Gov. Phil Bryant continues to advance Mississippi's energy economy and recently signed into law four pieces of energy efficiency legislation. The measures aim to make state government energy consumption more efficient so savings can be directed to other priorities.
Gov. Bryant has made expanding Mississippi's energy economy a top priority for his administration, and the bills are part of his comprehensive energy development strategy, Energy Works: Mississippi's Energy Roadmap. His Energy Works initiatives include increasing energy efficiency in state government, reducing barriers to energy production and developing opportunities in the energy supply chain.
"These measures will empower state agencies to implement energy management plans that can lower energy usage and lead to cost savings," Gov. Bryant said. "We are also adopting statewide commercial energy building codes and providing a mechanism for municipalities and school districts to utilize alternative fuel vehicles in their fleets.
"These new energy policies have the potential to save significant taxpayer dollars and increase Mississippi's competitiveness. As we work to attract new industries, these measures will further position our state as leader in the energy sector."
Legislation signed into law includes:
HB 1296 Mississippi Energy Sustainability and Development Act
-Restructures and provides direction for the state's energy office, the Mississippi Development Authority's Energy and Natural Resources Division (MDA ENR) and provides the office with the tools to promote the state's energy resources and encourage greater energy efficiency within state agencies.
HB 1281 Energy Efficiency Standards for Commercial Buildings
-Increases the energy code standard for commercial buildings to meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-2010 standard. Mississippi is the first state in the Southeast, and the third state in the U.S., to adopt the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 code standard for commercial buildings.
HB 1266 Enhanced Building Codes for State-Owned Buildings
-Requires all major facility projects overseen by the Department of Finance and Administration for State-owned buildings to be constructed to the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standard.
HB 1685 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Revolving Loan Fund
-Creates a $2.75 million zero-interest revolving loan fund, to be administered by MDA ENR, which will allow municipalities and school districts to borrow funds at no interest for the cost of purchasing or converting vehicles to natural gas or propane and for the cost of infrastructure required in the fueling process.
"Managing taxpayer dollars more effectively through efficient use of existing state buildings, higher design standards for new state facility projects, and alternative fuel vehicles will free up funding better spent on other state priorities," said Karen Bishop, director of the Mississippi Development Authority's Energy and Natural Resources Division.
"Adopting statewide commercial energy building codes for new construction and major renovations saves money, improves and standardizes building practices in commercial design and construction, and provides Mississippians more comfortable, energy-efficient buildings. Governor Bryant's leadership is developing Mississippi's energy sector, saving money, and using common-sense solutions to make our state more energy efficient," said Bishop.
To learn more about energy initiatives in Mississippi, visit www.mississippi.org/energy-works.
To learn more about the benefits of a Mississippi location, visit www.mississippi.org/locate-in-mississippi/.