State and Local Building Efficiency Regulations & Policies: Michigan

In this series, we’re exploring state and local building efficiency regulations to give you a bird’s-eye view of the policies that may impact your portfolio.

While the Great Lakes State is not known for legislating robust building efficiency requirements, it is known for its longstanding utility-based energy efficiency programs. A key set of policies is its mandatory Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS), which requires utilities to achieve a certain percentage of energy savings based on the amount of electricity or natural gas sold in the state (see more details in table below).

In addition to the EERS, the Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act requires utilities to develop energy waste reduction programs to help customers save on energy costs. Notably, for almost a decade, Michigan’s utilities have helped customers save almost $6 billion in electric costs and close to $2 billion in natural gas costs

In September 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Directive 2020 – 10 Building a Carbon-Neutral Michigan, which calls for a state-wide 28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions against a 2005 baseline and economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. To ensure progress towards these goals, the directive also mandates that new construction state-owned-and-operated buildings must achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

All of this begs the question: how will Michigan meet these sweeping goals, especially in the absence of top-down efficiency requirements? Will its voluntary energy reduction and incentive programs garner enough participation to make meaningful progress towards its state-wide targets? The action plan for state-wide greenhouse gas emissions is due at the end of the year, so we will soon find out. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, visit Michigan’s Public Service Commission Website to learn more about utility energy waste reduction programs. For a full list of incentive programs, tax credits and rebates, please refer to the Database of State Incentive and Renewable Energy Programs.

Learn more about how Aquicore makes it easy to collect the energy data needed to comply with local, city, and state benchmarking regulations and some incentive programs.

State/City/CountyNameType of Reg/Policy/InitiativeDescriptionEffective Date
State of MichiganBuilding Code StandardsNew Construction, Major RenovationsBuilding codes for commercial and residential are as follows: Commercial: 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1.2013; Residential: 2015 IECC with AmendmentCommercial effective 2017, Residential effective 2016
State of MichiganExecutive Directive No. 2007-22Energy Efficiency (New Construction for State-owned Buildings)Supersedes EO 2005-4 and preceding EO’s. All state-funded new construction and major renovation projects over $1,000,000 must be built in accordance with LEED guidelines. Efficiency considerations and life cycle costs must be done when purchasing appliances and must specify Energy Star certified equipment, when available.  2007
State of MichiganClean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act (Public Acts 341 and 342 of 2016) Renewable EnergyFor electric and gas providers, the law requires continued annual energy savings reductions, based on total annual retail sales of the prior year, of 1% per year for electric providers and 0.75% per year for gas providers. However, recent IRPs for DTE and Consumers Energy have approved savings targets ramping up to 2% by 2021.2008 Acts 341 and 342 added in 2016
State of MichiganEnergy Optimization Standard SB 438Renewable EnergyRequires the state’s investor-owned utilities, alternative retail suppliers, electric cooperatives, and municipal electric utilities to generate 15% of their retail electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2021.Effective April, 2017
Grand Rapids, MILEED for Municipal Buildings ​​Commission Resolution No. 600-16Energy Efficiency (New Construction for Municipal Buildings)All construction and renovation projects involving municipal buildings larger than 10,000 square feet and a cost of $1 million or more receive LEED certification. The city has the most LEED buildings per capita in the US.
State of MichiganExecutive Directive 2007-22 2005 Energy Benchmarking (State Occupied Existing Buildings)Buildings occupied by state employees must track and report their annual energy use using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.2005
Detroit, MichiganDRAFT Energy Benchmarking OrdinanceEnergy Benchmarking Drafted Energy Benchmarking Ordinance for the CityIntroduced to the City Council, not yet approved.
Ann Arbor, MichiganDRAFT Energy Benchmarking OrdinanceEnergy BenchmarkingDrafted Energy Benchmarking Ordinance for large multifamily and commercial buildings since late 2020.Introduced to the City Council, not yet approved.

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