MEEA Unplugged

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Networked Lighting Systems: The Key to Future Lighting Program Savings?

network-controlled lighting

This blog is part of a series to show that while lighting projects may not be the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency programs they once were, there are still energy savings for utility programs to be had. See the first of this series here. The DesignLights Consortium (DLC), in partnership with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), recently released a report, Energy Savings from Networked Lighting Control (NLC) Systems. Serving as a follow-up to their 2017 study, this update builds upon their previous data and adds new energy usage data and analysis focused on the savings opportunities associated with networked lighting controls. It also provides a separate analysis of the savings achieved with luminaire level lighting…

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Minnesota Passes the ECO Act, a Modern and Expansive Update to its EE Framework

Minnesota capitol building

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. Advocates have been working on ECO for several years. The bipartisan bill was sponsored by Rep. Stephenson in the House and Sen. Rarick in the Senate, both of whom worked to establish a broad coalition of support. Additionally, Rep. Long, Chair of the House Climate and Energy Committee, and Sen. Senjem, Chair of the Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, were critical in advancing the…

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Key to reducing walkaways? Collaboration from the ground up

structural reno

In interviews with Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) implementers and agencies, a key programmatic challenge cited was walkaway rates. Walkaways happen when a home is unable to be weatherized due to a structural or health and safety issue, like a hole in the roof, flooding, hoarding and more. WAPs in the Midwest receive their funding largely from two sources, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the State Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Some states receive additional funding from local utilities, but that is not consistent throughout the region. In states like Wisconsin that receive most of their funding from a utility public benefit fund, there is higher flexibility in how the WAP dollars are spent, and these…

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