MEEA Policy Insider - December 2017

Welcome to the all-new MEEA Policy Insider. Our Policy Team is actively tracking policy developments within MEEA’s footprint, and the Policy Insider summarizes the latest state policy activity and provides our newest resources to aid members in their own outreach, education and advocacy initiatives. 

Ready to get involved? There are advocacy opportunities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio.

In this issue:

Regulatory

The first working group of the Illinois Commerce Commission’s (ICC) utility of the future study, NextGrid, had its kick off meeting on December 5. This working group is focused on new technology deployment and grid integration. This is the first of seven working groups that the ICC will convene over the next year.

Applications to be a certified energy efficiency measure installer are being accepted by the ICC. A definition of “installer” and “energy efficiency measures” can be found along with the measure installer rules, application form and contact information for certification-related inquiries on the ICC’s website.

MEEA Activities

MEEA staff has been accepted as a member of the new technology deployment and grid integration working group. MEEA is also serving on the ICC’s NextGrid advisory committee and submitted applications that are still under consideration for other working groups.

MEEA conducted an EE 101 training for ICC staff on December 6. This staff training followed general EE briefings for new ICC commissioners in 2016 and 2017.   

How to Get Involved

You can rewatch the NextGrid event online and submit public comments to ICC.NextGrid@illinois.gov.

Regulatory

Duke Energy held their first integrated resource planning (IRP) stakeholder meeting on Nov 9, and the next meeting will be on Feb. 13, 2018. Registration will be available mid-January.  Duke’s IRP is due to be filed on Nov. 1, 2018.

The following utilities were approved for extensions for IRP filings until early 2018: Hoosier Energy, Indiana Municipal Power Agency and Wabash Valley Power. Updates on IRPs in Indiana will be posted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission's (IURC) IRP page.

MEEA Activities

MEEA presented an overview of regulatory trends in the Midwest at the Indiana Energy Conference on Oct. 18. MEEA staff also attended the November 9 Duke Energy stakeholder meeting and plan to participate in future IRP stakeholder meetings for Indiana’s electric utilities.

How to Get Involved

Save the date for the IURC’s next Integrated Resource Planning Contemporary Issues meeting on April 24, 2018. The agenda is still being developed. Agendas and notes from previous meetings are on the IURC Electricity Division page. Potential topics suggested for consideration include risk and uncertainty in times of rapid change, addressing resilience in IRPs, and data development for analyzing storage, distributed resources, energy efficiency and demand response. Suggestions for topics and speakers and meeting formats can be sent to Director Brad Borum at bborum@urc.in.gov.

Executive

On October 1, the Iowa Energy Center was transferred from Iowa State University to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), which houses the Iowa Energy Office. The center’s $4.4 million in annual funding will go to IEDA through 2022.

Regulatory

Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy and Black Hills Energy have filed their 2016 annual energy efficiency plan reports with the Iowa Utility Board.

MidAmerican Energy filed their 2019-2023 energy efficiency plan on November 1.

How to Get Involved

On December 13 at 9 a.m., Alliant Energy and Black Hills will hold their stakeholder meeting to inform their 2019-2023 energy efficiency plans. The meeting will held at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Johnston, Iowa. For more information, email the Office of Consumer Advocate of Iowa’s Utility Specialist, Sheila Parker.

Regulatory

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (KPSC) issued an order on November 30 in its investigation of Kentucky Power’s energy efficiency programs (2017-00097). The order approves only the company’s income-qualified weatherization program to continue through 2018, with decision on further programs deferred until the conclusion of the investigation. The company was ordered to file revised DSM tariff sheets reflecting only a continuation of the weatherization program.

Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities have jointly filed a new energy efficiency plan and have been assigned a docket (2017-00441).

Regulatory

The initial Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) IRP planning modeling assessment (authorized under PA 341 and PA 342) continues to develop. Soon, the process will move from the informal stakeholder process to the MPSC’s more formal, but publicly open, docket.

On August 11, GDS released energy waste reduction potential studies for the lower and upper peninsulas.

On November 21, the MPSC released its final Integrated Resource Planning Parameters, which contains all assumptions, scenarios and other existing requirements utilities will need to consider and model when they develop their IRPs over the next two years.  

As of November 27, here are the recent and current relevant cases at the MPSC:

MEEA Activities

MEEA submitted written reply comments regarding draft strawman comments to the MPSC on October 20.

How to Get Involved

Details of the recent stakeholder comments and meeting dates have been posted by the MPSC at www.michigan.gov/energylegislation.

Regulatory

On September 6, the Missouri Public Service Commission (MO PSC) issued an Order Seeking Responses Regarding Distributed Energy Resources Issues, and Scheduling a Workshop Meeting (File No. EW-2017-0245). The order puts forth a series of questions about distributed energy resources and sets a date for two workshops to be held on the topic. The first was held on November 20 and the second will be held on January 9, both in Jefferson City. The Missouri PSC staff will issue a report on the findings by March 1, 2018.

On June 28, the MO PSC issued final order to amend the rules governing the implementation of the MEEIA, case number EX-2016-0334. The revisions call for the statewide DSM stakeholder collaborative to be convened at least twice a year and may establish working groups. The MO PSC hosted a statewide DSM collaborative meeting on October 24 in Jefferson City to discuss the collaborative's charter and potential working groups to be created within the collaborative. 

MEEA Activities

MEEA attended the DSM stakeholder collaborative meeting on October 24 and provided comments on the draft charter. MEEA staff also submitted comments in response to the MO PSC’s questions issued in the emerging issues in utility regulation working case on distributed energy resources (EW-2017-0245).

Legislative

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met on October 18 to hear opponent testimony on HB 114, which freezes Ohio's energy savings goal at 1% through 2025 and expands the eligibility to additional customers to opt-out of paying into the energy efficiency rider. At present, only those customers with an annual electric usage at 4.5 GWh are eligible, but HB 114 expands that to mercantile customers (700 MWh annual usage), allowing aggregation of national accounts. 

How to Get Involved

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to hold at least one additional hearing on HB 114 on a yet to be determined date. Written testimony from interested parties will be due 24 hours before the hearing. Check the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website for upcoming hearing dates and agenda items.