State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Tucson, AZ

17.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 0.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Tucson adopted the General & Sustainability Plan in 2013.

Last updated: September 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

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

Tucson has conducted greenhouse gas inventories in 2012, 2014, and 2017.

Energy Reduction Goal

Tucson's 2030 District has a goal to reduce energy use within the district by 50% by 2030. 

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

The city has not 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

Chapter 3 of Tucson’s Sustainability Plan includes a goal to reduce the urban heat island effect by using native plants and trees to mitigate the effect. We could not find a quantitative goal.

UHI Policies and Programs

The city adopted a Green Streets Policy that requires the use of green infrastructure whenever feasible. 

Last updated: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 7.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Tucson has adopted building energy codes at the municipal level and has adopted a solar-ready ordinance. Tucson has not adopted mandatory benchmarking ordinances, and the city is prohibited by state law from adopting energy action requirements. 

Last Update: July 2021

Building Energy CodesList All


The State of Arizona is a home rule state which allows local jurisdictions to set their own building energy codes. Tucson adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with amendments. To learn more about the requirements for building energy codes for the State of Arizona, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial projects must comply with the 2018 IECC with city amendments. The city’s zEPI score for its commercial energy code is 48.6


Residential projects must comply with the 2018 IECC with city amendments. The city’s zEPI score for its residential energy code is 59.6.

Solar-readiness policies

Tucson adopted a solar-ready ordinance for single- and two-family buildings in 2008. The ordinance requires buildings to install solar-ready electric and water heating infrastructure in new homes.

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

The city has not adopted an EV-ready ordinance. 

Low-energy use requirements

Tucson requires new municipal buildings to achieve LEED Silver certification. 

Last Update: July 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Tucson does not staff any full-time employees solely dedicated to energy code compliance. Tucson requires plan reviews, third-party site inspection and performance testing to verify code compliance. The city also provides upfront support to owners and developers by walking-thru plan review questions and offering public code education. 

Last Update: July 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes energy-saving actions in existing buildings. Tucson is preempted by the state from adopting above-code energy efficiency requirements.

Last updated: July 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 Update: July 2021

Score: 5.5 out of 30 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

We could not confirm if Tucson has a sustainable transportation plan in place.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

Tucson does not have a VMT/GHG target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Tucson does not track progress towards a VMT/GHG target.

Last Updated: December 2021

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Tucson’s zoning code includes a TOD overlay for the city.

Residential Parking Policies

Tucson has not removed minimum parking requirements anywhere in the city.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

We could not confirm if Tucson has any location efficiency incentives or disclosure requirements.

Last Updated: December 2021

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

We could not confirm if Tucson has a mode shift target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Tucson does not track progress towards its mode shift target.

Complete Streets

Tucson does not currently have a complete streets policy in place.  

Last Updated: December 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of Tucson have received $69,321,849.00 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $83.70 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 Tucson's Transit Connectivity Index value is 5.8, scoring 0.5 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: December 2021

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

We could not confirm if Tucson offers incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Tucson Electric Power residential customers who own and operate a highway-approved plug-in EV can receive a discount on their electric service by signing up for our Time-of-Use or Demand Time-of-Use pricing plans.

EV Charging Locations

The City has 93 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 17 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

Tucson does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

Tucson does not have an EV transit bus goal.

Last Updated: December 2021

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Tucson 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

Tucson does not have any requirements or incentives in place to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Sun Tran offers discounts to eligible customers for public transit.

Last Updated: December 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 2 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Tucson Electric Power, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility for the City of Tucson. The primary natural gas supplier for Tucson is Southwest Gas, an IOU. The State of Arizona requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and documentation of Demand Side Management programs to be filed to the Arizona Corporation Commission before implementation. In 2021, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved new clean energy rules that highlight the role of energy efficiency in carbon emissions reductions. The rules package extends the existing EERS until 2030 and requires a carbon-free grid by 2070. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Arizona page of the State Database.

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

Last Updated: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, Tucson Electric Power reported 100,228 MWh of net electric savings at the meter, which represents 1.15% of its retail sales. In 2019, TEP spent $14,298,750 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.52% of its retail revenue.

In 2019, Southwest Gas reported savings of 2.58 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.51% of its natural gas retail sales. In 2019, Southwest Gas spent $5,304,457 on energy efficiency, which equates to $5.81 per residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover Southwest Gas's entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of Tucson.

TEP offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers. Southwest Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

At this time, the City of Tucson does not have a formal partnership with Tucson Electric Power or Southwest Gas in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: August 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

TEP’s Low-Income Weatherization Program was remarketed as the "Energy Ease Program", which includes traditional weatherization measures, smart thermostats, direct install measures, and outreach. TEP in conjunction with the Tucson Urban League continued the Energy Ease Plus pilot as a subprogram of the Energy Ease Program. TEP and Tucson Urban League identified a prescriptive weatherization model that was applied to each home and allows TEP to reach more customers at a lower cost. The Energy Ease Plus effort will not affect the current LIW program's funding.

In 2019, according to TEP, it achieved 182 MWh in energy savings, while spending $641,947 on its low-income program and serving 74 low-income customers.

Southwest Gas administers the LIEC Weatherization program for customers in the city of Tucson. This program includes general weatherization and energy efficiency measures. Water efficiency measures are also included in the program, and the program targets elderly households and people with disabilities. Southwest Gas partners with the Arizona Department of Housing on program delivery.

We were unable to confirm spending, savings, and customers served for Southwest Gas’s low-income programs in 2019.

Multifamily Programs

TEP offers the Multi-Family program, which targets multifamily properties with 5 or more dwelling units or more to install efficient lighting, low-flow faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads, HVAC tune-up components including advanced tune-up, Western Cooling Controls, and duct testing and repair. Additionally, multifamily facility managers are encouraged to participate in the C&I facilities program, which promotes measure installations in common areas.

In 2019, according to TEP, it achieved 2,716 MWh in energy savings, while spending $1,998,388 on its multifamily program. Customer data was not available for 2019.

At this time, Southwest Gas does not offer programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Tucson Electric Power Co. nor Southwest Gas provides building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings. The City of Tucson does not provide community-wide energy usage data at the aggregate level for community planning or evaluation purposes. The City of Tucson 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 Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

At this time, TEP does not have a carbon reduction goal in place.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

At this time, we cannot confirm if the city of Tucson 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: July 2021

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

The energy and water utilities do not offer joint energy and water efficiency programs. The City of Tucson follows the conservation target established by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). As of 2012, Tucson was on track to meeting its target. It also has a water plan that includes various ways to conserve water.

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

Climate Mitigation Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

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

Renewable Energy Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal.

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition 

Tucson's Sustainability Plan and other city policies outline the goals for the purchase and use of newer renewable fuels, as well as highly efficient vehicles and equipment. High-efficiency vehicles and alternative fuels are the preferred selections when operationally feasible. Tucson's municipal vehicle fleet is composed of 0.1% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric. Additionally, the city's public transit fleet includes 11 hybrid vehicles.

Public Lighting

Tucson, with Pima County, passed an Outdoor Lighting Code in 1994, which was updated in 2012 in partnership with the International Dark-Sky Association to reduce light pollution which resulted in the conversion of outdoor lights to LEDs and dimming in areas of low foot traffic at night. In 2018, 21,563 streetlights were upgraded to LED.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems

Tucson has installed onsite renewable systems on city facilities. Currently, the city has 4.7 MW of solar power installed.

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 

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

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

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

Last updated: June 2021