State and Local Policy Database

Tennessee

State Scorecard Rank

35

Tennessee

14.0Scored out of 50Updated 10/2018
State Government
Score: 4.5 out of 5
State Government Summary List All

The state offers a variety of financial incentives for energy efficiency. The state government leads by example by requiring energy-efficient buildings and fleets, benchmarking energy use in public buildings, and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. The state has several major research centers focused on energy efficiency.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial incentive information for Tennessee is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Tennessee). Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here.

EmPower Tennessee Initiative: Through this initiative the state is working to reduce energy costs and consumption across state-owned and managed facilities by measuring and controlling energy use, investing in increasing energy efficiency and renewable power generation, and creating an operational environment of excellence. Of the state's approved $43 million budget for FY2016, over $37 million is dedicated to energy efficiency projects. The remainder will go to the procurement and implementation of a utility data management system and related energy management infrastructure.

Pathway Lending Energy Efficiency Loan Program (EELP): Pathway Lending's EELP provides Tennessee business and non-profit entities with below-market loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. In 2017, Pathway Lending issued 30 loans on 44 applications received, resulting in 5,761,110 kWh of annual energy savings and $661,830 in estimated monetary savings due to utility reductions. 

Pathway Lending’s EELP will not cover loan fees but will finance all other loan costs, including assessments, design, equipment and installation. Any project that reduces utility consumption, across electric, gas, or water, may apply for financing through this program. The loans are designed to allow for energy costs savings derived from each project to provide the repayment of the loan. The EELP now offers up to six years of financing for qualified energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to Tennessee local governmental entities, including municipalities, counties, school districts and other similar public agencies. To be eligible for a loan, a governmental entity must have a complete third-party energy audit, assessment or vendor proposal that details estimated energy savings. The EELP is a collaborative effort between Pathway Lending, the State of Tennessee / Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Last Updated: July 2018

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

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

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Public Building Requirements List All

In 2015, the Tennessee General Assembly approved funding in the FY 2015-16 state budget for EmPower TN, Governor Bill Haslam's statewide “lead-by-example” strategy to reduce the state’s energy consumption and costs across state-owned and managed facilities through the implementation of energy efficiency projects and energy management systems and processes.  The appropriated budget is in excess of $43 million, with $37.5 million dedicated to energy efficiency (EE) projects and the remainder to the procurement and implementation of an enterprise utility data management (UDM) system and related energy management infrastructure.  The UDM system will collect energy cost and consumption data and allow for the analysis, tracking, reporting, comparison and benchmarking for every State facility. 

To maximize utility savings opportunities for State facilities, the State building energy management statutory responsibilities for State-owned and managed properties (Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 4-3-1012 and 4-3-1017-1019) were transferred from the Department of General Services (DGS) to TDEC OEP via Executive Order No. 63 on January 1, 2017. A new section, SFUM, was formed under OEP. In addition to the aforementioned statutory responsibilities, SFUM oversees the EmPower TN strategy to reduce energy consumption and costs across State-owned and managed facilities. The initiative includes (1) a portfolio of energy efficiency projects in varying stages of development and implementation and (2) the implementation of a UDM system and related metering infrastructure to manage the State’s utility bills and identify future opportunities for cost savings.

The UDM system is a uniform repository for utility costs and usage for all approximately 8,000 State-owned and managed facilities. Following a competitive solicitation process, the State approved a multi-year contract with EnergyCAP, Inc., to provide UDM Software as a Service with utility benchmarking and tracking capabilities. The system provides a means for end-users—such as State facility and utility managers, fiscal personnel, technical assistance providers, sustainability professionals, and SFUM team members—to gain actionable insights into utility data. SFUM has worked with 72 state agencies and public higher education institutions to configure the UDM system for all state-owned and managed facilities (approximately 97 million square feet of property). As of June 2019, a total of 12,767 utility meters have been created and associated with their respective facilities. Outreach to all 350+ utility providers is complete, with 100% of vendors having provided historical data and ongoing utility bills.

The UDM system includes integration with the State of Tennessee’s accounting system for general government agencies. This integration was completed in May 2019 and has increased operational efficiencies by reducing staff time spent keying and logging cost and consumption data. With the completion of accounts payable integration, all general government agencies' utility bills are automatically recorded in the UDM system, ensuring the highest possible data quality. Currently, over 500 end-users have access to their facility and energy data in the UDM system.

SFUM is required by statute to track and analyze utility cost and consumption data, including energy. All state agencies and public higher education institutions are required by statute to assist SFUM’s analysis. They do so by appointing a department coordinator or liaison who must provide SFUM with their organization’s energy usage data. SFUM has worked with 72 state agencies and public higher education institutions to configure the UDM platform for all state-owned and managed facilities (approximately 97 million square feet of property). As of June 2018, a total of 10,312 utility meters and 8,200 “cost centers” have been created and associated with their respective facilities. Initial outreach to all 348 utility providers is complete, with 94% of vendors having provided historical data and ongoing utility bills. The UDM contract includes integration with the State of Tennessee’s accounting system for state agencies. This integration will increase operational efficiencies by reducing staff time spent keying and logging cost and consumption data and the utilization of 50+ automatic “auditing” and/or “alarm” tools within the system.  Currently, 95 end-users of an estimated 300 have access to the UDM platform and are learning the accounts payable functions through the test environment.

The Office of the State Architect and the Department of General Services (DGS) have collaborated to develop the High Performance Building requirements (HPBr), which build upon the existing State of Tennessee Sustainable Design Guidelines, to provide an energy-efficient and consistent approach to new construction, renovation, and operation and maintenance of all state buildings based on industry best practices.

High Performance Building Requirements (HPBr)

The state’s High Performance Building Requirements (HPBr) require compliance with ASHRAE 90.1-2010 for all state facilities and higher education campuses. The HPBr includes a checklist to encourage energy performance above ASHRAE 90.1-2010, including total building performance, lighting power levels, daylight harvesting, vacancy sensors, and high efficiency HVAC. In accordance with TCA §12-3-905, the HPBr requires the purchase and installation of Energy Star equipment for all Energy Star eligible equipment types. The HPBr requires data centers with cooling systems be sub-metered downstream of the UPS, a requirement for achieving an Energy Star rating. The HBPr challenges the State’s project design teams to think holistically and use tools such as building modeling and life cycle cost analysis to compare, integrate and optimize various system options. The HPBr positions the State of Tennessee for success by integrating best practices for a lower total cost of ownership. The HPBr is for state facilities and public higher education campuses.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Fleets List All

Tennessee Code Annotated §4-3-1109 (Energy Efficient State Vehicles) establishes the goal that 100% of newly purchased passenger vehicles be energy-efficient vehicles or alternative fuel motor vehicles. An energy-efficient motor vehicle is defined as a passenger motor vehicle that is:

  • An alternate fuel vehicle as defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-486);
  • A flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) utilizing ethanol, biodiesel, or any other commercially available alternative fuel approved by the United States Department of Energy;
  • A hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV);
  • A compact fuel-efficient vehicle, defined as a vehicle powered by unleaded gasoline that has a United States EPA estimated highway gasoline mileage rating of at least twenty-five miles per gallon (25 mpg) or greater for the model year purchased;
  • An electric vehicle (EV);
  • A vehicle powered by natural gas; or
  • A vehicle powered by ultra- low sulfur diesel fuel that meets Bin 5, Tier II emission standards mandated by the EPA and that has an EPA estimated highway mileage rating of at least thirty miles per gallon (30 mpg) or greater for the model year purchased.

As of June 30, 2018, the State owned 381 energy-efficient passenger motor vehicles, including 268 FFVs, 39 HEVs, 4 EVs, and 70 energy-efficient vehicles with an average highway fuel economy of at least 25 MPG. Included in these totals are 39 passenger vehicles that were purchased during fiscal year (FY) 2018, all of which were energy efficient. The State met its target goal of purchasing 100% energy-efficient passenger vehicles in FY2018.

Tennessee statute also requires that 25% of newly purchased passenger motor vehicles procured for use in areas designated by the EPA as nonattainment areas shall be hybrid-electric vehicles or vehicles powered by natural gas, provided that such vehicles and fueling infrastructure are available at the time of procurement and such vehicles are purchased at competitive prices. In the event that such vehicles or fueling infrastructure are not available at the time of procurement, the State may instead meet this mandate by procuring compact fuel-efficient vehicles.

In areas that are not designated by the EPA as nonattainment areas, the State shall ensure that at least 25% of newly purchased passenger motor vehicles are hybrid-electric vehicles, vehicles powered by natural gas, or compact fuel-efficient vehicles, provided that such vehicles are purchased at competitive prices. As of November 2018, the only area designated by the EPA as nonattainment in Tennessee is Sullivan County (Sullivan County does not meet the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard).

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

The State of Tennessee does not track public sector performance contract projects. However, TDEC OEP is aware of at least eight performance contracts which have either been contracted for construction or completed within the last five years, including: The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Bradley County Schools, Cleveland Housing Authority, the City of Knoxville, Montgomery County, Williamson County Government, Williamson County Schools, and the City of Paris.

Additionally, the State of Tennessee has completed 32 projects through two separate contract efforts, with projected annual energy cost savings amounting to almost $10 million. The Tennessee Board of Regents, which is the Supervisory Board for State universities outside of the University of Tennessee system, community colleges, and vocational-technical schools, has completed 17 ESPC projects since 2004, totaling $54 million in investment. The annual projected savings for these projects was $6.8 million.

In May 2018, the Tennessee legislature passed legislation acknowledging that State procurement agencies may enter into performance contracts for energy savings for State-owned buildings and facilities through alternative procurement or contracting vehicles. The legislation also encourages up to five pilot projects. This bill amended TCA Title 4 and Title 12.

Also in May 2018, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis signed a contract for a $5.5 million ESPC project. This is the first phase of a planned $30 million project to overhaul the campus’ energy and plant equipment. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2019. Additionally, in March 2018, Williamson County initiated a multi-phase ESPC project for upgrades to their county buildings and facilities. In January 2019, Williamson County signed the first phase of the contract ($18M) to begin construction, which it is anticipated to be completed in early 2020.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Research & Development List All

Tennessee’s energy efficiency research and development field comprises a variety of contributors, including several higher education institutions as well as a national laboratory. More information on these efforts follows.

The University of Tennessee - Knoxville (UT-Knoxville)

UT-Knoxville has a strong partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which collaborates with other state stakeholders and industry members, including the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), on energy research. The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) also promotes the commercialization and deployment of advanced technologies, some of which are related to energy efficiency.

UT-Knoxville hosts several educational energy exhibits and infrastructure projects on its campus and various properties, serving as student and faculty tools for both public outreach and academic research. In December 2018, State and local leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of the I-40 Solar Farm Information and Welcome Center in Haywood County. On display is an interactive exhibit designed by UT-Knoxville, SPECTRUM, which highlights advancements in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The facility, designed by Memphis firm ANF Architect and funded by TDEC OEP, also features a nearly 360-degree view of the surrounding 5 MW, 25-acre West Tennessee Solar Farm, which surrounds the building.

Additionally, a solar array installed in April 2015 on a UT-Knoxville parking garage has proven to make the campus more energy efficient and continually serves as a research tool for students seeking to develop and study next generation renewable energy technologies. Research on this array and the efficiency impacts of on-campus power generation will continue for at least the next few years.

The Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center, led by UT-Knoxville, that is jointly supported by the National Science Foundation and U.S. DOE. Partner higher education institutions include Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tuskegee University. CURENT's research focuses on improvement in grid transmission efficiency, better accommodation of renewable energy sources, full utilization of energy storage, and accommodation of responsive load. CURENT’s main project is to contribute to a nationwide transmission grid vision that will be fully monitored and dynamically controlled in real-time for high efficiency, high reliability, low cost, better accommodation of renewable energy sources, full utilization of energy storage, and accommodation of responsive load. CURENT partners, including the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, ORNL, National Instruments, EPRI, TVA, and Green Energy Corp, will work to assist in project implementation and eventual commercialization.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) is a public-private partnership led by UT-Knoxville that focuses on advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites, which combine strong fibers with tough plastics to cost-effectively manufacture materials that are lighter and stronger than steel. IACMI is supported by a $70 million commitment from DOE and a $189 million commitment from IACMI's partners (including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University, and more). IACMI has also received a $15 million commitment from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development as part of an effort to facilitate local breakthroughs in energy-efficient manufacturing and materials. Established by UTRF as a Tennessee-based nonprofit 501(c)(3), IACMI houses more than 170 members and continues to overcome barriers to the use of advanced composites through the development of low-cost, high-speed, and energy-efficient manufacturing and recycling processes. Through this work, IACMI will focus on lowering the production cost of advanced composites by 25%, reducing the energy used to make composites by 50%, and increasing the recyclability of composites to over 80% within 10 years.

Of IACMI’s 55 active research and development projects, 9 have been completed, 15 are in process, and 31 are in review. See a full list of IACMI’s energy efficiency projects at https://iacmi.org/active-projects/.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

As a U.S. DOE National Laboratory, ORNL applies expertise in advanced materials, supercomputing, neutrons, and nuclear science to national priorities in energy, security, and scientific discovery. ORNL’s research community works with many of the country’s best innovators and businesses to research, develop, and demonstrate cutting-edge technologies and to break down market barriers in sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency. ORNL views the acceleration of widespread clean energy innovation as necessary to providing affordable and reliable energy, promoting economic growth, and supporting energy security.

ORNL’s DOE-designated National User Facilities provide locations for collaborative research and development on energy efficient technologies and include: the Buildings Technologies Research and Integration Center; the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility; and the National Transportation Research Center. ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle.

Research highlights in the aforementioned areas include:

  • Researching low-global warming potential alternative refrigerants.
  • Driving innovation and efficiency in home appliances.
  • Transferring materials science to the building envelope space.
  • Developing low-cost, efficiently produced carbon fiber.
  • Developing new, efficiently produced materials and alloys for U.S. manufacturing.
  • Accelerating the electrification of transportation.
  • Developing lightweight, domestically sourced, and efficiently produced materials for future vehicles.

Tennessee Technological University (TTU)

The Center for Manufacturing Research at TTU focuses on advanced manufacturing and materials for energy storage and conversion. The Center conducts energy assessments as part of its DOE-funded Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), which has been active since 2006. Through the IAC, engineering professors and students perform onsite energy assessments on industrial sites to locate and recommend energy efficiency opportunities. In 2018, the IAC was recognized as a Center of Excellence by U.S. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office for its outstanding performance, having completed 220 assessments and identified $26.99 million in stakeholder cost savings throughout its life.

TTU also houses a Center for Energy Systems Research (CESR), established to advance energy system design, efficiency, and resilience. Read more about its energy efficiency activities here.

University of Memphis

The University of Memphis houses a second TN-based, U.S. DOE-funded IAC, which provides no-cost studies of manufacturing plants across West Tennessee, North Mississippi, and Eastern Arkansas. Engineering and Technology students perform studies analyzing a plant’s energy, waste, and productivity issues. In addition, the IAC provides an educational opportunity to engineering students through on-site plant visits, data analysis, and technical report writing. On average, recommended actions from an assessment result in annual cost savings of $55,000.

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)

MTSU houses a Center for Energy Efficiency, which provides both an organized approach to campus-wide efficiency projects as well as educational opportunities for students and the professional community. Focusing on its “Three Cs”—Campus, Classroom, and Community—the Center supervises building retrofits, energy management projects, infrastructure upgrades, etc.; offers cooperative internship opportunities and job placement for students in energy efficiency fields; and provides educational/energy certification seminars, training opportunities, and leadership resources.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is currently researching several energy topics supported by funding awards from the National Science Foundation and U.S. DOE, totaling around $3 million. Learn more about the University’s efforts here.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Buildings
Score: 3 out of 8
Buildings Summary List All

Since Tennessee is a home rule state, codes are adopted and enforced at the jurisdictional level. Residential construction must comply with the 2009 IECC and commercial and commercial and state-owned buildings must comply with the 2012 IECC. Tennessee has hosted code training sessions.

Residential Codes List All

State building codes adoption and enforcement efforts fall under the purview of the State Fire Marshal’s Office within the Department of Commerce and Insurance (C&I). Any changes to building energy code must comply with the state’s rule-making procedures. On November 2, 2015, C&I conducted a rulemaking hearing to adopt the 2009 IECC for residential one and two family dwellings and townhouses. The permanent rules were filed with the Secretary of State on November 4, 2016 and went into effect on February 2, 2017. See http://share.tn.gov/sos/rules/0780/0780-02/0780-02-23.20170202.pdf and https://www.energycodes.gov/adoption/states/tennessee for additional information.

However, because Tennessee is a “home rule” State, significant variation exists in codes adoption and enforcement at the local level. Under Tennessee statute, all local jurisdictions must adopt a residential energy code that is within seven years of the most recently published energy code. However, all local jurisdictions may also opt out of adoption with a two-thirds majority vote of the local governing body. In addition, local jurisdictions cannot be required to adopt a local code that is more stringent than the one adopted by the State, but they may voluntarily choose to adopt an updated code version. If opting out, the vote must be completed after each local election cycle. To date, 86 jurisdictions have opted in to the state residential building code (apply the statewide building code to their jurisdiction and utilize the state’s building permit system and building inspectors), 80 jurisdictions have opted out (building codes are not recognized nor enforced), and 264 jurisdictions are exempt (building codes are adopted locally, meeting or exceeding the statewide standard; exempt jurisdictions hire their own inspectors and all paperwork is administered locally and audited on a 3 year cycle).

The State began implementation and enforcement of adopted energy codes for new building projects in July 2011. The State Fire Marshal’s Office requires a State building permit for new residential and certain commercial construction in areas of the State, except those where an exempt local government is enforcing a residential or commercial building code itself or where the local government has notified the Department it has opted out of the law. Building construction projects subject to code enforcement by the State Fire Marshal’s Office are required to obtain a State building code permit prior to commencing construction. The Department verifies contractors' licensure as part of the permitting process.

According to C&I, a number of local jurisdictions have adopted building energy codes that exceed versions adopted by the State. TDEC OEP is aware of at least 109 local jurisdictions that have already adopted the 2012 Residential IECC, and 11 that have adopted the 2015 IECC.

Last Updated: July 2018

Commercial Code List All

State building codes adoption and enforcement efforts fall under the purview of the State Fire Marshal’s Office within the Department of Commerce and Insurance (C&I). Any changes to building energy code must comply with the state’s rule-making procedures. On August 19, 2015, C&I conducted a rulemaking hearing to adopt the 2012 IECC for commercial and state-owned buildings. The permanent rules were filed with the Secretary of State on May 6, 2016 and went into effect on August 4, 2016. See https://www.energycodes.gov/adoption/states/tennessee for additional information. 2006 IECC applies to Moderate-hazard facility industrial, Group F-1; Low-hazard factory industrial, Group F-2; Moderate-hazard storage, Group S-1; and Low-hazard storage, Group S-2 buildings.

However, because Tennessee is a “home rule” State, significant variation exists in codes adoption and enforcement at the local level. Under Tennessee statute, all local jurisdictions must adopt a residential energy code that is within seven years of the most recently published energy code. However, all local jurisdictions may also opt out of adoption with a two-thirds majority vote of the local governing body. In addition, local jurisdictions cannot be required to adopt a local code that is more stringent than the one adopted by the State, but they may voluntarily choose to adopt an updated code version. If opting out, the vote must be completed after each local election cycle. C&I does not maintain a list of local commercial building code adoptions. To date, 86 jurisdictions have opted in to the state residential building code (apply the statewide building code to their jurisdiction and utilize the state’s building permit system and building inspectors), 80 jurisdictions have opted out (building codes are not recognized nor enforced), and 264 jurisdictions are exempt (building codes are adopted locally, meeting or exceeding the statewide standard; exempt jurisdictions hire their own inspectors and all paperwork is administered locally and audited on a 3 year cycle).

The State began implementation and enforcement of adopted energy codes for new building projects in July 2011. The State Fire Marshal’s Office requires a State building permit for new residential and certain commercial construction in areas of the State, except those where an exempt local government is enforcing a residential or commercial building code itself or where the local government has notified the Department it has opted out of the law. Building construction projects subject to code enforcement by the State Fire Marshal’s Office are required to obtain a State building code permit prior to commencing construction. The Department verifies contractors' licensure as part of the permitting process.  

Last Updated: July 2018

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan:  The Tennessee (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, and the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy) are currently engaged in a residential energy code compliance baseline field study. The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) and its partner, Southface, are leading the initiative, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy award to SEEA.  This study will focus on a sample of single-family homes in the two climate zones in Tennessee and will identify the residential building energy code sections for which the State may wish to consider conducting additional education, outreach, and/or training.  The kickoff meeting was held in March 2017, and the study is expected to be completed in FY2018.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: the State of Tennessee, through TDEC OEP, C&I, and TFACA, is participating in a residential energy code compliance baseline field study. The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) and its partner, Southface, are leading the field study, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy award to SEEA. This study will focus on a sample of single-family homes in the two climate zones in Tennessee and will identify the residential building energy code sections for which the State may wish to consider conducting additional education, outreach, and/or training. The project is approximately 75% complete and will be submitted to DOE for final review in the summer of 2018.
  • In addition, under state regulations, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is granted authority to audit local exempt jurisdictions every three years, in order to check that they are enforcing codes correctly.  Tennessee plans to complete an audit and see that local jurisdictions are within seven years of the most recently published code. Audits for commercial buildings include a plan review and inspection of a small sample of buildings (would not be considered a statistically representative sample). Approximately 90 jurisdictions are audited each year.
  • Utility Involvement: The State Fire Marshal’s Office has not established utility commission regulatory guidelines.  The Tennessee Public Utility Commissioner (formerly Tennessee Regulatory Authority) does not regulate the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the federally-owned corporation that provides electricity to approximately 99.7% of the electricity service territory in Tennessee.)
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: The State Fire Marshal’s Office has met with the Southeastern Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) several times over the past several years to discuss building energy codes and enforcement. SEEA has offered to provide assistance and advice for adopting new codes and to influence energy code stakeholders.There is no established timetable for meetings. They are convened on an as-needed basis.
  • Training/Outreach: 
    • In addition to adoption and enforcement of building energy codes, C&I provides training and continuing professional education courses to codes inspectors across the State through the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy (TFACA). In 2013, the TDEC Office of Energy Programs (OEP) / State Energy Office provided $195,000 in grant funding to C&I to develop a 2012 IECC training program for inspectors. OEP also provided C&I the opportunity to participate in 2012 IECC “train-the-trainer” courses administered by Southface Energy Institute. The grant funding allowed C&I to purchase equipment and gain the knowledge necessary to provide training to codes inspectors across the State.
    • Following the grant period in 2013, C&I offered several free training opportunities to codes inspectors in all regions of the State. Classes were hosted at TFACA campus in Bell Buckle, offered in jurisdictions throughout TN, and plans have been discussed to offer online training for participants who are unable to attend the classes. Stephen Snow, TFACA Codes Enforcement Program Director, noted that the training program was extremely successful in its initial outreach, then requests for the training slowed for a couple of years once jurisdictions decided to adopt or not.  But recently due to the State requirement for jurisdictions to adopt an edition of the IECC that is always within 7 years of the latest printed edition, TN jurisdictions are once again exploring which viable edition they will adopt.
    • A couple of instances provide evidence for this trend.  Early in 2016, the town of Cookeville requested that TFACA come and provide training to approximately 40 of their local contractors which the town assembled for the sole purpose of learning the requirements of IECC.  In February 2016, the East TN Building Officials Association asked the Academy to hold IECC – DET training for approximately 130 inspectors and building officials in their region to help their inspectors understand and implement IECC testing requirements.  As interest in IECC adoption and enforcement increases, TFACA will create more IECC courses throughout the State to move out of “introductory” training and into more “topic-specific” training.

    • The most recent course offering was the IECC course presented by TFACA which was requested by the Tennessee Building Officials Association and which was presented at their State-wide conference.  At this event, inspectors from all parts of TN gathered to hear the Academy’s training on the 2018 IECC.  Many jurisdictions are posed to adopt the 2018 edition, and their representatives in that class were very receptive to the information presented.

    • Also, TFACA and the SFMO have been exploring implementation of a comprehensive program to incorporate “distance learning” which will change the way all Academy training will be offered, including IECC course delivery. This online training will reach more individuals and small groups of officials within jurisdictions whose strict budgets have traditionally precluded travel to the TFACA campus for this material.  While more jurisdictions have adopted the 2012 IECC through the support of Academy IECC training, new inspectors joining these departments will be more easily trained in the use of the code, and will still have access to the resources the Academy can provide to support that training.  SFMO and TFACA officials are optimistic about the benefit this new medium will bring to inspectors in TN, and will have a variety of online presentation methods and testing options to insure students of TFACA distance learning are properly equipped to enforce the most current and viable editions of the IECC. 

Last Updated: July 2018

CHP
Score: 2 out of 3
CHP Summary List All

The state offers financing assistance for some CHP projects and has identified CHP as a resource to improve energy system resilience. Two new CHP systems came online in Tennessee in 2018.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: Tennessee Interconnection orders

Description: On January 5, 2007, the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) issued orders in dockets 06-00182 and 06-00183 stating that Entergy and Kentucky Utilities had already implemented standards 11 (net metering), 14 (time-based metering), and 15 (interconnection) as described by PURPA 2005, prior to August 8, 2005 and further consideration of those standards by TRA was not required (i.e., declining to make any changes in the existing standards).

In August 2007, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) adopted a modified version of PURPA 2005: "TVA shall make available, upon request, interconnection service, for generators with output of 20 MW or less, to any electric consumer that it serves." As part of its decision, TVA is allowing the distribution utilities that operate in its territory the flexibility to create their own interconnection procedures that are similar to TVA's.

TVA also offers the Dispersed Power Production Program, under which a facility that generates small amounts of power (typically less than 80 MW), including CHP systems, may qualify to connect to TVA power lines. Once connected, a qualifying facility can either use its power for itself and sell any extra to TVA at TVA's avoided costs, or it can sell all of its power to TVA at TVA's avoided costs.

Last Updated: July 2019

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

Tennessee has several policies and programs in place that can incentivize CHP deployment in addition to other technologies and resources.

In 2015, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) issued a request for proposals to industrial customers in the TVA-service area to provide technical guidance and financial assistance towards the capital costs of waste heat recovery and/or CHP projects. The objective is to provide up to $7 Million to establish at least 5 MW of customer-owned generation from waste heat recovery and CHP. TVA awarded $6.75 Million to Erlanger Health Systems in Chattanooga, TN to build a 6 MW CHP facility, which is under construction. 

In 2016, TVA announced it was awarding $6.75 million toward Erlanger Health System's new 8MW onsite CHP facility in Chattanooga, TN. The system became operational in late 2018 and is providing electricity, steam, and chilled water to the hospital campus. TVA and The Chemours Company also announced in January 2015 that they would convert a limited-use combustion turbine at TVA Johnsonville into a highly efficient CHP plant while continuing to provide steam to Chemours, which came online in 2018 with a capacity of 87 MW.

The Pathway Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Loan Program (EELP), a low-interest revolving loan fund, launched in 2010 to assist Tennessee for-profit and not-for-profit commercial and industrial businesses in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. In January 2016, EELP was expanded to offer financing to local government entities, including municipalities, counties, school districts, and other public agencies. Pathway Lending, a US Treasury certified community development financial institution, oversees the $33 million revolving loan fund, which is comprised of loan capital provided by the State / the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs (TDEC OEP) ($14 million), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) ($14 million), and Pathway Lending ($5 million). Eligible projects under EELP include, but are not limited to: energy efficient equipment upgrades; lighting; building envelope retrofits; cool roofs; renewable energy installations; and co-generation, including CHP.

Throughout 2018, five-year term Energy Efficiency loans had a fixed interest rate of 2%, and ten-year term Renewable Energy loans had a fixed interest rate of 5%. Local government entities were eligible to receive up to six years of financing at a 2% interest for qualified energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Qualifying entities could apply for loans between $20,000 and $5 million.

At the State level, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Energy Independence Act  in 2014, which amended TCA §67-4-2004(9) to include facilities utilizing natural gas in a CHP configuration, granting them the same treatment as geothermal, hydrogen, solar, and wind sources for excise tax assessment purposes, based on the cost of installation. 

Further, the Tennessee Public Utility Commission, through TCA §65-5-103, may authorize utilities to recover operational expenses and capital costs and earn a return on CHP installations in industrial and commercial sites. This 2014 statutory change opened up opportunities for investment, innovation, and partnerships with investor owned utilities in the State of Tennessee.

 

Last Updated: July 2019

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Some additional supportive policies exist to encourage CHP in Tennessee. The Qualified Energy Conservation Bond Program and Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program have both been used in the past to encourage the deployment of waste heat to power (WHP) systems in the state.

The University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services also helps companies evaluate, measure, and create a site-specific energy plan, which may include evaluating CHP options. 

In February 2019, the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the federally-owned corporate electricity provider for Tennessee, approved a project that will seek to deploy CHP, solar, and other technologies to address behind-the-meter customer needs. This project, called the DER Flexibility Research Project, allows member utilities to deploy CHP systems as well as to enter into a purchased power agreement with TVA for the power provided. The project is capped at 300MW total, of which a third may be CHP. TVA and the member utility organization have stated goals for the project of providing high levels of distribution system reliability and resiliency.  

Last Updated: July 2019

Utilities
Score: 1.5 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the largest publicly-owned electric utility in the country, is the primary electricity provider in Tennessee. As a publicly-owned utility, TVA is governed by a board of directors. While past energy efficiency efforts have been modest, TVA has ramped up energy efficiency programs for electricity customers across all sectors in recent years. Nonetheless, Tennessee falls below the national average for efficiency spending and realized savings.

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) is the state agency charged with the setting of rates and service standards for privately-owned telephone, natural gas, electric, and water utilities.

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

In June 2007, the Tennessee legislature approved a joint resolution calling for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the largest publicly-owned electric utility in the country, to initiate large-scale efforts to improve energy efficiency. House Joint Resolution Number 472 noted, "[E]nergy conservation can easily meet and exceed the growing demand for electricity; and….TVA used energy efficient means of creating power in the 1970s to supplant the need to build new power plants." In response, TVA has released a suite of energy efficiency programs, for all customer segments, including but not limited to: home energy evaluations, rebates and attractive financing for efficiency measures, and technical/advising services.

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

There is currently no state-level policy in place that treats energy efficiency in the electricity sector as a resource. However, TVA evaluates energy efficiency and demand response programs on a level playing field with generation assets through the Integrated Resource Plan process.

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

Last Updated: July 2018

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) stated in its 2008 Environmental Policy that in order to meet its objective of reducing the rate of carbon emissions, it needed to reduce load growth by at least one-quarter over five years through energy efficiency and demand-side initiatives.

In its 2011 integrated resource plan, TVA included savings goals from energy efficiency and demand-response in its recommended planning direction. The goals included reductions in peak demand of 3,600-5,100 MW and energy savings of 11,400-14,400 GWh to be met by the year 2020. These ranges include savings already achieved through 2010, when the planning process began. The degree to which these goals are binding in the long term is unclear and therefore is not considered an EERS. 

Last Updated: July 2018

Utility Business Model List All

There is currently no policy in place that decouples electric utility profits from sales, but the Tennessee Valley Authority made a determination that efforts will be made to address the issue of lost contributions to fixed costs for distributors.

In 2010, the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) approved the Chattanooga Gas Co.'s request for an increased monthly charge for fixed costs to “more properly align the interest of ratepayers and utilities in better promoting energy efficiency.” The mechanism is referred to the Alignment and Usage Adjustment (AUA). The AUA applies to residential (R-1) and Small Commercial (C-1) classes. A revenue per customer was calculated for the aforementioned customer classes in docket 09-00183. Each year, the actual revenue per customer is compared to the benchmark revenue per customer. If the revenue per customer declines, then customers are surcharged to collect the difference during the subsequent year, and vice-versa. The AUA was approved on a three-year trial and was extended pending a full report on the mechanism. It remains in effect. There is, however, a 2% accrual on margin recoveries. 

There is currently no policy in place that rewards successful energy efficiency programs. The Tennessee Valley Authority has made a determination that incentives are not appropriate for a public power company.

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, ratepayer impact measure test 

Evaluations in Tennessee are mainly administered by the Tennessee Valley Authority. There are no specific legal requirements for these evaluations in Tennessee. TVA uses three 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), and Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM). TVA specifies the TRC to be its primary test for decision making. According to TVA, the benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio and total program level screening. The rules for benefit-cost tests are not specified. Some exceptions of flexibility exist in the application like low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies. 

TVA has instituted a robust EM&V effort to assess all its programs on an ongoing three- to four-year cycle. An independent, third-party contractor has been engaged to collect onsite performance data, validate adherence to program guidelines, and identify potential process improvements. Planning estimates of impacts, life spans, and net-to-gross ratios are adjusted in accordance with the findings of the EM&V assessments.

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

No specific required spending or savings requirements were identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

According to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio and total program-level screening. The rules for benefit-cost tests are not specified. Some exceptions of flexibility exist in the application like low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies.

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 Tennessee. 

Data AccessList All

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

Last Updated: July 2018

Transportation
Score: 3.5 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

The state has passed complete streets legislation and allows regional authorities to set up dedicated funding streams for mass transit.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land Use Integration: Tennesee's Multimodal Access Grant provides supports the transportation needs of transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists through infrastructure projects that address existing gaps along state routes and access at transit hubs

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: In 2010, Tennessee adopted a bicycle and pedestrian policy that mandates transportation planning agencies and developers to integrate provisions for bicycles and pedestrians into the new construction and the reconstruction of roads and highways.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: Tennessee has a state freight plan that identifies a multimodal freight network, but it does not include freight energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Transit Funding List All

Tennessee Senate Bill 1471, passed in 2009, calls for the creation of a Regional Transportation Authority in major municipalities. It allows these authorities to set up dedicated funding streams for mass transit either by law or through voter referendum.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Equitable Access to TransportationList All
Tennessee does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, but it does consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Last Reviewed: July 2019
Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 3
Appliance Standards Summary List All

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

Last Reviewed: June 2019