State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Honolulu, HI

76.50Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 9.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The 2020-2025 Climate Action Plan includes a goal to reduce emissions 45% from 2015 levels by 2025. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will not meet its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal.

Energy Efficiency Goal

The city does not have a community-wide energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

The city has a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045.

Last updated: August 2023

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equity Accountability Measures

Pillar I of the city's resilience strategy has several time-limited goals focused on energy and housing affordability outcomes. Pillar IV has several goals focused on city-community coordination. The city also reports that they have weekly meetings to report on progress towards these goals.  

Last updated: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

Honolulu has issued a Request for Proposal for the construction of a seawater air conditioning project for city-owned buildings in the downtown area.

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

Though it has not yet been used to inform policy or programs, the city worked with NOAA and CAPA Strategies to conduct a heat-mapping survey. The city developed a report and a heat-mapping tool with the results. The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance, however the city runs the Exceptional Tree Program

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: 16.5 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Hawaii requires all counties to adopt the Hawaii Energy Code in 2015. The code adopted the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 with state-specific amendments. The city is also active in the State Building Code Council, and actively weighs in on state policies to change codes. To learn more about Hawaii’s building energy code requirements, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial properties must adhere to the 2015 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 58.8.


Residential properties must adhere to the 2015 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 68.45.

Solar-readiness policies

As of 2020, ordinance 20-10 requires new residential buildings to be solar-ready.

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

As of 2020, ordinance 20-1 requires new residential buildings to be  EV-ready.

Low-energy use requirements

Honolulu requires municipal buildings greater than 5,000 square feet to achieve LEED Silver standards.

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. The city requires third-party plan reviews and inspections of new developments, but does not require performance testing. The city has actively aimed to educate stakeholders about the building codes, for example in webinars with partners.

Last Update: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Ordinance 22-17 requires that commercial and multifamily buildings over 25,000 square feet in size must track and report their utility data via ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online tool used to manage building performance. The city has taken a phased approach, making reported data available to the public annually, and requiring reporting as follows:

Starting in June 2023: buildings over 100,000 square feet;
June 2024: buildings over 50,000 square feet;
June 2025: all covered buildings will have to report their data. 

Single-family energy-use disclosure policies

Hawaii Law 508D-10.5 requires residential property owners to disclose energy-use information at the time of sale. 

Other requirements

Hawaii Law 508D-10.5 requires multifamily property owners to disclose energy-use information at the time of sale. 


The Honolulu Home Repair Loan Program offers income-eligible homeowners access to low-interest loans for home repairs including the installation or replacement of Energy Star certified appliances. 

Program outcomes

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

Last Update: September 2023

Score: 19.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Honolulu's Climate Action Plan was released in 2021 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

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

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Honolulu 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 Honolulu 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 Requirement

Honolulu has eliminated parking minimums in certain districts. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Honolulu offers a density bonus for transit-oriented developments. 

Affordable Housing around Transit

The city incentivizes affordable housing near transit by providing fee and property tax waivers for affordable housing developments in transit-oriented-development areas. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The City of Honolulu 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 Honolulu 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 Honolulu provides discounts to bus transit and micro mobility fares to low-income people. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Honolulu have received $370,607,029.40 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $388.8 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 Honolulu’s AllTransit Performance Score is 7.9, scoring 2 points in the City Scorecard. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Hawaii Energy offers up to $2000 rebate on single-port level 2 chargers, up to $4500 for multi-port level 2 chargers, with affordable housing developments eligible for up $5000 in rebates. 

Vehicle Charing Infrastructure Requirements

The City of Honolulu does not require new developments to install EV charging stations. 

EV Charging Locations

The City of Honolulu has 8.8vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use. 

Electric School Bus Goal

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

EV Transit Bus Goal

Honolulu set a goal of transitioning 100 of its bus fleet to electric by 2035. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

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

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 21 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All


Hawai’i Electric, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility for the City of Honolulu. Hawai’i uses very little natural gas and therefore does not have natural gas energy efficiency programs. Hawai’i Energy is a third-party administrator that manages Hawai’i Electric’s efficiency programs across its service territory. To learn more about the state requirements for electric efficiency, please visit the Hawai’i page of the State Database.

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

Last Updated: September 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, Hawai’i Electric reported 107,475 MWh of net electric savings at the meter.

In 2021, Hawai’i Gas did not run any natural gas programs in Honolulu, due to the low amount of natural gas Hawai’i consumes. These spending and savings figures cover the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not just Honolulu.

Hawai’i Energy represents a long-standing partnership between the State of Hawai’i and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to achieve the State’s 100% clean energy goals by 2045. Hawai’i Energy is a utility ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program under contract with the PUC.

The State of Hawai’i, the PUC, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), along with many city, local, and community organizations work together to develop joint goals, strategies, and agreements in pursuit of the State’s clean energy goals. All of Hawai’i Energy’s programs are in direct alignment with and support of these efforts. Alignment is achieved through direct communication and organizations, including but not limited to the Honolulu City and County Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resilience and Oahu’s Energy Equity Hui.

Hawai’i Energy’s partnership with HECO is strong and growing. Beyond energy efficiency programs, Hawai’i Energy works with HECO to align messaging and collaborate on programs to increase grid modernization and energy equity. In PY21, this including complimenting HECO’s own Battery Bonus program with a commercial battery storage program.

In program year 2021, Hawai’i Energy advocated for policies to boost progress towards Hawaii’s clean energy goals at both the state and city level. Two major wins, the Energy Efficiency in State Facilities (“Lead by Example”) act and the City and County of Honolulu ordinance establishing the Better Buildings Benchmarking Program are two examples of legislature supported by Hawai’i Energy.

Last Updated: September 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

The Energy Smart 4 Homes (ES4H) program provides whole-building retrofit services to low-income multifamily and single family properties.

Community based bulk appliance trade-ups: Residents in five communities across the state can purchase energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers for significantly less than retail price with the trade-in of an old, working model. Hawai’i Energy sources works with an established community partner to enroll participants, collect payments, organize ordering and delivery of appliances, and share about the benefits of energy-efficient actions.

Hawai’i Energy also supported 170 projects for businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic through the Empower Grant program and continued to provide lighting retrofits to small business and non-profits through the Energy Advantage program.

In 2021, Hawai’i Energy’s low-income energy efficiency programs achieved 15,284 in energy savings while spending $8,025,000 and serving 3,200 households.

Multifamily Programs

The Energy Smart 4 Homes (ES4H) program provides multifamily customers direct access to no-cost energy efficiency solutions, such as high-efficiency lighting and water measures and energy management devices. In addition to work in individual units, the program provides common area lighting retrofits at enhanced incentive levels. In 2021, Hawai’i Energy’s multifamily energy efficiency programs achieved 420 MWh in energy savings while spending $479,000. Participation data for 2021 was not available.

Last Updated: September 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Hawai’i Electric nor Hawai’i Gas provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings.

The city of Honolulu does not provide community-wide energy usage information at the aggregate level for community planning and evaluation purposes. 

The City, through its Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency submitted supportive testimony urging passage of Hawai’i Senate Bill 1442 which would have required the public utilities commission to improve utility data access and transparency. The City is in the process of implementing a Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency program with assistance from the Institute for Market Transformation through a grant award from the American Cities Climate Challenge. The goal is to propose and adopt a benchmarking ordinance, and access to utility data is a significant element of this program. In addition, the City is an intervening party in PUC Docket 2018-0088 as an advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers and the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities.

Last Updated: September 2023

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

Hawai'i Energy does not currently have a carbon emissions reduction goal in place.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The City and County of Honolulu plays an active role in encouraging more utility-scale and distributed energy generation. For example, in 2018, the City and County intervened in the PUC Docket 2018-0088, advocating for renewable portfolio standards amongst other priority outcomes from reforming Hawai’i Energy’s incentive structure. The City is also in the process of developing two new energy service performance contracts to expand energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment across city facilities and parks.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

Honolulu has issued a Request for Proposal for the construction of a seawater air conditioning project for city-owned buildings in the downtown area. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

In 2022, Honolulu had 11.8M kWh of total generation of on-site renewable energy.  

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

The Honolulu Solar Loan Program provides income-eligible homeowners with zero-interest loans for the installation of solar hot water heaters and solar photovoltaic systems. 

The city offers expedited permitting for clean energy projects including solar photovoltaic systems, solar thermal or solar electric hot water heaters, and EV charging stations. 

Last Updated: February 2024

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Although the energy and water utilities do not offer joint energy and water efficiency programs, the utility program does have a partnership with Hawai’i County’s Board of Water Supply that includes providing funding for water leak detectors. Additionally, Hawai’i Energy manages the State’s Public Benefits Fund, and the Board of Water Supply (BWS) is in the process of executing an Energy Saving Performance Contract project.

The City and County of Honolulu Board of Water Supply has water conservation goals detailed in their 2016 Water Master Plan. This document includes a comprehensive program that looks ahead 30 years to evaluate the entire water system, quantify future demands and source options, identify necessary improvements, and balance needs and costs of providing water to residents and visitors. The City’s Board of Water Supply also has a goal of achieving an average of less than 145 GPCD (gallons per capita per day) by 2040. This goal was formed via a 2016 baseline of 155 GPCD based on current island-based regional trends and projection for future conservation.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

The City’s Board of Water Supply is currently implementing a $33 million “efficiency plus” contract to reduce the City’s Board of Water Supply energy use by 12% or 8 million kWh and ~6k MT CO2e annually. These projects target the water authority and wastewater treatment improvements financed by $143 million in taxable green bonds.

The city has a pilot wastewater plant that generates approximately 800,000 therms of energy annually, enough to power 0.86% of O‘ahu households. In December 2018, Hawai‘i Gas became the first in the state to capture and process biogas from the City and County of Honolulu’s Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant on O‘ahu. Hawai‘i Gas was awarded the contract for capturing and processing biogas at Honouliuli from the City and County of Honolulu in August 2016 after a competitive bidding process.

Last Updated: September 2023

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

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city of Honolulu set a goal to reduce local government GHG emissions 45% by 2025, using a 2015 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

The city of Honolulu set a goal to use 100% renewable energy to power city operations by 2045. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

The City and County of Honolulu adopted a Fleet Procurement Policy, which prioritizes the purchase of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicles. Honolulu does not have a fuel efficiency requirement for public fleet, but it plans to shift its entire fleet to renewable resources by 2035 and procure only zero emission buses after 2025. Honolulu’s fleet is composed of 2% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Honolulu has a lighting ordinance to minimize light pollution from streetlights. In 2019, the City completed conversion of all 53,000 street lights to LEDs. This was completed in conjunction with Hawaii Energy who implements the public benefits charge-funded energy efficiency programs in Hawaii. The upgrades are expected to use 60% less energy, equivalent to eliminating 14,400 tons of greenhouse gases each year and save $5 million annually. 

Inclusive procurement 

We were unable to verify if Honolulu has inclusive procurement and contracting processes. In 2019 Honolulu City Council passed an ordinance that requires the city to negotiate a Community Workforce Agreement with unions for certain public works projects.  

Last updated: October 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

As required by Ordinance 20-47, Honolulu benchmarks all municipal buildings above 10,000 square feet.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City is in the process of issuing an efficiency performance contract that will include a prioritized set of energy efficiency retrofit projects, as well as renewable energy generation and storage opportunities, and EV infrastructure development. The Board of Water Supply (BWS) has entered into a 20‐year, $33 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with NORESCO LLC. This partnership allows the BWS to implement comprehensive energy efficiency, renewable energy, and operational improvements which guarantees enough energy savings over the next 20 years to pay for the contract. The project is being financed by a loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, managed by the State of Hawaii Department of Health. Honolulu also has 2 ongoing ESCO contracts for major facilities.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

Honolulu municipal employees can use pre-tax contributions to pay for commute expenses.

Last update: February 2024