State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Indianapolis, IN

27.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
2 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

Indianapolis does not have an energy efficiency-related goal for its local government operations, however, it does some work to increase energy efficiency in municipal buildings, infrastructure, and transportation. The Office of Sustainability is largely responsible for coordinating sustainability efforts among city departments.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Indianapolis does not have an energy efficiency-related goal for its local government operations. The city did take part in the STAR Rating System pilot program and will be working toward objectives identified in the “Climate and Energy” goal area. 






Indianapolis publicly released annual sustainability reports until 2012, and it is unclear if the reports detailed energy efficiency activities for local government operations.

Last updated: January 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

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. 

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

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 Zoning/Subdivision Ordinance, Section 744 Article VI provides updated lighting standards that work to minimize light glare and light trespass. The updated ordinance requires all street lights to be fitted with a full cutoff fixture and lighting while all lighting surrounding pedestrian entrances must be controlled with a photoelectric switch, motion sensor control, or astronomic time switch so these light sources are not left on indefinitely. Currently, there are no lighting replacement programs underway in the city of Indianapolis.

New Buildings and Equipment

The City of Indianapolis has a Green Building Incentive Program through which it offers rebates to new construction and major renovation projects pursuing aspects of sustainable design, including LEED certification and other energy-saving measures. This program, however, does not require municipal buildings to meet energy efficiency standards. It is unclear if the city has adopted a procurement policy with energy efficiency requirements for its local government operations.

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Indianapolis benchmarks the energy use in 56 city facilities, including the 731,000 square foot City-County Building. The city could not determine the percentage of city-owned square footage these facilities represent. We could not confirm the existence of any current comprehensive retrofit strategies for public buildings in Indianapolis.

Public Employees

There is not a citywide flexible schedule policy in Indianapolis, but rather each department sets its own policies which are dictated by their work and schedule demands.

Last Updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Indianapolis has few community-wide initiatives related to energy efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Indianapolis has not developed or implemented community-wide energy efficiency-related goals.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

We did not find information on any programs or policies to plan for future district energy systems.   

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city has not adopted urban heat island mitigation goals.

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.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 6.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Indianapolis has some building sector energy efficiency initiatives. The City's Building Code Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Indianapolis.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of 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. Commercial construction must also achieve LEED silver certification. 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. 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. Indianapolis has not yet begun advocating to the state for increased stringency in residential building energy codes.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Indianapolis has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Indianapolis has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Indianapolis does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

Indianapolis has not yet established above-code building requirements for any class of building.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Indianapolis does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.  

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

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: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Indianapolis does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage building benchmarking in any sector.

The multiple listing service that serves the Indianapolis region includes fields for energy efficiency features of homes listed on the market.

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 8 out of 20 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: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to IPL, they achieved 133,929 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.97% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, IPL spent $16,431,371 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which amounts to 1.36% of annual revenue. In 2015, Citizens Energy Group reported savings of 1.66 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.55% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, Citizens Energy Group spent $3,941,025 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $16.13 per residential customer. Spending on electricity efficiency represented in this section covers 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: January 2017

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.

In 2015, according to IPL, it achieved 1,149 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $482,626 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 1,501 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $322 and saving an average of 765 kWh. In 2015, according to Citizens Energy Group and its demand-side management report, it spent $432,000 on its low-income efficiency portfolio, and served 87 households, spending an average of $4,966 per household.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, Indianapolis Power & Light and Citizens Energy Group do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) has committed to providing PowerView, a user-friendly data sharing platform similar to Green Button. Neither IPL nor Citizens Energy Group (CEP) provide energy usage data to building managers for input into benchmarking services. The City of Indianapolis does not have a data sharing agreement with IPL or CEP, however IPL can provide community aggregated data upon request. At this time, the City of Indianapolis does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by the utilities.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

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.

Energy 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.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative's Green Supplemental Document provides design guidance to the design community for stormwater conveyance and treatment and to the office of code enforcement to approve site and building plans that incorporate sustainable infrastructure. Each year, the city’s Office of Sustainability and United Water collaborate on the Green Infrastructure Grant Program to promote the construction of green infrastructure, such as green roofs, porous pavement, and rain gardens.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 9 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

Location Efficiency List All

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. The city has reduced parking requirements in areas located in proximity to public transit. Downtown districts may set their own parking rules. 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: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

Indianapolis has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

Indianapolis is served by Blue Indy car sharing and zipcar. Indianapolis’s bikesharing program, Pacers Bikeshare, is fully operable with over 25 stations. 

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: January 2017

Transit List All

The IndyGo transit system that serves Indianapolis has received $75,958,849 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $38.19 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the second lowest category ($25-49) available in transit funding. 

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 6, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-14) available in transit connectivity. 

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Indianapolis does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure. The city has 40 EV charging stations available for public use.  

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Indianapolis does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place nor does the city has any policies that address freight efficiency

Smart freight

Indianapolis does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Indianapolis does not have a sustainable transportation plan in place.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

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.

Last updated: January 2017