State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Louisville, KY

26.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Operations
Score: 2.5 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

The Sustain Louisville Plan articulates some of the city’s energy efficiency-related activities for its internal government operations.

Last updated: December 2014

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

In Sustain Louisville, the Louisville Metro Government set a goal to decrease energy use in city-owned buildings 30% by 2018 from a 2012 baseline. The city has not set a goal that covers all its local government operations.

Last updated: December 2014

Performance Management Strategies List All

We could not confirm if Louisville has a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for local government efficiency investments.

Louisville reports on some of its efficiency-related activities for its local government operations through the annual Sustain Louisville Progress Report. The city does not use an independent firm for evaluation, monitoring, and verification of energy savings from government operations projects.  

Louisville has one city staff member dedicated to energy efficiency efforts within government operations. Louisville 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

We did not find information regarding fuel efficiency requirements for the public fleet. No right-sizing policies or anti-idling policies for the city fleet are currently in place, but anti-idling initiatives are underway.

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 Louisville has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. The street lights are not owned by Louisville Metro Government; they are owned by the private utility.

New Buildings and Equipment

Louisville does not have currently have energy efficiency requirements for new public buildings or efficiency requirements in the city’s procurement policy.

Last updated: December 2014

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Louisville Metro Government tracks approximately 37.3% of its total square footage in Portfolio Manager and is working towards 100%. In 2012, Louisville Metro Government completed its first Energy Savings Performance Contract. In 2013, Louisville Metro Government signed a $27 million Energy Savings Performance Contract. Louisville Metro Government also has developed a draft energy management policy.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

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

Public Employees

Louisville has an alternative work schedule policy for city employees. We did not find information on transit benefits offered to city employees.  

Last updated: December 2014

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2.5 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The Sustain Louisville plan articulates the city’s community-wide energy efficiency-related goals. Louisville has recently completed the most comprehensive urban heat island study in the nation.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Mayor Greg Fischer signed the Compact of Mayors (COM) in April 2016. A community-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal has not been set, but will be set as required through the COM.

In the Sustain Louisville plan, the Louisville Metro Government set a goal to decrease community-wide per capita energy use 25% below 2012 levels by 2025. Mayor Fischer has formally adopted this goal.

The city releases regular reports that track the city’s progress toward its goals. Sustain Louisville’s 2015 Progress Report indicates that the city is not on track to achieve its energy reduction goals.

Last updated: January 2017

Performance Management StrategiesList All

Louisville reports on its community-wide energy efficiency-related activities through the annual Sustain Louisville Progress Report. Louisville does not use an independent firm for EM&V of savings from community-wide efficiency projects. Many city staff are working on community-wide initiatives, but no staff are purely dedicated to reducing community-wide energy usage. Louisville does not have a dedicated funding source for community-wide energy management.

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 Louisville Urban Tree Canopy Assessment adopted an urban heat island mitigation goal to reach 45% urban tree canopy cover across the city.

The city’s Land Development Code sets specific requirements for the permanent preservation of a portion of trees on sites undergoing construction. The code also allows for conservation subdivisions that encourage the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns. The city is currently in the process of developing an incentives program to encourage the use of low impact development techniques in site design.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 6.5 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

Louisville does not have 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: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Kentucky requires its local jurisdictions to follow the 2013 Kentucky Building Code (KBC). The KBC references the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for commercial buildings and the 2009 IECC for residential buildings. To learn more about the required building codes for the State of Kentucky, please visit the State Policy Database


Commercial buildings in Louisville must comply with the 2013 KBC. Louisville has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes.


Residential buildings in Louisville must comply with the 2013 KBC. Louisville has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in residential building energy codes.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Louisville reported a budget of $12,000,300 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $45 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Louisville 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. Although not required, Louisville partnered with third-party testers to provide training on the basics of energy review. Louisville supports ongoing training for builders and developers on the energy code, which is offered by trade groups.

Last Updated: December 2014

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Building Energy Savings Goals

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

Green Building Requirements

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

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Louisville 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

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

Last Updated: December 2014

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

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

The multiple listing service (MLS) that serves the Louisville region does not currently include fields for energy efficiency features.

Last Updated: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

The Kentucky Home Performance Program is available to homeowners throughout the state. 

Custom Commercial Rebates to encourage comprehensive commercial energy efficiency upgrades are available through Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E)

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 2 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and natural gas utility serving the City of Louisville. The State of Kentucky has not yet implemented an energy efficiency portfolio standard in which levels of energy efficiency must be achieved annually by the state’s utilities through demand side programs. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Kentucky page of the State Database.

The Louisville Water Company supplies drinking water to residents of Louisville and the Metropolitan Sewer District is the regional wastewater utility that serves the city.

Last Updated: December 2014

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

According to EIA, in 2012, Louisville Gas & Electric spent $7,597,000 on electric efficiency programs, representing 0.79% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, Louisville Gas & Electric net incremental electricity savings was 64,472MWh, representing 0.54% of its retail sales. In 2013, Louisville Gas & Electric either did not spend or did not report spending on natural gas efficiency programs. Louisville Gas & Electric offers natural gas and electric efficiency tools and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

Louisville Metro Government does not require LG&E to invest in energy efficiency, but the state of Kentucky’s Public Service Commission requires spending on demand side management for LG&E.

Last Updated: December 2014

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

LG&E has not yet committed to providing the Green Button data sharing platform to its customers. LG&E does not provide Louisville’s building managers with automatic benchmarking data for use in Portfolio Manager. LG&E does not provide community aggregate energy usage data for public consumption for planning or program evaluation. At this point, the City of Louisville 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

The Louisville Water Company  has not established any water efficiency programs, policies, or goals.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

At this point, the City of Louisville has not established a goal or programs for energy efficiency through the city’s water service operation system. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) offers monetary incentives for green infrastructure projects on private property based on the amount of rainwater the installation manages on-site. The Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Sustainability will match MSD’s incentive $1 for $1 up to $10,000 for project receiving less than $50,000 from MSD.

In the FY2013 and FY2014 budget, Louisville Metro Government has dedicated funds for planting trees on public property to reduce the impact of stormwater.

Last Updated: December 2014

Score: 12.5 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Louisville is The Transit Authority of River City. The Transit Authority provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus and trolley service. The Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Authority is the COG and the Louisville Area MPO is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Their area of jurisdiction encompasses Louisville, and many surrounding counties, cities, and towns in Kentucky and Indiana. 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

Louisville has not yet implemented location efficient zoning codes to be used across the city or in any specific neighborhood. The city’s parking code requires 1 space minimum across urban areas, and 2 spaces in suburban areas. A 10% reduction is allowed for development near transit routes. A 30% reduction is allowed if a transportation demand management plan is submitted. A 50% reduction is allowed in Traditional Form Districts. Louisville has not yet written or codified a Complete Streets Policy. 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

The Sustainability plan, Sustain Louisville sets the goal to reduce VMT 20% by 2025 from 2012 levels. Strategies to accomplish this goal include launcing a bikeshare program, implementing a carshare program, promoting bus ridership, and improving bicycle facilities. 

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There is a car sharing program currently available to the residents and visitors of Louisville, enterprise CarShare. A bikesharing program is currently available with three stations in service, Louisville Bcycle.

Transportation Demand Management Programs

Louisville's transportation demand management program, KIPDA Ticket to Ride organizes van and carpools to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips or trips during rush hour.

Last updated: December 2014

Transit List All

The TA River City and Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Authority systems that serve Louisville received $76,963,277 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $67.28 per resident in the service territory of the agency. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $88,457,219, or $146.21 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 0.46 to 1.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures how many transit rides are available per week within walking distance from the average household. The City of Louisville’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 56,386.48, putting it in the highest category (>50,000) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List All

At this time, Louisville 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 not yet made any EV charging stations available for public use. 

Louisville has not yet established efficient driving rules, such as an anti-idling ordinance, for private vehicles. Louisville is an active member of the Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership Coalition

Last updated: December 2014

Freight List All

There are 21 intermodal freight facilities within the City of Louisville’s boundaries, 18 of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. Louisville’s share of regional freight traffic in 2012, normalized by population, is 15,421 ton-miles. As a result there are 1.167 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic, putting the city in the second-highest category for this metric (1-1.999) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014