State and Local Policy Database

Los Angeles

City Scorecard Rank


Los Angeles, CA

65.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
6.5 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The Sustainable City pLAn is the primary roadmap for the City of Los Angeles’s climate and energy goals. The city releases annual progress reports for the pLAn.

Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2018, Mayor Garcetti committed Los Angeles to achieving citywide carbon-neutrality by 2050. For municipal operations, the city has an interim goal to lower greenhouse gas emissions to less 502,252 MTCO2e by 2025. ACEEE projects the city will meet its GHG emissions reduction goal for local government operations. 

Energy Reduction Goal

The Sustainable City pLAn includes a goal to reduce municipal energy use by 5% below 2013 levels annually, with interim reduction milestones of 18% by 2025 and 25% by 2035.

Renewable Energy Goal

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

Last updated: June 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

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. Los Angeles’ fleet is composed of 18.2% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. 

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. Currently, 90% of streetlights have been converted in the city.

Green Building Requirements 

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. New municipal facilities are routinely built to LEED Gold or Platinum. 

Last updated: June 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Los Angeles benchmarks all municipal buildings over 7,500 square feet through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as part of the Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance. Los Angeles audits buildings as part of the Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance to retrofit whole buildings and implement specific interventions. The 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 Workforce Commuting

Los Angeles offers teleworking and flexible schedules for City employees.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 10 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Los Angeles formally adopted LA's Green New Deal Sustainable City pLAn in 2019.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Green New Deal city plan includes a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. ACEEE projects the city will achieve its carbon neutrality goal. 

Emissions data is included in the Sustainable City pLAn annual reports. The city’s sustainability dashboard also includes emissions data.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Sustainable City pLAn includes an energy reduction goal for all buildings of 14% per square foot below 2013 levels by 2025 and 30% per square foot below 2013 levels by 2035. The pLAn also established a goal to use efficiency to deliver 15% of electricity needs by 2020 through rebates, incentives, and education.

Renewable Energy Goal

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

Energy Data Reporting

The Sustainable City pLAn annual reports include some community energy data.  

Last updated: June 2019

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether permanent city staff have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting outreach for multiple clean energy initiatives to marginalized groups compared with outreach to other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

In implementing the city’s climate action goals, the City of Los Angeles and Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles created the Watts Community Leaderships Council (WCLC), which is comprised of local community residents. The WCLC created the Watts Rising Collaborative, which lobbied for and won $35 million grant for affordable housing and environmental justice initiatives in the Watts community.

The city secured another grant worth $23 million to fund environmental justice initiatives led by the “Green Together” collaborative which includes several community-based organizations that are active in the Pacoima-Sun Valley.

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

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the city’s municipal utility, created the Solar Rooftops Program (SRP). Through the program, LADWP installs and owns solar systems on customer rooftops and provides households with a lease credit of $30 per month. SRP intends to install 400 solar systems over three years.

LADWP has also created a community solar pilot program. The utility has committed to installing ten megawatts of solar capacity to support the pilot. 

Last updated: June 2019

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.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 21.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Los Angeles complies with the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Los Angeles also codified solar- and EV-readiness. The city passed a commercial and multifamily benchmarking ordinance. The city offers several incentives and financing options for energy efficiency improvements and low-income projects. The city requires buildings to perform energy audits and retrofits requirements.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList 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  State of California updated the California Energy Code, BEES and California Green Building Codes 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.


Los Angeles adopted the 2016 BEES and the 2017 Los Angeles Green Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 51.7.


Los Angeles adopted the 2016 BEES and the 2017 Los Angeles Green Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 59.6.

Solar- and EV-ready

As required by state law, Los Angeles will require all new residential construction to include solar system installation beginning in 2020. The city’s Green Building Code mandates new residential dwelling and townhomes be EV-ready.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Los Angeles does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Los Angeles made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. The city provides upfront support to owners and developers through various training programs. 

Last updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

The State of California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 in October of 2015. AB 802 requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark energy usage annually. Los Angeles adopted an ordinance that builds upon AB 802 and require all buildings over 20,000 square feet (both commercial and residential) to annually benchmark energy and water usage. The ordinance currently requires buildings over 50,000 square feet to comply with the law. The ordinance takes effect for buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet in June 2019. The ordinance covers 76% of commercial buildings and 50% of multifamily buildings.


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

The city offers six incentives and financing programs for energy efficiency upgrades and low-income projects.

Los Angeles offers Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements in residential and commercial buildings. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers a range of rebates and incentives for energy efficiency projects. LADWP also runs low-income solar and energy efficiency programs.

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

Los Angeles requires building developers and/or owners to perform five energy actions.

The Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program mandates energy auditing and retrofit requirements for commercial and multifamily buildings. Los Angeles adopted more stringent energy efficiency requirements for commercial and residential buildings that exceed the CalGreen. The city also operates the Gateway to Green program that provides education on energy and water efficiency programs and incentives to building owners and tenants.

Last updated: March 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

To spur cleantech job creation, the city offers private cleantech companies incentives to be located in the city’s CleanTech Corridor.

Last updated: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 13 out of 15 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: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, according to LADWP, they achieved 409,927 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.81% of retail sales. In 2017, SoCal Gas reported 34.41 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 1.31% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. Electricity savings cover all of the city of Los Angeles. Natural gas savings cover 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.

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: March 2019

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 2017, LADWP created the office of the Low-Income Customer Access (LICA) to improve outreach to underserved communities and increase collaboration with the existing LADWP efficiency programs for multifamily low-income dwellings. LICA has established a Working Group comprised of affordable housing and community-based organizations who partner with LADWP on pilot efficiency and outreach programs. In addition, LADWP is able to partner with and provide grants to local nonprofits and community organizations through the LADWP Community Partnership Outreach Grants program. Through the program, non-profits are invited to undertake community outreach and education to improve awareness of LADWP programs and improve energy efficiency and water conservation throughout the City of Los Angeles and to “hard-to-reach” customers. Grants have been awarded to California Greenworks, Climate Resolve, Community Development and Technologies Center, Liberty Hill Foundation, Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment, and Cal State University Northridge to specifically target underrepresented and low-income customers. Beyond that, an additional twenty non-profits have been awarded grants to conduct outreach on LADWP’s efficiency programs to customers across the city, which often times include low-income customers. LADWP has also partnered with additional organizations to advertise its efficiency programs, including the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, Community Coalition, Women for a New Los Angeles, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, LA Latino Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Minority Contractors.

In 2017, according to LADWP, it achieved 15,869 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving about 17,666 low-income customers. In 2017, according to SoCal Gas, it achieved 1.55 MMtherms in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 93,790 low-income customers.

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. LADWP and SoCal gas also partner on the Multifamily Direct Therm Savings Program, which provides energy and water efficient products and installation at no cost to hard-to-reach customers, including low-flow showerheads, aerators, and smart thermostats to large multifamily properties. They also partner on a Commercial Direct Install (CDI) Program, which targets multi-family customers, and offers free energy and water (and natural gas) efficiency upgrades, including upgrades to energy efficient lighting systems and lamps, LED exit signs, pre-rinse spray valves, low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and low-flow toilets. SoCal Gas also provides the Multifamily Home Upgrade Program that provides a significant amount of incentives to multifamily properties undergoing major renovations.

In 2017, according to LADWP, it achieved 7,122 MWh across its multifamily program portfolio, while serving 15,840 customers. In 2017, according to SoCal Gas, it achieved 0.48 MMtherms across its multifamily program portfolio, while serving 5,342 customers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Southern California Gas and LADWP both provide automated benchmarking services through ENERGY STAR 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. SoCal Gas provides automated benchmarking services to building managers or owners.

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. SoCal Gas is generally open to data sharing as well and helps with data for efforts such as GHG inventories.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, LADWP provided $14,504,862 in incentives for the installation of 34,080 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $426/kW installed. The LADWP Solar Incentive Program (SIP) offered incentives to offset the cost of installing a rooftop solar system on homes and businesses. Incentives were based on customer type, with residential customer receiving $0.25 per watt, commercial customers receiving $0.30 per watt, and government, nonprofit, and affordable housing customers receiving $0.95 per watt. As of March 2019, LADWP has a total of 297 MW of Net Energy Metered solar projects with $330 million in solar incentives provided since the inception of SIP. While the SIP oficially closed at the end of 2018, but the program still has a long waitlist of projects that are being addressed through available funds.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In 2017, LADWP produced 30% of its generation from renewable sources.

Last Updated: April 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

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 Home Upgrade 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, which has been met. 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 and stormwater capture components. LADWP has also completed a water conservation potential study to outline a pathway to meeting these water conservation goals. The City of LA has also set goals in the pLAn to achieve a 50% cut in the amount of imported water purchased by the Department of Water and Power by 2025 and source 50% of the City's water locally by 2035 (based on a 2014 baseline). The sustainability plan dashboard lists progress towards pLAn goals in all categories, including water conservation and sourcing water locally.

Water plant 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 that uses Hyperion's digester gas as a renewable energy source to generate electricity and steam for use on site in plant operations. It has been awarded an Envision Platinum award.

Last Updated: March 2019


Score: 14.5 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

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Los Angeles has a Mobility Plan that outlines several strategies to increase the use of alternative mobility options and direct growth to transit-rich locations.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The Sustainable City pLAn established a citywide goal of reducing daily VMT per capita by at least 5% from 2012 levels by 2025 and 10% by 2035. This is equivalent to 0.4% per year.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

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

Last Updated: May 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

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 will move the city toward a mixed form-based and use-based zoning model.

Residential Parking Policies

The City requires 2 parking spaces per residential unit.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

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: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The 2015 Sustainable City pLAn calls for an increase in non-single occupancy vehicle trips to 35% of all trips by 2025 and 50% of all trips by 2035.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

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

Complete Streets

Los Angeles does not yet have a Complete Streets policy.

Car Sharing

There are two car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of Los Angeles, Car2Go, and zipcar. The City also has a fixed-space car share program in effect.

Bike Sharing

There is currently a bicycle sharing program in this city, Metro Bike Share, that currently has 93 stations and over 1,400 bicycles.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The Metrolink transit system that serves Los Angeles has received $1,337,022,675.20 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $100.82 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the second highest category ($100-149) available in the City Scorecard.

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. Los Angeles’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 7.7, putting it in the third highest category (7-7.99) available in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Los Angeles does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

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.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 432 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Los Angeles 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

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. In June 2017, Mayor Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Garcia came together to sign a joint declaration setting ambitious goals for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to make the transition to a zero-emission on-road drayage fleet by 2030 and zero-emission terminal equipment by 2035. These goals are incorporated into the joint Ports’ Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update, approved by the ports’ governing boards in November 2017 to provide high-level guidance for reaching zero-emission operations while strengthening the ports’ economic competitiveness.

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

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.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Blue LA offers a community membership to qualifying low-income individuals.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

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

Last Updated: April 2019