MEEA Policy Insider - April 2019

The MEEA Policy Insider summarizes the latest state policy activity and provides new resources to aid members in their own outreach, education and advocacy initiatives.

Ready to get involved? There are advocacy opportunities in IllinoisIndianaOhio and at the federal level.

In this issue:

IL section header


On March 29, Governor Pritzker announced the appointment of Carrie Zalewski to the Illinois Commerce Commission. Prior to the appointment, Zalewski served on the Illinois Pollution Control Board since 2009. This position requires state senate confirmation.


The Illinois legislature is considering several pieces of legislation that would impact energy efficiency and the energy sector:

  • HB 3624 (Rep. Ann Williams): Clean Energy Jobs Act. A comprehensive clean energy and environmental bill. The bill was amended on February 28 to add the full text of legislation. The bill makes several changes including:
    • Expanding gas utility energy efficiency requirements
    • Repealing the industrial exemption
    • Increasing spending on income-qualified programs
  • H.B. 3658 (Rep. Robyn Gabel): directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to create minimum state energy and water efficiency standards for a variety of appliances. This bill includes a provision requiring strong appliance standards in the event of a federal repeal or modification of national standards.
  • HB 2855 (Rep. Robyn Gabel): requires the Illinois Commerce Commission to develop a plan for increasing electric vehicle adoption in the state through beneficial electrification programs, such as time-of-use rates and demand response.
  • HB 2899 (Rep. Sam Yingling): changes the Alternate Fuels Act to make electricity the only acceptable fuel source for charging station grants and vehicle rebates (current law allows “alternate fuel”).
  • HB 2801 (Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch): requires an inter-agency report that studies how to “decarbonize Illinois’ electric sector in a just and equitable way.” The following agencies would contribute to the report: Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Power Agency.
  • HB 2926 (Justin Slaughter): requires the ICC, through an independent third-party contractor, to analyze the potential costs and benefits of energy storage systems.
  • HB 2956 (Rep. William Davis): removes the industrial customer exemption originally passed as part of the Future Energy Jobs Act (2016).

How to Get Involved

For more information about Illinois or to get more involved, contact Nick Hromalik.

IN header image


Integrated resource planning is ongoing for Indiana utilities:

  • The commission granted Duke a filing extension to March 1, 2019, and a second extension to May 1, 2019 was granted at the end of February.
  • Indiana Michigan Power was granted a filing extension for their IRP. The filling was originally due May 1, 2019 and has been extended to June 15, 2019.
  • Indianapolis Power & Light has begun their 2019 IRP stakeholder process. The last stakeholder meeting was held March 26, 2019.

Utility stakeholder meetings will continue during the planning period and will be posted on the utility IRP pages linked above. Updates from the commission on IRPs in Indiana will be posted to the IURC’s IRP page.

The IURC has announced the date for its 2019 IRP Contemporary Issues Conference – Monday, April 15, 2019.

How to Get Involved

Utility IRP meetings are open to anyone interested in attending. The IRP Contemporary Issues conference is also open to all interested parties.

 If you have any questions about Indiana or want to get more involved, contact Greg Ehrendreich.

IA header image


Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy and Black Hills Energy have filed their revised 2019- 2023 plans in consideration of SF 2311. The utility hearings have been completed:

  • MidAmerican Energy’s hearings were held on November 19 and November 20

  • Alliant Energy’s hearing was on December 12

  • Black Hills Energy’s hearings were on January 15 and January 16.

On February 18, Iowa regulators approved MidAmerican’s revised 2019-2023 Energy Efficiency and Demand Response plan.


On February 21, SF 351 was introduced by Senators Schneider and Nunn. It requires owners of rental properties with greater than 12 units to disclose average annual utility service costs for units with the same number of bedrooms upon entering a rental agreement with a prospective tenant.   

How to Get Involved

Iowa Utilities Board hearings are open to the public. If you have questions about Iowa or want to get more involved, contact Samarth Medakkar.  


Ongoing energy efficiency-related Michigan Public Service Commission (MSPC) dockets to be aware of:

On February 27, the MPSC opened case U-20464 to issue a report on the state’s energy supply, engineering and deliverability of natural gas, electricity and propane, and contingency planning as requested by Governor Whitmer in response to forced generation outages from extremely low temperatures that occurred during the January 2019 polar vortex. On March 5, MPSC staff issued its process outline for the Statewide Energy Assessment, which contained the following process timeline:

  • Timeline for Assessment Draft:
    • March 5: Final report outline posted
    • March: Begin research, prepare stakeholder inquiries & schedule meetings with stakeholders
    • April:  Workgroups meet with stakeholders 
    • May 10-30: Workgroup chairs write their sections
    • June 1: Draft report compiled and turned over for final editing 
    • July 1: Draft report due with subsequent
    • TBD public comment period.
    • Sept 13: Final report due


On March 29, DTE Energy filed its integrated resource plan, which will now be evaluated by the MPSC and intervening parties.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Michigan or to get more involved, contact Nick Dreher.


On March 4, Governor Tim Walz announced a plan for making Minnesota’s electricity carbon-free by 2050, describing the effort as an “economic and moral” responsibility. Late last year, Xcel Energy announced the same commitment, signaling an opportunity for the governor. The governor also announced that future energy planning for new generation would prioritize clean energy sources over fossil fuels and an intention to raise energy efficiency standards for investor-owned utilities to assist low-income households, in particular.


Public Utility Commission Chair Nancy Lange’s term ended on January 7. Governor Walz will nominate a new commissioner for a six-year term, after which, the state senate must confirm the commissioner within 60 days of the nomination.


On March 4, HF 1956 (the Clean Energy First Act) was introduced. This bill also includes Governor Walz’s proposal to move Minnesota’s electric supply to 100% carbon-free by 2050.

On February 14, HF 1191 was introduced, which directs the Public Utilities Commission to develop and approve a public utilities energy conservation financial incentive to encourage public utility investment in cost-effective energy conservation measures.

On February 18, HF 1360 was introduced, which would modify the commercial property assessed clean energy (PACE) project eligibility and financing structure.

On February 25, HF 1683 was introduced. This bill would establish a framework for utility customer data access, including utility access, customer access, third party access and aggregated public access.

On February 28, SF 1915 was introduced, broadening the list of allowable activities to meet the conservation improvement goals, establishing a new cooperative utility energy savings provision and repealing the municipal utility energy savings requirements.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Minnesota or to get more involved, contact Nick Dreher

Missouri Header


Governor Parson issued an executive order that will shift the Division of Energy to the Department of Natural Resources. The Public Service Commission and the Office of Public Counsel will be moved to the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which was formerly known as the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration.


On April 2, the Missouri Public Service Commission staff held a Missouri Energy Efficiency Advisory Collaborative (MEEAAC) meeting, wherein the Green Building Registry, Realtor Training Program and a MEEIA analysis were discussed. Directly following the MEEAC meeting, there was a Low-Income Workgroup that included a presentation on healthy building materials.

The procedural schedule for the KCP&L MEEIA (Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act) cycle 3 plan has been suspended. KCP&L’s cycle 2 will be extended for nine months, with a new end date of December 31, 2019. The cycle 3 plan must be filed no latter than May 1, 2019. Negotiations for cycle 3 are continuing.  

On December 5, 2018 the MO PSC approved Ameren Missouri’s energy efficiency programs. Over $200 million will be invested over the next three years. Another $50 million was approved for a six-year cycle for low-income customers and affordable housing owners. Ameren Missouri’s cycle 3 programs launched March 15. 

How to Get Involved

For more information about Missouri or to get more involved, contact Samarth Medakkar

nebraska header


On January 17, Senator Hunt introduced a bill to update the Nebraska Energy Code from the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to the unamended 2018 IECC for residential and commercial buildings. The bill passed General File and is now in Select File. It is expected to be placed on the full legislative agenda in the coming weeks.

At the request of Governor Ricketts, Senator Dan Hughes introduced a bill to merge the Energy Office and the Department of Environmental Quality into the new Department of Environment and Energy The bill transfers all statutory powers, responsibilities, employees and assets of the State Energy Office to the Department of Environment and Energy. The legislature voted unanimously in support of the bill, and the merger is effective July 1.

How to Get Involved

If you have questions about Iowa or want to get more involved, contact Samarth Medakkar 


The Ohio House of Representatives created a new Subcommittee on Energy Generation under the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. This new subcommittee is co-chaired by Republican Rep. Dick Stein and Democrat Rep. Michael O’Brien.

The Ohio Senate combined the Energy and Natural Resources Committee with the Public Utilities Committee. The new Energy and Public Utilities Committee is chaired by Senator Steve Wilson.


Governor Mike DeWine has appointed Dennis Deters as commissioner to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Mr. Deters is a former state judge for the First District Court of Appeals and former county commissioner for Hamilton County. Mr. Deters will complete the term of former Chairman Asim Haque, who announced his resignation effective March 1, 2019., The appointment requires confirmation by the state senate.

The PUCO granted an extension for energy efficiency plan filings for Duke Energy and FirstEnergy. The utilities now have until September 1. 

On February 27, 2019 the PUCO directed electric utilities to file grid modernization plans, due April 1, 2019. This formalizes a part of the PUCO’s ongoing PowerForward grid modernization process.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Ohio or to get more involved, contact Nick Hromalik.

wisconsin header


Ellen Nowak, Commissioner of the Public Service Commission, was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker during a December lame duck legislative session. A lower court ruled the session unlawful.  In March, an appeals court ruling reinstated some of the laws blocked by a lower court, and Governor Evers reappointed most of the 82 appointees. Commissioner Nowak is among the 15 that have not been reappointed and was turned away when the Commissioner attempted to show up to work on March 28.  

On February 28, Governor Evers released the two-year Wisconsin budget proposal. The proposal has several recommendations relating to energy, including:

  • Creating the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy within the Department of Administration to advance clean energy initiatives
  • Creating a statutory goal that all electricity produced in the state should be 100% carbon free by 2050
  • Modifying current law to allow the Public Service Commission to increase the funds available to Focus on Energy beyond 1.2% of each utility’s annual operating revenues by submitting a proposal to the Joint Committee on Finance
  • Modifying the business development tax credit to provide an additional 5% incentive for capital investments related to energy efficiency or renewable energy projects

The biennial budget was recently introduced as legislation (SB 59/AB 56). The Joint Finance Committee has announced four public hearings on the proposed budget in April:

  • April 5: Janesville, WI
  • April 10: Oak Creek WI
  • April 15: River Falls WI
  • April 24: Green Bay, WI

Each hearing runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The final budget is not expected to be sent to the governor until August 1, 2019 or later.


Commissioner Rebecca Valcq's two-year term as chairperson became effective on March 2. Commissioner Ellen Nowak was the previous chairperson that was appointed in January 2019 by out-going Governor Walker. 

How to Get Involved

The Joint Finance Committee will be accepting written comments on the budget that can be emailed to, or sent via U.S. mail to:

Joe Malkasian
Room 305 East, State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702

The hearings will be open to the public. For more information about Wisconsin or to get more involved, contact Nick Hromalik.



Alliance to Save Energy Advocacy Alerts

In February, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a plan to undo lightbulb energy efficiency rules that were set to go into effect next year. The upcoming standards were going to save the average household more than $100 per year.

Additionally, on March 11, President Trump issued his budget plan for the next year, which included a proposal to cut key federal energy efficiency investment by two-thirds. The president’s plan would cut funding for:

  • Weatherizing low-income families’ homes
  • Setting standards to ensure our appliances aren’t wasting energy
  • Investments in research to develop the next breakthrough energy-efficient technologies

How to Get Involved

You can send a message to your member of Congress using the Alliance to Save Energy’s action alerts for both the light bulb energy efficiency regulation rollback and the federal budget energy efficiency programs rollback.


    New Blogs

    New Fact Sheets