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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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Setting the PACE in the Midwest

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Property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing is off and running in the Midwest. PACE enables homeowners and commercial building owners to finance energy efficiency improvements through a special assessment on their property that is paid back through their tax bill. To date, there are 15 active PACE programs in the MEEA footprint. PACE-enabling legislation exists in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio and Nebraska, and legislation in Illinois has passed both state legislative houses and is awaiting the governor’s signature. This means that local governments or joint powers authorities (like the Toledo Port Authority) can establish a PACE district and launch PACE programs, should they choose to do so. PACE is a…

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NextGrid: The Utility of the Future Starts Now

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On March 22, 2017, the Illinois Commerce Commission passed a resolution initiating the NextGrid Utility of the Future Study. NextGrid will be an 18-month collaborative process to explore the ways in which alternative utility regulatory models, advances in technology, and consumer preferences and engagement can shape the grid of the future. This initiative will build upon the 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, the Illinois Statewide Smart Grid Collaborative and the recent Future Energy Jobs Act. NextGrid Topic Areas Four topic areas are named in the resolution, but are not to be considered the extent of the scope of NextGrid: Consumers, Communities and Economic Development Grid Design, Digital Networks…

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