State and Local Policy Database

Chula Vista

City Scorecard Rank


Chula Vista , CA

47.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 4 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The City of Chula Vista has adopted a science based GHG reduction goal of 57% below 2018 by 2030 and net zero by 2045.  This goal was adopted in the Climate Emergency Declaration. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will not meet its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal. 

The city conducts greenhouse gas inventories biennially. The city’s most recent inventory was released in 2018 and records emissions from 2014.

Energy Efficiency Goal

The city has a sector-specific energy reduction goal to retrofit 20% of single- and multi-family homes and 20% of commercial building floor area to reduce energy use by 50% by 2035.

Renewable Energy Goal

As part of the city’s Climate Action Plan, the city has a community-wide goal of consuming 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2035.

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

Chula Vista adopted the Climate Equity Index in 2021. The index tracks several indicators related to climate, energy, and equity, and the city is required to update the index every five years. 

Last updated: August 2023

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: August 2023

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

Urban Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

The City adopted a Shade Tree policy that includes a 50% tree coverage requirement for parking lots and 10% coverage for landscaped land. If a development project is not able to meet this requirement, it can install light colored surfaces as an alternative.  

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

Buildings Policies
Score: 18.5 out of 30 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of California requires all buildings to meet statewide codes, but grants local jurisdictions the authority to adopt more stringent codes. Chula Vista follows the 2022 Building Energy Efficiency Standards with local amendments. To learn more about building energy codes in California, please visit the State Policy Database.


The city requires commercial buildings to comply with CalGreen and the California Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 41.80.


The city requires residential buildings to comply with CalGreen and the California Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 26.

Solar-readiness policies

California state code requires new commercial and residential construction to include solar PV where applicable. 

EV-readiness policies

California’s Green Building Requirements require single-family, multi-family, and commercial developments to make a certain percentage of spaces EV-ready.

Electrification policies

California's 2022 Building Standards Code includes electric-ready requirements for residential buildings. 

Last updated: August 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

The city has one contract staff member that is solely focused on energy code compliance. In compliance with the state code, Chula Vista provides plan review, inspections, and performance testing. The city offers free training and personal assistance on energy code compliance.

Last updated: August 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Retrofit requirements

The Existing Home Energy Sustainability Ordinance requires homes undergoing structural remodels or additions to incorporate a minimum number of energy-saving actions.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

California has a statewide benchmarking and disclosure policy, outlined in Assembly Bill 802. As of June 2019, building owners of commercial buildings greater than 20,000 square feet or with 17 or more residential utility accounts must report and disclose their energy consumption annually. In Chula Vista, the policy covers 49% of commercial buildings and 76% of multifamily buildings.

Moreover, Chula Vista adopted a benchmarking ordinance that requires multifamily, industrial and commercial properties with a floor area of 20,000 square feet or more to track their energy usage and make improvements if they are not energy efficient.

Rental disclosure

As part of the city's benchmarking ordinance, building owners are required to provide the results of their most recent benchmarking report to prospective tenants. 


Chula Vista offers free home energy & water checkups for residents to determine opportunities for increased efficiency. The city also expedites permit reviews for projects that are at least 30% more efficient than current California energy efficiency standards. The city streamlined its solar permitting process for residential systems under 10 kW. The city offers commercial and residential properties access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing. 

The City also partners with Energy Sage and ICLEI to promote the ICLEI Solar Market Place.

Program outcomes

We could not verify if the city collects data on incentive and financing programs to ensure equitable outcomes.

Last updated: September 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

Score: 12.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Chula Vista's Active Transportation Plan was adopted in 2020 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The City of Chula Vista does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target. 

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Chula Vista does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

California's SB 9 became law in 2021 and went into effect in 2022. This allows lots in single-family zones throughout the state to be split into two lots, and allows up to two units to be built on each lot, effectively increasing the number of units permitted per lot from one to four in single-family zones. SB 9 applies to residential zones in all California cities, including Chula Vista. 

Residential Parking Policies

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Chula Vista has at least one zone, neighborhood, or district with a parking maximum of 1 or fewer spaces per housing unit or no minimum parking requirement for residential uses. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City of Chula Vista does not have location-efficient development incentives or disclosure policies. 

Affordable Housing Around Transit

Though Chula Vista does incentivize the development of affordable housing, the City does not require, preserve, or incentivize the development of affordable housing near transit. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

According to the Chula Vista Active Transportation Plan, adopted in 2020, the City has a goal of 9% of all commutes being made by alternative modes by 2035. 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

We were unable to find whether the City of Chula Vista collected initial data on mode share at the adoption of its goal; therefore, we cannot assess progress toward the goal. 

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

We were unable to find information on programs or policies subsidizing access to efficient transportation for disadvantaged groups. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

We could not determine the transit funding per capita for Chula Vista. 

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 Chula Vista’s AllTransit Performance Score is 5.7, scoring 1 point in the City Scorecard. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

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

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The California Green Building Code requires multifamily properties with 20 or more units and hotels with 20 or more guest rooms to install level 2 EV chargers in five percent of the total parking spaces. 

EV Charging Ports

The City of Chula Vista has 36.5 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use. 

Electric School Bus Goal

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

EV Transit Bus Goal

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is requiring all California transit agencies to transition their bus fleets to zero-emissions buses by 2040. Therefore, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has a goal of transitioning to zero-emissions buses. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

The City of Chula Vista 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 Chula Vista does not have an open data portal with real-time freight data. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 12.5 out of 15 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All

San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and natural gas utility for the City of Chula Vista. The State of California requires spending and savings targets for its IOUs through an EERS and requires local government-utility partnerships through mandate by the California PUC. In 2021, California regulators updated state energy efficiency policies to focus on reducing carbon emissions. The state’s new rule rules value efficiency as a grid and decarbonization resource, encourage utilities to offer more programs that primarily serve communities of color and low-income residents, and encourage workforce development programs.  To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

In late 2018, the City launched a feasibility study to establish community choice aggregation for the city. In September 2019, the City Council passed Resolution 2019-179 to approve a joint-powers authority (JPA), along with San Diego, La Mesa, Encinitas, and Imperial Beach to create the San Diego Regional Community Choice Energy Authority. The goal of the CCA is to provide clean energy to ratepayers by 2021. SDG&E will work with this JPA Community Choice Energy Authority by providing billing, customer service, and transmission of power. 

Both the Otay Water District and Sweetwater Authority are the private utilities that provide the City of Chula Vista with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, according to EIA, San Diego Gas & Electric achieved 242,605 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 1.35% of its retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Chula Vista. In 2019, SDG&E spent $62,756,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.68% of its retail revenue.

In 2019 SDG&E reported 3.27 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 0.77% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2019, SDG&E spent $7,376,000 on energy efficiency, which equates to $8.56 per residential customer. These savings figures cover the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not just Chula Vista.

SDG&E offers natural gas and electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

Chula Vista and SDG&E have a franchise agreement. In addition, the City has a long history with SDG&E in a series of Local Government Partnerships (LGP), which began in 2006. The City is currently wrapping up the fourth year of a five-year contract with SDG&E where they focus on energy efficiency services that reduce the amount of electricity consumed and help lower monthly utility costs. The program is designed to reduce amount of kilowatt hours consumed by the community in a range of sectors.  The most recent LGP included the creation of a Roadmap to ZNE for City Facilities, the new climate action plan, and a benchmarking and building performance ordinance. The City recently partnered with SDG&E for the creation of the Energy Station in the Library. Some examples of current efforts to promote energy efficiency include adopting a high efficiency outdoor commercial lighting ordinance, providing no-cost home and business energy evaluations, providing energy efficiency tools and resources and libraries and in recreation programming, providing training to development staff, and regularly participating in community events to promote energy efficiency.

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

SDG&E offers the Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) Program, which provides renters or owners with energy-efficient lighting, water efficiency measures, health and safety measures, door and window replacement, appliance upgrades, insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking. SDG&E also partners with over 200 community partners to reach eligible customers, as well as 2-1-1 San Diego who provides enrolment services for SDG&E’s ESA program in addition to other state and local programs. SDG&E streamlines eligibility requirements for customers enrolled in other bill assistance programs. In addition, SDG&E leverages local LIHEAP agency dollars to provide health and safety repairs and services not offered through the ESA program, such as water heaters for renters. SDG&E partners with over 200 community partners to reach eligible customers.

The City of Chula Vista supports low-income weatherization through grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Through home checkups and mandatory outreach to businesses through a City ordinance, City staff promote various programs that are available for low-income participants including the ESA program.

In 2019, according to SDG&E, it achieved 1,783 MWh and 0.02 MMtherms in energy savings, while spending $10,078,869 and $9,005,556 on its electric and natural gas low-income programs, respectively. SDG&E served 16,271 customers across its low-income electric and natural gas programs in 2019.

Multifamily Programs

SDG&E offers a few multifamily programs, including the Multifamily Energy Efficiency Rebates (MFEER) and the Comprehensive Mobile Home Program (CMHP). Each of these programs target specific sub-segments within SDG&E’s Residential Multifamily sector and did so at little to no cost to the customer through direct install and co-pay delivery channels. Both MFEER & CMHP offered measures such as AC diagnostics, faucet aerators, low flow showerheads, efficiency fan controllers, refrigeration vending machine controllers, pool & spa LED lights, LEDs lights for common areas, smart programmable thermostats and 48-inch T8 LEDs for common areas at no cost. The program also included tankless water heaters, furnace upgrades and domestic hot water boilers at the co-pay level.

Within its service territory, SDG&E administers and implements a low-income energy efficiency program, known statewide, as the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP). Within the parameters of ESAP, SDG&E can treat in-unit residences and common areas in multifamily properties. The services offered through ESAP include no cost lighting, air sealing, HVAC repair and replacement, domestic hot water repair and replacement, appliance replacement, and benchmarking.

In 2019, according to SDG&E, it achieved 1,870 MWh and 0.011 in energy savings, while spending $1,736,282 on its electric multifamily programs and $333,587 on its natural gas multifamily programs. Participation data was not available for 2019.

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

San Diego Electric & Gas required to provide whole-building aggregated energy usage data for compliance with AB 802 to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager or by providing the aggregated energy usage data in a Portfolio Manager template that the customer can upload. Building Owners or the Owner’s Agent can obtain whole-building aggregated energy usage data from utilities into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager by providing just the building address.

The city works with regional planning partners to provide energy usage information every two years as a part of the city’s greenhouse gas inventories.

The City of Chula Vista has participated on the California Public Utilities Commission Energy Data Access Committee in an effort to receive better information about community energy use. The City has also signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with SDG&E to receive more complete community energy usage data. For the most recent GHG inventory, the City partnered with an academic institution, the University of San Diego's Energy Policy Initiative Center (EPIC) to get better access to our energy data. With the launch of the 2021 Commercial and Multifamily Benchmarking ordinance, the City will have access to energy data on all multifamily, commercial and industrial buildings in the city that are 20,000 square feet and above.

Last Updated: July 2021

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2021, SDG&E announced its intention to produce power with zero carbon emissions by the year 2045. The year corresponds to California's target goal to get 100% of its electricity from carbon zero sources. To achieve this goal, SDG&E will need to reduce emissions by 3.85% annually from 2019 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The City's Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035. To meet this goal, the City partnered with other jurisdictions—including San Diego, Encinitas, La Mesa, and Imperial Beach– to form San Diego Community Power (SDCP), a Community Choice Aggregator. As of summer 2021, SDCP will serve both commercial and residential customers. Two city councilmembers are on the board of SDCP.

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 

Chula Vista has installed on-site solar PV panels and battery storage installations for a total of 4.5 MW.   

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

The city streamlined its solar permitting process for residential systems under 10 kW. The city offers commercial and residential properties access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing.  

The City also partners with Energy Sage and ICLEI to promote the ICLEI Solar Market Place

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Chula Vista is served mainly by two water agencies, Otay Water District and Sweetwater Authority. Otay Water District works with SDG&E regularly to evaluate the most cost-effective rate plans and leverages incentive plans when possible. Some of the incentive plans include the use of green energy and equipment modifications. Sweetwater Authority has and continues to partner with our local energy partner to promote water and energy efficiency measures. These events include community fairs, community tailgates, and lighting exchange events. Sweetwater Authority provides device-based rebates to consumers for water and energy and ensures these devices meet or exceed current Watersense and EPA benchmarks for efficiency. This measure is a network of multiple agencies that include Sweetwater Authority, San Diego County Water Authority, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, & San Diego Gas & Electric.

Currently, water conservation is voluntary. Two bills, SB 606 and AB 1668, that establish permanent water use restrictions throughout the state were signed into law in 2018. Otay Water District and other water providers will work with the State Water Resources Control Board over the next several years to define how the new laws will be implemented. Efficient use of water is a long-term strategy for Sweetwater Authority as implied in its mission statement. This strategy includes a general emphasis on efficient use and conservation of water, as well as specific targets and conservation measures.

In 2016, the City of Chula Vista created a Water Stewardship Plan with stakeholder input that was approved by City Council in the fall of 2016. This originally started as a water reuse framework and came out of climate action planning efforts. Stakeholders included Sweetwater Authority and Otay Water District. In addition, the 2017 Climate Action Plan includes actions making city water use more visible, and water meter data is now being posted in all City facilities on a monthly basis, alongside energy use data. A 2018 update to the City Council on progress can be found here.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

Otay Water District has a multi-year performance objective in its Strategic Plan to look for and leverage savings in energy costs. Sweetwater Authority’s Sustainability Action Plan and Strategic Plan contains specific energy efficiency targets and comprehensive energy efficiency strategies.

San Diego Metro, where the City’s wastewater goes, does have a cogeneration facility to capture and utilize methane gas for energy use. Sweetwater Authority’s Richard A. Reynolds Facility also has ground-mounted solar PV panels, which offset the cost of treating water and reduces the facility’s overall carbon emissions.

Last Updated: July 2021

Local Government Score:
4.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Chula Vista’s City Operations Sustainability Plan establishes energy goals for the municipal government. The 2017 Climate Action Plan also highlights municipal actions.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The City of Chula Vista succeeded in achieving a goal to reduce municipal emissions 20% below 1990 levels, however, the city currently does not have a climate mitigation goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a current municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal.

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

The City’s Climate Action Plan and 100% Clean Fleet Policy 2008 state that any replacement vehicles must be high efficiency, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicles. Chula Vista installed 123 EV charging stations for fleet and employee use within the last 3 years and has recently purchased 44 electric vehicles for city fleet. The new vehicles replace aging, gasoline-powered cars and trucks that are less reliable and cost more to maintain.  For the 2nd round of EV purchases, the city participated in one of the early purchases of the Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative, a program launched by 20 founding cities of which Chula Vista is one. The program enables the City of Chula Vista to purchase vehicles using competitively solicited contracts from other agencies that meet or exceed city requirements. Chula Vista’s fleet is composed of 15% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric.  

Public Lighting

Chula Vista has adopted California’s 2020 energy efficiency requirements for outdoor lighting. The city has upgraded all streetlights to LED and any future development requires new LED streetlights to be installed. 

Onsite and offsite renewable systems 

The City has installed three phases of on-site solar PV panels and three battery storage installations for a total of 4.2 MW.  The City also partnered with SDSU for a grant through the California Energy Commission to install a solar battery storage consisting of repurposed EV batteries. This is a three year project and San Diego State University is in progress of designing the battery storage.

Inclusive procurement 

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

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

Chula Vista benchmarks facilities using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager annually. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City’s Municipal Building Energy Efficiency Policy (2005) states that existing buildings should be retrofitted with more efficient technologies as available. Currently, Chula Vista is undergoing LED lighting retrofits in all buildings. The City also has a City Operations Sustainability Plan with goals to reduce energy use in facilities and is a participant in the DOE's Better Buildings Challenge. The City worked to create a Roadmap to Zero Net Energy in late 2019, which looked at the majority of city facilities for all opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy.  In 2020, the City retrocommissioned 2 existing buildings

Last updated: June 2021