State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Atlanta, GA

107.00Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 17.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Atlanta’s Climate Action Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 2009 levels by 2030. ACEEE projects the city will achieve at least 75% of its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal.

Energy Efficiency Goal

We did not find information regarding an active community-wide energy reduction goal for the city. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The city has a goal to use clean energy to power 100% of community-wide energy needs by 2035.

Last updated: January 2024

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equity Accountability Measures

Atlanta adopted a goal to reduce energy burdens for 10% of households, with tracking metrics focused on those with low incomes.

Last updated: January 2024

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: January 2024

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

Atlanta's Post Development Storm Water Management Ordinance requires green infrastructure on new and redevelopment projects for both public and private projects. Atlanta has passed a private tree protection ordinance. The city allows for conservation subdivisions and transfer of development rights that permanently preserves greenspace. 

Resilience Hubs

The Fulton County Resilience Hub is located at the Atlanta Metro Library. The resilience hub includes solar and storage and is used as a layer of community climate resilience during and after extreme weather events and emergencies.

Last updated: January 2024

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Workforce development for disadvantaged workers

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from disadvantaged communities to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Workforce development for the broader community

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from the broader community to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Outcomes tracking

We could not determine if the city has instituted a mechanism to measure the performance and/or success of equitable workforce development initiatives focused on the clean energy sector.

Last updated: January 2024

Buildings Policies
Score: 23.5 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Georgia is a home rule state in which jurisdictions may set their own building energy codes. The state residential and commercial codes are based on the 2015 IECC with state amendments. To learn more about the Georgia building codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Although local authority is permitted, Atlanta has not made any amendments to the state building codes with respect to commercial buildings. The code uses a commercial zEPI score of 51.75


Although local authority is permitted, Atlanta has not made any amendments to the state building codes with respect to residential buildings. The code uses a residential zEPI score of 61.78.

Solar-readiness policies

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted solar-ready ordinances, but Atlanta allows solar use in all zones.

EV-charging readiness policies

Atlanta has adopted code provisions requiring residential and non-residential developments to install EV-ready infrastructure. 

Low-energy use requirements

All major renovations and new construction of municipal buildings over 5,000 square feet are required to obtain LEED New Construction Silver Certification or greater. All existing City-financed facilities over 25,000 square feet must gain LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance certification over a phase-in period of 10 years. 


Atlanta is prohibited from adopting a policy that limits natural gas connections.  

Last updated: August 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

There is no single FTE dedicated to building energy code enforcement. The city has approximately 45 inspectors covering mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. These inspectors spend approximately 20% of their time on energy code enforcement, equaling 9 FTE. The city administers mandatory compliance verification through performance testing, plan review, field inspection, and third-party review/inspection.

To help builders comply with the energy code, the city provides code sections to correct items on the plans and during inspections. The Office of Buildings holds pre-construction meetings, answers code-related questions, and has developed a simple handout for residential applicants to help them understand compliance. 

Last updated: August 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Atlanta requires commercial buildings greater than 25,000 square feet to benchmark energy and water use. The policy covers 87% of commercial buildings and 96% of multifamily buildings. The policy holds a compliance rate of around 30%. 

Energy audit requirements

The Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance requires building owners that benchmark and report energy and water data to conduct energy and water audits once every ten years unless the property meets certain efficiency requirements.


Atlanta offers commercial and residential property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

The city grants buildings that meet green development criteria both a density bonus and expedited permitting. 

The City of Atlanta Department of City Planning and Community Development partners with Invest Atlanta to run the Atlanta Heritage Program. The program provides forgivable loans for energy efficiency upgrades such as new heating and cooling systems, as well as other health and safety repairs. Priority is given to income-qualified seniors, military veterans, disabled heads of households, and those who have been in their homes for more than 15 years. 

The city partners with the Solar Energy Loan Fund to offer the Sustainable, Energy Efficient Resilient loan program. It provides unsecured capital to landlords of low-income rental properties to make energy efficiency improvements. This program provides a pathway for rental property owners. 

Equitable program outcomes:

The city is in the process of developing data collection methods to identify residential homes, commercial, and multifamily properties that are left out of incentive programs. 

Last updated: August 2023

Score: 30.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The One Atlanta Strategic Transportation Plan was released in 2019 and includes sustainable transportation strategies.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

According to the Atlanta Climate Action Plan, the city has a goal of reducing GHG emissions from transportation 40% by 2030 from 2009 levels. Due to insufficient data on baseline emissions, we were unable to calculate a required per-capita annual reduction for achieving this goal. Therefore, Atlanta did not earn points for the stringency of its target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Atlanta did not provide sufficient data on baseline transportation GHG emissions; therefore, we cannot assess progress toward the goal.

Last Updated: August 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

In 2017, Atlanta modified its zoning code to allow by-right accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by-right in more areas; more specifically, the city expanded the areas allowing ADUs to the R-4 and R-4A single-family districts.

Parking Requirements

The City of Atlanta has eliminated parking minimums for developments within 2,640 feet of a high capacity transit stop, with exceptions.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Atlanta offers a density bonus in certain districts for mixed-use developments and developments near transit.

Affordable Housing around Transit

MARTA, the largest public transit agency serving the City of Atlanta, partnered with Morgan Stanley and the National Equity Fund to launch the Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund in 2021. The fund incentivizes and provides gap funding for owners and landlords of affordable housing near transit. 

Last Updated: August 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

According to the city's One Atlanta Strategic Transportation Plan, released in 2019, the City has a goal of 35% of trips being made by walking, biking, or transit by 2035 (up from 17% in 2018).

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Atlanta has made progress on its mode shift goal since the goal was adopted.

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

All three of the shared micromobility operators in Atlanta (Bird, Lime, and Spin) offer discounted rides for income-qualified individuals. Additionally, the city's bikeshare system, Relay Bike Share, offers a discounted monthly pass for income-qualified individuals. Finally, the City has partnered with Common Courtesy to provide free EV shuttle service to critical locations (including the Atlanta Community Food Bank, On the Rise Financial Center, and Westside Works) in low-income communities.

Last Updated: August 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Atlanta have received $681,372,262.00 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $320.09 per capita between 2017 and 2021 within the service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The AllTransit Performance Score measures a given community's transit access and performance. The score considers connections to other routes, access to jobs, service frequency, and the percent of commuters who ride transit to work. The City of Atlanta's AllTransit Performance Score is 8, scoring 3 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: August 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Efficient Vehicle Purchase Incentives

We were unable to find information indicating that either the City of Atlanta or the local utility provide incentives for purchasing efficient vehicles.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

Georgia Power offers rebates of $250 for single-family home owners for the purchase and installation of level 2 EV charging stations.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The City of Atlanta does not require new developments to install EV charging stations.

EV Charging Ports

The City of Atlanta has 222.2 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use.

Electric School Bus Goal

Neither the City of Atlanta nor the local school district have set an electric school bus goal.

Electric Transit Bus Goal

MARTA, the primary public transit provider for Atlanta, set a goal of transitioning 100% of its bus fleet to zero emissions by 2040.  

Last Updated: January 2024

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

The City of Atlanta does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan in place. However, deliveries are restricted in certain areas of the city to non-peak hours. Additionally, the city is working with two central business districts to pursue curbside management strategies as outlined in the Atlanta Curbside Management Action Plan.

Open Data Portals

The city's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport hosts an open data portal which allows truckers to see available docks and average truck dwell time in real-time.

Last Updated: August 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 22.5 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All


Georgia Power, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility for the City of Atlanta. The primary natural gas supplier for Atlanta is Atlanta Gas Light, which is a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas, an IOU. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Georgia page of the State Database.

The Atlanta Watershed Management Division is the municipal utility that provides the City of Atlanta with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: August 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, Georgia Power reported 303,724 MWh of net electric savings at the meter.

In 2021, Atlanta Gas Light did not run natural gas efficiency programs. These savings and spending figures cover the entire service jurisdiction of both utilities, not just the City of Atlanta.

Georgia Power offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. Atlanta Gas Light similarly offers natural gas efficiency tips to residential and business customers.

Georgia Power continues to provide counsel to the City of Atlanta and Fulton County on how to achieve their clean energy, carbon reduction, or renewable energy goals. As part of this process, Georgia Power provides a detailed analysis on savings and reductions that can be achieved through both energy efficiencies and on-site renewable generation. The City has pursued multiple behind-the-meter solar projects, on which Georgia Power has provided guidance and facilitated the interconnection of the facilities. Georgia Power has also consulted with the City on its longer-term clean energy goals. Georgia Power provides a building data aggregation tool to the City of Atlanta and City of Savannah to help them meet their energy requirements. Atlanta Gas Light partners with the City of Atlanta to support the US DOE's Better Buildings Initiative Energy Data Accelerator. The City of Atlanta is also exploring a new partnership with Georgia Power to address energy burdens in the area.

Last Updated: August 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Georgia Power’s Energy Assistance for Savings and Efficiency (EASE) program is an income qualified program open to both single-family homeowners and multifamily property owners. Eligible single-family customer’s household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Qualified multifamily properties must serve a dominate percentage of residents whose household incomes are at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines. Program participants will receive a complimentary in-home assessment by a Certified BPI Building Analyst. The in-home assessment includes blower door testing (if it can be performed safely), combustion safety testing, energy education about their residence and the direct install measures for their residence. Qualified participants may receive the following direct install measures: Led Lightbulbs, Smart programmable thermostat(s), water heater insulating jacket and/or pipe wrapping. Based on the in-home assessment additional services may be installed by a program contractor, such as: Attic Insulation, Air Sealing, Duct Sealing or an HVAC tune-up.

In addition to the EASE program, the residential Home Energy Improvement Program (HEIP) has a $500,000 carve out to support income qualified multifamily dwellings as well as targeted efforts within all residential programs. The Small Commercial Direct Install program (SCDI) also focuses on improvements in low-income communities. Georgia Power also provides funding to HopeWorks, which serves income-qualified seniors with a complimentary in-home assessment to identify potential energy-saving opportunities, followed by home-energy improvements. 

Atlanta Gas Light provides funds to third party administrators—such as the Salvation Army and HopeWorks—to support low-income energy efficiency and assistance. AGL administers an appliance relief program which seeks to repair, replace and upgrade unsafe low efficiency gas equipment and customer piping for low-income customers

In 2021, Georgia Power achieved 12,627 MWh savings from its low-income programs while spending $3,187,734 on its low-income programs and serving 149.. In 2021, we were unable to verify savings, spending, and customers for AGL’s low-income programs.

The City of Atlanta funds the Heritage Owner-Occupied Rehab (OOR) Program, which provides up to $30,000 to eligible Atlanta residents in forgivable loans to make critical health and safety repairs on their homes. The program provides priority to seniors, military veterans, disabled heads of households, and those who have been in their homes for more than 15 years. Participants receive energy efficiency upgrades such as new heating and cooling systems, as well as other health and safety repairs. The program is funded under the Housing Opportunity Bond, a $40 million bond issuance unanimously approved and supported by Atlanta City Council in March 2017. 

Multifamily Programs

Georgia Power offers the EarthCents New Home Program for multifamily properties. This program is designed to provide multifamily developers with incentives to construct more energy-efficient buildings that would be built following standard building codes. Georgia Power’s Residential Home Energy Improvement Program (HEIP) promotes a comprehensive, whole house approach to improving the energy efficiency and comfort of existing homes and includes multiple participation paths to appeal to both multifamily and single family residential customers. The residential Energy Assistance for Savings & Efficiency (EASE) program promotes and conducts energy efficiency improvements in existing income-qualified single and multi-family properties through customer education, awareness campaigns, contractor partnerships and training.

In 2021, Georgia Power saved 2,308 MWh from its multifamily programs while spending $1,200,389 and serving 1,317 housing units.

Atlanta Gas Light does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties at this time.

Last Updated: August 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Provision of Energy Data by Utilities

Georgia Power developed the Automated Benchmarking Tool to enable building owners and property managers to retrieve energy consumption data for upload to the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. The tool provides aggregate building usage data into a single virtual meter that can be used in Portfolio Manager to generate building benchmark score. The City of Atlanta has been working with Atlanta Gas Light to establish best practices for building owner data access in order in compliance with the Commercial Benchmarking Ordinance. Atlanta Gas Light and the City have also partnered to support the DOE's Better Building Energy Data Accelerator.

The city of Atlanta provides community wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through Atlanta’s Clean Energy Plan. The city collects complete community-wide energy data covering all sectors. Georgia Power offers the City of Atlanta, the City of Athens, and the City of Savannah data through their Automated Benchmarking tool.

The city participates in Georgia Power's Demand-side Management Working Group, where the city advocated for increased availability of historic data through Georgia Power's Automated Benchmarking Tool, which now provides 24 months of aggregated data on a rolling basis. During the 2019 Integrated Resource Planning hearings, the city's chief resilience officer and director of sustainability met with each of the public service commissioners to discuss the city's priorities and the importance of maintaining the availability of Georgia Power's Automated Benchmarking Tool. The City's Chief Resilience Officer also sent a letter to the Public Service Commissioners about the City's priorities, which included advocating for the continuation of this tool. In the 2019 and 2022 Integrated Resource Plan and Rate Case hearings, the City of Atlanta in its intervention as a part of the Georgia Coalition of Local Governments has advocated for better transparency with usage data on the residential, commercial, and municipal side.

Last Updated: August 2023

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Cities and Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In May 2020, Southern Company set a goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 compared to 2007 levels, and set an intermediate goal of a 50% reduction of GHG emission from 2007 levels by 2030. To achieve this intermediate goal, Southern Company will need to reduce emissions by 2.7% annually from 2019 levels. 

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The City of Atlanta intervened in a formal Georgia Power rate case to advocate for more energy efficiency investment and met with PSC members to promote more clean energy models and options for the state. The City of Atlanta’s Chief Resilience Officer—in lieu of testifying during the 2019 Integrated Resource Planning hearings—sent a letter to the Public Service Commission supporting the increase in the amount of utility-scale solar included in Georgia Power's Integrated Resource Plan. The City of Atlanta's Clean Energy Plan to transition both municipal operations and the entire city to clean energy by 2035 requires utility action. The City worked collaboratively with Georgia Power to finalize the plan.

The City participants in a demand-side management working group hosted by the Public Service Commission for Georgia Power programs, which gives the city the opportunity to comment on and inform the direction of these programs.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

In October of 2017, the City awarded a contract for the installation of solar panels on City-owned properties, making it the largest municipal program in Georgia as a Solar Energy Procurement Agreement. There are currently 23 sites that have had solar installed in phase I and II, which mostly include fire stations, recreation centers, and watershed management sites (UCWRC, SRWRC, Hemphill WTP, Chattahoochee WTP). This totals to more than 1.8 MW of solar power, and more solar is getting installed on City sites. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

Atlanta offers commercial and residential property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  

The city grants buildings that meet green development criteria both a density bonus and expedited permitting.  

Atlanta also partners with local organizations to run a Solarize Campaign that made solar more affordable and accessible for the residents and businesses of Atlanta. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Although the energy and water utilities do not offer joint efficiency programs, Georgia Power Company does offer water-saving fixtures and controllers on the marketplace. The Department of Watershed Management also offers water efficiency programs, such as the water saver kits available to water customers. Each kit contains a showerhead, faucet aerator, and toilet-leak-detection tablets. The City of Atlanta offers rebates for high-efficiency toilets for residential and multifamily units. Through an innovative program called Care and Conserve, the City offers water bill payment assistance, plumbing repair assistance, and water conservation counseling to approximately 500 low-income households annually. The City has also launched a Water Efficient Restaurant Certificate Program to help restaurants become more water efficient through audits and by providing them with free faucet aerators.

The City has also adopted a goal of achieving a 20% reduction in per capita citywide water consumption below its 2009 levels by 2020. In 2017, it achieved a 10% reduction per capita.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

To meet its Better Buildings Challenge commitments, DWM made energy efficient improvements to 28 facilities, including drinking water plants, wastewater treatment plants, and pump stations. The agency also developed a model for measuring water efficiency. DWM recently entered a 15-year partnership with NORESCO to implement upgrades designed to save 1.7 billion gallons of water a year. This work is largely funded by $107 million worth of savings from improved energy performance.  The Department’s current capital improvement program (CIP) includes several projects that will result in significant offsets to the 191,000 MWh consumed annually across all of its facilities. Two large-scale energy-saving performance contracts with Schneider Electric and NORESCO, planned for completion in 2019 and 2021, are expected to deliver energy savings in excess of 10,000 MWh annually through various energy conservation measures at multiple DWM water and wastewater treatment facilities. Many other projects in the Department’s CIP include energy savings components as well. With all the investments in its current CIP, it is estimated DWM may realize up to 55,000 MWh in annual energy savings by 2023, a sizable step towards its clean energy goal for 2025.

The RM Clayton wastewater treatment facility’s combined heat and power system converts waste biogas into energy, which is used on-site.

Last Updated: August 2023

Local Government Score:
13 out of 25 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city of Atlanta set a goal in its 2015 Climate Action Plan to reduce local government GHG emissions 40% by 2030, using a 2009 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

We could not find any information regarding a local energy reduction goal for Atlanta. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The city of Atlanta set a goal to continue to use 100% renewable energy to power city operations by 2035. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Atlanta made a commitment to convert 20 percent of its municipal fleet to electric vehicles by 2020. Atlanta’s Alternative Fuel Conversion Plan details their strategies to achieve their goals. While the City has not formally adopted a green fleet procurement policy, Atlanta has informally adopted a green fleet procurement policy to guide departments as they made fleet decisions as the fleet transitions to alternative fuels. This policy will need to be adopted by City Council as a part of the larger Green Procurement Policy. Atlanta’s municipal fleet is composed of 3% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Atlanta DOT Street Light Details requires LED and specific light specifications. Georgia Power’s streetlight conversion program has converted 90% of Georgia Power owned and maintained outdoor lights within the City of Atlanta. This includes approximately 11,000 City of Atlanta lights between phase I and III. The city is currently in a pilot project to evaluate technologies to upgrade all city-owned lights to LED and include cameras, spot-shutters, and sensors integrated in a network of intelligent nodes that will collect data for distribution to the City's police department, transportation office, and other end users. City-owned streetlight conversions are tracked in the City's GIS system.  

Inclusive Procurement

The City of Atlanta has an inclusive procurement process and an equal business opportunity and small business opportunity program outlined in the procurement code; this is managed by the Office of Contract Compliance. Each competitive procurement is assigned an EBO/SBO goal/target based on the type of procurement being worked on so there isn't a standard baseline across the city. The SBE goal for the Solar Energy procurement executed in 2017 was 35%, and the City achieved 48% small business participation across 4 certified small businesses. Atlanta has conducted a procurement disparity study; however, the report is not publicly released. Contractors must disclose any violations of law at the local, state, and federal level, which would include workplace and other regulatory protections, as part of their submittal to a procurement. 

Last updated: February 2024

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

In the City of Atlanta, more than 90% of government building square footage has been benchmarked in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Management. Atlanta's benchmarking data can be found here.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City of Atlanta has an existing Sustainable Revolving Loan Fund that has been utilized to support energy efficiency work in City Buildings through Energy Performance Contracts. The City’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contract (GESPC) Initiative evaluated 181 city buildings for energy and water usage. Phase 1 involved investment grade audits and phase 2 is currently underway implementing energy saving measures based on the recommendations in phase one. The GESPC is forecasted to save the City $10 million dollars annually. They also have a pilot program to improve buildings through Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant Funding (EECBG).

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

Atlanta DOT is currently conducting a pilot as a transportation demand management (TDM) strategy for city employees to have 6 months of Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) pass for free.

Last update: February 2024