State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Oakland, CA

59.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
6 out of 9 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 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. Oakland is on track to meet its climate mitigation goal. 

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 2019

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 sets a goal to achieve a 36% reduction in city-related fuel consumption by 2020. Oakland’s fleet is composed of 12.4% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicle.

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.

Green Building Requirements

The City's Green Building Ordinance requires LEED silver certification for all new municipal buildings. Additionally, Oakland's environmental preferable purchasing policy requires purchases of energy-efficient equipment with the most up-to-date energy efficiency functions.

Updated: March 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Oakland benchmarks 100% of buildings over 5,000 square feet. 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: March 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 9 out of 16 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: June 2019

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. ACEEE does not project the city will meet its 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 by 2020.

Energy Data Reporting

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

Last updated: June 2019

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

Equitable-Driven Community Engagement

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, though we were unable to determine whether the city took a unique and expanded approach in conducting outreach for multiple clean energy initiatives to marginalized groups compared with outreach to other city constituencies.

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.

Last updated: June 2019

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.

The city also provides a streamlined processing for solar permits.

Last updated: June 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

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.

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: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 19 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: March 2019

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.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

The city does not have staff solely 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: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

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.


The city does not have a single-family benchmarking and disclosure ordinance. 

Last updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Oakland offers seven incentives and financing options for energy efficiency, solar, and low-income projects.

Alameda County offers a range of rebates, including rebates for energy efficiency upgrades. The city also offers energy efficiency incentives for green builders.

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. 

Please note that each incentive/program is tallied based on the building types and energy resources eligible for award. For example, a PACE financing program that offers energy efficiency and renewable energy financing to both residential and commercial property owners is counted as four incentives.

Last updated: July 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

The city requires building developers perform one energy action to achieve low-energy use buildings.

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: March 2019

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: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 10 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and natural gas utility 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: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, PG&E reported 1,343,224 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 1.63% of its retail sales. In 2017, PG&E reported 28.00 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 1.45% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. These savings figures cover PG&E’s entire service jurisdiction, not just 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). Oakland City Staff served as co-chair to EBEW’s Strategic Advisory Committee (2016-17). The Oakland Clean Energy Initiative is a direct partnership with PG&E and East Bay Community Energy that will use local resources to replace an aging electricity generator in Oakland’s Jack London Square area, which runs on jet fuel, with newer, reliable sources of clean energy. 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 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

PG&E offers the Energy Savings Assistance Program to qualified low-income residential customers. The program provides direct installation of lighting efficiency upgrades, HVAC tune-ups, smart power strips, and refrigerator recycling/replacement 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. In 2017, PG&E’s low-income programs achieved energy savings of 59,263 MWh and 1.65 MMtherms while serving 87,052 electric and natural gas customers.

Multifamily Programs

PG&E offers the California New Homes Multifamily Program. This comprehensive program provides support for saving energy in the residential new construction sector with a cross-cutting focus on sustainable design and construction, green building practices, energy efficiency, and emerging technologies. Through a combination of education, design assistance and financial support, the programs work to encourage building and related industries to exceed California's Title 24 energy efficiency standards. Additionally, PG&E offers the Multifamily Properties Energy-Efficiency Rebates Program (MUP)which offers rebates to owners and managers of existing multifamily properties to help maximize comprehensive energy efficiency improvements to individual tenant units and common areas for apartment buildings, mobile home parks, and condominium complexes. Rebates are available for products installed in both common areas and units. Additionally, the PG&E Multifamily Upgrade Program (MUP) promotes and facilitates energy-efficient retrofits of multifamily housing (“projects”) through program coordination, technical support, and cash incentives. In 2017, PG&E’s multifamily portfolio saved 29,443 MWh and served 6,317 units.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order to assist large building managers with accessing aggregated energy data for building benchmarking, PG&E provides automatic data entry into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. 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 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, PG&E provided $14,998,004 in incentives for the installation of 14,238 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $1,039/kW installed. PG&E offered four different solar incentive programs in 2017, including Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH), Single Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH), New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

The MASH program is currently closed to new applicants and has been replaced by the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH). SOMAH is a statewide program that aims to install 30 MW of generating capacity by 2030, making solar accessible to low-income ratepayers in the state. The SASH program provides one up-front capacity-based incentive of $3 per watt to qualified low-income homeowners for the installation of solar systems. NSHP provided incentives to encourage home builders to construct new, energy efficient solar homes. NSHP is no longer accepting applications, as the program has ended per Senate Bill 83. SGIP provides financial incentives for business and residential customers installing new, qualifying equipment for generating and storing energy, applying to both renewable and non-renewable technologies.

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 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).

Last Updated: March 2019

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.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

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. At this time, EBMUD has not set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies, nor does the city’s water system self-generate its own energy through methane capture or other means such as CHP.

Last Updated: March 2019

Score: 15.5 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 DOT’s Strategic Plan was updated in 2016) and provides detailed strategies to integrate VMT reduction with utilization of low-carbon modes of transportation.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

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

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

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

Last Updated: March 2019

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.

Residential Parking Policies

The Downtown Oakland Parking Management Plan includes actions to remove minimum parking requirements from the Zoning Code and to establish maximum parking requirements in the Zoning Code.

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 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

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

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Oakland does not track progress towards their mode shift target.

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 199.91 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

Oakland spends an average of $108.09 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 8.3 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

PG&E provides $800 in rebates for the installation of level 2 chargers through the Clean Fuel Rebate program.

EV Charging Locations

Oakland has 10.11 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

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

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Oakland 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

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.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Oakland offers a Bike Share for All reduced far program for income eligible residents. 

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

45.2% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) are located near high-quality, all-day transit in Oakland.

Last Updated: April 2019