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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Released by the Whitmer administration on April 21, the MI Healthy Climate Plan puts forth strategies for Michigan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 while providing benchmarks along the way. The plan sets the following objectives:
On November 15, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) into law after months of negotiations between the House and Senate. The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a historic investment in the country’s infrastructure and competitiveness, with provisions ranging from rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and rails to expanding access to clean drinking water and energy efficiency while advancing environmental justice.
Over the past 15 years, utility-run energy efficiency programming has produced significant energy savings, customer cost savings and a host of system-wide and societal benefits throughout the Midwest. Unfortunately, these benefits are not fully understood or recognized by many state legislators and other policymakers. As a result, MEEA and other energy efficiency industry experts must recurringly defend EE policies from those who misunderstand how efficiency is funded, its value and impact for utility customers and its widespread benefits within individual states and throughout the region.