Last year, Synapse Energy Economics published Missed Opportunities: The Impact of Recent Policies on Energy Efficiency Programs in Midwestern States with MEEA’s support. The report explored the energy and non-energy societal impacts of regressive energy efficiency policy in six Midwest states, including Indiana and Ohio.
The City of Chicago recently released the Chicago Building Decarbonization Strategy Report, which includes recommendations from the Chicago Building Decarbonization Working Group (CBDWG) on how to equitably address greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.
On September 21, 2022, the Chicago City Council passed Mayor Lightfoot's 2022 Chicago Energy Transformation Code, making Chicago the first city in the Midwest to adopt and exceed the 2021 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This and other decarbonization measures will help the city meet its recently released Climate Action Plan.
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.
After nearly three years of policy development and a year of debate and negotiation, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB 2408) and Governor Pritzker signed it into law on September 15. This nearly 1,000-page bill sets Illinois on a pathway toward power sector decarbonization by 2045, creates equitable clean energy workforce development pathways and expands state commitments to energy efficiency, renewable energy and electric vehicles.
As awareness and usage of electric vehicles (EVs) grows across the U.S., Minnesota has taken a strong stance towards becoming an EV leader in the Midwest. With the recent adoption of its low-emission vehicle (LEV) and zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standards, Minnesota is increasing access to EV options for purchase as well as attempting to reduce transportation emissions – its highest-emitting sector.
Last week, the Minnesota legislature passed a major update to the state’s energy efficiency policy framework. The Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act passed both the House and Senate after a conference committee reached a compromise on the remaining areas of disagreement between the two chambers. The Act was signed by Governor Walz on May 25th.
On March 31st, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 128 into law, formally enacting a partial HB 6 repeal bill that eliminates certain provisions of the law but does nothing to revive statewide utility energy efficiency programs.