State and Local Policy Database

Las Vegas

City Scorecard Rank

29

Las Vegas, NV

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

The Sustainable Energy Strategy details Las Vegas’s energy efficiency-related 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: December 2014

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 .

According to their 2014 submission to CDP, the city reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from local government operations by 33% between 2008 and 2013. The city has already achieved it GHG-related 2020 local government goal. We did not find quantitative data indicating Las Vegas was on track to achieve its energy reduction goal.

Last updated: February 2015

Performance Management Strategies List All

In 2006, the city adopted the Green Building Resolution that established the Green Building Special Revenue Fund. 25% of any increase in the amount of franchise fees the city collects from providers of electricity, gas and solid waste collection services over 2007 levels, not to exceed $2.5 million per year, is directed to the fund. The fund can be used to finance efficiency investments within local government operations.

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. The city does not use an independent firm for evaluation, monitoring, and verification of energy savings from energy efficiency projects.

There is a chief sustainability officer, 2 fulltime management analysts, 1 part-time technician/ specialist, and 2 part-time interns that are dedicated to overseeing the operational energy management in the local government and coordinating efficiency efforts. At least four other fulltime staff members in the Public Works or Operations and Maintenance Departments dedicate time to operational energy management or coordinate energy efficiency. The city has an annual Values Conference which recognizes employees for their achievements. From 2013-2015, the Conference highlights individuals that have made sustainable contributions to the City of Las Vegas with respect to renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation, and recycling.

Last updated: February 2015

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Las Vegas does not have fuel efficiency requirements for the public fleet. The city does not have a formal policy for right-sizing or anti-idling. The fleet is maintained at operationally optimal service levels and idling is discouraged, but it is not a formal policy.

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. 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, but we could not confirm if requirements specifically emphasized completion of the energy efficiency elements of the LEED certification. The city has a Sustainable Purchasing Policy and a Sustainable Contracting policy that encourage staff to purchase ENERGY STAR products.

Last updated: December 2014

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Las Vegas uses ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark 21 facilities. These facilities account for 45% of the local government’s total floor area. The city’s Sustainable Energy Strategy Implementation Plan had led to the facility retrofits program and exterior lighting upgrades.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

All of the local government’s decisions on major capital projects and new city programs are made after considering life cycle financial, environmental and social costs and benefits during the course of the capital planning process.

Public Employees

The city employees a four day work week for all non-emergency personnel. Las Vegas participates in the Regional Transportation Commissions Club Ride Program, the region’s TDM program, but the city does not offer transit benefits to its local government employees.

Last updated: December 2014

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

Performance Management StrategiesList All

Las Vegas publishes an annual report that discusses its community-wide energy efficiency-related initiatives and briefs the city council and the community at public hearings. The city also discloses its community-wide GHG emissions to CDP annually. Las Vegas does not use an independent firm for EM&V of savings from community-wide efficiency projects. There are 2 fulltime management analysts, 1 part-time technician/ specialist, and 2 part-time interns that are dedicated to implementing community-wide energy efficiency strategies. In 2006, the city adopted the Green Building Resolution that established the Green Building Special Revenue Fund. 25% of any increase in the amount of franchise fees the city collects from providers of electricity, gas and solid waste collection services over 2007 levels, not to exceed $2.5 million per year, is directed to the fund. It is the city’s dedicated funding source for both city and community-wide energy management or efficiency investments and is not dependent on general funds. 

Last updated: February 2015

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 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

Las Vegas has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including required training for building code officials on energy code plan reviews and inspections. The Building and Safety Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Las Vegas.

Last Updated: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Nevada is a home rule state and allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes more stringent than the state mandated codes. Effective July 2015, the 2012 IECC with state specific amendments is mandatory for residential and commercial buildings statewide. ASHRAE 90.1-2010 became mandatory for commercial buildings in July 2015.

Commercial

Las Vegas follows the state adopted 2009 IECC for commercial construction. Las Vegas has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes.

Residential

Las Vegas follows the state adopted 2009 IECC for residential construction. Las Vegas has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in residential building energy codes.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Las Vegas reported a budget of $6,479,889 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $21 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city.

Las Vegas requires training for city building code officials on the IECC for energy code plan reviews and inspections. 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 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

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

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: December 2014

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: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is available for homeowners in Las Vegas through EnergyFit Nevada.

Last Updated: December 2014

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

Nevada Power Company, an investor-owned utility (IOU) and subsidiary to NV Energy, 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: December 2014

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

According to EIA, in 2012, Nevada Power Company (NV Energy) spent $19,752,000 on electric efficiency programs, representing .93% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, Nevada Power Company reported a net incremental electricity savings of 147,366MWh, representing .67% of its retail sales. In the same year, Southwest Gas reported spending $2,696,500 on gas efficiency programs. The expenditures normalize to $4.09 per residential customer. Due to these programs, Southwest Gas reported a net incremental savings of .90MMTherms, representing .22% of its retail sales. Nevada Power Company 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.

The City of Las Vegas also works with NV Energy and Southwest Gas on electrical and natural gas efficiency programs and helps increase program participation in programs through web blogs and links to energy efficient programs that can be accessed from the city’s sustainability website. The City of Las Vegas may support bills or dockets at the Legislature or in front of the Public Utilities Commission that will benefits the residents and environment of Las Vegas.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

The City of Las Vegas does not have any additional requirements with investor-owned utilities to fund efficiency programs or achieve savings targets – all requirements are statutory or through regulation and are overseen by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

The City of Las Vegas may support bills or dockets at the Legislature or in front of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) that will benefit the residents and environment of Las Vegas. In 2013, for example, the City of Las Vegas supported legislation (SB 123) that would require the state’s investor-owned utilities to file an emission reduction plan with the PUCN, taking into account energy efficiency and renewable energy. Beginning in 2015, the city expects to support legislation tied to statewide energy efficiency standards and a PACE program.

Last Updated: December 2014

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. NV Energy does not provide energy usage data to building managers for input into automated benchmarking services. NV Energy and Southwest Gas both provide aggregated energy usage for community-planning and evaluation purposes, including for annual regional greenhouse gas emissions inventories. At this point, the City of Las Vegas does not advocate for improvements in data provision by its utilities.

Last Updated: December 2014

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

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.

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

The City of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Valley Water 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.

The city does use funding to incorporate green infrastructure such as permeable paving, xeriscaping, and natural flood control measures into the design of its projects.

Last Updated: December 2014

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: December 2014

Location Efficiency List All

Las Vegas has adopted individual zoning plans for certain neighborhoods around the city, inlcuding the Downtown Centennial Plan and Las Vegas Medical Center Plan, to encourage compact development, and accesibility for pedestrians. Las Vegas has not removed minimum parking requirements. Downtown has reduced parking. While Las Vegas hasnt yet codified a complete streets policy, the city utilizes the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada Complete Streets policy and has incorporated complete streets standards into its municipal code - Title 19.04. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: February 2015

Mode Shift List All

Transportation and Land Use Planning

Las Vegas 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

There is not yet a car sharing program available to the residents and visitors of Las Vegas. A bikesharing program, ViaCycle, is currently under development.

Transportation Demand Management Programs

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada offers a TDM program, Club Ride, which helps commuters in the Las Vegas Valley reduce demand through carpools, public transportation, biking, walking, and telecommuting. 

Last updated: February 2015

Transit List All

The RTC and Monorail Company transit systems that serve Las Vegas received $226,065,258 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $119 per resident in the service territory. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $78,512,112, or $131.69 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 0.91 to 1.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures how many transit rides are available per week within walking distance from the average household. Las Vegas’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 7,285.70, putting it in the second lowest category (5,000 to 10,000) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List 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 policies or incentives supporting the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. The local government of Las Vegas has made 20 EV charging stations available for public use. 

Las Vegas has not yet established efficient driving rules, such as an anti-idling ordinance, for private vehicles. Las Vegas does actively participate in the Las Vegas Clean Cities Coalition

Last updated: February 2015

Freight List All

There are six intermodal freight facilities within the City of Las Vegas’s boundaries, two of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. Las Vegas’s share of regional freight traffic in 2012, normalized by population, is 11,376 ton-miles. As a result there are 0.176 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic, putting the city in the second lowest category for this metric (>0 to 0.499) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014