MEEA Unplugged

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Federal Relief for Small Businesses

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The economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are extensive. Small businesses around the world are struggling to stay open and maintain their staff. The energy efficiency industry has not been immune to these impacts, with many industry organizations making difficult decisions to institute furloughs, lay-offs and salary and benefit reductions. A $2 trillion response bill was approved to provide relief across the United States economy. This legislation, known as the CARES Act and signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides relief for individuals, state and local governments, large corporations, public health organizations and small businesses. Though the funds allocated for small business relief were quickly exhausted, on April 24th…

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MEEA’s Illinois Home Performance Program Recognized with an ENERGY STAR Award

IHP Sustained Excellence Award

Each spring, the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program honors businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy achievements. ENERGY STAR Award winners are leaders in their industries for their efforts to reduce emissions and create a healthier environment. This month, MEEA’s very own Illinois Home Performance program “brought home the gold,” winning the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the first time in program history. This award is ENERGY STAR’s highest honor, recognizing programs that have already received ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year recognition for multiple consecutive years and have gone above and beyond the criteria for recognition.…

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Workshop Recap: How to Pursue Industrial Efficiency in a Changing Policy Environment

generator set near industrial machines

More than 60 attendees at the 2020 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference attended a workshop focused on engaging industrial customers through energy efficiency. MEEA staff tasked them with a bit of role-play, presenting two policy scenarios constructed to reflect an amalgamation of the industrial energy efficiency landscape in the Midwest. The first scenario featured a mandate for energy savings but some form of industrial opt-out or exemption that removed a substantial number of customers from participation, thus reducing the budget for industrial sector EE programs. The second scenario was a voluntary EE state with limited overall portfolios that also has low industrial program funding. We asked half the tables of attendees to…

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