State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Portland, OR

138.50Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 24.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2021, the city adopted city-specific emissions reduction targets of 50% below 1990 levels by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will not achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal as established by the Climate Action Plan.

Energy Efficiency Goal

The Climate Action Plan includes a goal to reduce total energy use 25% in all buildings built before 2010 by 2025.

Renewable Energy Goal

Portland City Council passed Resolution No. 37289 which established goals of supplying 100% of community-wide electricity from renewable energy resource by 2035, and supplying 100% of all community energy needs with renewable sources by 2050.

Last updated: January 2024

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

Equitable Community Outreach

Portland's Zero Cities Project, which aims to achieve increased racial equity and a net-zero carbon buildings sector, recruited Verde to identify zero carbon building policies that intersect with community priorities. Several other community-based organizations have joined the project's planning process, including Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC), Organizing People/Activating Leaders Environmental Justice Oregon (OPAL) and Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF). Together, these community organizations will lead a community engagement process on behalf of the Zero Cities Project, with an ultimate goal of delivering a roadmap, report, and resolution to Portland's City Council. 

Equitable decision-making

PCEF prioritizes projects serving Portland’s frontline communities and neighborhoods, including communities of color and people with low incomes. These communities, identified as priority populations for PCEF, have historically been left out of conversations and solutions for climate justice and resilience.  PCEF is now 5 years old and has invested millions in community for clean energy, energy efficiency, workforce, and resilience projects. PCEF’s new Climate Investment Plan will invest $750,000,000.00 over the next 5 years by specifically targeting resources for communities of color and clean energy jobs. The investments fund the breadth of climate and energy work from energy efficiency, renewable energy systems, transportation projects, resilient community centers, green infrastructure, regenerative agriculture, and workforce development. Projects are selected by a panel which includes  members from disadvantaged communities.

Representatives from six community organizations serving underserved communities were involved in an Equity Working Group as part of the 2015 Climate Action Plan development process. The city paid the representatives a stipend for their participation and some participated in the Plan’s steering committee.

Equity Accountability Measures

Portland requires city departments to use the Budget Equity Assessment Tool on budget proposals and base budgets. 

Last updated: January 2024

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

Portland's Fire Station 1 features a city-owned microgrid installation with rooftop solar and storage. The city hopes to use the lessons from this project to implement a larger, community-wide system in the future.

Last updated: January 2024

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

The City has a stormwater manual that requires all new development to manage 100% of stormwater onsite. Green infrastructure strategies such as rain gardens, ecoroofs and bioswales are key compliance methods.

The city has adopted a private tree protection ordinance and other polices for new construction that require tree planting.

The City’s Green Building Policy requires ecoroofs on public projects.

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: January 2024

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

PCEF’s workforce and contractor investments support projects that facilitate and promote job training, pre-apprenticeship programs, apprenticeship programs, and contractor development in businesses that produce goods or services that reduce or sequester greenhouse gases. PCEF will invest nearly $42 million directly and indirectly to support for diverse contractors and workers will come through a range of organizations dedicated to this work including government, community-based organizations, culturally-specific chambers of commerce, apprenticeship programs, labor unions, and other community resources.

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: January 2024

Buildings Policies
Score: 26 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Oregon requires its local jurisdictions to follow the 2021 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) and the 2021 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC), based on ASHRAE 90.1-2019 and the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), respectively.

Portland advocates for stricter energy codes at the State-level. Additionally, the city is a key member of the ZERO coalition, which has been holding the state Building Codes Division accountable for implementation of the Governor's Executive Order 17-20 specific to residential and commercial building codes. To learn more about the building energy codes for the State of Oregon, please visit the State Policy Database


Commercial properties comply with the 2021 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 48.75.


Residential properties comply with the 2021 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC). The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 60.50.

Solar-readiness policies

The Governor of the State of Oregon signed Executive Order NO. 17-20 in 2017 that directs the State Building Codes Division to amend the building code to require all newly constructed buildings in the state to include solar-ready infrastructure. 

EV-readiness policies

The City of Portland adopted the EV Ready Code in February 2023. The Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Code Project is an amendment to  Portland Zoning Code (Title 33) to require all new multi-dwelling and mixed use development with five or more units – that include onsite parking – to provide electric vehicle (EV)-ready charging infrastructure. 

Low-energy use requirements

Per the Green Building Policy, all new building constructions and major renovations over 50,000 square feet must achieve LEED Gold certification, while all new constructions and major renovations less than 50,000 square feet may achieve LEED Gold certification or Earth Advantage at the Gold level.

Electrification policies

Portland is pre-empted by the state from the regulation of buildings, but is working to advance building performance standards that would drive out fossil fuels in buildings by 2050.

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 plan reviews, inspections, and performance testing for commercial properties. Residential building owners must complete an energy efficiency checklist and receive an inspection. Portland previously provided upfront support for code compliance, but private sector entity Earth Advantage now provides support.

Last Update: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The city’s Commercial Building Energy Performance Reporting Ordinance requires buildings of 20,000 square feet and greater to benchmark energy performance. 

Single-family energy disclosure    

Portland adopted the Home Energy Score Policy by unanimous decision in 2016. The Policy requires home sellers to disclose home energy performance scores. The home seller must also disclose associated costs and cost-effective approaches to improving efficiency.

Energy audit requirements

Per the Home Energy Score Policy, home sellers must complete an energy assessment of their homes prior to listing the property for sale.


Portland offers a financing option for energy efficiency improvements through its commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing program.

The city also grants development bonuses to buildings meeting energy efficiency standards. 

Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) provides funding and support to non-profits pursuing climate related projects and grants. Funding can be used for a wide variety of actions including paying for a contractor to conduct an energy audit of your building or sending staff to a training to learn more about clean energy 

Program outcomes

Both Energy Trust of Oregon and PCEF track the demographics of communities served. Data is collected on a project basis, which could be a home, apartment building, or commercial building as examples. Energy Trust's most recent public report is from 2020.

Last Update: September 2023

Score: 47 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Portland's Transportation System Plan was updated in 2020 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. It also includes strategies specifically benefitting disadvantaged communities. 

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

The city's Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2015, contains a goal to reduce VMT 30% from 2008 levels by 2030. The city’s target requires a 1.94% average per-capita annual decrease from its target baseline. Therefore, Portland earned 1 point for the stringency of its target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Based on the data provided, Portland is projected to reduce its per capita VMT by 0.67% per year. Therefore, the city is not on track to meet its VMT targets. 

Last Updated: January 2024

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

In 2020, Portland modified its zoning code to allow up to 4 residential units by-right in all residential districts.

Parking Requirement

Portland has eliminated parking minimums citywide.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

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

Affordable Housing around Transit

Portland has an inclusionary housing policy which requires all housing developments larger than 20 units, including those near transit, to provide affordable units.

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

According to the City's Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2015, the City has a goal of 25% of all commute trips being made by bike, 10% by walking, and 25% by transit by 2030.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

According to data provided by the City, Portland’s walk mode share decreased from 6% to 5%, but biking mode share increased from 5% to 5.4% and transit mode share increased from 11% to 12% between 2015 and 2022. Therefore, Portland earned points for this metric.

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

Through the Transportation Wallet: Access for All Program, the City of Portland is partnering with 18 organizations to provide low-income individuals with transit fare, a BIKETOWN for All bike share membership, and a prepaid Visa card that can be used to rent e-scooters, rent bikes, take taxis/ridesharing rides, or pay transit fare.

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Portland have received $550,936,907.00 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $349.32 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 Portland's AllTransit Performance Score is 8.9, scoring 3 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Efficient Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

Portland General Electric, a utility serving the City of Portland, offers rebates of $500 on the purchase and installation of a level 2 EV charger for single-family homes. Those making 120% or less of the state median income can qualify for a rebate of $1,000. Additionally, commercial properties are eligible for rebates of $1,000 per Level 2 EV charging port, and multifamily properties are eligible for rebates of $2,300 per port. 

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

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

EV Charging Ports

The City of Portland has 50.8 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use.

Electric School Bus Goal

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

Electric Transit Bus Goal

TriMet, the primary public transit agency in Portland, set a goal of transitioning 100% of its bus fleet to zero-emissions by 2040.

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

Portland's 2040 Freight Plan contains several sustainable freight strategies, including piloting low emissions zones, piloting urban consolidation hubs, exploring cargo bike delivery strategies, and improving intermodal freight facilities to encourage the use of more efficient modes.

Open Data Portals

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

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 22 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All


Portland General Electric (PGE), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Portland. Northwest Natural Gas (NW Natural), an IOU, is the primary natural gas utility serving the city of Portland. All gas and electric utility ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs available to the City of Portland are run through the Energy Trust of Oregon. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Oregon page of the State Database.

The Portland Water Bureau, a municipally-run utility, provides drinking water to the City of Portland. The Portland Environmental Services Bureau provides both wastewater treatment and stormwater management services.

Last Updated: August 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, according to EIA, PGE achieved 191,558 MWh of net electric savings at the meter. In 2021, data on NW Natural’s energy efficiency spending and savings was not available.

PGE offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. NW Natural similarly offers natural gas efficiency incentives and programs to residential and business customers.

The City of Portland Clean Energy program leverages strong partnership relationships—including partnerships with PGE, NW Natural, and Energy Trust or Oregon—to deliver technical advice, outreach and marketing support to a variety of energy programs. Portland partners with its energy utilities through grants delivered from the fund. The city also encourages efficiency and conservation through Clean Energy Works Portland/Oregon. Clean Energy Works Portland/Oregon is a whole-home retrofit financing program offering incentives, no-cost services, and on-bill loan products. This program is available to homeowners, renters, and new homes aimed primarily to underserved populations. This program is funded through ARRA, EECBG, DOE’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, and a revolving loan fund.

Last Updated: August 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

The Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) administers programs that provide financial support and resources for Oregonians of lower and moderate income. The Low-Income Weatherization program is designed to reduce the energy usage and utility costs of lower income tenants residing in affordable rental housing. The program is partially funded by the PPC and receives 11.7 percent of PPC revenues. That revenue contributes to grants for the construction or rehabilitation of affordable rental housing that is located in PGE’s or Pacific Power’s service territories. Use of these funds requires that at least 50 percent of the units in the project be rented to households whose income is at or below 60 percent of the AMI. Projects receiving funds must also remain affordable for at least 10 years. For each dollar invested, the project must demonstrate at least one kilowatt-hour in energy savings in the first year of operation.

Program resources may be used for shell measures such as windows, doors, and insulation as well as for energy efficient appliances and lighting. The program also provides home weatherization for single- and multi-family, owner occupied, and rental housing). In either case, projects supported by PPC funds for weatherization are required to have a conservation element.

NW Natural offers the Oregon Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program and the Washington Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program to qualified customers. These programs include gas measures such as insulation, windows, doors, pipe insulation, duct insulation, duct sealing, furnaces, infiltration, water heating, and faucet aerators. The program also includes health and safety measures, and targets high energy users, elderly residents, and households with children.

Portland’s Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) provides dedicated funding for climate action that advances racial and social justice, including creating jobs and providing grant funding for community-based weatherization projects. The fund was created through coalition advocacy efforts leading to a local ballot measure #26-201 in November 2018 with overwhelming community support. The Fund is anticipated to bring $44– $61 million in new annual revenue for green jobs, healthy homes, and a climate-friendly Portland. As the nation’s first-ever climate-fund created and led by communities of color, PCEF centers Black and Indigenous people, and other disadvantaged and marginalized groups in addressing the climate crisis.

In 2021, Portland General Electric’s low-income energy efficiency programs achieved 648.97 MWh in energy savings while spending $307,173.65 and serving 1,361 customers.

Savings, spending, and participation data for NW Natural’s low-income programs were not available for 2021.

Multifamily Programs

Energy Trust of Oregon offers the Existing Multifamily and the New Buildings Multifamily comprehensive programs to Portland General Electric and Northwest Natural Gas customers. The Existing Multifamily program targets building owners as well as residents with direct install services, lighting retrofits and equipment and weatherization incentives. The New Buildings Multifamily program works with builders in the design phase and through the construction of the building, providing technical guidance and incentives for building beyond code. The New Buildings program also works with customers undertaking whole-building retrofits. Additionally, Energy Trust offers incentives for small-medium and low-income multifamily units through it’s “savings within reach” offerings which provides increased incentives for income qualified customers.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) offers low-income services specifically for affordable multifamily housing through their Multifamily Energy Program for Portland General Electric customers. The program requires residents residing in at least 50% of the dwelling units must be at or below 80% AMI (area median income) and these units must remain affordable for a period of 10 years. The program offers three pathways for existing buildings and new construction. These pathways include prescriptive, bundled, and whole building approaches depending on the level of depth that the project wants to engage in. 

Savings, spending, and participation data for Energy Trust of Oregon’s multifamily programs were not available for 2021.

Last Updated: August 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

PGE offers Energy Partner Insights which visualizes both billing and meter interval data.  Program eligibility includes multi-family, commercial and industrial.  Benchmarking via Energy Star Portfolio Manager is not currently enabled.

The City's Commercial Building Energy Performance Reporting Ordinance requires energy utilities to provide a building owner with access to the aggregate monthly energy consumption data for all utility meters identified by the owner. As part of the ordinance implementation, Portland's energy utilities agreed to waive tenant data release forms if a building has five or more separately metered tenants.

Portland General Electric offers Energy Partner Insights, which visualizes billing and meter interval data. Program eligibility includes multi-family, commercial, and industrial buildings. However, benchmarking through the Energy Star Portfolio Manager is not currently enabled.  

Last Updated: August 2023

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2020, Portland General Electric set a goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, with an interim goal of 80% reduction by 2030 from 2010 levels. To achieve this interim goal, PGE will need to reduce emissions by 7.1% annually from 2019 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In April 2017, the City of Portland committed to a transition to 100% renewable energy for community-wide energy needs by 2050. The city has been working with the local utilities on implementation and progress towards achieving this goal.

City staff regularly participate in state and Public Utility Commission legislative rulemaking proceedings, and the City has been an advocate for PGE’s efforts to provide a clean tariff for large commercial and institutional customers. The City has also partnered with NW Natural on a renewable natural gas development project involving the use of excess biogas at the City’s wastewater treatment plant and turning it into RNG for transportation fuel. The city maintains a Solar Map which indicates the location of distributed generation solar resources in the City. Community Choice Aggregation has not been enabled in the state of Oregon.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

Portland's Fire Station 1 features a city-owned microgrid installation with rooftop solar and storage. The city hopes to use the lessons from this project to implement a larger, community-wide system in the future. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

Portland has installed 700 kW of solar systems on municipal facilities. Portland Fire and Rescue completed the City’s first solar + battery storage project in 2019, which includes a 30 kW solar array. The Portland Water Bureau has the City’s largest solar array on its Groundwater Pump Station. The 267.54 kW “Solar on the Slough” array was constructed, owned and managed by Bonneville Environmental Foundation for six years and was recently purchased by the City. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

Portland offers a financing option for energy efficiency improvements through its commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing program. 

Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) provides funding and support to non-profits pursuing climate related projects and grants. Funding can be used for a wide variety of actions including paying for a contractor to conduct an energy audit of your building or sending staff to a training to learn more about clean energy. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

The energy and water utilities do not currently offer joint energy and water efficiency measures. Energy Trust does offer a variety of reduced-flow energy-efficiency measures such as showerheads and faucet aerators, as well as irrigation measures and industrial projects that reduce water consumption. The Portland Water Bureau offers free water efficiency kits to residential customers as well as toilet and irrigation rebates and incentives. The Bureau offers many programs for commercial customers including the multifamily toilet replacement program, Business Industry and Government (BIG) technical assistance program.

The Water Bureau of Portland has not established a specific goal for water savings.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

The City's Environmental Services Wastewater Group has set a target of 1% annual reduction in energy use compared with FY2013-14. To identify and implement energy efficiency projects, the Wastewater Group is actively involved in the Energy Trust of Oregon's Industrial Energy Initiative, which provides technical assistance and financial incentives to promote efficiency projects at the wastewater treatment plant.

The City of Portland’s Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant captures methane to generate heat and power in a 1.7 MW cogeneration system. In FY 2015-16, the combined heat and power (CHP) system generated 10.6 million kWh of electricity and 3.9 MMtherms of natural gas. The treatment plant also began to capture the remaining biogas for use as renewable transportation fuel beginning in 2019.

Last Updated: August 2023

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

Climate Change Mitigation Goal

The city of Portland set a goal to reduce local government GHG emissions 53% by 2030, using a 2007 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

The city of Portland set a goal to reduce local government building energy use 2% annually by 2030, using a 2007 baseline. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The city of Portland set a goal to continue to use 100% renewable energy to power city operations. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Portland has enacted several policies to encourage efficient vehicle procurement and operation. The city’s fleet service has a policy of purchasing the most efficient vehicle that meets work requirements. The city has also set a goal to convert 20% of the city’s fleet to electric vehicles by 2030. Their overall goal is to reach net-zero fleet by 2050, with steppingstones along the way including compliance with the State’s new ICE registration restrictions effective 2035. Portland’s fleet is composed of 15% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles.

Public Lighting

Portland’s Street Lighting Standards were originally devised for the City of Portland by Industrial Testing Laboratories of Berkeley, California, and recommended acceptable street light illumination on public-rights-of-way within the City of Portland. Portland’s Green Building Policy for city-owned facilities includes bird-friendly practices such as reducing exterior lighting, prohibiting up-lighting or light beams, installing full cut off, shielded, or directional lighting, installing time switch control devices, and more. Portland is a founding member of the DOE-sponsored Municipal Solid State Lighting Consortium to exchange technical data, design, product research, and pricing of LEDs among city owned streetlight systems. 100% of Portland’s streetlights have been converted to LEDs.

Inclusive procurement

Portland’s office of Procurement Services has programs focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion in contracting. These include Community Opportunities and Enhancement Program, Prime Contractor Development Program, Construction Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Workforce Training & Hiring Program, and the City's Fair Contracting forum, which is an advisory group.  These programs and policies apply to all procurement including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation projects. Portland’s Procurement Annual Report 2020-2021 shows use of social equity in contracting processes and gives examples of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects these were applied to. Their processes include apprenticeships, community engagement, and outreach.

Last updated: September 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

The City of Portland requires eligible commercial buildings, including local government facilities, to benchmark and report energy performance through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.  The City benchmarks 100% of buildings greater than 1,000 square feet that have available data and no tenant owned meters. Benchmarking data from buildings greater than 20,000 square feet are shared with the public.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City's Bureau of Internal Business Services has a Strategic Planning Group that manages a project prioritization process for major maintenance that prioritizes projects that improve energy efficiency.  Additionally, Portland has a policy aimed at undertaking any identified energy efficiency project with a simple payback of 10 years or less. The City has implemented more than 100 significant energy efficiency investments in the last 20 years. Several city bureaus participate in Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management Program to identify opportunities and change office behaviors, with the Water Bureau saving 8% on operational energy consumption. Portland municipal code also allows for Energy Saving Performance Contracts, which the parks department participated in beginning in 2017.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

The City of Portland provides transportation benefits to all municipal employees including subsidized transit passes, incentives for walking or biking to work, and an emergency ride home program for employees who take transit.

Last update: February 2024