State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



17.0Scored out of 50Updated 12/2022
State Government
Score: 2 out of 4.5
State Government Summary List All

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

Financial Incentives List All

The state of Utah offers the following financial incentives to encourage energy efficiency improvements:

  • U-Save Energy Efficiency Fund: Loans are provided for the retrofit of existing buildings as well as energy efficiency upgrades to new buildings. However, loans can not be used for new buildings to meet the Utah energy code. Loans for new construction can only be used for measures which surpass the prescriptive requirements of the Utah energy code and result in a completed building which exceeds the performance standards of the energy code for its building type by 10%. Renewable energy systems are also eligible for loan funds.
  • State Building Energy Efficiency Fund: The State Facility Energy Efficiency Fund (SFEEF) was established in fiscal year 2008 to provide the State Building Energy Efficiency Program with a revolving loan fund from which agencies and institutions can borrow to complete energy efficiency improvement projects. Repayment of the loan is achieved by capturing cost savings from reduced energy use and demand and by capturing utility incentives. Borrowed funds are paid back into the SFEEF so that it can be lent out again.

Further financial incentive information can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Utah). In addition to these state-funded incentives, Utah has enabled commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has one active program. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Equity Metrics and Workforce DevelopmentList All

The Governor's Office of Energy Development worked with the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to produce a series of videos for residents in response to the top questions and problems that WAP encounters in their work. These videos are meant to help residents resolve some of the basic energy-related issues and save energy at home before WAP sends technicians to the home, thereby increasing WAPs bandwidth and ability to respond.

Utah currently has no specific required spending or savings requirements for low-income energy efficiency programs.

Workforce Development

The Office of Energy Development through their Building Talks program educates contractors on Energy Code and how to meet Energy Code requirements. The Office of Energy Development supports and partners with workforce training programs in higher education including the University of Utah's Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center and Salt Lake Community College's Energy Institute.

The Weatherization Assistance Program provides extensive training via its Intermountain Weatherization Training Center (IWTC) to Weatherization Technicians based on assessments that monitor individual and workforce competencies. Additionally, technicians earn Building Performance Institute (BPI) certifications including Energy Auditor, Envelope Professional, and Quality Control Inspector. Technicians receive practical "hands-on" training at the IWTC in traditional vs advanced energy-efficient building practices, whole house and duct air-leakage testing, infrared thermography of building components, HVAC installation and repair, and energy-efficient lighting technologies.

OED has partnered with the University of Utah’s Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center (IIAC) to deliver no-cost energy assessments to industrial entities and provide real-world experience for university students.

The Cyberforce Energy Cyber Security Sponsorship DOE program, administered by Argonne National Lab, is a college level competition that pits red and green teams against one another in a range of energy scenarios. A red team infilitrates while a green keeps attempts to keep the invaders out of the different type of energy infrastructure they are protecting. The Utah Office of Energy Development provides a $6,000 sponsorship for the high school version of the competition. Canyon Schools District will send five students along with a security vulnerability analyst who also works part time as a cybersecurity instructor for the school district to the competition. There are currently over 6,500 openings within the cybersecurity industry. A primary cause of this lack of cybersecurity workers is the missing K-12 component for cybersecurity education, particularly developing curriculum and targeting girls to increase participation and diversify the talent pool. The DOE's CyberForce Program is one way in which this workforce shortage and lack of diversity is being addressed.

In collaboration with the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity, Utah Resource Stewardship Coordinator, Fleet Operations, and Governor's Office of Planning & Budget, Uath OED is identifying ways to expand EV mechanic training outside of the Wasatch Front into rural areas.

OED facilitates the Natural Resources Education Working Group in order to increase cross-agency partnership, which is one of Governor Cox’s priorities and the impetus behind the working group. Working group members include representatives of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining (DOGM); Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA); Utah Geological Survey (UGS); Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ); Utah Department of Workforce Services; STEM Action Center; Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands; and the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office (PLPCO). After 6 months of meetings, the Natural Resources Education Working Group had it’s final meeting in April 2022. The group has decided to continue meeting with less frequency to continue promoting awareness between partner agencies and organizations, address any needs or gaps and explore avenues for interagency collaboration. Members walked away forming new partnerships with organizations such as the Utah Sciences Teachers Association, the University of Utah’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Utah Education Network. It has also led to a collaboration between OED and DOGM to sponsor more energy curricula and educator workshops.

OED has partnered with UtSTA to create an Energy Curriculum that meets state science standards. Over 40 lesson plans are available to download free of cost from OED’s website. The curriculum has been recognized nationally by the DOE, in their STEM rising newsletter, and by NASEO at their annual conference. To increase access to this free resource, OED has sponsored Professional Development events for over 290 teachers since 2019. The workshops are held in various places across the state to increase access to rural or non-Wasatch metropolitan areas, including Cedar City, Logan, and Salt Lake City Utah to increase access for all Utah communities.  These workshops cover the cost of substitutes, lesson equipment kits, 7 re-licensure points, and lunch. Next year OED plans to host its workshops in Blanding and/or Price Utah. OED estimates that over 14,000 Utah students have been taught the curriculum to date as a result of these Professional Development events.

2022 is the fifth year for the Utah Energy Pathways Scholarship, in partnership with Chevron. Energy Workforce Education and skilling our talent is a key component of the Governor’s One Utah Roadmap. The program encourages students to pursue energy and minerals careers by providing funding to Utah students pursuing STEM degrees or licensed certificates from Utah universities or trade, technical or community colleges - which remain critical to entering the energy and minerals sector. This year saw another significant increase in applicants, a total of 79 students applied for the scholarship, a 65% increase in applicants compared to the previous highest applicant year (2021 intake, 48 applicants). This is again thanks to a strategic marketing plan that includes vast partnerships, like with the STEM Action Center, targeted outreach events, like the Utah Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit, and extensive promotion to Utah educators, students, and organizations across the state. This year the Scholarship Review Committee reviewed applications and selected 9 Utah students based on their merits, including knowledge of Utah’s current energy landscape, intent to pursue a STEM major, and essay.

Last Reviewed: July 2021

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The State of Utah 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 2019

Public Building Requirements List All

Passed in 2006, HB 80 required the creation and implementation of a state building energy efficiency program, which shall develop guidelines/procedures and goals for energy efficiency for state buildings. The program must also analyze and benchmark state agencies' energy consumption. In the past 12 months, DFCM has gotten the first round of data entered into a state-wide (all state agencies buildings) data base, Building OS, in order to start bench-marking state buildings. The intention now is to bench-mark state buildings against the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data set. The other goal for the Building OS platform is confirm that buildings are performing in accordance with their design intent, and thereby confirm and inform the effectiveness of the State's High Performance Building Standard. Data continues to be added to the Building OS platform, and part of the bench-marking data available is on another platform that many higher education institutions have chosen called Vitality. These two data sets are being used to created state specific EUI design targets for certain types of buildings. The comparison to CBECS will also continue as another way of assessing energy performance. Currently, 75% of DFCM managed buildings are being bench-marked in Building OS. This does not include higher education or other public buildings. The City of Salt Lake has its own bench-marking program underway.

In Spring 2015, the Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development, CFSM, Division of Administrative Services, and Salt Lake City Public Schools began very early discussions to develop a statewide benchmarking, challenge and recognition program. S.B. 217 (2015) requires all state buildings to report their utility expenditures and energy and water consumption annually at the building level and report to the Governor and Legislature annually. Each state agency must designate a staff member that is responsible for coordinating energy efficiency efforts within the agency; provide energy consumption and costs information to the division; develop strategies for improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs; and provide the division with information regarding the agency's energy efficiency and reduction strategies. As part of this initiative, the Division of Facilities Construction and Management are identifying structures that require building-level meters and are working to meter those buildings in order to fulfill the reporting requirements. The Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management estimates that 15 percent of state government building square footage is benchmarked. A standard of quality and a method of centralized reporting are being established in FY 2017. The Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management released an RFP for a vendor to meter buildings and develop an online benchmarking platform. The vendor has been selected and the scope of work is being executed and the contract is still active through state contract until 2024.

The State of Utah's High Performance Building Standard (HPBS) for new construction requires standard building types be built to an EUI target. This requirement exceeds current energy codes. If it is a non-standard building, our buildings are required to exceed current energy code by 16%. The standard also meets or exceeds requirements equivalent to a LEED Silver building in other areas of sustainability in the built environment, including building system and building envelope commissioning requirements.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Fleets List All

In 2014, Utah established a target for 50% or more of new or replacement division-owned state vehicles that are motor vehicles used for the transportation of passengers are motor vehicles with emissions that are equal to or cleaner than the standards established in bin 2 in Table S04-1, of 40 C.F.R. 86. 1811-04(c)(6), or any vehicle propelled to a significant extent using one of the following alternative fuels: electricity from an off-board source; natural gas; liquid petroleum gas; hydrogen; or biodiesel by August 30, 2018 (S.B. 99, 63A-9-403). As of June 2022, roughly 54% of passenger transport vehicles met this standard.

Because of this bill, the Utah Division of Fleet Operations (DFO) has recently chosen the Chevy Bolt EV as the State Standard Vehicle. The Bolt has a Tier 3 Bin 0 rating, exceeding the Tier 2 Bin 2 requirement from S.B. 99. If a department cannot accept this vehicle because its mission demands something else, they need to explain in writing why they cannot accept this vehicle. The outdated Tier 2 Bin 2 equivalent is the current Tier 3 Bin 30. The Toyota Prius Hybrid falls into this newer bin and is a favorite of DFOs for replacing older ICE vehicles. The Prius and EV vehicles will be heavily marketed to our lessees to help DFO meet S.B. 99’s requirements.

A significant constraint is that many of DFO’s passenger transport vehicles are minivans, SUVs, and larger vans that do not have production models meeting the EPA Tier 3 Bin 30 standards. In addition, obtaining sedans will be more challenging in the future, as the manufacturers are moving toward reducing the production of sedans and increasing SUV production. This shift in the production of types of vehicles will be a hurdle that could keep DFO and other fleets across the country from reaching similar low emission vehicle purchasing goals.

In 2018, the State of Utah secured state vendors for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) installation for use at state buildings. This multi-vendor selection process will place several EVSE vendors under a state contract for both Level 2 charging and DC Fast Charging. As of June 2022, there have been 161 EVSEs installed across Utah containing 307 individual charging ports installed by the State of Utah departments of Transportation, Government Operations, and Environmental Quality.

In 2019, the Division of Fleet Operations’ Motor Pool sent two employees to Weber State University to learn how to service, diagnose and repair hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and battery-electric vehicles (BEV) in an effort to better understand how the new vehicles would impact the vehicle fleet in the respective areas of serviceability and repair.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

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

Following an executive order in 2006 by Governor Jon Huntsman that called for an increase in energy efficiency in state buildings, the use of ESPCs exploded in Utah as a means of attaining these goals. The Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM), in partnership with the Governor's Office of Energy Development, maintains a prequalified list of ESCO through a cooperative contract with State Purchasing allowing this list to be used by all public entities across the State. The Division of Facilities Construction and Management, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Energy Development is, in complement to this existing contract, developing a pre-qualified list of third-party reviewers to represent public entities in the review of ESCO services offered. Within DFCM, the State Building Energy Efficiency Program (SBEEP) is the primary entity in the state that assists with all forms of energy efficiency improvements (including ESPCs). SBEEP oversaw the selection of prequalified ESCOs to provide services in the Energy Performance Contract Program (EPCP) and allow interested agencies and institutions to bypass the solicitation and selection process, thereby expediting ESPC processes and cost recovery. This program now focuses on K-12 school districts, municipal facilities, large state universities, and college campuses. In addition, the Governor's Office of Energy Development and energy performance contracting stakeholders agreed to reinstate the Utah Chapter of the Energy Services Coalition to raise awareness and educate stakeholders about energy performance contracting opportunities.

The Governor's Office of Energy Development (OED) and Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) successfully established a new, pre-approved list of third party reviewers for energy savings performance contracting (ESPC). The list complements a pre-approved list of energy savings companies and fills a gap identified by ESPC end users. The national Energy Services Coalition, State Liaison Team conducted a three-part survey with OED and DFCM to evaluate their approaches to Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting (GESPC). Overall, the ESC found that Utah fulfills the majority of metrics for a successful GESPC program, including a contract terms of up to 20 years and a requirement that energy savings companies guarantee savings. There are presently seven vendors on the pre-qualified list.

As part of the new ESC Utah Chapter efforts, OED is working with the members to establish contract templates to streamline project development and contract negotiations. Templates will be created for each phase of a project, from the Request for Proposal stage through project closing. The intent of the templates is to simplify the process for end users who may not have in house resources to effectively evaluate performance contracting projects.

Last Reviewed: August 2020

Research & Development List All

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

The USTAR Energy Research Triangle (ERT) Program offers competitive grants aimed at fostering energy innovation across Utah's universities. The program offers two categories of grants: one that encourages collaboration among researcher professors across the state, and another for students conducting research on energy.

The Division of Facilities and Construction Management manages a small internal fund to allow for building performance studies and research. The fund is primarily used to fund re-commissioning studies of various levels including lighting up-grades. Currently there are 14 active projects that have resulted from this level of research. There is an additional research project under-way to understand the connection between emissions from buildings and air quality impacts.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Score: 4 out of 12
Buildings Summary List All

During the 2019 legislative session, the Utah legislature passed HB 218, which will adopt the 2018 IECC for commercial provisions in its entirety. The amended 2015 IECC residential provisions remain as the statewide residential energy code, with several incremental stringency improvements occurring January 1, 2019.

Residential Codes List All

Utah’s Uniform Building Code (UUBC) for residential building energy codes is mandatory statewide. Residential building construction must comply with an amended version of the 2015 IECC.

In 2019, HB 218 further amended the residential codes. Existing weakening amendments adopted in 2016 with automatic increment improvements effective January 2019 and 2021 include: 1.) A 5th compliance option, the Utah 2012 REScheck, which includes an equipment trade-off.  The required pass rate increased from 4% to 5%, January 1, 2021. 2.) Section R402 allows either blower door test or compliance to Table 402.4.1.1. The amended blower door requirement improved January 1, 2019 from 3.5 ACH to 3 ACH @50 pa for single family dwelling; however remains at 5 ACH @50 pa for townhouse/multi-family due to HB 218. 3.) Duct leakage testing is required with 20% of duct outside the thermal envelope. Allowed leakage dropped from 7 CFM/100 sq. ft. to 6 CFM/100 sq. ft. January 1, 2021. Amended ERI scores remain at 65 CZ-3, 69 CZ-5, and 68 CZ-6. HB 218 included one amendment strengthening the whole house fan efficacies to the 2018 IECC level.

While localities may adopt stretch codes, it is a difficult process to do so. Localities may only adopt stretch codes if approved through the state legislative process. Amendments may not be adopted at the local level. As a result, none have adopted stretch codes.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Commercial Code List All

During the 2019 legislative session, the Utah legislature passed HB 218, which will adopt the 2018 IECC for commercial provisions in its entirety. 

While localities may adopt stretch codes, it is a difficult process to do so. Localities may only adopt stretch codes if approved through the state legislative process. Amendments may not be adopted at the local level. As a result, none have adopted stretch codes.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: Between 2010 and 2011, Utah was chosen to evaluate residential buildings against the 2006 IECC and commercial buildings against the 2009 IECC ( Utah's pilot study was performed in two phases. The focus of Phase 1 was for the state and 10 local jurisdictions to gain experience conducting an evaluation of this type, and derive an initial assessment of energy code compliance. Concurrently with Phase 1 of their study, Utah developed a Utah Energy Code Compliance Roadmap to illustrate the best path forward for increasing energy code compliance in the state. For the Phase 2 study, 42 new residential buildings were evaluated across 22 jurisdictions, based on a random sample of homes generated by the State Sample Generator. To save time, each code inspector attempted to complete a 4-way inspection ,which looks at rough framing, rough plumbing, rough heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), and rough electrical.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: In June of 2019, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a grant to launch a study designed to do three things: first, assess to what degree new residential construction in Utah meets the current energy code; second, develop energy code training to address any compliance gaps identified in the study. Third, based on the data gathered in the field, the study estimated the energy, cost, and emissions savings potential if new homes in Utah achieve 100-percent compliance with Utah’s current residential energy code. The study involves numerous partners including the Institute for Market Transformation, Resource Innovations, WC-3, Utah Office of Energy Development, Utah Clean Energy, Rocky Mountain Power, Dominion Energy, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). A link to the study can be found here:

  • Utility Involvement: The utility demand-side management programs support building energy code compliance by offering incentives on energy code compliant equipment (where code applies). Since the Public Service Commission has approved those offerings there are indirect regulatory guidelines that enable the utilities to support energy code compliance. The utilities both provide cost-match funds for energy code training.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: Utah established the Uniform Building Code Commission to review and provide recommendations to the state legislature in the adoption of building codes. As part of its process, the Uniform Building Code Commission holds public hearings to gather public input on energy code adoption decisions. The UBCC meets on a monthly basis and through its Education Committee, supports a variety of associations throughout the state focused on training and improving compliance.
  • Training/Outreach: The Governor's Office of Energy Development has partnered with Rocky Mountain Power and Dominion Energy to establish a three-year contract to provide energy code compliance training (the Building Talks program). The annual budget for the program has been increased to roughly $160,000 annually. Building Talks now includes dedicated training for code officials to improve enforcement and field training for builders to improve installation. Training materials are provided to builders, code officials, and trades in the form of compliance pathways, short guides to the residential and commercial energy codes, and a dedicated website (in process).

Last Reviewed: June 2022 

CHP Summary List All

Utah offers some incentives for CHP projects. One new CHP system was installed in 2018.

Interconnection StandardsList All

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

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

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

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

Last Updated: July 2018

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Some additional supportive policies exist to encourage CHP in Utah. Some bottoming cycle or waste heat to power systems may be eligible for the Alternative Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit and the Alternative Energy Development Incentive. CHP is an eligible technology for financial assistance under Utah's U-Save Energy Efficiency Fund, State Building Energy Efficiency Fund, and Commercial PACE.

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

Funding may be available for CHP systems through federal pre-disaster mitigation funds.

Last Updated: July 2019

Score: 5.5 out of 15
Utilities Summary List All

Utah's utilities administer and implement a portfolio of energy efficiency programs as required by the Utah Public Service Commission as part of integrated resource plans, in place since 1992, that are filed biennially by the utilities and include demand-side resources and associated programs. Utility energy efficiency program investments and energy savings have been above the national average in recent years, however Rocky Mountain Power, which serves around 80% of Utah's population, recently scaled back its energy efficiency programs based on the results of the least-cost resources selected its integrated resource plans.

In 2009, Utah passed legislation (House Joint Resolution 9) calling for Utah's electric utilities to reduce the state's energy consumption by 1% annually. The bill also calls for natural gas utilities to save 0.5% annually. It encourages the use of “all available cost-effective energy efficiency.”

In September 2009, the PSC approved RMP’s request to increase its utility bill surcharge to pay for demand-side management (DSM) programs to 4.6%. Utah’s main natural gas utility, Questar Gas (Dominion Energy), began implementing efficiency programs in 2007. Questar's CET decoupling mechanism was changed from a pilot program to ongoing in 2010. Questar combined with Dominion Energy in 2016.

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 reviewed: July 2020

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Utah has been a southwest leader in utility energy efficiency programs in recent years, however these savings have recently declined due to the selection of other resources in Rocky Mountain Power's integrated resource plan.

RMP (PacifiCorp), administers and provides a portfolio of energy efficiency programs as part of its integrated resource planning. The Utah Public Service Commission (UPSC) reviews and acknowledges these plans and the associated program plans and budgets. Electric efficiency programs are funded through a tariff rider on customer bills, as allowed under Utah Code Section 54-7-12.8(2), which states that the commission may approve a tariff under which an electrical corporation includes a line item charge on its customer bills to recover the costs incurred by the electrical corporation for demand-side management. RMP's utility bill surcharge varies by rate schedule, and the current rates effective January 1, 2021, can be found at this link.

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

Dominion's programs can be found at the following link.

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 reviewed: July 2022

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

The PSC’s integrated resource planning requirements were established in the 1990s (1992 for PacifiCorp and 1994 for Dominion). PacifiCorp files a biennial integrated resource plan which include demand-side resources and associated programs. From the IRP guidelines, “The [IRP] process should result in the selection of the optimal set of resources given the expected combination of costs, risk and uncertainty” (Standard and Guidelines, 1. Definition). Also, PacifiCorp’s IRPs must include “An evaluation of all present and future resources, including future market opportunities (both demand-side and supply-side) on a consistent and comparable basis” (Standards and Guidelines, 4.b.). Dominion files its IRP annually.

In 2009, the Utah Legislature passed House Joint Resolution 9 (HJR9) that, among other things, supports: 1) cost-effective energy efficiency and load management programs for Utah's electric utilities, 2) an electricity savings goal for RMP to reduce projected electrical sales by not less than 1 percent of its annual retail sales: and 3) a  natural gas savings goal for Dominion to reduce natural gas sales by not less than 0.5% of its annual retail sales.  HJR9 also encourages various government and corporate entities to recognize energy efficiency as a priority resource and to promote “all available cost-effective energy efficiency.”

In March 2016, the Utah State Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 115, the "Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan Act" (STEP). STEP authorizes Rocky Mountain Power to implement a combined line-item charge on customer bills to recover DSM-related costs and to capitalize and amortize these costs over a 10-year period. The bill creates a "Regulatory Liability Fund," which can be used to depreciate thermal generation plant for which the Utah PUC determines depreciation is in the public interest for compliance with an environmental regulation or another purpose and to offset capitalized DSM costs. STEP also relieves certain customers of the obligation to pay for DSM. 

In March 2019, the Utah State Legislature passed House Bill 107 and amendment to the STEP legislation creating a similar STEP program for Dominion Energy. The program authorizes a gas corporation to establish natural gas clean air programs that promote sustainability through increasing the use of natural gas or renewable natural gas that the commission determines are in the public interest. Specifically the following may be approved: (i) an economic development incentive rate; (ii) research and development of other efficiency technologies; (iii) an acquisition of nonresidential natural gas infrastructure behind the large-scale natural gas utility's meter; (iv) the development of communities that can reduce greenhouse gases and NOx emissions; (v) a natural gas renewable energy project; (vi) a commercial line extension program; or (vii) any other technology program.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

In 2008, Utah adopted a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 20% by 2025, subject to cost-effectiveness, that allows energy savings from DSM measures to qualify towards the standard without any cap.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Utility Business Model List All

No decoupling mechanism is in place for electric utilities.

In 2003, the Utah Public Service Commission approved Rocky Mountain Power's Electric Service Schedule 193, Demand Side Management Cost Adjustment. In 2016, Utah passed Senate Bill 115 - Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan Act (See: The bill requires the PSC to authorize a large-scale electric utility that is allowed to charge a customer for demand side management under Subsection (2)(a) to:

  • (i) if requested by the large-scale electric utility, capitalize the annual costs incurred for demand side management provided in Subsection (2)(a);
  • (ii) amortize the annual cost for demand side management over a period of 10 years; 
  • (iii) apply a carrying charge to the unamortized balance that is equal to the large-scale electric utility's pretax weighted average cost of capital approved by the commission in the large-scale electric utility's most recent general rate proceeding; and
  • (iv) recover the amortization cost described in Subsection (2)(b)(ii) and the carrying charge described in Subsection (2)(b)(iii) in customer rates.

Schedule 193 is a balancing account mechanism where revenues to fund the above programs are collected outside of general rate case proceedings. RMP's Electric Service Schedule 194, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan (STEP) Cost Adjustment Pilot Program, is a balancing account mechanism where revenues to fund the programs are collected outside of a general rate case. Schedules 193 and 194 are the funding sources for cost effective energy efficiency/load management programs and STEP programs approved by the PSC and managed by PacifiCorp. Charges for these programs appear on customer bills as a line item labeled Customer Energy Services and Step.

On October 5, 2006, Questar Gas, now Dominion Energy Utah, was approved to implement a Conservation Enabling Tariff (CET) and Demand-Side Management (DSM) Pilot Program. The CET allows Distribution Non-Gas (DNG) revenues received by Dominion to be based on the number of customers rather than customers’ gas usage. This is considered to be a form of decoupling. On June 24, 2009, the Pilot Program was extended to operate until December 31, 2010 (PSC Docket No. 05-057-T01, October 2006). Dominion's CET decoupling mechanism was changed from a pilot program to ongoing in 2010 (See Order June 3, 2010, changing the status of the CET from a pilot to permanent).

2009 HJR 9 expresses support for regulatory mechanisms to help remove utility disincentives and create incentives to increase efficiency and conservation so long as these mechanisms are found to be in the public interest.

Last reviewed: July 2022

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

Further information on cost-effectiveness screening practices for Utah is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), a resource of the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP). Further information on health and environmental benefits is available in ACEEE’s Overview of State Approaches to Account for Health and Environmental Benefits of Energy Efficiency.

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs under the PSC’s jurisdiction relies on regulatory orders (Docket Nos. 09-035-27 and 07-057-05). Evaluations are mainly administered by the utilities. The PSC’s formal requirements for evaluation for PacifiCorp are articulated in Docket No. 09-035-27, Docket No. 09-035-74, and Guideline Revisions Report, Exhibits A, B, C and D. The PSC’s formal requirements for annual reporting PacifiCorp are articulated in Docket No. 17-035-04. The PSC’s formal requirements for evaluation for Dominion are articulated in Docket Nos. 05-057-T01 and 07-057-05.

Utah uses four of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost (TRC), Utility/Program Administrator (UCT), Participant (PCT), and Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM). Utah specifies the UCT to be its threshold test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio, total program, and customer project level screening. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket Nos. 09-035-27 and 05-057-T01. More info is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP).

Last reviewed: July 2019

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

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

Utah has no specific required spending or savings requirements for low-income energy efficiency programs. 

Rocky Mountain Power provides low-income weatherization services to income-eligible households through a partnership with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Housing and Community Development Division (HCD). HCD receives federal funds and subcontracts with seven non-profit agencies that install energy efficiency measures in the homes of income-eligible households throughout Rocky Mountain Power's service area. Rocky Mountain Power's funding of 50% of the cost of approved measures is leveraged by HCD with the federal funding they receive, allowing more homes to be served each year. Services are at no cost to the program participants.

Dominion annually provides $500,000 of low-income ratepayer-funded assistance delivered through a partnership with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Housing and Community Development Division. It is targeted at replacing inefficient furnaces for income-qualified households. In addition, an approved non-profit or governmental organization may apply for rebates under the ThermWise Appliance and Weatherization programs for qualifying measures listed in § 2.10 and §2.14 of the Tariff.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket No. 09-035-27. Utah uses the total resource cost (TRC) test, utility cost test (UCT), participant cost test (PCT), and ratepayer impact measure (RIM). Approval of individual DSM programs or portfolios of programs should be based on an overall determination that the program or portfolio is in the public interest after consideration of all five tests and the passage of the threshold test, the UCT. In addition, Utah also utilizes the PacifiCorp TRC (PTRC) test, which follows the Northwest convention of adding 10% to the avoided costs to account for unquantified environmental and transmission and distribution impacts.

Dominion follows the California Standard Practice Manual. Questar Gas Company's requirements are identified in Docket No. 05-057-T01 (Questar was the gas utility name prior to merger with Dominion Energy). 

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

The Utah Division of Housing and Community Development administers the state's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Participating households average nearly 33% in savings, or approximately $285 per year, after the completion of weatherization improvements. To apply for weatherization assistance, individuals must submit their application to the agency that services the county in which they reside. Benefits are provided in the form of noncash grants to eligible households to make energy-efficiency improvements to those homes.

The HCD administers the program statewide through eight government and nonprofit agencies. Benefits are provided in the form of noncash grants to eligible households to make energy-efficiency improvements to those homes. Those agencies are: Bear River Association of Governments, Salt Lake Community Action Program, Housing Authority of Utah County, Six County Association of Governments, Five County Association of Governments, Uintah Basin Association of Governments, and Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments, all of which qualify as approved non-profit or governmental organizations (HCD implementation agencies).

Last reviewed: July 2022

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Rocky Mountain Power's self-direct program is a project-based rate credit program that offers up to an 80% credit of eligible project costs back to customers as a rate credit against the 3.7% cost-recovery mechanism (CRM) charge all customers pay. Customers earn a credit up to 100% of their CRM charge but pay a flat $500/project administrative fee for each self-directed project. Customers can choose to engage in self-direct and more traditional energy efficiency programs simultaneously, provided the different programs are used to deploy different projects. Rocky Mountain Power may qualify participants, at its discretion, based on criteria the company considers necessary to ensure the effective operation of the measures and utility system. Criteria may include but will not be limited to cost effectiveness.

Dominion does not offer a self-direct program, but a custom rebate program exists. 

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

Last reviewed: July 2019

Data AccessList All

RMP and Dominion offer customers electronic access to usage and billing data through the customer account interfaces on the utilities' respective websites.

In the 2019 Legislative session, HB 307 was passed which requires online data access for non-residential customer to be provided under certain circumstances.

  • If available and requested by the customer, requires an electrical corporation to provide the nonresidential customer access to the customer's usage data in: 15 minute intervals; or the shortest requested interval available through existing meters; and
  • Allows the electrical corporation to charge the customer the costs associated with providing the usage data to the customer.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Score: 4 out of 13
Transportation Summary List All

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

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land Use Integration: The Transportation and Land Use Connection (TLC) program is a partnership between the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), Salt Lake County, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), and Utah Transit Authority (UTA). The TLC program provides technical assistance to local communities to help them achieve their goals and plan for growth. The program helps communities implement changes to the built environment that reduce traffic on roads and enable more people to easily walk, bike, and use transit. This approach is consistent with the Wasatch Choice Vision and helps residents living throughout the region enjoy a high quality of life through enhanced mobility, better air quality, and improved economic opportunities. Source.

Utah’s Inland Port development has included air quality impacts as a key initiative to address through increased infrastructure development. The Inland Port Authority will use funds to encourage, incentivize, or require development with reduced environmental impact and to develop and implement zero-emissions logistics. Additionally, the Authority will fund and support a community enhancement program to address the impacts of development and inland port uses on adjacent communities. Source.

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: Utah 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: November 2022

Transit Funding List All

Utah’s comprehensive transportation funding bill, passed in 2015, allows counties to implement a 0.25 percent local sales tax to fund locally identified transportation needs. 40% of all revenues collected using this mechanism must be awarded to the county transit agency.

In 2020, additional legislation was passed that enhances the coordination of transportation, housing, and land use at transit-oriented development sites and modifies transportation funding; Utah Department of Transportation’s Road Usage Charge program; local option transportation sales taxes; class B&C road funds; transportation network companies; and tollways. (Link).

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

Until December 2020, taxpayers are eligible for tax credits for the purchase of qualifying electric heavy-duty vehicles. Vehicles purchased in 2018 are eligible for a $20,000 tax credit. The tax credit amount is gradually reduced from $25,000 to $15,000 by 2020. There are also tax credits available for qualifying clean fuel vehicles purchased prior to 2016.

Utah has two Vehicle Repair and Replacement Programs(VRRAP),  one for the Cache valley  area (Cache County, UT and Franklin, ID) and the other is for the Northern Wasatch Front area (Box Elder, Davis, Tooele, Salt Lake, and Weber Counties). Through the VRRAP, low-income individuals that live, work, or go to school in an eligible county that have a vehicle that would fail an emissions inspection will be offered financial assistance to either repair the vehicle or replace it with a newer, cleaner one. The Cache Valley and Northern Wasatch Front programs offer $5,000 and $5,500 respectively for vehicle replacements and both offer $1,000 for repair costs. Both are funded by the Department of Air Quality through a federal Targeted Airshed Grant and are administered by the Bear River Health Department.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Equitable Access to TransportationList All

The Utah Housing Corp prioritizes the development of projects located within 1/3 mile of walking distance along public access to an existing or currently under construction Trax or FrontRunner stop/station but not bus lines. They also includes bus routes that are considered to be "core" routes that tend to not change over time.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

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

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

Last Reviewed: June 2019