Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant recently signed into law four pieces of energy efficiency legislation including ASHRAE 90.1-2010 building code requirements for commercial buildings and state-owned buildings.
The bills are part of the governor’s energy development strategy – Energy Works: Mississippi’s Energy Roadmap – that includes increasing energy efficiency in state government so that the savings can be directed to other priorities.
Legislation signed into law includes the following:
- HB 1281 Energy Efficiency Standards for Commercial Buildings increases the energy code standard for commercial buildings to meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-2010 standard. Mississippi is the first state in the Southeast and the third state in the US to adopt the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 code standard for commercial buildings.
- HB 1266 Enhanced Building Codes for State-Owned Buildings requires all major facility projects overseen by the Department of Finance and Administration for state-owned buildings to be constructed to the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standard.
- HB 1296 Mississippi Energy Sustainability and Development Act restructures and provides direction for the state’s energy office, the Mississippi Development Authority’s Energy and Natural Resources Division (MDA ENR) and provides the office with the tools to promote the state’s energy resources and encourage greater energy efficiency within state agencies.
- HB 1685 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Revolving Loan Fund creates a $2.75 million zero-interest revolving loan fund, to be administered by MDA ENR, which will allow municipalities and school districts to borrow funds at no interest for the cost of purchasing or converting vehicles to natural gas or propane and for the cost of infrastructure required in the fueling process.
MDA’s Energy and Natural Resources Division Director Karen Bishop provided Energy Manager Today with some background on the state’s energy landscape.
Depending on locations defined by the Mississippi Public Service Commission, consumers either purchase power from Entergy, Mississippi Power Company, 26 electric power cooperatives, municipalities or Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The Mississippi Public Service Commission has not adopted rules regarding utility energy efficiency programs, however proposed rules have been issued, and MDA is a supporter of the adoption of these rules. A decision is expected this summer.
TVA, which is not regulated by the PSC, has many energy efficiency and renewable energy program options. Entergy and Mississippi Power do offer some energy efficiency programs, but they are not yet required.
Nearly all of Mississippi’s electricity is derived from natural gas, coal, or nuclear. Entergy’s Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station produces nearly 20 percent of total state electricity. Bishop cites 2010 EIA data that estimates biomass provides 2.8 percent of the state’s energy and only .2 percent of “other renewables” play into the state’s energy mix.