State and Local Policy Database

San Antonio

City Scorecard Rank


San Antonio, TX

35.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 6 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: September 2021

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.

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

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: September 2021

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: September 2021

Mitigation of 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: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 10.5 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 requires plan reviews, site inspections, and performance testing to verify code compliance. The city does not have a benchmarking and disclosure policy. San Antonio offers several incentives for energy efficient upgrades, solar energy installation, and low-income energy improvement action.

Last Updated: June 2021

Building Energy CodesList 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-readiness policies

The city has not passed an ordinance mandating new construction to be solar ready. The city does allow for solar in all zones. 

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

The city has not passed an ordinance mandating new construction to be EV-ready.

Last Updated: October 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList 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: June 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


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 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: June 2021

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: June 2021

Score: 8 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

The CAAP passed in Oct. 2019, establishes a reduction goal of 47% by 2030 and 75% by 2040.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

San Antonio’s VMT has actually increased since the inception of the target from the SA Tomorrow Plan (2016) and currently stands at 24 miles. The Office of Sustainability also conducts GHG inventories every 2 years to measure and compare data.

Last Updated: December 2021

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: December 2021

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 adopted a Complete Streets Policy in 2011. 

Last Updated: December 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of San Antonio have received $237,007,693.40 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $119.34 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. The City of San Antonio Transit Connectivity Index value is 6.6, scoring 0.5 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: December 2021

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. However, the Office of Sustainability has produced a number of surveys to better understand the needs of the community. EV SA.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

At this time, San Antonio does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. However, the Office of Sustainability has produced a number of surveys to better understand the needs of the community. EV SA.

EV Charging Locations

The City has 241 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 15.6 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

San Antonio does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

San Antonio does not have an EV transit bus goal.

Last Updated: December 2021

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 2020

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

VIA provides reduced fares for students, seniors, veterans, children and residents on Medicare. Internally, the City of San Antonio provides free bus passes to all city employees.

Last Updated: December 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 5.5 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: July 2021  

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, CPS Energy reported 181,224 MWh in electric net incremental savings, representing 0.73% of retail sales. In 2019, CPS spent $32,114,907 on electric energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.45% of its electric retail revenue. ACEEE was unable to verify savings and spending data. In 2019, 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: August 2021

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 addition, CPS Energy offers multiple affordability discount programs to assist customers with their bills including the Residential Energy Assistance Partnership (REAP), Critical Care, Disabled, and Senior Citizen programs, as well as a Burned Veterans discount.

In 2019, according to CPS Energy, it achieved 14,715 MWh in energy savings, while spending $20,095,988 on its low-income programs, and served 3,727 low-income customers. 

Multifamily Programs 

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

Last Updated: August 2021 

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 joined a data sharing agreement with CPS Energy, San Antonio Housing Authority, and San Antonio Water System.

Last Updated: August 2021  

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal  

In 2019, as part of CPS Energy’s Flexible Path strategy, they made a commitment to reduce net emissions by 80% by 2040 from a 2005 baseline. In addition, CPS Energy is working towards full carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve 80% by 2040, CPS Energy will need to reduce emissions by 4.1% annually from 2019 levels. 

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid 

In 2019, CPS Energy emitted 12.8 metric tons of CO2e per capita.  

Last Updated: August 2021

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 

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: August 2021 

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