State and Local Policy Database

Salt Lake City

City Scorecard Rank


Salt Lake City, UT

35.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
6 out of 9 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. ACEEE does not project the city will meet its GHG emissions reduction goal for local government 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

Climate Positive 2040 sets a goal to use renewable energy to power 50% of city operations by 2020.

Last updated: June 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition 

Salt Lake City does not have a formal fuel efficiency requirement for fleet vehicles or fuel efficiency procurement policies in place. Salt Lake City’s fleet is composed of 9.9% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicles. 

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.

Green Building Requirements 

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: June 2019

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 Workforce Commuting

Salt Lake City’s policy 3.01.02 allows telework and flexible workplace arrangements for City employees.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 6 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

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

Last updated: June 2019

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

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.

Energy Data Reporting

The city releases community-wide energy data to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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

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: June 2019

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.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 9 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: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList 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. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code of 55.4. 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. 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. Most recently, the mayor advocated for more stringent codes in the 2014 State of the City Address.

Solar- and EV-ready

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. The city has not adopted a solar-readiness ordinance.

Last Updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Salt Lake City does not have any full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city does not require plan reviews, site inspections, nor performance testing as a means of compliance verification. The city does not offer upfront support for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Salt Lake City passed the Energy Benchmarking & Transparency ordinance. The ordinance requires commercial buildings 50,000 square feet and greater to begin compliance in 2019. Commercial buildings 25,000 to 50,000 square feet will begin compliance in 2020.


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

Last Updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Salt Lake City offers five incentives for energy efficiency and solar energy projects.

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.

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

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

Last Update: March 2019

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: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 6.5 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 (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 that provides drinking water, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management services to Salt Lake City.

Last Updated: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, according to Rocky Mountain Power, they achieved 254,907 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.06% of retail sales. In 2017, Dominion Energy either did not report or had no natural gas efficiency savings. These savings figures cover 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. 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. 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. 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.

Last Updated: March 2019

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 2017, according to Rocky Mountain Power, it achieved 234 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 296 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.

We were unable to identify savings and customers served by the program in 2017.

Multifamily Programs

Rocky Mountain Power launched a new custom multifamily program in 2018, which targets multi-family property owners to implement comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits and access incentives and rebates. Incentives are offered for appliances, building shell, HVAC systems, lighting, weatherization, and water heating.

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 6 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 2017.

Last Updated: March 2019

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. 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: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, Rocky Mountain Power did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

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.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

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.

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: March 2019

Score: 8 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.  

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

Salt Lake City does not have a VMT/GHG target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Salt Lake City does not track progress towards a VMT/GHG target.

Last Updated: March 2019

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.

Residential Parking Policies

On average, the city requires one or more parking spaces per residential unit

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Salt Lake City does not have location efficiency incentives or disclosure requirements.

Last Updated: March 2019

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

Salt Lake City does not currently have a complete streets policy.

Car Sharing

We could not confirm if Salt Lake City has a parking policy in place for car sharing vehicles.

Bike Sharing

The city has 146.60 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

Salt Lake City spends an average of $160.26 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 7.9 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Salt Lake City was a partner on UDrive Electric, which was a 2016 bulk purchasing inventive program for Salt Lake City residents in cooperation with the University of Utah. Local electric utility Rocky Mountain Power continues to sponsor multiple recurring bulk purchase programs throughout Salt Lake City.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Salt Lake City does not currently offer incentives for the installing of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

Salt Lake City has 33.41 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

We could not confirm if Salt Lake City has any incentives for renewable EV charging infrastructure installation.

Last Updated: March 2019

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: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Salt Lake City does not have any policies to preserve affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

At this time, Salt Lake City does not provide any rebates or discounts to efficient transportation for low-income residents.

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 Philadelphia.    

Last Updated: March 2019