State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Sacramento, CA

45.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
3.5 out of 9 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 15% 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. The city is on track to reduce municipal emissions 41% below the baseline by 2020.

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.

Last updated: June 2019

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. 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.  We could not confirm Sacramento’s fleet composition.

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. 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.

Green Building Requirements 

In 2004, the City Council adopted a resolution establishing goals for all new and remodeled City facilities to meet a minimum LEED Silver standard. Since the policy was adopted, six new city facilities were designed and constructed between 2005 and 2010, all of which achieved LEED Silver or Gold certification by the US Green Building Council. All six have also exceeded California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards by at least 20 percent or more. The City received the Green California Leadership Award in 2011 for these certifications. The City’s 2035 General Plan Land Use Policy LU 8.1.5 reiterates the City’s ongoing commitment that new or renovated City-owned buildings are energy efficient and meet, as appropriate, LEED Silver or equivalent standards.

Last updated: June 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Sacramento does not currently benchmark any municipal buildings. 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. The City is using this funding to retrofit 24 of the previously audited facilities

Public Workforce Commuting

We did not find information on a policy aimed at reducing commutes of city employees, such as flexible schedules or telework.  

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 5.5 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Sacramento formally adopted the 2035 General Plan in 2015. The Plan establishes sustainability goals and strategies.

Last updated: June 2019

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. ACEEE does not project the city will achieve its community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal because no data was available to make a projection. 

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.

Last updated: June 2019

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether permanent city staff have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting outreach for multiple clean energy initiatives to marginalized groups compared with outreach to 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.

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. 

Last updated: June 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

The City of Sacramento has installed 4.9 megawatts of solar photovoltaic on city-owned facilities.

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: September 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The 2035 General Plan includes a goal to plant 1,000 trees annually until the city achieves 35% urban canopy coverage.

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.   

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 17.5 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: March 2019

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: March 2019

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: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

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 policy covers 60% of commercial buildings and 77% of multifamily buildings in Sacramento. The city has not adopted its own benchmarking ordinance.


The city has not adopted a single-family benchmarking and disclosure policy.

Last Update: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Sacramento offers eight incentives for energy efficiency improvements, solar installations, and low-income energy action projects.

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 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.

Please note that each incentive/program is tallied based on the building types and energy resources eligible for award. For example, a PACE financing program that offers energy efficiency and renewable energy financing to both residential and commercial property owners is counted as four incentives.

Last Updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

Sacramento has not adopted a policy requiring building owners to conduct any additional above-code energy-saving actions.

Last Update: March 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The City of Sacramento recently released a Request for Proposal for its Curbside EV Charging Pilot project. The city hopes to incentivize local hiring with the pilot. 

Last Update: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 8.5 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 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, SMUD reported 164,200 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.52% of retail sales. In 2017, PG&E reported savings of 28.00 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 1.45% of its retail sales. 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 2019

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 include weatherization assistance and refrigerator replacement. SMUD partners with local community agency advocates and government agencies to educate and promote their programs.

In 2017, according to SMUD, it achieved 3,190 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 3,469 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 2017, according to PG&E, it achieved 1.65 MMtherms from its low-income programs, while serving 87,052 customers across its service territory.

Multifamily Programs

In 2017, SMUD ceased offering their multifamily program, and they are working to redesign their program. PG&E does not currently offer a multifamily program in Sacramento.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order to assist large building managers with accessing aggregated energy data for building benchmarking, SMUD and PG&E provide automatic data entry into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, as well as 12 months of historical data upon registration. At this time, the City of Sacramento does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by natural gas utilities.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, SMUD provided $690,382 in incentives for the installation of 26,165 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $26/kW installed. SMUD offers the Commercial Retrofit PV Incentive Program, which incentivizes the installation solar installations for commercial customers on their existing facilities. The Residential Retrofits PV program provides incentives for residential retrofit customers to reduce the cost for customer-owned, customer-sited PV systems and seeks to make on-site, solar-generated electricity available to an ever broader cross-section of residential customers.​The Solar Smart EE (New Homes) program aims to work with major builders to design and incorporate energy efficiency (EE) technologies into new home design and construction. SMUD in turn provides at no cost energy consultative services from SMUD’s residential experts, marketing and promotions for homes constructed, and EE incentives. The SolarSmart PV (New Homes) program provides incentives for rooftop PV systems and energy efficiency improvements in new home construction.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In 2017, SMUD produced 26% of its electricity generation from renewable sources.

Last Updated: April 2019

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 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. As noted in the 2015 UWMP, finalized in July of 2016, the City is on track to achieve the 20% by 2020 goal. This goal is for the City’s GPCD to be below 225 GPCD by the end of 2020. For fiscal year 2017-8, the City’s usage was 167 GPCD.

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.

Water plant 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.

Last Updated: September 2019

Score: 10.5 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

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