stormwater is designed to flow back into the Las Vegas Wash and wetlands to return to Lake Mead for a Return Flow Credit that counts towards Las Vegas’ water allocation of 320,000 acre feet per year.

Last Updated: January 2017

Transportation
Score: 7 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority and MPO serving the City of Las Vegas is the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). RTC provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Las Vegas Monorail Company provdies monorail service parallel to The Strip. The Department of Public Works is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Las Vegas has adopted individual zoning plans for certain neighborhoods around the city, including the Downtown Centennial Plan and Las Vegas Medical Center Plan, to encourage compact development, and accessibility for pedestrians. Las Vegas has not removed minimum parking requirements. Downtown has reduced parking. The city offers an expedited plan check and permitting program in general for applicants.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

Las Vegas has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

Las Vegas is served by zipcar. A bikesharing program, RTC Bike Share, is currently operating.  

Complete Streets

The city has not yet adopted or codified a complete streets policy.

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The RTC and Monorail Company transit systems that serve Las Vegas received $237,339,390 in total funding in 2015. This funding level is $118.16 per resident in the service territory. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 1.09 to 1.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. Las Vegas’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 3, putting it in the lowest category (0-4) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Las Vegas does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. The city also does not yet have incentives supporting the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. The city has  84 EV charging stations available for public use. 

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Las Vegas does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place nor does the city has any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

Las Vegas does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Las Vegas has a Mobility Master Plan in place that makes recommendations for vehicular, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements over a 20 year time frame. The plan includes over 180 multimodal transportation improvements projects. Las Vegas does not have a codified VMT or greenhouse gas reduction target in place.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Las Vegas does not have any requirements or incentives in place to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Last updated: January 2017