State and Local Policy Database

Syracuse

City Scorecard Rank

70

Syracuse, NY

20.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
2 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Syracuse’s Sustainability Plan includes a goal to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 2002 levels by 2020. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Sustainability Plan includes a goal to reduce city facility energy use 10% below 2010 levels by 2020.

Renewable Energy Goal

The Sustainability Plan has a goal to double municipal energy generation capacity by 2020 from 61 kW of solar and 56 kW of hydropower.

Last updated: March 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet policies and composition 

We could not find information on Syracuse’s fleet procurement policies or fuel efficiency requirements. We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public lighting 

We did not find information regarding the adoption of a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. We could not confirm if Syracuse has an outdoor lighting upgrade program.

Onsite renewable systems

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

Inclusive procurement

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

Last updated: March 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

We were unable to find information regarding Syracuse’s benchmarking practices.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

We did not find information regarding a comprehensive retrofit strategy in Syracuse.

Public Workforce Commuting

We did not find data on policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules and teleworking.

Last updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 1.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Syracuse released the Sustainability Plan in 2012.

Last updated: March 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Syracuse adopted a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 7% below 2002 levels by 2020. 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

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.

Energy Data Reporting

Syracuse reported 2017 energy data.

Last updated: March 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

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: March 2020

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

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

Last updated: March 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

The Sustainability Plan includes a goal to increase urban tree canopy coverage to 30% by 2020.

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: August 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

Syracuse enforces New York's building energy code. The city offers property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Syracuse does not require above-code energy-saving actions in buildings. 

Last Update: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All

Overview

New York State allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the state code. New York requires residential buildings to comply with 2015 IECC and commercial buildings to comply with 2015 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2013. Syracuse has not adopted a stretch code. To learn more about California’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.

Commercial

Commercial properties must comply with 2015 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 56.5.

Residential

Residential properties must comply with the 2015 IECC. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 53.4.

Solar- and EV-ready

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

Last Update: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

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 on the number of full-time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code. We could not find information regarding upfront support for code compliance.

Last Update: September 2020

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 finacing for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. 

Last Update: September 2020

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: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities 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: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, National Grid and NYSERDA reported 339,979 MWh of total net electric savings at the meter, which represents 0.96% of retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only Syracuse. In 2018, National Grid spent $43,578,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.94% of its retail revenue. We were unable to determine spending from NYSERDA.

In 2018, National Grid reported 20.83 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 1.33% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2018, National Grid spent $21,606,957 on energy efficiency, which equates to $12.12 per residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover National Grid’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Syracuse. We were unable to determine spending from NYSERDA.

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: March 2020

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 2018, NSYERDA’s low-income programs achieved 4,798 MWh and 0.51 MMtherms savings for National Grid’s service territory in 2018. Spending and customers served were not available for 2018.

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 subsidy 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 2018, according to National Grid, its multifamily program achieved 8,474 MWh savings while serving 8,408 and spending $3,070,924. NYSERDA’s multifamily programs achieved 10,106 MWh and 0.10 MMtherms savings for National Grid customers. Data on NYSERDA spending and customers served were not available for 2018.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

National Grid provides building owners support to use the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. 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: March 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, National Grid did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

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: March 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide 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: March 2020

Transportation
Score: 7 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Syracuse' Sustianability 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: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning 

The city's zoning code states that the purpose and in tent 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: March 2020

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 

Car Sharing

No data or the city is not pursuing. 

Bike Sharing

200 bikes, run by Gotcha Bike, are available at 35 stations around Syracuse.

Last Updated: March 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority that serves the City of Syracuse has received $67,633,994 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $103.97 per capita between 2014 and 2018 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 Transit Connectivity Index value is 5.9, scoring 0.5 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Rebates toward the purchase of certain PEV models is 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 throught the New York Power Authority's Avolve NY program. 

EV Infrastructure

The City has 21 charging stations available for public use, equivalent to 14.711 stations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Neither the City of Syracuse or any of the utilities that service it's resident are providing incentives towards the installation of EV charging infrastrucutre powered by renewables at this time. 

Last Updated: March 2020

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: March 2020

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: March 2020