State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Syracuse, NY

Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 0 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a community-wide climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

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

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

Syracuse received a grant from NYSERDA for the creation of a microgrid that was integrated with combined heat and power.

Last updated: September 2021

Adaptive Mitigation List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

We could not verify if the city has adopted a quantifiable urban heat island mitigation goal.

UHI Policies and Programs

We were unable to determine if the city has adopted specific policies or programs that incorporate requirements or incentives to mitigate the urban heat island effect. 

Last updated: September 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 updated: July 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 4 out of 30 points
Building Energy CodesList All


New York State allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the state code. Syracuse requires residential and commercial buildings to comply with the 2015 New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code, which references the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. Syracuse has not adopted a stretch code. To learn more about New York's building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial properties must comply with the 2018 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for its commercial energy code is 56.5.


Residential properties must comply with the 2018 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for its residential energy code is 53.4.

Solar- and EV-ready

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

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

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

Last Update: July 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

We could not find information on the number of full-time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code. The city requires plan reviews and site inspections to verify energy code compliance. We could not determine whether the city requires performance testing to verify energy code compliance. We could not find information regarding upfront support for code compliance.

Last Update: July 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


Syracuse offers one financing program to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The city allows property owners access to PACE financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. 

Last Update: July 2021

Score: 4.5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Syracuse's Sustainability plan (2012) and 2040 Comprehensive Plan (2012) include language about transportation planning and sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The City of Syracuse does not yet have a codified VMT reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Syracuse is not yet tracking community GHG or VMT levels

Last Updated: December 2021

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning 

The city's zoning code states that the purpose and intent of the central business districts is to provide mixed-use spaces that incorporate residential, office, business, commercial, and light manufacturing. 

Residential Parking Requirements

The vast majority of land use categories (including some residential developments) have a minimum parking requirement of 1 space per unit or more.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosures

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Last Updated: December 2021

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Target 

No data or city is not pursuing 

Progress Toward Mode Shift Target

No progress has been achieved, as there are no targets in place.

Complete Streets

No Policy Found 

Last Updated: December 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of Syracuse have received $24,885,304.00 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $38.80 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 Syracuse's Transit Connectivity Index value is 5.2, scoring 0.5 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: December 2021

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Rebates toward the purchase of certain PEV models are available to Syracuse residents through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. 

Incentives for EV Charging Stations

Incentives for EV charger installation are available to Syracuse residents through the New York Power Authority's Avolve NY program. 

EV Infrastructure

The City has 69 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 48.5 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

Syracuse does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

Syracuse does not have an EV transit bus goal.

Last Updated: December 2021

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Syracuse 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 

Syracuse does not have any policies in place to address or help encourage affordable TOD housing development. 

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Neither the City of Syracuse nor the transit authority that services the city's residents provide rebates or incentives that better connect low-income residents to efficient transportation options. 

Last Updated: December 2021

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 6.5 out of 15 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All

National Grid NY, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric and gas utility for the City of Syracuse. The New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) is the state-wide agency that administers energy-efficiency programs. The State of New York requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and efficiency requirements in utility EEPSs. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the New York page of the State Database.

The City of Syracuse Department of Water is the municipal utility that provides the City of Syracuse with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, National Grid and NYSERDA reported 529,365 MWh of total net electric savings at the meter, for National Grid customers which represents 1.56% of retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Syracuse. In 2019, National Grid and NYSERDA spent $143,193,382 on energy efficiency programs for National Grid customers, which represents 6.57% of its retail revenue.

In 2019, National Grid and NYSERDA reported 29.34 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter for National Grid customers, which represents 1.88% of its natural gas retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2019, National Grid spent $27,687,252 on natural gas energy efficiency, which equates to $15.43 per residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover National Grid’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Syracuse.

National Grid offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers.

At this time, the City of Syracuse does not have a formal partnership with National Grid in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

NYSERDA offers the EmPower New York program to qualified low-income residential National Grid customers. This program addresses both electric and natural gas end uses, while providing no-cost energy efficiency solutions including air sealing, insulation, replacement of inefficient refrigerators and freezers, water efficiency measures, thermostats, and new energy-efficient lighting in order to reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the EmPower program includes health and safety checks of smoke detectors and appliances. Households that receive HEAP benefits, utility bill payment assistance, or participate in the federal Weatherization Assistance Program are automatically eligible. NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program and RetrofitNY initiatives also have low-income saving components. See the next section for more information.

In 2019, NSYERDA’s low-income programs achieved 3,031 MWh and 0.85 MMtherms savings for National Grid’s service territory while serving 4,555 low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program provides incentives for owners to incorporate energy efficiency into affordable buildings for National Grid customers. A Multifamily Building Solutions Provider will work with the owner to evaluate the building’s systems holistically, creating a customized plan aimed at generating a minimum of 20% source energy savings along with reduced energy bills. For projects that could reach deeper energy savings, the High-Performance Component targets a minimum of 40% source energy savings with a maximum post-construction source energy use intensity (EUI) of 100 kBtu/sq ft./yr.

In 2018, NYSERDA launched the RetrofitNY initiative. The goal of this program is to drive market transformation by industrializing and standardizing the design and construction processes to achieve deep levels of cost compression, which will drive large-scale adoption of deep energy and net-zero retrofits in multifamily buildings. RetrofitNY approaches retrofits from a whole building perspective and targets multiple health and resiliency benefits as associated outcomes of building work-scope. NYSERDA funds are used in conjunction with other subsidies and financing offered from local, state, and federal sources as a financing package coordinated through relevant affordable housing agencies.   

In addition to NYSERDA programs, National Grid offers a multifamily program that provides no-cost direct install of high-efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators and thermostatic radiator valves. It also provides rebates for high-efficiency natural gas heating and water heating, insulation, programmable thermostats, boiler reset controls, steam traps and custom efficiency measures.

In 2019, NYSERDA’s multifamily programs achieved 7,873 MWh and 0.85 MMtherms savings for National Grid customers while serving 760 customers.

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

National Grid provides building owners support to use the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool through the EPA Portfolio Manager. Syracuse published 2017 building benchmarking data, yet does not provide annual community-wide energy usage data at the aggregate level.  The City of Syracuse 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: July 2021

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

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2020, National Grid set a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, along with interim targets of 80% by 2030 and 90% by 2040 from a 1990 baseline. To achieve the goal of 80% by 2030, National Grid will need to reduce emissions by 2.6% annually from 2019 levels from US operations.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

At this time, we cannot confirm whether or not the city of Syracuse participates in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: August 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. At this time, the City of Syracuse has not established a water savings target or goal.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

The water utility has not set specific energy efficiency targets or strategies. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: July 2021

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

Climate Mitigation Goal

We were unable to find information regarding an active climate mitigation goal for municipal operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

We were unable to find information regarding an active energy reduction goal for municipal operations.

Renewable Energy Goal

We were unable to find information regarding an active renewable energy goal for municipal operations.

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet policies and composition 

We were unable to find information on Syracuse’s fleet procurement policies or fuel-efficiency requirements. We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public lighting 

We were unable to find information regarding the adoption of a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Syracuse is in the process of upgrading streetlights to LEDs.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems

We were unable to find information regarding onsite or offsite renewable energy systems in Syracuse.

Inclusive procurement

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

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

Syracuse benchmarks energy use in all municipal facilities. 

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

We were unable to find information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy in Syracuse.

Last updated: June 2021