State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Hartford, CT

43.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
2 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Both the City of Hartford’s Climate Action Plan and Energy Plan include climate and energy goals for municipal operations.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city joined the We’re Still In campaign and adopted a citywide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal that aligns with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Energy Reduction Goal

As stated in the Energy Plan, the city previously had a goal to reduce energy use in municipal operations by 20% by 2018, but we did not find information regarding a current energy reduction goal for municipal operations.

Renewable Energy Goal

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

Last updated: March 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

We did not find information regarding a fleet procurement policy or fuel efficiency requirements. However, Hartford’s Climate Action Plan lists converting municipal fleet passenger cars to more efficient vehicles as a goal. 

Public Lighting

In the Zoning Regulations, which includes International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance considerations,  requires that all new and replacement outdoor light fixtures “shall be directed downward and the illumination confined to necessary or useful areas” and requires that all lights be shielded. These regulations prohibit the use of incandescent and halogen lamps for outdoor lighting. Hartford has worked with Eversource and the Department of Energy and Environmental protection to replace all streetlights with LED fixtures. Installation has begun and is 50% complete. 

Green Building Requirements

We could not confirm if Hartford has a green building policy for municipal buildings, but the City lists improving energy efficiency of public buildings as a key goal in the Climate Action Plan

Last updated: March 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Hartford tracks electricity, natural gas, and water consumption data on over 40 of its most energy intensive public buildings on the WegoWise platform. This amounts to 85% of the area of its public facilities over 5,000 square feet. The City uses a three-part retrofit strategy for municipal facilities, including benchmarking, inputting historical energy performance metrics, and installing energy conservation measures. The Office of Sustainability regularly reports on energy projects to the Energy Improvement District Board, which meets regularly.

Public Workforce Development

Hartford does not have a telework or flexible schedule policy for city employees. 

Last updated: March 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 5 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Hartford adopted the Climate Action Plan in 2017.

In 2012, the Hartford City Council, in partnership with neighborhood associations and the Advisory Council on the Environment, organized a regional energy summit for local and surrounding communities, the Hartford Environmental Summit. During the summit, the city discussed steps communities can take to transform into sustainable communities. Otherwise, Hartford has few community-wide initiatives related to energy efficiency, but does pursue strategies that reduce the urban heat island effect.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a quantitative climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal, but the city’s Climate Action Plan states the intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a quantitative community-wide energy reduction goal for the city, but the Climate Action Plan states broad intentions to reduce energy use.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a quantitative community-wide renewable energy goal for the city, but the Climate Action Plan identifies increasing renewable energy use as central to the Climate Action Plan.

Energy Data Reporting

The city’s online dashboard includes community-wide energy data.

Last updated: June 2019

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

The Hartford Office of Sustainability is working to ensure that its events are held in partnership with grassroots nonprofits, resident activists, youth, and local resident-run Boards and Commissions. The city specifically reaches out to different stakeholder groups when hosting events and has designed grant-funded programs with nonprofits rooted in community action. When the city hosts resident climate action meetings, it does so after traditional working hours, and designs them as family-friendly so that childcare is not an issue.

While resident climate action meetings provide information to citizens regarding clean energy initiatives, we were unable to determine if they also focused on engaging marginalized groups in a discussion to elicit their feedback or suggestions regarding implementation of multiple initiatives connected with the city’s Climate Action Plan.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

The City’s Climate Stewardship Initiative, which is made up of the Climate Stewardship Council (CSC) and the Office of Sustainability, is working to achieve equitable outcomes for marginalized residents. The 34-member CSC, which was founded by Mayor Bronin, brings together residents, neighborhood revitalization zone groups, representatives of key area boards and commissions, grassroots nonprofits, and more. The city’s Climate Action Plan reflects feedback solicited by the CSC from 200 stakeholders. The Plan was brought by CSC members to neighborhood meetings, local Boards and Commissions staffed by resident volunteers, and the City Council, for feedback. The city hosted a national conference that brought together practitioners from across the country to review the Plan and ensure that every effort was made to use best practices. The CSC makes recommendations to the Mayor related to environmental justice issues. A list of Climate Stewardship Council members is available here.

While Hartford's Climate Stewardship Council advises the Mayor on environmental justice issues, it is also focused on economic development and public health. We were also unable to verify if the Council's membership consists of residents from marginalized communities.

Accountability to Equity

When the Climate Action Plan was adopted by City Council, the related resolution requires the Office of Sustainability to report annually on progress related to the Plan. The Plan features three core shared values: social equity, economic development and public health. The Office of Sustainability must report on the ways in which the plan fundamentally improves these three areas.

While the Office of Sustainability must report on its progress towards achieving equitable outcomes, we were unable to determine if the city has adopted specific goals, metrics, or protocols to track how multiple climate action initiatives are affecting local marginalized groups.

Last updated: July 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

Article XIV of the Hartford Municipal Code created the Energy Improvement District (EID). The purpose of the EID and its board is to enter contracts for the creation of several distributed energy resources.

Hartford also amended the city’s zoning code to promote the installation of renewable energy systems.

Last updated: June 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city’s Climate Action Plan established a goal to plant 2,500 trees per year and to increase urban canopy coverage to 40%. Additionally, the City of Hartford and KNOX, a local nonprofit, commissioned American Forests to create Hartford’s Urban Tree Canopy Assessment & Planting Plan. The plan includes an urban heat island mitigation goal to plant 20,000 trees in 20 years between 2010 and 2030, increasing the city's tree canopy by 10%.

The City of Hartford’s zoning code includes both incentives and provisions for low impact development. Zoning Code 4.3.2.E.(5) allows density bonuses for developments that include a green roof. Chapter 4 of the Zoning Code also places impervious surface limitations based on the development type. Zoning Code 6.14 requires low impact development on private construction projects, and prohibits developers from altering the project site in a way that would increase the volume of stormwater runoff. Zoning Code 6.14.1.B also requires developments restore the floodplain to its natural purpose where feasible.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 13 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Hartford enforces the state’s energy code. The city’s subdivision regulations and zoning code include solar- and EV-ready provisions, respectively. Hartford has not adopted a benchmarking and disclosure policy. The city offers several incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Connecticut requires residential and commercial buildings to comply with the Connecticut State Building Code. The state’s code references the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). To learn more about the required building codes for the State of Connecticut, please visit the State Policy Database


Commercial buildings must comply with the Connecticut State Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 55.0.


Residential buildings must comply with the Connecticut State Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 53.9.

Solar- and EV-ready

Hartford’s subdivision regulations and zoning code include solar- and EV-ready provisions. Section 32 of the city’s subdivision regulations requires developers to orient buildings to optimize exposure to passive solar benefits and to maximize generation from a future or current solar energy system. Section 7.2.2.D of the city’s zoning code mandates the number of EV-charging stations required per development type.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

The city does not staff any full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. Verification of energy code compliance may occur through plan reviews, site inspections, and/or performance testing. Hartford provides upfront support to owners and developers through walk-in consultations at the Licenses and Inspections Division.

Last updated: May 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Hartford does not have a benchmarking, rating, and disclosure policy for commercial and/or multifamily properties. The city's Energy Improvement District Board is currently considering the adoption of commercial, multifamily, and residential benchmarking policies. 


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

Last updates: May 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Hartford offers five incentives for energy efficiency, solar energy, and low-income energy improvement projects.

Sections 4.3.2.B.(13).C and 4.3.2.B.(13).B grant density bonuses to developments that respectively install a renewable energy system providing at least 25% of energy demand and a combined heat and power system cover 50% of the building’s heating and cooling needs. 

The city also offers commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy finance for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Hartford is partnering with the Connecticut Green Bank and Solar for All to increase solar energy deployments in low- to moderate-income households.

Please note that each incentive/program is tallied based on the building types and energy resources eligible for award. For example, a PACE financing program that offers energy efficiency and renewable energy financing to both residential and commercial property owners is counted as four incentives.

Last updated: July 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

Hartford does not require building developers and owners to perform additional above-code energy-saving actions.

Last updates: March 2019

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 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 8.5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Eversource, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving Hartford. Connecticut Natural Gas, an IOU, is Hartford’s primary natural gas utility. In 2007, the Connecticut legislature enacted Public Act 07-242, an act concerning electricity and energy efficiency, which places new requirements for energy efficiency and establishes new regulatory mechanisms for utilities. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Connecticut page of the State Database.

The Metropolitan District (MDC) for the City of Hartford is the municipal utility that provides the city with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, Eversource reported 329,842 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.57% of retail sales. In 2017, Connecticut Natural Gas reported savings of 2.21 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.79% of its retail sales. These figures cover the entire Connecticut service territory, not just Hartford. Eversource offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial customers. Connecticut Natural Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

Although the City of Hartford does not have a formal partnership with Eversource or Connecticut Natural Gas, City staff meet regularly with the utilities through the Energy Opportunities program, which involves tracking projects and monthly meetings with energy project stakeholders. The City of Hartford also has a series of letters of agreement with Eversource, reflecting anticipated incentives that will offset project costs related to energy efficiency measures. In addition, the City’s Energy Improvement District Board and the Climate Stewardship Council also have representatives from Eversource. As a member of the Clean Energy Communities program, the City of Hartford has pledged to promote energy efficiency programs (gas and electric) to residents, small businesses, educational group, local organizations and large C&I companies to increase program participation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Both Eversource and Connecticut Natural Gas provide the Home Energy Solutions—Income-Eligible Program to qualified low-income residential customers in both single and multifamily buildings. Eversource also runs New Construction, Retail Products, and Residential Financing programs for income-eligible customers. The Home Energy Solutions program provides no-cost weatherization measures and low-cost energy efficiency upgrades. Weatherization measures include air sealing, duct sealing, lighting fixtures, water efficiency measures, and insulation. Energy-efficient upgrades include appliance replacements, water heaters, HVAC systems, and windows. The program also includes funds to address health and safety issues. The utilities streamline eligibility with the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) requirements, as well as the CT Green Bank application. The program is supported by Energize Connecticut and utilities partner with community action agencies to cost share for WAP-funded projects.

Additionally, The Companies have implemented its retail lighting programs directly targeted at the low-income segment of the market. They have done this through outreach to local retailers who serve the hard-to-reach (“HTR”) customer market segment. HTR markets are defined as customers not typically reached through conventional retail and marketing channels, and are typically described in demographic terms (i.e., income-eligible, ethnic, urban, or rural). The Companies’ efforts regarding this market segment began in 2017 with a focused effort of offering LED incentives, marketing, and educational focus to HTR retail outlets and local retailers. Eversource and Connecticut Natural Gas partner with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to administer and provide cost-sharing opportunities with the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The utility has limited funding for health and safety barrier remediation and can leverage funding from other sources.

In 2017, according to Eversource, it achieved 16,665 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 21,582 low-income customers. In 2017, according to Connecticut Natural Gas, it achieved 0.73 MMtherms in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 1,584 low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

Both Eversource and Connecticut Natural Gas participate in Energize Connecticut’s Multifamily Initiative.. The Multifamily Initiative accomplishes comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades by assessing the property holistically throughout the building’s dwelling units, common areas, and exterior spaces. A combination of residential and commercial energy savings measures is evaluated, and custom incentives are offered through an incentive commitment letter provided to the property owner. Tenant-occupied areas (e.g., apartments and condominium living spaces) can receive direct install dwelling unit measures as part of these Multifamily Initiative services. These measures include building envelope air sealing, domestic hot water (“DHW”) savings measures, sealing of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (“HVAC”) ductwork, and the installation of energy-efficient lighting. The Multifamily Initiative also provides incentives for many measures beyond the direct-install dwelling unit measures, called add-on measures, which includes: insulation, HVAC equipment, DHW heating equipment, HVAC and DHW controls, appliances, windows, connected Wi-Fi Thermostats, lighting fixtures and lighting controls in dwelling units, exteriors and common areas and other custom measures.

The Multifamily Initiative is tailored to the multifamily segment and combines aspects of the Companies’ residential energy efficiency programs, such as Home Energy Solutions (“HES”) and HES-Income Eligible, with the Companies’ commercial and industrial (“C&I”) programs, including the Energy Opportunities, Energy Conscious Blueprint, and Small Business Energy Advantage (“SBEA”) programs. This approach offers flexibility to multifamily property owners and their tenants to save energy and money under a seamless umbrella initiative. In 2017, according to Eversource, it achieved 5,129 MWh from its multifamily program while serving 7,950 multifamily customers. In 2017, according to Connecticut Natural Gas, it achieved 0.45 MMtherms from its multifamily program while serving 1,854 multifamily customers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Both Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG) and Eversource provide energy usage data to building managers for automated input into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. At this time, the City of Hartford does not advocate for improvements in data provision by its utilities.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, Eversource did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability testified before the state legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee in favor of SB 336, which advocated for the adoption of a shared and community solar program. Community solar incentivizes the creation of additional solar capacity focus on low-income subscribers. For this model, the utilities would likely administer the program. The city also advocated for the preservation of net metering during the same testimony. In addition, the City’s Energy Improvement District Board issued a Comprehensive Plan in February 2018, which identified neighborhoods and facilities for potential solar installations. This report focused on community solar as a tool for expanding renewable energy access to our residents, who are primarily low-income 

Last Updated: April 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Although the local water and energy utilities do not offer joint efficiency programs in Hartford, Eversource and Connecticut Natural Gas’s Home Energy Solutions and Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible programs will replace inefficient faucet aerators and showerheads. Energize CT is a portal for incentives and programs related to both energy and water efficiency measures. On Energize CT, there is an option to search for natural gas-powered water heaters and hot water-related rebates and incentives. Hartford’s Metropolitan District (MDC) is currently discussing setting a water savings target, but none is yet in place. MDC’s strategic plan includes water conservation as a priority, with several strategies in place to reduce water consumption.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

The MDC has not yet established an energy efficiency goal for water operations, but there have been a series of measures undertaken to improve the efficiency of its wastewater treatment facility. Through subsidies from an Energize CT program, the utility was able to complete energy efficiency upgrades as part of its “Bio Nutrient Removal” Phase II Project. A total cost savings for the project is anticipated to be $8.2 million from avoided consumption of 55 million kWh over the lifetime of the equipment. There is a waste heat recapture system at the wastewater treatment facility. According to the MDC, “The heat recovery project will allow heat recovered from sludge incineration at the HWPCF to be used to produce clean, renewable electricity, accounting for 40% of the plant’s electrical needs.”

Last Updated: March 2019

Score: 15 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Hartford is CT Transit. CT Transit provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including standard and express bus service. The Greater Hartford Transit District also provides public transit in the Hartford area. Capitol Region COG is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses the Hartford area as well as many surrounding counties. The Department of Public Works is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The Climate Action Plan cites reducing VMTs as a critical goal and includes over a dozen strategies that can help decrease VMTs. These strategies range from initiating a traffic signal synchronization program, encouraging businesses to develop transportation demand management programs, and increasing sustainable transportation alternatives such as public transit and biking. This plan was formally adopted by City Council in 2018.

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

Provisions on all of these areas were adopted in January 2016 in the Zoning Regulations. Section 5.3 creates a Transit-Oriented Overlay District whose purpose is to “allow greater flexibility and require greater density in the vicinity of fixed nodes of public transportation,” particularly around the fixed stations for the CTfastrak Bus Rapid Transit System (the only BRT system in the state). The regulations require a minimum of 3 stories and a maximum of 14 stories, with a mix of uses that is the same as what is available downtown. This TOD District has already spurred a lot of development.

The TOD District requires more compact and mixed land use development. In addition, the zoning regulations (see Figure 3.2-A) also provide a much broader array of uses than has ever been allowed. It has created, for example, a “Craftsman Industrial” category that allows “maker spaces” (ranging from breweries to printmakers) in nearly every zoning district. The zoning code has at its very core the desire for a variety of uses to coexist and flourish. The form-based code provisions in Chapter 4 of the Zoning Regulations are also focused on compact and mixed-use land development, within the architectural vocabulary that already exists in Hartford. Finally, street connectivity is a significant priority in Hartford. The City adopted a Complete Streets Policy into its municipal code, and in the Zoning Regulations, it has an entire Chapter, Chapter 9, devoted to Complete Streets and street design.

Residential Parking Policies

In 2017, Hartford eliminated all minimum parking requirements for every zoning use (except for car sales lots, which are state mandated). It also imposes maximums on every parking use. The City instead imposes minimum requirements for bicycle parking for all but 1-, 2-, and 3-family uses.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City requires through its Zoning Regulations compact development compatible with existing neighborhoods through Chapter 4 – its form-based code chapter. In addition, the City offers generous density bonuses for downtown and transit-oriented development districts when property owners provide particular amenities (see 4.3.2.E. and 4.4.2.E.). The Regulations also allow a full range of uses that have fast-track permitting (no public hearings) in districts citywide (see Figure 3.2-A).

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. However, the City’s Climate Action Plan has a goal related to increasing walking and biking. This includes six different strategies related to Complete Streets, tactical urbanism, bike share, and more.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

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

Complete Streets

Hartford adopted a complete streets policy in 2016 through executive order.

Car Sharing

There is currently no citywide car sharing program available for use in Hartford, although ZipCar has partnered with Trinity College and the University of Hartford to offer a university-based sharing program. Hartford does not yet have a formal policy in place to provide dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles.

Bike Sharing

Hartford has the first dockless bikeshare in Connecticut, the LimeBike program, which has reported to the City and publicly that they have approximately 400 bikes in circulation. The program has been a huge success, with organizers reporting that usage has exceeded all expectations. Over 25,000 rides took place during the first 100 days of service.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transit systems that serve Hartford have received $65,147,473.20 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $53.70 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the third highest category ($50-99) 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 Hartford’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 7.8, putting it in the third highest category (7-7.99) in transit connectivity.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

The City of Hartford offered employees an exclusive discount program for the purchase of the Nissan Leaf EVs. Customers of the water utility MDC and the electricity utility Eversource are also offered rebates.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

There was an incentive offered for the installation of EV chargers. However, this program is no longer active. The City of Hartford does not have incentives as the City instead requires the use of EV charging stations in all lots of over 35 cars. In other words, the City goes beyond EV-readiness requirements by requiring EV charging. There are also carbon credits available for installing EV charging infrastructure. The CT Green Bank administers and aggregates these credits.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 23 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Hartford 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

Hartford 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

The City offers density bonuses (an additional 2 stories) for downtown and transit-oriented development districts when property owners provide affordable housing that is more than 15% of residential units (see 4.3.2.E. and 4.4.2.E. of the Zoning Regulations).

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

The Lime bikeshare program, which is the citywide dockless bike share program, has a program targeting low-income residents. Low-income residents can receive 100 rides for just $5. The normal price for rides is $1 per ride. In addition, community partners such as the BiCi Co. program at the Center for Latino Progress offer opportunities for low income or carless residents and youth. BiCi Co. has a Bikes for Jobs program, where low-income participants can receive an upcycled bicycle, bike lock, lights, and helmet for only $20. BIKELIFE is another annual BiCi Co. program for youth and teens (ages 10 to 19) in Hartford that includes a bicycle safety course. For a $20 registration fee, the participant receives an upcycled bicycle, bike lock, lights, and a helmet. The bike safety classes and BIKELIFE Festival coincide with Hartford schools April spring break.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

In the City of Hartford, almost 66% of low-income households have access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: April 2019