State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Pittsburgh, PA

82.50Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 11.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Climate Action Plan 3.0 commits Pittsburgh to greenhouse gas reduction goals of 20% below 2003 levels by 2023, 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. 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. 

Climate Action Plan 3.0 also includes a greenhouse gas inventory for the city.

Energy Reduction Goal

The city’s Climate Action Plan 3.0 also established an energy use reduction goal of 50% below 2003 levels by 2030.

Renewable Energy Goal

Mayor Peduto pledged the city would achieve a community-wide goal of generating 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Last updated: August 2023

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equity Accountability Measures

The City of Pittsburgh released the Pittsburgh Equity Indicators: A Baseline Measurement for Enhancing Equity in Pittsburgh report which includes environmental and sustainability metrics. The city is committed to an annual review of these metrics.

Last updated: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

The City of Pittsburgh currently has two district steam systems and three institutional district energy system, while the city identified four additional opportunities to install district energy systems or microgrids.  The city has also signed a Memo of Understanding with the Danish Energy and Climate Agency to develop the Pittsburgh District Energy Initiative

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

The city requires development projects receiving more than $1 million in public funds (or developments not receiving public funds but that are greater than 10,000 square feet) to incorporate low impact development practices in their site design and construction.

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

The City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) have launched a workforce development program, called Prepare to Prosper, to help connect students participating in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have access internships and entry-level job opportunities with about 40 private industry groups and in city government. The CTE programs offered by the PPS helps prepares high school students for higher skill level/higher pay careers.  Through these programs, students learn 21st century job skills, earn industry certifications and college credits. In the CTE Engineering Technology program, students are exposed to different types of engineering - including civil, mechanical, electrical and green.  In this STEM program, they learn about problem solving, teamwork, fundamental electronics systems, engineering graphics, green energy, the properties of natural, composite and synthetic material, and total quality control.

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: September 2023

Buildings Policies
Score: 12 out of 70 points
Building 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 2018 IECC. Commercial construction must comply with the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2016. To learn more about the required building energy codes for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial projects comply with the state’s mandated codes, the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2016. Pittsburgh created a working group with the assistance of the Green Building Alliance to improve city codes for Pittsburgh and work with partner cities to advocate for improved energy codes statewide. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 48.75.


Residential projects comply with the state’s mandated code, the 2018 IECC. Pittsburgh created a working group with the assistance of the Green Building Alliance to improve city codes for Pittsburgh and work with partner cities to advocate for improved energy codes statewide.  The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 55.92.

Solar-readiness policies

As per the state code, the city is not allowed to mandate new developments be solar-ready. However, the the city allows solar in all zones and can be installed anywhere with an over the counter permit

EV-readiness policies

As per the state code, the city is not allowed to mandate new developments be EV-ready. Pittsburgh created an EV Task Force consisting of representatives from city departments, Duquense Light Company, institutions, and community members. The Task Force is charged with developing policies and programs that will increase EV penetration, including EV-readiness in new buildings. 

Low-energy use requirements

Unless exempted by Section 915.08.D, all construction of new buildings on City-owned property and all Major Renovations of existing buildings on City-owned property must achieve net-zero energy ready building performance.

Electrification policies

The city is prohibited by the state from adopting electrification policies.

Last Update: September 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

We were unable to determine the amount of staff effort dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Pittsburgh requires in-house plan reviews and inspections to ensure code compliance. The city also provides upfront support for energy code compliance.

Last Update: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Pittsburgh formally adopted a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure ordinance for commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet. The first compliance deadline was in June 2018, and the corresponding data will be released in 2019. The ordinance covers 67% of commercial buildings. 


The city also offers density bonuses of 20% in height and 20% in floor area to commercial projects that meet LEED efficiency standards. 

Allegheny County offers commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Voluntary programs

Pittsburgh runs a 2030 District and participates in the administration of Sustainable Pittsburgh to encourage energy reduction in commercial buildings. 

Program outcomes

The City does not have authority to collect demographic data on incentive and financing programs to ensure equitable outcomes.

Last Update: September 2023

Score: 25.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The 2070 Mobility Vision was released in 2021 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. It also includes strategies specifically benefiting disadvantaged communities. 

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

According to the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan 3.0, the city has a goal of reducing GHG emissions from transportation 50% by 2030 from 2013 levels. 

Due to insufficient data on the current GHG emissions from transportation, we were unable to calculate a required per-capita annual reduction for achieving this goal. Therefore, Pittsburgh did not earn points for the stringency of its target. 

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Based on the data provided, Pittsburgh is projected to increase its emissions by 1.76% per year. Therefore, the city is not on track to meet its GHG targets. 

Last Updated: January 2024

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of Pittsburgh 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 Requirements

Pittsburgh has established parking maximums of 1 space per housing unit in certain districts. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City of Pittsburgh does not have location-efficient development incentives or disclosure policies. 

Affordable Housing Around Transit

The city incentivizes affordable housing near transit by offering height bonuses to affordable housing developments in the Uptown EcoInnovation District. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

According to the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan 3.0, adopted in 2018, the City has a goal of having 27.75% of commute trips being made by single-occupant vehicles, 36.2% by transit, 15.5% by walking, and 10% by bike by 2030. 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

According to data from the City and the American Community Survey, although the city’s biking, walking, and transit mode share decreased between 2016 and 2021, the city’s drive-alone mode share decreased from 55.5% in 2016 to 46% in 2021. Therefore, Pittsburgh earned points for this metric. 

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

The City of Pittsburgh provides a bike share service that offers discounted passes to individuals receiving government assistance. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Pittsburgh have received $132,975,904.00 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $1 6.33per 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 Pittsburgh’s AllTransit Performance Score is 8.3, scoring 3 points in the City Scorecard. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Pittsburgh offers up to $2000 in rebates on new and pre-owned electric vehicles, with an extra $1000 available for low-income customers. 

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Duquesne Light Company offers rebates of up to $5000 per charging port for workplace, multi-unit dwelling, and public charging station projects. 

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

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

EV Charging Locations

The City of Pittsburgh has 127.4vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use. 

Electric School Bus Goal

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

EV Transit Bus Goal

Pittsburgh Regional Transit set a goal of transitioning 100% of its bus fleet to zero emissions by 2045. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

Pittsburgh does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan. However, the city is pursuing multiple sustainable freight strategies, including off-peak deliveries, urban freight consolidation hubs, e-bike deliveries, and curbside management. 

Open Data Portals

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

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 19 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All


Duquesne Light Company, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Pittsburgh. Peoples Natural Gas (PNG), an IOU, is Pittsburgh’s primary natural gas utility. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Pennsylvania page of the State Database.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is the municipal utility that provides drinking water and stormwater management services to the City of Pittsburgh. The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority is the regional wastewater treatment utility.

Last Updated: August 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, Duquesne Light achieved  41,355 MWh MWh in net electric incremental savings. In 2021, Peoples Natural Gas did not report savings from their natural gas efficiency programs.

Duquesne offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers. Peoples Natural Gas offers natural gas efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers.

The City of Pittsburgh partners with Duquesne Light and PNG through efforts to support energy efficiency throughout the community, including Penn Future and GTECH’s ReEnergize Network. The ReEnergize Network brings stakeholders in energy together to progress local energy efficiency concerns, such as energy providers, local government officials, real estate stakeholders, nonprofit partners, and energy auditors. These programs share information, advice and awareness about ENERGY STAR, retrofits, upgrades and utility incentives with residential customers, small businesses and corporations. Recently, Duquesne Light and the City have partnered with several others as part of the Ecoinnovation District Plan.

Last Updated: August 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Duquesne Light offers low-income energy efficiency programs, including the Low-Income Whole House Energy Audit for both single and multifamily households, as well as the Smart Comfort payment assistance program, and community events and home energy reports for qualified low-income residential customers. The Whole House Energy Audits include different measures for customers with electric and nonelectric water heating and electric space heating. Homes that use electric heat receive the most measures, including attic, wall, and floor insulation; blower door testing and air sealing; crawl space and heater insulation; electric heating repair or replacement; duct insulation; caulking and weatherstripping; and heat pump water heaters. Electric water heating customers also receive water heater pipe wrap, faucet aerators, and water heater tank wrap. Non-electric heating customers receive efficient lighting, smart power strips, and refrigerator replacements. Health measures include smoke and carbon monoxide monitors, and minor repairs to prevent weatherization deferrals. Multifamily buildings receive all residential and commercial measures approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Plan. The program targets high energy users and elderly households. Duquesne Light contracts with community-based organizations such as churches, synagogues, and food banks.

In 2021, according to Duquesne Light, it achieved 3,375 MWh in energy savings, while spending $2,218,000 on its low-income programs and served 24,809 low-income customers.

Peoples Natural Gas offers the Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP) to qualified residential customers. This program implements energy efficiency measures in low-income households in order to help them reduce their energy consumption. Measures include heating system improvements and replacements, insulation, caulking, weatherstripping, hot water treatments, and tank improvements and replacements. LIURP targets high energy users and accepts enrollment in a bill assistance program as a form of income qualification. Under LIURP, health and safety measures are installed at the time of the energy audit and include smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, and batteries for existing smoke detectors. In addition, minor repairs are completed so that weatherization measures can continue that would otherwise be deferred. The program is implemented in collaboration with Together Pittsburgh, Re-Energize Pittsburgh, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and the local electric utilities.  Peoples Natural Gas partners with local non-profits in agencies to educate them on LIURP and encourage referral of eligible customers.

In 2021, Peoples Natural Gas served 238 qualified residential customers. Spending and savings values for their 2021 low-income programs were not available.

The City of Pittsburgh run a pilot program called Switch PGH. Switch PGH is a cutting edge, civic engagement platform that simplifies the home improvement process at the individual and neighborhood level, working to address the history of negative health impacts from Pittsburgh’s industrial legacy.

Multifamily Programs

Duquesne Light offers the Multifamily Housing Retrofit Program, which acts as a one-stop shop for providing low-cost upgrades to master-metered income-qualified multifamily buildings. Program services include the administration of energy efficiency audits, technical assistance, property aggregation, contractor negotiation and equipment bulk purchasing. The program requires participants to provide a co-payment. The program also has a component to serve tenant utility paid customers within unit measures in addition to common area treatment.

In 2021, according to Duquesne Light, it served 1,037 housing units at 13 multifamily properties. Savings and spending on their multifamily programs were not available.

At this time, People's Natural Gas does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: August 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Duquesne Light provides building owners or managers with automatic benchmarking data for use in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Duquesne Light worked with Oracle to create a tool that allows our commercial building owners/customers to be able to upload their data from their electric utility account directly to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. In addition, building owners have the ability to create a virtual building to anonymously track total building usage for tenant paid properties where owners would not have access to the individual tenant usage. The virtual building allows the owner to track total building usage in the aggregate. In 2019, Duquesne Light was also in the process of making this tool available for multifamily buildings, which become available in 2020. The City of Pittsburgh provides community-wide energy usage information at the aggregate level for community planning and evaluation purposes through its Climate Action Plan 3.0 and 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report. The energy utilities provide annual energy use to the city. 

The City of Pittsburgh does not advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers or the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities.

Last Updated: August 2023

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

At this time, Duquesne Light Co. has not set a greenhouse gas or carbon reduction goal for the utility.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

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

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

The City of Pittsburgh currently has two district steam systems and three institutional district energy system, while the city identified four additional opportunities to install district energy systems or microgrids.  The city has also signed a Memo of Understanding with the Danish Energy and Climate Agency to develop the Pittsburgh District Energy Initiative

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

We were unable to find information regarding onsite or offsite municipal renewable energy systems in Pittsburgh. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

Pittsburgh expedites solar permitting. The city also offers density bonuses of 20% in height and 20% in floor area to commercial projects that meet LEED efficiency standards.  

Allegheny County offers commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Pittsburgh’s energy and water utilities do not run any joint efficiency programs. Even though there are no established water efficiency goals, PWSA supports two fulltime leak detection crews that employ electronic correlators and acoustic sound sensors to pinpoint leaks on both utility- and customer-owned water lines.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 2003 levels by 2023. Old pump motors are being upgraded to more efficient equipment. ALCOSAN, the county sewer authority, uses steam generated from incineration of the sludge to heat buildings and to generate electricity.

Last Updated: August 2023

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

Climate Change Mitigation Goal

The city of Pittsburgh set a goal to reduce local government GHG emissions 20% by 2023, using a 2003 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

The city of Pittsburgh set a goal to reduce local government building energy use 50% by 2030, using a 2010 baseline. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The city of Pittsburgh set a goal to use 100% renewable energy to power city operations by 2030. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

As part of the Climate Action Plan, the city has a goal of converting to a fossil fuel free fleet by 2030. Pittsburgh’s Fleet Acquisition Agency has a Green Vehicle Purchasing Policy since 2008.  This policy specifies that when purchasing a public fleet vehicle, the Board of Directors of the Equipment Leasing Authority shall require that all new vehicles and accessory equipment purchased for municipal use be the safest, most fuel-efficient and “green” vehicle in the applicable class required for the job. In addition, in 2021, Pittsburgh updated its zoning code § 161.39 - Sustainable and Socially Responsible Procurement, which states that: "the Office of Management and Budget and Equipment Leasing Authority along with appropriate Sustainability staff shall procure electric or sustainably fueled fleet vehicles where the technology exists and where practicable." Pittsburgh’s fleet is composed of 13% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicles. 

Public Lighting

In 2021, Pittsburgh adopted a Dark Sky Compliance Ordinance. Under the ordinance, the City will adhere to Dark Sky principles for its newly installed or retrofitted streetlights, newly constructed and renovated park spaces and playgrounds as well as newly constructed and renovated City-owned buildings. Pittsburgh adopted an ordinance in 2011 that requires efficient outdoor lighting and includes cut-off, uplight, and glare specifications. Additionally, in 2014 changes to the lighting code were made to allow the placement of LEDs in parking garages.  During the first phase of their LED installation program, the city purchased and installed 3,500 new LED streetlights in the business corridor and city operated athletic fields, the second phase of this program has already started and it is planned to finish with the remaining 36,500 lighting replacements in residential corridors. The lighting includes controls to activate and deactivate lighting as needed. Approximately 11% of streetlights have currently been converted to LEDs as of 2022. 

Inclusive procurement

Pittsburgh’s municipal code encourages suggested goals for MWDBE participation in contracts, and has frequent tracking of participation. Pittsburgh’s inclusive procurement policies were implemented in an RFP for Streetlights to convert 35,000 streetlights to LED, which was released in 2021 and began implementation in 2022. Pittsburgh has quarterly reports that show data on where MBE and WBE have engaged with the city. Pittsburgh engages in PLAs and CBAs in contracting.  

Last updated: October 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Through the Building Benchmarking Ordinance, the City benchmarks and publicly discloses energy use for 100% of the square footage of its city facilities. The Ordinance also requires owners of non-residential buildings over 50,000 sq. feet to annually report their energy and water consumption to the city, totaling 156 buildings.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

Pittsburgh has recently completed its Facilities Improvement Master Plan, identifying projects for its 2030 energy reduction targets such as lighting, HVAC, building envelope, and on-site generation measures.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

The City of Pittsburgh offers their employees an optional Transportation Fringe Benefit Program. This program allows employees to deduct the cost of a monthly ConnectCard for Pittsburgh Regional Transit from their bi-weekly earnings on a pre-tax bausis.

Last update: February 2024