EECBG Status Update: Many Eligible Midwest Communities Awarded Formula Grants

5-months remain for local governments to apply for EECBG formula awards  

Nearly three years ago, President Biden signed the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIL), into law enacting an unprecedented level of investment in our nation’s energy systems.  

Shaping Iowa’s Energy Future: The Impact of Iowa’s Utility Policy Charrettes

Origins of the Iowa Utility Policy Charrettes 

During the 2023 legislative session, Republican Iowa State Representative Lundgren raised concerns regarding Iowa’s ratemaking procedures, which had not been reviewed since 2004 despite significant changes made by the state legislature to utilities’ processes and regulations. In response, HF 617 was passed and signed into law by Governor Reynolds, mandating the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) conduct an independent review. The IUB then organized three policy charrettes, or collaborative planning processes, where all interested parties contribute to the development of a master plan.

Michigan Passes Transformative Energy Efficiency Legislation

After many months of legislative negotiations, Governor Whitmer signed SB271, SB273 and SB502 into law on November 28. Collectively these three bills transform Michigan’s energy policy by establishing a 100% clean energy standard by 2040, increasing the state’s energy waste reduction (EWR) standard and expanding the purview of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).  

See below for more details of these three new laws: 


Looking Back on 100 Issues of the Policy Insider

With this October edition, MEEA is proud to have reached the 100th issue of the Policy Insider. The Midwest energy efficiency industry has experienced both meaningful policy advancements and unfortunate rollbacks over the last 100 months. Many of these advancements have taken place over the last few years, hopefully signaling that lawmakers and regulators better understand energy efficiency’s role in decarbonization. Take a look at this list of the region’s biggest stories over the last eight-plus years. 

Energy Efficiency Gets a Jumpstart in Kansas

On September 1, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) delivered an order approving the long pending Evergy Kansas Energy Efficiency Investment Act (KEEIA) plan filing, confirming the utility’s 2023-2026 Demand-Side Management (DSM) Portfolio and associated cost recovery mechanisms. Commissioners approved the “Initial Program Settlement” and “Initial Financial Settlement” with certain modifications and conditions, rather than the more recently discussed “Alternative Settlement.”

Equity at the Forefront: Justice40 Initiative Updates

As the world continues to grapple with the urgent need to address climate change and build a more sustainable future, it is crucial to prioritize equity and inclusivity. Recognizing this, the Justice40 Initiative, by the Biden-Harris Administration, aims to allocate 40% of federal climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities (DACs). This commitment goes beyond financial benefits to include implementation assistance like community benefits plans (CBPs) and mapping tools.  

MN Continues to Move the Needle on EE Investments

The Minnesota legislature has concluded its 2023 session, but not before passing an expansive energy package, HF2310. Minnesota has a history of bundling individual bills into omnibus bill packages to pass legislation. Ultimately, the House climate and energy package was folded into the House environment and natural resources package, with that combined omnibus bill passing the House on April 17.


Polls Predicted a Red Wave, But What About a Green Wave? EE Policy Implications from the 2022 Midterm Elections

With another election in the books, the Midwest political landscape looks a little bit different. Much of the attention this legislative season was focused on who would control the US Senate and House of Representatives, but with nine Governors races and thousands of state legislative seats in MEEA states up for grabs, results will be very impactful. Democrats had a relatively strong showing at both the federal and state levels, averting some of the losses predicted by some pundits and polls.  


How the Biden Administration is Tackling Environmental Injustice

On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14008 “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” with the intent to address climate change and its adverse effects, both domestically and internationally. This is a historic measure that places the climate crisis at the forefront of foreign policy and national security. Under section 223 of this Executive Order, The White House established the Justice40 initiative which aims to give impacted communities at least 40% of the overall benefits of Federal climate and clean infrastructure investments.