The Florida Energy Conservation and Sustainable Buildings Act requires the use of energy-efficient equipment and design, and solar energy devices for heating and cooling state buildings where life-cycle cost analysis determines that solar-energy systems will be cost-effective over the life of the building. Florida law also requires that all new educational facilities include passive solar design. Florida mandates that schools with hot water demands exceeding 1,000 gallons per day must include a solar water heating system that provides at least 65% of hot water needs whenever economically feasible.
In June 2008, Florida enacted legislation (HB 7135) mandating that buildings constructed and financed by the state must comply with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes rating system, the Florida Green Building Coalition standards, or a nationally recognized, high-performance green building rating system. To achieve this mandate, the Department of Management Services was directed to adopt the LEED standards for New Construction (LEED-NC) for all new buildings.
Executive Order 07-126, signed in July 2007, established requirements and goals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions across all state agencies and departments under the direction of the governor, and to increase the energy efficiency of state buildings. 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 2025.
In 2010, Florida Statute § 255.2575 declared that all county, municipal, school district, water management district, state university, community college, and Florida state court buildings shall be constructed to comply with a sustainable building rating system or a national model green building code. This statute is applicable to all architectural plans which are commenced after July 1, 2008.
Florida Statute § 255.2575 also defines workforce training program through the St. Petersburg College, and other Florida community colleges. This curriculum is intended to ensure that green building rating system certifying agents (accredited professionals who possess a knowledge and understanding of green building processes, practices, and principles) are available to carry out Statute 255.2575 building requirements.
In July of 2013, SB 1594 empowered municipalities, schools districts, higher education institutions, and community colleges to enter into performance-based contracts for energy management systems, various energy conservation measures, and renewable energy generation aimed at reducing electric consumption. These contracts must undergo investment-grade audits and must have a payback period of 20 years or less.