MEEA Policy Insider - June 2019

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

Ready to get involved? There are advocacy opportunities in Illinois, Iowa and Ohio.

In this issue:

IL section header


The Illinois General Assembly concluded the spring session on June 3 and advanced several bills that impact the energy sector:

  • H.B. 2652 (Rep. Michael Halpin): allows for electric vehicle and solar ready appendices to be adopted in the building code, if approved by the Capital Development Board. Prior to this legislation, published supplements to the code were prohibited. The bill passed both the House and Senate and now goes to the governor for his expected approval.
  • H.B. 1438 (Rep. Kelly Cassidy): creates the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, a comprehensive bill that legalizes adult recreational use of marijuana in Illinois. The legislation requires marijuana to be grown indoors and sets minimum lighting and HVAC efficiency technology standards for marijuana cultivation facilities. The bill also requires cultivation facilities as part of their license application to submit a plan that includes: estimates of monthly electricity and gas usage, to what extent it will procure energy from a local utility or from on-site generation, and if it has or will adopt a sustainable energy use and energy conservation policy. The bill passed both the House and Senate and now goes to the governor for his expected approval.  

  • H.B. 62 (Sen. Cullerton): a $45 billion capital bill that finances infrastructure projects throughout Illinois over the next six years. The bill specifically financed:
    • $70 million for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at state facilities
    • $70 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure
      The bill passed both the House and Senate and now goes to the governor for his expected approval.
  • S.B. 651 (Sen. Kimberly Lightford): updates regulations for alternative energy retail suppliers (ARES). Specifically, ARES would be required to provide customers with information about rates, fees and early termination charges, and report information about their rates to the Illinois Commerce Commission and the state Attorney General. The bill also requires ARES to receive customer consent before the contract is switched from a fixed rate to a variable rate and prohibits contracts from being automatically renewed. The bill passed both the House and Senate and now goes to the governor for his expected approval.
  • HB 3624 (Rep. Ann Williams): Clean Energy Jobs Act - a comprehensive clean energy and environmental bill. The bill was amended on February 28 to add the full text of legislation. The bill makes several changes including:
    • Expanding gas utility energy efficiency requirements
    • Repealing the industrial exemption
    • Increasing spending on income-qualified programs
      The bill passed out of the Energy and Environment Committee but was held on Second Reading and did not receive a House floor vote. This bill could see action in the fall veto session as part of a larger energy package.

The Illinois General Assembly is now adjourned, returning in the fall for veto session from October 28-30 and November 12-14, when legislation can continue to advance.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Illinois or to get more involved, contact Nick Hromalik.

IN header image


Integrated resource planning is ongoing for Indiana utilities but may have been extended from their original filing deadlines. Current deadlines for the next IRPs are:

  • Duke (2018 IRP): July 1, 2019
  • I&M (2018 IRP): July 1, 2019
  • IPL (2019 IRP): Nov 1, 2019
  • NIPSCO (2019 IRP): Nov 1, 2021
  • Vectren (2019 IRP): May 1, 2020

Utility stakeholder meetings will continue during the planning period and will be posted on the utility IRP pages linked above. Updates from the commission on IRPs in Indiana will be posted to the IURC’s IRP page.

How to Get Involved

Utility IRP meetings are open to anyone interested in attending.

If you have any questions about Indiana or want to get more involved, contact Greg Ehrendreich.

IA header image


Legislative session ended on May 3.

On May 8, Governor Kim Reynolds signed standing appropriations bill SF 638, which includes provisions that would expand SF 2311’s rollback of the energy efficiency standard. SF 683 prohibits the approval of energy efficiency and demand response plans that exceed spending of 1.5% and 2.0% of expected annual retail rate revenue for gas and electric utilities, respectively.

Also on May 8, the Iowa Utility Board submitted an order requesting additional comments in ongoing docket RMU-2016-0018, a rulemaking docket intended to implement changes made to the Iowa Code by SF 2311 (2018).

How to Get Involved

Comments can be submitted in docket RMU-2016-0018 through the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) electronic filing system here.

Iowa Utilities Board hearings are open to the public.

If you have questions about Iowa or want to get more involved, contact Samarth Medakkar.  


On February 27, the Michigan Public Service Commission opened case U-20464 to issue a report on the state’s energy supply, engineering and deliverability of natural gas, electricity and propane, and contingency planning. This was requested by Governor Whitmer in response to forced generation outages from extremely low temperatures that occurred during the January 2019 polar vortex.

On March 5, MPSC staff issued its process outline for the Statewide Energy Assessment, which contained the following process timeline:

  • Timeline for Assessment Draft:
    • March 5: Final report outline posted
    • March: Begin research, prepare stakeholder inquiries & schedule meetings with stakeholders
    • April:  Workgroups meet with stakeholders 
    • May 10-30: Workgroup chairs write their sections
    • June 1: Draft report compiled and turned over for final editing 
    • July 1: Draft report due with subsequent
    • TBD public comment period
    • Sept 13: Final report due

On June 20, the MPSC will be holding a public forum on DTE’s integrated resource plan filing.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Michigan or to get more involved, contact Nick Dreher.


On March 4, the Clean Energy First Act (HF 1956) was introduced. This bill included Governor Walz’s proposal to move Minnesota’s electric supply to 100% carbon-free by 2050. This bill was consolidated into a larger jobs and energy package HB 2208 and passed out of the House on April 24. This bill incorporated the HF 1360 PACE project eligibility and financing structure. The related Senate bill SF 2611 had some differences that, if passed, would have needed to be worked out with the House bill in conference. On May 20, session ended and closed the window on the Senate and House jobs and energy approaches.

MEEA Activity

On April 18, Senior Policy Manager Nick Dreher and Policy Manager Nick Hromalik met with staff members at the governor’s office, House Majority, Senate Majority and the Department of Commerce to educate them on the value of energy efficiency in Minnesota.

On May 9, MEEA held call with members to discuss the details of the Senate and House omnibus jobs and energy packages. MEEA will continue to hold calls of this nature during session to ensure our members have up to date information.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Minnesota or to get more involved, contact Nick Dreher

Missouri Header


On January 17, Governor Parson issued an executive order that will shift the Division of Energy to the Department of Natural Resources. The Public Service Commission and the Office of Public Counsel will be moved to the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which was formerly known as the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration. The order is effective no sooner than August 28, 2019.


The procedural schedule for Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCP&L) Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) cycle 3 plan has been suspended. KCP&L’s cycle 2 will be extended for nine months with a new end date of December 31, 2019. Negotiations for cycle 3 are continuing.  


Legislative session adjourned on May 17.

HB 215, along with companion bill SB 173, modifies provisions relating to Missouri’s Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) financing program. The bill shifts oversight of the PACE program from local PACE boards to the Missouri Division of Finance within the Department of Commerce and Insurance. The bill also requires a program administrator (selected by the local PACE board) to obtain and maintain a license annually and limit eligibility for PACE financing. The bill would be effective August 28, 2019. The bill is on Second Read in the Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Senate Committee and can be picked up next session.

SB 131 requires state energy plans developed by the Division of Energy to be reviewed by the division by January 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, and updated if necessary. House Committee Substitute SB 131 has passed out of the House Committee on Utilities and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Rules - Legislative Oversight Committee. The Senate refused to concur with the House Committee Substitute Bill and requested that the House recede the bill, take up Senate Committee Substitute for SB 131 and pass the bill. This bill can be picked up next session.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Missouri or to get more involved, contact Samarth Medakkar


The last day of legislative session was Thursday, June 6.

On May 2, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill to update the statewide energy code from the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to the unamended 2018 IECC for residential and commercial buildings. The bill was approved by the governor on May 8. This bill makes Nebraska’s energy code the strongest statewide energy code in the region.  

At the request of Governor Ricketts, Senator Dan Hughes introduced a bill to merge the Energy Office and the Department of Environmental Quality into the new Department of Environment and Energy. The bill transfers all statutory powers, responsibilities, employees and assets of the State Energy Office to the Department of Environment and Energy. The legislature voted unanimously in support of the bill, and the merger is effective July 1.

How to Get Involved

If you have questions about Iowa or want to get more involved, contact Samarth Medakkar 


On May 29, the Ohio House passed H.B. 6 on a 53 to 43 vote . The bill ostensibly creates a “clean air program fund” to support nuclear power plants and other generation sources in the state, but also provides financial support for two coal power plants in the Ohio Valley Electric Cooperative (OVEC). Unfortunately, the bill terminates the current energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) after 2020.

The House Subcommittee on Energy Generation has held several hearings on the bill. On April 23 MEEA testified before the subcommittee about the many benefits the EERS has provided for Ohio residents and businesses. On May 2, the subcommittee voted 5 to 3 to move a substitute version of the bill to the full Natural Resources and Energy Committee, which then held a series of hearings and eventually also voted the bill favorably out of committee on a party-line vote.

The bill is currently being considered by the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.

The legislature is tentatively in session through July 18.


The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) granted an extension for energy efficiency plan filings. The utilities now have until September 1.   

On April 10, the PUCO issued an order finalizing a decision they made at the end of 2018 concerning energy efficiency programs and renewable portfolio standard compliance in the state. This new order is in response to requests for rehearing that was granted in January. The 2019 order remains largely the same concerning the pre-approval process for energy efficiency programs. The order eliminates pre-approval and instead creates a post-program annual audit, with the PUCO expecting utilities and interested parties to work toward resolving issues prior to program implementation during the collaborative quarterly stakeholder process. These changes could impact stakeholder engagement and certainty around cost-recovery.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Ohio or to get more involved, contact Nick Hromalik.

wisconsin header


On February 28, Governor Evers released the two-year Wisconsin budget proposal. The proposal has several recommendations relating to energy, including:

  • Creating the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy within the Department of Administration to advance clean energy initiatives
  • Creating a statutory goal that all electricity produced in the state should be 100% carbon free by 2050
  • Modifying current law to allow the Public Service Commission to increase the funds available to Focus on Energy beyond 1.2% of each utility’s annual operating revenues
  • Modifying the business development tax credit to provide an additional 5% incentive for capital investments related to energy efficiency or renewable energy projects

However, all of these have since been removed from the legislative version of the budget. See details below.


The biennial budget was recently introduced as legislation (SB 59/AB 56), codifying the governor’s budget proposal, including the provisions listed above.

On May 1 the Joint Finance Committee announced that it had removed 70 “non-fiscal policy” items from the governor’s budget request. This included the elimination of the cap on Focus on Energy’s revenue and the other energy-related items listed above. The final budget is not expected to be sent to the governor until August 1, 2019 or later. The legislature is in session through June 28 but will also have a fall session where the budget and other bills may be considered.

How to Get Involved

For more information about Wisconsin or to get more involved, contact Nick Hromalik.


    New Blogs

    New Fact Sheets

    New White Papers