State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Phoenix, AZ

65.50Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 13 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The 2050 Sustainability Goals established goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% to 90% below 2012 levels by 2050. The city council has approved an interim greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 30% below 2012 levels by 2025. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal.  

Phoenix has conducted greenhouse gas inventories for calendar years for 2012 and 2016.  

Energy Efficiency Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

The city has committed to a long-term goal of 100% renewable energy use. The 2050 Sustainability Goals also established a goal to source 15% of energy use from renewable resources by 2025.

Last updated: August 2023

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

The C40 Climate Action Plan being developed has taken a unique and expanded approach to conducting engagement with marginalized groups as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Climate Action Planning Workshops were conducted in partnership with a local community organization, CHISPA Arizona focused on the Latinx population and specifically for high school age youth in partnership with the Phoenix Union High School District Sustainability Officer. In addition, multiple workshops with working groups that were given in English and Spanish were conducted, along with presentations to multiple societies, community-based organizations, and climate and resilience workgroups

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

The city established 15 Village Planning Committees for community residents in each of our urban villages to provide input monthly on all projects in their community.  These committees review and provide approval for sustainability action plans in their communities and input on environmental quality issues, like air quality, and are being asked for input on the climate action plan being created.

Equity Accountability Measures

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: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

The Downtown Energy Center provides district chilled-water cooling to 34 buildings including the convention center and baseball stadium. The 14,000-ton capacity system uses ice produced in off-peak hours as thermal storage to provide cooling during peak demand.

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

The City of Phoenix updated its complete streets policy to increase green infrastructure in 2018.  

The city and Salt River Project operate a private tree planting program. Through the program, residents are offered free shade trees to be planted in energy-saving locations. Participants are also required to attend a workshops on tree maintenance.

Resilience Hubs

We were unable to determine if the city has supported the creation of resilience hubs that incorporate clean energy resources and are sited in disadvantaged communities.

Last updated: August 2023

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Workforce development for disadvantaged workers

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from disadvantaged communities to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Workforce development for the broader community

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from the broader community to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Outcomes tracking

We could not determine if the city has instituted a mechanism to measure the performance and/or success of equitable workforce development initiatives focused on the clean energy sector.

Last updated: August 2023

Buildings Policies
Score: 12.5 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Arizona is a home rule state which allows local jurisdictions to set their own building energy codes. The City of Phoenix participated in the ICC voting process for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, and adopted the code in June 2018. The city also created the Phoenix Green Construction Code as an alternative compliance path. To learn more about the requirements for building energy codes for the State of Arizona, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial properties must comply with the 2018 IECC with city amendments or the Phoenix Green Construction Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 48.75.


Residential properties must comply with the 2018 IECC for residential construction or the Phoenix Green Construction Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 61.50.

Solar-readiness policies

The city has not passed a policy mandating new developments be solar-ready.

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

The city has not passed a policy mandating new developments be EV-ready, but has created language that is going to the advisory board for adoption in the fall of 2023.

Low-energy use requirements

The City of Phoenix has had energy standards for public buildings in place since 2005. In June 2005, the Phoenix City Council adopted a policy requiring all new city buildings built with 2006 bond funds to at least meet the LEED Certified level. Presently, the City of Phoenix requires LEED Silver certification for all of its own new buildings.

Electrification policies

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted any electrification policies.

Last Update: September 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Phoenix employees the equivalent of 8 full time employees dedicated to energy code compliance. The city performs plan reviews and inspections to ensure code compliance, but allows third-party review and inspections. Performance testing is required for residential properties per the 2018 International Residential Code. The city previously provided training workings to builders and developers as part of its participation in the 2018 IECC process, and offers free consultation services for energy code advice at the counter.

Last Update: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Previously, the city was working on a benchmarking ordinance for larger, commercial facilities, but the Arizona State Legislature passed HB 2130 prohibiting benchmarking in 2015.


The city covers the cost to register a home under LEED for Homes if it achieves LEED Platinum. The city also offers to apply a zoning overlay to allow for greater density to developers who voluntarily adopt the City’s Walkable Urban Code which has higher performance standards and a requirement for 75% shade around the new development.

Phoenix’s low income housing rehabilitation program provides a loan covering 75% of home improvements costs, which includes home energy efficiency upgrades, at 0% interest.

The city is working with APS as part of their Community Solar Program to add solar to low-income Phoenix housing and provide a monthly credit to low-income residents. 

Additionally, the $100,000 Sustainable Home Design Competition challenged architects to design a home that uses 80% less energy without rooftop solar systems and costs the same as standard construction. The winning design can be downloaded free online.

Program outcomes

We could not verify if the city collects data on incentive and financing programs to ensure equitable outcomes.

Voluntary programs

The city supports Kilowatt-hour Krackdown, a program created by the Building Owners and Managers Association. The program allows building owners to voluntarily benchmark their energy performance. The city is prohibited by state law to require mandatory benchmarking or energy action requirements.

Last Update: September 2023

Score: 10.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Phoenix's Transportation Electrification Action Plan was adopted in 2022 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. It also includes strategies specifically benefitting disadvantaged communities.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

The City of Phoenix does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Phoenix does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target.

Last Updated: September 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Phoenix has made changes to its zoning code in the past 10 years to facilitate more residential density, mixed-use development, or transit-oriented development.

Parking Requirement

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Phoenix has at least one zone, neighborhood, or district with a parking maximum of 1 or fewer spaces per housing unit or no minimum parking requirement for residential uses.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Phoenix offers a density bonus for developments within transit-oriented development (TOD) districts.

Affordable Housing around Transit

The City of Phoenix does not require, preserve, or incentivize the development of affordable housing near transit.

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

According to the city's Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2021, the City has a goal of reducing the trips made by single-occupant vehicles to 60% of all trips by 2050.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City of Phoenix did not provide data collected on mode share since the adoption of its goal; therefore, we cannot assess progress toward the goal.

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

Spin and Lime, the city's shared micromobility operators, offer discounted rates for qualifying individuals. For Spin, individuals with limited incomes are eligible for Spin Access. Those participating in assistance programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, or the local transit agency's reduced fare program are eligible for Lime Access

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Phoenix have received $339,934,789.60 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $122.07 per capita between 2017 and 2021 within the service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The AllTransit Performance Score measures a given community's transit access and performance. The score considers connections to other routes, access to jobs, service frequency, and the percent of commuters who ride transit to work. The City of Phoenix's AllTransit Performance Score is 6.1, scoring 1 point in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Efficient Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Neither the City of Phoenix nor the local utility provide incentives for purchasing efficient vehicles.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

APS, a utility serving the City of Phoenix, offers a $250 rebate on the purchase of a qualifying level 2 EV charger for single-family homes.

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The City of Phoenix does not require new developments to install EV charging stations.

EV Charging Ports

The City of San Francisco has 30 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use.

Electric School Bus Goal

Neither the City of Phoenix nor the local school district have set an electric school bus goal.

Electric Transit Bus Goal

The City of Phoenix set a goal of transitioning 100% of its bus fleet to zero emissions by 2040. 

Last Updated: January 2024

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

The City of Phoenix does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan in place, nor is it pursuing any freight efficiency strategies.

Open Data Portals

The City of Phoenix does not have an open data portal with real-time freight data.

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 20.5 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All


Arizona Public Service (APS), an investor-owned utility (IOU) is the primary electric utility serving the city of Phoenix. Southwest Gas, an IOU, is the primary supplier of Phoenix’s natural gas. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Arizona page of the State Database.

The Phoenix Water Services Department provides Phoenix with drinking water services, and wastewater treatment. The Environmental Services Division’s Stormwater Program manages stormwater for the city. Programs are administered by the utilities themselves.

Last Updated: August 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, APS reported 318,207 MWh in net electric incremental savings.

APS offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. Southwest Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

In 2020, the City of Phoenix entered into a formal 5-year MOU with Arizona Public Service to address energy efficiency and carbon reductions. The City of Phoenix partners with APS through The Energize Phoenix Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, by marketing and leveraging energy efficiency incentives and funding in targeted Phoenix neighborhoods. This $25 million program is projected to achieve annual energy reductions of 12% and 17% in residential and commercial sectors respectively, resulting in 135,000 MWh and $12.6 million annual savings. In 2019, the City again partnered with both utilities, APS and SRP, to launch a free home energy audit program. The City is sponsoring up to 1000 of the audits for free, after which the price will be $99. The City also partnered with Pearl Home Certification, Utilities, HomeSmart International, and RESNET to pilot a home labelling program in 2019.

Last Updated: August 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

APS offers the Energy Wise Limited Income Assistance Program to qualified residential customers. This program serves low-income customers with various home improvements including cooling system repair and replacement, insulation, sunscreens, water heaters, window repairs and improvements, refrigerator replacement, efficient lighting, as well as other general repairs. The program also includes funding for health and safety measures. APS leverages funding from the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to cover health and safety repairs and other costs when possible and collaborates with community action agencies throughout Arizona. Customers who receive bill assistance automatically qualify for the program. Community Action Agencies leverage funds from the federal Weatherization Assistance Program and Low Income Home Energy Assistance program to address health and safety measures so utility funds can address energy efficiency measures. Health and safety measures include CO detectors, HVAC replacement and ventilation.

In 2021, APS’s low-income energy efficiency programs achieved 3,581 MWh in electricity savings while spending $7,979,215 and serving 835 customers. Southwest Gas administers a low-income Weatherization program for customers in the city of Phoenix. This program includes general weatherization and energy efficiency measures. Water efficiency measures are also included in the program, and the program targets elderly households and people with disabilities. Southwest Gas partners with the Arizona Department of Housing on program delivery.

Southwest Gas spending, savings, and customers served for its 2021 low-income programs was not available.

The City of Phoenix’s Neighborhood Services administers the Low-Income Housing Rehabilitation Program, which provide grants and or loans to eligible low to moderate-income homeowners and single and multi-family rental units in targeted areas and citywide to address internal and external home repairs, health or safety hazards, and to make cost effective weatherization improvements. These programs utilize the City’s General Fund, Community Development Block Grants, Federal and State Grants and the HOME program. This includes the Weatherization Assistance Program, which the city expanded by $4,500,000 in 2022.

Multifamily Programs

APS offers the Multifamily Energy Efficiency Program (MEEP), which offers a three-track approach to energy upgrades. Track 1 provides free direct install components to retrofit the residential dwellings of existing communities including LED lighting, low-flow showerheads, and faucet aerators. Track 2 provides complementary energy assessments for community commercial facilities to identify opportunities for additional savings, and Track 3 targets new construction and major renovation multifamily projects. An additional incentive includes a quality install for HVAC replacement. This track encourages energy efficient building principles by paying an incentive to builders on a per unit basis for buildings that are built to the program’s energy efficiency standards.

In 2021, APS’s multifamily energy efficiency programs achieved 5,365 MWh in energy savings while spending $896,815 and serving 5,096 housing units in 45 properties. At this time, Southwest Gas does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: August 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Arizona Public Service nor Southwest Gas provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings.

The city of Phoenix provides community wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through their GHG emissions inventories, which includes utility data. APS provides aggregated energy use by zip code to the City of Phoenix for use in these reports. The city successfully worked with the three utilities to collect data for their GHG inventory update.

The City of Phoenix advocates for better data access by receiving automated data exchange monthly with APS for all utility accounts, which it imports into the City-owned software called Energy Cap. The City Council also approved an Memorandum of Understanding with APS to work together on a number items.

Last Updated: August 2023

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Cities and Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In January 2020, APS announced a goal to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050. Theis includes a nearer-term goal of achieving a resource mis that is 25% clean energy by 2030, with 45% of the portfolio coming from renewable energy. To achieve the goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050l, APS will need to reduce emissions by 3.23% annually from 2019 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The city of Phoenix supports regulatory involvement or active participation in the Arizona Corporation Commission's (ACC), which oversees electric power industry in the state of Arizona, proceedings on topics related to renewable energy. The Mayor provided comments in support of the most aggressive versions of Energy Rules that the Arizona Corporation Commission considered in fall 2020.

The City of Phoenix also participates in the ACC to advocate for decarbonizing the local electric grid, and also joined the board of the Arizona Independent Schedulers Association (AZISA), which is registered as an intervenor in the ACC hearings.  They have been advocating for an increased RPS standard for Arizona utilities beyond the current 15% standard. The City of Phoenix also participates on Salt River Project's Sustainability Advisory Group. In 2020, the Mayor of Phoenix filed a letter with the Arizona Corp Commission calling for an ambitious renewable energy requirements for utilities in response to the open docket on updating the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff.

The ACC is currently evaluating Community Choice Aggregation as an option for the state.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

The Downtown Energy Center provides district chilled-water cooling to 34 buildings including the convention center and baseball stadium. The 14,000-ton capacity system uses ice produced in off-peak hours as thermal storage to provide cooling during peak demand. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

Phoenix has installed onsite solar on city property with 0.58 MW capacity and 10.7 MW offsite capacity through SRP Solar Sleeve project.  

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

The city covers the cost to register a home under LEED for Homes if it achieves LEED Platinum. The city also offers to apply a zoning overlay to allow for greater density to developers who voluntarily adopt the City’s Walkable Urban Code which has higher performance standards and a requirement for 75% shade around the new development. 

The City is working with APS as part of their community solar program to add solar to low income Phoenix housing that will provide a $15 per month credit to low income residents.  The City is adding 1100 units in a LEED Platinum choice neighborhood that will have solar on every roof and $15 per month bill credit to each resident. 

Last Updated: February 2024

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Currently, the energy and water utilities do not offer joint efficiency programs to residential or commercial customers. The City of Phoenix is a major contributor to the Water Use It Wisely campaign, an educational campaign aimed at increasing water efficiency across Phoenix. As a result, water use per capita has dropped 34% since 1996 and 6% in the last two years. The city also retrofits 200-250 income-qualified homes with high-efficiency fixtures and toilets. Phoenix partners with Salt River Project on a water conservation program that encourages residents to reduce water and energy use in landscaping.

Currently, the energy and water utilities do not offer joint efficiency programs to residential or commercial customers. The City has set nonrevenue water-saving goals at their water department, which are aimed at keeping annual water losses below 10%. The wastewater utility has undertaken significant energy upgrade projects such as variable speed pumps funded through water revenues. The business plan has set goals related to energy efficiency.


Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

The Water Services Department (WSD) partners with local electric service providers to implement energy conservation measures at its facilities. To date, energy conservation measures from these programs have saved 5.8 million kWh annually. The WSD has joined the Department of Energy’s Better Plans Program, setting a goal to reduce energy intensity (kWh/million gallons) by 25% over a 10-year period, baseline year 2015. It is also participating in the DOE’s Wastewater Infrastructure Accelerator through the Better Buildings Program. The city-owned water utility also falls under the city-wide goal to reduce energy use by 20% by 2020 from 2009 levels despite a growing population and water services. The department goal is to operate at the highest level of efficiency and cost effectiveness and has upgraded many of the facilities and pumping stations.

Digester gas is used at the 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Facility, in boilers to maintain digester temperatures, offsetting its thermal load by 68,000 MMBtu per year. Additionally, a large Energy Services Company (ESCO) is under contract to build and operate a facility recovery and clean-up digester gas that is currently being flared. In 2018, the City invested in a $25M gas capture and treatment plant that receives wastewater from 5 nearby cities that converts methane captured from wastewater to green gas and inserts it into the natural gas pipeline—generating $6M annually in gross revenue through a partnership with Ameresco. The facility will provide an annual energy offset of approximately 693,500 dekatherms annual renewable natural gas, reducing carbon emissions by nearly 45,000 tons/year, which is the equivalent of taking over 70,000 cars off the road or planting over 87,000 acres of trees every year. In addition to treating 100% of the wastewater for the region, and capturing all the waste methane and converting it to green gas, the City also extracts the sludge and puts it on non-food crop farmland as a fertilizer replacement. Phoenix is the only City in the nation that utilizes all three wastewater streams for beneficial use.

Last Updated: August 2023

Local Government Score:
9 out of 25 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Change Mitigation Goal

The city of Phoenix set a goal to reduce local government GHG emissions 40% by 2025, using a 2005 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

The city of Phoenix set a goal to reduce local government building energy use 2030 by 30%, using a 2012 baseline. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The city of Phoenix set a goal to use 15% renewable energy to power city operations by 2025.  

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Phoenix adopted a Transportation Electrification Action Plan that committed to 500 EVs on City property by 2030 and 200 electric vehicles. In addition, the City adopted the green transit procurement strategy and committed to not purchase and natural gas vehicles after 2024, purchase 96 Hydrogen electric vehicles in the next five years and have carbon neutral transit by 2040.  Phoenix’s municipal fleet is currently composed of 2% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric. 

Public Lighting

Phoenix has adopted streetlighting guidelines and policies to limit intensity and hours of operation of outdoor lighting. Maricopa County has adopted the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. The city has converted 100% of its streetlights to LED.

Inclusive procurement 

We were unable to find information indicating that Phoenix has inclusive procurement and contracting processes. 

Last updated: October 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

All municipal buildings are benchmarked using the energy management tool, EnergyCAP, with each department tracking their monthly expenses and energy use.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategies

The City has a dedicated energy efficiency staff in each department monitoring the City’s $65 million in annual energy expenditure via EnergyCAP software. In 2017, Phoenix awarded $30 million in contracts to five ESCOs to undertake further retrofits in all municipal facilities to reduce energy use 20%. All five ESCO advised projects will be completed by 2025 due to delays caused by COVID-19. The City's budget includes dedicated funding for energy efficient improvements.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

The City of Phoenix participates in the Maricopa County Travel Reduction Program which aims to reduce single occupancy vehicle commute trips. As a part of the program the city has developed a plan including 100% subsidized bus cards, on-site bike racks and showers at select city sites, a Guaranteed Ride Home program for non-single occupancy vehicle commuters to use in case of emergency, and carpool parking incentives. In 2022 there were 644 average monthly users of the subsidized bus cards, 3 Guaranteed Ride Home program users, and 1,780 teleworkers. The City also a policy to provide free electric vehicle charging to City employees.

Last update: February 2024