State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Indianapolis, IN

21.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 4 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

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

Last updated: September 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. 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.

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.

Last updated: September 2021

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.

Equity Accountability Measures

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: September 2021

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList 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: September 2021

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

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.

UHI Policies and Programs

The city has allowed for conservation subdivisions as part of its Consolidated Zoning / Subdivision Ordinance that encourages 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 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: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 1.5 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 to conduct above-code energy-saving actions.

Last updated: July 2021

Building Energy CodesList 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. Indianapolis has not yet begun advocating the state for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes. 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 its commercial energy code is 69.0. 


Residential construction in Indianapolis complies with the Indiana Energy Conservation Code. The city’s zEPI score for its residential energy code is 68.5.  

Solar-readiness policies 

The city has not adopted a formal policy mandating new construction be solar-ready. However, the city has received SolSmart Silver Designation and allows solar in all zones. 

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies 

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted policies requiring buildings to include EV-charging infrastructure or be EV-ready.

Low-energy use requirements

As stated in Thrive Indianapolis, new municipal buildings must achieve LEED standards. 

Last updated: July 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Indianapolis does not staff full-time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city does not require plan reviews, site inspections, or 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: July 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


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: October 2021

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: July 2021

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 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

Through Thrive Indianapolis, actions are being implemented to increase bus ridership by 15% and increase transit-oriented development. The city has completed the first phase of a multi-phase electric BRT.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction target. The BRT and transit-oriented development is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation, although a specific reduction target has not been set.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

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

Last Updated: November 2021

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 has also pursued special district zoning. 

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: November 2021

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.

Last Updated: November 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the city of Indianapolis have received $75,725,898.80 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $36.88 per capita between 2015 and 2019 within the Authority's service area. 

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 Transit Connectivity Index value for the city of Indianapolis is 4.9, scoring 0 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: November 2021

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

Indianapolis Power and Light offers a discounted TOU charging rate for EV owners.

EV Charging Locations

The City has 93 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 10.6 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

Indianapolis does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

Indianapolis does not have an EV transit bus goal.

Last Updated: November 2021

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: November 2021

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.

Last Updated: November 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 7 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

AES Indiana, formerly known as Indianapolis Power and Light, an 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 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 orders.

Last Updated: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, AES Indiana reported 174,636 MWh in electric net incremental savings, representing 1.31% of retail sales. In 2019, AES Indiana spent $31,276,000 on electric energy efficiency programs, which represents 2.28% of its retail revenue.

In 2019, Citizens Energy Group did not run any natural gas programs in Indianapolis. These savings figures cover the entire Indiana service territory, not just Indianapolis.

AES Indiana offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

The city partners with the energy utilities through Thrive Indianapolis, which aims to bring tougher city agencies, community partners, and residents to achieve a more equitable future. The partnership focuses on capacity building, equitable services, fiscal responsibility, and poverty reduction in the city. On the energy side, Thrive Indianapolis focuses on promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and local microgrids to create a cleaner and more resilient energy system.

Indianapolis also partners with AES Indiana and Citizens Energy in the promotion and implementation of its income-qualified weatherization program, administered by the statewide third-party administrator. There are also numerous events throughout the year that AES Indiana participates in with City affiliated agencies, such as “Bring the Heat” with the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership and “Caulk the Town” with a local CDC.

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

AES Indiana 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 program includes health and safety measures such as smoke detectors, plumbing leak repairs, bath fans, and other forms of moisture remediation. 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.

In 2019, the program continued a community referral program and worked with several local non-profit organizations to promote participation while benefiting the organizations through a referral bonus for each completed weatherization project.

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

In 2019, according to AES Indiana, it achieved 2,540 MWh in energy savings, while spending $2,222,312 on its low-income programs and serving 2,797 low-income customers. According to Citizens Energy Group, they spent $114,123 on its low-income program and served 26 low-income customers in 2019, and did not track energy savings from their low-income program.

Multifamily Programs

AES Indiana offers a Multifamily Direct Install program, which provides low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and LED lights for multifamily residences. AES Indiana also has a Small Business Direct Install program, which is available to multifamily property managers and manufacture homes for the installation of energy efficiency improvements in the common areas of apartment dwellings.

In 2019, according to AES Indiana’s demand-side management report, it saved 5,844 MWh in energy savings, while spending $2,003,576 on its multifamily programs and serving 11,460 housing units through its multifamily program.

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

Last Updated: August 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither AES Indiana nor Citizens Energy Group provides building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings.

The City receives community-wide energy usage data every three years for GHG inventory purposes. The city also publishes community-wide energy usage data through the Thrive Indianapolis plan.

The City of Indianapolis advocated for improved access to customer utility data as the city developed its benchmarking ordinance. 

Last Updated: August 2021

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2018, AES Corp., the parent company of AES Indiana, set a goal to reduce its carbon intensity by 70% by 2030 from a 2016 baseline. To achieve this goal, AES Corp will need to reduce emissions by 5.1% annually from 2016 levels.

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. AES Indiana partners with the City of Indianapolis on this effort, which sets renewable energy goals that require action from the utility.

AES Indiana partners with the City of Indianapolis on this effort, which sets renewable energy goals that require action from AES Indiana. The City of Indianapolis is also actively involved in AES Indiana’s Integrated Resource Plan Development.

Last Updated: July 2021

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Citizens Energy Group (CEG) provides water and natural gas to Indianapolis residents, including energy and water savings educational information to customers. Citizens’ has a toilet replacement program and water leak repair program for low to moderate-income homeowners. Toilets are replaced with low flush (1.6 gpf) toilets. IPL offers multiple water savings measures through its programs, including faucet aerators, pre-rinse spray valves, and showerheads. Currently, Indianapolis does not have a specified water-saving goal but Thrive Indianapolis contains a long-term strategy for water savings.

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. CEG also has a company-wide program to reduce energy use.

The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: August 2021

Local Government Score:
2.5 out of 10 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 was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Energy Reduction Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

Indianapolis does not have an active renewable energy goal for municipal operations.

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies 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 9% 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 99.9% of city-operated streetlights have been upgraded to LEDs.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems

We were unable to find information regarding onsite or offsite renewable energy systems installed by Indianapolis.

Inclusive procurement

While we were unable to verify that the policy had been applied to energy projects, the city's business utilization plan outlines Indianapolis's inclusive procurement and contracting policy.

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Indianapolis benchmarks energy use in 56 city facilities. Utility usage data is reviewed monthly by the Indianapolis Building Authority. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

We were unable to find information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy for public buildings in Indianapolis. 

Last Updated: June 2021