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What Do the Midterm Elections Mean for Energy Efficiency?

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The 2018 midterm elections brought significant voter participation, with turnout breaking levels not seen since the 1960s. Nationally, this enthusiasm shifted power in the U.S. House of Representatives back to the Democrats, while Republicans increased their control of the U.S. Senate. A total of nine House seats in the Midwest flipped to Democratic-control—in addition to two seats in Minnesota changing from Democratic to Republican. The real shift in the Midwest, however, is seen at the governor level: of the seven governors that flipped to Democrats nationally, four of them were in the Midwest. Due to flipped seats and term limits, there will be seven new governors in our region. This shift will have significant impacts on…

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Energy Efficiency is a Win-Win. So Why Does the Affordable Clean Energy Rule Ignore It?

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In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized their much-anticipated Clean Power Plan (CPP). This rule, proposed by the Obama Administration, aimed to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel power plants by 32% by 2030. The CPP set the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants and allowed states flexibility to comply with the emission targets. The “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule is the proposed replacement to the CPP by the Trump Administration. While the CPP prudently incorporated energy efficiency, ACE largely ignores it, undermining the economic, environmental and health benefits energy efficiency offers. What are the Benefits of Energy Efficiency? The CPP…

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Smart Discussion on Smart Grids

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As more and more distributed resources come onto the grid, we are coming full circle back to something that looks more like Edison’s original distributed energy system, after a century of Samuel Insull’s centralized model. Besides changes in how energy is generated, the way it is used is also changing, with energy customers becoming active participants rather than just passive consumers. The interoperability of all of the devices on the grid is essential to keeping up with the changing needs of customers and energy markets. The NIST Interoperability Framework On September 27, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) hosted the second of four…

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