State and Local Policy Database

Salt Lake City

City Scorecard Rank


Salt Lake City, UT

42.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
5 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

The Sustainable Salt Lake Plan articulates Salt Lake City’s energy-related goals for its internal government operations. Salt Lake City is in the process of adopting a new municipal energy savings target using a 2015 baseline, which will be published on the city’s new SLC Green Dashboard. Some of the city’s strategies to reduce energy use include the employment of GPS Insight technology for its vehicle fleet and energy efficiency procurement requirements for new equipment. The Division of Sustainability and the Environment oversees implementation of the government operations goal and facilitates interdepartmental coordination.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

The Sustainable Salt Lake Plan identified a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from local government operations 13% below 2009 levels by 2015. This target was formally codified in the city’s Environmental Policy which required all city departments to maintain their own climate action plan in order to meet the city’s carbon reduction goals. To support this goal, the city enacted the Energy Management Executive Order in 2015, requiring the formation of an Energy Management Steering Committee with of representatives from each city department who must submit an annual departmental comprehensive Energy Management Plan. Each plan must include specific efforts for energy benchmarking, identification of energy savings opportunities, efficient operations best practices, building operator training, employee engagement, and renewable energy opportunities. Salt Lake City is in the process of adopting a new municipal energy savings target using a 2015 baseline, which will be published on the city’s new SLC Green Dashboard. The city also has a goal under DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge that includes municipal buildings.






Salt Lake City's Sustainability Dashboard publicly discloses the progress of each target listed in the Sustainable Salt Lake Plan. The dashboard features municipal energy consumption data as well as an online venue called "Open City Hall" where residents can voice their perspectives on the city’s energy-related targets.

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Salt Lake City does not have formal fuel efficiency requirements for their vehicles or energy-efficient vehicle procurement policies in place. However, the city’s fleet of heavy-duty vehicles employ the use of GPS Insight technology to track their location and improve efficiency in their use.  

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 Salt Lake City has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. The city has begun a long-term program to convert all streetlights to high efficiency fixtures over the next 15 years. All streetlights are controlled by either photo sensors or time clocks so they only operate when needed.

New Buildings and Equipment

January 2006 executive order requires municipal buildings be built or renovated to LEED-silver standards. In accordance with a January 2013 executive order, all new and majorly renovated municipal government buildings over 10,000 square feet are to be evaluated for the potential to meet net-zero energy emissions standards. If feasible and cost-effective, the building will be designed and built to that level of energy efficiency. The city’s Environmental Policy requires the city to purchase environmental preferable products and to purchase energy efficient electrical products that perform in the upper 25th percentile of the market for each product class when available and cost effective.

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Salt Lake City currently benchmarks 100% of all of its Tier 1-3 facilities, which the City defines as greater than 3,000 square feet.  This City’s Energy Management Executive Order, requires the establishment of an energy audit program to prioritize energy-saving projects as well as a strategic plan for retrocommissioning at least every ten years in addition to continuous re-tuning.

Public Employees

Salt Lake City’s policy 3.01.02 allows a supervisor to authorize telecommuting and flexible workplace arrangements, when it works to the mutual benefit of the city, the employee, and the city's customers.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 5.5 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Salt Lake City’s SLCgreen program leads the city’s implementation of its community-wide energy efficiency initiatives.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

While the city has not adopted community-wide energy goals, the city has formally adopted a community-wide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% below a 2009 baseline by 2030 and 80% below a 2009 baseline by 2040.

The city’s SLCgreen dashboard is updated annually with progress reports for all sustainability goals. This includes tracking progress towards the community-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal. Because the greenhouse gas emissions goal was set in 2016, the city has yet to release its first annual update. We are thus unable to determine if the city is on track to achieve its 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

Salt Lake City’s Urban Forestry Program aims to increase the number of trees community-wide by 2% annually.

The city does allow for cottage development zoning within its form based zoning code that encourage the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns. Salt Lake City has also adopted a private tree protection ordinance. We did not find information on any policies that require or incentivize low impact development (LID).

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 7 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Salt Lake City has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Buildings Services and Civil Enforcement Division manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Salt Lake City.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

Utah’s Uniform Building Code (UUBC) for residential and commercial building energy codes is mandatory statewide. The UUBC is based on the 2015 IECC with weakening amendments. While localities may adopt stretch codes, it is a difficult process to do so. Salt Lake City participated in the ICC voting process for the 2018 IECC.

To learn more about Utah’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database


Commercial construction in Salt Lake City complies with the Utah Codes. Salt Lake City actively lobbies the state to increase the stringency of building energy codes. Most recently, the mayor advocated for more stringent codes in the 2014 State of the City Address.


Residential construction in Salt Lake City complies with the Utah Codes. Salt Lake City actively lobbies the state to increase the stringency of building energy codes. Most recently, the mayor advocated for more stringent codes in the 2014 State of the City Address.

Last Updated: March 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Salt Lake City does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Salt Lake City 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. Salt Lake City 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

Salt Lake City has not yet established above-code building requirements for any class of building.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Salt Lake City 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

Salt Lake City offers loans to businesses performing energy efficiency upgrades and building retrofits through the Economic Development Loan Fund. Financing is also provided through the Redevelopment Agency Loan Program. The city also offers expedited plan review for commercial and residential buildings meeting their green building criteria.

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Salt Lake City has a voluntary program that encourages building owners to benchmark their energy use called the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge. This initiative encourages building owners in the city to meet and exceed air quality and energy-saving targets of the Sustainable Salt Lake Plan. 

Last Updated: January 2017 

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 12 out 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Rocky Mountain Power, an investor-owned utility (IOU) and a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, is the primary electric utility serving Salt Lake City. Questar Gas, an IOU, is Salt Lake City’s primary natural gas supplier. The State of Utah requires utilities to biennially file integrated resource plans to include demand-side resources and associated programs. Utah’s electric utilities must reduce the state’s electric consumption by 1% annually, and natural gas must decrease by 0.5% annually. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Utah page of the State Database.

The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities is the municipal utility which provides drinking water, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management services to Salt Lake City.

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to Rocky Mountain Power, they achieved 226,865 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.94% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, EIA reported $56,155,000 in Rocky Mountain Power spending on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 2.72% of annual revenue. In 2015, Questar Gas’s demand side management report stated savings of 7.62 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.86% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, Questar Gas spent $24,187,461 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $24.43 per residential customer. Spending on electricity and natural gas represented in this section covers the entire Utah service territory, not just Salt Lake City. Rocky Mountain Power offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. Questar Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency tips and resources to residential and incentives to business customers.

Rocky Mountain Power has a strong and successful relationship with Salt Lake City. Much focus has recently been placed on benchmarking within the city to educate customers and seek energy efficiency as a direct educational result. Less than a year ago, Rocky Mountain Power launched a free service for all customers called Resource Advisor which will automatically transfer all energy usage in Energy Star Portfolio Manager for customers. The City of Salt Lake was a key stakeholder in this effort and subsequently gave the utility an award for their efforts. In addition Rocky Mountain Power is a key partner in the Mayor's Project Skyline Challenge and Elevate Buildings initiatives. The utility is also assisting the city in drafting energy efficiency policy initiatives. Questar Gas currently partners with the city on the DOE Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator program.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Rocky Mountain Power offers weatherization services to income-qualified homeowners and renters living in single-family homes, mobile homes, or apartments. The utility works with local agencies to provide a variety of no-cost energy-efficient measures including insulation, air sealing, installation of showerheads, water efficiency measures, health and safety measures, and lighting fixtures. The program targets the elderly and disabled, and households with children. It is administered through the Utah Housing and Community Development Division, in partnership with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Housing and Community Development Division and also partners with local agencies that receive federal Weatherization Assistance Program funding.

In 2015, according to Rocky Mountain Power, it achieved 246 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $63,093 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 306 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $209 and saving an average of 804 kWh.

Questar Gas provides funds for a Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program, which is administered by the Housing and Community Development Division of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Currently, HCD contracts with seven low-income efficiency program agencies to perform low-income efficiency activities. Funds from the program are used to fix gas leaks, high carbon monoxide levels, inappropriate venting of natural gas appliances, and adjustment of natural gas appliances. Funds can also be used for furnace replacement, gas water heater replacement, boiler replacement, insulation, windows, programmable thermostats, duct and air sealing, amongst other measures. 

In 2015, according to Questar Gas's DSM report, it achieved 0.10 MMtherms in savings from its low-income programs, while spending $673,123 on its low-income program portfolio. These programs served 933 households, with an average of $721 spent and 103.5 therms saved per participating low-income household.

Multifamily Programs

Questar Gas offers the Thermwise Weatherization Program for Multifamily Properties. This program offers rebates for weatherization building upgrades if provided by a ThermWise approved contractor. Rocky Mountain Power does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: July 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Rocky Mountain Power does provide customers with the Green Button data sharing platform. However, they do provide commercial customers with an automated energy benchmarking service called Resource Advisor, which automatically uploads monthly energy data into participating customer’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager accounts. Although Rocky Mountain Power does not provide aggregated energy usage information for community-planning and evaluation purposes, any customer may request the utility to share their energy use data with any third party. Rocky Mountain Power signed on with Salt Lake City to partner on the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative Energy Data Accelerator agreement.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

The Department of Public Utilities’ 2009 Water Conservation Plan set a goal to reduce per capita water use 25% from 2000 levels by the year 2050. In order to meet this goal, the water utility offers its customers Free Water Checks, water usage tests for a home's or business's irrigation system. Rebates are also available for water efficiency projects.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

We could not confirm if the Department of Public Utilities has established a target for energy efficiency through municipal water services operations. Salt Lake City’s wastewater treatment plant uses biogas captured from the treatment process to generate electricity onsite. 

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

We could not confirm if there is a formal plan in place to implement green stormwater infrastructure and stormwater management on public properties.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 13 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving Salt Lake City is the Utah Transit Authority. The Utah Transit Authority provides the public transportation for the city, broader metropolitan area, and other communities in Utah, including bus, light rail, and regional commuter service. The Wasatch Front Regional Council is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Salt Lake City and many surrounding jurisdictions. Salt Lake City’s Community and Economic Development Department is charged with managing the city’s transportation network. 

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Salt Lake City recently updated city zoning codes through the Sustainable Code Revision Project. The adopted zoning codes (Title 21A) increase transit-oriented development, encourage mixed-use development, and codify minimum densities and heights. On average, the city requires one or more parking spaces per residential unit. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

Salt Lake City has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

The Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car launched the enterprise car share program in late 2013. The city also has the bike share program GreenBike SLC and is currently making plans to install more stations throughout Salt Lake City.

Complete Streets

Salt Lake City adopted its complete streets policy by executive order in 2010, through Ordinance No. 4-10. 

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The Utah Transit Authority that serves Salt Lake City has received $470,229,670 in average annual funding in 2011-2015. This funding level is $401.81 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the highest category (>$400) available in the transit funding. 

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. Salt Lake City’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 15, putting it in the third highest category (15-29) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

Salt Lake City incentivizes the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles by issuing free metered parking decals for "green vehicles." There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure. The city has 36 EV charging stations available for public use.

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

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

Smart freight

Salt Lake City does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

We could not confirm if Salt Lake City has a sustainable transportation policy in place. 

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Salt Lake City does not have any requirements or incentives in place to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Last updated: January 2017