Clean Energy in City Codes: A Baseline Analysis of Municipal Codification across the United States

Alexandra Aznar, Jeffrey Cook, Megan Day, Alexander Dane, Shivani Mathur

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Municipal governments in the United States are well positioned to influence clean energy (energy efficiency and alternative energy) and transportation technology and strategy implementation within their jurisdictions through planning, programs, and codification. Municipal governments are leveraging planning processes and programs to shape their energy futures. There is limited understanding in the literature related to codification, the primary way that municipal governments enact enforceable policies. The authors fill the gap in the literature by documenting the status of municipal codification of clean energy and transportation across the United States. More directly, we leverage online databases of municipal codes to develop national and state-specific representative samples of municipal governments by population size. Our analysis finds that municipal governments with the authority to set residential building energy codes within their jurisdictions frequently do so. In some cases, communities set codes higher than their respective state governments. Examination of codes across the nation indicates that municipal governments are employing their code as a policy mechanism to address clean energy and transportation.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages48
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A70-66120


  • building energy code
  • clean energy
  • municipal code
  • residential
  • transportation
  • United States


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