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Natural resources in Mississippi

Our Energy and Natural Resources Division works to create comprehensive energy policies, ensuring Mississippi is well-positioned for growth in the industry. Additionally, the division facilitates and promotes energy programs for the state–aiming to strengthen energy security, competitiveness, and efficiency through strategic planning, program development and policy initiatives.

The division assists industries and commercial businesses, state agencies,  institutions and local governments statewide in developing strategies for reducing energy costs and improving efficiency in both operations and buildings. Technical and financial assistance are available to Mississippi businesses  and organizations actively working towards becoming energy efficient and using renewable energy.

Mississippi is proud to be a leader in working towards renewable, clean, and efficient energy usage–including biomass and other renewable resources–and is positioned to continue leading and promoting change in the energy industry.  Efficient and reliable energy supports an economy that creates jobs and fosters energy security.

 

Quick Links

  • Government Facilities
  • Educational Programs
  • Energy Efficiency Program
  • Building Energy Codes
  • Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)

Government and public facilities

Energy performance contracting

Section 31-7-14 of the Mississippi Code authorizes public entities to “enter into an energy services contract, energy performance contract or shared-savings contract” designed to finance cost-saving energy efficiency projects. These contracts provide for building improvements with little or no upfront capital costs and  are leveraged through future energy and operational savings achieved from the improvements.  These projects typically include energy efficient technologies, lighting, energy management controls, HVAC, renewable technologies, and other energy saving measures.

Energy and Natural Resources Division (MDA-ENRD) maintains a list of energy service providers that are on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) list of Qualified Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and possess a Certificate of Responsibility issued by the Mississippi State Board of Contractors.  Public entities may procure services from any qualified energy service provider on this list.  Companies interested in operating in Mississippi should contact MDA-ENRD at 601-359-3449 for more information.

List of Mississippi’s Pre-Qualified Energy Service Providers

Entities are required to notify MDA-ENRD in writing that it plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for one of the contracts described in Section 31-7-14.  Please direct all notifications to:

Dr. Jason Pope, Director
MDA-Energy & Natural Resources Division
Post Office Box 849
Jackson, MS  39205-0849

ENRD provides information and resources on procuring an energy savings performance contract. Model documents and other resources can be found at one of the following links:

Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit
Access to resources and information compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on best practices that building owners can use to successfully complete projects.

Energy Savings Performance Contracting – DOE’s State and Local Solutions Center
Website from DOE provides reports and resources on developing an effective ESPC program.

Understanding Your ESPC Savings Guarantee
Various aspects of savings guarantees in energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) are explained in this guide.

eProjecteXpress
A free, secure, online database developed by DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to document and track project data, perform measurement and verification, and demonstrate the ongoing value of ESPC projects in the municipal and state government, university/college, school, and hospital market.

The Business Case for Conducting Measurement and Verification in State and Local Government Energy Savings Performance Contract Projects
Report brief issued by the U.S. Department of Energy explaining the importance of using measurement and verification (M&V) processes to track if guaranteed savings have been achieved.

Foundations of Energy Savings Performance Contracting in Mississippi Training Video
Full Video from our ESPC event on September 14, 2023.

ESPC Campaign

We are excited to announce that we have joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Campaign. ESPC is a proven budget-neutral approach to implementing facility upgrades that are paid for over time with guaranteed energy, water and cost savings. The ESPC Campaign is a voluntary initiative to help states, local governments, schools and other public-sector organizations nationwide modernize buildings, address deferred maintenance, save on energy and water bills, support local economic development and meet efficiency and environmental targets and other lead-by-example goals through the use of performance contracting.

We are proud to work with DOE and the network of ESPC Campaign partners to promote, share and leverage best-practice approaches for performance contracting and to collectively achieve $1 billion in measured and verified savings.

To learn more about the ESPC Campaign and to see if it might be a good fit for your organization, visit the ESPC Campaign website or contact ESPCcampaign@hq.doe.gov.

State Energy Management Program

The Energy and Natural Resources Division provides technical assistance and training on building energy codes, data gathering, energy audit procedures, employee education, energy consumption reduction techniques and more to assist state-owned facilities with cutting energy costs and formulating a more efficient future.

Through the State Energy Management Program, state agencies are required by law to report energy metrics to the division. Providing this data gives state agencies access to online databases, video tutorials and in-person training opportunities.

Contact the office

SolSmart Program

Helping Local Governments Become Solar Energy Leaders

WHAT is SolSmart?

SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that helps local governments and regional organizations encourage solar market growth. The Energy & Natural Resources Division is a SolSmart State Partner committed to assisting interested Mississippi communities with a SolSmart designation.  As of 2023, 500 cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations have achieved SolSmart designation, sending a signal that they are “open for solar business.”  All local governments and regional organizations in the United States are eligible to participate in SolSmart, regardless of their level of solar expertise. The reward is a prestigious designation of SolSmart Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Designation Levels

WHY join SolSmart?

When communities join SolSmart, they are connected to free technical assistance to help adopt and implement nationally recognized best practices. Communities can utilize the SolSmart program to:

  • Support energy resilience and local power generation.
  • Achieve local energy and sustainability goals.
  • Increase jobs in the clean energy sector and spur business development.
  • Support best practices in permitting and inspection processes among member communities.
  • Reduce and stabilize energy costs for homeowners and businesses.
  • Offer community education and engagement activities.
  • Create equitable and inclusive programs that enable all residents in the community to access the benefits of clean energy!

SolSmart is a national program led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

Learn more about the SolSmart program at SolSmart.org.

Energy education programs

Activities and programs to continue the conversation on energy conservation.

MDA offers programs designed to raise awareness about energy, physical sciences and conservation efforts, with age-specific programs for everyone from students to the general public. The activities support the division’s mission to strengthen Mississippi’s energy workforce.

The Mississippi Regional Middle School Science Bowl is a collaborative effort between the division and the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science to encourage student involvement in STEM by hosting regional annual math and science competitions.

Mississippi’s Need Program is a partnership between the division and the National Energy Educational Development Project to provide energy education and professional development workshops for state educators. Educators can then use these trainings in the classroom to encourage critical thinking and learning among students to better prepare them for STEM careers.

Energy Day is celebrated each year in October as part of Energy Awareness Month. The annual event features innovative and interactive exhibits focused on energy resources, science, careers, environmental awareness and technology for students, educators and consumers.

Mississippi industrial energy efficiency program

MIEEP is designed to assist state manufacturers with making energy-efficient upgrades to facilities.

The division is issuing a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Mississippi Industrial Energy Efficiency Program (MIEEP), which is made possible through State Energy Program funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. Grants from the program range between $15,000 and $50,000. Interested organizations should review the application and presentation for more details.

MIEEP Presentation is available for download

Building Energy Codes

Advancing Energy Efficiency Through Energy Codes

Energy codes are regulations that establish the minimum energy efficiency requirements for new and renovated buildings. These codes, which are a subset of building codes, ensure that construction practices adhere to energy-saving measures. There are two types of energy codes: commercial and residential. Commercial energy codes apply to non-residential buildings such as offices, hospitals, schools, and other business establishments. Residential codes apply to buildings where people live, such as houses, apartments, and condominiums.

Model energy codes are developed nationally by the International Energy Code Council (IECC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineering (ASHRAE). These serve as templates or benchmarks, which are then adopted and enforced at the state and local levels. The process allows states to make amendments to the code to fit the needs of the region best. Energy code compliance offers numerous benefits, including improved building efficiency, reduced energy consumption and costs, increased grid resiliency, and enhanced occupant health and comfort.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is tasked with adopting energy code standards for buildings, except low-rise residential buildings, in accordance with Standard 90.1-2016 of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), for building construction, standards for computer-based energy management systems, standards for systems for co-generation of heating, cooling and electricity, and standards for design to use passive solar energy concepts, in order to promote the efficient use of energy.

Miss. Code Ann. § 57-39-21.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

Curious about what inefficient equipment in your poultry houses is costing you in energy? The Mississippi Development Authority may be able to help. MDA received a grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program to help 15 farms cover the cost of a full farm energy audit. The audits will determine where their energy is being expended, in turn enabling them to make the necessary improvements to save energy and improve their bottom line.

Certified energy auditors will review the farms’ energy consumption, facilities equipment and run times during an on-site visit to determine opportunities for energy savings. Audit findings could qualify the operations for additional USDA grants. Seventy-five percent of the energy audit cost will be paid for by the grant, and the remaining 25% will be the responsibility of the farms’ owners/operators.

The energy audits will take a detailed look at the energy-consuming equipment on the farms and break down how much energy is being consumed by the equipment each year. The energy audit also will provide recommendations for improvements the farms can make to decrease energy use, thus saving the farms in energy costs. In addition, energy audits include information about potential incentives like rebates and various grants and low-interest loans that are available for the various improvements.

To learn more, contact Bethany Reinholtz with GDS Associates at 1-800-441-8525 or submit a request online at https://info.gdsassociates.com/agricultural-energy-audit. GDS is working with MDA to administer the program and will discuss your operation to ensure an energy audit will benefit your farm. You also may contact MDA Energy and Natural Resources Division Program Manager Michael Cooley at (601) 359-9402 or mcooley@mississippi.org.

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)

Under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), funding is available from the U.S. Department of Energy for additional energy-efficiency and resilience projects in Mississippi communities, businesses and local governments. Please check back for program updates.

Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid (40101(d))

Mississippi expects to receive over $30,000,000 in funding over the next five years through the Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid (40101(d)) formula grants to states. In September 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Mississippi $12,084,731 to fund activities that will modernize the electric grid and reduce impacts due to extreme weather and natural disasters. The availability of these funds will ensure the reliability of the utility sector infrastructure so that communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity.

These funds will be issued competitively through sub-awards to Mississippi’s electric utilities  for technology applications, equipment installation, hardening measures and other eligible activities designed to reduce the likelihood and consequences of disruptive events. Eligible activities include weatherization technologies and equipment, vegetation and fuel load management, fire-resistant technologies, monitoring, and control technologies and hardening of power lines.

State Energy Program – Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded Mississippi $5,487,350 for the State Energy Program, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Funds will be made available for projects that address energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative fuels and energy security. Proposed activities include matching grants for industries, technology deployment and educational outreach over a five-year period.

Home Energy Rebates

On August 16, 2022, the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law, and includes $8.8 billion in funding for consumer home energy rebate programs to be administered by individual states.  The U.S. Department of Energy released the rebate program requirements and application instructions for states in July 2023.  Mississippi expects to apply for and receive over $52 million in formula funds for the Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates Program or HEEHRA.  Under this voluntary program, low to moderate-income households may be eligible for consumer rebates for home energy efficient upgrades and/or appliances.

Over $52 million in funding is also being made available to the state of Mississippi for the Home Efficiency Rebate Program (HOMES). This program will provide access to rebates for efficiency upgrades and retrofits in residential homes and multi-family buildings. Home Energy Rebates funds are not yet available.  The deadline for state applications to the U.S. Department of Energy is January 31, 2025.  Households currently looking for home energy retrofit assistance may be eligible for other federal programs, including tax credits or the Weatherization Assistance Program.

Regarding retroactive rebate eligibility, please check the DOE Retroactivity Checklist for Consumers for the latest information. Home Efficiency Rebates (50121) Retroactivity Fact Sheet and Eligibility Checklists (energy.gov)

As it becomes available, additional information for these funding opportunities will be provided.

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