State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Oakland, CA

69.50Scored out of 100Updated 2/2016
Local Government Score:
7 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

Oakland’s local government operations goals are part of its Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Updated: February 2016 

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

The Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) was adopted by Oakland’s City Council in 2012 and calls for a 36% greenhouse gas reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. Local government operations are included within this goal. We did not collect information on the extent to which formal agency stakeholder groups were involved in setting goals.

There is no goal that sets targes specifically for local government operations. 

Updated: Frebruary 2016

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

The city does not have fuel efficiency standards, however it did adopt the Green Fleet Resolution of 2003 which details commitments to address the operation, procurement and management of fleet vehicles in order to continue improving the energy efficiency of its fleets and reduce the emissions of the fleet.

Public Lighting

Oakland’s Outdoor Lighting Standards require good lighting design and energy efficiency. Its' guidelines are in accordance with the Illumination Engineering Society's lighting guidelines for all facilities. 

New Buildings and Equipment

The Civic Green Building Ordinance establishes efficiency requirements for certain city projects. Oakland has in place an Environmental Preferable Purchasing Policy which requires the city to consider a range of environmental standards and health factors when purchasing all types of goods and services, but we couldn’t confirm if it requires the purchase of energy-efficiency equipment or life-cycle cost considerations. 

Updated: February 2016

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

California law AB-1103 requires benchmarking of medium and large sized commercial buildings that are greater than 5,000 square feet in size via the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager or MyEnergy tools. Over 90% of city buildings are benchmarked using these benchmarking tools.  As a part of their Energy and Climate Action Plan, Oakland details several priority actions to improve energy efficiency in buildings via retrofits.

Public Workforce

Teleworking/flex schedules are allowed for certain employees. The city is currently advocating for greater access to flex scheduling/teleworking policies. 

Updated: February 2016 

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

The Oakland Climate Action Committee is charged with building a green economy through equitable development and implementation of the city’s Energy and Climate Action Plan. 

Updated: December 2015

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

A greenhouse gas reduction goal of 36% by 2020 was adopted in Oakland’s ECAP. Energy efficiency is specifically included as a means to achieve a portion of the proposed target.

Oakland uses ICLEI's Clearpath software to track progress towards achieving goal. It was found that the city is within 5% of achieving its 36% reduction goal.

Updated: February 2016

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

The city does not have any district energy systems that are integrated with CHP nor does the city have any standalone district energy systems. Oakland has 6 CHP facilities with an installed capacity of 1,459 megawatts per 100,000 residents. We could not confirm if Oakland is engaged in any planning activities for future CHP or district energy systems. 

Updated: December 2015 

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

Oakland does not have an urban heat island mitigation goal or strategy.

Updated: December 2015 

Buildings Policies
Score: 18 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

The Planning and Building Department of Oakland manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement of codes. 

Updated: December 2015

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of California allows its local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes 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. Oakland adheres to the 2016 California codes.


Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Oakland adheres to the 2016 California codes.

Updated: March 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

The city of Oakland spent $89,583,286 on residential construction costs in 2013. For the FY2013-2014, the City spent $7,050,102 on plan check and inspection normalizing to $78 on building code compliance per $1,000 of residential construction spending.

 Compliance with energy codes is not enforced by a third party in Oakland, however, the city does have third party acceptance testing for some commercial systems and mandatory Home Energy Rating System tests for various parts of residential buildings. The city provides upfront support through BayREN programs for single and multi-family units. We have not found information on whether Oakland requires some form of training for code officials.

Updated: February 2016

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Building Energy Savings Goals

The city’s ECAP has a 32% annual reduction goal for electricity consumption through conservation and energy efficiency in buildings and homes.

Green Building Requirements

The city’s Green Building Ordinance requires above-code energy efficiency requirements for certain categories of buildings. Components of the ordinance are still being implemented. 

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

There is no energy audit or retrofit requirement for residential or commercial buildings in Oakland.

Incentive and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Incentives for building improvements through BayREN and PACE programs are offered by the city. 

Updated: February 2016

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

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

Updated: February 20156

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 14.5 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary gas and electric utility serving the City of Oakland. The City of Oakland is an active promoter of PG&E’s energy efficiency programs. The State of California requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and requires local government- utility partnerships through mandate by the California PUC. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) provides water and sewage treatment services and drinking water for Oakland. 

Updated: December 2015

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2014, PG&E spent $418,603,000 on energy efficiency programs, representing 3.35% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, PG&E reported electric savings of 1,557,012 MWh in Oakland which represents 2.07% of the electric utility’s retail sales. The city support IOU programs through direct marketing, in addition to serving as joint implementers of IOU programs through BayREN and East Bay Energy Watch. The Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition advocates for additional spending on efficiency programs at the PUC. In the same year PG&E reported natural gas spending on efficiency programs of $135,087,000. This expenditure normalizes to $32.43 spending per customer. 

Updated: December 2015

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to gain access to their energy usage data, PG&E launched their Green Button service in 2011. In order to assist large building managers with accessing aggregated energy data for building benchmarking, PG&E provides automatic data entry into Portfolio Manager. PG&E does provide the City of Oakland with community aggregate data for public consumption, both in raw spreadsheet format (suited for GHG inventories) and more insightful Tableau formats (suited for trend analysis and planning). Oakland advocates for policy improvements in data access through the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition, the California Energy Commission and the PUC. 

Updated: December 2015 

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

No water savings targets have been set by the city of Oakland. The regional drinking utility, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) funds a range of water efficiency programs. 

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The EMBUD has not set an energy efficiency target for its operations. The regional drinking utility, EBMUD produces methane used for anaerobic digesters at one of their facilities.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Oakland is a partner in the County of Alameda’s Clean Water Program which provides funding for community-based projects aimed at stormwater pollution prevention. The city does not currently provide funding for green stormwater infrastructure on public property.  

Updated: December 2015 

Score: 22 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Oakland, and the cities and towns in the Bay Area. AC Transit is the organization responsible for managing Oakland’s transit network.  

Updated: February 2016

Location Efficiency List All

Oakland adopted its’ Complete Streets Policy in 2013 and has a NCSC score of 81.6. The city has zoning ordinances to encourage compact growth and mixed use development detailed in its' General Plan. In high density developments such as Mixed Unit RM-3 and RM-4 only one parking space is required per unit. The city has incentives such as reduced requirements in transit-oriented development areas and density bonuses for affordable housing.

Updated: February 2016

Mode Shift List All

Transportation and Land Use Planning

A 20% VMT reduction target by 2020 is in place under the Climate Action Plan (ECAP). The ECAP outlines various actions (free downtown shuttle, advance bus rapid transit, participating in SB375 discussions) to reduce to vehicle miles travelled.  .

Car and Bicycle Sharing

The city has a car and bike sharing program. Oakland partners with City-CarShare, a non-profit car sharing program. Bay Area BikeShare is currently expanding into the Oakland area and will provide 1,400 bikes for the city by mid-2016.  

Transportation Demand Management Programs

The city has a transportation demand management program with Kaiser Permanente & ALTRANS aimed at reducing SOVs. Teleworking/flex schedules are permitted for some qualified city employees. 

Updated: December 2015 

Transit List All

The transit system that serves Oakland received a total of $1,612,672,147 in 2013. This funding normalizes to a ratio of 6.46 for regional transit funding per capita to local government funding of highways and parking per capita.

The transit connectivity index measures the number of train stations and bus stops within walking distance of households in a given Block group scaled by frequency of service. The city of Oakland’s average value was 17, putting it into the highest possible category (>16) available in our transit connectivity metric. 

Updated: February 2016 

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Oakland does not offer any incentives for the purchase of hybrid or electric vehicles. The city also has not invested in EV charging stations that are made available to private vehicles nor does it offer incentives to support their installation.

Oakland assigns the Equipment Services Manager as the Coordinator of the East Bay Clean Cities coalition. The city does not have an anti-idling policy that applies to all vehicles.  

Updated: February 2016

Freight List All

There are 12 intermodal freight facilities within Oakland’s boundaries with rail and/or port capabilities. The total freight traffic in Oakland is 137,427 ton-miles. This normalizes to 8.32 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic in the city. As a result, the city is placed in the highest category (2 or more) in the freight metric. 

Updated: February 2016