State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Birmingham, AL

10.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
1.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

Although we were unable to find information regarding an energy reduction goal for municipal operations, the City of Birmingham has contracted assistance from TRANE to help promote annual energy savings per capita greater than 2.5%. 

Renewable Energy Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal.

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Since 2017, the City of Birmingham has tried to ensure its municipal fleet was as fuel efficient as possible for the task they had to complete. In 2017 and 2018, the City added Derive Technology to Police Vehicles that causes the engine to run with less fuel during idling; this saved on average 5 to 6 miles per gasoline of fuel.  In 2019, the City added ZeroRPM Technology to ambulances to cut down on particulate matter.  

Public Lighting

Birmingham has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. As of 2019, Birmingham and Alabama Power have upgraded the city's streetlights to LED technology with lighting controls to dim and extinguish lighting during the day.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems 

We were unable to find information regarding onsite or offsite renewable energy systems in Birmingham.

Inclusive procurement 

While we were unable to verify if these policies have been applied to energy projects, the city has established a goal of inclusive procurement and contracting processes for city projects and encouraging contractors for these projects to utilize disadvantaged business enterprise qualified businesses. The City of Birmingham has adopted the program guidelines set forth in the Birmingham Plan-Construction Industry Program ("BP-CIP"), which is a Minority Business Enterprise Program/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (MBE/DBE) designated to encourage the participation of MBE/DBEs in construction projects of the city.

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Birmingham partnered with Trane Technologies to undertake a city-wide upgrade of facilities. The project installation was completed in early 2019 and Trane Technologies has been tasked with initiating an annual Measurement & Verification (M&V) report which includes benchmarking of 90% of public buildings over 10,000 square feet.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

Through Birmingham's Energy Performance Contracting Project with Trane Technologies, 120 municipal buildings have undergone audits and retrofits. The project's goal was to decrease water, electric, and natural gas consumption over the period of the guarantee.

Last updated: June 2021

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 0.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted a sustainability or climate action plan.

Last updated: July 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

Though the goal does not have a target date, Mayor Randall Woodfin signed a pledge to achieve 100% renewable energy. 

Energy Data Reporting

The city does not report community-wide energy data.

Last updated: July 2021

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.

Accountability to Equity

We were unable to determine whether the city has adopted specific goals, metrics, or protocols to track how multiple energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives are affecting local marginalized groups. 

Last updated: July 2021

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

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

Last updated: July 2021

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

We could not verify if the city has adopted a quantifiable urban heat island mitigation goal.

UHI Policies and Programs

As part of its Zoning Ordinance, the city has conservation subdivisions that encourage the protection of land alongside residential development patterns. 

Last updated: July 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 2.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Birmingham enforces the state’s energy codes, but the city has authority to adopt building energy codes at the municipal level. We could not find information on city mandated benchmarking policies, incentives, or above-code energy action requirements.

Last updated: July 2021

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Alabama allows local jurisdictions to adopt more stringent codes than the state mandated energy codes. The 2015 Alabama Residential Energy Code references to the 2015 IECC, however, state-specific amendments weaken it significantly. The 2015 Alabama Commercial Energy Code is based ASHRAE 90.1-2013. To learn more about the building energy codes in Alabama, please view the State Policy Database


Birmingham has not adopted a stretch code. Birmingham adheres to the Alabama Commercial Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 53.9.


Birmingham has not adopted a stretch code. Birmingham adheres to the Alabama Residential Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 63.4.

Solar-readiness policies

The city has not passed an ordinance mandating new construction to be solar ready but it allows solar use in all zones.

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

The city has not passed an ordinance mandating new construction be EV-ready.

Last updated: July 2021

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

We could not find information about the number of full time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code nor about the city’s code compliance verification process. We could not find information regarding upfront support for code compliance.

Last updated: July 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Birmingham partnered with local institutions to offer Minority Business Enterprise contracting partners with training opportunities focused on expanding energy efficiency skills to achieve energy savings in municipal buildings and future efficiency projects. 

Last updated: July 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 1 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Alabama Power, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Birmingham. Alagasco, an IOU and subsidiary of Spire Energy, is Birmingham’s primary natural gas utility. The State of Alabama 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 Alabama page of the State Database

The Birmingham Water Works is a public utility supplying drinking water to residents of Birmingham, and the SouthWest Water Company is a regional wastewater utility that serves the city. 

Last Updated: July 2021

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2019, according to EIA, Alabama Power reported net incremental electricity savings of 4,717 MWh, representing 0.01% of its retail sales. In 2019, Alabama Power spent $3,362,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 0.06% of its retail revenue. 

In 2019, Alagasco either did not spend or did not report spending or savings on natural gas efficiency programs. These savings figures represent the entire Alabama service territory, not just Birmingham. 

Alabama Power offers electric efficiency programs and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. 

In March 2018, the City of Birmingham was awarded a 2018 Smart Cities Readiness Challenge Grant, in partnership with Alabama Power and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, to help Birmingham use technology and data to address local challenges and improve services and connectivity, such as energy and transportation efficiency. 

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs 

At this time, Alabama Power and Alagasco do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers.  

In 2018, the City of Birmingham—through the Citywide Rehab Program, 100 Homes, 100 Days—dedicated $1 million to fund residential weatherization. 

Multifamily Programs 

At this time, Alabama Power and Alagasco do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties. 

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

The State of Alabama (ADECA) employs the State Energy Program to decrease energy consumption in public facilities such as K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, state and local governments as well as some privately owned commercial and residential buildings. Alabama Power assists the state by providing energy data related to these buildings for benchmarking with Portfolio Manager. The City of Birmingham does not provide energy usage information for community planning and evaluation purposes. The City of Birmingham does not advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers or the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities. 

Last Updated: July 2021

Renewable Energy Efforts of 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 

At this time, we cannot confirm whether or not the city of Birmingham participates in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation. 

Last Updated: August 2021

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals 

Although the water and energy utilities do not provide water efficiency programs, Birmingham Water Works does provide this list of helpful tips for saving water at home. Currently, Birmingham Water Works does not have a specified goal for water efficiency. 

Water plant efficiency and self-generation 

The City of Birmingham has not yet established a goal or comprehensive strategy for energy efficiency in its municipal water service operations. We could not confirm if any of the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facilities self-generate energy that is used on site. 

Last Updated: July 2021

Score: 4 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority that serves the City of Birmingham is the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA), commonly referred to as MAX. MAX also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Birmingham, and many surrounding counties. The Department of Traffic Engineering is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

We could not confirm if Birmingham has a city-wide sustainable transportation plan in place to reduce VMTs.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

We could not determine if the City tracks VMT or GHG numbers.

Last Updated: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Birmingham has mandatory Downtown and Triangle District form-based codes that were written as optional, but became mandatory in 2007.

Residential Parking Policies

The City requires a minimum of one parking space per residential unit in some neighborhoods and one and a half spaces in other neighborhoods.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

There are no incentives available through the City to promote location efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2020

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

At this time, the City does not have a codified mode share target for trips within the city.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

No progress has been achieved, as there are no targets in place.

Complete Streets

Birmingham adopted its complete streets policy in 2011 through Resolution 2011. The adoption of the guidelines encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all new neighborhoods.

Car Sharing

At this time, the City does not have a formal policy in place to provide dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles.

Bike Sharing

Zyp BikeShare is a network of 40 stations and hundreds of bikes deployed in Birmingham in October 2015. Residents and visitors can access the system 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The city has 189.83 bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: March 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, and the Birmingham Regional Paratransit Consortium that service Birmingham received $40,241,126 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $34.94 per capita between 2014 and 2018 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Birmingham Transit Connectivity Index value is .2, scoring 0 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Birmingham does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 31 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Birmingham has no incentives or requirements available for the installation of private or public EV charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.).

Last Updated: March 2020

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Birmingham does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place, nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2020

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Birmingham does not have any requirements or incentives in place to develop or preserve affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Birmingham does not currently provide rebates or incentives to low-income residents for efficient transportation options.

Last Updated: March 2020