State and Local Building Efficiency Regulations & Policies: Miami

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.

A cultural mecca, with its white-sand beaches and exciting nightlife, Miami is a hotspot for vacationers and locals. Yet rising temperatures and 25 dangerous heat days per year make it increasingly challenging to enjoy, especially in the summer months.1 By 2050 the number of dangerous heat days could increase to over 100 days per year.2 And Miami’s dense population, subtropical climate, and proximity to the coast make it especially susceptible to storms and flooding.

Climate change is a very real and present threat for this city and its inhabitants. To help mitigate the causes of climate change, the city established a goal to reach carbon neutrality/net-zero emissions by 2050 and developed a comprehensive GHG reduction plan. However, mitigation efforts are not sufficient. Climate change adaptation and resilience are the ‘names of the game’ in Miami. Responding to the impacts of climate change and preparing for them are now higher priorities than trying to prevent them from worsening.  

In May 2019, Miami partnered with the City Energy Project and launched its brand new Resilient 305 initiative. The plan consists of 59 action items and only one recognizes the important role that building energy efficiency plays in mitigating carbon emissions and making buildings more resilient to the impact of severe weather events. Action Item #17, “Building Efficiency 305″, sets the goal to increase the existing building stock performance and meet energy and water reduction goals.3 These strategies are necessary to reduce Miami’s carbon footprint and lessen the rate of climate change for this vulnerable city.

We’ve compiled the key building energy requirements, policies, and plans for Miami Dade. For more information on voluntary incentive programs throughout Miami and across Florida, please see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.  

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 FloridaExecutive Order 07-126Energy Efficiency (State Agencies and Departments)Establishes requirements and goals to decrease ghg emissions across all state agencies and departments under the direction of the governor.  The greenhouse gas emissions reduction target includes a 10% reduction from 2007 levels by 2012, a 25% reduction by 2017, and a 40% reduction by 20252007
State of FloridaExecutive Order 07-126Energy Efficiency (State-owned buildings)Directs the Florida Department of Management Services to set Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standards for the state’s new and existing state-owned buildings. 2007
The State of FloridaExecutive Order 07-126Energy Efficiency (State-owned, New Buildings)Directs the Department of Management Services to adopt the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction (LEED-NC) standards for all new state buildings. The Department is directed to strive for Platinum Level certification, the highest possible certification, for any new building constructed for or by the State of Florida.2007
State of FloridaExecutive Order 07-126Energy Efficiency (Existing Buildings, State-owned buildings)The Department of Management Services must immediately implement the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) for all buildings currently owned and operated by the Department on behalf of client agencies.2007
State of FloridaExecutive Order 07-126Energy Efficiency (Existing Buildings, State-owned buildings)Before entering into new lease agreements, all state agencies and departments under the direction of the Governor must ensure that the buildings meet Energy Star building standards.2007
State of FloridaExecutive Order 07-126Energy Efficiency (Existing Buildings, State-owned buildings)State agencies also must lease ENERGY STAR-rated buildings and employ energy saving performance contracts to upgrade existing facilities.2007
State of FloridaHouse Bill 7117 passed modifying Florida Statutes Section 255.257Energy BenchmarkingState businesses greater than 5,000 square feet must meet reporting requirements on energy use. State agencies must collect energy usage and cost data, but it does not specify a tracking tool.2012
State of FloridaExecutive Order 07-126TransportationDepartment of Management Services to only approve the purchase of new vehicles with the greatest fuel efficiency in a given class, as required for that vehicle to minimize emissions of greenhouse gases.2007
State of FloridaThe Florida Building Energy-Efficiency Rating Act (Florida Statute 553.990, adopted by DCA Rule 9B-60)Energy Efficiency (Existing buildings)The Florida Building Energy Efficiency Rating Act established a voluntary statewide energy efficiency rating system that allows prospective home/building owners to compare similar homes on their energy use.  The score is also aligned with the national Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score and can therefore qualify homeowners for a number of special mortgage programs that offer lower interest rates, lower closing costs, and other benefits. The score applies to commercial and residential buildings and those proposed for acquisition for public use through lease or purchase and for existing public buildings undergoing renovation.2006
State of FloridaFlorida Energy Conservation and Sustainable Buildings ActEnergy Efficiency (New Construction and Major Renovation, State Buildings)Directs state agencies to incorporate sustainable building practices into the design, construction, and renovation of state buildings. 
Through this act, the Department of Management Services (DMS) also developed the Florida Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Program (Chapter 60D-4, Florida Administrative Code), which pertains to the evaluation of life-cycle energy performance for alternative building designs. 
2008
State of FloridaFlorida Energy Conservation and Sustainable Buildings ActEnergy Efficiency (Existing Buildings, State-owned buildings)FDMS developed the State Energy Management Plan (SEMP), which is a comprehensive plan to help state agencies reduce building energy consumption and costs and includes requirements including: energy audit procedures and measures to reduce energy consumption.. See example State Energy Management Plan Annual Summary Report here). 
2008
Miami-Dade, FLSustainable Buildings Program

Specific Guidelines for County Buildings: Order 8-8
Energy Efficiency (New Construction, County Buildings)For county buildings, all new construction over 50,000 square feet is required to attain LEED Silver designation, and all renovations must attain LEED Certified designation.2007

Miami-Dade, FL
Section 3.13 of the Miami 21 Zoning CodeEnergy Efficiency (New Construction)All new Buildings of more than 50,000 square feet of Habitable Rooms or Habitable space in the T5, T6, CI and CS zones shall be at a minimum certified as Silver by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards or equivalent standards adopted or approved by the City.  
Miami, FLBuilding Efficiency 305 (BE305) Energy BenchmarkingThe City of Miami is a partner with Miami Dade County on the Building Efficiency 305 (BE305) initiative which is part of the City Energy Project. The program requires public and private buildings over 20K square feet to report and share publicly their energy usage data via EnergyStar Portfolio Manager. The program has a phased implementation plan but the City intends to have all City-owned properties 20,000 sq ft have their data publicly available by 2020. Miami is also working to pass a benchmarking ordinance which would require buildings to benchmark in 2021 and data would be publicly disclosed in 2022. 2019
Miami, FLGreen Fleet Ordinance (Sections 33-122.5 and 30-423 of the Miami Dade County (Code))TransportationRequires fuel efficiency to be considered during city vehicle purchases and eliminating unnecessary vehicles. As part of the Electrification Coalition, the city will consider electric vehicles for future fleet purchases. and plans to adopt an EV infrastructure and procurement policy to electrify 100% of public vehicle fleet excluding emergency vehicles. 2019
1.  https://www.miamigov.com/Government/ClimateChange/Climate-Change-Impacts
2. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article89216662.html
3. The BE305 Hub is an online public interface for the program and was launched in 2020 along with the BE305 Challenge.

Key Sources: