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The Utility of the Future Pt 2: Innovation in Missouri

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The Midwest has a strong track record of creativity and innovation: sliced bread, improv comedy, the Model T and, best of all, Post-It notes! And now we see that same spirit of innovation being pursued within the utility sector. In my July 18 blog post, I alluded to the Missouri Public Service Commission’s (PSC) inquiry into emerging issues in utility regulation. Missouri is one of four Midwest states that have, or are undertaking, “utility 2.0” or “utility of the future” exploratory initiatives. In April, the PSC issued an order (EW-2017-0245) opening a working case to explore five emerging issues: The commission’s role in the installation of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and topics such as privacy concerns, AMI opt-out…

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It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times (for Data Wonks)

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As we hit mid-summer, I begin to look forward to the things I love about the fall: jackets and sweaters, my kids going back to school and four months of being up to my ears in utility data. This is the time of year that I plan for one of my most challenging annual tasks - updating MEEA’s tracking data to include the latest round of utility annual reporting on energy efficiency spending and savings. It's a labor of love that occupies much of my time September through January so we can release new estimates at our annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference in February. Why, you ask, is this process so challenging and time consuming? It used to be due to difficulty finding dockets, but these days, the biggest headaches have to do with…

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Building Standards Help Lincoln, NE Go Green

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On July 12, Lincoln Nebraska Mayor Chris Beutler released a draft environmental plan highlighting opportunities for the city and residents to meet their sustainability goals. Building on the city’s 2009 Cleaner Greener Lincoln Initiative, this new action plan outlines the city’s progress in five categories—Energy, Land Use, Transportation, Waste and Water – and recommends strategies to make Lincoln a leader in environmental stewardship. Reducing Pollution & Saving Money with Energy Codes One of the action strategies within the Energy chapter recommends “improving the energy efficiency of Lincoln’s new homes and buildings.” To achieve these efficiency improvements, the city indicated they will work with the homebuilding industry and…

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