State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



7.5Scored out of 50Updated 12/2022
State Government
Score: 1.5 out of 4.5
State Government Summary List All

Arkansas offers several consumer incentives for energy efficiency investments, including PACE financing. The state government leads by example by requiring energy-efficient public buildings, benchmarking energy use, and encouraging energy savings performance contracts. There are no major research centers focused on energy efficiency. 

Financial Incentives List All

Financial Incentive information for Arkansas is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Arkansas) and State Energy Office contacts. Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here. In addition to the state-funded incentives on DSIRE and below, Arkansas has enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has two active programs. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Advanced Energy Technology Loan: This loan finances energy-related cost reduction retrofits and green energy implementation for Arkansas companies. The program encourages companies invest in clean technology and improve the energy efficiency of their processes and facilities. 

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Equity Metrics and Workforce DevelopmentList All

At this time, the state has not taken specific steps to engage with marginalized groups in the community for the creation or implementation of its energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

The DOE Weatherization Assistance Program tracks houses weatherized by county. One of the priorities for weatherizing low-income households is energy burden (> 6% of household income spent on energy).

Favorable net-metering rules and solar legislation have led to the rapid development of Arkansas’ clean energy industry over the past decade, which now supports over 15,000 jobs. State-sponsored trainings on energy management and benchmarking (amongst other topics) provide opportunities for industry professionals to obtain CEM & CEA certificates. Almost two dozen local and national firms have Arkansas offices promoting the state’s growing residential and commercial solar sectors.

Last Reviewed: July 2021

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The State of Arkansas does not yet have carbon pricing policies in place.

At this time, the state does not have a statewide emissions reduction goal in place.

Last Reviewed: September 2022

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Public Building Requirements List All

The Sustainable Energy-Efficient Buildings Program, enacted in 2009 with the passage of HB 1663, directed the Arkansas Energy Office to develop a plan for reducing energy use in all existing state owned major facilities by 20 percent from 2008 levels by 2014 and 30 percent by 2017. Major facilities are defined as construction projects larger than 20,000 gross square feet of occupied or conditioned space. For new construction, the criteria specify that public buildings must be certified to be at least 10% more efficient than ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007, as it existed on January 1, 2009. The law directed the Arkansas Energy Office to develop a program to manage energy, water, and other public agency utility uses to reduce total energy consumption as long as the savings can be justified by a life cycle cost analysis. The Arkansas Energy Office must update this program annually. HB 1663 also directed the Arkansas Energy Office to complete an energy audit of every public agency within five years.

In May 2009, Governor Mike Beebe issued Executive Order 09-07, directing all executive-branch agencies to submit strategic energy plans describing energy-savings measures that can be implemented by the agencies. The plans should include provisions for collecting and monitoring energy use data. Other state agencies are encouraged to develop strategic energy plans as well.

Arkansas Act 1494 of 2009 requires all state agencies paying utility bills required to submit usage reports through Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Other agencies and institutions of higher learning encouraged to do so on a voluntary basis. The state currently benchmarks over 25 million square feet of public building space. The Arkansas Energy Office (AEO) is currently working with the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to collect and compile individual building reports.

Last Reviewed: September 2020

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 Reviewed: September 2020

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

In accordance with Act 554 passed in 2013, the Arkansas Energy Office has designed the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting Program. The purpose is to guide state agencies to properly use ESPCs; it offers a step-by-step guide, prequalified ESCOs companies, and model documents. Arkansas’ enabling legislation requires that the energy performance contracts require the energy service company to guarantee energy cost savings for the entirety of the performance contract. 

Act 1275 of 2015 also grants counties and municipalities the option to adopt the Arkansas Energy Office's rules.

Last Reviewed: September 2020

Research & Development List All

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Score: -0.5 out of 12
Buildings Summary List All

Arkansas has mandatory energy codes for both residential and commercial buildings, though municipalities are allowed to adopt codes more stringent than the statewide mandatory code. The 2014 Arkansas Energy Code for New Building Construction, also known as the 2014 Arkansas Energy Code, is based on the 2009 IECC with amendments. The state has completed several code compliance activities, including a gap analysis and training and outreach.

Residential Codes List All

The Arkansas Energy Code for New Building Construction is mandatory state-wide for both residential and commercial buildings. The residential energy code is based on the 2009 IECC with amendments. This code became effective on January 1, 2015.

The 2014 Arkansas Energy Code is a weakened version of the residential 2009 IECC.  Specific weakening amendments include Fenestration U-factor, Slab Insulation, Duct Leakage Testing, Lighting Efficacy, and Programmable Thermostats.  Specific strengthening amendments include Fenestration Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. You will find a download of the residential amendments, titled "2014 Arkansas Energy Code" at the following link.

Local jurisdictions that issue building permits are required to adopt the state energy code.  Enforcement is handled exclusively by the local jurisdiction. In a study completed July 2018, 91 municipalities had acknowledged the state energy code through a local ordinance.  As of December 2020, a relatively few jurisdictions (Fayetteville, Little Rock, North Little Rock, and possibly more) have passed ordinances that enforce a stronger code than the 2014 Arkansas Energy Code. 

Last Reviewed: December 2022


Commercial Code List All

The Arkansas Energy Code for New Building Construction is mandatory state-wide for both residential and commercial buildings. The commercial energy code is the 2009 IECC, which in turn also allows ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for compliance. This code became effective on January 1, 2015. Newly constructed or remodeled state-owned buildings must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013.

Last Reviewed: December 2022

Compliance List All
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: Arkansas 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. The study estimated 88% compliance based on the researcher's analysis of energy use intensity.
  • Utility Involvement: See below.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: AEO participates in the Partners Working Collaboratively, a coalition created in conjuction with Arkansas' investor-owned utilities after the establishment Arkansas' EERS. The PWC works to advance efficiency goals and standards in Arkansas. PWC members are encouraged to participate in AEO's energy codes stakeholder group. 
  • Training/Outreach:  Arkansas is actively engaged in energy conservation training and education.  Active programs related to code compliance include professional certifications (Certified Energy Manager, Building Operator Certification, Business Energy Professional, Certified Energy Auditor),  and  HVAC trainings (Commercial and Residential Load Sizing and Duct Design).  New efforts for code compliance training include Residential Blower Door and Duct Blaster training.  An energy code stakeholder advisory group has been active in Arkansas since 2019.  Participants include contractors, utilities, and city officials. This group advises policy and training for the energy code.

Last Reviewed: December 2022


CHP Summary List All

Arkansas has limited policies to encourage CHP. No new CHP systems were installed in 2018.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: Standard Interconnection Agreement

Description: Distributed generation facilities that can be net-metered are able to interconnect using the state’s standard interconnection agreement. Only renewable energy-powered generators are eligible, including biomass. Systems may not be larger than 300kW at non-residential facilities, and an external disconnect switch is only required for some systems.

Last Updated: July 2018

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: July 2018

Deployment IncentivesList All

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

Last Updated: July 2018

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are currently no additional supportive policies to encourage CHP.

Last Updated: July 2018

Score: 7 out of 15
Utilities Summary List All

Utility-sector energy efficiency initiatives in Arkansas have increased significantly since 2007, when the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) approved Rules for Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs requiring electric and gas utilities to propose and administer energy efficiency programs. In 2010, the APSC further established the importance of energy efficiency as a resource by adopting an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) for both electricity and natural gas, guidelines for efficiency program cost recovery and a shareholder performance incentive, and new guidelines for utility resource planning, which include provisions for demand-side resources. 

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 March 2011, as part of the State Clean Energy Resource Project, ACEEE completed the report Advancing Energy Efficiency in Arkansas: Opportunities for a Clean Energy Economy.

Last reviewed: April 2022

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

In May 2007, the Public Service Commission approved Rules for Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs requiring electric and gas utilities to propose and administer energy efficiency programs (Docket No. 06-004-R, Orders No. 1, 12, 18). The state’s jurisdictional utilities filed energy efficiency plans in July 2007, containing proposed quick-start efficiency programs. All seven gas and electric utilities elected to sponsor and fund statewide programs supporting weatherization and energy efficiency education. The three gas companies jointly sponsored a statewide energy audit program for commercial and industrial customers. Each of the seven utilities individually proposed EE programs. There are 22 electric utilities regulated by the APSC, including cooperatives and investor-owned utilities, but not municipal or independent power producers.

In 2010, the APSC further established the importance of energy efficiency as a resource by adopting an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS), guidelines for efficiency program cost recovery and a shareholder performance incentive, and new guidelines for utility resource planning, which include provisions for demand-side resources. Since then, electric and gas utilities have significantly expanded their energy efficiency program portfolios in order to meet the annual energy efficiency targets. Recovery of direct program costs associated with commission-approved energy efficiency programs is accomplished through an energy efficiency cost recovery rider on customer bills.

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 2018

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

The Commission approved "Resource Planning Guidelines for Electric Utilities" in Docket 06-028-R (final order issued in January 2007). These guidelines include specific requirements for demand-side resources. Utilities are required to consider "all reasonably useful and economic supply and demand resources that are available to a utility or its customers" for "incremental capacity needs." Further, "utility efforts to encourage energy efficiency, conservation, demand-side management, interruptible load and price responsive demand should be identified."

Although there is no loading order prioritizing energy efficiency, the Commission approved Rules for Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs in May 2007 (Docket 06-004-R), and subsequently established an EERS in 2010, requiring utilities to file energy efficiency plans to implement cost-effective energy efficiency programs. 

Last Updated: July 2018

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

Summary: For 2020-2022, savings targets are 1.20% of 2018 baseline sales for electric utilities, and 0.5% of baseline sales for natural gas utilities.

In December 2010, Arkansas PSC adopted an energy efficiency resource standard (see Docket No. 08-144-U). The targets set by the Public Service Commission were moderate, rising from a yearly reduction of 0.25% of total electric kilowatt hour (kWh) sales in 2011, to 0.5% in 2012, and 0.75% in 2013. Natural gas targets were set at 0.2% in 2011, 0.3% in 2012, and 0.4% in 2013. For 2014, the PSC directed program administrators to use the energy savings targets, budgets, and the incentive structure previously approved for Program Year 2013 (unless program administrators seek to make modifications to program plans for approval by the PSC). In September 2013, the PSC issued an order setting an electricity savings target of 0.9% and a natural gas savings target of 0.6% for 2015. These targets were extended through 2016. In December 2015, the PSC issued an order extending the 0.9% electricity savings target through 2018, ramping up to 1.0% in 2019, with a natural gas savings target of 0.5% for 2017-2019.

In 2018 the PSC ordered higher incremental savings targets in Docket No. 13-002-U, Order No. 43. For program years 2020-2022, the utilities are now required to hit savings targets 1.20% of 2018 baseline sales for electric utilities and 0.50% of 20l8 baseline sales for natural gas utilities. 

Last reviewed: April 2022

Utility Business Model List All

In December 2010, the Arkansas PSC approved a joint electric and gas utility motion to allow the awarding of lost contributions to fixed costs that result from future utility energy efficiency programs. All investor-owned utilities were approved to recover lost revenues as part of the annual energy efficiency program tariff docket (See Order No. 14 Docket 08-137-U).

In 2007 rate cases, the Arkansas PSC approved a decoupling mechanism, a billing determinant adjustment (BDA) tariff that furthers its goal of promoting energy efficiency, for the three major natural gas distribution companies in the state. The purpose of the BDA tariff is to account for declines in non-gas revenues due to declining gas volumes caused by conservation and decreasing billing determinants. The tariff applies to the Residential and Small Commercial rate classes and was in effect for three evaluation periods (2008, 2009, and 2010). (See Docket No. 07-016-U for Arkansas Oklahoma Gas).

In December 2010 the PSC issued an order approving a general policy under which the Commission outlined steps to approve incentives to reward achievement in the delivery of essential energy conservation services by investor-owned utilities. (See Order No. 15 Docket 08-137-U). Incentives were approved for all three gas utilities in the state and the two largest electric utilities in 2012 and 2013.

Energy efficiency performance incentives are awarded annually for achievement ranging between 80% and 120% of the Commission-established performance goal. The performance incentive is 10% of portfolio total resource cost net benefits, limited to a percentage of program budgets ranging from 4% of program budgets to 8% of program budgets, based linearly on the degree of achievement.

Last Updated: July 2018

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Primary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: total resource cost test
  • Secondary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: utility cost test, participant cost test, ratepayer impact measure test

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Arkansas relies on regulatory orders (APSC Rules for Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs, Docket 06-004-R). The Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) administers evaluations. The Commission requires each utility to hire an independent EM&V contractor and to fund jointly an independent EM&V monitor, but there are no specific legal requirements for these evaluations in Arkansas.  The Commission requires all EM&V activities to be consistent with the Arkansas Technical Reference Manual (TRM), as stated in the efficiency rules.

Arkansas uses four 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), and Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM). The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in APSC Rules for Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs, Docket 06-004-R. Arkansas specifies the TRC to be its primary cost-effectiveness test. According to the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), Arkansas applies the TRC primarily at the program level and secondarily at the portfolio and measure level. Arkansas’ TRC accounts for non-energy costs and benefits associated with water savings, other fuels, participants’ equipment replacement costs, participant measure costs, and additional non-energy benefits (NEBs) for low-income customers.

Arkansas recently conducted a review of their current practices to assess its alignment with principles of the National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM).

Further information on cost-effectiveness screening practices for Arkansas is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), a resource of the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP).

Last Updated: January 2019

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

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

There are no specific spending or savings requirements for low-income energy efficiency programs.

Following unsuccessful attempts in the early 2000s to create a low-income weatherization program, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the Arkansas Weatherization Program (AWP) in 2007 in Order No. 4 in Docket No. 07-079-TF, as a quick start program. In February 2010, the PSC approved AWP to run through June 2011, and subsequent orders have extended AWP through 2018. In 2014, in response to a proposal to develop a consistent approach for weatherization programs across all Arkansas utilities, the PSC approved a uniform weatherization program in PSC Docket 13-002-U, Order No. 22 at 11.

Act 1102 of 2017 (Ark. Code Ann. Sec. 23-2-304(a)(11)) was passed by the Arkansas General Assembly, authorizing the Commission to "propose develop, solicit, approve, require, implement and monitor financial assistance programs" for utility customers who are 65 years of age or older or who meet the income eligibility qualifications of LIHEAP.  After notice and a hearing, the Commission may approve and order a financial assistance program for utility customers if the Commission determines that the program is beneficial to the ratepayers of a public utility and the public utility. That authorization is contingent on the provision that the Commission shall not fix rates, charges, or surcharges that recover, directly or indirectly, any portion of the cost of programs authorized by this Act from a ratepayer that is not in the customer class of ratepayers eligible to participate in the programs. The Commission has not taken action to implement this authority by either order or rule.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Arkansas does not require program-level cost-effectiveness for low-income programs.

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

AWP funds from utilities are administered in conjunction with US DOE WAP funds. The provider installs the approved measures in the home. Part of the cost of the audit and installation is covered by the customer’s AWP utility, and the balance is paid by the customer. Customers eligible for the DOE WAP have their co-payment covered by that federal program.

Last updated: June 2020

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

An Arkansas non-residential customer of an electric or natural gas public utility with a minimum peak electrical demand of greater than one megawatt (1 MW) at that location based upon the prior 12 months billing history at the time of the application, or have an annual natural gas consumption of greater than seventy thousand MMBtu or Mcf (70,000 MMBtu or Mcf) at that location may opt out. Customers that participate in a utility's EE program may not request a Certificate for five years following the customer's participation in that utility's EE program. 

A Self-Direct customer must successfully demonstrate that it: (a) has implemented or invested in a measure(s) within ten years prior to the date the customer files its request for a Certificate with the Commission; (b) will implement or invest in a measure(s) within the duration of the applicable public utility’s energy efficiency (EE) plan approved by the Commission.  A Certification of Exemption is granted for periods of three years. An Opt-out customer falling within sectors 31 through 33 of the North American Industry Classification System need only submit  a one-time Act 253 Notice and Affidavit for Certificate of Exemption, which remains in effect until withdrawn by the customer. 

Last Updated: June 2020

Data AccessList All

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

Last Updated: July 2018

Score: 0.5 out of 13
Transportation Summary List All

Despite having transit legislation, Arkansas has not really focused its efforts on policies to encourage energy-efficiency in transportation. There is significant room for growth.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transportation System Efficiency List All

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

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: No freight plan or goals in place.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transit Funding List All

Passed in 2001, Arkansas Act 949 established the Arkansas Public Transit Fund, which directs monies from rental vehicle taxes toward public transit expenditures.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Equitable Access to TransportationList All

Public transit access

Arkansas does not have any programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, nor do they consider proximity to transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners.

Equitable transportation electrification

Arkansas is encouraging the development of electric vehicle station equipment (EVSE) across the state with the launch of the Level 2 EVSE Rebate Program on February 1, 2021.  This is a four-year program offering $215,563.00 for rebates each year.  There are categories for government and non-government publicly available, and also for workplace and multi-unit dwelling non-publicly available. A funding assistance program is being developed for the deployment of several DC Fast Charge EVSE also.

AEO will be offering funding assistance for the replacement of diesel engine school/transit buses with the ABC (Advanced Bus & Clean) Transportation Pilot Program.  This program will be funded through the Volkswagen Settlement monies awarded to Arkansas.  The program is still in development.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 3
Appliance Standards Summary List All

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

Last Reviewed: June 2019