State and Local Policy Database

Long Beach

City Scorecard Rank

18

Long Beach, CA

49.00Scored out of 100Updated
Local Government Score:
6 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Long Beach’s Sustainable City Action Plan includes both municipal and community climate and energy goals.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Sustainable City Action Plan establishes a goal to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2020. ACEEE does not project the city will meet its GHG emissions reduction goal for local government operations. 

Energy Reduction Goal

The Plan also establishes goals to reduce electricity and natural gas use in municipal operations by 25% and 15% respectively by 2020.

Renewable Energy Goal

The Plan also includes a goal to increase on-site solar energy capacity on municipal facilities to 2 megawatts.

Last updated: March 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

The City approved its Battery Electric Vehicle and Infrastructure Policy in May 2018. The policy states that conventionally fueled light-duty vehicles will be replaces by battery electric vehicles whenever possible for all departments and offices. Long Beach’s fleet is composed of 17.0% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles.

Public Lighting 

We did not find information regarding the adoption of a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Long Beach is in the process of upgrading all 26,000 streetlights to LEDs by June 2019. Currently, 81% (approximately 21,000 lights) have been converted. 

Green Building Requirements

Long Beach adopted a Green Building Policy for Municipal Buildings in 2003, which states that all new government buildings must meet LEED standard.

Last updated: March 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting 

Long Beach benchmarks all municipal buildings through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The City of Long Beach periodically goes through a Facilities Conditions Assessment process to identify the overall capital renewal, building integrity, deferred maintenance, code compliance and life safety deficiencies in each facility while providing cost estimates. City of Long Beach Public Works Department is in the process of a comprehensive efficiency retrofit of one of the City’s major health facilities. The scope of work will include upgrades to major systems (i.e. lighting, HVAC, windows, doors, roof, etc). Since 2006, the City of Long Beach has participated in Southern California Edison’s Energy Leader Partnership.  The program helps identify and address energy efficiency and Demand Response (DR) opportunities in municipal facilities, develop long-term energy and sustainability plans, and increase community awareness of Integrated Demand-Side Management (IDSM) opportunities. In addition, ELP supports cities in strategic initiatives and policy development in climate action planning, reach codes, benchmarking, and other longer-term objectives.

Public Workforce Commuting

Long Beach has a Telecommuting Program and alternative work schedules for City employees.

Last updated: March 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 5.5 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Long Beach is currently in the process of developing its first Climate Action and Adaption Plan.

Last updated: June  2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a community-wide greenhouse gas reduction goal, but has released a memo detailing reduction goals that may be included in its Climate Action and Adaption Plan.

Long Beach has conducted one greenhouse gas inventory for the year 2015.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Sustainable City Action Plan sets goals to reduce community electricity use 15% by 2020 and community natural gas use 10% by 2020.

Renewable Energy Goal

The Sustainable City Action Plan also sets a goal to install 8 megawatts of solar energy within the community by 2020.

Energy Data Reporting

The city’s 2015 greenhouse gas inventory includes energy data.

Last updated: June 2019

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

As part of the city's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan outreach process, the city made direct outreach in marginalized communities and conducted outreach in Spanish and Khmer. 

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

The Port of Long Beach created the Energy Island Initiative, which sets goals of consuming energy from clean sources and installing local, distributed energy with microgrid connectivity. Through the initiative, solar panels have been installed on port facilities, and plans are in place to create a microgrid as the location.

Last updated: June 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The I Dig Long Beach initiative set goals to plant 6,000 trees by 2020 and 10,000 trees by 2022. 

The City of Long Beach has passed a Low-Impact Development Ordinance, which requires all new developments and redevelopments that replaces more than 50% of the existing structure to incorporate low-impact development techniques.

Chapter 5.7 of the Southeast Area Specific Plan offers density bonuses to properties in exchange for land conservation measures.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 17.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Long Beach complies with the energy codes and efficiency standards set by the State of California and California Energy Commission. The city has passed EV-ready requirements. The city also offers incentives and financing options for energy efficiency upgrades and solar installation.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All

Overview

The State of California requires all buildings to comply with statewide energy codes but allows local jurisdiction to adopt their own more stringent codes. The California Energy Commission is responsible for updating the state’s code.

Commercial

Commercial buildings in Long Beach must comply with CalGreen. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 49.1.

Residential

Residential buildings in Long Beach must comply with CalGreen. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 58.1.

Solar- and EV-ready

The California Energy Commission mandates that all new commercial and residential developments incorporate solar-ready infrastructure. The commission also adopted standards requiring solar systems on new home construction.  The city amended its code to include a provision requiring 25% of parking spaces be EV-ready and 5% to be currently EV-capable.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Long Beach staffs two full-time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. Long Beach Development Services conducts plan checks and field inspections. The service also provides upfront energy code training.

Last updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Commercial and multifamily buildings comply with the California Energy Commission’s Energy Benchmarking Program. The program covers 53% of commercial and 34% of multifamily building stock in Long Beach. The city does not have its own benchmarking ordinance.

Single-family     

The city does not have a single-family benchmarking and disclosure ordinance.

Last updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Long Beach offers four incentives and financing options for energy efficiency improvements and solar installations.

The city offers expedited plan reviews to buildings that meet LEED certification requirements. Long Beach opted into the Los Angeles County Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that allows homeowners to finance water conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects. The city also offers energy efficiency financing to commercial properties through its C-PACE program.

Please note that each incentive/program is tallied based on the building types and energy resources eligible for award. For example, a PACE financing program that offers energy efficiency and renewable energy financing to both residential and commercial property owners is counted as four incentives.

Last updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

Long Beach does not require any additional above-code energy-saving actions. 

Last updated: March 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The city does not have programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 6.5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Southern California Edison (SCE), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility for the City of Long Beach. The primary natural gas supplier for Long Beach is Long Beach Energy Resources, a municipally-owned utility. The State of California requires spending and savings targets for its IOUs through an EERS and requires local government- utility partnerships through mandate by the California PUC. The municipally-run utilities are not required to meet the state EERS targets and report through the California Energy Commission. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

The Long Beach Water Department (LBWD) is the municipal utility that provides the City of Long Beach with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, SCE reported 540,757 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 0.64% of its retail sales. In 2017, Long Beach Energy Resources reported no savings from natural gas efficiency programs. These savings figures cover the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not just Long Beach. SCE offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers. Long Beach Energy Resources similarly offers natural gas efficiency tips to customers.

Through the Energy Leader Partnerships Program, SCE provides support to the City of Long Beach to identify and address energy efficiency opportunities in city-owned facilities, take actions supporting the California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, and increase community awareness of demand side management (DSM) opportunities. Through this Partnership, SCE has supported the City in meeting long term sustainability goals in climate action planning, code compliance, reach codes, and other strategic plan initiatives. The City has also leveraged the full range of demand side management programs and services, including energy efficiency rebates for residential and business customers, demand response programs, and information provided to their community for Income Qualified programs and services. Through the Partnership, the City has co-branded messaging with SCE to distribute through local communication channels. Long Beach also partners with SoCal Edison on the Energy Upgrade CA Program, which is funded from its operating budget and not by ratepayers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

SCE offers the Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) Program to income-qualified customers, which provides appliance replacements. SCE partners with other utilities, community services and development organizations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and local governments on their low-income efficiency program. In 2017, according to SCE, it achieved 31,824 MWh in savings from its low-income program while serving 80,333 households.

At this time, Long Beach Energy Resources does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

The SCE Multifamily Energy Efficiency Rebate (MFEER) Program offers a variety of incentives for energy-saving products and services to motivate the multifamily property owners and managers to install energy efficient equipment in both common and dwelling areas of multifamily properties. The program targets all levels of multifamily buildings (i.e., low-income, affordable-to-moderate income, market-rate). In 2017, according to SCE, its multifamily program achieved 15,579 MWh savings, while serving 46,966 customers.

At this time, Long Beach Energy Resources does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily customers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

SCE does provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for building managers, contractors, and tenants. The City of Long Beach Energy Resources utility bills show customers their monthly historic natural gas and water use over a 13-month period. A few years ago, Long Beach installed a smart meter natural gas system, which sends incremental data directly to the utility billing system. The department is currently developing a web portal so that customers can log-in to their account and view historic gas use down to an hourly basis.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, SCE provided $59,706,029 in incentives for the installation of 363,370 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $164/kW installed. SCE’s renewable incentives ended in 2016, with incentives paid out through 2017 for installed solar or wind projects.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

To our knowledge, the city of Long Beach does not participate in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Long Beach Water Department (LBWD) has partnered with Southern California Edison to cross-promote rebates offered by both entities. A great example of this was a past rebate offered for communal high-efficiency coin/card operated clothes washer back in 2016. Additionally, LBWD hopes to partner in future direct installation programs that will streamline participation in water and energy device participation.

The Water Conservation Act of 2009, also known as the SBx7-7, set a statewide goal to reduce urban water use by 20% by the year 2020.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

In order for the State to achieve the 20% reduction goal, each retail urban water suppler is required to calculate its individual water use reduction target for the year 2020. LBWD is on track to meeting the 20 by 2020 target of 107 gallons per capita per day (GPCD). The Urban Management Plan updated every 5 years outlines all the strategies set by LBWD in meeting water savings. The most current document can be found here.

No specific targets have been set for energy efficiency. However, the department continues to consider this a priority moving forward. To date, the department has begun to analyze ways of increasing energy efficiency within the administration offices as a starting point. The City of Long Beach only collects sewage and then sends it to Los Angeles County sewer mains. The Los Angeles County Sanitation District is the wastewater treatment agency. Some of their facilities have co-generation capability.

Last Updated: March 2019

Transportation
Score: 13.5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The Mobility Element of the Long Beach General Plan, adopted in 2013, addresses the future of all modes of travel, including walking, bicycling, transit, and driving. In 2017, the City Council adopted the Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention (CX3) Pedestrian Plan as a technical appendix to the Long Beach Mobility Element. Also in 2017, the City adopted the Bicycle Master Plan. The city released implementation updates in 2016 and 2018 that show progress towards aspects of the Mobility Element.

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: May 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Long Beach has a transit-oriented development code that applies to the downtown and midtown areas.

Residential Parking Policies

The city has reduced parking requirements in the downtown area to 1 space per unit.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City does provide the state density bonus and provides incentives for sustainability features (i.e. greater height and FAR for LEED or solar) in the Downtown Plan area that is transit rich. It also has higher density allowances and requires mixed-use development in many portions of the Downtown and other areas with high quality transit, including the Midtown area.

Last Updated: May 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The City has mode share goals specifically for biking. The goals as approved in the 2017 Bicycle Master Plan are: 10% of all trips by bike by 2027, 20% by 2037, and 30% by 2047.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

We could not determine if the City is on track to meet its goals.

Complete Streets

The City has not yet adopted or codified a complete streets policy.

Car Sharing

The City of Long Beach does not yet have a formal policy in place to provide dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles.

Bike Sharing

Long Beach Bike Share operates 400 bikes and 60 stations.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The LBT transit system that serves Long Beach has received $38,025,190.40 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $2.87 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 Long Beach’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 9, putting it in the highest category (greater than 9) available in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Southern California Edison has a Clean Fuel Rewards Program. The State of California also has a Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

The City of Long Beach has an Electric Charger Giveaway Program, an expedited permitting process for electric vehicle charger installation in single-family homes and owner-occupied units of multi-family residential projects with 4 units or less and promotes Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready Home Installation Rebate.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 57 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Long Beach 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

Long Beach does not yet have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place. However, the City has done a lot to address freight efficiency. The Port of Long Beach has a comprehensive Clean Air Action Plan with strategies that address ships, trucks, trains, cargo-handling equipment, and harbor craft. The Port’s Transportation Planning Division uses several resources to increase freight efficiency, including the Transportation Master Plan Summary, Rail Study Update (RSU), Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Elasticity Study Phase II, SCAG Inland Port Report, Multi-County Goods Movement Action Plan (MCGMAP), and SCAG Comprehensive Regional Goods Movement Plan and Implementation Strategy. The City has also completed several projects to improve freight efficiency:

  • Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement – New Bridge to span main channel (TCIF/SHOPP, $960 million)
  • Ports Rail Realignment and Expansion Project – Project will enable Port to move 35 percent of goods via on-dock rail by 2035 (TCIF/TIGER III)
  • Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project – Modernize two aging shipping terminals into one (Port Project, $1 billion)
  • Eagle Rock Aggregate Terminal Project – POLB and Army Corps of Engineers lead agencies for proposed construction aggregate, sand, gravel, and granite import facility
  • I-710 Corridor Improvement Study – Funding partner to analyze potential alternatives and/or improvements for this major freight corridor

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

The City of Long Beach does incentivize and subsidize affordable housing in these areas through several incentives:

  • Codified State Density Bonus Law
  • Reduced parking requirements (AB744), allowing developers to request reduced minimum parking requirements within affordable housing projects near transit, and amends the parking ratio near affordable and senior housing to require no more than 0.5 parking spaces per unit (0.3 for public housing)
  • Developer Impact Fee Waiver that the City imposes on new development throughout the City which are waived for affordable housing developments
  • 2018 General Plan Land Use Element Update, as well as the Downtown and Midtown Specific Plans allow for additional compact, mixed-use development

The City subsidizes the creation and preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas through both the Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC) and through the Housing Authority.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

The City will roll out a reduced fare bike share program for income-sensitive riders in conjunction with the expansion of the bike share network in 2019. Eligibility criteria will include existing membership in any of the following 3 programs: CalFresh, Long Beach Housing Assistance, and Long Beach Gas and Oil Utility Assistance. A cash payment option will be added as well. Additionally, Long Beach Transit provides a discount fare for students, seniors, disabled patrons, and Medicare recipients. Additionally, if City Council chooses to extend the current e-scooter pilot program, it is expected that requirements will be established requiring vendors to offer options to low-income users. Lastly, the City does not have an EV car sharing program. The City does not have a targeted low-income bike share, but the City has opted to create a reduced fare option to provide income-sensitive residents access to the existing bike share fleet.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

In the City of Long Beach, almost 54% of low-income households have access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: April 2019