State and Local Policy Database

New Orleans

City Scorecard Rank


New Orleans, LA

20.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Operations
Score: 2 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

New Orleans does not have an overarching plan or strategy for improving energy efficiency in the city’s internal government operations. While New Orleans’s energy efficiency-related actions have been limited, the city has taken steps to reduce energy use from public outdoor lighting.

Last updated: December 2014

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

New Orleans has not developed an energy efficiency-related goal for local government operations. The city is involved in the 100 Resilient Cities Initiatives of the Rockefeller Foundation and will be undertaking a planning process that may entail the development of a strategy or plan for addressing various issues, including energy efficiency.

Last updated: December 2014

Performance Management Strategies List All

We do not know if New Orleans has a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for local government efficiency investments, but the city has a spending plan to fund efficient street lighting by leveraging state-offered energy conservation bonds.

The city publishes quarterly reports, Results NOLA, on departmental key performance indicators. New Orleans reports on some of its efficiency activities in these reports. The city does not use an independent firm for evaluation, monitoring, and verification of energy savings from efficiency projects.

In the fall of 2014, the city launched an energy management pilot at two of its newer facilities with the intention of expanding the pilot in 2015. For the pilot they have hired Green Coast Enterprises. The city has two fulltime staff members dedicated to this project and other energy management issues. Beyond the pilot they also oversaw the streetlight conversion to LED's. One works for the CAO's Office and the other work for the Deputy Mayor for Capital Projects. New Orleans 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

New Orleans does not have specific fuel efficiency requirements for the city fleet and does not have right-sizing policies or anti-idling policies for the city fleet.

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 New Orleans has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. New Orleans has begun an outdoor lighting replacement program for publicly-owned lighting. All streetlights have photo sensors, so they only operate from dawn to dusk.

New Buildings and Equipment

New Orleans does not have energy efficiency requirements for public buildings and energy efficiency requirements are not included in the local government procurement policy.

Last updated: December 2014

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

The City of New Orleans and Green Coast Enterprises, thanks to funding and guidance from NRDC, benchmarked 100 pecent of the energy used by the 92 city owned buildings in the fall of 2013. The city is now using Wego Wise to continue to track this information. In addition we did Ashrae Level 1 audits of 17 facilities to advise the city on next steps for an overall energy management strategy. The findings of this report were released publicly at Greenbuild in New Orleans in October of 2014.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

New Orleans does not have sustainable infrastructure policies for capital investments.

Public Employees

New Orleans does not have policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules and teleworking policies, and does not offer transit benefits to city employees.

Last updated: February 2015

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

New Orleans’s Resilience Project leads the city’s implementation of its community-wide energy efficiency initiatives.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

New Orleans formally adopted an energy savings goal for Entergy New Orleans, the utility serving the city, with Resolution R-15-599 to achieve 2% annual energy savings.

New Orleans has made committed to the Compact of Mayors and aims to complete a climate action plan with climate goals by 2018. Commitments to complete a climate action plan are also included in the city's Resilient New Orleans Strategy and the city’s Plan for the 21st Century. The city has already completed a greenhouse gas inventory.

Last updated: January 2017

Performance Management StrategiesList All

New Orleans has one fulltime employee in the Environmental Affairs Department dedicated to community-wide energy efficiency strategies, but the city has not implemented other performance management strategies. The city does not annually release reports on progress toward community-wide efficiency-related efforts and the city does not have dedicated funding for community-wide initiatives. 

Last updated: December 2014

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

The city is currently conducting feasibility studies for the installation of microgrids in certain areas of the city.

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

We are unable to determine if the city has adopted an urban heat island mitigation goal.

The New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance contains numerous requirements and incentives that mitigate the urban heat island effect. The city’s zoning code requires the use of low impact development techniques in site design, protects private trees on sites undergoing development, and encourages the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 5 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

New Orleans has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Code Enforcement manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of New Orleans.

Last Updated: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Louisiana is a home rule state and allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes which are more stringent than the minimum state requirements, or to suit their local conditions. The minimum state standard requires residential construction to comply with the 2009 IRC with reference to the 2009 IECC. Commercial construction must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2007. To learn more about the required building codes for the State of Louisiana, please visit the State Policy Database.


Although local authority is permitted, New Orleans has not adopted amendments or strech codes regarding commercial buildings.


Although local authority is permitted, New Orleans has not adopted amendments or strech codes regarding residential buildings.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

New Orleans reported a budget of $4,714,000 for code enforcement and prosecution in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $44 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. New Orleans 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. The City Planning Office provides free guidance and information relative to building code compliance to customers that go to the planning office to apply for permits and waivers.

Last Updated: December 2014

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Building Energy Savings Goals

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

Green Building Requirements

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

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

New Orleans 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

New Orleans does not currently provide incentives or financing products for home or building owners making energy efficient upgrades. However, the city is in the process of adopting non-financial bonuses in a draft comprehensive zoning ordinance (CZO) for building projects that use energy efficient and sustainable building practices.

Last Updated: December 2014

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

New Orleans does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage building benchmarking in any sector. The MLS service that serves the New Orleans area includes fields for energy-efficient measures.

Last Updated: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is available to all homeowners in New Orleans through Energy Smart.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 1.5 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Entergy New Orleans, an investor-owned utility (IOU) and subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, is the primary electric and natural gas utility serving the City of New Orleans. Entergy New Orleans, which is regulated by the City of New Orleans, offers a portfolio of energy efficiency programs called Energy Smart. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Louisiana page of the State Database.

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans provides drinking water and wastewater treatment services to the City of New Orleans. 

Last Updated: December 2014

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2013, according to Entergy New Orleans, they spent $3,803,000 on its Energy Smart electric efficiency programs, representing 0.88% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, Entergy New Orleans reported a net incremental electricity savings of 19,361MWh, representing 0.39% of its retail sales. In 2013, Entergy New Orleans either did not spend or did not report spending on natural gas efficiency programs. Spending on electricity efficiency represented in this section covers New Orleans Parish, not just New Orleans. Entergy New Orleans offers electric efficiency incentives to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

Entergy New Orleans is not subject to local energy savings targets and Louisiana does not have state targets.

Last Updated: December 2014

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Entergy New Orleans does not participate in the Green Button and Entergy New Orleans does not provide building managers or owners with automatic whole-building benchmarking data for input into Portfolio Manager. Entergy New Orleans does not provide community-wide energy use data for community planning and evaluation purposes. It is unclear if the city has established data sharing provisions with the utility. 

Last Updated: December 2014

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans has not established any water efficiency programs, policies, or goals.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans has not yet established an energy efficiency goal for water operations. There are not currently any programs in place for energy efficiency in water operations. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

There are currently no policies, programs, funding, or incentive structures in place to encourage green infrastructure for stormwater management on private properties. However, New Orleans is in the process of adopting a new comprehensive zoning ordinance which will have provisions and requirements related to stormwater management on private properties.

Public Funding is not in place for green stormwater infrastructure on public property, but there are sustainable features, including rain gardens and bioswales, incorporated into select municipal government projects.

Last Updated: December 2014

Score: 9 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving New Orleans is the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA). RTA provides the public transportation for the city and broader metropolitan area, including bus and streetcar services. The New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC) is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses New Orleans and surrounding jurisdictions. New Orleans’s Department of Public Works is charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: April 2014

Location Efficiency List All

New Orleans’s draft comprehensive zoning ordinance, if adopted, would have provisions that promote location-efficient development, but we could not confirm if the current comprehensive zoning ordinance promotes location-efficient development. New Orleans requires 1 parking space, at a minimum, per multifamily unit. In 2011, New Orleans passed a complete streets policy (Ch. 146, Sec. 146-36). 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

New Orleans 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

New Orleans does not have a comprehensive car sharing program. New Orleans does not currently have a bike share program, but the city completed a feasibility study, Bike Share Program Study, and is planning to develop a bike share program in the future.

Transportation Demand Management Programs

New Orleans has implemented the Regional Planning Commission's transportation demand management rideshare program to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips or trips during rush hour.

Last updated: December 2014

Transit List All

The RTA transit system that serves New Orleans received $153,871,795 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $171.03 per resident in the service territory of the agency. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $34,848,415 or $94.21 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 1.82 to 1.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures how many transit rides are available per week within walking distance from the average household. New Orleans’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 22,439.09, putting it in second-highest category (20,000 - 50,000) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List All

At this time, New Orleans 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 made any EV charging stations available for public use. 

New Orleans has not yet established efficient driving rules, such as an anti-idling ordinance, for private vehicles. Municipal staff from New Orleans engage with the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuels Partnership Coalition, which works to reduce petroleum use in transportation.

Last updated: December 2014

Freight List All

There are 11 intermodal freight facilities within New Orleans’s boundaries, 10 of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. New Orleans’s share of regional freight traffic in 2011, normalized by population, is 87,202 ton-miles. As a result, there are 0.115 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic, putting the city in a lower category for this metric (0-0.499) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014