State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Riverside, CA

82.50Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 11 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city’s climate action plan established greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of 49% below 2007 levels by 2035. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Energy Efficiency Goal

The city has set goals in the Green Action Plan to save 1% of community-wide energy use per year based on a 2004 baseline and to reduce the city’s peak electric load 10%. 

Renewable Energy Goal

Goal 1 of Green Action Plan targets an increase in the use of renewable energy resources to 50% of total use by 2030. ACEEE projects Riverside will achieve its renewable energy goal.

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

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 city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

The city’s zoning code requires the preservation of existing trees with a trunk of 6 inches or more and requires private property owned to plant shade trees. The zoning code also includes a subdivision conservation ordinance that developers can use for conservation purposes.

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: 24 out of 70 points
Building Energy CodesList All


The State of California allows its local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the mandatory state codes. Title 24 outlines all California building codes. Title 24, Part 6 includes the California Energy Code and the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (BEES). Title 24, Part 11 includes the California Green Building Code. The 2022 codes exceed the 2021 IECC standards and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2019. To learn more about California’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial properties comply with the 2022 version of the California Building Standards Code, Title 24 part 1 and 2, the 2022 California Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 41.


Residential development must  comply with the 2022 version of the California Building Standards Code, Title 24 Part 2.5, the 2022 California Residential Code, or Parts 1 and 2, the 2022 California Building Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 26.

Solar-readiness policies

Riverside adheres to the solar-ready requirements already included in the 2022 California Building Standards Code.

EV-charging readiness policies

Riverside adheres to the EV-ready requirements already included in the 2022 California Building Standards Code.

Electrification policies

Riverside has adopted a building electrification ordinance, as a local amendment enforced under Section 14.26 of the Riverside Municipal Code, requiring all newly constructed, low-rise buildings in the city to be designed as all-electric structures.

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 California Building Standards Code requires third-party verification of building commissioning and plan reviews. The city does not provide upfront support for energy code compliance. Building & Safety Division staff receive annual code training which includes energy code compliance to ensure plan review and inspections validate energy code compliance as required by the adopted standards.

Last Update: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Riverside complies with the State of California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 802. Per AB 802, owners of commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet must benchmark energy usage. 


Commercial and residential building owners may access rebates for energy efficiency upgrades and/or energy-saving designs during the construction phase. Residential customers are also eligible for energy efficiency rebates.

Commercial and residential property owners may also qualify for property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installation, and water conservation measures.

The city’s municipal utility operates the Energy Savings Assistance Program that provides income-eligible applicants with no-cost home energy improvements.

Last Update: September 2023

Score: 19.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Riverside's Active Transportation Master Plan was released in 2021 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

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

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Riverside 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

California's SB 9 became law in 2021 and went into effect in 2022. This allows lots in single-family zones throughout the state to be split into two lots, and allows up to two units to be built on each lot, effectively increasing the number of units permitted per lot from one to four in single-family zones. SB 9 applies to residential zones in all California cities, including Riverside. 

Parking Requirements

Riverside has eliminated parking minimums in certain districts. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

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

Affordable Housing around Transit

The city incentivizes affordable housing near transit by providing a density bonus to 100% affordable housing developments in transit-rich areas. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The City of Riverside does not have a codified mode share target. 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City of Riverside does not have a codified mode share target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

The City of Riverside provides a discounted bus pass to all city residents. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Riverside have received $55,635,645.00 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $29.18 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 Riverside’s AllTransit Performance Score is 5.2, scoring 1 point in the City Scorecard. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Riverside Public Utilities offers an up to $1000 rebate on purchasing or leasing an electric or hybrid vehicle, with low-income customers in the RPU SHARE program eligible for a $2500 rebate. 

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

Riverside Public Utilities offers a $500 rebate for installing level 2 chargers in single-family homes, $5000 in rebates for commercial or multi-family developments, and $10000 for schools and qualified affordable housing developments. 

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The California Green Building Code requires multifamily properties with 20 or more units and hotels with 20 or more guest rooms to install level 2 EV chargers in five percent of the total parking spaces. 

EV Charging Ports

The City of Riverside has 74.8 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use. 

Electric School Bus Goal

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

EV Transit Bus Goal

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is requiring all California transit agencies to transition their bus fleets to zero-emissions buses by 2040. Therefore, Riverside Transit Agency has a goal of transitioning to zero-emissions buses. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

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

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 24 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All

Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), a municipally-run utility, is the primary electric utility for the City of Riverside. Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary natural gas supplier for the city of Riverside. Riverside actively promotes its natural gas efficiency programs. The State of California requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and requires local government-utility partnerships through mandate by the California PUC. The municipally-run utilities are not required to meet the state EERS targets, but instead set their own energy efficiency targets. In 2021, California regulators updated state energy efficiency policies to focus on reducing carbon emissions. The state’s new rules value efficiency as a grid and decarbonization resource, encourage utilities to offer more programs that primarily serve communities of color and low-income residents, and encourage workforce development programs. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

Riverside Public Utilities’ Water Department provides Riverside with drink water services.

Last Updated: October 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, RPU reported 10,283 MWh of net electric net electric savings at the meter.

In 2021, SoCalGas reported 43.70 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter.

Riverside Public Utilities offers electric efficiency rebates and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. SoCalGas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

SoCalGas has had a Master Partnership with Riverside since 2014 to jointly deliver energy and water efficiency programs, and the joint programs have served customers with diverse backgrounds, including major energy/water users, food service kitchens, and income-qualified residents in Riverside. SoCalGas continues to partner with local governments with its energy leader model providing technical assistance for energy efficiency retrofits, strategic planning and reach code support, and more.

SoCalGas operated 26 partnerships with cities or groups of cities in 2015. The City has an agreement with SoCalGas to provide energy efficiency retrofits to low-income households within the City of Riverside. This program is administered with the RPU in association with all of RPU's low-income assistance programs.

Last Updated: September 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Both Riverside Public Utilities and SoCalGas offer the dual fuel Energy Savings Assistance Program to qualified low-income residential customers. The program offers income-qualified renters and homeowners no-cost energy-saving home improvements through an authorized contractor, Synergy. It offers new energy-efficient LED lighting (indoor and outdoor), HVAC tune-ups, ECM HVAC motors, smart programmable thermostats, computer smart power strips, occupancy sensors, insulation and water stripping and caulking to help lower heating and cooling costs. For over 20 years, RPU has engaged with a low-income stakeholder group of regional partners who provide low-income assistance. This group provides input into program design and delivery. .

In 2021, according to RPU they served 2,647 households.. Data on spending and savings was not available. In 2021, according to SoCal Gas, it achieved 0.74 MMtherms energy savings, while spending $107,122,445 and served 105,067 households in its service territory.

Multifamily Programs

RPU offers the Multi-Family/Mobile Home Direct Installs Program. This comprehensive program offers energy efficiency upgrades to common areas and within individual units. Program offerings include AC tune-ups, replacing incandescent with CFL bulbs, duct sealing and testing for mobile homes, smart stripping, HVAC efficient fan control switches, LED landscape lighting and parking lot lighting, and vending machine controllers. This program was suspended due to Covid-19.

Spending value, energy savings and number of customers served by RPU’s 2021 multifamily programs were not available.

SoCalGas offers a portfolio of multifamily efficiency programs. The Multifamily Direct Therm Savings Program and the On-Demand Efficiency Program to provide energy audits and installation of energy efficiency measures. The Multifamily Energy Efficiency Rebate Program offers rebates for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency measures in apartment dwelling units, common areas, condominium complexes, and mobile home parks. The Multifamily Whole Building Home Upgrade Program provides a comprehensive long-term building strategy with energy efficiency retrofit measures identified through an investment grade audit. The Central Water Heater Multifamily Building Solutions Program offers property owners a comprehensive engineering assessment and incentives for upgrading the central water heater system.

In 2021, according to SoCalGas, it spent $25,055,219 on its multifamily programs. The number of households this program served and how many MMtherms it saved were not provided.

Last Updated: September 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Riverside Public Utilities provides electricity data to customers upon request. SoCalGas provides energy use to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for both commercial and multifamily buildings.

RPU provides community-wide energy usage data for community planning. SoCalGas provides natural gas data to the city upon request.

The City of Riverside, through Riverside Public Utilities, supports state programs and actively participates in program development at the California Energy Commission.

Last Updated: September 2023

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2018, RPU set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 486,277 MMT CO2 by 2030 from 1990 baseline levels. To achieve this goal, RPU will need to reduce emissions by 3% annually from 2017 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In 2017, the most recent year with data available, RPU emitted 9.66 metric tons of CO2 per capita.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

The City of Riverside has nearly 69.5 MW of installed solar PV within the city boundaries. 54.2 MW of this capacity represents behind the meter customer installed PV systems, while the remaining 15.3 MW capacity is either under contract with the City or the University of California (Riverside campus). Additionally, the City has 96 MW of geothermal, 46.32 MW of wind and 90.1 MW of solar under contract throughout California. These resources helped the City serve 43.1% of its retail load using renewable energy in 2021. The City also has an additional 20 MW of geothermal under contract which will begin delivering more renewable energy in 2027. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

Commercial and residential property owners may also qualify for property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installation, and water conservation measures. 

Single- and two-family households may also qualify for express solar permitting if the property meets specific standards. 

Last Updated: February 2024

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

Riverside Public Utilities serves both electricity and water to its customers, and it administers both water and energy efficiency programs. The city offers rebates for water-efficient appliances, drought tolerant landscaping and free sprinkler nozzles for both residential and commercial customers. The RPU coordinates with regional agencies, both SoCal Gas and the Metropolitan Water District as well, to offer water conservation and energy efficiency measures. SoCal Gas partners with Riverside in the delivery of the Energy Savings Assistance Program that serves income-qualified residents of Riverside. In addition, the RPU partners with Metropolitan Water District and Western Municipal Water Districts offer rebates for high-efficiency clothes washers, premium high-efficiency toilets, weather-based irrigation controllers, turf replacement, rotating sprinkler nozzles, rain barrels and cisterns, soil moisture sensor systems, water flow monitoring devices, soaker hose incentives, and hose bib irrigation controllers.

In 2008, the city approved the Riverside Recycle Water Project, which will use highly treated wastewater rather than high-quality potable water to serve the agricultural and irrigation needs throughout the city.

In Spring 2023, the wastewater division will undergo two major projects to save energy and reduce costs. The first is shutting down the Activated Plant and treating all wastewater in the MBR plant. This will reduce electricity use by shutting of redundant systems and streamline operations. The second project is the reduced Chlorine Contact Time (CCT) project which will reduce energy and chemical use. The CCT project is scheduled for completion in Fall 2023.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

While the City of Riverside has not established a goal for energy efficiency across municipal water service operations, RPU has worked to replace or rehabilitate inefficient pumps and motors during upgrades.

The wastewater division of the Riverside Public Works department self-generates electricity by capturing methane generated from the wastewater treatment plant's anaerobic digesters. Methane is currently begin utilized at the City's wastewater treatment facility to fuel a 1.4 MW fuel cell and two 9.9 MMBtu per hour boilers. Waste heat from the fuel cell is captured in an onsite heat loop which is used to process heat for the anaerobic digesters. The wastewater division is also undergoing a project to upgrade digester gas (biogas) to pipeline quality renewable natural gas (RNG), upgrade the Digestate Management Facility and rehabilitate digester.

Last Updated: September 2023

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

Climate Change Mitigation Goal

The city of Riverside set a goal to reduce local government GHG emissions 49% by 2035, using a 2007 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

We could not find any information regarding a local energy reduction goal for Riverside. 

Renewable Energy Goal

We could not find any information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal for Riverside. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition 

Riverside’s Green Action Plan targets a 5% reduction in mobile source pollution by 2020 and increase the number of clean fleet vehicles to at least 60%. Riverside regularly purchases alternative fuel vehicles. The City of Riverside fleet is also subject to state regulations, which shape the purchasing model to include alternative fuels such as CNG, EV, and LPG. The Advanced Clean Fleet Regulations from the California Air Resources Board require that starting January 1, 2024, 50% of new medium to heavy duty vehicles purchased must be Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV). Beginning January 1, 2027, 100% of new medium to heavy duty vehicles purchased must be ZEV. 100% of new light duty vehicles sold in California must be ZEV by 2035 by Governor’s Executive Order issued September 23, 2020. Riverside’s fleet is composed of 9% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles.  

Public Lighting

Riverside’s City Council adopted an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that complies with the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. The ordinance became effective in December 2018. Riverside has converted 100% of their streetlights to LEDs.  

Inclusive procurement 

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

Last updated: October 2023

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Starting in 2018, the State of California requires building owners with buildings 50,000 sq ft and larger to submit the energy use of their buildings to the California Energy Commission Annually.  Riverside does report energy use in all municipal buildings 50,000 square feet or larger but does not complete the full energy benchmarking at this time.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The city of Riverside does not have a comprehensive retrofit strategy.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

The City of Riverside does not provide transportation benefits to employees. However, the City is required to participate in a reporting program called Rule 2202, which aims to reduce the emissions generated by employees commuting to work during peak hours. This report includes only city employees at select locations.

Last update: February 2024