State and Local Policy Database

Birmingham

City Scorecard Rank

50

Birmingham, AL

14.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Score:
0 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

We could not confirm if Birmingham has an overarching plan or strategy for improving energy efficiency in the city’s internal government operations.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

We did not find information regarding an energy efficiency-related goal for Birmingham’s local government operations.

Stringency

N/A

Progress

N/A

Reporting

We did not find information detailing the frequency of public reporting on Birmingham’s energy efficiency activities.

Last updated: January 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

We did not find information regarding fuel efficiency requirements for the public fleet. We also did not find information on a fleet right-sizing policy, culling requirements, anti-idling policy for fleet vehicles, or other policies to encourage the efficient use of the public fleet.

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Public Lighting

We could not confirm if Birmingham has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance.

New Buildings and Equipment

We did not find information regarding energy efficiency requirements for new public buildings or efficiency requirements in the city’s procurement policy.

Last updated: January 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

We did not find information regarding municipal building benchmarking or the city’s energy performance strategy for municipal buildings. We could not confirm if the city implements any type of retrofits strategy for public buildings.

Public Employees

We did not find data on teleworking policies for city employees.  

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 1 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Birmingham has few community-wide initiatives related to energy efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

We did not find information that Birmingham has developed, implemented, or reported on community-wide energy efficiency goals.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

Birmingham does not have programs or policies to plan for future district energy systems.   

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

Birmingham has not adopted urban heat island mitigation goals.

Nevertheless, the city has allowed for conservation subdivisions as part of its Zoning Ordinance that encourage the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns. The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance or policies that require or incentivize conservation of private land.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 4.5 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

Birmingham has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Building Codes Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Birmingham.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Alabama allows local jurisdictions to adopt more stringent codes than the state mandated energy codes. The 2015 Alabama Residential Energy Code references to the 2015 IECC, however, state-specific amendments weaken it significantly. The 2015 Alabama Commercial Energy Code is based ASHRAE 90.1-2013. To learn more about the building energy codes in Alabama, please view the State Policy Database

Commercial

Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Birmingham has adopted the Alabama Commercial Energy Code, effective January 1, 2016.

Residential

Although local authority is permitted, no stretch code has been adopted. Birmingham has adopted the Alabama Residential Energy Code, effective October 1, 2016.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Birmingham does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

Birmingham does not yet have green building requirements.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Birmingham does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.  

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Birmingham does not yet provide incentives or financing mechanisms to promote efficiency of buildings.

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Birmingham does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage building benchmarking in any sector.

The Multiple Listing Service that serves the Birmingham region includes fields for energy efficiency features.

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 0.5 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Alabama Power, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Birmingham. Alagasco, an IOU, is Birmingham’s primary natural gas utility. The State of Alabama has not yet implemented an energy efficiency portfolio standard in which levels of energy efficiency must be achieved annually by the state’s utilities through demand side programs. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Alabama page of the State Database.

The Birmingham Water Works is a public utility supplying drinking water to residents of Birmingham and the SouthWest Water Company is a regional wastewater utility that serves the city.

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

According to EIA, in 2015 Alabama Power reported net incremental electricity savings of 10,422 MWh, representing 0.02% of its retail sales. In 2015, Alabama Power reported to EIA $4,604,000 on electric efficiency program spending, representing 0.09% of its annual revenue. In 2015, Alagasco either did not spend or did not report spending on natural gas efficiency programs. Spending on electricity efficiency represented in this section covers the entire Alabama service territory, not just Birmingham. Alabama Power offers electric efficiency programs and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

The City of Birmingham does not yet partner with Alabama Power or Alagasco to promote participation in electric or natural gas efficiency programs. Although not a formal partnership, the City of Birmingham has worked with the utility to install high efficiency geothermal heat pumps in some of the city’s recreation centers.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

At this time, Alabama Power and Alagasco do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, Alabama Power and Alagasco do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: January 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Alabama Power has not yet committed to providing the Green Button data sharing platform to its customers. However, they do offer whole-building aggregated data to building owners, including multifamily building data, through the Energy Direct data sharing platform. Alabama Power does not publically provide community aggregate data for planning and evaluation of programs. Additionally, Alabama Power assists the state by providing aggregated energy data related to public facilities for benchmarking with Portfolio Manager. The City of Birmingham does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by the utilities.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

Although the water and energy utilities do not provide water efficiency programs, Birmingham Water Works does provide this list of helpful tips for saving water at home. Currently, Birmingham Water Works does not have a specified goal for water efficiency.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The City of Birmingham has not yet established a goal or comprehensive strategy for energy efficiency in its municipal water service operations. We could not confirm if any of the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facilities self-generate energy that is used on site.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

There are no programs, policies, funding, or incentive structures in place to further encourage joint green infrastructure and stormwater management in Birmingham.

Last Updated: January 2017

Transportation
Score: 8.5 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority that serves the City of Birmingham is the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA), commonly referred to as MAX. MAX also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including bus service. The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Birmingham, and many surrounding counties. The Department of Traffic Engineering is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Birmingham has mandatory Downtown and Triangle District form-based codes that were written as optional, but became mandatory in 2007. The city requires a minimum of one parking space per residential unit in some neighborhoods, and one and a half spaces in other neighborhoods. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

Birmingham has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There is not yet a car sharing program available to the citizens of Birmingham. The city does, however, have a bike sharing program in place, called Zyp BikeShare.

Complete Streets

Birmingham adopted its complete streets policy in 2011 through Resolution 2011. The adoption of the guidelines encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all new neighborhoods. 

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The BJCTA-MAX transit system that serves Birmingham received $35,551,559 in total funding in 2015. This funding level is $53.60 per resident in the service territory of the agency.This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 0.21 to 1.

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 Birmingham’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 1, putting it in the lowest category (0-4) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Birmingham does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure. However, the city does own 10EV charging stations that are available for public use. 

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Birmingham does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

Birmingham does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

We could not confirm if Birmingham has a city-wide sustainable transportation plan in place to reduce VMTs.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

We could not confirm if Birmingham had requirements or incentives in place to develop or preserve affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Last updated: January 2017