State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Boise, ID

53.00Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 8.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Climate Action Roadmap includes a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Energy Efficiency 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.

Last updated: August 2023

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

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: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

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

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

Boise is a partner of Idaho Power's Shade Tree Program

Resilience Hubs

We were unable to determine if the city has supported the creation of resilience hubs that incorporate clean energy resources and are sited in disadvantaged communities.

Last updated: August 2023

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: August 2023

Buildings Policies
Score: 14 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Idaho adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 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, Idaho Association of Building Officials, and State Building Code Board. To learn more about the Idaho building codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial buildings must comply with the state code, 2018 IECC.  The city’s zEPI score for its commercial code is 51.75.


Residential buildings must comply with the state code, 2018 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for its residential buildings is 52.70.

Solar-readiness policies

The city has not adopted solar-ready ordinances and does not have the authority to do so for residential buildings. Boise allows solar by-right access in all zones of the city.

EV-charging readiness policies 

The city has passed provisions for EV-ready in garages of new single-family homes and townhouses in the Electrical Code. EV readiness and EV supply equipment install requirements for multi-family and commercial buildings are proposed in the city's 2022 zoning code update.

Low-energy use requirements

All new municipal buildings must comply with the city-adopted Green Construction Code. The Green Construction Code accepts other approved programs such as USGBC LEED at a silver or higher rating or the Green Globes Program at a rating of two (2) green globes or higher for new buildings. 


Boise is prohibited from adopting policies that restrict or have the effect of restricting fossil fuels or any specific energy source.

Last updated: August 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Boise has 9 full-time employee equivalents dedicated to energy code enforcement. 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 and provides energy code training to developers. 

Last updated: August 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


Boise provides non-financial incentives to commercial buildings that comply with the city's Green Building Code, including a dedicated Project Manager from the Department of Planning and Development Services to coordinate and oversee the project, and expedited plan review and permitting.

Equitable program outcomes:

We could not find information on whether the city collects data on incentive and financing programs to ensure equitable outcomes. 

Last updated: August 2023

Score: 10 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The Boise Climate Action Roadmap was adopted in 2021, and includes sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

According to the Boise Climate Action Roadmap, the city has a goal of reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) 1% annually. Due to insufficient data on the target's baseline and target year, we were unable to calculate a required per-capita annual reduction for achieving this goal. Therefore, Boise did not earn points for the stringency of its target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Boise did not provide VMT data collected since the adoption of its goal; therefore, we cannot assess progress towards the goal.

Last Updated: August 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Boise has made changes to its zoning code in the past 10 years to facilitate more residential density, mixed-use development, or transit-oriented development. 

Parking Requirements

The City of Boise has established parking maximums for multifamily developments in some districts, but because the maximums are greater than 1 space per housing unit, the city does not earn points for this metric.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Boise offers a density bonus for developments adjacent to roadways with transit service.

Affordable Housing around Transit

Boise's Housing Land Trust is building affordable housing on city-owned land near transit under its A Home for Everyone approach.

Last Updated: August 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Target 

Although the Climate Action Roadmap set a goal of eliminating one drive-alone trip per household per day by 2025, this goal was not contextualized (i.e. it's unclear what impact this would have on the city's mode share); therefore, the city did not earn points for this metric.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Target

The City of Boise does not have a codified mode share target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

Valley Regional Transit, the primary transit provider in Boise, offers subsidized Lyft rides to low-income workers during the hours that VRT buses are not operating through VRT Late Night.

Last Updated: February 2024

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Boise have received $1,048,317.60 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $1.61 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 Boise's AllTransit Performance Score of 3.8 does not qualify it for points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: August 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Efficient Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Neither the City of Boise nor the local utility provide incentives for purchasing efficient vehicles.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

Neither the City of Boise nor the local utility provide incentives for the installation of EV charging stations.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

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

EV Charging Ports

The City of Boise has 35.4 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use.

Electric School Bus Goal

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

Electric Transit Bus Goal

Neither the City of Boise nor the local transit agency have set an electric transit bus goal.

Last Updated: August 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

The City of Boise does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan in place, nor is it pursuing any freight efficiency strategies.

Open Data Portals

The City of Boise does not have an open data portal with real-time freight data

Last Updated: August 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 11.5 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure 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: September 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, Idaho Power reported 137,284 MWh of net electric savings at the meter.

In 2021, 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: September 2023

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.

Data on spending, savings, and customers served for Idaho Power’s 2021 low-income programs was not available.

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. Savings, spending, and participation data for 2021 was not available.

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

Last Updated: September 2023

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.

While the city of Idaho provides energy usage data to the city who uses the data in their planning processes, this data is not made available to the public. The city receives community-wide electricity use from Idaho Power on an annual basis. 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: September 2023

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In May 2020, Idaho Power revised their carbon emission goal to achieve 35% reduction in carbon intensity by 2025 from 2005 baseline. The utility is committed to providing 100% clean energy by 2045. Idaho Power has already achieved their interim goal of 35% reduction in emissions from 2005 baseline levels.

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. Idaho Power was a stakeholder and contributor to Boise’s Energy Future  community’s clean energy transition plan.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

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

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

Boise has installed 100 kW of onsite solar systems at municipal facilities. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

Boise provides non-financial incentives to commercial buildings that comply with the city's Green Building Code, including a dedicated Project Manager from the Department of Planning and Development Services to coordinate and oversee the project, and expedited plan review and permitting. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide 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: September 2023

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

Climate Mitigation Goal

Boise has a goal of carbon neutrality for local government operations by 2035. This goal was announced by the Mayor in her 2020 State of the City address. The city is currently developing a Climate Action Roadmap, which outlines the best options to pursue in order to achieve this goal.

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: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet policies and composition 

Boise prioritizes the purchase of alternative fuel or high fuel mileage vehicles. Regulations also set a goal of having at least 25% of vehicles purchased be high efficiency or alternative fuel vehicles. The City is in the process of developing an updated fleet procurement policy that prioritizes vehicle types based on their level of emissions. This policy should become active in 2023. Boise’s municipal fleet is currently composed of 11% 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. 99% of city-owned streetlights have been converted to LEDs. Idaho Power continues to convert their 2500 streetlights, that the city rents, to LEDs as well. Boise received $160,393 incentive from Idaho Power to complete conversion. 

Inclusive procurement 

We were unable to find information indicating that Boise has inclusive procurement and contracting processes. 

Last updated: October 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Boise benchmarks all occupied municipal buildings over 1,000 square feet.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

Boise employs an energy program manager that coordinates a city-wide Energy Team made up of facilities managers and key stakeholders from across the city to encourage energy efficiency and municipal electrification. City staff look to identify opportunities and funding for efficiency projects with renovation and repair funding for City facilities as part of the annual budget allocation process. Boise analyzes building performance on an annual basis, which identifies buildings that are underperforming. Underperforming buildings then undergo energy audits to identify issues and improve performance.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

The City of Boise offers free public transit passes for its employees. For employees that walk or bike, they can log those activities in the City of Boise's health incentive platform for rewards money (up to $100 per quarter). Boise surveys municipal employees on their commuting habits.

Last update: February 2024