MEEA Unplugged

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Midwest Cities Leading the Way with Innovative Climate Action Planning

View of Chicago skyline from Evanston, IL

Public policy leaders around the country are striving to find cost-effective and feasible ways to rapidly mitigate and adapt to climate change. Recently, MEEA conducted a review of climate action plans throughout the Midwest to better understand how leaders are approaching climate action, and the degree to which energy efficiency is incorporated. After an analysis of 15 midwestern cities ranging in size from Bloomfield, Iowa with 2,694 people to Chicago with almost 3 million, we identified cities that are employing particularly unique, innovative and thoughtful initiatives into their climate action plans. While all the cities studied were taking crucial steps towards energy efficiency and climate preparedness, the below cities stand out.…

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Six Months In, EE Workforce Slow to Rebound from COVID-19

hanging hard hats

While no one expected full recovery for the energy efficiency workforce at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer’s job numbers point in a negative direction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job numbers from March through August reveal where the energy efficiency and broader clean energy workforces stand six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. While the energy efficiency workforce recovered 71,786 jobs nationally in June, the gains in July and August—6,836 and 8,116 respectively—were nearly flat.[1] Unemployment in the EE workforce was 14.6% in August compared to a peak of 18.3% in May.[2] That means there are still over 345,000 EE workers out of jobs.[3] The Midwest has seen modest job growth in line with the national figures: its…

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The Best Tools for Understanding Benefit-Cost Analysis Just Got Better

cost-benefit analysis

Since 2017, MEEA has been promoting the National Standard Practice Manual for Energy Efficiency (NSPM for EE) around the Midwest. We’ve held webinars, spoken on conference panels and included information from it in numerous presentations. The NSPM for EE provided the collective expertise of nationwide experts to create a framework for benefit-cost analysis (BCA) that incorporated the lessons we have learned from using the old California cost-effectiveness testing models for three decades.   Now there is a new version, and it is even better. After a thorough development process with a larger pool of experts across a broader range of subject areas, and a review process with the steering committee (in which MEEA participated), the summer of…

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