State and Local Policy Database

Detroit

City Scorecard Rank

63

Detroit, MI

18.00Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
1 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The City of Detroit passed an ordinance that mandated greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 25% below 2012 levels by 2025. 

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

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

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

The City does not have purchasing requirements for alternative fuel vehicles. However, it requires bidders to offer alternative fuel equivalents for any vehicle standard they bid on. The Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda does include a Goal to reduce emissions from City operations as well as an Action to reduce emissions from city vehicles. Detroit’s municipal fleet is composed of 3% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Detroit is a partner of the DOE High Performance Outdoor Lighting Accelerator whose aim is to demonstrate practical and effective best practices to accelerate the adoption of high-efficiency outdoor lighting and impost system-wide replacement processes at the municipal level. Detroit has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. In 2014, the Detroit converted all streetlights to 65,000 LED streetlights. This upgrade has saved the City nearly $3 million in electric bills and 40,000 tons of carbon a year.

Onsite renewable systems 

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

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 and Retrofitting

Detroit has benchmarked 120 buildings. The city estimates they benchmarking less than 75% of municipal buildings. The City has conducted audits on 60 buildings and are working on implementing a comprehensive retrofit strategy. 

Public Workforce Commuting

We did not find information on a policy aimed at reducing commutes of city employees, such as flexible schedules or telework.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 0 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Detroit released the Sustainable Action Agenda in 2019. 

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Detroit is a signatory of the Chicago Climate Charter and thus committed to a goal to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2012 levels by 2025. ACEEE does not project the city will meet its community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal because no data was available to make a projection. 

The city has conducted one greenhouse gas inventory.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Sustainable Action Agenda contains a goal to reduce industrial and commercial energy consumption per square foot 10% by 2024. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The Sustainable Action Agenda includes a goal to increase solar generation capacity to 10 MW by 2029. 

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

In developing the Sustainable Action Agenda, Detroit held seven focus groups with populations that are historically underrepresented in planning processes. 

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

The Sustainable Action Agenda includes a goal to increase tree planting in the twenty most vulnerable census tracts to 5,000 a year by 2024. The city does not have any policies or programs that mitigate the urban heat island affect, but the city’s Water and Sewer Department proposed a stormwater infrastructure ordinance.

Last updated: March 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 6 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Detroit enforces the state’s energy code. The city does not have a comprehensive energy code compliance verification program. Detroit has not adopted a benchmarking and disclosure policy. The city offers several incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Last updated: March 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All

Overview

The State of Michigan requires its local jurisdictions to comply with the 2015 Michigan Energy Code. The state based the Michigan Residential Code on the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential buildings. However, the state amended the 2015 IECC, weakening it to 2012 IECC levels. The State of Michigan currently requires commercial buildings to comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013. To learn more about Michigan’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.

Commercial

Commercial properties must comply with the Michigan Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 50.3.

Residential

Residential properties must comply with the Michigan Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 57.0.

Solar- and EV-ready

The city has not adopted a policy mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV- ready.

Last updated: March 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Detroit does not staff any full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city requires plan reviews, but not site inspections nor performance testing, to verify energy code compliance. The city does not provide upfront support to developers and/or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last updated: March 2020

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Detroit does not have a benchmarking, rating, and disclosure policy for commercial and/or multifamily properties.

Single-family     

The city has not adopted a single-family benchmarking and disclosure policy.

Last updated: March 2020

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Grants and loans are available to commercial and multifamily buildings through Detroit's SmartBuildings Program. The program covers both energy efficient upgrades and renewable energy installation.

Last updated: March 2020

Required Energy ActionsList All

Detroit has not adopted a policy requiring building owners to conduct any additional above-code energy-saving actions.

Last updated: March 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: 5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Detroit Edison Company (DTE), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Detroit. MichCon Gas, an IOU and subsidiary to DTE, is Detroit’s primary natural gas supplier. The State of Michigan requires spending and savings targets for its electric and rate-regulated natural gas utilities through an EERS. The utilities must file documentation of energy efficiency programs to the state PUC. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Michigan page of the State Database.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is the municipal utility that provides drinking water, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management services to the City of Detroit.

Last Updated: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, DTE reported 727,907 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.50% of retail sales. In 2018, DTE spent $106,629,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 2.09% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, MichCon Gas also reported savings of 16.87 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 1.35% of its retail sales. In 2018, MichCon Gas spent $27,734,876 on energy efficiency, which equates to $23.60 per residential customer. These savings figures cover the entire Michigan service territory, not just Detroit.

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

At this time, the City of Detroit does not have a formal partnership with DTE and MichCon Gas 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

DTE offers the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program which provides recommendations, financial assistance and education to income-qualified customers and assists them in reducing their energy use and managing their utility costs. The program leverages the services provided by member agencies of the Michigan Community Action Agency Association (MCAAA), municipalities, counties, public housing commissions, faith-based institutions, community development corporations, and nonprofit organizations with existing housing and energy programs. DTE does not pay incentives directly to its income-qualified customers; instead the program delivers incentive funding to these customers through a variety of in-kind services. These services include weatherization plus the replacement of inefficient refrigerators with ENERGY STAR® models in single-family homes and low-income multifamily dwellings, as well as in-home consultation and installation of energy-efficient measures through the Home Energy Consultation (HEC) Program for income-qualified customers.

DTE streamlines eligibility requirements by using the same requirements as many other programs for low-income customers. Through the Energy Efficiency Assistance program, DTE partners directly with local agencies, municipalities, counties, public housing commissions, faith-based institutions, community development corporations, and nonprofit organizations to offer housing and energy programs. DTE also offers a multifamily low-income program that provides direct install of energy efficiency measures in multifamily rental properties, provides energy information and education to tenants, ensures participation is clear and easy, and covers a portion or all of the cost for common area improvements. DTE also offers two additional programs for low-income customers: 1) Home Energy Consultation Low-Income, and 2) Home Energy Reports for low-income customers.

In 2018, according to DTE, it achieved 26,507 MWh and 1.58 MMtherms in energy savings, while spending $13,752,866 and $6,083,659 on its electric and natural low-income programs, respectively. DTE served 95,903 electric and 129,459 natural gas customers.

The City of Detroit offers a 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program, implemented by the community action agency. The Program launched in April 2015 and offers 10-year, interest free loans from $5,000 to $25,000 to help Detroit homeowners invest in and repair their homes.  The loan can be used for furnace and HVAC replacement, door and window replacement, electric repairs, and other health and safety improvements.

Multifamily Programs

DTE provides two comprehensive programs for multifamily properties. The Multifamily In-Unit Improvements Program offers no-cost direct install of energy efficient lighting, showerheads, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, and pipe wrap installation where units have electric water heating. The program also conducts a free energy assessment to identify other potential energy-saving upgrades. Additionally, these utilities offer the Multifamily Common Areas Improvements Program, which offers rebates for common area measures such as interior and exterior lighting, furnace/boiler upgrades, water heating, air conditioning, building and duct insulation, programmable thermostats, and ENERGY STAR windows.

In 2018, according to DTE, the program saved 3,894 MWh and 0.35 MMtherms, while spending $3,158,000 on electric and $1,197,000 on natural gas customers. They served 5,111 electric and 3,689 natural gas customers in 2018.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

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

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

To our knowledge, the city of Detroit does not participate 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

In partnership with DTE Energy, 110 customers that participated in the water utility's assistance program, WRAP (Water Residential Assistance Program), received refrigerator upgrades and other energy saving services, including furnaces, through EcoWorks, WRAP's implementation partner in 2018. There are currently no water saving targets in place for the City of Detroit.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

Currently, there are no programs in place for energy efficiency in water operations at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Detroit’s wastewater treatment plants do not have methane self-generation capacity, but the facility’s solar panels have a generating capacity of 20 kW and produce an estimated 21,500 kWh per year.

Last Updated: March 2020

Transportation
Score: 6 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Detroit is the City of Detroit Department of Transportation. The DDOT is charged with managing the city's transportation network. The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation. SMART provides the public transportation for the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Southeast Michigan COG is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Detroit, and many surrounding cities and towns. 

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Detroit recently released its Strategic Plan for Transportation, which includes several strategies for reducing emissions and energy use in the transportation sector. We could not find evidence for a specific VMT reduction target.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

We could not determine if the City tracks VMT or GHG numbers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

There are parking reductions allowed within 1/2 mile of 10 high frequency bus routes. The proposed "mix tape" overlay also reduces parking requirements and allows a minimum of 3 stories of residential over 1st floor commercial. There are 2 mixed-use zoning districts that have been implemented.

Residential Parking Policies

In the Central Business District and New Center area, there are no parking minimums.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

2 zoning districts and the proposed Mix Tape overlay allow extra height for mixed-use buildings. These qualities are also selected for through City property development RFPs.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

At this time, the City does not have a codified mode share target for trips within the city.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

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

Complete Streets

Detroit has not yet written or codified a Complete Streets Policy.

Car Sharing

There is a car-sharing program available to the residents and visitors of Detroit, zipcar. We could not determine if the City has a formal policy in place that provides dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles.

Bike Sharing

Detroit has a docked bikeshare system with 430 bikes spread among 44 stations.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The SMART and Detroit Transportation Corporation transit system that serves Detroit have received $77,945,453.20 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $18.11 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the lowest category ($0-19) available in transit funding.

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 Detroit’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 6.8, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-6.99) available in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Detroit does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 45 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Detroit has no incentives or requirements available for the installation of private or public EV charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.).

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Detroit does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place, nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Detroit does not have any requirements or incentives in place to develop or preserve affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Detroit does not currently provide rebates or incentives to low-income residents for efficient transportation options.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

In the City of Detroit, 58% of low-income households have access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: April 2019