State and Local Policy Database

Los Angeles

City Scorecard Rank


Los Angeles, CA

51.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Operations
Score: 7 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

GreenLA, Los Angeles’s climate action plan, and ClimateLA, Los Angeles’s climate action implementation plan, together articulate the city’s energy-related priorities for its internal government operations. One of their primary focuses is increasing energy efficiency in municipal facilities. The General Services Department is largely responsible for coordinating city departmental efforts toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Last updated: December 2014

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Los Angeles does not have a single target for government operations, but Executive Directive No. 10, issued in 2007, directs all city departments to create individual sustainability plans. The City of Los Angeles spent all of 2014 developing a Sustainable City Plan which will be released in 2015. This process has identified a specific target for municipal operations along with initiatives to meet that target. The Mayor’s Office is working with all relevant departments as well as external stakeholders to develop the appropriate goals and metrics that will be included in the sustainability plan.

Last updated: February 2015

Performance Management Strategies List All

The General Services Department maintains a fund where utility rebates are held in order to be used for energy efficiency upgrades for local government facilities.

Los Angeles publishes data sets on the local government's energy and water use on the city’s data portal. The city does not use an independent firm for evaluation, monitoring, and verification of energy savings from government operations projects.

The city has a facilities maintenance team, with four team members, dedicated to improving the operations of our city buildings. Los Angeles does not offer 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

Los Angeles has a policy, started in 2007, to replace fleet vehicles with the most efficient vehicles available at the time of purchase. As of 2014, 87% of the light duty fleet was hybrid or EV. As part of the Los Angeles Clean Cities Program, the city committed to increasing its fleet of alternative fuel vehicles by an average of 15% each year. The General Services Department also has an anti-idling policy for all city vehicles, except emergency vehicles. 

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

Los Angeles has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Through the Green Streetlight Program, the Bureau of Street Lighting has replaced over 140,000 existing fixtures with LEDs as of 2013.

New Buildings and Equipment

The 2009 Green Building Ordinance (Ordinance 180633) requires public buildings of more than 7,500 square feet or those built prior to 1978 to be retrofitted to meet LEED Silver requirements, but the requirements do not specifically emphasize completion of the energy efficiency elements of the certification. The city also adopted an environmentally preferable purchasing policy (Ordinance 180751), which includes an energy efficiency consideration.

Last updated: February 2015

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

250 local government buildings out of 800 are currently being benchmarked using Portfolio Manager. These buildings represent the top consumers and account for 80% of the energy consumption of city buildings. The city is a DOE Better Buildings Challenge Community Partner, with 30 million square feet committed, including municipal buildings. GreenLA includes a goal that energy-efficient retrofits be performed on 50 city buildings in order to continually reduce energy consumption and that energy efficiency retrofits of all city-owned buildings be completed in order to achieve at least a 20% reduction in energy consumption.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

The city has a green retrofit and building policy, but we could not confirm if it contained any sustainable infrastructure policies, such as lifecycle cost analysis requirements.

Public Employees

Telecommuting is handled on a case by case basis; there is no citywide policy for it. We did not find data on others policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules. The city subsidizes public transit for city employees and offers free parking and charging for electric vehicles.

Last updated: December 2014

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 8 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is responsible for implementing the goals and strategies contained in the city’s recently adopted Sustainable City pLAn.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All


Los Angeles’s Sustainable City pLAn was formally adopted by Executive Directive 7 in April 2015 and includes community-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy efficiency goals.

The plan calls for the city to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 45% below a 1990 baseline by 2025, 60% below a 1990 baseline by 2035, and 80% below a 1990 baseline by 2050. The plan also calls for improving the greenhouse gas efficiency of the city’s economy from 2009 levels 55% by 2025 and 75% by 2035.

The plan includes a goal to reduce energy use per square foot for all building types by at least 14% below a 2013 baseline by 2025 and 30% below a 2013 baseline by 2035. The plan includes a target to use energy efficiency to deliver 15% of all of the city’s projected electricity needs through rebates, incentives, and education by 2020.

Los Angeles is required to publish an annual public report on progress towards its goals. Since the Sustainable City pLAn was released in 2015, the city has since published the first annual report in 2016. Relevant data is also publicly available on the city’s Sustainability Dashboard. The city is not currently on track to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions goal.

Last updated: January 2017

Performance Management StrategiesList All

The city does not yet publish progress toward community-wide efficiency initiatives, but the city is planning to start regularly publishing this data on the city’s data portal. Los Angeles does not use an independent firm for EM&V of savings from community-wide efficiency projects. The city does however employ a permanent staff member to develop energy and water efficiency programs and policies for city's existing buildings. We could not confirm if Los Angeles has a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for community-wide energy management or efficiency investments.

Last updated: February 2015

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’s Sustainable City pLAn has set a goal to reduce the local urban-rural temperature differential by at least 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2025 and 3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2035. The city adopted this target because average temperatures in Los Angeles are nearly six degrees hotter than surrounding areas.

The city has adopted requirements for buildings to include cool roofs and low impact development techniques in site design. The city also awards development bonuses for permanent protection of open space through a transfer of development right program. The city had not adopted a private tree protection ordinance.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 12 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

Los Angeles has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including an energy savings target. The Department of Building and Safety manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Los Angeles.

Last Updated: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of California allows its local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the mandatory state codes. Title 24 outlines all California building codes. Title 24, Part 6 includes the California Energy Code and the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (BEES). Title 24, Part 11 includes the California Green Building Code. The California Energy Code, BEES and California Green Building Codes have been updated in 2016 and are effective January 1, 2017. The 2016 codes exceed the 2015 IECC standards and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2013. To learn more about California’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Los Angles has adopted the 2016 BEES and the 2016 California Green Buildings Code, effective January 1, 2017.


Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Los Angles has adopted the 2016 BEES and the 2016 California Green Buildings Code, effective January 1, 2017.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Los Angeles reported a budget of $38,886,000 for the building code department in 2012. This level of spending normalizes to $23 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Los Angeles 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. Los Angeles 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

Los Angeles has set its energy intensity reduction goal in conjunction with its involvement with the DOE Better Buildings Challenge as a Community Partner. Los Angeles has the goal to reduce energy intensity by 20% by 2020. This goal covers 30 million square feet of private building stock.

Green Building Requirements

The 2009 Green Building Ordinance requires retrofitting of all public buildings greater than 7500 sq ft or built prior to 1978 to achieve LEED Silver status. Privately-funded commercial and residential buildings are not subject to green building requirements.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Los Angeles 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

Los Angeles does not yet provide incentives or financing products for home or building owners making energy efficient upgrades.

Last Updated: December 2014

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All


California requires commercial buildings to obtain and disclose ENERGY STAR ratings to transactional counterparties and the California Energy Commission at the time of a sale, lease or financing for the entire building through AB 1130. Los Angeles is encouraging commercial benchmarking through the Better Buildings Challenge. Commercial buildings that have joined the challenge are required to benchmark energy and water use through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.  


SoCal MLS, the multiple listing service that serves the Los Angeles region, includes very many energy efficiency fields for features of homes listed on the market.

Last Updated: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is available to all homeowners in Los Angeles through Efficiency First.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers a Custom Performance Program that offers rebates for whole building commercial efficiency improvements.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 13 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the municipal utility which provides electricity and drinking water services to the City of Los Angeles. Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary natural gas utility for the City of Los Angeles. The State of California requires spending and savings targets for its IOUs through an EERS and requires local government- utility partnerships through mandate by the California PUC. The municipally-run utilities are not required to meet the state EERS targets, but instead set their own energy efficiency targets. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County provides wastewater treatment and water reclamation services for the city. The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation is the municipal utility which provides stormwater management for the city.

Last Updated: February 2015

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2013, according to LADWP, they spent $78,000,000 on electric efficiency programs, representing 2.59% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, LADPW reported a net incremental electricity savings of 252,000MWh, representing 1.07% of its retail sales. In the same year, SoCalGas spent $52,360,000 on natural gas efficiency programs. The expenditures normalize to $9.70 per residential customer. Due to these programs, SoCalGas reported a net incremental savings of 25.44MMTherms, representing .82% of its retail sales. Spending and savings were both reported in SoCal Gas's Energy Efficiency Programs Annual Report of 2013 Results. Spending on electricity represented in this section cover all of Los Angeles. The spending reported on natural gas represented in this section covers the entire SoCalGas service territory, not just Los Angeles. LADWP offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. SoCal Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

In 2013, SoCalGas and LADWP began offering several energy-saving programs to residential and business customers in their joint service territory. This allows them to reap the cobenefits of their energy efficiency programs for all their joint customers.

Energy Upgrade California is a partnership between LADWP and SoCal Gas which provides two levels of efficiency upgrades.

The City of Los Angeles works with a few coalitions to advocate to the state for increased spending and savings requirements for the utilities including, Green Cities California and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition.

Last Updated: February 2015

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

While the state requires the municipal utilities to achieve 10% of their supply through energy efficiency by 2023, LADWP has adopted a more stringent target of 15% by 2020. Individual annual targets are 1.3%, 1.9%, 2.2%, 2.3%, 2.2%, and 2.0% through fiscal year 2019-20.

Last Updated: February  2015

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Currently, LADWP has committed to providing its customers with the Green Button data sharing platform and is in the process of implementation. SoCalGas provides automated benchmarking services to building managers or owners through Portfolio Manager. In 2013, LADWP and SoCalGas provided UCLA with community aggregate data for detailed analytics. Some of this information is available publicly on their: electricity map. The City of Los Angeles is taking on an active role at the state level to change the regulations around data access. The city has also partnered with LADWP and SoCalGas in the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, Energy Data Accelerator, to facilitate better access to energy usage data.

Last Updated: December 2014

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

In 2014, the city established a goal to achieve 20% reduction in the city's fresh water use by 2017 and a 50% cut in the amount of imported water purchased by the Department of Water and Power by 2024. LADWP offers a number of free water conservation devices such as showerheads and aerators. Also, the LADWP Landscape Incentive Program pays customers to replace turf grass with drought-tolerant plants or mulch.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The city has a goal to improve energy efficiency at drinking water treatment and distribution facilities, although no specific targets were available. In 2013, the LADWP Commission adopted an aggressive policy requiring the utility to achieve 15% energy savings through energy efficiency by 2020. The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation operates four treatment and water reclamation plants, two of which generate electricity from captured biogas.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

In 2009, the City of Los Angeles adopted the Water Quality Compliance Master Plan, a 20-year strategy for clean stormwater and urban runoff to reduce the pollution flowing into local rivers, creeks, lakes and beaches. In addition, the city’s Stormwater Pollution Abatement Charge generates $28 million annually for the city’s stormwater management program and services. These funds pay for flood control projects and system maintenance and upgrades, and pollution abatement programs and projects.

Last Updated: December 2014

Score: 11.5 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Los Angeles is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metrolink). Metrolink also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including train and bus service. The Southern California Association of Governments is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Los Angeles, and surrounding cities and counties. The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: December 2014

Location Efficiency List All

Los Angeles has 37 pans and implementation overlays across the city. 15 of these plans are location-efficient, allowing for mixed-use. The city requires 2 parking spaces per residential unit. Los Angeles has not yet written or codified a Complete Streets Policy, but the city's Planning Department released a draft complete streets manual in 2014. As an incentive to promote location-efficient real estate development, Los Angeles provides density bonuses for affordable housing projects located within 1,500 feet of a transit stop.

Last updated: February 2015

Mode Shift List All

Transportation and Land Use Planning

Los Angeles 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 are three car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of Los Angeles, LAXcarshare, Car2Go, and zipcar. There is currently not a bikesharing program available in Los Angeles.

Transportation Demand Management Programs

Los Angeles requires employers with 250 or more employees to implement at least 1 of the 4 following transportation demand management programs to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips or trips during rush hour: Peak Commute Trip Reductions, Work-Related Trip Reductions, Off-Peak Commute Trip Reductions, Vehicle Miles Traveled. 

Last updated: December 2014

Transit List All

The Metrolink transit system that serves Los Angeles received $2,716,919,488 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $314.94 per resident in the service territory of the agency. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $670,085,178, or $173.92 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 1.81 to 1.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures how many transit rides are available per week within walking distance from the average household. Los Angeles’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 28,781, putting it in the highest possible category (>50,000) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List All

At this time, Los Angeles does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. To foster increased construction of EV charging infrastructure, Los Angeles developed the Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Ready Building Requirements. Newly constructed buildings in Los Angeles must provide the necessary hardware for immediate or future plug-in electric vehicle charging. One- and two-family dwellings and townhouses must be equipped with capacity for at least one PEV charging outlet. Other residential buildings that have a common parking area must be equipped with PEV charging outlets in at least 5% of the total parking spaces or panel capacity and conduit for these upgrades in the future. The parking area of new high-rise residential and non-residential buildings must include PEV charging outlets in at least 5% of the total parking spaces. Rebates are available for EV charging stations installed on single-family, multifamily, and commercial property. The local government has made 9 EV charging stations available for public use throughout the city. 

Los Angeles has not yet established efficient driving rules, such as an anti-idling ordinance, for private vehicles. Los Angeles actively participates in the Los Angeles Clean Cities Coalition

Last updated: December 2014

Freight List All

There are 11 intermodal freight facilities within the City of Los Angeles’ boundaries, 6 of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. Los Angeles’ share of regional freight traffic in 2011, normalized by population, is 156,606 ton-miles. As a result there are 0.038 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