State and Local Policy Database

Montgomery County

City Scorecard Rank


Montgomery County, MD

Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 7 out of 9 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Montgomery County adopted a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035, with an interim reduction goal of 80% by 2027. No data was available to make a projection on Montgomery County’s progress toward its goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

The county has not adopted a community-wide energy reduction goal. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The county has not adopted a community-wide renewable energy goal.

Energy Data Reporting

Montgomery County has released energy emissions data for the private buildings, transportation, and public building sectors, but energy or energy emissions data for the public infrastructure sector is not available.

Last updated: December 2019

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 county 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

Montgomery County adopted the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act, a broad policy that will require the county to assess the equity impacts of each bill.

Last updated: December 2019

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

Montgomery County has pursued several distributed energy resources in its community. Montgomery County houses a CHP plant at the county's Pre-Release Center in Rockville. The county also entered into a public-private partnership to install microgrids at the Public Safety Headquarters and County Correctional Facility. Montgomery County has also installed solar systems on several municipal buildings. The county has also expedited its solar permitting system. Montgomery County released an RFP for two community solar sites at Oaks Landfill.

Last updated: December 2019

Adaptive Mitigation List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

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

UHI Policies and Programs

We were unable to determine if the county has adopted specific policies or programs that incorporate requirements or incentives to mitigate the urban heat island effect. 

Last updated: December 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

We could not verify if Montgomery County has programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce. The county’s MFD program includes contracting goals for minority, female, and disability-owned businesses.

Last updated: December 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 14 out of 30 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Maryland is a home rule state and allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the minimum state requirements, or to suit their local conditions. Maryland requires that at a minimum, residential and commercial construction must comply with the 2015 Maryland Building Performance Standards, which are equally as stringent as the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). To learn more about the required building codes for the State of Maryland, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial construction in Montgomery County must comply with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. The county’s commercial code has a zEPI score of 55.3. 


Residential construction in Montgomery County must comply with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code with local amendments. The county’s residential code has a zEPI score of 55.9.

Solar- and EV-Ready

Montgomery County does not require new developments to be solar- and/or EV-ready. 

Last updated: December 2019

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Montgomery County has staff solely dedicated to energy code compliance. The county requires plan reviews, inspections, and performance testing. The county also provides commercial building design consultation and assistance for developers seeking information on the energy code.

Last updated: December 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Montgomery County has adopted a benchmarking ordinance requiring nonresidential buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark energy use. The policy covers 44% of nonresidential buildings in the county. Montgomery County has not adopted a benchmarking policy for multifamily buildings.


Montgomery County has adopted a time-of-sale energy use disclosure policy for single-family homes.

Last updated: December 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Montgomery County offers nine incentives for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low-income energy improvement projects.

Montgomery County provides an energy efficiency tax credit of $250 for homeowners, offers a weatherization assistance program for low-income households, and C-PACE for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The county also offers a commercial building tax credit depending on level of LEED certification. The Montgomery County Green Bank finances energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for residents and businesses.

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: December 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

Montgomery County requires new commercial buildings over 5,000 square feet to demonstrate an energy use reduction of 50% compared to buildings built in the year 2000.

Last updated: December 2019

Score: 14 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Montgomery County has adopted sustainable transportation strategies in its 2009 Climate Protection Plan, but the plan has not been updated within the past five years

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

Montgomery County does not have a VMT/GHG target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Montgomery County does not have a VMT/GHG target.

Last updated: December 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Montgomery County has a form-based code and countywide zoning overlays that focus on transit-oriented and mixed-use development.

Residential Parking Policies

Within a parking benefits district, Montgomery County allows 1 space per unit for single-family households.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Montgomery County's Bethesda Overlay Zone encourages mixed-use and compact development within the community.

Last updated: December 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

We could not confirm if Montgomery County has a mode shift target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Montgomery County does not have a mode shift goal.

Complete Streets

Montgomery County adopted their complete streets policy in 2014. The policy has a complete streets coalition score of 64.8.

Car Sharing

Montgomery County mandates that one carshare space be provided by parking facilities with 50 to 149 spaces.

Bike Sharing

Montgomery County participates in the Capital Bikeshare program. The county has 406 docked bikeshare bikes per 100,000.

Last updated: December 2019

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The system serving Montgomery County has received an average of $170.27 dollars per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

Montgomery County has an All Transit Performance score of 6.9. 

Last updated: December 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Neither Montgomery County nor PEPCO offer incentives for electric vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Pepco offers residential customers a $300 rebate for Level 2 chargers.

EV Charging Locations

Montgomery County has 26.54 publicly available EV chargers per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Neither Montgomery County not PEPCO offer incentives for EV chargers powered by renewable energy.

Last updated: December 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

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

Last updated: December 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Montgomery County offers density bonuses for owners that include affordable housing in their development. Additionally, the county has minimum moderately priced dwelling units (MDPUs) requirements in certain areas.

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation

Montgomery County offers low-income residents free memberships to Capital bikeshare.

Low-income Access to High Quality Transit

23.4% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) in Montgomery County are located near high-quality, all-day access.

Last updated: December 2019

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 4 out of 15 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All

The Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO), an investor-owned utility, is the primary electric utility serving Montgomery County. The primary natural gas supplier for Montgomery County is Washington Gas, a municipally owned utility. The State of Maryland requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and requires documentation of planned energy efficiency programs to the Public Service Commission annually. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency please visit the Maryland page of the State Database. On the state level, Baltimore strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for its utilities.

Last updated: December 2019

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2017, PEPCO reported 171,497 MWh of net electric savings, which represents 0.78% of its retail sales. In 2017, Washington Gas reported 64,273 Mcf of net natural gas savings, which represents 0.20% of its retail sales. Montgomery County has not partnered of collaborated with the utilities on an energy efficiency plan or strategy. 

Last updated: December 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-income Programs

PEPCO and Washington Gas offer the EmPOWER Low Income Energy Efficiency Program to low-income residents, including both renters and homeowners. This program is implemented by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and offers both single-family and multifamily low-income dual fuel programs. Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs offers county residents through a Weatherization Assistance program.

Multifamily Programs

Neither PEPCO or Washington Gas offer comprehensive energy efficiency programs for multifamily customers in Montgomery County.

Last updated: December 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

PEPCO and Washington Gas provide automated benchmarking services for input into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. At this time, Montgomery County does not advocate for policies requiring its utilities to expand the available or granularity of energy usage data.

Last updated: December 2019

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Cities and Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable energy incentives

In 2017, PEPCO did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems. 

City-led efforts to decarbonize the grid

Montgomery County is working with PEPCO to develop a public service microgrid. The county’s Climate Mobilization Report notes the expansion of Renewable Portfolio Standards advocacy as potential next steps and outlines a plan for achieving renewable energy goals with utilities.

Last updated: December 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

At this time, the energy and water utilities do not offer joint energy and water efficiency programs. Montgomery county has not established a water savings target or goal. 

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s Strategic Plan presents two 10-year goals: reduce electrical intensity at the wastewater plants in aggregate by 8% and reduce electrical intensity at water filtration plants in aggregate by 6%. The county’s water system does not self-generate its own energy. The strategic plan lays out energy efficiency and load management strategies to reach these goals.

Last updated: December 2019

Local Government Score:
4 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Montgomery County Council passed the Emergency Climate Mobilization resolution in 2017. It sets a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. ACEEE does not project the county will achieve its GHG reduction goal for local government operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding an energy reduction goal for municipal operations.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a renewable energy goal.

Last updated: December 2019

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Montgomery County’s Green Fleet Strategy sets a goal to reduce petroleum consumption 20% by 2020 through management, rightsizing, and use of alternative fuels. The county purchases hybrid vehicles. Montgomery County’s municipal fleet is composed of 5.5% efficient vehicles, including battery electric and hybrid vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Montgomery County Department of Transportation has begun upgrading all 25,600 streetlights to LED. We did not find information regarding the adoption of a policy requirement efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance.

Green Building Requirements

Montgomery County’s Green Building Law of 2006 requires new county buildings to achieve LEED Silver requirements. 

Last updated: December 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Montgomery County has benchmarked all county buildings using EnergyCAP software. The 2018 Green Government Report states that the county is implementing a multi-year plan to invest more than $120 million in facilities through energy performance contacting. The Green Government Report presents efficiency project data for both completed and planned projects. From fiscal years 2013 through 2018, energy use has dropped approximately 19%.

Public Workforce Commuting

Montgomery County offers a telework program for public employees.

Last updated: December 2019