State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Boise, ID

28.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
5.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

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

Energy Reduction Goal

Boise’s Environmentally Sustainable Community plan includes a goal to reduce municipal energy use 50% by 2030.

Renewable Energy Goal

The Boise Energy Future Plan includes a goal to use 100% renewable electricity for municipal operations by 2030.

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet policies and composition 

Boise’s Fleet Procurement Regulation requires the acquisition of alternative fuel or high fuel mileage vehicles. The regulation requires the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid vehicles, or vehicles with fuel mileages above 22 MPG. The regulation also sets a goal of having at least 25% high efficiency or alternative fuel vehicles. Boise’s municipal fleet is currently composed of 8.9% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric.

Public lighting 

Boise has adopted a Street Light Policy but does not require provisions similar to the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Boise’s goal is to convert 700 streetlights to LED per year. Approximately 59% of outdoor lighting owned by the city has been upgraded to LED.

Onsite renewable systems 

Boise has installed 10 MW of onsite renewable energy systems at municipal facilities.

Inclusive procurement 

We could not verify if the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes.

Last updated: March 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Boise benchmarks all municipal buildings. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

We did not find information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy in Boise.

Public Workforce Commuting

Boise allows teleworking for city employees. 

Last updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Boise released the Boise’s Energy Future plan in 2019.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a community-wide 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

Boise’s Energy Future plan includes a goal to increase renewable energy generation to 100% of community-wide energy use by 2040.

Energy Data Reporting

Boise tracks community-wide energy use internally.

Last updated: June 2020

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: March 2020

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

The City of Boise operates a direct use geothermal district heating system that provides steam to 90 downtown buildings.

Last updated: June 2020

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

We were unable to determine if the city has adopted specific policies or programs that incorporate requirements or incentives to mitigate the urban heat island effect. 

Last updated: August 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 7.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Boise must comply with the state’s residential energy code but can adopt more stringent commercial code provisions. We could not find information on city mandated benchmarking policies, incentives, or above-code energy action requirements.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Idaho adopted the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code for residential buildings and commercial buildings. The City of Boise must comply with the residential energy code but has some flexibility in adopting more stringent energy codes for commercial buildings. Boise advocates for more stringent state energy codes through its work with the Idaho Energy Code Collaborative. To learn more about the Idaho building codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial buildings must comply with the state code. The code uses a commercial zEPI score of 54.8.


Residential buildings must comply with the state code. The code uses a residential zEPI score of 52.7.

Solar- and EV-ready

Boise allows solar by-right access in all zones of the city. The city has not adopted solar- and/or EV-ready ordinances.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Boise does not staff any full-time employees solely dedicated to energy code compliance. The city requires plan review, site inspections, and third-party verification and testing to ensure code compliance. Upon request, Boise assists developers with energy code compliance.

Last updated: September 2020

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: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The city does not have programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 6.5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Idaho Power, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility for the City of Boise. The primary natural gas supplier for Boise is Intermountain Gas Company, an IOU. Idaho's investor-owned utilities administer energy efficiency programs with oversight from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Energy efficiency programs are supported and supplemented by regional organizations, including the Bonneville Power Administration, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Idaho has not restructured its electric utility industry, and there is no legislation requiring funding for energy efficiency programs. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Idaho page of the State Database.

Suez North America is the private utility that provides the City of Boise with drinking water services, while the Public Works Department provides wastewater treatment and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, Idaho Power reported 128,781 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 0.93% of its retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Boise. In 2018, Idaho Power spent $29,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 0.00% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, Intermountain Natural Gas either did not spend or did not report spending or savings on natural gas efficiency programs. These savings and spending figures cover the entire service jurisdiction of both utilities, not just the City of Boise.

Idaho Power offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers. Intermountain Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residents.

While no formal partnership is in place, the City supports Idaho Power with participation in their Energy Efficiency Advisory Group and Integrated Resource Plan Advisory Committee.

Last Updated: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Idaho Power offers the Easy Savings Program, which provides income-qualified households with a coupon for a free HVAC tune-up and one-on-one education. Idaho Power partners with Community Action Partnership organizations to deliver the incentives through its service territory. Idaho Power also offers free energy efficiency upgrades to low-income customers. A certified auditor will determine upgrades eligible in a customer’s home, which may include new windows and doors, insulation and weatherstripping, bathroom and kitchen fans, new furnace and water heater, and efficient light bulbs.

In 2018, Idaho Power achieved 1,243 MWh in energy savings, while spending $2,425,037 on its low-income programs and serving 613 low-income households.

At this time, Intermountain Natural Gas does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

Idaho Power offers the Multifamily Energy Savings program, which is targeted at property owners and managers. The program offers free energy-saving products, such as ENERGY STAR LED light bulbs, kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators, and water heater pipe wrap.

In 2018, Idaho Power’s multifamily programs saved 653 MWh in savings, while spending $205,131 and served 810 units.

At this time, Intermountain Natural Gas does not offer energy efficiency programs for multifamily units.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Idaho Power nor Intermountain Natural Gas provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings. The City of Boise 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: March 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, Idaho Power did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The City of Boise participates with the Idaho Power Integrated Resource Planning Process as a member of the IRP Advisory Committee to encourage IRP support and implementation for energy future goals. The City has also participated in relevant cases with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission related to net metering for on-site solar installations. Boise’s Energy Future Plan also calls on the utility to ramp up renewable energy resources.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

The energy and water utilities do not offer joint energy and water efficiency programs. Idaho Power does offer energy saving kits that incorporate water efficient items, and Suez North American offers free water-conserving devices (available during the irrigation season), such as rain sensors, hose timers and hose nozzles. While neither the city nor the water utilities have established a water savings target or goal, the City of Boise is in the process of developing initial water conservation planning efforts for city parks and facilities.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

The water utilities have not set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies, but the city is working to develop and implement community clean energy and energy efficiency goals. The wastewater utility also participated in Idaho Power’s Wastewater Energy Efficiency Cohort to achieve energy use reductions, resulting in an initial 14% electricity use reduction at the city’s Lander Street facility. Regarding self-generation, Boise’s Energy Future plan states the intention to work with Intermountain Gas to capture and use methane at the city’s water renewal facilities. The City also captures methane produced from the water renewal (wastewater) treatment process and uses the captured methane for heating digesters, water, and building.

Last Updated: March 2020

Score: 5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Boise has adopted the Transportation Action Plan. The Plan expresses the intention to reduce single-occupancy vehicle miles traveled, but we could not locate a quantitative goal. 

While not a direct plan to reduce VMT, Boise adopted the Transportation Action Plan (TAP) in August 2016. This plan expresses the intention to reduce single-occupancy vehicle miles traveled, through six “mobility moves” that include promoting public transportation, safe routes to school, and an all ages bike network. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The City of Boise does not yet have a codified VMT reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Boise is not yet tracking community GHG or VMT levels

Last Updated: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning 

The City of Boise does not have any efficiency based zoning policies. 

Residential Parking Requirements

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosures

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Target 

Not at this time, however this is currently being discussed with the citywide initiative of “Keep Boise Moving”.

Progress Toward Mode Shift Target

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Complete Streets

No policy found. 

Car Sharing

There is no formal policy dedicated to increasing on- and off-street parking for car share vehicles, but the City's Transportation Action Plan identifies incentives as a means to create dedicated parking. 

Bike Sharing

The city is served by the Boise GreenBike program. The program’s fleet currently consists of 127 bikes. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The Ada County Highway District and the Idaho DOT, which serve the City of Boise has received $1,548,905 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $2.12 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 Boise Transit Connectivity Index value is 3.8, scoring 0 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Boise allows owners of zero-emission vehicles to park at meters for free for the maximum amount of time.

Incentives for EV Charging Stations

Idaho Power offers business customers up to 50% of installations costs of EVSE Level 1 and 2 chargers.

EV Infrastructure

The City has 36 charging stations available for public use, equivalent to 15.735 stations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Neither the City of Boise or any of the utilities that service it's resident are providing incentives towards the installation of EV charging infrastrucutre powered by renewables at this time. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Freight System EfficiencyList All

The metropolitan planning organization, COMPASS, completed the 2017 COMPASS Freight Study for Ada and Canyon Counties, including the City of Boise, which identified freight corridors and related land use needs, developed a profile of the regionally most important commodities and supply chains, and identified projects and/or policies to address maintenance needs, improve safety, and manage congestion.

The study identified potential freight impacts and barriers to freight mobility including urban encroachment, operational issues such as signal timing and signal synchronization, design impediments such as inadequate turning radii at intersections, and other competing interests in the region.  Freight stakeholders then helped identify tools—including zoning ordinance approaches—to preserve freight corridors and improve access and safety, which jurisdictions could implement as appropriate.  

Last Updated: March 2020

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy 

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Neither the City of Boise nor the transit authority that services the city's residents provide rebates or incentives that better connect low-income residents to efficient transportation options. 

Last Updated: March 2020