State and Local Policy Database

Los Angeles

City Scorecard Rank


Los Angeles, CA

76.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
8.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

Los Angeles’ Sustainable City pLAn, released in 2015 articulates the city’s energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals for internal government operations. Strategies to achieve these goals include benchmarking, public lighting efficiency improvements, and vehicle fleet efficiency. The General Services Department is largely responsible for coordinating city departmental efforts toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

The City of Los Angeles released a Sustainable City pLAn in 2015, which set energy usage and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The city plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35% by 2025 and 55% by 2035, from a 2008 baseline. It plans to reduce municipal energy usage 5% every year, with a long-term goal of 18% by 2025 and 25% by 2035 relative to 2013. The energy and GHG goals were both adopted through an executive directive issues by the Mayor. The city also has a goal under DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge that includes municipal buildings.


To meet its municipal energy savings goal, Los Angeles would need to reduce energy usage by 1.5% per year.


Although the city reported reducing municipal energy use 7% from 2014 to 2015, we did not find quantitative data indicating Los Angeles was on track to achieve its nearest-term local government energy use or greenhouse gas goals.


The city will track progress towards outcomes and targets in the Sustainable City pLAn through annual reports, the first of which was released in 2016. In addition, Los Angeles publishes data sets on the local government's energy and water use on the city’s data portal

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Los Angeles has a policy, started in 2007, to replace fleet vehicles with the most efficient vehicles available at the time of purchase. As of 2014, 87% of the light duty fleet was hybrid or EV. As part of the Los Angeles Clean Cities Program, the city committed to increasing its fleet of alternative fuel vehicles by an average of 15% each year. Additionally, the City has a requirement that 50% of all new light duty vehicle purchases be full battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This requirement was to begin in 2017 but was met a year early in 2016. The other 50% may be regular hybrids, but departments are encouraged to get plug in hybrids. The 2025 goal is for 80% of all new procurement to be full BEV. Moreover, most of the city fleets take advantage of some variety of telematics with GPS integrated into the vehicle in order to increase their efficiency.

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

Los Angeles has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. However, the City’s Bureau of Street lighting has been replacing streetlights with LEDs and light sensors since 2008 through the LED Streetlight Replacement Program. Over 80% of streetlights have been replaced. The lights automatically turn on and off at nightfall and daybreak.

New Buildings and Equipment

The 2009 Green Building Ordinance (Ordinance 180633) requires public buildings of more than 7,500 square feet or those built prior to 1978 to be retrofitted to meet LEED Silver requirements. The city also adopted an environmentally preferable purchasing policy (Ordinance 180751), which includes an energy efficiency consideration.

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles currently has nearly 13 million square feet of municipal buildings benchmarked in Portfolio Manager. This represents a large percentage of the generally funded departments, and 100% of the buildings that are 7,500 square feet and above. This City is currently using the benchmarking data and energy audits to best allocate resources. To date around 10 public buildings have gone through or are undergoing retrofits.

Public Employees

The City of Los Angeles allows city employees to telecommute through an application process, additionally the City implements a flexible scheduling policy.  

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 10 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is responsible for implementing the goals and strategies contained in the city’s recently adopted Sustainable City pLAn.

Last updated: April 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Los Angeles’s Sustainable City pLAn was formally adopted by Executive Directive 7 in April 2015 and includes community-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy efficiency goals.

The plan calls for the city to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 45% below a 1990 baseline by 2025, 60% below a 1990 baseline by 2035, and 80% below a 1990 baseline by 2050. The plan also calls for improving the greenhouse gas efficiency of the city’s economy from 2009 levels 55% by 2025 and 75% by 2035.

The plan includes a goal to reduce energy use per square foot for all building types by at least 14% below a 2013 baseline by 2025 and 30% below a 2013 baseline by 2035. The plan includes a target to use energy efficiency to deliver 15% of all of the city’s projected electricity needs through rebates, incentives, and education by 2020.

Los Angeles is required to publish an annual public report on progress towards its goals. Since the Sustainable City pLAn was released in 2015, the city has since published the first annual report in 2016. Relevant data is also publicly available on the city’s Sustainability Dashboard. The city is currently on track to achieve its 2025 greenhouse gas emissions goal.

Last updated: April 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: April 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city’s Sustainable City pLAn has set a goal to reduce the local urban-rural temperature differential by at least 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2025 and 3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2035. The city adopted this target because average temperatures in Los Angeles are nearly six degrees hotter than surrounding areas.

The city has adopted requirements for buildings to include cool roofs and low impact development techniques in site design. The city also awards development bonuses for permanent protection of open space through a transfer of development right program. The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance.

Last updated: April 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 25.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Los Angeles has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency, including the recent addition of the City's Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program. The Department of Building and Safety manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Los Angeles.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of California allows its local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the mandatory state codes. Title 24 outlines all California building codes. Title 24, Part 6 includes the California Energy Code and the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (BEES). Title 24, Part 11 includes the California Green Building Code. The California Energy Code, BEES and California Green Building Codes have been updated in 2016 and are effective January 1, 2017. The 2016 codes exceed the 2015 IECC standards and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2013. To learn more about California’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Los Angeles adheres to the 2016 BEES and the 2016 California Green Buildings Code.


Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Los Angeles adheres to the 2016 BEES and the 2016 California Green Buildings Code.

Last Updated: March 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Los Angeles does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Los Angeles has made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Department of Building and Safety provides training to its plan review and inspection staff on all the codes that they enforce including the energy code. The Department has a training division and uses outside trainers as well as outside training to ensure appropriate level of training is provided to staff. The city provides upfront support to owners and developers through various training programs.  

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

Los Angeles has green building requirements for private commercial and residential buildings that exceed the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen).

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

In 2016, the City of Los Angeles Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency (EBEWE) Program has set forth energy auditing and retrofiting requirements for commercial and multifamily buildings.

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power offers multiple energy efficency incentive programs for homeowners and businesses. The Los Angeles PACE program offers energy efficiency financing for residential and commercial building owners.

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and Residential Benchmarking

The State of California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 in October of 2015. It will require commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark energy usage annually. This will most likely begin in 2018.

Los Angeles has adopted an ordinance that will go beyond AB 802 and require all buildings over 20,000 square feet (both commercial and residential) to annually benchmark energy and water usage beginning in 2017. 

Training and Guidance provided by the City or State

The City is in the process of setting up a Benchmarking Help Center in collaboration with the LA Better Buildings Challenge. This will be a call-in hotline as well as one-on-one guidance that building owners can use when they need technical assistance to help complete the benchmarking process.

Additionally, the city is working with the local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council to launch an outreach and education program. This will help building owners understand all the requirements of the ordinance as well as provide benchmarking training. 


The LA Department of Building and Safety will be responsible for enforcing the benchmarking ordinance. The City made a big effort to incorporate these requirements with the Department as part of new code enforcement operations. This will help ensure the longevity of the program and integrate it with other building related requirements. 

Energy Use Disclosure 

The benchmarking ordinance requires annual disclosure to the general public for commercial, residential and municipal buildings. 

Reports and Database

The city plans on publishing a database with both the compliance information as well as the energy and water consumption information. The city will also complete analysis of this data to better understand energy and water usage trends across its building stock. 

Last Updated: February 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 14.5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the municipal utility which provides electricity and drinking water services to the City of Los Angeles. Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary natural gas utility for the City of Los Angeles. 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 Los Angeles Public Works Department, Bureau of Sanitation is the municipal utility which provides stormwater management and wastewater treatment for the city. LADWP and the Bureau of Sanitation work together to provide recycled water to many areas of the city.

Last Updated: February 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to LADWP, they achieved 336,760 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.45% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, LADWP spent $73,239,817 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 2.13% of annual revenue. In 2015, SoCal Gas reported savings of 18.75 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.69% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, SoCal Gas spent $69,542,878 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $12.55 per residential customer. Spending on electricity represented in this section covers all of the city of Los Angeles. The spending reported on natural gas represented in this section covers the entire SoCal Gas service territory, not just Los Angeles. LADWP offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. SoCal Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

In 2013, SoCal Gas and LADWP began offering several combined natural gas and electric energy-saving programs, some of which save water as well, to residential and business customers in their joint service territory. This allows them to reap the co-benefits of their energy efficiency programs for all their joint customers. As of June 2016, the LADWP-SoCal Gas partnership incorporated 18 joint programs. Energy Upgrade California is offered in Los Angeles through a partnership between LADWP and SoCal Gas which provides two levels of efficiency upgrades for single family residences.

The City of Los Angeles works with the Mayor's office and other City departments and utilities, as well as local academic institutions and non-profit coalitions, to advocate to the state for increased spending and energy savings requirements. These include the Southern California Public Power Authority and the statewide (IOU) Codes and Standards group, as well as other coordination.

Last Updated: February 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Both LADWP and SoCal Gas offer the Energy Savings Assistance Program to qualified low-income residential customers. The program offers no-cost, energy-saving home improvements to income-qualified homeowners and renters, including weatherization improvements, water heater blankets, and low-flow showerheads. Investor-owned utilities implement the program statewide under the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission. In addition, LADWP offers a Refrigerator Exchange Program, which provides free, efficient refrigerators to residential customers who qualify through LADWP’s low-income, senior citizen/disability lifeline, life support, or physician-certified alliance discount (PCAD) rates. LADWP also offers the Home Energy Improvement Program, which provides free energy and water performance improvements in homes for eligible customers. SoCal gas streamlines program enrollment by accepting income qualification from enrollment in other programs, including the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program; Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program; Tribal; and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

In 2015, according to LADWP’s demand-side management report, it achieved 6,655 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $7,494,076 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. LADWP did not provide the number of households served. In 2015, according to SoCal Gas, it achieved 1.60 MMtherms in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $74.8 million on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 80,316 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $931 and saving an average of 20 therms.

Multifamily Programs

LADWP and SoCal Gas partner to offer the Energy Savings Assistance Program to eligible low-income residents in multi-family buildings. This jointly-coordinated, comprehensive program provides no cost energy saving products such as attic insulation, door and window repairs, caulking, door weather strips, water heater blankets, smart power strips, efficient light bulbs, water and gas-saving showerheads, and faucet aerators to low-income residents of multi-family buildings. Additionally, SoCal Gas offers the Multifamily Direct Therm Savings Program, and the Multifamily Home Tune-Up Program. The Multifamily Direct Therm Savings Program, offered in partnership with LADWP, provides energy and water efficient products and installation at no cost to hard-to-reach customers, and the Multifamily Home Tune Up installs low-flow showerheads, kitchen aerators and bathroom aerators at no cost to units heated with gas.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Currently, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has committed to providing its customers with the Green Button data sharing platform and is in the process of its implementation. Southern California Gas provides automatic data entry into Portfolio Manager as well as 36 months of historical data. LADWP currently provides automated benchmarking services for individual customer accounts through Portfolio Manager. Owners of multi-tenant commercial and multi-family residential buildings can work with LADWP to link all building accounts under one “master” account with appropriate permissions and documentation, which is expected to be automated in 2017. SoCal Gas provides automated benchmarking services to building managers or owners through Portfolio Manager.

As a City department, LADWP provides aggregated energy usage information to other city departments and offices for the purposes of community planning, greenhouse gas inventory calculations and other evaluation or planning needs, as requested. SoCal Gas also provides this information on a per request basis.

In terms of advocacy for policy improvements in data provisions, The city of Los Angeles undertook an active role at the state level to provide input and help with the adoption of AB 802, which now requires utilities in California to provide aggregated whole building energy data to building owners upon request. This removes the barriers around privacy thresholds and will streamline the process for owners. The city has also partnered with LADWP and SoCal Gas in the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, and the Energy Data Accelerator, to facilitate better access to energy usage data.

Last Updated: February 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

LADWP’s Efficiency Solutions division administers both energy and water efficiency programs, such as the Home Energy Improvement Program which includes both water and energy efficiency measures. LADWP also has a master inter-utility agreement (MIUA) with SoCal Gas, which includes co-funding of the Energy Upgrade California Program. This includes measures that lead to reduced water use.

In 2014, the city established a goal to achieve 20% reduction in the city's fresh water use by 2017 and a 50% cut in the amount of imported water purchased by the Department of Water and Power by 2024 both below baseline year 2014. Additionally, the Sustainable City pLAn calls for 22.5% reduction of per capita consumption of water by 2025, and a 25% reduction of per capita consumption of water by 2035 below baseline year 2014. LADWP offers a number of free water conservation devices such as showerheads and aerators. Also, the LADWP Landscape Incentive Program pays customers to replace turf grass with drought-tolerant plants or mulch.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The city has a goal to improve energy efficiency at drinking water treatment and distribution facilities, although no specific targets are available. However, the Bureau of Sanitation has an energy group at the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment plant that focuses on tracking power use and implementing energy saving measures. In 2013, the LADWP Commission adopted an aggressive policy requiring the utility to achieve 15% energy savings through energy efficiency by 2020 below baseline year 2010. The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation operates four treatment and water reclamation plants, two of which generate electricity from captured biogas. In addition, the Digester Gas Utilization Project (DGUP) is a cogeneration project nearing construction completion that will use Hyperion's digester gas as a renewable energy source to generate electricity and steam for use on site in plant operations.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The City of Los Angeles is pursuing green infrastructure through the Enhanced Watershed Management Plans (EWMP) for the Upper Los Angeles River Watershed and Ballona Creek Watershed. The EWMP identifies current and future multi-benefit projects that will improve water quality, promote water conservation, enhance recreational opportunities, manage flood risk, improve local aesthetics, and support public education opportunities. Each EWMP includes water quality priorities, watershed control measures, reasonable assurance analysis, the scheduling of projects and the monitoring, assessment and adaptive management of projects.

The Department of Water and Power also has a Stormwater Capture Master Plan, which outlines strategies for the next 20 years to implement stormwater and watershed management programs, projects, and policies in the City of Los Angeles. In 2009, the City of Los Angeles adopted the Water Quality Compliance Master Plan, a 20-year strategy for clean stormwater and urban runoff to reduce the pollution flowing into local rivers, creeks, lakes and beaches. In addition, the City’s Stormwater Pollution Abatement Charge generates $28 million annually for the city’s stormwater management program and services. These funds pay for flood control projects and system maintenance and upgrades, and pollution abatement programs and projects.

Last Updated: February 2017

Score: 18 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Los Angeles is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metrolink). Metrolink also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including train and bus service. The Southern California Association of Governments is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Los Angeles, and surrounding cities and counties. The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Los Angeles has 37 pans and implementation overlays across the city. 15 of these plans are location-efficient, allowing for mixed-use. The city’s forthcoming zoning code overhaul (re:code LA) will move the city toward a mixed form-based and use-based zoning model. The city requires 2 parking spaces per residential unit. As an incentive to promote location-efficient real estate development, Los Angeles provides density bonuses for affordable housing projects located within 1,500 feet of a transit stop.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

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

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There are two car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of Los Angeles, Car2Go, and zipcar. There is currently a bicycle sharing program in this city, Metro Bike Share, it currently has 65 stations and over 800 bicycles.

Complete Streets

Los Angeles does not yet have a Complete Streets policy.

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The Metrolink transit system that serves Los Angeles has received $2,598,683,778 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $194.80 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the third highest category ($150-249) available in the City Scorecard

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. Los Angeles’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 20, putting it in the third highest category (15-29) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Los Angeles does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. To foster increased development of EV charging infrastructure, Los Angeles offers the Charge Up L.A. rebate program under which residential customers may receive up to $500 for a home charger, and commercial customers can receive up to $4,000 for each hardwired EV charger installed. This city has 268 EV charging stations available for public use.

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Los Angeles started convening a Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee, which is tasked with providing the Port of LA and the Mayor suggestions to improve the sustainability of goods movement at the port.

Smart freight

We could not confirm if Los Angeles employs an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Los Angeles has a Mobility Plan which outlines several strategies to increase the use of alternative mobility options and direct growth to transit-rich locations. Within the Sustainable City pLAn, the city established a citywide goal of reducing daily VMT per capita by at least 5% from 2012 levels by 2025 and 10% by 2035.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Los Angeles’ Metro adopted guidelines that include a performance measure that its’ joint development portfolio include minimum of 35% affordable housing units. Metro may also discount land value of its joint development sites up to 30% of the fair market value on sties accommodating affordable housing. The city is currently working on a Transit Oriented Communities Loan Program to support affordable housing in transit-oriented areas.

Last updated: January 2017