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Energy Efficiency Policy in the U.S. Southeast

In its Southeast Regional Clean Energy Policy Analysis, NREL presents the following key findings on energy efficiency policies in the southeastern United States.

  • In the Southeast, the most common state-level policies to support efficiency improvements are rebates and loans.
  • Expenditures on utility-led energy efficiency programs in the Southeast have been minimal.¬†In 2007, spending on efficiency programs in the region was between $0-$2 per person. This contrasts with expenditures of hundreds of dollars per person on imported coal for electricity production.
  • Retrofit Incentives, equipment standards, and appliance standards are policies that have the potential to increase efficiency significantly, yet have a low implementation cost.
  • Residential and commercial building codes meet current international standards in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and the Carolinas. However, there is significant room for improvement in building codes in the other states.¬†Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri do not have building codes to require efficiency.
Table 1. State-Level Energy Efficiency Incentives and Regulations

 

Alabama

Arkansas

Georgia

Kentucky

Louisiana

Missouri

Mississippi

North Carolina

South Carolina

Tennessee

Personal Tax Incentives

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

Corporate Tax Incentives

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales Tax Incentives

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

X

 

Property Tax Incentives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebates

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

Grants

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

Loans

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Bonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State-Authorized Green Building Permit Incentives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Appliances/Equipment Standards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Standards Public Buildings

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Public Benefit Fund

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Residential Building Codes

*

**

***

***

***

*

*

***

***

**

Commercial Building Codes

*

**

***

***

***

*

*

***

***

*

* – no statewide code, or code precedes 1998 IECC
** – code meets or exceeds 1998-2003 IECC
*** – code meets or exceeds 2006 IECC
Sources: DSIRE, Building Codes Assistance Project Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network, and ACEE.

Also see the key findings on renewable energy policy in the U.S. Southeast.

More Information

For more information, see the full report, Southeast Regional Clean Energy Policy Analysis.

As policies change frequently, please see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for information on the policies that currently exist in your state or locality. DSIRE only tracks a limited number of local policies, but it tracks more than any other program or organization.