State and Local Policy Database

New Orleans

City Scorecard Rank


New Orleans, LA

25.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
Score: 3 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of New Orleans released the city’s Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans plan in 2017.

Climate Mitigation Goal

We did not find information regarding a local government climate mitigation goal. 

Energy Reduction Goal

New Orleans established a goal to reduce municipal energy use 15% below 2014 levels by 2020.

Renewable Energy Goal

In its climate action plan, the city cited using 100% low-carbon energy to meet the city’s climate mitigation goal.

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition 

New Orleans does not have fuel efficiency requirements or procurement policies for the municipal fleet. We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public Lighting

New Orleans has not 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.

Onsite renewable systems

As part of a Entergy New Orleans' 5 MG rooftop solar project, New Orleans has installed a 300 kW solar system on the Streetcar Barn. 

Inclusive procurement 

We could not verify if the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes, however New Orleans has a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program for suppliers and contractors. 

Last updated: July 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

New Orleans completed a three-year project to benchmark the city’s buildings and will implement upgrades starting in 2017. As of 2019, the City has benchmarked 100% of public buildings. The city is now using Wego Wise to continue to track this information.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategies

New Orleans conducted 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. The City implemented no- to low-cost upgrades on dozens of public buildings, including operational optimization, in order to improve energy efficiency.  One building (new construction) saw a 50% reduction in its energy use after these changes.  Audits, workscopes and budgets were prepared on 17 high-priority buildings, and we are seeking private funding to cover the cost of the retrofits, in combination with accessing utility incentives.  The city also offers GPRO training for facilities staff. 

Public Workforce Commuting

We did not find information on a policy aimed at reducing commutes of city employees, such as flexible schedules or telework.

Last updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 5.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of New Orleans released the Climate Action Strategy in 2017.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Climate Action Strategy established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis. 

The Climate Action Strategy and the climate action webpage both include emissions data.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Climate Action Strategy included a goal to achieve 3.3% annual energy savings by 2030.

Renewable Energy Goal

The Climate Action Strategy established goals to achieve 100% low-carbon electricity and install 255 megawatts of local solar capacity by 2030. Low-carbon electricity includes renewable energy sources, energy efficiency measures, and nuclear energy.

Recently, the New Orleans City Council also approved a binding renewable and clean portfolio standard mandating a net-zero emissions by 2040 and a fully zero-carbon energy portfolio by 2050 (the 2050 goal does not allow for the purchase of RECs to achieve net-zero emissions). 

Energy Data Reporting

The Climate Action Strategy and the climate action webpage include energy emissions data.

Last updated: July 2020

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

In 2018, New Orleans launched the Climate Equity Project, a broad and comprehensive approach to equitable climate and energy planning. 

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

The New Orleans City Council opened docket UD-18-03 for rulemaking for community solar projects.

Last updated: July 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

The city has incorporated urban heat island mitigation policies into the city’s zoning code. Article 5.8.C requires project sites to incorporate low-impact development techniques and grants development bonuses for such. Article 23.10 requires private trees be protected in development sites. Article 5.5.B promotes the protection of land along dense residential developments. The Finance Authority of New Orleans recently changed its business model to only provide loans to properties that install green infrastructure resilience upgrades (or energy efficiency measures or solar).

Last updated: July 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 6.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of New Orleans enforces the state’s energy code, though the city does have authority to adopt building energy codes at the municipal level. The city established a compressive code compliance verification process. New Orleans has not adopted a benchmarking and disclosure policy. New Orleans offers several incentives for energy efficient actions. The city does not require building owners perform additional above-code energy actions.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


While the State of Louisiana is a home rule state that technically allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes which are more stringent than the minimum state requirements, the state has several restrictive regulations that essentially prohibit cities from adopting their own energy codes. 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.


New Orleans has not adopted amendments or stretch codes regarding commercial buildings but the city has advocated for more stringent energy codes at the state level. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 70.3.


New Orleans has not adopted amendments or stretch codes regarding commercial buildings but the city has advocated for more stringent energy codes at the state level.  The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 68.0.

Solar- and EV-ready

The city has not passed an ordinance mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV-ready.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

New Orleans does not staff full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city requires third-party plan reviews and performance testing to verify code compliance. The City Planning Office provides in-house guidance and information regarding building code compliance.

Last updated: September 2020

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority provides financing for energy efficiency projects in affordable housing units.

Entergy New Orleans’s Energy Smart program offers energy efficiency incentives for commercial and residential building owners. The program also sets aside incentives for income-eligible households.

In 2019, the Finance Authority of New Orleans shifted its model to only provide loans to properties that install EE, solar or green infrastructure resilience upgrades.

Voluntary programs

The city implements a voluntary program, the NOLA Energy Challenge, that engages commercial and multifamily buildings in tracking and lowering their energy use. 

Last updated: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

We were unable to find information on energy efficiency and renewable energy workforce development. 

Last updated: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 2 out of 15 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: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, Entergy New Orleans achieved 42,317 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.72% of retail sales. In 2018, Entergy New Orleans spent $11,468,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 2.01% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, Entergy New Orleans reported no natural gas savings from efficiency programs. Savings from 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: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Entergy New Orleans offers a Low-Income Audit & Weatherization program which gives qualified customers the opportunity to receive energy efficiency measures in their homes free of charge. Projects range from direct install measures, such as LED light bulbs and water savings measures, to smart thermostats and comprehensive envelope measures (attic insulation, air sealing and duct sealing). Local government, nonprofit, and community organizations provide input into program design and delivery through various technical conferences and through the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which consists of numerous government and community groups and meets annually.

In 2018, according to Entergy New Orleans, it achieved 2,029 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 521 low-income customers. Spending value for 2018 was not available.

Multifamily Programs

Entergy New Orleans offers the Multi-Family program, which targets multi-family property owners and managers, as well as apartment and condo renters. The program addresses their unique needs, which are often overlooked, through a combination of incentives for both direct install and prescriptive measures, and through property owner and tenant education. The program was expanded to include duplex homes, which provided more opportunities for energy savings within this program. The program inspection includes a visual inspection of the common and living spaces, attics, and crawl space/basement, and exterior of the building, as well as discussion of lifestyle and customer behaviors that impact energy use. Following the assessment, the program recommends home improvements to increase energy efficiency. The Multifamily program provides incentives for installing ceiling insulation, duct sealing, and air infiltration sealing in the form of a discount to the customer.

In 2018, according to Entergy New Orleans, it saved 773 MWh from its multifamily program while serving 504 customers. Spending value for 2018 was not available.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In 2019, Entergy New Orleans created an automated solution that aggregates usage data of multitenant buildings and automatically transmits it to Portfolio Manager. In order to participate, buildings need four or more active meters or consent from all tenants. Smart meters are also being installed by Entergy New Orleans. The City of New Orleans does not advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers or the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities.

Last Updated: June 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, Entergy New Orleans did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In 2018, Entergy New Orleans produced 0% of its total generation from renewable sources.

As of April 15, 2020, the City Council confirmed its commitment to 100% Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard by 2040. At the end of 2019, Entergy New Orleans had 6 MW of solar installed in Orleans parish and the Council has approved an additional 90 MW, which will be in service in 2021. While the rest of the state has removed full retail net metering for new customers, New Orleans is committed to maintaining this policy. 

Last Updated: May 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Currently the energy and water utilities do not partner to provide joint energy and water efficiency programs. The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans does not have a water efficiency goal in place, but it is in the process of upgrading many of its leakiest pipes to address system water loss.

Water plant 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.

Last Updated: March 2020

Score: 8.5 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

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

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.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

New Orleans does not have a VMT/GHG target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

New Orleans does not track progress towards a VMT/GHG target.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

New Orleans has adopted a comprehensive zoning ordinance which contains provisions that promotes location-efficient development.

Residential Parking Policies

New Orleans requires 1 parking space, at a minimum, per multifamily unit. In certain neighborhoods parking requirements are removed altogether.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

New Orleans does not provide location efficiency incentives or require location efficiency disclosure.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

New Orleans does not have a mode shift target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

New Orleans does not track progress towards a mode shift target.

Complete Streets

New Orleans’s complete streets policy scored an 70.8 out of 100 according to the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Car Sharing

New Orleans does not have a supportive parking policy for carsharing vehicles.

Bike Sharing

The city has 0 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

New Orleans spends an average of $93.51 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 7.4 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

The city does not have any incentives in place for EV charging infrastructure installation.

EV Charging Locations

New Orleans has 4.58 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

New Orleans does not have any incentives for the renewable EV charging infrastructure installation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

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

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

New Orleans does not have any requirements or incentives in place to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

New Orleans does not provide any subsidies for efficient transportation options to low-income residents.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

49.9% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) are located near high-quality, all-day transit in New Orleans.  

Last Updated: April 2019