State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Sacramento, CA

50.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
5.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Sacramento incorporated climate and energy action into the city’s 2035 General Plan. The city also formally adopted the 2016 update to the Climate Action Plan for Internal Operations.

Climate Mitigation Goal

Action Item Environmental Resources 6.1.6 of the 2035 General Plan establishes a goal to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 83% below 2005 levels by 2050, with interim reduction goals of 22% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 49% below 2005 levels by 2035. The Climate Action Plan for Internal Operations claims that Sacramento achieved municipal emissions reductions that exceed the city’s 2020 goals. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations. 

Energy Reduction Goal

Sacramento aims to reduce local government energy use 25% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal. 57% of the city's electricity consumption comes from renewable sources. 

Last updated: September 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Sacramento’s City Fleet Sustainability Policy was updated in December 2017 to include a 50% alternative fuel goal and zero-emission vehicle commitments. In December 2017, Sacramento City Council adopted an Electric Vehicle Strategy, which sets targets for transportation electrification by 2025, including 75,000 zero-emission vehicles. Sacramento established a zero-emission vehicle first committment and set requirements for minimum annual light-duty purchases to be 50% ZEV by 2018 and 75% ZEV by 2020. Sacramento’s fleet management has gained national recognition for its green fleet efforts, including high ranking in 100 Best Fleets, Leading Fleets, and Government Green Fleet Awards. Such practices have led to an 18% reduction in total vehicles, 3.69% reduction in total fuel consumption, and 1.97% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. ACEEE could not verify Sacramento’s current fleet composition, but the city has procured 57 zero-emission vehicles.

Public Lighting

We did not find information regarding the adoption of a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance, however California has adopted lighting standards. Sacramento has installed LEDs in all traffic signals. The City has upgraded approximately one-third of the streetlights to LEDs and are planning to complete the rest in the near future, which will save 11 million KWF annually.

Onsite renewable systems 

Sacramento operates over 4 MW of solar photovoltaics at city facilities.

Inclusive procurement

We could not verify if the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes.

Last updated: March 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Per statewide benchmarking mandates, Sacramento reports energy use for buildings over 50,000 square feet. The city reports 19 city facilities, which accoutns for 85% of square footage. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategies

Sacrmento's Climate Action Plan states that the city shall promote the retrofitting of existing structures with green building technologies and practices. The City’s Energy Efficiency Retrofits program for City facilities is designed to provide better facility systems performance with higher efficiencies, resulting in reduced energy costs and maximizing return on investment. The current and future program builds on past success and partnerships with SMUD in greening the City’s facilities. By identifying cost-effective improvements to existing facilities in heating/cooling, lighting, pumping systems, and other facility components, the City can both reduce energy usage and GHG emissions in a cost-effective manner. The City also has an Energy Reinvestment Program, which focuses on energy-reducing and clean energy projects at City-owned facilities. Measure U funding will be utilized to update current lighting with higher-quality LED lighting and controls that save energy, reduce maintenance costs, and will provide enhanced lighting quality at community centers, clubhouses, and Sacramento Libraries. The City of Sacramento contracted with Siemens to conduct an Investment Grade Audit of multiple city facilities.In 2017, the City secured $1.5 million to implement retrofit recommendations through a phased approach using a SMUD program. In 2019, Sacremento completed retrofits in over 40 municipal buildings. 

Public Workforce Commuting

Sacramento permits telework for some city employees.  

Last updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 7.5 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Sacramento is currently developing the 2040 General Plan and Climate Action update. The city also formally adopted the 2035 General Plan in 2015. The Plan establishes sustainability goals and strategies.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The 2035 General Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 83% below 2005 levels by 2050 with interim reduction goals of 15% by 2020 and 49% by 2035. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal. 

A community-wide greenhouse gas inventory is included in the 2017 General Plan Annual Report.

Energy Reduction Goal

The 2035 General Plan establishes a goal to reduce residential and commercial energy use 25% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Renewable Energy Goal

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

Energy Data Reporting

The 2017 General Plan Annual Report includes community energy data from 2006 to 2017.

This section applies only to community-wide energy data reporting. For information on data reporting due to building energy benchmarking and disclosure policies, click on the Buildings tab.

Last updated: September 2020

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

 As part of the General Plan updating process, plan developers met with key community leaders from communities most impacted by pollution on how to best incorporate environmental justice objectives into the General Plan. 

Environmental justice listening sessions were provided within disadvantaged communities, and food, translation services, and family activities were provided to encourage participation. Similar services were provided at four citywide workshops and ten community area meetings. Recommendations from these events are being incorporated into the 2040 General Plan. Additionally, quick but interactive "pop-up outreach" was conducted at existing community events and gathering places withing disadvantaged communities. 

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

Sacramento created the Environmental Justice Working Group to advise of environmental justice planning implementation, identify meaningful community engagement strategies, assist city staff on processing input from identified community needs and priorities, provide guidance on environmental justice policy element, advise on community capacity development, and identify areas for overall improvement within the city. Also, the Mayors' Commission on Climate Change is advised by an inclusive process which includes Technical Advisory Committees (which include community representatives), community and youth engagement, and equity roundtables. Recommendations from these processes will be incorporated into the Climate Action Plan.

Accountability to Equity

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, though the 2040 Climate Action Plan will include an environmental justice element. Equity goals and strategies for the plan are currently being developed. 

Last updated: July 2020

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) runs SolarShares, an off-site community solar program. SMUD offered a first round of community solar enrollment to agency and institutional partners. The City was one of the first participants, and the program now offsets 35% of municipal energy use with solar power.

Last updated: March 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

The 2035 General Plan includes a goal to plant 1,000 trees annually until the city achieves 35% urban canopy coverage, a goal it regularly meets. The plan also includes a broad goal of reducing the urban heat island effect using policies that require or promote the installation of measures such as reflective or green roofs, light-colored pavement, and urban shade trees. 

UHI Policies and Programs

The City Code includes a private tree protection ordinance.

SMUD offers free private tree plantings through the Free Shade Tree Program. The program provides homeowners with free trees only if the tree meets a baseline energy savings goal. 

The city is a member of the Urban Heat Island - Capital Region technical advisory committee, which is exploring how the urban heat island effect will impact the region, develop a blueprint of solutions and analyze which will be most effective to the region's unique climate and heat island pattern. The project will create a regional UHI model to identify highly-impacted areas, incorporate community input, and offer specific recommendations for policies and programs.

The 2035 General Plan's Land Use and Urban Design chapter includes numerous goals and policy recommendations, many of which have already been implemented. Additionally, the city is updating its Urban Forest Master Plan. The city's Stormwater Quality Design Manual (adopted in 2018) sets limits on allowable impervious serface and requires perfious surface materials in new developments.

Last updated: July 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 12.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Sacramento enforces the state’s building energy codes and solar- and EV-readiness mandates. The city also adheres to California’s mandatory benchmarking and disclosure policy. Sacramento and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) offer several incentives and financing options for both commercial and residential property owners seeking energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy installations.

Last Updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList 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. Sacramento has not adopted a stretch code and enforces state building energy codes. 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.


Commercial properties must comply with Title 24. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 51.7.


Residential properties must comply with Title 24. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 59.6.

Solar- and EV-ready

Sacramento adheres to the residential solar-ready requirements already included in the California Building Standards Code. The code also mandates EV-readiness in residential and nonresidential buildings.

Last Updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Sacramento does not staff any full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city uses plan reviews to verify energy code compliance. The city also provides upfront support for energy code compliance by helping developers and/or owners prepare plans prior to submittal.

Last Updated: September 2020

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

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. 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.


The city offers residential and commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and solar installation projects.

SMUD, the city’s municipal utility, offers a range of rebates for home energy efficiency improvements. The utility also offers new electric vehicle drivers a free level 2 charger for residential properties. The utility also offers businesses an incentive for installing an electric vehicle charger. SMUD implements efficiency programs for low-income residential customers and non-profits. 

SMUD also runs the All-Electric Smart Homes program offers developers of newly constructed homes grants to install all-electric infrastructure on the property. Through the Home Performance Program, SMUD offers owners of existing home $13,750 for a comprehensive gas-to-electric conversion.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has a community solar program. Through partnerships with schools and non-profit organizations, the utility promotes realistic hands-on energy training through the program. 

Last Update: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 10.5 out of 15 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 that provides drinking water and stormwater management services to the City of Sacramento. The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District is the regional utility that provides wastewater treatment for Sacramento.

Last Updated: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, SMUD reported 128,337 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.25% of retail sales. In 2018, SMUD spent $29,174,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 2.13% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, PG&E reported 29.97 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 1.58% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2018, PG&E spent $294,599,628 on energy efficiency, which equates to $69.47 per residential customer. These savings figures cover 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: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

SMUD’s Residential Assistance and Advisory Group offers Energy Assistance Program Rate 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. In addition, SMUD’s low-income energy efficiency program offered weatherization, deep home retrofits, solar bundles installations coupled with energy efficiency, and energy efficiency products for apartments and single-family, and tenant mobile homes. SMUD partners with local community agency advocates and government agencies to educate and promote their programs.

In 2018, according to SMUD, it achieved 3,440 MWh in energy savings, while spending $10,198,644 on its low-income programs, and served 6,291 low-income customers.

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 2018, according to PG&E, it achieved 1.91 MMtherms in savings, while spending $51,000,000 on its low-income programs, and served 85,168 electric and natural gas customers across its service territory.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, SMUD does not currently offer a multi-family program.

PG&E offers the California New Homes Multifamily Program, Multifamily Upgrade Program, and Multifamily Cooling Optimizer Program. California New Homes Multifamily Program provides support and incentives for multifamily new construction projects to encourage builders to exceed California’s Title 24 energy efficiency standards. The Multifamily Upgrade Program promotes and facilitates energy-efficient retrofits of existing multifamily buildings” through technical support and incentives. The Multifamily Cooling Optimizer Program is a direct install program focused on HVAC measures in tenant spaces.

In 2018, PG&E achieved 0.238 MMtherms in energy savings, while spending $25,344,728 on its multifamily programs and served 10 multifamily buildings.

Last Updated: March 2020


Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

PG&E's Building Benchmarking Portal provides aggregate whole-building energy usage data in their ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to building owners. The City of Sacramento 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: March 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, SMUD did not offer rebates for solar installations. SMUD’s solar program does provide stipend amounts designed to offset the purchase and installation costs for the meter and cabinet equipment, including $300 per installation (effective June 1, 2018).

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In 2018, SMUD produced 31% of its total generation from renewable sources.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

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 Department of Utilities offers no-cost water leak assistance repair services and installation of water efficient fixtures to low-income homeowners through the Leak Free Sacramento Program. PG&E also offers rebates for high-efficiency commercial dishwashers.

The City of Sacramento has set a goal to achieve a 20% reduction in per capita water consumption by the year 2020 below its 1996-2005 baseline or use less than 225 GPCD. Through the end of 2017, the City remains on track to meet this target.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

At this point, SRCSD, the wastewater utility for the city, has not established a goal for energy efficiency through municipal water operations. However, the City’s 2035 General Plan has set the goal for city facilities to use 25% less energy than 2005 levels by 2030, which affects the water utility.

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. The Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant harnesses methane from its treatment process.

Last Updated: June 2020

Score: 14 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

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The City implements a Transportation Systems Management Program, which is going to be updated in 2019 to better achieve trip reductions.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

The City implements a Transportation Systems Management Program, which is going to be updated in 2019 to better achieve trip reductions. The City hopes to create a holistic mobility system that enables all residents, including low-income and disadvantaged community residents, to get where they need to go in the cleanest way possible.  This means creating a range of different mobility options that both reduce vehicle trips and ensure the vehicle trips that do occur are zero emission wherever possible.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

The City is developing a citywide VMT reduction target that will be adopted in the 2040 General plan update.

Last Updated: May 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Sacramento’s City Code, including zoning standards, have been updated to further facilitate and incentivize transit-oriented development.

Residential Parking Policies

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. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

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: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

Sacramento does not have a mode shift target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Sacramento does not track progress towards their mode shift target.

Complete Streets

Sacramento does not currently have a complete streets policy.

Car Sharing

Sacramento requires carshare vendors to apply for a parking permit application to legally park in the city right of way as of Aug 28. 2018. The program was created to spur innovative new programs, with a pricing structure to incentivize ZEVs. The program accommodates car share with dedicated spaces or operating under a free-floating model.

Bike Sharing

The city has 0 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

Sacramento spends an average of $37.85 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 6.4 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District has $3,000 incentive to purchase a new Nissan LEAF for eligible customers.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) offers a $599 cash incentive to charge free for 2 years or a 240 volt high power EV charger to qualifying customers.

EV Charging Locations

Sacramento has 21.72 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Sacramento does not have any incentives for renewable EV charging infrastructure installation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

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

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Sacramento does not have any policies to preserve affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Sacramento’s Community Car Share program was the first low-income EV car share program in the nation.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

0% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) are located near high-quality, all-day transit in Sacramento.

Last Updated: May 2019