State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Newark, NJ

17.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
0.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Newark adopted the Sustainability Action Plan to drive climate and energy action in both the community and municipal operations.  

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for municipal operations, but the Sustainability Action Plan states a general intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in city operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Sustainability Action Plan included a goal to reduce municipal energy use 20% by 2018, but we did not find information regarding a current municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal.

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

We could not find a current procurement policy or fuel efficiency requirements. However, in the Sustainability Action Plan, the City highlights the prioritization of GHG emissions reduction in fleet management as possible policy changes, as well as an increased focus on fuel efficiency and electric vehicle use. 

Public Lighting 

We did not find information regarding the adoption of a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. We could not confirm if Newark has an outdoor lighting upgrade program.

Onsite renewable systems

We were unable to find information regarding onsite renewable energy systems in Newark.

Inclusive procurement 

We could not verify if the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes.

Last updated: March 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

We were unable to find information regarding Newark’s benchmarking practices.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

We were unable to confirm if Newark has implemented a retrofit strategy, but the city had listed efficiency retrofits through an energy service company as an action step associated with the city’s goal to reduce municipal energy consumption by 20%. The ESCO will perform an energy audit to develop a comprehensive Energy Savings Plan and will recommend energy conservation measures to the City.

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: 1 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Newark released its first Sustainability Action Plan in 2013 and is set to release an updated version of the plan in 2020.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Sustainability Plan sets a goal to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The city also has a goal to reduce emissions 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. 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.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide energy reduction goal for the city.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide renewable energy goal for the city.

Energy Data Reporting

The city does not report community-wide energy data.

This section applies only to community-wide energy data reporting. For information on data reporting due to building energy benchmarking and disclosure policies, click on the Buildings tab.

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

Newark entered into an energy performance contract to install combined heat and power into existing energy systems. 

Last updated: March 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

The city’s Sustainability Action Plan includes a goal to double the city’s tree canopy.

UHI Policies and Programs

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

Last updated: March 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 7 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Newark enforces the state’s building energy codes. 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 New Jersey requires all commercial buildings to meet ASHRAE 90.1-2016 and all residential buildings to meet 2018 IECC with local amendments. To learn more about the building energy codes required in the State of New Jersey, please visit the State Policy Database.


New Jersey requires all commercial buildings to meet ASHRAE 90.1-2016. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 48.7.


New Jersey requires all residential buildings to meet 2018 IECC with local amendments. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 51.5.

Solar- and EV-ready

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

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

We could not find information on the number of full time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code. The city's code requires plan reviews and site inspections to verify compliance. We could not find information regarding upfront support for code compliance.

Last updated: September 2020

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

New Jersey's Clean Energy Act of 2018 requires benchmarking by owners and operators of commercial buildings over 25,000 sq. ft. using the USEPA Portfolio Manager tool.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

We could not verify if the city has programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 2 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Public Service Enterprises Group (PSE&G), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and natural gas utility for the City of Newark. Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in New Jersey are administered by the Office of Clean Energy within the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) under the New Jersey Clean Energy Program. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the New Jersey page of the State Database.

The Newark Department of Water and Sewer Utilities is the municipal utility that provides the City of Newark with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, according to NJ BPU and PSE&G, PSE&G achieved 168,926 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 0.40% of its retail sales. In 2018, PSE&G spent $22,402,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 0.60% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, PSE&G reported 3.14 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 0.17% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2018, PSE&G spent $15,844,000 on energy efficiency, which equates to $9.42 per residential customer. These savings figures cover PSE&G’s entire service jurisdiction, not just Newark.

PSE&G offers electric and natural gas efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential customers.

At this time, the City of Newark does not have a formal partnership with PSE&G in the form of a jointly developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

PSE&G implements the statewide Comfort Partners program for customers within its electric and gas service territory. The program provides for free installation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures in the home (determined on a home-specific basis) which can include efficient lighting, hot water conservation measures (e.g. water heater insulation, water heater pipe insulation and energy-saving showerheads and aerators), refrigerator replacement, new thermostats, insulation, air and duct sealing, heating/cooling equipment maintenance, and other measures.

The Comfort Partners program is administered jointly by all of the electric and gas utilities in New Jersey on behalf of the NJ State Office of Clean Energy (NJOCE). The utilities partner with NJOCE in designing, implementing and promoting the Program. The utilities partner with the NJ Department of Community Affairs’ Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), local municipalities, and nonprofits to leverage funding and resources in order to more comprehensively address the challenging housing stock encountered, and also partner with local nonprofits to assist with promoting the program to low income customers.

In 2018, according to NJOCE, PSE&G saved 2,662 MWh and 0.12 MMtherms in energy savings, while spending $4,888,000 and $7,333,000 on its electric and natural gas low-income programs, respectively. PSE&G served 3,114 and 2,835 electric and natural gas low-income customers in 2018.

Multifamily Programs

PSE&G’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency program provides technical expertise, upfront funding for engineering and construction costs, zero percent interest, and on-bill repayment of the customer portion of the project cost. The program includes lighting, heating and cooling system upgrades, motors, domestic hot water equipment, appliances, insulation, air sealing and other energy efficiency opportunities for both electric and natural gas fuels as well as both residential and common equipment owned by the property owner. The program aims to provide deep retrofits by offering a wide variety of cost-effective measures. The program serves both market rate and low-income properties, and properties financed by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) are given 10 years to repay their project costs, instead of the 5-year term provided to non-NJHMFA properties.

In 2018, according to PSE&G, it achieved 5,600 MWh and 0.41 MMtherms savings from its multifamily program, while spending $4,130,000 on electric and $4,910,000 on natural gas multifamily programs. PSE&G served while serving 2850 multifamily customers in 2018.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

PSE&G does not provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings. The City of Newark 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: March 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, PSE&G did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

At this time, we cannot confirm if city of Newark participates in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

The energy and water utilities do not offer joint energy and water efficiency programs. At this point, the City of Newark has not established a water savings target or goal.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

The water utility has not set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: March 2020

Score: 6.5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Newark does not have a sustainable transportation plan in place.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

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

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Newark does not track progress towards a VMT/GHG target.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Newark’s zoning ordinance is a form-based code.

Residential Parking Policies

Newark has not reduced minimum parking requirements for developers.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Newark does not have location efficient incentives or disclosure requirements.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

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

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Newark does not track progress towards their mode shift target.

Complete Streets

Newark’s complete streets policy scored an 45.6 out of 100 according to the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Car Sharing

We could not confirm that Newark has supportive parking policies for car sharing vehicles.

Bike Sharing

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

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

Newark spends an average of $80.33 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 8.7 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

PSE&G offers a time-of-use rate for EV charging at reduced off-peak rates.

EV Charging Locations

Newark has 6.31 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

We were unable to confirm if Newark has any incentives for the renewable EV charging infrastructure installation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Newark 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

The city’s R10 Program promotes construction with a focus on location efficiency by providing density bonuses to developments that provide a certain number of affordable housing.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

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

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

63.7% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) are located near high-quality, all-day transit in Newark.  

Last Updated: April 2019