State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Nashville, TN

30.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
3.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

The Mayor’s Green Ribbon Committee on Environmental Sustainability released a summary report with goals and recommendations, entitled Together Making Nashville Green, which details some of the city’s energy efficiency-related activities and goals for its internal government operations. The Green Ribbon Committee on Environmental Sustainability and the Livable Nashville committee steer many of these efforts. 

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

The Together Making Nashville Green Report contains goals to reduce local government operations and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels by 2012, 20% below 2005 levels by 2020, and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. In order to ensure Nashville remain a livable city, the major signed Executive Order 33 establishing the Green Ribbon Committee on Environmental Sustainability, which developed a report with sustainability action steps. In addition, Mayor Barry has appointed a Livable Nashville committee to develop a sustainability plan for the city of Nashville. The committee is in the process of setting local government energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.


To meet their reduction goal, Nashville would need to reduce emissions by 1.9% per year.


We did not find quantitative data indicating Nashville was on track to achieve its nearest-term local government greenhouse gas goal.


Under the previous administration, an updated report on the Green Ribbon Committee Report, Together Making Nashville Green, was completed and published publically. This report does not include municipal GHG data, however, Metro Nashville is currently conducting a municipal and community greenhouse gas emissions inventory with outcomes expected by December 2016.  

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Metro Nashville does not have formal fuel efficiency requirements for their vehicles or energy-efficient vehicle procurement policies ni place. Nashville However, 100% of Metro fleet has been converted to flex-fuel, hybrid, electric or CNG. Additionally, 3% of heavy fleet is electric, hybrid or CNG.

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

Nashville has not yet adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Although this city has no formal lighting replacement program in place, Nashville has partnered with Nashville Electric Service to pilot LED fixtures from several manufacturers.  The city has also installed LED pedestrian streetlights, traffic signals and way finding kiosks throughout the city.  

New Buildings and Equipment

As per the Metro LEED Ordinance, Nashville requires all new and renovations of public projects 5,000 square feet or greater to be built to LEED Silver certification, and all city-funded construction projects to complete a LEED scorecard. We did not find information regarding efficiency requirements in the city’s procurement policy.

Last updated: January 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Nashville’s Department of General Services (DGS) has entered 46% of the total square footage of its public buildings in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. DGS retrofits buildings by doing pre and post commissioning followed by test and balance. Typically, retrofits include lighting, HVAC, and other electrical and mechanical upgrades.      

Public Employees

We could not find data on policies aimed at reducing the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules and teleworking.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The Mayor’s Livable Nashville Committee has been charged with developing community-wide sustainability goals. This committee builds upon the work completed by the 2008 Green Ribbon Committee on Environmental Sustainability.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

The Livable Nashville Committee will be setting energy efficiency-related goals based on a greenhouse gas emissions community and municipal inventory that is currently being completed.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

While the city has not yet identified high priority areas for district energy or developed building codes, there is a district energy systems advisory committee that meets quarterly to discuss topic.

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

Nashville’s Urban Forestry Master Plan has includes quantitative urban tree canopy goals for different neighborhoods within the city. The city has adopted a private tree protection ordinance. The city requires that sites undergoing construction use low impact development measures in accordance with the city’s Low Impact Development Manual. The city also allows for cluster subdivisions that encourage the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 9 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Nashville has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency in private buildings. The Department of Codes and Building Safety manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Nashville.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

Tennessee is a home rule state, in which codes are adopted and enforced at the jurisdictional level. To learn more about the building energy codes in Tennessee, please visit the State Policy Database.


The City of Nashville adopted the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for commercial buildings, effective August 2016.  


The City of Nashville adopted the 2012 IECC for residential buildings, effective August 2016.  

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Nashville does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Nashville has made plan review and performance testing by code officials mandatory for code compliance. Nashville also requires that residential buildings have blower door and duct blast tests performed by a certified third party. Nashville does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

Nashville has not yet established above-code building requirements for private residential and commercial buildings.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Nashville does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.  

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Low interest loans between $1,000 and $35,000 are available to Nashville residents for energy efficient upgrades through Nashville Energy Works. Nashville also supports the Home Energy Savings Program, which engages volunteers to make energy and money-saving upgrades at no cost to homeowners who are at or below 80 percent of the median household income. Development in the Central Business District is eligible to increase the floor area ratio by different levels based on the level of LEED certification the project achieves.

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Nashville does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage building benchmarking in any sector.

The multiple listing service that serves the Nashville region includes fields for energy efficiency features.

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 3.5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Nashville Electric Service (NES) is the municipal utility which provides electricity to the City of Nashville. Piedmont Natural Gas, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is Nashville’s primary natural gas utility. The Tennessee Regulatory Authority sets the rates and services standards of the investor-owned natural gas, electric, and water utilities. The municipal energy utilities implement Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)-funded energy efficiency programs which are outlined in the TVA Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Tennessee page of the State Database.

Metro Water Services, a department of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville, is the municipal utility which provides drinking water, wastewater treatment and stormwater management services for Nashville.

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to TVA, NES achieved 4,198 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.04% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, NES and TVA spent $731,300 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 0.06% of annual revenue. In 2015, Piedmont Natural Gas either did not spend or did not report spending on natural gas efficiency programs. NES offers natural gas and electric efficiency tools and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

At this time, the City of Nashville does not have a formal partnership with NES or Piedmont Natural Gas in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

At this time, Nashville Electric Service and Piedmont Natural Gas do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers. 

Multifamily Programs

At this time, NES and Piedmont Natural Gas do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

NSE has not yet committed to providing the Green Button data sharing platform to its customers. NES does not provide Nashville’s building managers with automatic benchmarking data for use in Portfolio Manager. NES does not provide community aggregate energy usage data for public consumption for planning or program evaluation. At this time, the City of Nashville does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by the utilities.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

The Metro Water Services has not established any water efficiency programs, policies, or goals. The City of Nashville does have a water loss strategy, which involves replacing old water mains, reducing leakage rates, quick and timely leak repair, and a MeterSense Meter Data Management System that evaluates water losses. 

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The City of Nashville has established an energy management strategy aimed at increasing energy efficiency throughout the city’s water service operation system. This strategy is focused at analyzing and optimizing energy usage in treatment plants and in watershed management operations. Nashville’s wastewater treatment plant uses biogas captured from the treatment process to generate electricity onsite

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Under the Green Infrastructure Master Plan, the city provides guidelines and recommendations for green infrastructure projects, such as rain gardens, green roofs, and other stormwater control measures. The plan also outlines several green infrastructure projects to be included in the city’s budget for capital improvement.  

The Nashville Stormwater Management Manual, updated in 2016, outlines policies for stormwater management, including green infrastructure in new construction. The city also provides a Low Impact Development Manual to encourage site design approaches that utilize green infrastructure to meet a development site’s post development stormwater runoff water quality requirements. 

Nashville’s Metro Government has instituted several policies and programs to mitigate stormwater pollution, promote green infrastructure development and reduce sewerage overflow. Most significantly, Mayor Dean led the passage of legislation in 2009 that has helped fund $500 million in capital projects for Nashville’s water and sewer systems and more than $50 million in stormwater capital projects.

Last Updated: February 2017

Score: 11 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authorities serving the City of Nashville are The Metropolitan Transit District and the Regional Transportation Authority. The Metropolitan TD provides public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Regional TA provides commuter rail, express busses and vanpools. The Nashville Area MPO is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Nashville, and many surrounding communities and towns. Metropolitan Transit Authority is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Nashville has mandatory neighborhood form-based codes for the Downtown area. The city also has form-based codes for the rest of the city. The city requires 2 parking spaces at a minimum per single-family residential unit. Parking minimum requirements are removed altogether for downtown developments. The city has a Bonus Height Program for downtown developments. 

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

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

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There is one car sharing program currently available to the residents and visitors of Nashville, zipcar . The residents and visitors of Nashville also have access to Nashville Bcycle, a bicycle sharing service with 35 operational stations. 

Complete Streets

Nashville's Complete Streets Policy was passed in 2010 by Executive Order 40.

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The Metropolitan Transit District and Regional Transit Authority systems that serve Nashville have received $85,785,779 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $46.87 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the second lowest category ($25-49) available in transit funding. 

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. Nashville’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 5, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-14) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Nashville does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure. The city has 71 EV charging stations available for public use. 

Last updated: Januuary 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Nashville does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place nor does the city has any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

Nashville does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Nashville does not have a sustainable transportation plan in place.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Metro Nashville has a voluntary inclusionary zoning policy and incentives program for developers to include workforce housing units in developments along multimodal corridors and in the core of the city.

Last updated: January 2017