State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Sacramento, CA

41.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
4.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

The 2007 Sustainability Master Plan and the 2012 Sacramento Climate Action Plan (Phase 1) detail the city’s energy goals and strategies for its internal government operations. Sacramento’s strategies work to reduce energy use from municipal buildings and facilities, streetlights and traffic signals, the vehicle fleet, and waste management. One of Sacramento’s focuses is on requiring new buildings to achieve the highest LEED rating, with an emphasis on energy efficiency improvements.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

The 2007 Sustainability Master Plan established a goal of reducing energy use in local government operations to 25% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Climate Action Plan, adopted February 14, 2012, established goals of reducing local government greenhouse gas emissions 22% below 2005 levels by 2020, 49% by 2035, and 83% by 2050. These goals have been adopted into the city’s 2035 General Plan.  


To meet its greenhouse gas reduction goal, Sacramento would need to reduce emissions by 0.02% per year.


Sacramento is on track to achieve its nearest-term local government emissions goal.


Sacramento reports on sustainability initiatives in its General Plan Annual Reports, which include municipal GHG data.

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

The Fleet Sustainability and Fuel Conservation Policy’s (detailed in Administrative Policy Instructions No. 57) purchasing guidelines emphasize considering best fuel economy and lowest emissions in vehicle class in purchase decisions. The policy’s vehicle operations guidelines encourage vehicle trip reductions, the use of GPS for routing, reduced idling, and fleet right-sizing.

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Public Lighting

We could not confirm if Sacramento has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. As of late 2009, the city had commenced a pilot project to convert streetlights to LEDs.

New Buildings and Equipment

The city’s green building policy (Resolution 2004-751) sets a goal for all city facilities over 5,000 square feet to achieve at least LEED Silver certification. However, certification is not mandatory. The Sustainable Operations Policy (detailed in Administrative Policy Instructions No. 57) includes the requirement to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances when practical.

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

We could not find information regarding Sacramento’s public building benchmarking efforts.  percentage of public building square footage benchmarked. We could not confirm the existence of comprehensive retrofit strategies for public buildings in this City.

Public Employees

We could not find data on policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules and teleworking, and we did not find information on transit benefits offered to city employees.  

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 6 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Sacramento has incorporated community-wide energy-related goals and strategies into the city’s 2035 General Plan.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

The city’s formally adopted 2035 General Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15% below a 2005 baseline by 2020, 49% by 2035 and 83% by 2050. The city’s plan also includes a goal to reduce residential and commercial energy use by 25% below a 2005 baseline by 2030.

We did not find regular public reports that track progress towards these goals.

Last updated: January 2017

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

We did not find information on any programs or policies to plan for future district energy systems.   

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

Integrated into the city’s 2035 General Plan, the city’s Climate Action Plan identifies urban heat island mitigation strategies and actions. These goals include incorporating cool pavement into regular infrastructure maintenance and planting 1,000 new trees annually until achieving 35% urban tree canopy.

The city’s municipal utility provides cool roof incentives, and the city provides development bonuses for installing a green roof on a building. The city has also adopted a private tree protection ordinance.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 9.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Sacramento has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency such as financing for efficient buildings. The Building Division within the Department of Community Development manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Sacramento.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of California allows its local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes 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 California Energy Code, BEES and California Green Building Codes have been updated in 2016 and are effective January 1, 2017. The 2016 codes exceed the 2015 IECC standards and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2013. To learn more about California’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Sacramento adheres to the 2016 California codes.


Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Sacramento adheres to the 2016 California codes.

Last Updated: March 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

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

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

Private commercial and residential buildings are not subject to green building requirements.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Sacramento does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Residential and commercial construction may apply for financing through a PACE-like program, Clean Energy Sacramento.

Last Updated: January 2017 

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All


The State of California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 in October of 2015. It will require commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark energy usage annually. This will most likely begin in 2018. 

California requires commercial buildings to obtain and disclose ENERGY STAR ratings to transactional counter parties and the California Energy Commission at the time of a sale, lease, or financing for the entire building through AB 1130.


Sacramento does not have a program for residential building benchmarking. SoCal MLS, the multiple listing service that serves the Sacramento region, includes energy efficiency fields for features of homes listed on the market.

Last Updated: January 2017


Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 13.5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is Sacramento’s municipally-run electric utility. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary gas utility for the City of Sacramento. In the State of California, the municipally-run utilities are not required to meet the state EERS targets, but instead set their own energy efficiency targets. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

The Sacramento Department of Utilities is the municipal utility which provides drinking water and stormwater management services to the City of Sacramento. The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District is the regional utility which provides wastewater treatment for Sacramento.

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to EIA, SMUD achieved 146,937 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.40% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, SMUD’s demand side management report claims $36,660,884 in spending on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 2.71% of annual revenue. In 2015, PG&E reported savings of 22.00 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 1.19% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, PG&E spent $74,216,264 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $17.60 per residential customer. Spending on electricity and natural gas represented in this section covers the entire California service territory, not just Sacramento. SMUD offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. PG&E similarly offers natural gas efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial customers.

At this time, the City of Sacramento does not have a formal partnership with PG&E in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

SMUD’s Residential Assistance and Advisory Group offers programs and services to help make the bills of low-income residential customers more affordable. The Energy Advisory section of the group offers customized information to all residential customers over the phone, through written and web-based literature, group seminar presentations, personalized in-home energy audits, and customer education. Programs under the Residential Assistance and Advisory Group include weatherization assistance; however, information was not available regarding either the details of this assistance, or the details on program spending, savings, or customers served in 2015.

PG&E offers the Energy Savings Assistance Program to qualified low-income residential customers. The program provides direct installation of lighting efficiency upgrades, HVAC tune-ups, smart power strips, and refrigerator recycling/replacement in order to reduce energy consumption in low-income households. This program is implemented statewide by investor-owned utilities under the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission. In 2015, according to PG&E, it achieved 2.21 MMtherms in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $24,619,562 on its natural gas low-income efficiency portfolio. The number of households served was not available.

Multifamily Programs

SMUD offers the Home Performance Program for Multifamily Buildings. This comprehensive program offers performance based incentives to multifamily properties that improve energy efficiency levels by a minimum of 10% over existing property conditions. Incentives start at $250 per unit for a 10% improvement in energy efficiency and increase by $25 for each additional percentage kWh saved per unit. The maximum available incentive is $1,250 per unit or up to 50% of total savings. An energy consultant offers free technical assistance to owners throughout the retrofit and program process and connects owners with other incentives.

PG&E offers the California New Homes Multifamily Program. This comprehensive program provides support for saving energy in the residential new construction sector with a cross-cutting focus on sustainable design and construction, green building practices, energy-efficiency, and emerging technologies. Through a combination of education, design assistance, and financial support, the programs work to encourage building construction and related industries to exceed California's Title 24 energy efficiency standards. Additionally, PG&E offers the Multifamily Properties Energy-Efficiency Rebates Program. This comprehensive program provides rebates for the installation energy-efficient products in apartment buildings, mobile home parks, and condominium complexes. Rebates are available for products installed in both common areas and units.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, SMUD and PG&E make use of the Green Button data sharing platform. In order to assist large building managers with accessing aggregated energy data for building benchmarking, SMUD and PG&E provide automatic data entry into Portfolio Manager, as well as 12 months of historical data upon registration. At this point, SMUD and PG&E do not provide community aggregate energy usage data for public consumption. At this time, the City of Sacramento does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by natural gas utilities.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

Sacramento provides rebates for water-efficient sprinkler systems, toilets, and clothes washers, and employs Water Wise conservation specialists to identify home and business water savings opportunities. Additionally, the Department of Utilities is in the process of upgrading the city’s meters to smart water meters. The City of Sacramento has set a goal to achieve a 20% reduction in per capita water consumption by the year 2020 below 2005 levels.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

At this point, SRCSD has not established a goal for energy efficiency through municipal water operations. However, SRCSD, in partnership with Carson Energy, operates an on-site cogeneration plant at the Sacramento regional wastewater treatment plant in Elk Grove. The cogeneration plant is partly fueled by the biogas produced by the treatment plant’s digesters.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The City of Sacramento has developed the Stormwater Quality Design Manual for use in new construction projects. However, there are no funding or incentive structures in place to encourage green infrastructure and stormwater management.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 7.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the city of Sacramento is Sacramento Regional Transit District. SACRT also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus and light rail service. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Sacramento, and the six surrounding counties. The Department of Public Works is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Sacramento has not yet implemented location efficient zoning codes to be used across the city or in any specific neighborhood. The city’s parking code removes parking requirements for residential purposes in the central business and arts and entertainment districts. Projects with a transportation management plan may achieve up to 35% reduction. As an incentive to promote location-efficient real estate development, the city has an infill program that provides developers with flexibility in floor area ratios, height restrictions, and density. Expedited review of development plans is included in the incentive package.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

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

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There is a car sharing program currently available to the residents and visitors of Sacramento, zipcar. A bikesharing program is currently in the planning stages.

Complete Streets

Sacramento has not yet written or codified a Complete Streets Policy.

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The SACRT transit system that serves Sacramento has received $202,942,103 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $89.24 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the fifth highest category ($50-99) available in the City Scorecard

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. Sacramento’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 12, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-14) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Sacramento does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure. The city has 80 EV charging stations available for public use.

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Sacramento does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place nor does the city has any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

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

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sacramento’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy prioritizes investments that maintain, preserve, and make more efficient use of existing road and transit assets to help defer or eliminate the need for infrastructure expansions.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

We could not confirm if Sacramento has requirements or incentives in place to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Last updated: January 2017