State and Local Policy Database

Columbia

City Scorecard Rank

91

Columbia, SC

8.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
0 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

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

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

Columbia has a goal to use 100% renewable energy for municipal operations.

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet policies and composition 

We could not find information on city’s fleet procurement policies or fuel efficiency requirements. We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public lighting

We did not find information regarding the adoption of a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. We could not confirm if Columbia has an outdoor lighting upgrade program.

Onsite renewable systems 

We were unable to find information regarding onsite renewable energy systems in Columbia.

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

We were unable to find information regarding Columbia's benchmarking practices.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

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

Public Workforce Commuting

We did not find data on policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules and teleworking.

Last updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Columbia adopted the Climate Protection Action Plan.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Columbia has committed to a greenhouse gas reduction goal of 28% by 2025, in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term community-wide 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

The City of Columbia of adopted a goal to generate 100% renewable energy by 2036.

Energy Data Reporting

The city does not report community-wide energy data.

Last updated: March 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

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: March 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goals

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: March 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 1 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Columbia enforces the state energy code. The city requires plan reviews to ensure code compliance. We could not find information on city mandated benchmarking policies, incentives, or above-code energy action requirements.

Last updated: March 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All

Overview

The State of South Carolina allows local jurisdictions to adopt energy codes more stringent than that of the state. South Carolina has adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. To learn more about the Idaho building codes, please visit the State Policy Database.

Commercial

Columbia enforces the state commercial energy code. The code uses a commercial zEPI score of 67.3.

Residential

Columbia enforces the state residential energy code. The code uses a residential zEPI score of 64.8.

Solar- and EV-ready

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted solar- and/or EV-ready ordinances.

Last updated: March 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Columbia requires plan review to verify code compliance. We could not find information on the number of full-time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code. We could not find information regarding upfront support for code compliance.

Last updated: March 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

We could not verify if the city has programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: March 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 0 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Dominion Energy South Carolina, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and gas utility for the City of Columbia. South Carolina’s investor-owned utilities are required to file integrated resource plans with the Public Service Commission. Some of the utilities operate demand-side management and energy efficiency programs, although such programs are not required in South Carolina. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the South Carolina page of the State Database.

Columbia Water is the municipal utility that provides the City of Columbia with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, Dominion Energy South Carolina reported 55,843 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 0.25% of its retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Columbia. In 2018, Dominion Energy South Carolina spent $13,586,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 0.59% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, Dominion Energy South Carolina reported no spending or savings on natural gas efficiency programs. These savings and spending figures cover the entire service jurisdiction of Dominion Energy South Carolina, not just the City of Columbia.

Dominion Energy South Carolina offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers.

At this time, the City of Columbia does not have a formal partnership with Dominion Energy South Carolina in the form of a jointly developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

DESC offers the Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Program (NEEP) to single and multifamily households. The program provides income qualified customers with energy assessment, energy education, and direct installation of energy-efficiency upgrades. Through NEEP, eligible customers receive free and LED lighting. DESC coordinates with community action agencies, local community groups, and internal customer assistance department to outreach potential eligible customers.

In 2018, Dominion Energy South Carolina achieved 4,090 MWh in energy savings, while spending $1,391,090 in its low-income programs and served 3,586 low- income customers.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, DESC does not offer an energy efficiency program targeted at multifamily properties. However, DESC has proposed a multifamily program in a recent filing with the South Carolina Public Service Commission.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Dominion Energy South Carolina does not provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings. The City of Columbia 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, Dominion Energy South Carolina did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

At this time, we cannot confirm whether or not the city of Columbia 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: March 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

The energy and water utilities do not currently offer joint energy and water efficiency programs. At this point, the City of Columbia and its water utility have not yet established a water savings target or goal. The city does offer water saving tips online.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

The water utility has not set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: March 2020

Transportation
Score: 5.5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

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

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

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

Last Updated: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning 

The City's zoning code provides for several different mixed use districts, development corridors, and neighborhoods. Pedestrian oriented development is of primary import in many of these zones as well as others throughout the city.

Residential Parking Requirements

The City's parking requirements do not meet the minimum threshold for scoring. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosures

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Target 

No data or city is not pursuing 

Progress Toward Mode Shift Target

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

Complete Streets

Resolution No.  R2010-054

Car Sharing

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Bike Sharing

In 2018 the City's bikeshare program, Blue Bike, launched. Initially, there are plans to have 135 bicycles in the city, 50 of which will be pedelec bicycles. City officials in the planning and development department say phase two will consist of 10 additional stations and 90 additional bicycles. The service also has a planned expansion in the near future. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of Columbia have received $22,805,130 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $27.39 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 Columbia's Transit Connectivity Index value is 5.2, scoring 0.5 a point in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

No data or city is not pursing. 

Incentives for EV Charging Stations

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

EV Infrastructure

The City has 30 charging stations available for public use, equivalent to 22.48 stations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Neither the City of Columbia 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

Columbia 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 

Columbia does not have any policies in place to address or help encourage affordable TOD housing development. 

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

The City of Columbia is Serviced by COMET, which has lead a number of initiatives since 2017 that are relevant to connecting low income residents to efficient transportation options. Such initiatives include a vanpool program to "connect people to jobs and combat congestion", and the expansion of bikeshare stations to expand free bicycle access. 

Last Updated: March 2020