energy efficiency

City Energy Standards Compliance Clock Ticking for Building Owners


Public and private-sector building owners within the City of St. Louis have 12 months remaining of a 36-month deadline to prepare their facilities’ action plans with regard to smart energy usage.

Under the conditions of a Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) ordinance passed by the St. Louis Board of Alderman in 2020 and signed by former Mayor Lyda Krewson, all buildings totaling 50,000 square feet or more are required to benchmark their energy usage and work toward improving that score. Beginning in 2024, analysis and evaluation of buildings’ total energy usage will occur. In 2025, a modest fine-based enforcement will begin. The program will continue forward on a five-year cycle – three years to make energy efficiency improvements, one year of analysis/evaluation and one year of enforcement for those structures who don’t achieve their mandated improvement requirements.

Chris Ruth, mid-Missouri controls manager in the building automation division at Integrated Facility Services, serves as a board member for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Missouri Gateway Chapter. Ruth says that although the city’s fines aren’t steep, building owners who do not meet their required improvement levels could also be affected in terms of occupancy and construction permits.

“St. Louis is the 4th city in the U.S. to sign these standards into law and the first city in the Midwest to adopt them in a concerted effort to mandate significant reductions in building energy use,” Ruth said. “It’s an overall approach toward being more energy conscious. Nationwide, buildings use 40 percent of total energy consumption, with 40 percent of that consumed by heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Making buildings more affordable through energy efficiency measures, and in turn making utility costs more affordable – particularly with under-performing buildings in underserved areas – is the focus on these energy standards.”

For more details on St. Louis’ BEPS, see

Missouri Earns “Most Improved” in Energy Efficiency


Missouri is one of the three most improved states in the 10th annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).


Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said: “Missouri is proud to be among the most improved states for energy efficiency this year. Our state energy plan recognizes the vital role that energy efficiency plays in helping Missouri citizens and businesses manage their budgets. Going forward, Missouri will continue to work towards a more sustainable and secure energy future and create next-generation jobs in this fast-growing industry.” 


Two other states joined Missouri in the Most Improved category: Maine and Michigan.


“Governors, legislators, regulators, businesses, and citizens are increasingly recognizing that energy efficiency is a critical state resource that keeps money in the local economy,” said Steven Nadel, executive director, ACEEE. “The past year has been an exciting time for energy efficiency, with several states strengthening efficiency policies and programs. States are spurring efficiency investment through advancements in building energy codes, transportation planning, and leading by example in their own facilities and fleets. These investments reap large benefits, giving businesses, governments, and consumers more control over how and when they use energy.” 


The three “M” states still have a ways to go to reach the top, however. California and Massachusetts tied for first place. The balance of the top 10 consisted of Vermont (#3), Rhode Island (#4), Connecticut and New York (tied for #5), Oregon (#7), Washington state (#8), Maryland (#9), and Minnesota (#10).


The states most in need of improvement: Louisiana (#47); Kansas (#48); South Dakota (#49), Wyoming (#50), and North Dakota (#51). 

The 2016 ACEEE State Scorecard zeroes in on six policy areas in which states pursue energy efficiency: utility and public benefits programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes; combined heat and power (CHP) policies; state government–led initiatives around energy efficiency; and appliance and equipment standards. Here are the leaders in each category:

* Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont are the top states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies. A total of 26 states enforce and adequately fund energy savings targets to drive investments in utility-sector energy efficiency programs. The states with the most ambitious targets include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Arizona. New Hampshire is the most recent state to adopt energy savings goals for its utilities. 

* California, Massachusetts, and New York are out in front on energy-efficient transportation policies. California’s requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions have prompted several strategies for smart growth. Massachusetts promoted smart growth development in cities and municipalities through state-delivered financial incentives. New York is one of the few states in the nation to have a vehicle-miles-traveled reduction target. 

* Several states—including Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Washington—join California and Illinois in achieving top scores for building energy codes and compliance this year. A growing number of states have taken major steps toward the adoption of the most recent DOE-certified codes for both residential and commercial new construction. These include Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

* Massachusetts, Maryland, and California score highest for their combined heat and power policies.

* California, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Tennessee set the pace in state government-focused initiatives. 

* California continues to lead the nation in setting appliance standards, having adopted standards for more than 100 products. Within the past year, it became the first state to adopt standards for LEDs and small-diameter directional lamps, and it also updated its standards for HVAC air filters, fluorescent dimming ballasts, and heat pump water chilling packages.

States continue to be standouts in other regards when it comes to energy efficiency. New York posted an increase in electricity savings. Earlier in the year, the Empire State also completed major updates to its state building energy codes. Utah and Tennessee made similar gains thanks to updates to state building energy codes this year. Arkansas committed to extend its energy efficiency goals and gained points for state government-led policies, having recently closed its first commercial PACE project.

Weston Berg, research analyst and lead State Scorecard author, ACEEE, said: “Over the last 10 years, we have seen that many if not most innovative policies and programs that promote energy efficiency originate at the state level. As a cost-effective compliance option, efficiency is a valuable addition to any state’s policy toolkit, saving money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating jobs, and reducing the environmental impact of energy use.”

Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, US Department of Energy (DOE), said: “States oversee many policies and programs that unlock efficiency’s many benefits—economic competitiveness, more jobs, an improved environment. The Scorecard shows states are diving deeper, pushing further, innovating, and making tremendous progress on efficiency.” 


ACEEE allocated 50 possible points to states among policy areas: 20 points to utility and public benefits program and policy metrics; 10 points for transportation policies and programs; seven points to building energy codes; four points to improved CHP policies; seven points for state government-led initiatives; and two points going to state appliance and equipment standards. 

Policy information for The 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reflects the state of play on energy efficiency as of the end of July 2016.

To download the full State Energy Efficiency Scorecard online visit: