State and Local Policy Database

San Antonio

City Scorecard Rank


San Antonio, TX

37.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
4.5 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 does not have a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for municipal operations, but the city council approved a resolution in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Energy Reduction Goal

San Antonio has a goal to achieve zero net energy buildings for all municipal buildings by 2040. 

Renewable Energy Goal

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

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction 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 a target of 17% reduction in emissions by 2020. 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. 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. 61% of the 79,761 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 renewable systems 

San Antonio has installed multiple onsite renewable energy sustems and is currently in the process of installing solar on additional buildings. 

Inclusive procurement 

We could not verify if the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes.

Last updated: July 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

Although a benchmarking policy is not in place, San Antonio benchmarks 75% of its municipal buildings. The city will soon release a municipal benchmarking report and municipal energy policy.

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. To date, the Energy Efficiency Fund has completed 372 energy efficiency projects at 279 municipal facilities since 2011. These projects have resulted in avoided utility costs of over $6M and returned nearly $3M in utility rebates. In the past five years, the EEF has completed 76 energy efficiency projects at 92 municipal facilities resulting in $5m in avoided utility costs and $1.5M in utility rebates.

Public Workforce Commuting

San Antonio offers flexible schedules and telework options for City employees.

Last updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 7.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of San Antonio adopted the SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan in 2016. The city published a progress report in 2018.

Last updated: March 2020

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 Reduction 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.

Energy Data Reporting

The city reports community energy emissions in its greenhouse gas inventories.

Last updated: June 2020

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.

Accountability to Equity

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: June 2020

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList 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: March 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

The SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan established a goal to increase the urban tree canopy coverage to 40% by 2040.

UHI 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.

Last updated: June 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 11 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of San Antonio enforces the state’s building energy code for commercial buildings and the city’s code for residential buildings, though the city has authority to adopt both local commercial and residential codes. The city does not have a comprehensive energy code compliance verification process. The city does not have a benchmarking and disclosure policy either. San Antonio offers several incentives for energy efficient upgrades, solar energy installation, and low-income energy improvement action.

Last Updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


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 2018 IRC and 2018 IECC, effective October 2018. 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 properties in San Antonio must comply with the 2015 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 47.2.


Residential properties must comply with the 2018 IRC and IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 58.4.

Solar- and EV-ready

The city has not passed an ordinance mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV-ready.

Last Updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

San Antonio does not staff any full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city requires plan reviews, site inspections, and performance testing mandatory to verify code compliance. The city provides upfront support to owners/developers who aim to achieve building energy code goals.

Last Updated: September 2020

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


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 municipal utility provides solar PV rebates to residential customers.

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

The San Antonio Green & Healthy Home program assists low- to moderate-income households with creating energy-efficient and sustainable homes.

Last Update: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

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

Last Update: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 4.5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities 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: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, CPS Energy reported 140,450 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.62% of retail sales. In 2018, CPS spent $44,471,193 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.98% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, 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: March 2020

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 CFL light bulbs, insulation, solar screens, water heater insulation, water efficiency measures, thermostats, and duct system improvements. 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 2018, according to CPS Energy, it achieved 13,463 MWh in energy savings, while spending $18,453,718 on its low-income programs, and served 3,608 low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

CPS Energy offers the Multifamily Energy Efficiency program, which provides energy efficient measures to multifamily property with more than five units. The Multifamily program includes installation of LED bulbs, high-efficiency showerheads, kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators, water heater pipe insulation, and power strips.

In 2018, according to CPS Energy, the program achieved 153 MWh in energy savings, while spending $110,228 on its multifamily programs and served 310 units.

Last Updated: March 2020

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 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: March 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, CPS Energy provided $17,863,179 in incentives for the installation of 33,686 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $530/kW installed. CPS Energy offers rebates for both residential and commercial solar systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In 2018, CPS Energy produced 24% of its total generation from renewable sources.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide 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.

The City of San Antonio has a 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. 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.

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: June 2020

Score: 10 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the city of San Antonio is VIA Metropolitan Transit. VIA also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Alamo Area MPO is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses the San Antonio – Bexar County area.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

San Antonio’s Sustainability Plan, SA Tomorrow was adopted in 2016. It focuses on sustainable land use patterns and modes of transportation and an improve infrastructure, including smart, mixed-use, and transit-oriented development practices and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, alternative fuels, transit options, and complete streets.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

San Antonio has a codified target to reduce daily VMT per capita to 16.5 miles by 2040 from a baseline of 22.4 miles in 2013. This is equivalent to a 1% per year reduction in VMT.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

San Antonio’s VMT has actually increased since the inception of the target and currently stands at 24 miles.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

San Antonio’s Unified Dwelling Code was adopted in 2006. The code includes use patterns for various forms of smart growth development such as traditional neighborhood development, transit-oriented development, neighborhood centers and conservation subdivisions, new infill development zones, parking caps, and street design and infrastructure options.

Residential Parking Policies

The city allows one or more parking spaces per residential unit.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

As an incentive to promote location-efficient real estate development, the municipal code allows for the creation of transit-oriented development districts where flexibility in development codes is provided for new construction. The city also has an infill program that provides incentives in the form of fee waivers and other financial benefits.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

San Antonio does not have a mode shift target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

San Antonio does not track progress towards their mode shift target.

Complete Streets

San Antonio’s complete streets policy scored an 40.8 out of 100 according to the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Car Sharing

We could not confirm if San Antonio has a parking policy in place for car sharing vehicles.

Bike Sharing

The city has 33.07 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

San Antonio spends an average of $55.41 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 5.5 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, San Antonio does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

San Antonio does not currently offer incentives for the installing of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

San Antonio has 5.03 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

San Antonio does not have any incentives for renewable EV charging infrastructure installation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

San Antonio 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

San Antonio 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, San Antonio does not provide any rebates or discounts to efficient transportation for low-income residents.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

65.9% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) are located near high-quality, all-day transit in San Antonio.

Last Updated: April 2019