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Sustainability and Mobility

Municipal Energy Policies and Plans

In October 2022, the San Diego City Council adopted Policy No. 900-03, the PDF icon Zero Emissions Municipal Buildings & Operations Policy (ZEMBOP), which establishes an implementing framework to ensure the City leads by example in decarbonizing the municipal building sector and transitioning to a zero-emissions fleet by 2035.

With the adoption of ZEMBOP, new municipal facility construction projects will be required to be all-electric, 10% more efficient than the state code, and designed to include a solar or other renewable energy system plus a battery energy storage system large enough to cover the facility’s electricity load. All fleet parking spaces in associated parking lots must be EV Ready (i.e. wiring to the spaces), and 50% of staff and public spaces must be EV Capable (i.e. conduit to the spaces). The facility must have electric panel capacity for eventual charging stations at all EV spaces.

For the City’s 400+ existing municipal facilities, the policy is triggered any time a natural gas burning system is being replaced and requires the new equipment to be electric. The policy is also triggered by what the policy defines as a major renovation: a project that includes improvements to two or more building systems and/or a parking lot repaving. In those cases, project scopes must be expanded so the facility becomes all-electric, meets current state energy-efficiency standards, and includes solar PV, battery energy storage, and has EV charging infrastructure for fleet spaces installed in any associated parking lot. ​

Alongside ZEMBOP is Policy No. 900-14, the PDF icon Sustainable Buildings Policy, which reasserts the City’s commitment to green and sustainable building practices when it comes to new construction or major renovations that the City owns, occupies or leases.

NEW! The ZEMBOP Applicability Checklist is now available to provide guidance on which policy requirements apply to individual municipal projects. Follow these steps to use the new tool:

  1. Click the link above to download the checklist.
  2. Open the file with Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  3. Complete the form with information specific to your project.
  4. Hit "See Applicable Requirements."
  5. Scroll down to read policy requirements tailored to your project.
  6. Acknowledge your understanding of the requirements and use the "Submit by Email" function at the bottom of the form to send a copy to Sustainability & Mobility for tracking purposes.
  7. Share the completed checklist with project stakeholders.

If you have any questions or concerns about the ZEMBOP requirements or the checklist, please send an e-mail to