State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



20.0Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 4.5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

The state offers financial incentives for energy-efficient investments, including PACE financing. The state government leads by example by requiring energy-efficient public buildings and fleets, benchmarking energy use, and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. Researched focused on energy efficiency takes place at several institutions in the state.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial Incentive information for Utah is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Utah). In addition to the state-funded incentives on DSIRE, Utah has enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has one active program. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Last Updated: July 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place. However, in 2015 the state pased SB 217, revising its Facilities Maintenance Standard and launching the large-scale installation of meters over the next five years.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

In Spring 2015, the Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development, CFSM, Division of Administrative Services, and Salt Lake City Public Schools began very early discussions to develop a statewide benchmarking, challenge and recognition program. S.B. 217 (2015) requires all state buildings to report their utility expenditures and energy and water consumption annually at the building level and report to the Governor and Legislature annually. Each state agency must designate a staff member that is responsible for coordinating energy efficiency efforts within the agency; provide energy consumption and costs information to the division; develop strategies for improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs; and provide the division with information regarding the agency's energy efficiency and reduction strategies. As part of this initiative, the Division of Facilities Construction and Management are identifying structures that require building-level meters and are working to meter those buildings in order to fulfill the reporting requirements.  Around 80-90% of state-owned buildings are participating in some level of benchmarking. A standard of quality and a method of centralized reporting are being established in FY 2017.

Passed in 2006, HB 80 required the creation and implementation of a state building energy efficiency program, which shall develop guidelines/procedures and goals for energy efficiency for state buildings. The program must also analyze and benchmark state agencies' energy consumption. That same year, the governor issued Executive Order 2006-0004, which called for a 20 percent increase in the energy efficiency of state buildings by 2015. This Directive led the Division of Facilities Construction and Management to implement the use of the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool as the state benchmarking tool and to require all state buildings to benchmark energy consumption using Portfolio Manager. Utah also uses UMPro, SkySpark, and Lucif Interface Building Dashboards to benchmark public buildings. In FY 2015 the Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) submitted the State Building Energy Efficiency Program Report to the Governor and Legislature.

The Quality Growth Act of 1999.1 (1 Chapter 24, laws of Utah 1999) and Governor Gary R. Herbert’s 10-year energy plan, issued in 2011, have driven the creation of the State Building Energy Efficiency Program (SBEEP). Efforts to increase energy efficiency in response to the directives issued by both the Governor and the Legislature have focused on state-owned buildings. The SBEEP strives to carry out the goal of improving energy efficiency while reducing the energy costs for state facilities. The program looks to reduce operating costs and lower maintenance costs which will in turn extend the life of the building equipment. The program provides funding resources as well as tools and cost-effective methods for energy efficient design, construction and operations.

DFCM requires new state building construction and major renovations to comply with the High Performance Building Standard (HPBS).

Last Updated: July 2016

Fleets List All

In 2014, Utah established a target for 50% of all state fleet vehicles to run on compressed natural gas by July 1, 2018 (S.B. 99). In addition, Utah Transit Authority received a $5.4 million low- or no-emission vehicle deployment grant this year from the Federal Transit Administration for the purchase of five electric buses. The new vehicles will support service from downtown Salt Lake City to the University of Utah, which partnered with UTA in securing the grant. 

HB110 (March 2007) “State Fleet Efficiency Requirements” is intended to accomplish three goals: (1) reduce fleet costs or increase energy efficiency; (2) improve air quality by decreasing the carbon output from state vehicles; and (3) reduce the state’s dependence on foreign oil. It requires agencies that use state fleet vehicles to design programs that will reduce fleet costs by increasing energy efficiency through decreasing the volume of fuel used, increasing fleet mpg, and implementing improved maintenance of vehicles, among other approaches.

As a result of HB110, the state fleet has achieved the following.

  • Total number of miles driven by the fleet decreased by nearly 3.5%

  • The total amount of fuel required by the fleet decreased by almost 3%

  • CO2 reduction of 3,700 metric tons, equal to 672 vehicles off the road

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

Utah’s ESPC work was initiated by legislation – the Quality Growth Act of 1999 – directing Utah to undertake “aggressive programs to reduce energy use in state facilities in order to reduce operating costs of government and to set an example for the public.”

Following an executive order in 2006 by Governor Jon Huntsman that called for an increase in energy efficiency in state buildings, the use of ESPCs exploded in Utah as a means of attaining these goals. The Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM), in partnership with the Governor's Office of Energy Development, maintains a prequalified list of ESCO through a cooperative contract with State Purchasing allowing this list to be used by all public entities across the State. The Division of Facilities Construction and Management, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Energy Development is, in complement to this existing contract, developing a pre-qualified list of third-party reviewers to represent public entities in the review of ESCO services offered. Within DFCM, the State Building Energy Efficiency Program (SBEEP) is the primary entity in the state that assists with all forms of energy efficiency improvements (including ESPCs). SBEEP oversaw the selection of prequalified ESCOs to provide services in the Energy Performance Contract Program (EPCP) and allow interested agencies and institutions to bypass the solicitation and selection process, thereby expediting ESPC processes and cost recovery. This program now focuses on large state university and college campuses. In addition, the Governor's Office of Energy Development and energy performance contracting stakeholders agreed to reinstate the Utah Chapter of the Energy Services Coalition to raise awareness and educate stakeholders about energy performance contracting opportunities. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Research & Development List All

Utah State University has partnered with WAVE, Inc., to develop an electric bus charged by wireless energy transfer between the roadway and the vehicle. This system is being deployed at Utah State University. The University also operates the Utah House, an energy and water efficiency demonstration facility.

The Universitty of Utah leads the Alliance for Computationally-guided Design of Energy Efficiency Electronic Materials (CDE3M), a partnership between the University of Utah, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, Brown University, the University of California, Davis, and the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy. This program was formed as a result of a need by the U.S. Army for more energy efficient power supplies and materials. Research areas include electrochemical energy devices, heterogeneous metamorphic electronics, and hybrid photonic devices.

Last Updated: July 2016

Score: 5.5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

Utah’s Uniform Building Code (UUBC) for residential and commercial building energy codes is mandatory statewide. Residential and commercial construction must comply with the 2015 IECC. The state participated in a compliance pilot study, and works with utilities to provide code training.

Residential Codes List All

Utah’s Uniform Building Code (UUBC) for residential building energy codes is mandatory statewide. Effective July 1, 2016, residential building construction must comply with an amended version of the 2015 IECC. While localities may adopt stretch codes, it is a difficult process to do so. As a result, none have adopted stretch codes.

Last Updated: July 2016

Commercial Code List All

Utah’s Uniform Building Code (UUBC) for commercial building energy codes is mandatory statewide. Effective July 1, 2016, commercial construction must comply with the 2015 IECC. While localities may adopt stretch codes, it is a difficult process to do so. As a result, none have adopted stretch codes.

Last Updated: July 2016

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: NA
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: Utah participated in a compliance pilot study in 2011 using PNNL methodology that showed compliance above 85% for residential and 80% for commercial buildings (both new and renovated).
  • Utility Involvement: The Office of Energy Development provides energy code training in conjunction with Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas. There is no specific utility commission guidance regarding utility code support.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: Utah established the Uniform Building Code Commission to review and provide recommendations to the state legislature in the adoption of building codes. As part of its process, the Uniform Building Code Commission holds public hearing to gather public input on energy code adoption decisions. The UBCC's Education Advisory Committee meets on a monthly basis and supports a variety of associations throughout the state focused on training and improving compliance.
  • Training/Outreach: The Governor's Office of Energy Development, in cooperation with the largest utilities in the state, manage an energy code compliance training program that provides basic training in the current energy code and provides training on high performance building standards.  This is an ongoing effort. The budget for most recent reporting year is $20,000, which supported more than 60 outreach/training events. Utah maintains an Energy Code Ambassador network of code officials that completed focused training on energy code compliance.  They work with other code officials through a peer-to-peer network to advance energy code compliance and enforcement. In addition, the Governor's Office of Energy Development, Rocky Mountain Power, and Questar Gas provide energy code training through its Building Talk program.  This program provides basic training on the current energy code and promotes high performance building practices to encourage builders to exceed code requirements - the training is available for all residential and commercial.

Last Updated: September 2016

Score: 1 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

Utah offers some incentives for CHP projects. No new systems were installed in Utah in 2015.

Interconnection StandardsList All

On April 1, 2010, the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted final rules for interconnection. The rules took effect April 30, 2010 and are based on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) interconnection standards for small generators, adopted in May 2005 by FERC Order 2006. Utah's rules for interconnection include provisions for three levels of interconnection for systems up to 20 MW, based on system complexity. Interconnection requirements, standards and review procedures are divided into three tiers. While CHP is not specifically defined as an elgible technology, the regulatory rules are interpreted as applicable to all electric generation resources.

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

Incentives, grants, or financing: Some CHP systems may be eligible for incentives through the state's Alternative Energy Development Incentive (AEDI). This incentive program uses a wide definition of "alternative" energy, including biomass, petroleum coke and shale oil. The incentive is only available to those projects located in a designated or registered Alternative Energy Development Zone. The incentive itself can be up to a 100% credit of new state taxes over the life of the project.

Net Metering: Utah law requires their only investor-owned utility, Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), and most electric cooperatives to offer net metering to customers who generate electricity using renewables. Systems that use waste gas and waste heat capture or recovery are eligible. Net metering is available for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) in capacity and non-residential systems up to two megawatts (MW) in capacity. HB 145 of 2010 broadened the definition of a customer generation system to remove a requirement that the system be owned or leased by the utility customer.

Last Updated: June 2016

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Some additional supportive policies exist to encourage CHP in Utah. Some bottoming cycle or waste heat to power systems may be eligible for the Alternative Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit and the Alternative Energy Development Incentive

The state enacted its Energy Resource and Carbon Emission Reduction Initiative (S.B. 202) in March 2008. This law is most accurately described as a voluntary, renewable portfolio goal (RPG). Specifically, the law requires that utilities only need to pursue renewable energy to the extent that it is "cost-effective" to do so. Eligible “renewables” include electric generation facilities that produce electricity from waste gas and waste heat.

The Governor's Office of Energy Development also organizes and manages a heat and Power Working Group comprised of local stakeholders who collaborate to advance the deployment of new CHP projects. The Office also supports the Industrial Energy Efficiency Challenge to encourage Utah industries to voluntarily adopt more efficient practices, including CHP.

Last Updated: July 2016

Score: 7 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Utah's utilities administer and implement a growing portfolio of energy efficiency programs as required by the Utah Public Service Commission as part of integrated resource plans, in place since 1992, that are filed biennially by the utilities and include demand-side resources and associated programs. Utility energy efficiency program investments and energy savings have grown significantly in recent years and are now above the national average.  The state’s largest electric utility, Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), serves around 80 percent of Utah’s population. These programs are funded via a 3% tariff rider on customer bills.

Utah recently passed legislation (House Joint Resolution 9) that calls for Utah's electric utilities to reduce the state's energy consumption by 1% annually. The bill also calls for natural gas utilities to save 0.5% annually.  It encourages the use of “all available cost-effective energy efficiency.”

In September 2009, the PSC approved RMP’s request to increase its utility bill surcharge to pay for demand-side management (DSM) programs to 4.6%. Utah’s main natural gas utility, Questar Gas, began implementing efficiency programs in 2007 and is currently testing a pilot decoupling program. Utah's funding and commitment to energy efficiency programs has increased significantly over the past several years. For electric efficiency programs, utilities saved approximately 176,505 net MWh. Electric program budgets totaled $49.4 million for 2010, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, and natural gas budgets were $36.1 million.

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

For further reading, in October 2007, as part of the State Clean Energy Resource Project, ACEEE completed the report Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy Policy Options.

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Utah's funding and commitment to utility energy efficiency programs has increased significantly over the past several years. The state's largest investor-owned utility, Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) (PacifiCorp), administers and provides a comprehensive set of energy efficiency programs as part of integrated resource planning. The Utah Public Service Commission (UPSC) reviews and approves these plans and associated program plans and budgets. Electric efficiency programs are funded through a tariff rider on customer bills, as allowed under Utah Code Section 54-7-12.8(2),which states that the commission may approve a tariff under which an electrical corporation includes a line item charge on its customer bills to recover the costs incurred by the electrical corporation for demand side management. In March 2015, the PSC approved RMP’s request to adjust its utility bill surcharge to pay for demand-side management (DSM) programs to 3.6%.

Questar Gas, the only natural gas utility regulated by the UPSC, also administers energy efficiency programs.  In 2006, the UPSC approved the Conservation Enabling Tariff (CET) allowing Questar to collect a fixed revenue-per-customer on a monthly basis in exchange for promoting customer energy efficiency programs; demand-side management (DSM) programs; and a low-income assistance program. Questar provides a wide range of energy efficiency programs for residential and business customers.

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: July 2016

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Utah's integrated resource planning requirements were established in 1992.  Utilities file biennial integrated resource plans which include demand-side resources and associated programs. From the IRP guidelines, “The [IRP] process should result in the selection of the optimal set of resources given the expected combination of costs, risk and uncertainty.” Standard and Guidelines, 1. Definition. Also, PacifiCorp’s IRPs must include “An evaluation of all present and future resources, including future market opportunities (both demand-side and supply-side) on a consistent and comparable basis. Standards and Guidelines, 4.b.

In March 2009, the Utah Legislature passed HJR 9, a Joint Resolution on Cost-effective Energy Efficiency and Utility Demand-Side Management. This resolution recognizes the multifaceted benefits of utility energy efficiency and sets non-binding energy savings goals of at least 1 percent per year for Utah’s electric corporations and at least 0.5 percent per year for Utah’s natural gas utility corporations.

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

In 2008, Utah adopted a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 20% by 2025 that allows energy savings from DSM measures to qualify towards the standard without any cap. However, the policy remains pending as this is a legislative goal that has yet to be codified by the Utah PSC. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Utility Business Model List All

No decoupling mechanism is in place for electric utilities.

In 2003, the Utah Public Service Commission approved Electric Service Schedule 193, Demand Side Management Cost Adjustment. Charges appear on customer bills as “Customer Efficiency Services,” the funding source for cost effective energy efficiency and load management programs approved by the Commission and managed by PacifiCorp. Schedule 193 is a balancing account mechanism where revenues to fund the above programs are collected outside of general rate case proceedings.

On October 5, 2006, Questar Gas was approved to implement a Conservation Enabling Tariff (CET) and Demand-Side Management (DSM) Pilot Program. The CET allows Distribution Non-Gas (“DNG”) revenues received by Questar to be based on the number of customers rather than customers’ gas usage. This is considered to be a form of decoupling. On June 24, 2009, the Pilot Program was extended to operate until December 31, 2010 (PSC Docket No. 05-057-T01, October 2006).

Under the Questar Gas ThermWise Business Custom Rebates program, self-directed rebates are available for the installation of energy efficiency measures. Incentives are the lesser of (a) and (b): (a) $10.00/decatherm per first year annual decatherm savings as determined solely by the Company; (b) 50% of the eligible project cost as determined by the Company.  Customers can choose to engage in self-direct and more traditional CRM programs simultaneously, provided the different programs are used to deploy different projects.

HJR 9 expresses support for regulatory mechanisms to help remove utility disincentives and create incentives to increase efficiency and conservation so long as these mechanisms are found to be in the public interest.

Last Updated: July 2016

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

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Utah relies on regulatory orders (Docket No. 09-035-27).Evaluations are mainly administered by the utilities. Utah has formal requirements for evaluation articulated in Docket No. 09-035-27Docket No. 09-035-74 and Guideline Revisions Report, Exhibits A, B, C and D. Evaluations for each of the utilities are conducted. Utah uses four of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost (TRC), Utility/Program Administrator (UCT), Participant (PCT), and Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM). Utah specifies the UCT to be its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio, total program, and customer project level screening. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket number 09-035-27.

Last Updated: July 2016

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Rocky Mountain Power's self-direct program is a project-based rate credit program that offers up to an 80% credit of eligible project costs back to customers as a rate credit against the 3.7% cost-recovery mechanism (CRM) charge all customers pay.  Customers earn a credit up to 100% of their CRM charge, but do pay a flat $500/project administrative fee for each self-directed project.  Customers can choose to engage in self-direct and more traditional CRM programs simultaneously, provided the different programs are used to deploy different projects. 

More information on large customer self-direct programs can be found in the ACEEE report, Follow the Leaders: Improving Large Customer Self-Direct Programs.

Last Updated: July 2016

Data AccessList All

Utah has no policy in place that requires utilities to release energy use data to customers or third parties. 

Last Updated: July 2016 

Score: 2 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

The state offers incentives for high-efficiency vehicles, but has not otherwise pursued policies to encourage efficient transportation systems.

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: No policy in place or proposed.

MAP 21 Freight Plans and Goals: Utah’s Department of Transportation (UDOT) started the development of a state freight plan (pursuant to the requirements of MAP-21) and anticipates its completion before the end of 2015.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

Through 2016, all-electric vehicles are eligible for an income tax credits of 35% of the vehicle purchase price, up to $1,500, Plug-in hybrids qualify for a tax credit of $1,000.

Last Updated: July 2015

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

Utah has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

Last Updated: July 2016