State and Local Policy Database

Birmingham

City Scorecard Rank

51

Birmingham, AL

7.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
0 out of 10 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 Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Mitigation Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding an energy reduction goal for municipal operations.

Renewable Energy Goal

We were unable to find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal.

Last updated: March 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

We could not find information on Birmingham’s fuel efficiency requirements. We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public Lighting

We did not find information regarding the adoption of a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. We could not confirm if Birmingham has an outdoor lighting upgrade program.

New Buildings 

We could not confirm that Birmingham has a green building policy requiring municipal buildings to exceed city-wide energy codes or obtain green building certification.

Last updated: March 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

We did not find information regarding Birmingham’s benchmarking practices or retrofit strategies.

Public Employees

We did not find information on a policy aimed at reducing commutes of city employees, such as flexible schedules or telework.  

Last updated: March 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 1 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted a sustainability or climate action plan.

Last updated: March 2019

Climate Action and Energy Planning GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide energy reduction goal for the city.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide renewable energy goal for the city.

Energy Data Reporting

The city does not report community-wide energy data.

Last updated: March 2019

Equitable Climate Action and Energy Planning List All

Equitable Community Outreach

The city did not increase its outreach to marginalized groups relative to other city constituencies in the planning and implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equitable Decision-Making

The city has not created a formal role for local organizations representing low-income or communities of color to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan. 

Accountability to Equity

The city has not established goals or published methods for tracking how energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives are reversing any ongoing actions that disadvantage marginalized residents.

Last updated: March 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

As part of its Zoning Ordinance, the city has a conservation subdivisions that encourage the protection of land alongside residential development patterns. We could not find information on whether the city has formally adopted an urban heat island mitigation goal.

Last updated: March 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: .5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Birmingham enforces the state’s energy codes, but the city has authority to adopt building energy codes at the municipal level. We could not find information on city mandated benchmarking policies, incentives, or above-code energy action requirements.

Last updated: March 2019

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

Overview

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

Birmingham has not adopted a stretch code. Birmingham adheres to the Alabama Commercial Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 53.9.

Residential

Birmingham has not adopted a stretch code. Birmingham adheres to the Alabama Residential Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 63.4.

Solar- and EV-ready

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted solar- and/or EV-ready ordinances.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

We could not find information about the number of full time employees the city staffs to enforce the energy code nor about the city’s code compliance verification process. We could not find information regarding upfront support for code compliance.

Last updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

We could not find information on the number of incentives the city offers for energy efficiency, solar energy, and/or low-income energy improvement projects.

Last updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

We could not find information on whether the city requires building owners to conduct additional above-code energy actions.

Last updated: March 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

We could not verify if the city has programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure policy for commercial and multifamily buildings.

Single-family     

We could not find information on whether the city has adopted a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure policy for single-family home.

Last updated: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 0.5 out of 20 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: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

According to EIA, in 2017 Alabama Power reported net incremental electricity savings of 9,939 MWh, representing 0.02% of its retail sales. In 2017, Alagasco either did not spend or did not report spending on natural gas efficiency programs. These savings figures represent 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: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, Alabama Power did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

At this time, we cannot confirm whether or not the city of Birmingham participates in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: March 2019

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: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Alabama Power does provide the free automatic upload of monthly energy bill data to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts. At this time, the City of Birmingham does not advocate to the state for improvements in data provision by the utilities.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

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.

Water plant 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.

Last Updated: March 2019

Transportation
Score: 5 out of 30 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

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

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

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

We could not determine if the City tracks VMT or GHG numbers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Birmingham has mandatory Downtown and Triangle District form-based codes that were written as optional, but became mandatory in 2007.

Residential Parking Policies

The City requires a minimum of one parking space per residential unit in some neighborhoods and one and a half spaces in other neighborhoods.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

There are no incentives available through the City to promote location efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

At this time, the City does not have a codified mode share target for trips within the city.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

No progress has been achieved, as there are no targets in place.

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.

Car Sharing

At this time, the City does not have a formal policy in place to provide dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles.

Bike Sharing

The City currently does not include bikeshare docking stations as a qualifying land use for sidewalks. Zyp BikeShare is a network of 40 stations and hundreds of bikes deployed in Birmingham in October 2015. Residents and visitors can access the system 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

Last Updated: March 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The BJCTA-MAX transit system that serves Birmingham received $18,219,052.80 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $15.92 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the lowest category ($0-19) available in transit funding.

Access to Transit Services

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 0.9, putting it in the lowest category (0-4.99) available in transit connectivity. 

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Birmingham does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 22 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Birmingham has no incentives or requirements available for the installation of private or public EV charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.).

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight List All

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

Last Updated: March 2019

Low-Income Transportation AccessList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Birmingham does not have any requirements or incentives in place to develop or preserve affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Birmingham does not currently provide rebates or incentives to low-income residents for efficient transportation options.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

At this time, the City of Birmingham does not provide low-income households with access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: March 2019