City of Columbia - Renewable Portfolio Standard

June 24, 2016


In November 2004, voters in Columbia, Missouri, approved* a proposal to adopt a local renewable portfolio standard (RPS). (The state renewable electricity standard adopted by ballot initiative in November 2008 does not apply to municipal utilities such as Columbia Water & Light.) The city's municipal utility Columbia Water & Light is required to generate or purchase 30% of its electricity from eligible renewable energy resources by the end of 2028. Nearly 7% of all energy sources for 2013 were renewable according to the most recent renewable energy report.

The goal was revised in 2014 to increase the 2017 goal to 15% from 10%, the 2022 goal from 15% to 25%, and to set a goal of 30% by December 31, 2028.

Eligible Technologies

Eligible renewable energy sources are “wind power, solar energy, bio-energy sources or other renewable sources which meet the environmental criteria approved by the city council after review by the environment and energy commission and the water and light advisory board,” including biomass, hydropower, geothermal power.


The city is required to generate or purchase electricity generated from eligible renewable energy resources at the following levels:

  • 2% by December 31, 2007;
  • 5% by December 31, 2012;
  • 15% by December 31, 2017;
  • 25% by December 31, 2022; and
  • 30% by December 31, 2028.


By February 1 of each year, the Columbia Water & Light Department must issue a renewable energy plan, detailing a proposal for how the city intends to comply with the RPS ordinance during the following year. The plan explains the city's due diligence in pursuing renewable energy opportunities and detail all cost assumptions and related utility rate calculations, except with regard to confidential information that may be withheld pursuant to state law. It is then be reviewed by the Columbia Environment and Energy Commission and the Columbia Water & Light Advisory Board, and submitted to the Columbia City Council for approval following a public hearing.

Cost Mitigation Measures

The standard will be met to the extent possible without increasing electric rates by more than 3% as a result of the standard. (Columbia Water & Light spent only 42.8% of its cost limit in 2015, and exceeded the 5% renewable goal by generating 6.82% of electricity from renewable sources.)

* The RPS was approved by 78% of voters, with no organized opposition.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Missouri
Incentive Type: Renewables Portfolio Standard
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Geothermal Electric
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Thermal Process Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Hydroelectric
  • Landfill Gas
Standard: 30% by December 31, 2028
Technology Minimum: N/A
Compliance Multipliers: N/A
REC Lifetime: N/A
Credit Trading/Tracking System: N/A
Alternative Compliance Payment: N/A


Name: Columbia Code of Ordinances, § 27-106
Date Enacted: 11/02/2004 (subsequently amended 01/06/2014)


Name: Public Information - CWL Power Supply Task Force
Organization: Columbia Water and Light
Address: PO Box 6015
Columbia MO 65205
Phone: (573) 874-7325

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.