State and Local Policy Database

Boise

City Scorecard Rank

42

Boise, ID

28.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
4.5 out of 10 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 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. Boise’s municipal fleet is currently composed of 7% 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. Approximately 99% of outdoor lighting owned by the city has been upgraded to LED.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems 

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

Inclusive procurement 

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

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Boise benchmarks all occupied municipal buildings over 1,000 square feet. All facilities over 10,000 square feet are benchmarked and energy use is monitored throughout the year.  EUIs are calculated on an annual basis.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

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.

Last updated: June 2021

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 and the Climate Action Roadmap in 2021. 

Last updated: September 2021

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 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.

Last updated: September 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: September 2021

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: September 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

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: September 2021

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. The city offers non-financial incentives to commercial buildings that pursue compliance with the Cities Green Building Code. We could not find information on city mandated benchmarking policies or above-code energy action requirements.

Last updated: July 2021

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All

Overview

The State of Idaho adopted the 2018 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, 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

Commercial buildings must comply with the state code, 2018 International Energy Conservation Code. Voluntary stretch/green code for commercial and multi-family buildings use the 2012 International Green Construction Code, also accept 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. New City buildings required to meet the Green Construction Code. Equivalency for existing buildings are those that achieve certification under LEED at certified or higher or a rating of one (1) green globe or higher under the Green Globes Program. The code uses a commercial zEPI score of 54.8.

Residential

Residential buildings must comply with the state code, 2018 International Energy Conservation Code. The ERI level for the City is 61 or less which is beyond state code from an existing amendment. Voluntary stretch/green code for R-2 and R-4 residential buildings 4 stories or less in height using the ICC 700-2012 at a bronze rating level or higherThe code uses a residential zEPI score of 52.7.

Solar-readiness policies

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

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies 

The city has passed provisions for EV ready in garages of new single-family homes and townhouses in the Electrical Code. There are no current EV ready provisions for commercial or multi-family but they are being considered in future Zoning Code rewrite.

Low-energy use requirements

All new City buildings must comply with the City adopted Green Construction Code. The Green Construction Code also 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. Equivalency for existing buildings are those that achieve certification under the USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) at certified or higher or a rating of one (1) green globe or higher under the Green Globes Program. 

Last updated: July 2021

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. The city also offers training and provides bonuses and encourages plan reviewers and inspectors to obtain ICC energy code certifications. 

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

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Boise offers non-financial incentives to commercial buildings that pursue compliance with the Cities Green Building Code.  These incentives include a dedicated Project Manager from the City's Dept. of Planning and Development services to coordinate and oversee the project, expedited plan review and permitting processes, a Green Building Plaque for the building upon completion, and other marketing and recognition.

Last updated: July 2021

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: July 2021

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: July 2021  

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2019, according to EIA, Idaho Power achieved 196,809 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 1.33% of its retail electric sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Boise. In 2019, Idaho Power spent $50,556,303 on electric energy efficiency programs, which represents 4.63% of its retail revenue. 

In 2019, 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: July 2021  

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. Idaho Power also contributes funding for health and saftey measures, such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, vapor barriers, electric panel upgrades, floor registers, boots, kitchen range fans, and venting of bath and laundry areas.

In 2019 Idaho Power achieved 1,193 MWh in savings while serving 326 customers and spending $2,261,353 on its low-income programs. 

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 2019, Idaho Power achieved 346 MWh in savings while completing 457 projects at 12 multifamily properties and spending $131,306.

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

Last Updated: August 2021

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.  

Boise receives annual community wide electricity usage from Idaho Power and Intermountain Gas and this information is incorpiorated into the city's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories. 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: August 2021

Renewable Energy Efforts of 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. To achieve 100% clean energy by 2045, Idaho power will need to reduce emissions by 3.9% annually from 2019 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. Concurrent to the city’s energy plan development, Idaho Power announced a corporate goal of 100% clean by 2045. 

Last Updated: August 2021  

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 incentives for water-source heat pumps and 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: August 2021  

Transportation
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 

Currently the City of Boise Zoning Ordinance offers density bonuses around transit lines to help encourage transit-oriented development and higher densities along routes. 

Residential Parking Requirements

Park Once goal of the Transportation Action Plan states the intention to reduce parking minimums. 

In addition to the TAP’s “Mobility Move” of Park Once, which encourages infill on existing parking lots and reducing parking minimums.   The Zoning Ordinance (11-05-05) establishes Parking Reduction Overlay Zones  within the Downtown Boise that provide alternative off-street parking ratios in accordance with the special needs of these areas.   These alternative ratios encourage parking maximums and in some cases allow sites to developed without parking.

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 its 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

Valley Regional Transit offers "Late Night",  a program for low-income job access that operates during the hours ValleyRide buses are not running. In partnership with Lyft, Valley Regional Transit offers $3 Lyft rides to and from work for qualified riders.

Last Updated: March 2020