Renewable Energy

BOC Instructor Spotlight: Doug LaFever is determined to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Here at MEEA, we think our Building Operator Certification instructors are everyday rock stars. They are at the frontlines, teaching building operators how to cut costs and energy usage in their facilities. Our amazing pool of facility and energy managers are why BOC has the reach and impact it does in the Midwest.

We sat down with one BOC instructor who has gone above and beyond this year. Doug Lafever has been an instructor since 2014 and continually impresses us. This year alone, he has instructed eight classes in four states: Indiana, Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska.

EE First: The Right Way to Get to Net Zero Energy

This year's Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (MES) incorporated interactive workshops into its agenda for the first time ever, and one of the three workshops focused on Net Zero Energy (NZE) in the Midwest. MEEA staff wanted attendees to consider what Net Zero Energy means for energy efficiency (EE) in the Midwest specifically. (For the purposes of the workshop, “NZE” was referring to any building, development or community that does not use more energy than it produces. See DOE’s NZE definitions).

Building Standards Help Lincoln, NE Go Green

On July 12, Lincoln Nebraska Mayor Chris Beutler released a draft environmental plan highlighting opportunities for the city and residents to meet their sustainability goals. Building on the city’s 2009 Cleaner Greener Lincoln Initiative, this new action plan outlines the city’s progress in five categories—Energy, Land Use, Transportation, Waste and Water – and recommends strategies to make Lincoln a leader in environmental stewardship.

Iowa Releases State Energy Plan

On December 21, Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, along with  the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress released the Iowa Energy Plan. The plan will serve as a guide for the development of an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system within the state that maximizes Iowa’s economic potential.

Kasich Vetoes Extension of Energy Efficiency Freeze

On December 27, Ohio Governor John Kasich vetoed Substitute House Bill 554 (Sub. HB 554), which would have extended the two year freeze of the state’s renewable portfolio standard and energy efficiency resource standard (EERS). Specifically, Sub. HB 554 would have imposed an unenforced 1% annual energy savings requirement through 2018, an enforced 1% annual energy savings requirement through 2025 and a 2% annual energy savings requirement through 2027.

Supreme Court Stays Clean Power Plan

On February 9, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in a 5-4 decision.  The court’s decision does not overturn the CPP, nor decide the legal merits of the challenges brought against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for issuing the CPP. Rather, the court’s decision stalls the implementation of the CPP while lawsuits challenging the legality of the plan are adjudicated by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Energy Efficiency Highlighted at Illinois Renewable Energy Conference

On July 16, Illinois State University hosted the annual Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, and for the first time ever, the 2015 conference incorporated an energy efficiency track into the conference’s breakout sessions alongside wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. MEEA served on the conference planning committee and convened the three energy efficiency breakout sessions, which were focused on energy efficiency policies, case studies and technical information.

MEEA’s Senior Policy Manager Julia Friedman helped kick off the morning plenary session by providing an overview of energy efficiency policy in Illinois.

Energy Efficiency Highlighted at the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference

The Missouri Department of Economic Development, Columbia Water and Light, and the University of Missouri hosted the annual Advancing Renewables in the Midwest conference on April 6-7, 2015. In its tenth year, the conference continues to promote discussion on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, policies and projects in the Midwest. This year, the conference included presentations on electric vehicles, community solar, Missouri’s potential for biomass, and the successful implementation of energy efficiency programs and policies.