State and Local Policy Database

San Antonio

City Scorecard Rank

31

San Antonio, TX

35.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 6 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The San Antonio Climate Ready plan establishes a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with interim goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 41% below 2016 levels by 2030 and 71% by 2040. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis. 

Energy Efficiency Goal

The city’s SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan has a goal to reduce energy use for all buildings within the city from 116 kBtu per square foot in 2014 to 90 kBtu per square foot in 2040.

Renewable Energy Goal

CPS Energy has a goal to increase renewable energy use to 40% of the city’s electrical generation capacity by 2040. ACEEE projects the city will achieve its renewable energy goal.

Last updated: August 2023

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

The Climate Equity Technical Working Group consist of 15 community members that identify barriers and solutions to climate challenges specific to San Antonio. The working group aims to increase equity while strategically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Separately, the Climate Equity Advisory Committee will consist of representatives from community-based organizations representing the interests of marginalized communities and will be one of two committees advising the implementation of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Interviews for the committee are underway.

Equity Accountability Measures

The city created the budget equity tool to integrate considerations of racial and economic equity into the budgeting process.

Further, the Climate Equity Technical Working Group designed the Climate Equity Screening Mechanism as a framework to consider the equity-related impacts of climate action strategies, including mitigation and adaption. The city also monitors several climate equity indicators, including median wages, asthma rates, and neighborhood poverty. 

Last updated: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

CPS Energy provides technical and planning assistance for residential and commercial systems, but 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: August 2023

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

Urban Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

The city has a private tree preservation ordinance and has committed to planting 15,000 trees as part of the Compassion Tree project.

The city grants density bonuses for developments that preserve open space.

Resilience Hubs

We were unable to determine if the city has supported the creation of resilience hubs that incorporate clean energy resources and are sited in disadvantaged communities.

Last updated: August 2023

Buildings Policies
Score: 10.5 out of 30 points
Building Energy CodesList All

Overview

The State of Texas allows its local jurisdictions to adopt and amend building energy codes that are at least as stringent as the Texas Building Energy Code. The minimum state standard for single-family residential construction must comply with the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC). All other residential and commercial building construction must comply with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). San Antonio has adopted the 2021 IECC, effective February 2023. State-funded building construction must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013. To learn more about the building energy code requirements for the State of Texas, please visit the State Policy Database.

Commercial

Commercial properties in San Antonio must comply with the 2021 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 46.5.

Residential

Residential properties in San Antonio must comply with the 2021 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 55.5.

Solar-readiness policies

The city adheres to the 2021 IECC, which requires that one- and two-family dwelling and townhouses be solar-ready. 

EV-charging readiness policies

The city adheres to the 2021 IECC, which requires EV-readiness in single-family, multifamily, and nonresidential buildings. 

Electrification policies

The State of Texas prevents municipalities from adopting all-electric codes.

Last Updated: September 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

San Antonio's staff effort on energy code enforcement is the equivalent of five full-time employees. The city requires plan reviews, site inspections, and performance testing mandatory to verify code compliance. The city provides upfront support to owners/developers via code compliance workshops and one-on-one consultations.

Last Updated: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Incentives and financing programs

PACE was recently established within the city limits and its managed by the City's Economic Development Department and AACOG. 

The city’s STEP program offers residential and commercial property owners incentives for energy efficient upgrades such as weatherization, HVAC replacement, efficient construction etc. 

The city's Under One Roof program provides funding for energy efficient roof installations to qualified homeowners.

Program outcomes

The city collects data on its incentive or financing programs to understand participation rates and allocation of program benefits among disadvantaged communities

Last Update: September 2023

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Workforce development for disadvantaged workers

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from disadvantaged communities to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Workforce development for the broader community

San Antonio funds the Build San Antonio Green organization which trains developers and certifies new homes and apartments based on stricter energy codes. 

Outcomes tracking

We could not determine if the city has instituted a mechanism to measure the performance and/or success of equitable workforce development initiatives focused on the clean energy sector.

Last updated: September 2023

Transportation
Score: 8 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

San Antonio's Climate Ready Plan was adopted in 2019 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

According to the Climate Ready Plan, the city has a goal of reducing GHG emissions from transportation 47% from 2016 levels by 2030, and 75% by 2040. The city’s target requires a 4% average per-capita annual decrease from its target baseline. Therefore, San Antonio earned 2 points for the stringency of its target. 

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Based on the data provided, San Antonio's transportation emissions have increased since 2016. Therefore, the city is not on track to meet its GHG targets. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of San Antonio has made changes to its zoning code in the past 10 years to facilitate more residential density, mixed-use development, or transit-oriented development.  

Parking Requirements

We were unable to find information indicating that the City of San Antonio has at least one zone, neighborhood, or district with a parking maximum of 1 or fewer spaces per housing unit or no minimum parking requirement for residential uses. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City of San Antonio does not have location-efficient development incentives or disclosure policies. 

Affordable Housing around Transit

The City of San Antonio does not require, preserve, or incentivize the development of affordable housing near transit. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The City of San Antonio does not have a codified mode share target. 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City of San Antonio does not have a codified mode share target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target.  

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

We were unable to find information on programs or policies subsidizing access to efficient transportation for disadvantaged groups. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of San Antonio have received $202,608,326.40 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $104.65 per capita between 2017 and 2021 within the service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The AllTransit Performance Score measures a given community's transit access and performance. The score considers connections to other routes, access to jobs, service frequency, and the percent of commuters who ride transit to work. The City of San Antonio's AllTransit Performance Score is 6.6, scoring 1 point in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Efficient Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Neither the City of San Antonio nor the local utility provide incentives for purchasing efficient vehicles. 

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentives

Neither the City of San Antonio nor the local utility provide incentives for the installation of EV charging stations. 

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The City of San Antonio does not require new developments to install EV charging stations. 

EV Charging Ports

The City of San Antonio has 18.5 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use. 

Electric School Bus Goal

Neither the City of San Antonio nor the local school district have set an electric school bus goal. 

Electric Transit Bus Goal

Neither the City of San Antonio nor the local transit agency have set an electric transit bus goal.

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

San Antonio does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan. However, according to the SA Climate Ready Plan, the city is aiming to incentivize the adoption of electric freight vehicles. 

Open Data Portals

The City of San Antonio does not have an open data portal with real-time freight data.

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 10 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All

CPS Energy, a municipally operated utility, is the primary gas and electric utility for the City of San Antonio. The municipally-run utilities in the State of Texas set their own energy efficiency standards. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Texas page of the State Database.

The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is the municipal utility that provides the City of San Antonio with drinking water and wastewater treatment services. The Department of Public Works provides the stormwater management for San Antonio. Since CPS is a municipal utility, the energy efficiency goals and programs are closely tied into the local government and city-wide goals.

Last Updated: September 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, CPS Energy reported 119,612.87 MWh in net electric savings at the meter.  

In 2021, CPS Energy did not report spending or savings for natural gas efficiency programs. These figures reported cover CPS’s entire service jurisdiction, most of which is within San Antonio proper.

CPS Energy offers natural gas and electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

The City of San Antonio has developed the Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan, or STEP. STEP pools funds from various sources to be applied to energy efficiency programs and projects. Additionally, CPS Energy is required to reduce electricity demand by 771 MW between 2009 and 2020.

Last Updated: September 2023

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

CPS Energy offers the Casa Verde Weatherization Program to qualified low-income residential customers. This program provides no-cost retrofit measures including LED light bulbs, insulation, solar screens, water heater insulation, water efficiency measures, thermostats, and duct system sealing. CPS has the Customer Response Unit (CPR), a community advocate team focused on providing customers with a blend of city and state resources to help them with electrical savings.

In 2021, according to CPS Energy, it achieved 7,412.75 MWh in energy savings, while spending $10,342,293 on its low-income programs, and served 1,649 low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, CPS Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs aimed at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: September 2023

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

CPS Energy (City of San Antonio) does not provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings.

The City of San Antonio provides community wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through their annual reports and is also covered in detail through the GHG inventory which is conducted every other year.

The City of San Antonio does not advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers or the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities.

Last Updated: September 2023

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Cities and Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

CPS Energy’s Board passed a resolution in August 2019 to support the City of San Antonio Climate Action & Adaptation Plan (CAAP). The CAAP commitment is to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 with interim emission reduction targets of 41% reduction (compared to 2016) by 2030 and 71% reduction by 2040. CPS Energy participated in developing a new Power Generation Resource Plan focused on transitioning to cleaner sources of energy by 2030.  

CPS Energy’s Board passed a resolution on January 23, 2023, approving the updated generation plan and a portfolio that advances planned retirement dates for several fossil-fueled units. These changes are projected to result in a 44% reduction in Carbon Intensity by 2030 as compared to 2016.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In 2021, CPS Energy emitted 15.89 metric tons of CO2e per capita.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

CPS Energy provides technical and planning assistance for residential and commercial systems, but we could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

San Antonio has installed multiple onsite renewable energy systems and is currently in the process of installing solar on additional buildings. The City is currently in the process of procuring on-site solar for about 50 city facilities which would generate an estimated 10 MW. They are planning for the procurement process to wrap up in late 2023.  

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

PACE was recently established within the city limits and its managed by the City's Economic Development Department and AACOG.  

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

The City of San Antonio offers WaterSaver rebates, free high-efficiency toilets and fixtures, large-scale retrofit rebates for water system upgrades, irrigation design rebates, and drought restrictions. CPS Energy offers rebates for ENERGY STAR water heaters, pool pumps, and solar water heaters.

The City of San Antonio reached its goal to reduce water usage to 116 gallons per person per day by 2020, which is a reduction of 0.06%, and to also use 16,500 acre-ft of water overall per year by 2020. Total per capita was 117 in 2017.

San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) expects to reduce its total per capita consumption to 88 GPCD by 2070 and to reduce residential per capita consumption to 55 GPCD by 2070, per its 5-year water conservation plan. Its interim target is to reduce water usage to 96 gallons per person per day by 2040.These targets were selected to ensure conservation continues to make a significant water supply contribution.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

SAWS has not yet established an energy efficiency goal for municipal water operations. However, the water system tracks the energy savings from its efficiency initiatives, which include using high-efficiency pumps and motors to distribute water, generating biogas at its treatment facility, and performing lighting upgrades. In 2020 SAWS developed a draft Energy Management Strategic Plan that includes energy reduction goals, timelines, and energy reduction strategies, but the plan has not been adopted yet.

SAWS does have a 20-year contract with AMERESCO to sell biogas, although it does not use the gas for self-generation. Annually, San Antonio produces about 140,000 tons of biosolids. SAWS partnered with Ameresco, a national energy company focusing on renewable energy, and by 2010 Ameresco began to process more than 1.5 million standard cubic feet of biogas a day and deliver a minimum of 900,000 cubic feet of natural gas each day to a nearby commercial pipeline to sell on the open market.

Last Updated: September 2023

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

The City of San Antonio adopted the SA Climate Ready plan.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The City's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan establishes the goal of 100% reduction in emissions by 2050. Milestones include a 41% reduction by 2030 and 71% reduction by 2040. To meet the 2030 goal, the city must reduce emissions by 3.77% annually. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations.  

Energy Reduction Goal

San Antonio has a goal to achieve zero net energy buildings for all municipal buildings by 2040, and to reduce energy consumption by 5% below a 2020 baseline. 

Renewable Energy Goal

San Antonio has a goal to use renewable energy to power 100% of municipal operations by 2040. 

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

San Antonio’s environmental fleet policy (City Ordinance 2010-04-15-0335) includes a directive to calculate the total cost of ownership when a vehicle purchase is considered and establishes emissions reductions targets. The city aims to add 25 electric vehicles to the municipal fleet in 2021. San Antonio plans to update the policy soon. San Antonio’s fleet is composed of 11% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

Public Lighting

San Antonio’s Ordinance 2018-02-08-0079 complies with the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance and applies to the City's Military Lighting Overlay District. The City’s standard procedure is to replace any light with an LED. San Antonio’s municipal utility has entered into an outdoor lighting replacement contract. 79% of streetlights have been converted to LED. Per the Climate Action & Adaptation Plan (CAAP), the city's goal is to convert 100% of the streetlights to LEDs by 2021.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems 

San Antonio has installed multiple onsite renewable energy systems and is currently in the process of installing solar on additional buildings. On average, each existing site produces 2,338 kWh per month.
 

Inclusive procurement 

While we were unable to verify that this policy has been applied to energy projects, San Antonio has an ordinance governing its small, minority, and women-owned business program.

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

Although a benchmarking policy is not in place, San Antonio benchmarks 100% of its municipal buildings. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategies

The City’s Energy Efficiency Fund allows the Office of Sustainability to analyze utility bills, engineering assessments, and historical facilities knowledge to select energy projects annually that will have the greatest impact on energy reductions. These project’s financial energy savings as well as utility rebates are rolled back into the fund to pay for future energy retrofit projects. Between FY11-19, the EEF has completed 414 projects, saved $1.6M, reduced energy usage by 13.2%, and reduced CO2 emissions by 58,000 metric tons.

Last updated: June 2021