MEEA Policy Insider - February 2023

​​The MEEA Policy Insider summarizes the latest state policy activity and provides new resources to aid members in their outreach, education and advocacy initiatives.

In this issue:

Upcoming MEEA Policy Webinar

Efficiency and Resilience in Critical Facilities

March 15, 11:00 a.m. CT

Join us in exploring how energy efficiency enhances the resilience of critical facilities across the Midwest region. Topics covered will include how critical facilities are defined, who has the capacity to research the energy needs of these facilities and examples of funding sources that states are using to further related efforts.

Register here>>> 

State Budgets

Many states are currently embarking upon the budgeting process, with several state governors releasing their budget proposals in recent weeks. These proposals are merely starting points for negotiations; state budgets may ultimately look quite different after making their way through the legislative process. Notably, in Wisconsin, Governor Evers’ budget recommends doubling utility contributions to Focus on Energy from 1.2% to 2.4%. Additionally, Evers recommends that the state’s electric investor-owned utilities begin to submit biennial integrated resource plans, which the state does not currently mandate. In Minnesota, Governor Walz’s budget includes funds for a state competitiveness fund and a boost to the weatherization program. 

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The City of Chicago released the Chicago Building Decarbonization Strategy Report in October 2022. The document includes 26 recommendations on how to equitably decarbonize the building sector. The report was informed by the Chicago Building Decarbonization Working Group, which included MEEA’s Executive Director, Stacey Paradis. For more information on the report and its recommendations, see MEEA’s recent blog.

Though advocates pushed for the reinstatement of the Department of Environment that was disbanded under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Mayor Lori Lightfoot instead announced the formation of a new office, the Office of Climate and Environmental Equity. The new 10-person office will be tasked with overseeing the decarbonization of the city’s building stock and implementing the city’s climate action plan.


The 103rd Illinois General Assembly began on January 11, and legislators have introduced a number of efficiency-related bills.

HB 0013 was introduced by Representative Ford and referred to the House Utilities Committee on January 12. HB 0013 would appropriate $250,000,000 from the state General Revenue Fund to the Illinois Housing Development Authority for grants to municipalities with over 1 million people for the rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned residential housing. Though energy efficiency is not explicitly mentioned, HB 0013 does state that funds may be used for construction related to rehabilitating vacant and abandoned residential housing, which would likely include energy-related installations. The bill currently sits in the House Appropriations-General Services Committee.

SB 1447 was introduced by Sen. Joyce on February 7 and is currently assigned to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee. SB 1447 would amend the Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Coal Reserves Development Law of 1997 to authorize the Illinois EPA to use up to $4 million collected from the Renewable Energy Resources Coal Technology Development Assistance Charge to the Illinois Green Economy Network for the purposes of funding renewable energy and energy efficiency training services within their network, up from the current annual funding limit of $2 million.

SB 1842 was introduced by Sen. Sims on February 9 and currently sits in the Senate Appropriations Committee. SB 1842 would amend the Energy Assistance Act to authorize the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to institute a year-round program to ensure availability and affordability of heating and electric services to low-income utility customers. SB 1842 also includes a provision that an energy provider to a potential recipient of the Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund shall ensure that recipients’ utility services are not disconnected while their application is pending.


The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) Equitable Energy Upgrade Program (EEUP) workshops continue to meet monthly. The EEUP is currently working to establish guidelines for a new Pay As You Save(R) (PAYS(R)) energy efficiency financing tool to be considered by the ICC. This month’s EEUP workshop focused on a presentation from Ameren Missouri regarding their energy savings program designed similarly to Illinois’ working PAYS model. The presentation included an overview of their program, lessons learned, and how their program has benefitted from integrating already existing electric and gas programs with their unique energy saving program. The next EEUP workshop is scheduled for March 7. EEUP workshop information and meeting dates can be found on the ICC’s EEUP website.

Illinois Energy Efficiency Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) is an independent advisory group mandated through the original electric efficiency statute. It is an open meeting intending to include a wide range of Illinois energy industry stakeholders working collaboratively in steering committees, large group meetings, technical advisory committees, and numerous subcommittees to support comprehensive energy efficiency policy in Illinois. SAG committees and members continue to update SAG’s guiding principles, policy procedures, and discuss Illinois energy policy and programming.

How to Get Involved

If you have any questions about Illinois, SAG meetings, or want to get more involved, contact Christian Koch.  

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The Indiana legislature opened its 2023 session on January 9, and the halfway point of the session is quickly approaching. House bills had to pass out of committee by Feb. 21, have a second reading by Feb. 23 and a third reading by Feb. 27. Senate bills must pass out of committee by Feb. 23, pass second reading by Feb. 27 and third reading by Feb. 28. Bills that do not make it past these deadlines are dead.

House Bill 1007, authored by Representatives Soliday, Jeter and Negele, provides that it is the continuing policy of the state that decisions concerning Indiana's electric generation resource mix, energy infrastructure and electric service ratemaking constructs must take into account the following attributes of electric utility service: reliability, affordability, resiliency, stability and environmental sustainability. The bill would require the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to take each of these attributes into account when reviewing an integrated resource plan submitted by an electric utility, acting upon a petition for the construction, purchase or lease of an electric generation facility and reviewing whether the public convenience and necessity continues to require the completion of an electric generation facility under construction. The bill passed on January 30 and was referred to the Senate.

Senate Bill 221, authored by Sen. Zay, would require the Indiana Department of Administration to issue a request for proposals and award a contract to conduct an energy audit on the Indiana State Capitol building and Indiana Government Center North and South buildings. This bill was amended to delete provisions related to studying the feasibility of creating a strategic coal reserve. The bill passed and was referred to the House.

Senate Bill 335, authored by Senators Yoder, Alting and Ford, would establish the Climate Solutions Task Force to review issues related to sustainable and clean energy solutions. The bill sets forth membership and would require the task force to issue a report to the general assembly and the governor not later than November 1, 2024. This bill has been referred to Senate Environmental Affairs and was on the calendar for February 20.

Senate Bill 9, authored by Senators Leising and Glick, would require a public utility to provide the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) with at least six months advance notice of the public utility's intention to retire, sell or transfer an electric generation facility with a capacity of at least 80 megawatts if such intention is not set forth in the public utility's most recent integrated resource plan (IRP). This bill has been referred to Senate Utilities. The bill is not on committee calendars and is likely dead.


2023 integrated resource planning is expected from: 

  • Hoosier Energy
  • Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA)
  • Wabash Valley
  • CenterPoint (Vectren) - 2022 IRP extended to Nov. 2023

Updates from the Commission on IRPs in Indiana will be posted to the IURC’s IRP page.

How to Get Involved

For questions about Indiana, contact Greg Ehrendreich

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    Iowa's legislative session began on January 9.  Iowa's legislative session is slated for 110 days.

    SF 334 represents a major potential change in energy efficiency in Iowa. Introduced by Sen. Webster, it would repeal energy conservation requirements for new residential construction. Specifically, the bill removes an existing law that directs new building applications to include a statement that the construction will meet all applicable energy conservation requirements and lifting the ability of the building commissioner or their designee to inspect buildings to enforce compliance. On February 22, the State Government Subcommittee met and recommended passage to the full committee. The bill will be heard by the State Government Committee on March 1 at 11:00 a.m. CT, viewable here.

    SF 174 (formerly SF 43), also introduced by Sen. Webster, states that government cannot prohibit or limit the use or installation of building products or materials in construction, renovation, maintenance or other alteration of a residential building or structure if the product or material is approved by the national model code. The committee has reported approving the bill on January 31.

    HSB 126 was introduced by Rep. Bloomingdale at the beginning of the month. It lays out Governor Kim Reynolds’ plan for restructuring Iowa’s state government, including several provisions regarding the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA), whose mission is to represent consumers on issues relating to gas and electric utilities. Advocates are concerned the changes will compromise the OCA’s ability to represent the interests of consumers and reduce the office’s independence. The bill is currently under review by the State Government Committee.

    SSB 1059, introduced by Sen. Brown, would eliminate the requirement that regulated electric utilities file forecasts of future electric generation needs in favor of a biannual resource planning process. These two-year plans and budgets would need to include several elements, including future potential demand response capabilities, plans for efficient leveraging of demand response and nonutility energy resources, and alternate planning scenarios for meeting projected electricity requirements. The bill is currently tabled until a future meeting of the assigned Commerce subcommittee.


    Iowa investor-owned utilities’ Energy Efficiency Portfolio (EEP) planning process is currently underway, with IOUs filing their new five-year plans (2024-2028). Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, filed its plan with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) on November 1, 2022, in docket EEP-2022-0150. The IUB issued an order on February 14 setting a procedural schedule and granting intervention for the docket, with a public hearing set for June 8.

    MidAmerican Energy filed its EEP plan on February 1 in docket EEP-2022-0156.

    Black Hills Energy has not yet filed its EEP plan but is expected to do so in the coming months. It has been assigned docket number EEP-2022-0225.

    Please reach out to Ashley Taylor from Iowa’s OCA,, to be added to the EEP stakeholder list and receive updates and meeting information.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Iowa or to get more involved, contact Arlinda Bajrami.


    The Kansas legislature opened its 2023 legislative session on January 9. Republicans maintain a supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature. Governor Laura Kelly delivered her State of the State address during a joint session of the Kansas legislature on January 24, outlining her priorities for the next four years.

    A particularly notable bill thus far is SB 88which recommends reforming the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and is sponsored by the Senate Committee on Utilities. The bill, which is notably supported by the state’s largest private-sector employer, would require each of the KCC Commissioners to stand for partisan, statewide election, serving four-year terms. Currently, Commissioners are appointed by the Governor. The bill would also establish a new Utilities Regulation Division within the Office of the Attorney General which would be tasked with representing Kansas utility customers in rate case proceedings.

    SB 78, also sponsored by the Senate Committee on Utilities, would require the KCC to review regional rate competitiveness in electric utility rate proceedings.

    A third Senate Committee on Utilities-sponsored bill, SB 68, provides incumbent electric transmission owners a right of first refusal for the construction of certain electric transmission lines. The Committee heard testimony regarding the bill and now recommends it be passed in its current amended form.

    In the House, HB 2227, sponsored by the House Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications, would authorize certain power purchase agreements with renewable energy suppliers, in effect allowing third-party production contracts for electricity from solar or wind systems. A related bill, HB 2228, would require non-KCC-regulated utilities to allow for net metering and remove load-size limitations on customers' net-metered systems.


    Commissioner Susan K. Duffy was elected Chair of the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) on January 17.

    In December 2021, Evergy filed its application for an energy efficiency proposal in Kansas under the Kansas Energy Efficiency Investment Act (KEEIA). The proposal originally included nine programs—four residential, four business and a pilot research program. Following settlement negotiations in July 2022, Evergy and advocates in the docket filed two non-unanimous agreements on Evergy’s proposed programs and financial recovery. However, KCC staff opposed Evergy’s proposal throughput disincentive and earnings opportunity, resulting in Evergy filing a motion to stay this docket to allow for continued negotiations with KCC staff.

    On November 15, 2022, Evergy, in conjunction with KCC staff, filed a revision to its plan and financial recovery mechanisms, with the other stipulating parties not signing on to the agreement. The new plan removes some of the original proposed programs, shrinking total proposed spending from about $135 million to about $45 million. The revised procedural schedule can be found here, and deadline-based amendments to that schedule here. An order is now anticipated in early March 2023.

    KCC Staff and Evergy hosted a workshop to discuss Evergy's Capital Investment plan on December 13, the recording of which can be found here. Evergy fielded questions from the KCC commissioners and staff, as well as the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB) and shared additional details regarding their upcoming investments. The Commission, having now heard testimony in support and opposition to the Alternative Settlement Agreement, requires Evergy to submit their Reply Brief by February 27.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Kansas or to get more involved, contact Natalie Newman


    The 2023 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly began on January 3. It will last 30 legislative days, with a final adjournment currently scheduled for March 30.

    HB 66, introduced by Representatives Willner and Bridges, concerns utility disconnection requirements. It creates winter and summer temperature standards for disconnection of service by retail electric and gas utilities, allowing for resumption of disconnection only after a 72-hour period during which the temperature standard is exceeded. The bill also establishes a certificate of need for those at risk if utility service is disconnected and allows for reconnection of service with partial payment under a payment plan. It requires utilities to make a reasonable effort towards reestablishing service for a customer terminated after having a certificate of need but no more than 24 hours after repayment is commenced.

    HB187, introduced by Representative King, defines “greenhouse gas emissions reductions agreement” and requires it to be properly recorded pursuant to Kentucky law for it to be binding on creditors or subsequent purchasers.

    HB140, introduced by Representatives Raymond and Palumbo, proposes to create a new section of the Constitution of Kentucky to establish a right of the people to have a healthy environment, including a right to clean air, pure water and ecologically healthy habitats. Energy considerations can be considered as they relate to air pollution and public health.

    SB 159, introduced by Sen. Smith, relates to building codes. It permits the use of safe refrigerant alternatives if they are used in equipment listed and installed in accordance with safety standards put forth in 42 U.S. Code § 7671k.


    The PSC issued its Final Staff Report on LG&E and KU’s 2021 IRP, Case No. 2021-00393. The Commission reported that “LG&E and KU did not establish that the 2021 IRP produced a least cost plan to reliably serve its projected load.” The utilities were placed on notice that they need to meet a higher standard in their planning process. The report points out that LG&E and KU failed to evaluate all reasonable resource options and overlooked many cost-effective strategies. Further, the IRP failed to examine continuation of expansion of the utilities’ Demand-Side Management (DSM) and energy efficiency programs despite their past success and proven track record helping customers save energy and lower their bills. The full list of recommendations is viewable in the report.

    LG&E and KU are currently hosting a series of DSM Advisory Group meetings. These are intended to provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss EE and DSM initiatives for existing and new program offerings. Additional details, previous meeting notes and contact information for participating in the group can be found here.


    The KY Energy and Environmental Cabinet Office of Energy Policy has hosted two Energy Efficiency Housing Funding Stakeholder Meetings. The first meeting served as a convening of interested parties to discuss how funding coming to the Commonwealth for residential energy efficiency, namely through the Revolving Loan Fund in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, can be best utilized to provide impactful benefits to the citizens of Kentucky. The meeting recording can be viewed here. The second meeting included presentations from Madeline Priest of Inclusive Property Capital discussing the Smart e-Loan program and Elizabeth More of TVA discussing their loan options.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Kentucky or to get more involved, contact Amanda Caloras.


    The Michigan legislature opened its 2023 legislative session on January 11. With Democrats assuming control of the Senate, Michigan becomes one of three Midwestern states with a Democratic trifecta (along with Illinois and Minnesota).

    Few bills related to energy have been introduced yet. SB10/HB4036 would prevent municipalities from banning the use or installation of natural gas infrastructure. Both bills were introduced by Republicans (Bellino in the Senate, Zorn and Slagh in the House) and are unlikely to move.

    Prior to the close of the last legislative biennium, Governor Whitmer signed HB727 into law. The law extends the sunset for the Weatherization Assistance Program through 2027. WAP is funded in part through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and the appropriation from LIHEAP for WAP was set to expire at the end of 2022.

    Additionally, HB 6551-52 and SB 1238-39 were introduced on December 7. The bills sought to invest $1.65 billion in the state’s housing stock to make homes more affordable and healthier. The bills would have allocated funds from the American Rescue Plan and the state’s coronavirus recovery fund for low-income whole-home retrofits, health and safety (pre-weatherization) measures, weatherization, efficient and/or electric appliances, workforce attraction and retention and more. These bills have not yet been reintroduced in 2023 and will likely serve as a negotiating point.


    The Michigan Public Service Commission announced a reorganization, reflecting learnings from the MI Power Grid Initiative. The PSC now has several new units: a Distribution Planning Section, an Interconnection and Distributed Energy Resources Section, a Resource Adequacy and Forecasting Section and a Data Access, Privacy and Information Technology Section. Additionally, the Commission will adjust the scope of several other divisions by consolidating some and separating others. More information on these changes can be found in the press release.

    The MPSC recently approved the settlement agreement for Indiana Michigan Power’s first integrated resource plan. Per the settlement, I&M will ramp up its energy waste reduction efforts, with goals of 1.6% in 2024, 1.75% in 2025, 1.9% in 2026 and 2% in 2027. Additionally, I&M will work to increase the percentage of its EWR spend on low-income customers to 12% by 2025.

    DTE Electric filed its IRP on November 3. DTE outlined plans to spend $9 billion on renewable energy and to end coal usage by 2035. On the efficiency side, the utility has proposed energy savings of 2% in 2023, an average of 1.5% annual energy savings in 2024-2028 and 1.2% annual savings in 2028-2032. A public hearing on the plan was held on December 12.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Michigan or to get more involved, contact Maddie Wazowicz.


    The Minnesota legislature opened its 2023 legislative session on January 3. With Democrats assuming control of the Senate, the chamber has new leadership, and Democrats now enjoy full control of the Legislature and Governor’s office. Several bills that touch on energy policy have already been introduced.

    Governor Walz signed HF 7/SF 4 into law on February 7 after the bill passed both legislative chambers. The law modifies the state’s current renewable energy standard, as established by the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act. The law institutes a carbon-free standard that mandates the state’s electric utilities generate or procure carbon-free resources at 80% of their portfolio by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. Other provisions in the bill include guidance for the PUC to maximize local benefits, a mandate for the PUC to consider the costs of greenhouse gas emissions in decisions and some tweaks to the PUC’s permitting process. Minnesota joins Illinois as the only states in the Midwest with laws mandating carbon-free electricity generation by mid-century.

    HF 849/SF 1787 would create a grant program to help fund electrical panel upgrades. The program will prioritize building owners of low-income single-family housing and multifamily housing and seeks to allay some of the costs of electrification. The bill was referred to committee on January 25.

    HF 1656/SF 1622 would establish the Minnesota State Competitiveness Fund. The bill seeks to appropriate $156 million in FY23 to provide matching funds required for federal funding opportunities through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Funds could also be accessed by municipalities, tribal governments, utilities and nonprofits. Governor Walz also included a competitiveness fund in his budget, set at $114 million. The bill passed out of the House Climate and Energy Committee on February 15 and is now in Ways and Means.

    HF 1983/SF 1759 would amend the state’s energy policy goals by establishing that commercial and residential building energy use should be reduced by fifty percent by 2035 through energy-savings programs that prioritize carbon reduction. The bill is scheduled to be heard in committee on February 28.

    HF 1939 would create a $10 million fund for workforce development for Black, Indigenous and People of Color workers to prepare them for careers in energy efficiency and clean energy. The bill was referred to committee on February 20.

    HF 772/SF 1368 would mandate that the state adopt the new model commercial energy code of ASHRAE 90.1 or a more efficient standard each time ASHRAE is updated. The House version mandates that buildings be powered by carbon-neutral sources by 2036, whereas the Senate version mandates a net-zero energy standard for new commercial buildings by 2038. The House bill passed through its first committee and was referred to the Labor and Industry Committee. The Senate version has yet to be heard in committee.

    HF 2014/SF 2024 would create a weatherization training grant program. Additionally, the bill would allocate general funds to install pre-weatherization measures in low income residences.  

    HF 49/SF 315 would mandate that Minnesota’s utilities file an annual report on workforce diversity, procurement goals and actual spend to diverse businesses. The bill was referred to committee on January 4.

    SF 42/HF 810 would establish a climate action tax credit. Eligible recipients would be able to claim tax credits after purchasing and installing a variety of energy efficiency technologies. Eligible technologies include air-source heat pumps, ductless mini-split heat pumps, induction ranges, heat pump water heaters and other efficient appliances and upgrades. The bill was heard in the House Taxes Committee on February 2.

    SF 41 would institute a carbon assessment on utilities. Minnesota utilities would have to pay into a carbon assessment dividend fund based on the amount of carbon they emit from power generation and procurement. The funds would be managed by the Pollution Control Agency and would, in part, be used to establish a revolving loan fund to make loans to businesses for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The bill was referred to committee on January 5.


    On December 8, the PUC voted to require the state’s gas investor-owned utilities (Xcel Gas, CenterPoint and Minnesota Energy Resources) to file integrated resource plans. Previously, only the state’s regulated electric utilities were required to file IRPs. The Commission plans to open a docket to gather input on what these IRPs will include and what procedural requirements must be met.

    Docket 21-566, which was opened in response to the passage of the Natural Gas Innovation Act (NGIA), remains active. Natural gas utilities will have the opportunity to present the Commission with plans to study and use alternative and innovative energy resources, like renewable natural gas, biogas and hydrogen. The Commission issued an order on September 12 clarifying and approving eligibility criteria for energy efficiency and strategic electrification investments under the NGIA. Additionally, a technical conference was held on September 19 to discuss the changes to natural gas utility regulatory and policy structures. The most recent workshop was held on December 2, with a third yet to be scheduled.

    The Department of Commerce Staff’s Proposed Decision in the Matter of 2024-2026 CIP Cost-Effectiveness Methodologies for Electric and Gas Investor-Owned Utilities was filed on eDockets (docket number 23-46). The Proposed Decision provides a summary of the Committee’s activities and presents Staff’s recommended cost-effectiveness methodology updates for the 2024-2026 CIP Triennials. Comments can be filed on eDockets until March 6, and the Deputy Commissioner will issue a decision on March 31.

    Additionally, the Department of Commerce and Minnesota’s Energy Efficiency for All coalition hosted a virtual CIP Planning for Low Income Kick-Off meeting on January 26, with a second meeting on February 28. Energy and housing advocates, energy efficiency implementers, utilities and other interested parties learned about CIP, the ongoing triennial utility planning process and ways to get involved and provide recommendations to utilities on their low-income programs ahead of their draft plans, which are due on June 1, 2023. For more information or to participate in future meetings, please contact Anjali Bains at

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Minnesota or to get more involved, contact Maddie Wazowicz.

    Missouri Header


    The Missouri legislature opened its 2023 session on January 4. Governor Mike Parson delivered his 2023 State of the State address to the Missouri General Assembly on January 18, in which he outlined his priorities. Legislators have already introduced a few bills related to energy and utility policies.

    HB 580, sponsored by Representative Houx, would establish a limit on the regulation of construction standards for insulation in new dwellings that political subdivisions may adopt and enforce. This bill, in effect, would limit all jurisdictions from going beyond the 2006 IECC. It would also prohibit jurisdictions from enforcing those currently adopted codes beyond the bill provisions, effectively rolling back energy codes in many Missouri jurisdictions. Furthermore, as amended and approved by the Government Efficiency and Downsizing Committee on February 22, the bill also includes the “Building Permit Reform Act,” which makes significant changes to building permit requirements, applicability, enforcement and fees. It would also require the state and local governments to provide free access to any third-party standards or codes referenced by laws or regulations (or alternatively, repeal the provisions incorporated by reference). All filed testimony can be found here. The bill has since been referred to the Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee. We will continue to monitor this bill’s progression.

    HB 325, sponsored by Representative Applebaum, would modify the definition of “renewable energy resources” for the purposes of the Renewable Energy Standard and increase the required percentages of each electric utility’s sales that must come from renewable energy resources. The required percentage would begin with no less than 15% by December 31, 2023, and increase to 100% by December 31, 2058. The bill has been read for the second time but is not currently scheduled for a committee hearing. This bill is the same as last session’s HB 1975.

    HB 184, which passed the House on February 16, requires political subdivisions to pay costs associated with any required electric vehicle charging stations at certain businesses.


    Through Evergy’s Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) Cycle 2 2023 extension year, Evergy has agreed to host four working group sessions to identify relevant information, potential partners, outside funding streams and other considerations for a feasibility study and vulnerability study regarding an Urban Heat Island (UHI) Mitigation program for Evergy’s next MEEIA application, MEEIA Cycle 4. Evergy has hosted three working group meetings thus far and plans to host at least one additional meeting before June 30, 2023. The working group has created a draft UHI Mitigation Action Plan and is determining available priority funding sources. For more information or to join the working group, please contact Natalie Gray, Manager of Energy Efficiency Programs and Services with Evergy, at

    Ameren Missouri held stakeholder collaborative meetings in late 2022 on behalf of the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA), which allows utilities to submit energy efficiency program filings. MEEIA does not set forth targets for energy efficiency, and program filings under MEEIA are entirely voluntary by the utilities. Ameren Missouri is preparing to file their MEEIA 4 portfolio, which will be a 6-year plan.

    The MO Public Service Commission, at the motion of the Office of the Public Counsel, opened a Working Case (AW-2023-0156) to investigate how MO’s investor-owned utilities plan to take advantage of federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The PSC has scheduled an initial in-person workshop meeting for April 21 in Jefferson City, Missouri, and a proposed agenda must be submitted by interested stakeholders by April 7.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Missouri or to get more involved, contact Natalie Newman.


    The legislative session in Nebraska began on January 9 and within ten days, over 800 bills were introduced in the legislature. January 18 was the final day for state senators to introduce bills.

    LB 164, sponsored by Sen. McKinney, proposes to update the International Building Code, International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code from the 2018 to the 2021 editions. The bill was heard in the Urban Affairs Committee on January 24.

    LB 255, cosponsored by Senators Brewer and Ardman, would prohibit Nebraska public utilities from using their right of eminent domain to acquire privately-owned land to build solar and wind electrical generation facilities. The bill was heard in the Natural Resources Committee on February 22.

    LB 560 declares the intent of the legislature to seek all funds made available to the state through the Inflation Reduction Act. These funds will be used for energy efficiency in homes and businesses, electric vehicle infrastructure, assisting in transition to cleaner energy, supporting agricultural practices that are drought resistant, decreasing the use of water and fertilizer, creating jobs and stimulating the economy. A notice of hearing has been set for March 6.


     Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), Nebraska’s largest electric utility, is currently working on updating its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is required every five years. NPPD’s current plan covers 2018-2022. The 2023 draft plan includes several energy efficiency measures, seeking to maximize the value of customer energy purchases in a cost-effective manner to improve customer bottom lines, reduce the cost to serve load during peak usage times and delay or even eliminate the need to build additional resources.

    NPPD is currently hosting several stakeholder meetings and will submit to the board for approval in September 2023. To stay up to date, please visit NPPD’s website.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Nebraska or to get more involved, contact Arlinda Bajrami.

    North Dakota


    North Dakota’s 68th Legislative Assembly began January 3. Since then, legislators have introduced several bills state’s laws pertaining to energy issues.

    HB 1315 would require applicants of proposed energy facilities to inform the commission that, before facility operations begin, owners/operators have filed interconnection agreements with affected regional transmission organizations or transmission owners. HB 1315 was introduced on January 11 by Representatives Novak, Dockter, S. Olson and Sen. Patten and passed its second reading in the House (90-4) on February 21.

    HB 1345 was introduced by Rep. Satrom on January 11. HB 1345 would allow the state to give contracting priority to companies that support the state’s agriculture and energy industries. HB 1345 passed in the House (85-8) on February 20 and was received by the Senate on February 21.

    HB 1429, introduced by Rep. Novak, alongside seven other representatives and three senators, concerns state business practices with non-governmental companies. Most notably, HB 1429 would prohibit the state from contracting with companies that “boycott” energy, mining, and agriculture production efforts within the state of North Dakota. HB 1429 passed the House (93-0) on February 20 and was received by the Senate on February 21.

    SB 2137 was introduced by Senators Weber and Erbele and Rep. Dockter on January 3 and referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. SB 2137 relates to the membership of the North Dakota Energy Policy Commission – a 13-member commission comprised of governor appointed representatives from various energy-related industries. SB 2137 proposes adding a fourteenth member to this Commission, which would serve as a representative of the state’s solar industry. SB 2137 failed to pass a vote for a second reading (16-31) on January 23.

    SB 2161, introduced on January 6 by Sen. Sickler, eliminates a 2027 sunset for funding the state’s Energy and Environmental Research Center. This bill complements the decision of a North Dakota Senate panel to increase the funding cap for the Energy and Environmental Research Center from $5 million to $10 million. SB 2161 was voted out of the Senate (44-0) on February 3 and was received by the House on February 17, where it received its first reading and was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

    SB 2165 was introduced on January 9 by Sen. Patten. SB 2165 updates the duties of the State Energy Policy Commission, placing reliability, resiliency and affordability as priorities for the Commission. On February 21, SB 2165 passed a second reading (40-6).

    How to Get Involved

    If you have any questions about North Dakota or want to get more involved, contact Christian Koch.


    The Ohio legislature opened its 2023 session on January 2. Here are energy and utility bills that have been introduced in Ohio this session:

    HB41, from Rep. Skindell (D-13) would require that utility bills itemize generation, distribution, transmission and supply, as well as any riders, in utility bills. It has been introduced and will be referred to the Public Utilities Committee.


    Governor DeWine has nominated John Williams to take up the PUCO seat vacated by Commissioner Trombold. Williams has a long career on PUCO staff and also served as Director of the Transportation Department prior to this nomination.

    Ohio’s Office of Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) head Bruce Weston intends to retire in the coming months, although he has yet to pick a departure date. The agency’s nine-member board, appointed by the attorney general, will hire his successor. Read the full announcement from the OCC here.

    PUCO has rendered its decision in the Columbia Gas of Ohio rate case. The stipulated agreement was modified and approved, cutting all energy efficiency except for $14M for low-income energy efficiency programs. A stipulated provision in which the utility agreed to not pursue or support customer DSM programs through legislation was eliminated as beyond the authority of the commission to approve or enforce.

    AEP Ohio has filed an energy efficiency plan as part of its Standard Service Offer approval in 23-0023-EL-SSO. The energy efficiency plan is part of the utility’s fifth Electric Security Plan (“ESP V”) proposal and would allocate $43M annually for voluntary efficiency, including $800k for R&D and $1.45M for education and training. The company is proposing using a customized cost-effectiveness test that includes some quantified non-energy impacts (NEIs). A technical conference was held on Feb. 7, and the case is ongoing.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Ohio or to get more involved, contact Greg Ehrendreich.

    South Dakota


    The South Dakota legislature opened its 2023 session on January 10. On the legislature’s opening day, the South Dakota Senate Committee on Commerce and Energy introduced SB 11 at the request of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. SB 11 would increase the cap on deposits required from public utilities when they file for approval of general rate cases. The current deposit limit is $250,000. Additionally, SB 11 outlines that any interest earned on monies in the fund are to be credited to the fund. SB 11 passed both the South Dakota House and Senate and was delivered to Governor Noem on February 15. She is expected to sign the legislation.

    At the beginning of February, Representative Krohmer introduced HB 1239, which would prohibit the banning of gas services and appliances used by consumers. HB 1239 passed the House (64-6) on February 15. HB 1239 has now been referred to the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee and is scheduled for its first hearing on February 23.

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    The Wisconsin legislature opened its 2023 legislative session on January 3. Few bills related to energy have been introduced yet.

    SB49 would prevent municipalities from restricting certain fuel types, effectively preventing jurisdictions from banning the use or installation of natural gas infrastructure. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Utilities and Technology.


    In Docket 5-FE-104, the PSC released its order on the Focus on Energy Quadrennial Planning Process IV. The document compiles the 36 decisions the Commission made in each of the three phase of the Quad Plan and can be found here.

    In 2022 the Commission held several workshops on performance-based regulation, as set out in the roadmap-to-zero-carbon docket, Docket 5-EI-158. WPSC staff will now work to compile materials from the workshops and stakeholder comments into a report for the Commission in early 2023.

    How to Get Involved

    For more information about Wisconsin or to get more involved, contact Maddie Wazowicz.

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    Recent Reports

    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Alliance to Save Energy and Business Council for Sustainable Energy recently released their Energy Efficiency Impact Report. Using 59 indicators, the report tracks progress and illuminates key findings in a variety of sectors, including utilities, buildings, industry and transportation, examining how policy and other tools are used to incentivize energy efficiency.


    Earlier this month, President Biden named Commissioner Willie Phillips as Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Commissioner Phillips replaces Richard Glick, whose tenure as Chair ended after Senator Joe Manchin declined to hold a nomination hearing for Glick’s second term. Senator Manchin has been critical of FERC policies for reviewing natural gas pipelines.

    With the appointment of Commissioner Phillips as Acting Chairman, FERC, a five-member agency, now has four sitting commissioners. Potential 2-2 splits could make it more difficult for FERC to tackle challenging issues, such as decisions pertaining to natural gas pipeline infrastructure and how the agency should consider greenhouse gas emissions related to gas projects under review.


    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Request for Information regarding the Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole-House Rebates (HOMES) and High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA). The DOE is seeking input regarding equitable and efficient program design, tools, metrics and sustainability. The RFI is posted on EERE Exchange, `and responses are due no later than 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday, March 3, 2023. Responses may be submitted either through Office Form or via email at

    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently seeking applications for Fiscal Year 2023 funding. Agricultural producers and rural small businesses are eligible applicants for loan guarantees and grants to develop renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements. Two significant changes to this additional funding include an increase in the maximum Federal grant share from 25% to 40% of total project costs and an increase of maximum grant amounts from $250,000 to $500,000 for energy efficiency projects and an increase from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for renewable energy systems. The application deadline is March 31, 2023. More information is available from the USDA’s Rural Development Office here.

    On December 28, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed new energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers, which lower the voltage of electrical power before delivery to the customer (and can often be seen on neighborhood utility poles). The standards were last changed in 2013, when slight improvements were made. The new standards, which would come into effect in 2027, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, potentially saving consumers approximately $15 billion over 30 years. On February 16, DOE hosted a public meeting to solicit feedback on the proposed rulemaking from stakeholders. Read the full notice from DOE here.

    On December 19, The Biden-Harris Administration announced $45 million from IIJA to support resilient and efficient building energy codes to generate up to $138 billion in savings for homes and businesses and improve health and safety. The money will come in the form of competitive grants to help states and partnering organizations implement updated building energy codes and lower energy bills for American families and businesses. Applications are now being accepted for this first wave of funding for the Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation Program. Applicants must include a state agency to be eligible, and they may apply in strategic partnership with other organizations, such as state or local building departments, builders, contractors, architects, engineers, other design and construction professionals, academia, research, trade organizations, consumer advocates, regional energy efficiency organizations and other stakeholders who play an important role supporting the successful implementation of building codes. Read the full announcement from DOE here. Additional application information is available from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy here, with FOA number 0002813. Concept paper submissions were due January 31 and full applications are due on March 27 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

    On December 19, DOE announced proposed stronger efficiency standards for some of the most common bulbs. The new standards raise the minimum lightbulb efficiency level from 45 lumens/watt to 67 through 123 lumens/watt, depending on the type of bulb. A pre-publication Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking by DOE and comments, data and information will be accepted until 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. Further, DOE held a webinar on this matter on Wednesday, February 1.

    On November 22, the Biden-Harris Administration released a Notice of Intent announcing $550 million to support community-based clean energy in state, tribal and local governments through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. This funding is made available through IIJA. Pre-application information checklists for formula grant funding are open now and due on April 28.

    On August 26, DOE released its guidance for implementation of IIJA’s State Energy Program funds. These funds will provide a $425 million injection to state energy offices and can be used for a variety of projects to increase energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, lower carbon emissions and increase energy resiliency. See the allocation by state here. An overview of all IIJA provisions is available at Building a Better America | The White House.

    In fall 2022, The White House released a guidebook for funding under the Inflation Recovery Act, Inflation Reduction Act Guidebook | Clean Energy | The White House. Information on all of the Biden Administration’s energy priorities are available at Clean Energy for All | The White House.

    DOE closed its comment period on proposed new energy efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces on January 30, 2023. If DOE's tentative agenda is adhered to, this would go into effect in 2029 and require gas furnaces to be 95% fuel efficient. According to DOE, older, less-efficient and non-condensing style furnaces have efficiency rates as low as 56%. The phasing out of these older furnaces is expected to save consumers $30.3 billion over 30 years. DOE held a webinar in December on this matter, and updates from DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy are available here.

    How to Get Involved 

    For more information about federal issues, contact Jason Liechty or Stacey Paradis


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    What We're Reading

    New Feature! MEEA staff share some of the interesting, thought-provoking articles, opinion pieces and reports they've been reading recently - some energy-related, some not!