State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Oakland, CA

63.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
7 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan serves as a roadmap for the city to achieve its municipal sustainability goals.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The City of Oakland formally adopted a resolution establishing a municipal greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 83% below 2005 levels by 2050, with interim goals of 36% by 2020 and 56% by 2030. To meet this goal, the city must reduce per capita emissions by 2.73% annually. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations.  

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

Through East Bay Community Energy, the City of Oakland purchases 100% carbon-free electricity for all municipal accounts.

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Oakland adopted the Green Fleet Resolution of 2003 which details commitments to address the operation, procurement and management of fleet vehicles in order to improve efficiency. Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan includes action items to ensure that over 50% of the City’s fleet uses alternative fuels and 100% of non-emergency vehicle purchases beings zero emissions vehicles by 2030, as well as initiatives to increase electric vehicles charging stations. The city has only acquired only alternative fuel of hybrid vehicles for the past 10 years. Currently, Oakland’s municipal fleet is currently composed of 9.3% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Oakland’s Outdoor Lighting Standards require good lighting design and energy efficiency. The guidelines are in accordance with the Illumination Engineering Society’s lighting guidelines for all facilities. 95% of Oakland’s streetlights have been converted to LEDs.

Onsite renewable systems

Oakland has installed 1 MW of solar electric panels on rooftops of municipal facilities.

Inclusive procurement 

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

Updated: March 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

Oakland benchmarks 100% of buildings over 5,000 square feet.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategies

The city’s Energy Group conducts energy consumption and costs analyses to determine which public buildings are best suited to receive comprehensive retrofits. As part of the Energy and Climate Action Plan, Oakland details several priority actions to improve energy efficiency in buildings via retrofits. Measure KK, passed in 2016, includes $25 million for energy and water efficiency upgrades in City facilities.

Public Workforce Commuting

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

Updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 9.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Oakland adopted its Energy and Climate Action Plan in 2012, and most recently updated the plan in 2018.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan set a long-term community-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 83% by 2050 compared to a 2005 baseline. The city also established interim goals of a 36% reduction by 2020 and a 56% reduction by 2030. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects the city will not achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal. 

The city released a 2015 greenhouse gas inventory, which includes results from all previous inventories. 

Energy Reduction Goal

The city’s Energy and Climate Action Plan set goals to reduce electricity use 32% below 2005 levels by 2020 and natural gas use 14% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Renewable Energy Goal

The city has set goals of producing 62,000 MWh and 2.7 million therms of renewable energy by 2020.

Energy Data Reporting

PG&E provides energy data for Oakland, however access to the webpage is currently not available.

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

Equitable-Driven Community Engagement

The development of the city's Energy and Climate Action Plan included initiatives to solicit engagement from marginalized communities. Town hall meetings were held in Oakland's most climate-impacted neighborhoods at varying times and dates to expand accessibility. Language interpretation services, free meals, and child care were provided.

An Equity Facilitator conducted public outreach for the most recent update to the city’s Climate Action Plan. The role of the Facilitator is to ensure that outreach is executed equitably and that equity actions are integrated into the Climate Action Plan.

Oakland has also created a Multifamily and EV (Electric Vehicle) Working Group tasked with overcoming barriers to the installation of EV charging infrastructure in multifamily and low-income buildings.

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

Climate Action Plan and the city’s energy goals both consider equity factors and implications. The city also published an Equity Indicators Report, which tracks the effects of the energy cost burden on low-income communities, health impacts, and park quality (among other indicators). 

The Racial Equity Impact Assessment and Implementation Guide was developed by the city's Equity Facilitators team. This will help the city identify frontline communities and provide metrics for the city to study as it tracks implementation of climate action initiatives in the ECAP

Last updated: August 2020

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

The City of Oakland has partnered with University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and NASA Ames Research Center to launch the EcoBlock pilot project. The project focuses on the block-scale efficiency of a solar-powered DC microgrid.

Though it is not a specific policy, rule, or agreement, the draft Oakland 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan references plans to partner with East Bay Community Energy (the local community choice aggregator) to support the installation of local renewable energy (such as community solar) and energy storage. The city also offers streamlined permitting processes for residential rooftop solar systems. 

Last updated: July 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a quantifiable urban heat island mitigation goal, but Priority Actions 15 and 24 of the city’s Energy and Climate Action Plan state the intention to update building codes to include requirements for high albedo surfaces and develop an urban forestry master plan.

UHI Policies and Programs

Title 16 of Oakland’s code and Oakland’s Creek Protection, Stormwater Management & Discharge Control Ordinance addresses stormwater management, tree protection, cool roofs, and low impact development standards.  

Last updated: March 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 16 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Oakland adopted a city stretch code. The city does not have a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure, but the State of California requires benchmarking through AB 802. Oakland offers incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, solar installations, and to low-income property owners. The city mandates low-energy use requirements for cities.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of California allows local jurisdictions to adopt more stringent codes than the state. Oakland formally adopted the Green Building Ordinance that exceeds the statewide code.  To learn more about California’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial buildings adhere to the city’s Green Building Ordinance. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is score of 49.1.


Residential buildings adhere to the city’s Green Building Ordinance. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 58.1.

Solar- and EV-ready

California state code mandates new residential and commercial construction be solar-ready. Oakland adopted new codes requiring all new commercial construction be EV-ready and incorporate electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Low-energy use requirements

Title 18 of the city’s code requires commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet to achieve LEED Silver certification. Title 18 also mandates residential properties achieve Green Building Certification.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

The city buildings department has 63 staff members dedicated to plan checks and inspections but no staff members are soley dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city does require mandatory compliance verification through energy code. The city provides code compliance support through BayREN programs for single and multifamily units. Additionally, Oakland offers energy code compliance assistance at the Green Business Resource Center.

Last updated: September 2020

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 requiring all buildings 50,000 square feet and more to benchmark. The city does not have a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure program. AB 802 covers 56% of commercial and 44% of multifamily buildings in Oakland.


Residential and commercial building owners may access property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installation, and water conservation actions. The Oakland Building Maintenance Code includes a streamlined and expedited solar permitting provision.

The Weatherization and Energy Retrofit Revolving Loan Program offers income-eligible property owners 0% interest loans for home improvement projects. The program is only eligible to owner-occupied residential properties with less than 5 units. 

Last updated: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Oakland is a member and cofounder of BayREN, a multicity organization dedicated to home energy upgrades. BayREN also offers training and education workshops for building professional to encourage a better understand of the state’s energy code.

One of the goals of the EcoBlock pilot is to drive investment into local green jobs.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 11.5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

The City of Oakland is a founding member of East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), a local government Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), which includes the County of Alameda and 11 of its cities. EBCE provides clean energy choices for residents. Ratepayers can choose between three clean energy options that offer 41%, 45%, and 100% clean energy. EBCE offers some residential, commercial, and municipal energy efficiency programs. 

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and natural gas transmission and distribution utility and energy efficiency provider for the City of Oakland. The State of California requires spending and savings targets for its IOUs through an EERS and requires local government-utility partnerships through mandate by the California PUC. The municipally-run utilities are not required to meet the state EERS targets and report through the California Energy Commission. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is the municipal utility that provides the City of Oakland with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: May 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, PG&E reported 1,287,988 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 1.61% of its retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Oakland. In 2018, PG&E spent $363,338,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 2.67% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, PG&E reported 29.97 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 1.58% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2018, PG&E spent $294,599,628 on energy efficiency, which equates to $69.47 per residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover PG&E’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Oakland.

PG&E offers electric and natural gas efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

Oakland City Staff have been involved in the East Bay Energy Watch (EBEW), a PG&E Local Government Partnership since 2003 (originally called the Oakland Energy Partnership). The City of Oakland is also a founding member of East Bay Community Energy, a local government CCA with strong targets for local renewable energy systems (previously referenced).

Last Updated: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

PG&E offers the Energy Savings Assistance Program to qualified low-income residential customers. In addition to providing home assessments, in-home individualized energy education, and health and safety services, the ESA program provides appliance upgrades, hot water measures, building envelope upgrades, HVAC repair and replacement, lighting, and smart power strips in order to reduce energy consumption in low-income households. This program is implemented statewide by investor-owned utilities under the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission. It leverages the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and Low-Income Weatherization Program offerings.

The City of Oakland offers a Weatherization and Energy Retrofit Revolving Loan Program, which provides income-eligible property owners can access 0% interest loans ranging from $6,500 to $30,000 for weatherization and energy efficiency improvements to owner-occupied residential properties of 1 to 4 units.

In 2018, PG&E’s low-income programs achieved energy savings of 60,217 MWh and 2.91 MMtherms in savings, while spending $73,500,000 on electric and $51,000,000 on gas programs. PG&E served 85,168 electric and natural gas customers in 2018.

Multifamily Programs

PG&E offers the California New Homes Multifamily Program, Multifamily Upgrade Program, and Multifamily Cooling Optimizer Program. California New Homes Multifamily Program provides support and incentives for multifamily new construction projects to encourage builders to exceed California’s Title 24 energy efficiency standards. The Multifamily Upgrade Program promotes and facilitates energy-efficient retrofits of existing multifamily buildings” through technical support and incentives. The Multifamily Cooling Optimizer Program is a direct install program focused on HVAC measures in tenant spaces.

In 2018, PG&E’s multifamily programs saved 5,035 MWh and 0.23 MMtherms, while spending $15,344,728 and serving 25 electric units and 10 natural gas units.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

PG&E's Building Benchmarking Portal provides aggregate whole-building energy usage data in their ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to building owners. The City of Oakland advocates for policy improvements in data access through the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition, the California Energy Commission, and the PUC.

Last Updated: March 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, PG&E provided $16,817,792 in incentives for the installation of 14,610 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $1,151/kW installed. PG&E offered multiple incentive programs in 2018, including Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH), Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH), New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), and California Solar Initiative Thermal (CSI-Thermal). Through the CSI-Thermal program, PG&E provided $4,968,801 in incentives for the energy savings of 223,460 therms, equating to $22.24/therm.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The City of Oakland is a founding member of East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), a local government Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) with strong targets for local renewable energy systems. Renewable energy requirements are found in the Joint Powers Agreement for the agency. EBCE has a Local Business Development Plan, which sets their goals for local distributed renewable energy generation, and describes their desires for greater customer access to utility and meter data. The Oakland Clean Energy Initiative is an effort to provide more local clean energy in Alameda County by replacing an aging electricity generator in Oakland's Jack London Square area with a new clean energy source. This effort is in partnership with PG&E and East Bay Community Energy (EBCE).

In addition, the City has signed on to group letters of support to the CPUC for various renewable energy policies relating to program design or tariffs, attended hearings and provided testimony on energy efficiency and renewable energy rate cases, and pushed for policies related to renewable energy developments. For example, the mayor sent a letter to the CPUC to reject a proposal that would raise fees for people switching from their electricity provider to a city-run CCA program.

Oakland’s City Council has set ambitious climate targets that require electrifying the building stock as rapidly as possible. As an important first step, the City is exploring electrification-based building reach codes to include in its 2019 code updates. On June 13, 2019, Oakland and Berkeley convened a workshop with local market-rate and affordable multifamily housing developers and electrification experts to discuss the feasibility and benefits of building electrification and get feedback on how to craft electrification policies that do not inhibit development of housing.

Last Updated: May 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

PG&E partners with East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), the local water utility for Oakland, on the following water-energy efforts: joint customer audit referral programs, joint appliance efficiency upgrade rebates, and shared R&D for joint customer technology and benefits offerings. EBMUD also offers efficiency rebate programs, ranging from residential to commercial and municipal rebates on appliances and equipment, lawn conversion, and audit programs, while PG&E offers rebates for high-efficiency commercial dishwashers.

EBMUD has both a Water Conservation Master Plan and a Strategic Plan to achieve its water conservation goals. Since the Master Plan’s first adoption in 1994, EBMUD customers have saved an estimated 26 million gallons per day (MGD) through conservation practices. EBMUD hopes to save an additional 39 MGD by 2040.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

At this time, EBMUD has not set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies. EBMUD self-generates energy through hydropower, solar power, and biogas production.

Last Updated: June 2020

Score: 19.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Oakland, and the cities and towns in the Bay Area. Oakland's Housing Element encourages mixed-used developments, while promoting incentives to low and medium income housing developments. Oakland has a complete streets policy, and a fully operational car sharing program.

Updated: April 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Oakland Department of Transportation’s (OakDOT) Strategic Plan was updated in 2016 and provides detailed strategies to integrate VMT reduction with utilization of low-carbon modes of transportation. The Strategic Plan's 2019 Progress Report reveals expanded mobility services and infrastructural improvements to encourage active mobility and transit as measures to reduce citywide VMT. In 2019, City Council also adopted OakDOT's Let's Bike Oakland Plan to increase cycling options and infrastructure in the City's most underserved areas.

The City’s 2020 Energy and Climate Action Plan was updated in 2018 to refine transportation policies to reduce VMT (Pages 71, 74). In addition, the draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan includes a section dedicated to Transportation and Land Use that consists of several action items to increase transit ridership and active mobility options to reduce VMT of single occupancy vehicles. 

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

The City’s 2020 Energy and Climate Action Plan provides a 36% reduction goal across all sectors by 2020, including transportation. (1)

In 2017, the City also changed CEQA review to focus on VMT rather than congestion impacts.

The City monitors and measures VMT reductions via the regional EMFAC model maintained by the regional transportation agency: the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).  MTC provides annual updates to the City via email regarding the VMT on area roads, allowing tracking against the City’s goal of 20% VMT reduction by 2020.  The model is both usable for projects and overall annual VMT.  The model and details are found here.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

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

Last Updated: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

The City of Oakland’s 1998 General Plan includes a Land Use and Transportation Element, which directs development to Downtown and areas within a half mile of major transit corridors and commuter train stations. This strategy concentrates development where there is available land and transit, in order to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenfield development and create compact, walkable neighborhood centers designated as Priority Development Areas in 2013.

The 2020 ECAP Update indicates that the goal of improving transportation & land planning integration in every planning effort is fully underway (Page 71), and the action item to update local CEQA standards to reduce emphasis on congestion impact is completed (Page 74).

The Zoning Code strongly incentivizes TOD, including zero parking requirements in TOD areas, density bonuses, and State funding via the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.  More than 90% of pending development (more than 15,000 units) in City is TOD.

Residential Parking Policies

The City removed parking minimum requirements throughout downtown and halved them along major transit corridors.  (1)

The 2020 ECAP Update highlights 5 action items under “Refine Parking Policies to Encourage Low-Carbon Mobility” (Pages 94-95)  and includes the priority action “Impose Parking Maximums and Develop Strategies to Minimize Parking Need” (Page 48). 

The draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan includes an action item to revise pricing, availability, and location of parking to encourage active transportation, transit, and clean vehicles (Page 18).

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Allowable densities are significantly higher in TOD areas, which represent more than 90% of active development in the city.

Last Updated: March 2020

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

Mode share targets are established in Oakland’s CURB report.  Page 24 of the CURB Final Report identifies targets by mode, including low-capacity TNC, high-capacity TNC, Shared Minibus, Bus/BRT, BART, Amtrak, Ferryboat, Bicycle, and Pedestrian.  (1)

The 2020 ECAP establishes 15 action items under “Advance the Use of Low-Carbon Transportation Modes” (Pages 93-94).  (2)

The draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan includes several action items to encourage a mode shift from SOV trips to public transit (Pages 17-19). 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Annual updates on some modes (bicycle, pedestrian) are provided in the annual Sustainable Oakland Report.  Comprehensive mode reporting is being developed at present by Oakland DOT.

Complete Streets

Oakland’s complete streets policy scored an 40.4 out of 100 according to the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Car Sharing

In 2015, the City of Oakland adopted a resolution (85459 C.M.S) to create a pilot program to create dedicated spaces for car share in public parking spaces and in municipal lots and garages throughout Oakland. The resolution also accepted and appropriated funds from MTC, which committed the City to work with CSOs to locate cars in ‘underserved minority low-income communities.

Bike Sharing

The city has 198.097 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of Oakland received $1,226,766,007 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $259.39 per capita between 2014 and 2018 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

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. The City of Oakland Transit Connectivity Index value is 8.3, scoring 1.5 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: May 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

There are several programs available to Oakland residents including those provided through PG&E EV Information and IncentivesClean Cars 4 All, the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

PG&E provides $800 in rebates for the installation of level 2 chargers through the Clean Fuel Rebate program. The city's 2020 ECAP Update also lists a priority action to plan for EV Charging Infrastructure (Page 30).

EV Charging Locations

The City has 45 charging stations available for public use, equivalent to 10.488 stations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

The City provides free solar EV charging and emergency power to City employees and emergency response services.

Last Updated: March 2020

Freight System EfficiencyList All

The Port of Oakland approved its Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan. The Port will instate emissions reduction programs and projects, such as converting a portion of the Port’s fleet to battery-electric vehicles, using renewable diesel in the Port’s diesel-powered equipment and vehicle fleet, expanding the electrical charging infrastructure for the Port’s vehicle fleet, and developing a guide for EV charging infrastructure projects in the Seaport Area. More info here

The City is also expected to receive $9 million in grant funds from the California Air Resources Board. The money will be used to add electric trucks to the Port of Oakland as well as pledge up to $2 million to building charging stations. These actions are expected to minimize the impact of containerized freight transportation on air quality. More info here.

Last Updated: March 2020

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Oakland's Housing Element contains a goal to promote the development of adequate housing for low- and moderate-income Households. The city targets development and marketing resources in priority development areas. The Housing Element details Oakland's policies to encourage mixed use development incentives, transit-oriented development, and new development at a range of prices. Additionally, Oakland offers density bonuses for low and moderate-income units.

There are 7 action items in the 2020 ECAP under “Advance Infill, Mixed-Use, and TOD” regarding affordable housing support in transit oriented development (Pages 92-93). 

The draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan  includes an action item to update the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Guidelines to further prioritize development near transit (Page 17). 

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Oakland offers several programs for low-income residents for efficient transportation options including the Bike Share for all Reduced Fare Program, the BORP & Bay Wheels' Adaptive Bike Share Pilot, the Clipper Card Discounts (Bus and Metro), the Lime Access Program, the West Oakland Zero Emission Grant Program, the Mobility Hubs at Affordable Housing Pilot (regional), and the GIG Free-Floating Car Share

Last Updated: May 2020