State and Local Policy Database

Georgia

State Scorecard Rank

35

Georgia

12.5Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 2.5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

Georgia does not offer any state-funded consumer incentives for energy efficiency investments. It enables PACE financing, but it does not have any active PACE programs. The state government leads by example by requiring energy-efficient fleets and buildings and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. Research and development focused on energy efficiency is conducted at two institutions.

Financial Incentives List All

Currently, there are no solely state-administered financial incentive programs. The state does enable Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE), but it does not have any active PACE programs.

Financial Incentive information for Georgia is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Georgia). For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Last Updated: July 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

In April 2008, Governor Sonny Perdue signed an executive order requiring state government agencies and departments to reduce energy use. This executive order created the Governor's Energy Challenge 2020 as part of "Conserve Georgia." State agencies and departments must reduce energy consumption 15% by 2020, using 2007 energy use as a baseline. Reductions in energy use must come from energy efficiency measures and can also come from renewable energy development. State agencies regularly track their own energy consumption at the account level and report that energy consumption annually to GEFA. 

Also in 2008, Senate Bill 130  called for building commissioning for new state buildings and requires new state buildings to exceed ASHRAE 90.1.2004 energy efficiency standards by 30%. This act also requires state buildings over 10,000 square feet to be designed, constructed, and commissioned or modeled to achieve a 15 percent reduction in water use when compared to water use based on plumbing fixture selection in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Last Updated: July 2016

Fleets List All

No policy in place or proposed

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

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

Georgia has developed a state agency manual for performance contracting and has established a list of pre-qualified vendors. The State is actively seeking more applications for performance contracting projects from agencies. Georgia received approximately $80 million worth of project applications from state agencies in Fall 2013. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Research & Development List All

Funded in part by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), the Southface Energy Institute conducts research and training on energy-efficient housing and communities. GEFA collaborates with the Institute on its weatherization training and technical assistance.

At the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS) focuses on engineering water and power infrastructures that prove to be more efficient than current systems and help reduce the risk of supply- or demand-driven system failures. The Institute’s current efficiency-based research is centered on its Sustainable Infrastructure for Energy and Water Systems (SINEWS) Project funded by the National Science Foundation. This project includes secondary teams from Arizona State University and the University of Georgia. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Buildings
Score: 3.5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

Georgia law requires that residential homes comply with the 2009 IECC. Commercial buildings must meet ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards. Georgia has pursued limited compliance activities, including a gap analysis and training and outreach.

Residential Codes List All

On January 1, 2011, the 2011 Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code became effective statewide as approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs on November 3, 2010. The state code is based on the 2009 IECC with 2011 Georgia Amendments and is mandatory statewide.

Last Updated: June 2016

Commercial Code List All

On January 1, 2011, the 2011 Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code became effective statewide as approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs on November 3, 2010. The commercial codes reference ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The state also adopted the 2011 Georgia State Minimum Residential Green Building Standard, based on the 2008 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) with 2011 Georgia Amendments, as an optional code. It is available for local government adoption and enforcement.

Last Updated: June 2016

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: No strategic compliance plan has been completed in recent years. The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) have, in partnership with the Home Builders Association of Georgia, developed a program for builders to rent duct blasters and blower doors for compliance, which was a result of a previously completed gap analysis. 
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: Georgia is one of eight states participating in the US DOE's Residential Energy Code Field Study. Through the project, DOE plans to establish a sufficient data set to represent statewide construction trends and detect significant changes in energy use from training, education and outreach activities. The first stage of the study is comprised of a baseline compliance study.
  • Utility Involvement: NA
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: NA
  • Training/Outreach: GEFA has funded Southface over the years to provide training in code compliance.

Last Updated: September 2016

CHP
Score: 0.5 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

The state has limited policies to encourage CHP. One new CHP systems was installed in 2015.

Interconnection StandardsList All

There is currently no interconnection standard in place that applies to CHP.

For more information on interconnection standards, click here.

Last Updated: June 2016

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

There are currently no state policies designed to acquire energy savings from CHP (like other efficiency resources) or energy generation from CHP (in terms of kWh production) that apply to all forms of CHP.

Last Updated: June 2016

Deployment IncentivesList All

There are currently no state policies that provide additional incentives for CHP deployment.

Last Updated: June 2016

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are few additional supportive policies to encourage CHP but the state does offer a Biomass Sales and Use Tax Exemption that can benefit CHP system owners. To qualify for the exemption, the biomass material must be utilized in the production of energy, including the production of electricity, steam, or both electricity and steam. 

Last Updated: August 2016

Utilities
Score: 1.5 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Georgia’s Integrated Resource Planning law, O.C.G.A. § 46-3A-2, approved in the early 1990s, requires the state’s regulated electric utilities to file integrated resource plans (IRPs) with the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) every three years. The IRPs must take into account any present and projected reductions in the demand for energy that may result from measures to improve energy efficiency in the industrial, commercial, residential, and energy-producing sectors of the state. To encourage utilities to use demand-side resources, Georgia statute O.C.G.A. § 46-3A-9 allows utilities to recover costs and an additional sum for commission-approved demand-side management programs. Natural gas utilities are not required to file IRPs or offer energy efficiency programs.

Georgia Power, cooperative utilities, and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) offer energy efficiency programs. The GPSC regulates Georgia Power, but not the other electric utilities. To date levels of spending and associated energy efficiency program activity have been relatively low.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last updated: June 2017

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Since the early 1990s, Georgia statute O.C.G.A. § 46-3A-2 has required the regulated electric utilities to file integrated resource plans with the Georgia Public Service Commission every three years.  The IRPs must consider the impact of energy efficiency improvements on projected energy demand.  The companies must file the IRPs in accordance with GPSC Rule 515-3-4, the commission’s IRP rule.  Natural gas companies are not required to file IRPs or offer energy efficiency programs.

Regulated utility energy efficiency and demand-side management programs are funded through a demand-side management rider that is applied to residential and commercial customers. Georgia Power is the only regulated electric utility in the state. Georgia Power filed its 2016 IRP in Docket Nos. 40161 and 40162. The utility has 12 certified energy energy efficiency programs - 7 residential, 4 commercial and one low-income programs. Each customer class (other than for the low-income program) is responsible for the program and incentive costs of their respective program. 

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) also works with partner utilities to offer audits and incentives for residential and business customers. Additionally, many of the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation’s cooperatives offer rebates for installation of certain energy-efficient appliances such as water heaters, heat pumps, programmable thermostats, and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: June 2017

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Every three years, regulated Georgia utilities must file integrated resource plans (IRPs) with the commission. The plans must detail the utilities' forecast requirements, taking into account present and projected energy demands and any demand reductions that are the result of improved energy efficiency measures in any and all sectors. In Georgia Power's 2010 IRP (Docket 31081), the commission adoped a policy recognizing energy efficiency as a priority resource. Georgia Power’s most recent IRP was approved in July 2016 (Docket Nos. 40161 and 40162).

Last Updated: June 2017

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

There is currently no EERS in place.

For more information on Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, click here.

Last Updated: June 2017

Utility Business Model List All

Georgia Code (O.C.G.A. § 46-3A-9) authorizes electric utilities to recover costs and an “additional sum” for approved programs. In the 2013 IRP, the Commission approved an additional sum of 8.5% of actual net benefits of electricity savings for achieving 50% or more of kWh projected savings. If the additional sum exceeds program costs,  the portion of the total that exceeds program cost is limited to 4% of actual net benefits.

In the 2010 IRP, the Commission approved seven energy efficiency programs including five residential and two commercial programs. In the 2013 IRP, the Commission approved a new Small Business program. Georgia Power currently has eight certified energy efficiency programs including five residential programs and three commercial programs and one certified demand response program, which is Power Credit. Since the Power Credit program is a demand response program, it has no energy savings associated with it.

Last Updated: June 2016

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Cost-effectiveness test(s) used: TRC, UCT, PCT, SCT, RIM
  • Uses a deemed savings database: no

Evaluations of programs are required. EM&V reports are required every two to three years as part of the Resolution of Outstanding Issues in Docket No. 31082 and the orders filed in Docket Nos. 36499/36498. Georgia has established formal rules and procedures for evaluation, which are stated in Rules 515-3-4-.09(3)(e) 4 and 5. Statewide evaluations and evaluations for each of the utilities are conducted. Georgia uses all of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the  California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost (TRC), Utility/Programs Administrator (UCT), Participant (PCT), Social Cost (SCT), and Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM). The TRC test is used as part of the DSM Program Planning Approach, formerly called the Nine Step Process. Measures must pass the TRC test in order to be used in program plans (as stated in 2010 IRP final order in Docket No. 31082 Appendix H and in Commission Rule 515-3-4-.04(3b)). Furthermore, in the 2010 IRP order, the Commission stated that a ratio below 1.0 on the RIM test is not grounds for rejection of a program. While the RIM test should be considered in conjunction with other tests, such as the TRC test, Societal test, the Program Administrator test and the Participant test, a ratio above 1.0 under the RIM test should not be deemed mandatory.rules for benefit-cost tests are not specified, and Georgia does not have a primary cost-effectiveness test that it relies upon.

Last Updated: June 2016

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Although no minimum spending or saving requirements are in place for low-income programs, in proceedings for Georgia Power’s 2016 Integrated Resource Plan, GPC agreed to designate $1 million annually from the existing $2 million Low-Income Weatherization budget for spending on multifamily low-income households and to reserve $500,000 in the Home Energy Improvement Program in the annual budget for multifamily low-income customers.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Low-Income program is administered solely by GPC, though individual projects may receive funding from various sources.

Last updated: June 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Georgia does not allow for large customers to self-direct the funds they would have paid for energy efficiency, nor to opt-out entirely from participating in energy efficiency programs. 

Last updated: July 2016

Data AccessList All

Guidelines for Third Party Access

Data can be accessed through an agreement with the commission and Georgia Power which is determined on a case by case basis. As of June 2017, the PSC is developing a program that will provide whole building data to multi-family and commercial building owners. The program is anticipated to be available in August 2017.

Requirements for Provision of Energy Data

Georgia has no requirements for the provision of energy data.

Energy Use Data Availability 

The state does not have an online standardized system through which access to individual or aggregated energy use data may be requested. 

Last Updated: June 2017 

Transportation
Score: 4.5 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

The state has complete streets legislation in place, and also provides incentives for high-efficiency vehicles.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land Use Integration: No policy in place or proposed.

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: Georgia adopted a complete streets policy in 2012 to incorporate bicycle, pedestrian, and transit accommodations into transportation infrastructure projects.

MAP 21 Freight Plans and Goals: The state has a comprehensive freight and logistics plan but does it does not highlight concrete freight system efficiency strategies or include efficiency performance measures. 

Last Updated: June 2016

Transit Funding List All

The Transportation Investment Act, enacted in 2010, allows municipalities to pass a sales tax for the express purpose of financing transit development and expansion.

Last Updated: July 2015

 

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

An income tax credit is available to individuals who purchase or lease a new Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). A ZEV vehicle is defined as a vehicle that has zero tailpipe and evaporative emission. The amount of the tax credit is 20% of the vehicle cost, up to $5,000 and is available through the state's Alternative Vehicle Tax Credit program.

Last Updated: July 2015

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Georgia adopted plumbing standards for toilets in 2010. No analysis has yet been completed to estimate energy savings.

Last Updated: June 2017