State and Local Policy Database

South Dakota

State Scorecard Rank


South Dakota

3.5Scored out of 50Updated 12/2022
State Government
Score: 0 out of 4.5
State Government Summary List All

The state does not offer financial incentives for energy efficiency. South Dakota is one of the few states to require residential energy use disclosure. The state government leads by example by requiring the benchmarking of energy use in public buildings. There are no major research centers focused on energy efficiency in the state.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial incentive information for South Dakota is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE South Dakota).

Last Reviewed: June 2022

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, and has not adopted specific goals, metrics, or protocols to track or evaluate how any energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives being taken are affecting local marginalized groups.

Workforce Development

The state does not currently include specific measures to prioritize clean energy workforce development.

Last Reviewed: July 2021

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The State of South Dakota 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
  • Building type(s) affected: residential

SB 64 established certain energy efficiency disclosure requirements for new residential buildings. This policy is triggered at the time of sale.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Public Building Requirements List All

South Dakota no longer requires a specific level of LEED or Green Globes rating, although LEED Silver or a Green Globes -  2 Globe rating are still the goal. The Office of the State Engineer reviews and approves projects to strive to meet these goals, without adding significant cost to chase ineffiecent points. This only applies to state government buildings. New construction shall, in good faith, be designed with the intention of meeting or exceeding the high-performance green building standard that was in effect when the construction was registered with the rating system. Before construction begins, the Office of the State Engineer, architect, and building owner shall identify, in good faith, all components of the new construction. There is no specific energy efficiency requirement in the building standard. The state standard applies to all new state-funded construction projects costing more than $1,000,000 or occupying more than 10,000 square feet of space.

The State of South Dakota Energy Conservation Loan Fund uses over $8 million dollars of funds to provide no-interest loans to State Government of South Dakota projects. The loan repayment is based on energy costs savings. 

South Dakota tracks and benchmarks building energy use with Energy Cap.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Fleets List All

While South Dakota utilizes flex fuel vehicles and promotes the use of ethanol blends in fleet vehicles, the state does not have a statewide energy-efficient fleet requirement. 

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: June 2022

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

South Dakota enables ESPCs throughout the state and is currently conducting a study through the Department of Transportation to identify which state facilities provide opportunities for energy savings. The Board of Regents is investigating the usage of ESPC for improvements at the higher education campuses. In 2016 the Governor signed House Bill 1032 to revise certain provisions regarding guaranteed energy savings contracts, clarifying the procurement process for EPCs.

Last Reviewed: September 2020

Research & Development List All

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Important Links List All
Score: 1 out of 12
Buildings Summary List All

There is no mandatory statewide energy code, but the 2009 IECC is a voluntary residential standard. Local jurisdictions may opt out of the state's commercial code. South Dakota completed a gap analysis in 2011.

Residential Codes List All

South Dakota has no mandatory statewide energy codes for residential construction. Codes are adopted by jurisdiction voluntarily. As of July 2011, state law established the 2009 IECC as a voluntary residential standard, however most jurisdictions have adopted codes based on the 2015 IECC. Local jurisdictions also have authority to adopt various residential building and energy codes, including IRC and IECC.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Commercial Code List All

South Dakota has no mandatory statewide energy codes for commercial construction, however most jurisdictions have adopted codes based on the 2015 IECC. Codes are adopted by jurisdiction voluntarily. For commercial construction, ASHRAE 90.1 or IECC compliance is required by reference in the 2012 IBC, which is the mandatory statewide commercial building standard in state law unless local jurisdictions have either opted out of it or specifically adopted another code.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: South Dakota completed a gap analysis in collaboration with the Building Codes Assistance Project, published in January 2011.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: NA
  • Utility Involvement: NA
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: NA
  • Training/Outreach: NA

Last Reviewed: June 2022

CHP Summary List All

The state has an interconnection standard that applies to CHP, but does not otherwise have policies in place that encourage CHP deployment. No new CHP systems were installed in South Dakota in 2018.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Rule 20:10:36

Description: The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission adopted its interconnection standards in May 2009. The standards, which apply to customers of investor-owned utilities, delineate four levels of interconnection for systems up to 10 MW in capacity. All interconnections use the IEEE 1547 standards, and South Dakota’s standards call for reasonable timeframes for application and approval. The requirement of external disconnect switches is authorized, limited interconnection to area networks is permitted, and general liability insurance is required

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: August 2017

Deployment IncentivesList All

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

Last Updated: August 2017

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are currently no additional supportive policies to encourage CHP.

Last Updated: August 2017

Score: 1.5 out of 15
Utilities Summary List All

South Dakota’s regulated investor-owned utilities have been implementing ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs since the mid-2000s, but the levels of efficiency program spending and associated energy savings have been lower than the national average and have not increased significantly. These programs do include a lost revenue adjustment mechanism that is calculated as a certain percentage of actual energy efficiency spending or approved energy efficiency program budgets, whichever is lesser. Many non-regulated utilities (e.g. municipals and cooperatives) in South Dakota also have energy efficiency programs.

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

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

South Dakota's utilities run limited energy efficiency programs. Several utilities offer commercial and residential rebate programs.

The South Dakota Energy Smart Initiative brings together utility partners to pledge their support of improving energy efficiency in South Dakota. Partners include both investor-owned and publicly-owned utilities, which report numerous plans and new efforts to offer energy efficiency programs and services to their 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 2018

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Utilities in South Dakota are vertically integrated and generally adhere to traditional ratemaking principles. All utilities perform integrated resource planning (IRP), which considers energy efficiency as a potential resource to meet demands.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last Updated: July 2018

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

There is currently no EERS in place.

Utilities may voluntarily participate in the state's Renewable, Recycled, and Conserved Energy Objective (ARSD 20:10:38). Energy efficiency counts toward this objective.

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

Last Updated: July 2018

Utility Business Model List All

All investor-owned utilities in South Dakota recover lost revenues. In 2010, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission authorized the first lost revenue adjustment mechanism for Montana-Dakota Utilities in docket NG09-001. Lost revenues are negotiated as a percentage of approved budget spend. Any over/under collection for the first year (including interest), plus forecasted DSM program costs and lost revenues for the second year, are added together to compute rates for the second year.

South Dakota has approved performance incentives through various mechanisms. In 2008, OtterTail Power received approval for its energy efficiency programs, with a flat-rate bonus if the utility met its efficiency goals. In 2009, the Commission approved a similar mechanism for MidAmerican Energy. In 2010, MidAmerican’s incentive was amended to a straight return based on a percentage of the program budget. Montana-Dakota UtilitiesNorthwestern Energy, Black Hills Power, Xcel Energy, and Otter Tail Power have similar mechanisms. The fixed percentage, as settled upon between the utility and the Commission, is intended to cover lost revenues due to EE programs.

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: ratepayer impact measure test, utility cost test, participant cost test, societal cost test

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in South Dakota relies on both regulatory orders and legislative mandates. Evaluations are mainly administered by the utilities. There are no specific legal requirements for these evaluations in South Dakota.

According to the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), South Dakota specifies a Total Resource Cost model (TRC) as its primary cost effectiveness test for decision making. In addition, South Dakota uses the Ratepayer Impact Measure test (RIM), the Utility Cost Test (UCT), the Participant Cost Test (PCT) and the Societal Cost Test (SCT) as secondary tests. The benefit-cost tests are required for total program, customer projects, and individual measure level screenings, with some exceptions for low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies. No rules for benefit-cost tests are specified. 

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

Last Reviewed: January 2020

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

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

No specific required spending or savings requirements were identified.

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

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: July 2018

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

There are no self-direct or opt-out programs in South Dakota. 

Data AccessList All

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

Last Updated: July 2018

Score: 1 out of 13
Transportation Summary List All

The state has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving 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 policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

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

South Dakota does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, nor does it consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

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

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

Last Reviewed: June 2019