State and Local Policy Database

Salt Lake City

City Scorecard Rank


Salt Lake City, UT

36.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 4 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Salt Lake City’s Climate Positive 2040 plan outlines climate action strategies.

Last updated: September 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

With a joint resolution by the city council and mayor in 2016, Salt Lake City formally adopted a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 80% below 2009 levels by 2040, with an interim reduction goal of 50% below 2009 levels by 2030. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects the city will not achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal.

The resolution also committed the city to conducting greenhouse gas emissions inventories every three year. The city’s releases emissions data to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

The same 2016 joint resolution established a community-wide goal to achieve generating 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2032 (later modified to 2030).

Last updated: September 2021

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: September 2021

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

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

Last updated: September 2021

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

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

UHI Policies and Programs

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.

Last updated: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 7.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

Salt Lake City enforces the state’s energy codes. The city does not have a comprehensive code enforcement and compliance process. The city passed a commercial benchmarking and disclosure ordinance that also requires building owners to perform an energy audit depending on the property’s ENERGY STAR score. Salt Lake City offers several incentives for energy efficiency and solar energy projects.

Last Updated: June 2021

Building 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 2018 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. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code of 53.7. 


Residential construction in Salt Lake City complies with the Utah Codes. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 65.5. Salt Lake City actively lobbies the state to increase the stringency of building energy codes. 

Solar-readiness policies

The city has not adopted solar readiness policies or requirements. 

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies 

Chapter 21A.44 of the city code includes a provision requiring developers to install an electric vehicle charging station on one out of twenty-five parking spaces. 

Low-energy use requirements

A January 2006 executive order requires municipal buildings be built or renovated to LEED-Gold 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. 

Last Updated: June 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

While Salt Lake City has 14 inspectors dedicated to enforcing the latest code, it does not have any full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city requires plan reviews and site inspections as a means of compliance verification. The city does not offer upfront support for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: June 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Salt Lake City passed the Energy Benchmarking & Transparency ordinance. The ordinance requires commercial buildings 25,000 square feet to comply. 

Energy audit requirements

Salt Lake City requires buildings owners perform one energy-saving action. Per the Energy Benchmarking & Transparency Ordinance, commercial buildings that score 49 or below in ENERGY STAR must undergo energy audits.


Through the Economic Development Loan Fund, the city offers loans to commercial property owners for energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits.

The city provides expedited plan reviews for commercial and residential properties meeting green building standards.

Salt Lake City offers commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing for energy efficiency and solar installation projects.

Voluntary programs

The city established the Mayor's Skyline Challenge in autumn 2014, a voluntary energy efficiency program open to organizations throughout Salt Lake City. The program challenged property owners, managers and tenants to attend recurring energy efficiency workshops led by the City and local efficiency experts, culminating annually in the Mayor's Skyline Challenge Awards. We we're unable to determine if the program is still on going. 

Last Updated: June 2021

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

We could not verify if the city has programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last Update: June 2021

Score: 11.5 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

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Salt Lake City released a transit master plan in 2017.  This master plan was updated in 2018. In addition to the Transit Master Plan, the Climate Positive Plan also includes sustainable transportation plans that will reduce transportation energy use. The plan was completed in March 2017.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

Salt Lake City’s 2015 Sustainable Salt Lake Plan codified the VMT reduction target to reduce overall miles traveled by SOVs in the city by 6.5%, to 1.26 billion miles annually.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Salt Lake has reduced community transportation VMTs by approximately 8% from the city's established baseline. 

Last Updated: December 2021

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

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. Salt Lake City Planning specifically outlines the priority of transit-oriented development in the Transit Station Area Development Guidelines, which emphasize transit-oriented practices and are used during the review process for all new development and redevelopment within the Transit Station Area Zoning District. 

Residential Parking Policies

The City requires ½ or more parking spaces per residential unit. Current Transportation Management Demand strategies can reduce parking minimums to 75% of required thresholds, for all zoning uses except for single-and two-family residential uses. The TDM Policy section outlines strategies for the inclusion of bicycle parking and associated shelter and commuter showers, EV parking, daycare facilities onsite, on-premises gym/recreation facility, full service bus stops, and participation in vehicle/bicycle sharing programs. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The city's Transit Station Area Guidelines zoning ordinance outlines incentives for location efficiency.

Last Updated: December 2021

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

Salt Lake City does not have a mode shift target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Salt Lake City does not track progress towards their mode shift target.

Complete Streets

Adopted in 2010, Salt Lake City’s Complete Streets Ordinance requires the city’s streets to be designed, operated, and maintained for all modes of traffic, including people walking, biking, and for travelers of all ages and abilities. New and reconstructed streets are designed using national guidance and manuals, which take into account considerations such as the speed and volume of traffic. The City also seeks to implement a Complete Streets approach with other types of resurfacing projects when feasible.

Last Updated: December 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve Salt Lake City have received $193,721,267.20 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $102.85 per capita between 2015 and 2019 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

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 8.4, scoring 1.5 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: December 2021

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Yes, in 2019 Rocky Mountain Power customers are eligible for a $3,500 incentive toward the purchase of a 2019 Nissan LEAF. Salt Lake City incentivizes purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles with free metered parking for vehicles that qualify as a Salt Lake City "Green Vehicle".

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Incentives are available through the local utility, Rocky Mountain Power, for electric vehicle charging equipment to non-residential and multifamily customers in Utah taking service under particular general service schedules. All charger station levels are eligible for funding amounts, per charger, up to 75% of total charger cost. Level 2 chargers are eligible for $2,500 and $3,000, for single-port and multi-port, respectively. DC fast chargers are eligible for $30,000 and $42,000 for single- and multi-port chargers, respectively. More information can be found here. Incentives are also available to residential customers who own electric vehicles and sign up for time-of-use rates.

EV Charging Locations

The City has 410 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 204.4 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

Salt Lake City does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

Salt Lake City does not have an EV transit bus goal.

Last Updated: December 2021

Freight System EfficiencyList All

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

Last Updated: December 2021

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

In October 2018, Salt Lake City approved amendments to the zoning ordinance that allow for accessory dwelling units. The regularly intention of the ordinance change was to broaden the range of affordable housing in transit-oriented districts, with parking minimum requirements waived for ADUs that fall within ¼ mile of a transit stop.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Salt Lake City offers the Hive Pass, a discounted monthly pass that can be used for the local bus, light-rail, and streetcar, with the intention of making transit more affordable and accessible for all City residents. The discounted rate is 50% of the regularly-priced transit pass and includes a free one-year membership for the local bike share program. 

Last Updated: December 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 9.5 out of 15 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. Dominion Energy Utah, 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 that provides drinking water, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management services to Salt Lake City.

Last Updated: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, Rocky Mountain Power reported 201,852 MWh in net electric incremental savings, representing 0.82% of electric retail sales. In 2019, Rocky Mountain Power spent $47,938,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 2.41% of its retail revenue. 

In 2019, Dominion Energy Utah either did not spend or did not report spending or savings on natural gas efficiency programs. These savings and spending figures cover the entire jurisdiction of both utilities, not just Salt Lake City. 

Rocky Mountain Power offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. Dominion Energy 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. Rocky Mountain Power launched a free service for all customers called Resource Advisor that 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. In 2018, Rocky Mountain Power formally consolidated, focused, and expanded its energy efficiency engagements with Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County, and Moab City by launching the Wattsmart Communities Offering.  

The 2019 Salt Lake City Corporation and Dominion Energy Utah Joint Cooperation Statement outlines specific guidelines for energy efficiency, energy benchmarking and data access, and innovative energy technologies that the City and Dominion Energy agree to collaborate toward. 

Last Updated: July 2021 

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. 

Rocky Mountain Power also offers a custom multi-family program that aims for 50% of its participants to be low-income units. This program targets low-income markets by enticing multi-family property owners to implement comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits and access incentives and rebates. Rocky Mountain Power provides incentives for this program for appliances, building shell, HVAC systems, lighting, weatherization, and water heating.  

In 2019, according to Rocky Mountain Power, it achieved 3,761 MWh in energy savings while spending $1,136,715 on its low-income programs and served 293 low-income customers. 

Dominion Energy provides funds for a Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program, which is administered by the Housing and Community Development (HCD) Division of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Currently, HCD contracts with seven low-income efficiency program agencies to perform low-income efficiency activities. The Low-Income Efficiency Program provides funds to address natural gas related issues, and high-efficiency natural gas furnaces when needed and correcting problems such as gas leaks, high carbon monoxide levels, inappropriate venting of natural gas appliances and adjustment of natural gas appliances. Nonprofit or governmental organizations may apply for rebates under ThermWise Appliance and Weatherization programs for qualifying measures. 

Dominion Energy’s energy savings, spending values and number of customers served by their program by their 2019 low-income programs were not available. 

The Salt Lake City Department of Sustainability offers the Empower SLC program, which is a community-based energy efficiency outreach initiative aimed at driving energy efficiency resources to areas of Salt Lake City’s 84104 and 84116 zip codes, identified as currently under-served by city and local utility energy efficiency resources. Empower SLC addresses challenges such as up-front cost, limited incentive promotion or linguistic barriers that make it hard for some households to implement energy efficiency upgrades. The program is funded with a $200,000 investment from Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department and implemented by the non-profit Utah Clean Energy. Efforts include leveraging existing local utility programs, establishment of permanent LED “light swap” locations in which residents may bring in up to 15 inefficient light bulbs to exchange for efficient LED replacements, as well as energy efficiency outreach efforts spearheaded by the program’s Energy Ambassadors, who incorporate utility energy efficiency tools and education into their existing community programs. Accomplishments in the first year of Empower SLC include a Spanish language energy efficiency workshop for small businesses presented by local utilities Dominion Energy and Rocky Mountain Power. 

Multifamily Programs 

Rocky Mountain Power offers a multifamily program, which targets multi-family property owners to implement comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits and access incentives and rebates. The program targets 50% of participation on low-income units. Incentives are offered for appliances, building shell, HVAC systems, lighting, weatherization, and water heating. 

In 2019, Rock Mountain Power achieved 8,220 MWh in energy savings, while spending $2,229,924 on its multifamily programs. The number of customers served by their program in 2019 was not available. 

Dominion Energy offers the Thermwise Weatherization Program for Multifamily Properties. Builders can receive a rebate check for building multifamily residences which meet program requirements. To receive a rebate, builders must submit a completed application form, and all required supporting documentation within six months of the initiation of gas service. The ThermWise Builder Rebates Table provides applicable measures, qualifications and rebate amounts. We were unable to confirm energy savings and customers served in 2019. 

Last Updated: July 2021 

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Both Rocky Mountain Power and Dominion Energy provide free automated energy benchmarking services for their commercial customers. Rocky Mountain Power’s Resource Advisor and Dominion Energy’s Business Benchmarking automatically uploads monthly energy data into participating customer’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts. Salt Lake City provides community wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through the Carbon Disclosure Project. The utility provides Salt Lake City with community-wide energy usage information at the aggregate level on an annual basis.  

Rocky Mountain Power and Dominion Energy signed on with Salt Lake City to partner on the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative Energy Data Accelerator agreement. 

Last Updated: July 2021  

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal  

In 2019, PacifiCorp, the parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 60% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 from 2005 levels. To achieve this goal, PacifiCorp will need to reduce emissions by 5.7% annually from 2019 levels. 

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid 

Salt Lake City was an official signatory on the Net Metering settlement with the Public Service Commission. Salt Lake City is formally collaborating with electric utility through the existing Statement of Cooperation and joint plans to deliver 100% renewable electricity to all customers within city limits by 2032. The city collaborated with other Utah communities and the utility to develop the Community Renewable Energy Act (HB411), which authorizes Rocky Mountain Power to provide 100% renewable electricity to Salt Lake City and participating communities by 2030. The Act was passed in the Utah legislature in 2019. 

Last Updated: July 2021  

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals 

The energy and water utilities do not currently offer joint energy and water efficiency programs. 

The Department of Public Utilities’ 2014 Water Conservation Plan set a goal to reduce per capita water use 25% from 2000 levels by the year 2025 as measured by gallons per capital daily consumption (GPCD). In order to meet this goal, the water utility outlines a comprehensive list of Conservation Practice Strategies in the 2014 Plan. 

Water Plant 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. Public Utilities, as with every other Department in Salt Lake City Corporation, is accountable to the City’s Climate Positive 2040 Goals, which include the near-term goal of a 50% reduction in GHG emissions by year 2030. Additionally, like all Departments in Salt Lake City Corporation, Public Utilities participates in the comprehensive energy management planning which convenes annually to present updated energy efficiency projects and progress within the respective departments. 

Salt Lake City’s wastewater treatment plant uses biogas captured from the treatment process to generate electricity onsite. 

Last Updated: July 2021  

Local Government Score:
4 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Salt Lake City’s Climate Positive 2040 plan outlines both municipal and community-wide climate and energy actions.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city aims to reduce local government greenhouse gas emissions 50% from 2009 levels by 2030. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects the city will not achieve its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

Salt Lake City set a goal to reduce local government building energy use 20% by 2025, using a 2012 baseline. 

Renewable Energy Goal

We were unable to find information on a current renewable energy goal. 

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition 

Salt Lake City’s Fleet Procurement Policy states that the city will procure electric and hybrid vehicles when practical. The city also has fuel efficiency requirements and tail pipe emissions reduction plans. Salt Lake City’s fleet is currently composed of 7.4% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicles.  

Public Lighting

The city has begun a long-term program to convert all streetlights to high efficiency fixtures over the next 15 years. Salt Lake City Public Utilities web page states "The initial capital improvement program for street lighting in 2012 included a metric of converting the City’s entire inventory to high-energy efficiency LED lamps by 2021.” As of 2018, the city had converted 60% of streetlights.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems

Salt Lake City has installed 3MW of solar generation capacity on city facilities. 

Inclusive procurement 

We were unable to verify that the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes.

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

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. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

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.

Last updated: June 2021