State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Hartford, CT

69.50Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 4.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

In its comprehensive plan, Hartford's Energy Improvement District Board states its goal of reducing GHG emissions 45% below 2001 levels by 2030. 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 Efficiency Goal

Hartford does not have a quantitative community-wide energy reduction goal, though it aims to reduce energy use through programs like the Energy Equity Challenge. The Climate Action Plan also 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 states the intention to increase renewable energy use.  

Last updated: August 2023

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

While developing the Climate Action Plan, Hartford's Office of Sustainability co-hosted meetings with local grassroots organizations such as the Center for Latino Progress's BiCi Co., Keney Park Sustainability Project, and KNOX. These meetings were also held after traditional working hours and were family-friendly, which resulted in much more diverse community representation.

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.

Equity Accountability Measures

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: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList 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's EID recently released a request for proposal for the installation of a community solar system. The EID identified battery storage as a resource that may be included in proposals. 

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

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.

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

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

Buildings Policies
Score: 12 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Connecticut requires residential and commercial buildings to comply with the Connecticut State Building Code. The state’s code references the 2021 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 45.75.


Residential buildings must comply with the Connecticut State Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 50.48.

Solar-readiness policies

Hartford’s subdivision regulations and zoning code include solar-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. 

EV-readiness policies

Hartford’s subdivision regulations and zoning code include EV-ready provisions. Section 7.2.2.D of the city’s zoning code mandates the number of EV-charging stations required per development type.

Electrification policies

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted any electrification policies.

Last Update: September 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

We were unable to determine the amount of staff effort dedicated to energy code enforcement. Verification of energy code compliance may occur through plan reviews. Hartford normally provides upfront support to owners and developers through walk-in consultations at the Licenses and Inspections Division, but during the pandemic it has offered much of its services and assistance remotely.

Last Update: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


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

Hartford also offers residents no- or low-interest loans for housing improvements through the Housing Preservation Loan Fund

Program outcomes

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

Voluntary programs

Hartford runs the Energy Equity Challenge, a voluntary program that seeks to reduce energy use through discounted or free energy audits and weatherization upgrades.

Last Update: September 2023

Score: 16.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Hartford's Climate Action Plan was adopted in 2017 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

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

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Hartford 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

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Hartford has made changes to its zoning code in the past 10 years to facilitate more residential density, mixed-use development, or transit-oriented development. 

Parking Requirements

Hartford has eliminated parking minimums citywide. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Hartford offers a density bonus for developments in the downtown and transit-oriented development districts. 

Affordable Housing around Transit

The city incentivizes affordable housing near transit by providing density bonus to developments in the downtown or transit-oriented-development districts when affordable housing consists of more than 15% of residential units. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The City of Hartford only has a mode share target for biking and this target is only for commute trips; therefore, the city did not earn points for this metric. 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City of Hartford does not have a codified mode share target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

The City of Hartford partners with BiCi Co. to provide shared micro mobility services to low-income individuals. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Hartford have received $1,170,069.60 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $0.94 per capita between 2017 and 2021 within the service area. 

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 Hartford’s AllTransit Performance Score is 8.5, scoring 3 points in the City Scorecard. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

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

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The City of Hartford requires all new developments to have at least one charging station, and requires new housing, office, service, industrial, and commercial developments with more than 35 spaces to include EV charging stations in 3% of spaces. 

EV Charging Locations

The City of Hartford has 53.9 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use. 

Electric School Bus Goal

Hartford set a goal of transitioning 100% of its bus fleet to zero emissions by 2035. 

EV Transit Bus Goal

Hartford set a goal of transitioning 100% of its bus fleet to zero emissions by 2035. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

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

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 28.5 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure 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. 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: August 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, Eversource reported 213,607 MWh in net electric incremental savings.

In 2021, Connecticut Natural Gas reported savings of 1.63 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs.

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.

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. Most recently, the City jointly partners with several utilities on the Energy Equity Challenge, which encourages local property owners and renters to measure and reduce energy. Additional resources, such as solar for low-income households, are also offered.

Last Updated: August 2023

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 utilities 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 utilities’ 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 2021, according to Eversource, it achieved 6,496 MWh in energy savings while spending $19,925,765 on its low-income programs and served 14,363 low-income customers. In 2021, according to Connecticut Natural Gas, it achieved 0.27 MMtherms in energy savings, while spending $3,696,772 on its low-income programs and served 4,300 low-income customers.

In late 2019 and early 2020, the City of Hartford organized an Energy Equity Challenge, and worked in partnership with a variety of organizations, including Community Renewal Team to promote this voluntary challenge for local residents and property owners. By convening a group of stakeholders dedicated to expanding access to renewable energy and efficiency programs, the City is providing in-kind support that allows for better outcomes across a series of programs related to weatherization, fuel delivery, and utility bill assistance. The City of Hartford also has a Housing Preservation Loan Fund Program, which is administered by the Department of Development Services. The fund offers financing for deep retrofit projects to owners of 1-to-4-unit properties. The City also partners with Eversource to secure the implementation of their Home Energy Solutions Program that leverages selected energy contractors to implement energy efficiency programs to low-income residents in Hartford.

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 2021, according to Eversouce, it achieved 4,697 MWh in energy savings from its multifamily program while spending $5,039,953. It served 15,301 housing units in 238 multifamily properties. In 2021, according to Connecticut Natural Gas, it achieved 0.3MMtherms in energy savings from its multifamily program while spending $2,138,162. It served 3,915 housing units in 86 multifamily properties.

Last Updated: August 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Both Connecticut Natural Gas and Eversource provide automated benchmarking data to building managers for automated input into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The City of Hartford provides community wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through their state energy dashboard which is updated annually.

The City of Hartford advocates for utility bill transparency its comments to the state, including through Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regarding the Governor's Executive Order 3 and testifying to the state legislature on SB 882 Climate Change Mitigation and Home Energy Affordability. The Office has also testified on several energy-related topics including virtual net metering, energy stretch codes, and transportation emissions reductions

Last Updated: August 2023

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2019, Eversource Energy set a company-wide goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. To achieve this goal, Eversource Energy will need to reduce emissions by 9.09% annually from 2019 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability had previously 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 to likely be administered by the utilities. The city also advocated for the preservation of net metering during the same testimony.

The City of Hartford’s Office of Sustainability also staffs the Energy Improvement District Board, which supports the addition of renewable energy capacity throughout Hartford. The City of Hartford's Energy Improvement District is in a unique position to distribute electricity. As a result, the EID Board issued an RFP and selected a contract to establish a shared clean energy facility. In addition, the City’s Energy Improvement District Board issued a Comprehensive Plan, 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.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

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's EID recently released a request for proposal for the installation of a community solar system. The EID identified battery storage as a resource that may be included in proposals. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

Hartford has installed 2.2 MW of solar capacity on municipal facilities. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

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. 

The City of Hartford's Energy Equity Challenge included promoting the CT Green Bank's Solar for All initiative, which is a program that increases access to solar for low-income homes through incentives, loans, and other measures. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide 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. In addition, the City of Hartford and MDC, the water utility, have collaborated to directly provide water conservation materials. In 2018, the City began its Retain the Rain program, and during the fall phase, MDC provided 200 upcycled rain barrels to support the initiative. In 2019, the City received a national grant to fund the next phase of Retain the Rain, a stormwater management program with free green materials for Hartford residents. As a part of the 2019 Retain the Rain program, the City has 700 rain barrels, 200 trees, and 80 composters available for the community, and trees. 200 rain barrels have been distributed thus far. The water utility has assisted in outreach efforts for this program. Although stormwater is a focus of the program, the main purpose of rain barrels is water conservation, capturing and storing water for later use. This program concluded in 2021.

Hartford Metropolitan District (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. The MDC facility converts biosolids to energy which generates up to 40% of the facility’s energy.

Last Updated: August 2023

Local Government Score:
8 out of 25 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city of Hartford set a goal to reduce local government GHG emissions 26-28% by 2025, using a 2005 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

We could not find any information regarding a local energy reduction goal for Hartford. 

Renewable Energy Goal

We could not find any information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal for Hartford. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Hartford’s Climate Action Plan lists converting municipal fleet passenger cars to more efficient vehicles as a goal. Hartford’s updated Plan of Conservation and Development has a goal to convert 100% of municipal fleet passenger cars to more efficient vehicles by 2035. Hartford’s municipal fleet is currently composed of 5.4% efficient vehicles, including hybrid vehicles. 

Public Lighting

City of Hartford received a $5 million state grant to replace local streetlights, park lights, and other exterior lighting with high-efficiency LED models. Both city and utility-owned lights are composed of 100% LEDs. 

Inclusive procurement 

The City of Hartford has a certification program that permits small contractors, minority and women-owned businesses to participate in the city's set-aside programs. The City of Hartford Energy Improvement District also issued a Supplier Diversity Policy to support local energy innovation and green jobs. Hartford screens contractors to ensure they do not have a history of violating workplace laws or other regulatory protections prior to the awarding of a contract. 

Last updated: October 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

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. Energy use per square foot is posted for all benchmarked facilities.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City is in the process of a three-part retrofit strategy for municipal facilities, including benchmarking, inputting historical energy performance metrics, and installing energy conservation measures. These measures have included comprehensive interior and exterior lighting upgrades, improving space use timing, plus more time and cost-intensive retrofits to our mechanicals such as HVAC and a fuel cell. The Office of Sustainability regularly reports on energy projects to the Energy Improvement District Board, which meets regularly. The City directs some revenue from energy projects into an Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund. This is a dedicated account that can only be used for energy-related initiatives and has funded activities outside of regular maintenance such as the City’s energy dashboard and school retrofits.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

Hartford does not provide reduced-emission transportation benefits to municipal staff.

Last update: February 2024