State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Madison, WI

22.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The 100% Renewable Madison includes a goal to achieve carbon neutrality for municipal operations by 2030. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects the city will not achieve its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

The 100% Renewable Madison includes actions to reduce municipal energy use 25% below a 2010 baseline by 2030 and 40% below a 2010 baseline by 2050. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The 100% Renewable Madison includes a goal to use 100% renewable energy for municipal operations by 2030.

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet policies and composition 

Madison does not currently have a fleet procurement policy but follows recommendations from the 100% Renewable Madison Report by procuring electric vehicles. Madison’s municipal fleet composition is made up of 11.6% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric.

Public lighting

Madison has an ordinance requiring efficient outdoor lighting. Madison is pursuing streetlight upgrades, and 34% of streetlights have been upgraded to LEDs. 

Onsite and offsite renewable systems

Madison has installed multiple onsite renewable energy systems at municipal facilities with a generating capacity of 1 MW.

Inclusive procurement

We were unable to verify if the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes.

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Madison benchmarks all municipal buildings through EnergyCap. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City of Madison has a facilities management team that manages energy use in municipal facilities.  This team is in charge of benchmarking, meets monthly and develops  schedules for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for the current budgeted year as well as strategic long term planning. This team has a dedicated budget line item for energy improvements.

Last updated: June 2021

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Madison released the Madison Sustainability Plan in 2011 and the 100% Renewable Madison report in 2018.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Madison Sustainability Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2010 levels by 2050. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects the city will not achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

Madison has a goal to reduce community energy usage 50% below 2008 levels by 2030.

Renewable Energy Goal

Madison has a goal to use 25% clean energy by 2025 and 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Energy Data Reporting

Madison reports energy data to CDP.

Last updated: September 2020

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with other city constituencies.

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: March 2020

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

Madison entered into an agreement with OneEnergy Renewables to install five community solar installations totaling 14 megawatts of capacity.

Last updated: March 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

We could not verify if the city has adopted a quantifiable urban heat island mitigation goal.

UHI Policies and Programs

Madison created a wetland overlay district to conserve natural land. 

Last updated: March 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 2.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Madison enforces the state energy code. Madison runs the Green Up program, a renewable energy workforce training program. We could not find information on city mandated benchmarking policies, incentives, or above-code energy action requirements.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Wisconsin requires local jurisdictions to follow the state building codes. Residential construction must follow the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code. The Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code incorporates the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Commercial construction must follow the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code, which is based on the 2009 IECC. To learn more about Wisconsin’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial construction in Milwaukee complies with the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 53.8.


Residential construction in Milwaukee complies with the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 63.6.

Solar- and EV-ready

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted solar- and/or EV-ready ordinances.

Low-energy use requirements

New and remodeled municipal buildings must achieve LEED standards.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Madison provides contractor training on code compliance. We could not find information on the number of full-time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code nor on the city’s code compliance verification process.

Last updated: September 2020

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Madison administers Green Power, a solar energy workforce training program. We could not verify if the city has programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency workforce.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 6.5 out of 30 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and gas utility for the City of Madison. The State of Wisconsin requires spending and savings targets for its electric and natural gas utilities through a PSC act. The utilities pool their required spending totals into the Statewide Energy Efficiency and Renewables Administration (SEERA). SEERA is required to create and fund Focus on Energy and to contract, on the basis of competitive bids, with one or more persons to administer the programs. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Wisconsin page of the State Database.

Madison Water Utility is the municipal utility that provides the City of Madison with drinking water services, while the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District provides wastewater treatment and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, according to MG&E and Focus on Energy, MG&E achieved 14,884 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 0.43% of its retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Madison. In 2018, MG&E spent $1,263,084 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 0.31% of its retail revenue. 

In 2018, according to MG&E and Focus on Energy, MG&E achieved 1.15 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 0.61% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2018, MG&E spent $889.091 on energy efficiency, which equates to $6.07 per residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover MG&E’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Madison.

Focus on Energy offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential customers.

MG&E has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the City of Madison to work together to achieve shared energy goals, including promoting energy efficiency. Most notably, both parties are working together to develop a large-scale solar facility under the MG&E Renewable Energy Rider (RER) tariff that would be dedicated to serving city operations. The city council recently approved an RER contract with MGE to build a 5 MW solar array for the city.

Last Updated: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Focus on Energy, in partnership with Madison Gas and Electric, provides larger incentives to income-qualified customers for its energy efficiency programs. These programs include Focus on Energy’s Refrigerator Recycling program, simple energy saving kits, smart thermostat incentives, and whole home improvements. Madison Gas & Electric also provides assistance to the Home Energy Plus programs and the Weatherization and Furnace Program. These programs aimed to assist Wisconsin households in reducing their energy burden by receiving emergency fuel assistance, emergency furnace repair and replacement, counseling for energy budgets, and co-payment plans.

In 2018, according to Focus on Energy, MGE achieved 10 MWh and 0.01 MMtherms in energy savings, while serving 40 electric and 49 natural gas customers. It spent $1,203 and $23,147 on its electric and natural gas low-income programs, respectively.

Multifamily Programs

MGE offers the Focus on Energy multifamily program, which offers incentives for multifamily properties with four or more dwelling units. The program provides a range of services that help lower operating cost and increase comfort for tenants.

In 2018, according to MGE, it achieved 1,949 MWh and 0.065 in energy savings, while spending $175,764 and $84,064 on its electric and natural gas multifamily programs, respectively. MGE served 68 electric and 20 natural gas customers.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Madison Gas & Electric does not provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings. However, MGE does have a benchmarking tool that customers can access through their MyAccount portal, allowing commercial customers to see how their annual electric and natural gas use stack up to similar buildings. MGE also partnered with Slipstream and the City of Madison on a project that married customer consumption data (gas and electric) with tax data including square footage. With this information, Slipstream benchmarked the commercial and industrial customers using EPA's Portfolio Manager, identifying energy saving opportunities. The City of Madison does not currently advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers or the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities.

Last Updated: May 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, MGE, through the Focus on Energy program, provided $212,969 in incentives for the installation of 470 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $453/kW installed.

Focus on Energy offers two separate programs for renewable energy projects. The first is the Prescriptive Renewable Energy Program for eligible residential and small business customers. Incentives for solar electric PV are 12% of installed cost not to exceed $2,000 for residential, and 12% of installed cost not to exceed $4,000 for small business. The incentive for geothermal heat pump systems is $650 both residential and small business customers.

The second program is the Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program (RECIP), which is available for business customers.  Incentives are awarded through a competitive proposal process and based on the estimated first year net energy production (or offset) of the system. Applicants must propose a $/kWh and/or $/therm amount, up to $0.50/kWh and $1.00/therm. The maximum combined incentives from the program (including both energy efficiency and renewable energy) is capped per calendar year at $400,000.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The Madison City Mayor often speakers out in support of the city’s renewable energy goals. The Mayor and City Clerk executed an agreement with Madison Gas & Electric for a 5 Megawatt Renewable Energy Rider Project.

Last Updated: May 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

The energy and water utilities do not currently offer joint energy and water efficiency programs. The City of Madison has a water savings target of 20% reduction per capita residential use of water by 2020, which equates to 58 gallons per capita per day.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

Neither the water utility nor the wastewater utility has set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies. Madison Water Utility, however, has undertaken several measures to decrease energy use at its plants. Madison Water Utility (MWU) pumping accounts for approximately 20% of the city’s electrical consumption. As part of a previous report, a list of water distribution strategies was developed. The list of water distribution optimization strategies included system optimization and controls, infrastructure upgrades, and an end user reduction program. Water distribution system optimization includes measures that reduce electrical consumption by coordinating zones, optimizing system pressures, and improving cross over operations. These efficiencies would be achieved through enhancing the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) platform, programming updates and related control system hardware and sensors.

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

Last Updated: March 2020

Score: 8.5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The city’s Sustainability Plan includes a goal to reduce car miles traveled to achieve a 10% greenhouse gas emissions reduction every five years and achieve a cumulative reduction of 40% by 2030. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The City of Madison does not yet have a codified VMT reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Madison is not yet tracking community GHG or VMT levels

Last Updated: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning 

The city created a transit-oriented development overlay district to spur investment in public transit and bicycle travel. 

Residential Parking Requirements

The city removed minimum parking requirements for developments located within the transit-oriented development overlay district. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosures

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Target 

The city’s Sustainability Plan includes goals to increase bus trips 20% by 2020 and bike trips 20% by 2020. 

Progress Toward Mode Shift Target

Madison experienced a dramatic increase in metro ridership of 40% between 2004 and 2014. Bicycling continues to grow in pop[ularity and 10.3% of workers already conduct their commutes on foot. 

Complete Streets

 Resolution No. 09-997

Car Sharing

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Bike Sharing

The city is served by Bike Madison, which has a fleet of 350 bikes. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the Madison have received $63,645,893 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $96.37 per capita between 2014 and 2018 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Madison Transit Connectivity Index value is 6.3, scoring 0.5 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Neither the City of Madison or any of the utilities that service it's resident are providing incentives towards the installation of EV vehicles at this time. 

Incentives for EV Charging Stations

Neither the City of Colorado Springs or any of the utilities that service it's resident are providing incentives towards the installation of EV charging infrastrucutre at this time. 

EV Infrastructure

The City has 53 charging stations available for public use, equivalent to 20.538 stations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Neither the City of Madison or any of the utilities that service it's resident are providing incentives towards the installation of EV charging infrastrucutre powered by renewables at this time. 

Last Updated: March 2020

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Madison does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place, nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2020

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy 

Madison does not have any policies in place to address or help encourage affordable TOD housing development. 

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Neither the City of Madison nor the transit authority that services the city's residents provide rebates or incentives that better connect low-income residents to efficient transportation options. 

Last Updated: March 2020