State and Local Policy Database

New Orleans

City Scorecard Rank


New Orleans, LA

28.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
2.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

New Orleans is in the process of developing a strategy for improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions in internal government operations as part of the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation. While New Orleans’s energy efficiency-related actions have been limited, the city has taken steps to reduce energy use from public outdoor lighting.

Last updated: April 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

New Orleans is in the process of finalizing and launching the city's first climate action strategy. The strategy includes a goal to reduce city energy use 15% from its 2014 baseline by 2020. Through its involvement in the 100 Resilient Cities Initiatives of the Rockefeller Foundation, New Orleans launched a comprehensive resilience plan August 2015. This plan created the Mayor's Office of Resilience and Sustainability, which is spearheading the city's work to launch a climate action strategy in 2017 and hiring an energy efficiency manager to coordinate the city's work with the City Energy Project.  






The city publishes quarterly reports, Results NOLA, on departmental key performance indicators. New Orleans reports on some of its efficiency activities in these reports. 

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

New Orleans does not have specific fuel efficiency requirements for the city fleet and does not have right-sizing policies or anti-idling policies for the city fleet.

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

We could not confirm if New Orleans has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. New Orleans has begun an outdoor lighting replacement program for publicly-owned lighting and has replaced more than 75% of its streetlights. All streetlights have photo sensors, so they only operate from dawn to dusk. 

New Buildings and Equipment

New Orleans is in the process of setting energy efficiency requirements for public buildings and for local government procurement processes.

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

New Orleans is in year two of a three year project to benchmark the city's buildings and will implement upgrades starting in 2017. The City of New Orleans and Green Coast Enterprises, thanks to funding and guidance from NRDC, benchmarked 100 percent of the energy used by the 92 city owned buildings in the fall of 2013. The city is now using Wego Wise to continue to track this information. In addition, they did ASHRAE Level 1 audits of 17 facilities to advise the city on next steps for an overall energy management strategy. The findings of this report were released publicly at Greenbuild in New Orleans in October of 2014.

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: 7 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

New Orleans’s Resilience Project leads the city’s implementation of its community-wide energy efficiency initiatives.

Last updated: April 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

The New Orleans City Council, which regulates the city's utility services, formally adopted an energy savings goal as part of Resolution R-15-599 for Entergy New Orleans, the utility serving the city, to ramp up energy savings annually by .2% to achieve 2% annual energy savings. The city is currently on track to achieve this goal.

New Orleans has made committed to the Compact of Mayors and aims to complete a climate action plan with climate goals by 2018. Commitments to complete a climate action plan are also included in the city's Resilient New Orleans Strategy and the city’s Plan for the 21st Century. The city completed a greenhouse gas inventory in 2016 and is finalizing its climate action strategy for launch in 2017 with reduction goals for 2030.

Last updated: April 2017

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

The city is currently working with Sandia National Labratory, Entergy New Orleans and the Sewerage and Water Board to conduct feasibility studies for the installation of microgrids in areas of the city identified as important resilience hubs. 

Last updated: April 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city is in the process of adopting an urban heat island mitigation goal.

The New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance contains numerous requirements and incentives that mitigate the urban heat island effect. The city’s zoning code requires the use of low impact development techniques in site design, protects private trees on sites undergoing development, and encourages the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns.

Last updated: April 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 7.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

New Orleans has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Department of Safety and Permits and the Louisiana State Fire Marshal manage building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of New Orleans.

Last Updated: February 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Louisiana is a home rule state and allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes which are more stringent than the minimum state requirements, or to suit their local conditions. At this time, the minimum state standard requires residential buildings to comply with the 2009 IRC with reference to the 2009 IECC. Commercial buildings must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2007.


Although local authority is permitted, New Orleans has not adopted amendments or stretch codes regarding commercial buildings.


Although local authority is permitted, New Orleans has not adopted amendments or stretch codes regarding residential buildings.

Last Updated: February 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

New Orleans has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. New Orleans has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. The City Planning Office provides free guidance and information relative to building code compliance to customers that go to the planning office to apply for permits and waivers.

Last Updated: February 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

New Orleans has not yet established above-code building requirements for any class of building.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

New Orleans does not yet require commercial buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning. New Orleans requires residential buildings to undergo HVAC duct leakage testing and whole house air leakage testing at the time of renovations or new construction.

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Financing for energy-efficient affordable housing is provided through the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.

Last Updated: February 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

New Orleans has a benchmarking program in place for its municipal buildings. The city does not yet have a benchmarking program for private sector buildings.

The MLS service that serves the New Orleans area includes fields for energy-efficient measures.

Last Updated: February 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 2.5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Entergy New Orleans, an investor-owned utility (IOU) and subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, is the primary electric and natural gas utility serving the City of New Orleans. Entergy New Orleans, which is regulated by the City of New Orleans, offers a portfolio of energy efficiency programs called Energy Smart. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Louisiana page of the State Database.

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans provides drinking water and wastewater treatment services to the City of New Orleans. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to Entergy New Orleans’s demand side management report, they achieved 20,349 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.29% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, Entergy New Orleans spent $5,648,627 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 1.03% of annual revenue. Entergy New Orleans's Energy Smart program does not include natural gas efficiency measures. Spending on electricity efficiency represented in this section covers New Orleans Parish, not just New Orleans. Entergy New Orleans offers electric efficiency incentives to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.

Last Updated: February 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Entergy New Orleans offers an Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program to qualified low-income residential customers. This program provides up to $3,000 worth of energy efficiency upgrades for attic insulation, air sealing, and duct sealing to both homeowners and renters. The program is implemented in collaboration with CLEAResult and two top-performing contractors.

In 2015, according to Entergy New Orleans’s demand-side management report, it achieved 1,335 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $743,327 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 220 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $3,379 and saving an average of 6,066 kWh. The program did not report natural gas spending or savings.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, Entergy New Orleans does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Entergy New Orleans recently filed an application to install advanced metering, which will enable them to provide real-time data access. Entergy New Orleans does not provide building managers or owners with automatic whole-building benchmarking data for input into Portfolio Manager and does not participate in the Green Button program. Entergy New Orleans does not provide community-wide energy use data for community planning and evaluation purposes. The City's climate action plan, to be completed in 2018, calls for the city and Entergy to establish data protocols.

Last Updated: February 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans does not haev a water efficiency goal in place, but they are in the process of upgrading many of its leakiest pipes to address system water loss.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans has not yet established an energy efficiency goal for water operations. There are not currently any programs in place for energy efficiency in water operations. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

There are currently no policies, programs, funding, or incentive structures in place to encourage green infrastructure for stormwater management on private properties. However, as of January 2017, there is an RFP out for projects totaling $2.5 million over 5 years that will focus on green infrastructure projects with stormwater elements included. New Orleans adopted a new comprehensive zoning ordinance which has provisions and requirements related to stormwater management on private properties.

Public Funding is not in place for green stormwater infrastructure on public property, but there are sustainable features, including rain gardens and bioswales, incorporated into select municipal government projects.

Last Updated: February 2017

Score: 9 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving New Orleans is the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA). RTA provides the public transportation for the city and broader metropolitan area, including bus and streetcar services. The New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC) is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses New Orleans and surrounding jurisdictions. New Orleans’s Department of Public Works is charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

New Orleans has adopted a comprehensive zoning ordinance which contains provisions that promotes location-efficient development.. New Orleans requires 1 parking space, at a minimum, per multifamily unit. In 2011, New Orleans passed a complete streets policy (Ch. 146, Sec. 146-36). There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

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

Car and Bicycle Sharing

New Orleans does not have a comprehensive car sharing program. New Orleans does not currently have a bike share program, but the city completed a feasibility study, Bike Share Program Study, and is planning to develop a bike share program in the future.

Complete Streets

In 2011, New Orleans passed a complete streets policy (Ch. 146, Sec. 146-36).

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The RTA transit system that serves New Orleans received $116,232,222 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $92.04 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the fifth highest category (50-99) 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. New Orleans’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 15, putting it in the third highest category (15-29) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, New Orleans 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 11 EV charging stations available for public use. 

Municipal staff from New Orleans engage with the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuels Partnership Coalition, which works to reduce petroleum use in transportation.

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

We could not confirm if New Orleans has a sustainable freight transportation plan in place or if the city has any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

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

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

New Orleans’ Metropolitan Transportation Plan outlines several strategies to encourage or increase transportation choices beyond single-occupancy vehicles. These strategies include increased transit use, pedestrian facilities, and expanded bike lanes. We could not information on whether the city has specific VMT or greenhouse gas reduction targets.  

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

We could not confirm if New Orleans has requirements or incentives in place to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Last updated: January 2017