State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Philadelphia, PA

62.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
9 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

Philadelphia’s Greenworks details the city’s energy target and strategies for its internal government operations through 2015. While these goals have expired, the city is working to adopt new goals by spring 2017. The city uses varied strategies to reduce energy use from municipal buildings, the city fleet, and outdoor lighting. In particular, Philadelphia is leveraging their energy management systems to prioritize future investments in municipal properties and is funding several energy efficiency projects through the Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF). The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) is largely responsible for coordinating efforts toward the local government operations goal. 

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Greenworks included a target to lower the local government’s energy consumption by 30% from 2008 levels by 2015, as well a goal to reduce local government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 2008 levels by 2015. These goals have now expired, but the city is currently working towards them. Philadelphia plans to establish new local government energy and climate targets by Spring 2017.


To meet their local government emissions goal, Philadelphia will need to reduce emissions by 3% each year. 


Philadelphia is on track to achieve its local government emissions goal.


Philadelphia tracks progress towards sustainability metrics on Greenworks Philadelphia. According to data in the 2016 Greenworks Progress Report, the city reduced it greenhouse gas emissions from its local government operations by 23% between 1990 and 2015 and the city’s local government energy use increased by 4% between 2008 and 2015. Philadelphia met its 2015 municipal greenhouse gas emission goal but did not meet its energy usage goal. The city is exploring adding metrics that measure consumption on a per capita basis and normalize for weather. Future energy and climate data will also be available using a public data platform, currently under development.

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

According to Greenworks, Philadelphia has a goal to increase fuel efficiency generally in its fleet. The city replaced 70% of the police fleet with more fuel-efficient vehicles in 2009 and 2010. The city has reduced its vehicle fleet by 500 vehicles since Greenworks was first established in 2009. Also, the local government supports 500 users for PhillycarShare, which reduces overall driving by city employees.

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

Philadelphia has not yet adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Outdoor lighting is scheduled. This city currently replaces broken or non-functioning streetlights with high-efficiency LED bulbs, 2.5% of citywide lighting is highly efficient. Philadelphia and PECO are exploring a partnership to expedite the citywide deployment of LED lighting to improve efficiency and public safety.

New Buildings and Equipment

In December 2009, the city council passed Bill No. 080025 which calls for new construction and major renovations of more than 10,000 square feet of city government buildings to be certified as LEED Silver. To emphasize energy efficiency, the ordinance requires that projects be designed and constructed to use at least 20% less energy than code-compliant structures. The City of Philadelphia currently has an Executive Order in place to require ENERGY STAR purchasing where feasible, but it’s not clear if it is being applied in a consistent manner. The Office of Sustainability and the Procurement Department are working on a citywide purchasing strategy to incorporate life-cycle costs into future standards.

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Philadelphia has benchmarks 63% of municipal square footage in Portfolio Manager, and 100% of facilities in EnergyCAP. to benchmark all facilities of more than 10,000 square feet (slightly less than half of the city's floor space) and has publicized its results in a benchmarking report. The City of Philadelphia implemented Greenworks, which aimed to raise the portion of the city’s infrastructure in a state of good repair to 80% by 2015. The City is currently planning to incorporate model plans for high-efficiency investments across public buildings through an energy master plan for municipal buildings.

Public Employees

The City implements the Mobile Workforce Policy, which provides teleworking and flexible schedule arrangements to city employees based on the needs of City departments.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 10 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability leads Philadelphia’s implementation efforts toward its community-wide energy goals.

Last updated: April 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Philadelphia’s 2016 Greenworks plan has established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below a 2006 baseline by 2050. Mayor Kenney formally committed the city to this goal in the Kenney Transition Report. The city is in the process of developing an energy master plan with data-driven community energy targets. These targets are expected in the spring of 2017.

Philadelphia reports on energy and climate goals annually in Greenworks progress reports. The city is on track to meet its adopted greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2050.

Last updated: April 2017

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

The City of Philadelphia is collaborating with PECO Energy to identify potential sites to pilot smaller-scale distributed battery storage (with generation potential) systems throughout the city.

Last updated: April 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The Greenworks plan has an urban heat island mitigation goal to increase tree canopy by 30% in the city by 2025.

The city passed Bill 090923 requiring certain new buildings to have highly reflective cool roofs. The city also provides building height bonuses in exchange for preservation of open space. The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance.

Last updated: April 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 16.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Philadelphia has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency, including benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings. The Department of Licenses and Inspections manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Philadelphia.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires its local jurisdictions to comply with state-mandated building energy codes. Residential construction must comply with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), although several residential provisions from the 2015 IECC have been adopted by the state as of January 1, 2016. Commercial construction must comply with the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007. To learn more about the required building energy codes for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial construction in Philadelphia complies with the state mandated codes. A representative of Philadelphia, City Councilperson Bobby Henon, serves on the advisory committee responsible for statewide building codes. Henon has subsequently introduced a resolution into City Council calling for the state to allow the City to adopt its own building code, and several city agencies are currently working on a strategy to adopt more stringent codes. The City of Philadelphia also continues to vote on triennial updates to the IECC to prioritize energy efficiency.


Residential construction in Philadelphia complies with the state mandated codes. A representative of Philadelphia, City Councilperson Bobby Henon, serves on the advisory committee responsible for statewide building codes. Henon has subsequently introduced a resolution into City Council calling for the state to allow the City to adopt its own building code, and several city agencies are currently working on a strategy to adopt more stringent codes. The City of Philadelphia also continues to vote on triennial updates to the IECC to prioritize energy efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Philadelphia does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Philadelphia has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Philadelphia does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

The City of Philadelphia has a provision in the Building Code requiring high reflectance roof coverings on new and replaced roofs. Roof coverings must be white in color or ENERGY STAR rated.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Philadelphia does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning, though it is a current goal of the city government to quantify the amount of retro-commissioning done throughout the Philadelphia private portfolio of buildings.

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

For commercial construction, Philadelphia offers a density bonus for construction achieving LEED Gold or higher. The City of Philadelphia offers the Greenworks Loan Fund to provide financing to support energy efficiency retrofits and new construction for small businesses and nonprofits. The City's EnergyWorks program provides loan opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades in commercial and residential buildings. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and Residential Benchmarking

Bill No. 120428 requires commercial and multi-family residential buildings over 50,000 square feet to benchmark and disclose energy usage data. The program is in its fourth year of implementation for commercial buildings and first year of implementation for residential properties.

Training and Guidance provided by the City or State

The City of Philadelphia offers in-person training and phone assistance through the Office of Sustainability and in partnership with the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. The city also provides guidance documents online.


The City issues Notices of Violation for properties that do not report or fail to disclose realistic energy performance. The city has the ability to fine properties $300 for non-compliance and, after 30 days, an additional $100/day until the Notice of Violation is resolved.

Energy Use Disclosure 

Data is disclosed on the program webpage, as well as through the city’s data visualization tool

Reports and Database

The city data and reports can be found online

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 11.5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

PECO (Philadelphia Electric Co.), a municipally-operated utility, is the primary provider of electricity for the city of Philadelphia, as well as the administrator of energy efficiency programs. Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is Philadelphia’s primary natural gas provider. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS with oversight by the Public Utilities Commission. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Pennsylvania page of the State Database.

The Philadelphia Municipal Water Department provides the city with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to PECO, they achieved 251,370 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.66% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, PECO spent $68,652,000 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 3.15% of annual revenue. In 2015, PGW reported savings of 1.05 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.23% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, PGW spent $10,561,382 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $22.22 per residential customer. Spending on electricity and natural gas represented in this section cover the utilities’ entire service jurisdiction, most of which is within Philadelphia proper. PECO offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. PGW similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

PECO has partnered with the City of Philadelphia to help meet the goal of reducing citywide building energy usage. As part of this effort, PECO is developing an online tool which will enable building managers to electronically transfer their electrical energy usage into the Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. At this time, PGW does not have a formal partnership with the City of Philadelphia.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

PECO offers the Low-Income Energy Efficiency (LEEP) Program to qualified low-income residential customers. This program provides in-home audits, education, and direct installation of energy efficiency measures in order to reduce energy consumption in low-income households. Improvements include weatherization, installation of CFL bulbs, health and safety measures, water efficiency measures, and the replacement of inefficient refrigerators. The program targets high energy users and elderly households, and is implemented in collaboration with community groups, and the Community Assistance Program (CAP). Customers enrolled in CAP are given priority for the LEEP program.

In 2015, according to PECO, it achieved 14,508 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $13,033,000 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 16,848 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $774 and saving an average of 861 kWh.

PGW offers the CRP Home Comfort Program to qualified low-income residential customers. This program includes measures such as air sealing, insulation, duct sealing, programmable thermostats, heater replacements and repairs, high-efficiency water heaters, water heater pipe wrap, and water efficiency measures. Incidental health and safety repairs can also be performed as part of a comprehensive job. The program targets the highest energy users in PGW’s Low-Income Payment Assistance Program. PGW coordinates weatherization measures with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GGHI), and Lead Poison Prevention programs. PGW also coordinates with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and streamlines delivery with contractors.

In 2015, according to PGW, it achieved 0.65 MMtherms in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $7,913,908 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 3,722 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $2,126 and saving an average of 175 therms.

Multifamily Programs

PECO offers the Smart Multi-Family Solutions Program. This comprehensive program provides prescriptive incentives to multi-family building property owners who install high-efficiency equipment in common areas (e.g. hallway lighting), or whole building improvements (e.g. HVAC). Additionally, the program provides free direct-install of low-cost energy-efficiency measures for multi-family residents. Measures include CFLs, low-flow showerheads and low-flow faucet aerators. PGW does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, PECO has implemented the Green Button data sharing platform. Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) also provides access to energy use for its customer through its “My Access” web portal. PECO is currently implementing an automated data aggregation service for multi-tenant commercial and multifamily buildings named PECO’s Smart Energy Usage Data Tool. Additionally, PECO provides annual citywide data by tariff to the City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia advocates to the state for improved data-sharing-by-utilities legislation as part of the energy benchmarking and disclosure legislative process. Philadelphia is also a part of national conversations around data access through its participation in the Department of Energy’s Data Accelerator and through efforts by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network to develop and advocate for national data aggregation standards.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

The city of Philadelphia does not have joint water and energy efficiency programs. To help low-income water customers reduce water waste, the Water Department runs the Water Conservation Assistance Program, which brings efficiency through repairs to plumbing and installation of water conservation devices. Philadelphia has not yet set a water efficiency target

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has not yet established an energy efficiency goal for water operations. However, it is currently developing a utility-wide strategic energy plan which is likely to contain energy efficiency goals. PWD established an agreement with Ameresco to design, build, and maintain an innovative wastewater biogas-to-energy facility at the Northeast water pollution control plant. The project, completed in 2013, uses biogas from the wastewater digesters to generate thermal energy and 5.6 MW of electricity for on-site use.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters plan focuses on reducing stormwater pollution entering the combined sewer system through the use of green infrastructure. As of June 2016, the plan achieved 837.7 greened acres in 441 green infrastructure sites, which keeps more than 1.5 billion gallons of polluted water out of the rivers per year. The plan aims for Philadelphia Water to achieve 2,148 greened acres by 2021, which will keep 2 billion gallons of polluted water out of the rivers per year.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 15.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the city of Philadelphia is The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. SEPTA also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including subway, bus, trolley, and commuter rail service. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Philadelphia, Trenton, NJ, and the surrounding New Jersey and Pennsylvania counties. The Philadelphia Department of Transportation and Utilities is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Philadelphia adopted a new zoning code in 2012 that encourages development patterns that reinforce walkability and transit use with a transit-oriented development overlay and mixed use zoning. The city’s parking code eradicated parking minimums for multifamily developments in the city center. Row house districts are also not subject to parking minimums. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

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

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There are two car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of Philadelphia,  enterprise CarShare and zipcar. The city launched a bikesharing program in Spring 2015, with 60 stations.

Complete Streets

Philadelphia adopted its complete streets policy in 2009, through Executive Order No. 5.09. The adoption of the guidelines encourages consideration of inclusion of complete streets principles in all road construction and maintenance projects, prioritizing the safety of children, the elderly and disabled persons.

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The SEPTA transit system that serves Philadelphia has received $1,564,591,447 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $257.76 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the second highest category ($250-399) available in transit funding. 

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. Philadelphia’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 29, putting it in the third highest category (15-29) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Philadelphia 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 45 EV charging stations available for public use.

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Philadelphia does not have a sustainable freight plan, but it does have a goal as part of its’ comprehensive plan to modernize freight rail assets to ensure sufficient goods movement to and through the city.

Smart freight

Philadelphia does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Philadelphia's Greenworks contains specific VMT reduction targets. 

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Philadelphia offers a density bonus for affordable housing that applies to some portion of TOD zones.

Last updated: January 2017