State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Indianapolis, IN

24.00Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
Score: 3.5 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Indianapolis’s Thrive Indianapolis Draft Plan includes both municipal and community goals.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city has a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. ACEEE does not project the city will achieve its carbon neutrality goal for municipal operations because no data was available to make a projection. 

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

The Thrive Indianapolis Draft Plan establishes a goal for the city government to increase renewable energy use to 25% by 2020, with a commitment to study pathways to 100% renewable energy by 2028.

Last updated: March 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Executive Order 6 of 2012 calls for all new city vehicles to be electric/hybrid, with the exception of police vehicles, and for the entire fleet to be converted by 2025. The City of Indianapolis’ provider of public transportation (IndyGo) is in the process of electrifying significant parts of the bus fleet. Indianapolis' fleet is composed of 8% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

Public Lighting

Indianapolis has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. However, under the 2015 City of Indianapolis Consolidated Zone/Subdivision Ordinance, Section 744 Article VI provides updated lighting standards including cutoff fixtures, photoelectric switch, motion sensor control, or astronomic time switch. Indianapolis is partnering with IPL on a street light conversion program. Approximately 17% of city-operated streetlights have been upgraded to LEDs.

Green Building Requirements 

As part of the drafted Thrive Indianapolis plan, the City has committed to ensuring all new municipally owned buildings are built to LEED certified standards. 

Last updated: June 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Indianapolis benchmarks energy use in 56 city facilities. By the end of 2020, all municipal buildings over 50,000 square feet will be benchmarked. We did not find information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy for public buildings in Indianapolis. 

Public Workforce Commuting

Indianapolis does not have a telework or flexible schedule policy for City employees. 

Last Updated: March 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 6 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Indianapolis released Thrive Indianapolis, the city’s first sustainability and resilience action plan.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. ACEEE does not project the city will achieve its community-wide carbon neutrality goal because no data was available to make a projection. 

The Thrive Indianapolis plan includes community-wide greenhouse gas emissions data for 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide energy reduction goal for the city.

Renewable Energy Goal

Thrive Indianapolis established a renewable energy goal of having 20% of energy consumed come from renewable sources by 2025.

Energy Data Reporting

The Thrive Indianapolis plan includes building energy use data.

Last updated: June 2019

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

In planning Thrive Indianapolis, the city held specialized focus groups and training for target populations, including re-entry, veterans, low-income and those experiencing homelessness. To give youth a voice in the future of their city, planners held a Community Day with kid- and family-friendly activities. To reach people where they already are and feel most comfortable, city staff attended various City and community events and held regular pop-ups at the public library and other central locations. 

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

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

Accountability to Equity

We were unable to determine whether the city has adopted specific goals, metrics, or protocols to track how multiple energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives are affecting local marginalized groups. 

Last updated: June 2019

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: June 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

Thrive Indianapolis included a goal to plant 30,000 trees by 2025 as a means to increase urban canopy coverage, reduce stormwater runoff, and mitigate the urban heat island effect.

The city has also allowed for conservation subdivisions as part of its Consolidated Zoning / Subdivision Ordinance that encourage the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns. The city also requires that new developments be rated on a Green Factor Scale that assigns points for the of various low impact development techniques in site design. A cool roof policy is included in the city’s Energy Conservation Code. The code requires cool roofs on all commercial buildings.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 3 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Indianapolis enforces the state’s energy code. The city has not adopted a mandatory benchmarking policy. The city offers several incentives specifically for energy efficiency projects. Indianapolis does not require building owners conduct above-code energy-saving actions.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Indiana has established mandatory building energy codes for commercial and residential construction. The Indiana Energy Conservation Code, updated in 2011, references the 2009 IRC and 2009 IECC for residential construction. The commercial construction codes are as stringent as the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard. To learn more about the building energy codes for Indiana, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial construction in Indianapolis complies with the Indiana Energy Conservation Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 69.0. Indianapolis has not yet begun advocating to the state for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes.


Residential construction in Indianapolis complies with the Indiana Energy Conservation Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 68.5. Indianapolis has not yet begun advocating to the state for increased stringency in residential building energy codes. 

Solar- and EV-ready

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

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Indianapolis staffs an unspecified number of full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city does not require plan reviews, site inspections, nor performance testing to verify code compliance. The city does not provide upfront support to building owners and/or developers on energy code compliance.

Last updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

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


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

Last updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Indianapolis offers four incentives for energy efficiency projects.

Indianapolis offers reduced permitting fees for commercial buildings achieving energy efficient criteria through the City's Green Building Incentive Program. The EcoHouse Project is an energy-efficiency loan program for medium and low-income homeowners in Indianapolis. The City also has two neighborhood grant programs as part of its Better Buildings Program to support residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations in implementing energy efficiency upgrades in their homes and businesses.

Last updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

Indianapolis does not require building developments perform additional above-code energy-saving actions.

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

Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), and investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility for the City of Indianapolis. Citizens Energy, an IOU, is Indianapolis’s primary natural gas utility. The City of Indianapolis is an active promoter of the energy efficiency programs. The State of Indiana requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and efficiency inclusion in utility Integrated Resource Plans (IRP)s. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Indiana page of the State Database. On the state level, Indianapolis strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for all of its utilities.

Citizens Water, an IOU, is the primary drinking water provider as well as the wastewater manager for the City of Indianapolis. Citizens Water and the Department of Public Works (municipal) both manage stormwater for Indianapolis. The utilities administer their programs to customers as a result of regulatory order.

Last Updated: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, according to IPL, they achieved 136,843 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.04% of retail sales. In 2017, Citizens Energy Group did not run any natural gas programs in Indianapolis. These savings figures cover the entire Indiana service territory, not just Indianapolis. IPL offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

Indianapolis partners with IPL and Citizens Energy in the promotion and implementation of its income-qualified weatherization program, administered by the statewide third-party administrator. IPL is also supporting a significant roll-out of electric vehicles in the City of Indianapolis, called the BlueIndy project.

Last Updated: March 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

IPL and Citizens Energy Group partner on a dual fuel low-income program called the Whole-House Weatherization Program. Both utilities share the costs of the program based on the fuel type of the measures installed. The program provides efficient lighting, power strips, faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads, pipe wrap, air sealing, attic insulation, and programmable thermostats. The program also checks for water leaks and electrical and gas hazards. The Indiana Community Action Association implements the measures. The program streamlines enrollment by targeting customers who access local food pantries, the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), the United Way, and local community development corporations.

Through the City of Indianapolis Thrive Indy partnership, the city and IPL have committed to working together to increase awareness and participation in IPL’s Income Qualified Weatherization program.  IPL continues to work with various local non-profits to drive additional participation in IPL’s income qualified weatherization program, as well as launched a Community Based Lighting program whereby food pantry patrons receive energy efficient LEDs.

In 2017, according to IPL, it achieved 1,203 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 1,200 customers. According to Citizens Energy Group, they served 48 low-income customers in 2017 and did not track energy savings from their low-income program.

Multifamily Programs

IPL offers a Multifamily Direct Install program, which provides low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and LED lights for multifamily residences. According to IPL’s demand side management report, it saved 13,182 MWh and served 10,321 customers through its multifamily program. IPL also has a Small Business Direct Install program, which is available to multifamily property managers for the installation of energy efficiency improvements in the common areas of apartment dwellings. 

At this time, Citizens Energy Group does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither IPL nor Citizens Energy Group (CEP) provides energy usage data to building managers for input into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. At this time, the City of Indianapolis does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by the utilities.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, IPL 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 Thrive Indianapolis partnership between the City and energy utilities includes a focus on energy. The plan aims to promote the use of renewable energy to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also install microgrids to provide local backup generation in the case of emergencies. IPL partners with the City of Indianapolis on this effort. 

Last Updated: April 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Although there are currently no joint energy and water efficiency programs, Citizens Water does provide this list of helpful tips for saving water at home. Currently, Indianapolis does not have a specified water-saving goal.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

As of August 2011, the Citizens Energy Group assumed responsibility for Indianapolis’s water and wastewater utilities. Citizens Energy Group pledged to operate the utilities for community benefit and to create operating efficiencies that would lower costs. Combining the city’s water and wastewater systems with Citizens' natural gas, steam, and chilled water utilities will help to reduce future utility rate increases by 25% from the increases currently projected. During 2015, Citizens Energy Group implemented measures in their operating facilities to reduce energy consumption and enhance the efficiency of their operations. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: March 2019

Score: 6.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Indianapolis is the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation. IndyGo also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Indianapolis MPO is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Indianapolis and many surrounding cities and towns. 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

Indianapolis does not have a sustainable transportation plan in place.

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

Indianapolis has adopted a Consolidated Zoning/Subdivision Ordinance that encourages compact and mixed-use development. The ordinance includes a provision that allows increased building height for mixed-use buildings that allocate a percentage of floor area toward residential use. Within the next two years, Indianapolis will be pursuing a decarbonized transit-oriented development goal as part of its commitments to the American Cities Climate Challenge. The City will also be pursuing special district zoning in 2019.

Residential Parking Policies

The City has reduced parking requirements in areas located in proximity to public transit. Downtown districts may set their own parking rules.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Indianapolis has two incentives that allow developers to exceed height restrictions if they allocate a set percentage of the space for residential use.

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

Indianapolis adopted its complete streets policy in 2012, through Chapter 431, Article VIII. The adoption of the guidelines encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all new transportation infrastructure construction projects.

Car Sharing

Indianapolis is served by Blue Indy car sharing and zipcar. While no formal policy dedicating on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles is in place, BlueIndy does have 450 dedicated spaces available.

Bike Sharing

Indianapolis’s bike sharing program, Pacers Bikeshare, is fully operable with 29 docking stations and 251 bikes.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The IndyGo transit system that serves Indianapolis has received $37,679,165.80 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $18.94 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 Indianapolis’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 4, putting it in the lowest category (0-4.99) available in transit connectivity.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Indianapolis 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 44 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Indianapolis 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

Indianapolis 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

Indianapolis supported two programs that subsidize affordable housing in transit-served areas. The HOME Investment Partnership Program Grant requested proposals for projects that support multi-family, affordable rental housing development within a half-mile of proposed rapid transit stations. The city’s Department of Metropolitan Development also administered Community Development Block Grants to projects that identified local priorities with a preference for projects within half a mile of a proposed transit station.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

IndyGo offers half price rates for youth 18 and younger, seniors 65 and over, and free fare for all veterans.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

At this time, the City of Indianapolis does not provide low-income households with access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: March 2019