Creating Value through Energy Management
May 16, 2013 - 8:27 pm

By Christopher H. Russell, Visiting Fellow, Industry

Champions within industrial facilities may be the largest piece missing from the energy policy and program landscape. Some energy program administrators are sponsoring the placement of dedicated energy managers at industrial facilities to overcome the obstacles to energy optimization. These pilot efforts seek to accelerate the pace and volume of industrial energy efficiency projects.

The placement of empowered, professional energy managers is an important contributor to the implementation of industrial energy management standards, policies, and programs. Today, ACEEE released a report that profiles some of the recent programs and identifies the elements that lead to successful models.

To date, energy issues have been largely delegated to technical staffs, which focus on equipment selection and engineering projects. While the technical focus is no doubt crucial, it does nothing to address the organizational barriers that may arise in response to the changes proposed by an energy manager.

The viability of any policy is highly dependent on a visible and motivated constituency. Energy managers can play pivotal roles not just by creating value within their companies, but also by enabling the pursuit of industrial energy efficiency policies of public utility commissions and the goals they set for resource acquisition programs.

Industrial culture provides the durable truism: “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This applies especially to all the energy-consuming mechanical systems that populate industrial facilities. Implicit in this truism, then, is the assumption that industry is willing to delegate time and resources to the management of energy and related assets. However, many North American manufacturing organizations are not accustomed to managing energy consumption, and in today’s competitive economic environment, companies are wary of adding to their human resource head count. Combine that with the fact that energy is just one of many initiatives competing for management attention and resources, and you can easily end up with energy management not being a priority.

Put another way, managing energy requires change. With change comes the perception of risk. Program sponsorship dispels the perceived risk of wasted time and resources that would result from the unprecedented expense of energy management. In effect, program sponsorship accelerates the learning curve experienced by progressive organizations that secure strategic energy management competencies.

Thanks to companies’ experience with pilot programs, some facilities are now hiring and even expanding their cadre of energy managers. By facilitating the creation of energy manager positions, these energy programs are also building the professional population that can become visible advocates for emerging energy policies and provide an important foundation for implementing industry energy management protocols such as the ISO 50001 standard.

Programs that promote industrial energy managers offer the potential to be an important complement to other industrial program elements that enhance project implementation and energy savings. Experience has shown that these managers can more than pay for their salary with identified energy cost savings, so these programs represent a low risk element to supercharge energy savings in the industrial sector.

A Look Back at Secretary Chu’s Enormous Impact on Energy Savings
May 15, 2013 - 8:07 pm

By Andrew deLaski, Executive Director, Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP)

With Congress about to confirm Ernie Moniz as the nation’s new energy secretary, it’s a good time to take a look back on what his predecessor, Steven Chu, accomplished with new appliance, equipment and lighting efficiency standards. In brief, he accomplished a lot. But not as much as he might have if he’d had better backing from the White House. Let’s start with the hard numbers. Taking into account products sold between now and 2035, new efficiency standards adopted during Chu’s four-year stint will net U.S. consumers and businesses more than $100 billion in savings. The energy saved by these new standards will be about enough to power the entire U.S. economy—all of our buildings, industries, homes, cars, and trucks—for about four months.

Chu had a fertile field with which to work. Congress, recognizing the enormous energy-saving benefits from existing efficiency standards, charged DOE with developing many new standards as part of energy laws enacted in 2005 and 2007. In addition, Secretary Chu’s immediate predecessor at the Department of Energy (DOE), Sam Bodman, prompted by litigation and Congressional oversight, committed the agency to catch up on 22 missed deadlines for updates to existing standards, some stretching back to the mid-1990s.

Empowered by President Obama, who issued an executive order just days after taking office directing DOE to meet and beat all its legal deadlines for new standards, Chu seized the opportunity. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Standards completed in 2009 for the tube-shape fluorescent lamps used mostly in offices will save more energy than any other standard ever issued by DOE.
  • New water heater standards will help heat pump technology and gas condensing technology gain a market foothold by focusing on large water heaters where these new technologies are most cost-effective.
  • New residential refrigerator and clothes washer standards will reduce the average energy use of these products by about 25% and 40%, respectively. These standards show that continued technological gains can deliver cost-effective energy savings, even for products that have already achieved dramatic improvements.

Chu succeeded in part by changing the culture at DOE: he made saving energy exciting and he extolled the power of standards to drive the biggest results. Just months into office, he told National Geographic that “Appliance standards, ka-BOOM, can be had right away.” Chu backed up his words with new staff and resources.

By 2012, DOE had caught up on all of the overdue standards accumulated under prior administrations. Just as importantly, Chu had launched new work to consider whether standards could help drive cost-effective efficiency improvements for additional product categories such as industrial products (e.g., pumps, fans, and compressors) and consumer electronics like set-top boxes. A committed academic (Nobel laureate in physics, to be precise), the Secretary even pitched in as an analyst, helping the agency improve how it estimates the impact of appliance standards on product prices. Under Steven Chu, the DOE’s appliance standards office became a place to make energy savings happen.

Unfortunately, Chu’s momentum was slowed and, eventually, all-but-halted by the White House’s regulatory apparatus. Every major new rule must be reviewed by the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) prior to agency publication. OIRA at first completed its’ reviews expeditiously. But, starting in 2010, the review process, which is supposed to take 60 to 90 days at most, started to stretch out. No rules were immune—even the new home appliance standards backed by manufacturers, consumer groups, and efficiency advocates together were stalled for months. Eventually, those standards were completed, but some effective dates were delayed, which means millions of needlessly inefficient appliances will be sold and remain in use, wasting energy for years.

As of this writing, seven new standards covering a range of products from microwave ovens to industrial motors are overdue. (DOE published new standards for distribution transformers last month, the first new standard in nearly a year.) The overdue standards are not especially controversial—for example, manufacturers and efficiency advocates have submitted a consensus proposal for new motor standards and the microwave oven standard would simply cut down on standby mode electricity waste. But, as I described in a blog post in January, these delays are costing U.S. consumers. We are keeping a counter on the ASAP website to track the cost of the delays— the new backlog already has cost U.S. consumers and businesses $4.2 billion in lost savings and the costs are mounting.

As Georgetown Law Professor Lisa Heinzerling pointed out in a recent blog article, the reasons for the delays are puzzling, but what’s clear is that OIRA serves as “a portal into the political machinery of the larger White House.”

In sum, Secretary Chu saved more energy with new appliance standards than any of his predecessors, by a lot. But, with a little more backing from the White House, he could have done even more. If Chu can be faulted at all, perhaps he could have been more effective at shepherding rules through political channels of the White House. Regardless, because of his actions consumers and business will be saving billions of dollars in the years ahead.

Chu’s successor, Moniz, is also a physicist, but he comes with another credential: service in the Clinton Administration both in the White House and as the Under Secretary at DOE. This experience may serve him well as he navigates new standards to their completion. If Moniz achieves as much as Steven Chu, President Obama will rank as the president who did more than any other to cut the energy wasted in our homes, businesses, and industries. Let’s hope Moniz gets the White House backing he needs.

Can Freight System Efficiency Improvements Deliver Major Energy Savings?
May 10, 2013 - 7:07 pm

By Therese Langer, Transportation Program Director

With heavy truck fuel efficiency standards in place and federal agencies gearing up for the next phase of the program, it’s time to consider energy savings opportunities in the freight system more broadly. Our new report Energy Efficiency Potential of the U.S. Freight System: A Scoping Exercise compares the findings of five recent studies to find out what energy savings estimates have been offered. Three were studies of the greenhouse gas reduction potential in the U.S. transportation sector, from which we extracted the findings on reductions in the freight sector through energy efficiency strategies. The studies generally found more savings potential from vehicle technology improvements (10 to 23 percent) than from combinations of system efficiency approaches (0 to 18 percent), such as shifting to less energy-intensive freight modes, improving logistics, and optimizing routing.

The other two were global supply chain studies, which we consulted in hopes of expanding the scope of efficiency strategies. The supply chain studies did indeed find considerably greater potential for savings from freight system efficiency improvements (12 to 37 percent, or 0.5 to 1.7 million barrels per day of oil in the United States) than the transportation studies found. In particular, the savings they attributed to approaches such as expanding home delivery, optimizing speed, and increasing load factor were quite high. The supply chain studies also considered prospects for moving the production of goods closer to markets, though they differed on whether that would lead to a net reduction in energy use.

While the supply chain studies offered new places to look for freight system energy savings, they were not as well documented as the transportation studies, nor were they U.S.-specific. Hence an integrated, comprehensive assessment of freight system efficiency opportunities, informed by a supply chain perspective, is warranted. 

The multi-year reauthorization for federal transportation funding is once again looming, so it’s a good time for such an assessment. Federal freight policy got some much needed attention in the run-up to the passage of the last reauthorization, MAP-21, in 2012. MAP-21 proclaimed a new National Freight Strategy and set in motion the development of freight plans at the state and national levels. Yet the provisions are focused almost exclusively on highways, defining the National Freight Network as a subset of our roadway system and mentioning intermodal facilities only in passing. A more expansive view of our freight system, and a clearer picture of the efficiency opportunities it presents, will come in handy when the next transportation bill takes shape in 2014.

ACEEE in Four Places at Once
April 24, 2013 - 7:29 pm

By Steven Nadel , Executive Director

As many regular readers of our reports and blog posts know, for the past decade ACEEE has increasingly been working on energy efficiency policy at the state level, working with local allies to encourage the development and implementation of best-practice energy efficiency policies.  Our focus on states was brought home to us when we realized that our nation-trotting staff were testifying or conducting field work in four different states early this week.

Yesterday, Associate Director Neal Elliott was in Columbus, Ohio testifying before the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, presenting the results of a new analysis of the impacts of the state’s EERS over the past five years and the huge benefits to both participants and non-participants of continuing the state’s commitments to energy efficiency. We hope that this new analysis commissioned by the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association will help solidify the legislature’s commitment to energy efficiency policies that have received the support of the current (and the previous) governor and many of the state’s utilities.

Also yesterday, I was in Trenton, New Jersey testifying at a New Jersey Board of Public Utility (BPU) hearing on future energy efficiency savings targets and budgets.  I testified that while New Jersey used to be a leader in energy efficiency (ranked #8 in the 2007 ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard), it has been steadily slipping to the middle of the pack (#16 in the 2012 Scorecard).  I recommended that the BPU ramp up its energy savings goals and spending over the next several years in order to again join the leaders in reducing energy costs for New Jersey consumers and businesses and creating energy efficiency jobs in the state.

Meanwhile, on Monday, ACEEE Senior Fellow Marty Kushler was speaking at a forum in Traverse City, Michigan as part of Governor Snyder's 'Michigan Energy Policy Review' process.  Governor Snyder plans to make comprehensive recommendations regarding Michigan's energy future in December, 2013. Marty talked about natural gas energy efficiency, complementing an earlier forum talk  he gave on electric efficiency.

Finally, staff members Max Neubauer and Maggie Molina traveled to Jackson, Mississippi this week for a second round of stakeholder meetings as part of an ongoing ACEEE energy efficiency program analysis for Mississippi, in partnership with the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) and the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). The primary goals of this stakeholder process are to build new relationships, understand the roles that the various stakeholders can play in developing energy efficiency in Mississippi, and identify opportunities to build effective, actionable steps toward greater efficiency through programs and policies.  The stakeholder meetings will help inform the scope of the energy efficiency program analysis, which will be completed this summer.

While this was a big week for ACEEE state activity, we are also doing substantial work on national and local policy.  For example, at the national level this week we are working with one coalition to develop an amendment to the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill to promote benchmarking of commercial buildings and disclosure of energy use consumption information. We are also working with a Senate office and businesses to develop legislation to reform equipment depreciation schedules in the tax code so these schedules no longer discourage replacement of inefficient equipment.  And at the local level last week we finished the draft of a study on the City of New Orleans and we are continuing work on our first City Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

Manufacturers Association Releases ACEEE Report on Impacts of Ohio EERS
April 24, 2013 - 12:25 am

By R. Neal Elliott, Associate Director for Research

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) today released Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Resource Standard: Impacts on the Ohio Wholesale Electricity Market and Benefits to the State, a report that the OMA commissioned ACEEE to prepare. This report is the product of almost 6 months of research by ACEEE staff, supported by analysts at Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.

I will be presenting our findings to the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, chaired by state Senator Bill Seitz. Chairman Seitz has initiated hearings on his legislation, Ohio Senate Bill 58, which is intended to review, and possibly modify, Ohio's energy efficiency resource standard (EERS).

Our report finds that the Ohio EERS enacted in 2008 by SB221 has now delivered over 3,200 gigawatt-hours of savings to Ohio electricity consumers over the past 3 years, equivalent to 2.1% of statewide electricity sales in 2011. These utility energy efficiency programs are cost-effectively saving customers electricity beyond the targets set by the legislation, as shown below.

As Ohio transitions to competitive wholesale electric markets going forward, the study finds continuing utility commitments to meeting the EERS targets in coming years could save customers a total of almost $5.6 billion in avoided energy expenditures. We estimate utility energy efficiency program administration costs to be $2.7 billion.

Of the savings, $2.2 billion results from price mitigation impacts that reduce wholesale prices, which in turn reduces bills for both participants and non-participants of utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs throughout the entire energy system.

The value proposition to businesses and manufacturers, participants and non-participants alike, is unequivocal: energy efficiency reduces customer energy costs, both directly through facility efficiency improvements and through downward pressure on market energy prices. Energy efficiency also reduces risks associated with volatile energy markets and, ultimately, enhances the competitiveness of Ohio’s businesses.

Why Increasing Information on a Home’s Energy Use Will Help Homebuyers Make Smarter Decisions
April 23, 2013 - 2:34 am

By Rachel Cluett, Senior Research Analyst

What if people could have access to a piece of valuable information that they don’t currently receive about the house they are considering for purchase?  What if this could happen with very little bureaucracy and limited program implementation costs? Sound appealing? While home inspections to ensure safety and structural soundness have long been part of the home buying process, and while real estate taxes and home insurance costs have been regularly accounted for in mortgage underwriting calculations, one major cost to homeowners has been left in the dark at the time of sale---the cost of the energy needed to “run” your new home.  

In a new report by ACEEE, Residential Energy Use Disclosure: A Review of Existing Policies, fourteen U.S. residential energy use disclosure laws were examined in order to shed light on how residential energy disclosure policies can most effectively reach homebuyers and renters in single-family homes and multifamily buildings. While commercial benchmarking is quickly becoming a hot policy in many major U.S. cities, residential policies have popped up in a remarkably diverse spread of jurisdictions---some of which have few, if any, other energy efficiency policies on the books.  

Increasing the transparency of information around the home buying process and increasing consumer awareness of the real costs of home ownership is crucial in a post-mortgage crisis environment. The average homeowner spends approximately $2,000 every year on energy used in their home, a considerable sum that is greater than the cost of the average home insurance policy and property tax combined. Yet this cost is not often realized—conventional mortgage underwriting ignores the amount of money a homeowner will spend on energy every year. For someone carefully determining manageable monthly mortgage payments, an unexpected extra $100-200 a month in energy costs can be a significant burden. A recent study by the Institute for Market Transformation found that the less energy a home consumes, the lower the chance of defaulting on a mortgage. A sample of 71,000 ENERGY STAR and non-ENERGY STAR single-family home mortgages revealed that default risks are 32 percent lower on average in energy-efficient homes. Residential energy use disclosure serves to provide that valuable cost information when a home is placed on the market.       

Initial experimentation with residential energy disclosure policies around the country highlights potential challenges, but also helps to provide examples of how to work past these barriers.  While much of the pushback against disclosure policies has come from realtors in the past, examples of smart collaboration efforts in Austin, Texas and Chicago Illinois, suggest how mutual design and implementation of policies can lead to more robust and useful energy disclosure. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a residential disclosure ordinance requiring all new homes to post Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index ratings (a measure of a home’s energy performance based on an onsite inspection of the home’s features) took effect in 2008. After substantial discussions with interested stakeholders, the City Council adopted a more stringent policy, requiring homes to meet a specific HERS index score. Our review of the ordinance’s implementation indicates that because enforcement is tied to the existing building code, all new homes in the first 1.5 years the policy was in place had a HERS rating performed. 

To support these initial efforts, further evaluation is needed to reveal the most effective ways to design and implement policies that disclose home energy use to renters and buyers. As legislators across the country continue to pursue this promising policy option, partnerships with local stakeholders combined with well-designed policies will be crucial to the success of residential energy disclosure laws. 

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 Lights a Path Forward for Energy Efficiency
April 18, 2013 - 7:43 pm

By Suzanne Watson, Policy Program Director

Today Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) released The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, a new energy efficiency-based bill. The bill will take up portions of a previously introduced bill, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 (S. 1000), that did not pass as part of The American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act of 2012 (H.R. 6582). The bill also contains a new private commercial building financing  provision, the ‘‘Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Financing Initiative,”  that will provide modest funding to states to create and operate innovative financing programs for efficiency upgrades to private sector commercial buildings.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) supports the passage of The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, also called S. 1000, in the 113th Congress. Energy efficiency costs less than new power generation, saves families and businesses money, and creates jobs. Research done in 2012 by ACEEE demonstrated that the energy efficiency provisions of last year’s version of S. 1000, which are similar to the new bill, could have produced 80,000 net jobs and saved consumers $4 billion on their energy bills in 2020.  In 2030, 159,000 net jobs would have been created and consumers would have saved $20 billion on their energy bills. Congress should seize this opportunity to strengthen our economy by passing this bill.

Steps Toward International Alignment of Heavy-Duty Vehicle Efficiency Standards
April 05, 2013 - 12:57 am

By Therese Langer, Transportation Program Director

Freight movement is among the fastest growing energy uses in the world, yet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for the heavy-duty vehicles that move freight are still in their infancy. To date, Japan, the U.S., and Canada have adopted fuel efficiency and/or greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses, while China, Mexico, and the European Union are considering doing so.  A new ACEEE report looks at what these programs have in common, how they differ, and what the prospects are for bringing them closer together.

Distinct configurations of heavy-duty vehicles are legion, presenting a challenge to creating manageable standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration successfully navigated this challenge in their first heavy-duty greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards in 2011. In the next phase of the program, now under development, additional technologies will need to be coaxed into the market to maximize cost-effective fuel savings. 

Despite the diversity of these vehicles, their sales in the U.S. are an order of magnitude smaller than sales of passenger cars and light trucks, which limits R&D investment and slows technology promulgation---hence the interest in aligning heavy-duty regulatory programs internationally. Globalization of vehicle components and platforms can accelerate technology advances while streamlining fuel efficiency testing and compliance activities for manufacturers.

Typical heavy truck duty cycles differ greatly from region to region, however, and as a result both the efficiency technologies that make sense and attainable fuel efficiency levels can differ as well. For example, the standard of 9 gallons per 1,000 ton-miles that the U.S. rule establishes as the fuel efficiency target in 2014 for a regional-haul tractor truck pulling a van trailer may be out of reach for a similar truck in Japan, where most driving occurs on urban roads, in stop-and-go traffic and at speeds too slow to benefit from the aerodynamic improvements that drive U.S. tractor truck standards.

So what could alignment of these regional programs mean? Taking a hint from efforts to harmonize appliance standards internationally, we look first to test protocols for the answer. We propose that vehicles and their components be tested in standardized ways and over standardized cycles that can be mixed and matched by a prospective buyer in any region to arrive at a customized estimate of the fuel savings of one vehicle relative to another. This will help a technology adopted in one market to spread to other markets where it will be cost-effective. As the U.S. and other regions further develop their heavy-duty greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards, strategic development of common regulatory elements would leverage the increasingly global character of the heavy-duty vehicle industry to increase the total savings these programs will bring.

Siddiq Khan contributed to this post.

What Can Energy and Water Do Next?
March 29, 2013 - 9:14 pm

By Rachel Young, Senior Research Analyst, National Policy

Last week I participated in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Water Conservation Showcase as part of a panel on tackling the energy-water nexus. Conference attendees overflowed the room, and after our panel presentation, my fellow panelists and I were surrounded by participants voicing concern about the need for water and energy experts to collaborate and solve challenges relating to program design, implementation, and accounting. ACEEE believes the energy and water communities would benefit from new policy frameworks for integrated resource planning, improved tools and metrics to help administrators measure savings, and more peer-to-peer education to help overcome barriers. The interest in joint programs is high and hunger from program implementers for more information and assistance is strong.

ACEEE is engaged in this cause. Recently we released a joint report with the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), Tackling the Nexus: Exemplary Programs that Save Both Energy and Water, and we also maintain a directory of programs that are successfully saving both energy and water. In May we will be  honoring exemplary programs at the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Energy & Water 2013 conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

In spite of these efforts, more work is needed. National organizations such as ACEEE are just one piece of the puzzle. Many cities and states care passionately about these issues and are interested in organizing programs. If you’d like to be a part of this process, you can start by:

  • Reaching out to potential partners to begin a dialog about opportunities that exist in your community;
  • Looking at the programs you already have that help save water or energy and how they can be linked or expanded to address both; and
  • Thinking creatively about how some of these efforts might be funded initially.

Once you have a program up and running, please submit it to the ACEEE Water-Energy Program Directory so that we can continue to learn from one another’s successes.  

With increasing water shortages and renewed efforts to curb climate change and reduce air pollution, it is time to put the experts in the water and energy communities together to tackle these problems simultaneously.

Using the Market to Help Leverage Increased Energy Efficiency: 16 Policies Could Save the U.S. Economy Almost $1 Trillion
March 21, 2013 - 7:16 pm

By Steven Nadel , Executive Director

While there is disagreement among politicians about the role of government spending and government regulations to spur cost-effective energy efficiency investments, politicians of all political stripes agree that knocking down market barriers that keep Americans from saving money is a worthy task.

Within this context, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a new report on Monday highlighting 16 policies that would use market forces to spur additional cost-effective investments in energy efficiency while helping to surmount market barriers that hinder these investments. In total, these policies could save consumers and businesses nearly $1 trillion over the 2014-2030 period, considering both the energy bill savings and the cost of the energy efficiency investments.

The United States has become much more energy efficient in the last few decades, but there are still large, cost-effective opportunities available to advance efficiency even further, while improving the economy at the same time. However, a variety of market failures and market barriers contribute to keeping us from fully realizing our energy efficiency potential. Examples of such market barriers include lack of information that would help would-be purchasers and tenants identify more efficient buildings, and “split incentives,” where one party (e.g., landlords) purchases equipment while another party (e.g., tenants) pays the operating costs of this equipment through their energy bills.

The new ACEEE report, Overcoming Market Barriers and Using Market Forces to Advance Energy Efficiencydiscusses several targeted policies that leverage market mechanisms in order to address specific market failures, without requiring substantial spending or government mandates. For example, the development of a comprehensive building labeling and benchmarking program would allow purchasers and tenants to identify efficient homes and commercial buildings and could save consumers and businesses approximately $60 billion between 2014 and 2030. Even more impressive are the benefits gained from adjusting corporate tax legislation to remove hidden barriers in the tax code. These adjustments would encourage the replacement of inefficient equipment and remove regulatory barriers to combined heat and power projects. These two policies alone could save the economy close to $300 billion.

The report also includes policy interventions targeted at residential and commercial buildings, the industrial sector, and the transportation sector, as well as a number of policies with economy-wide benefits. For each measure, the report provides a brief description of the policy, its legislative history, general estimates of associated costs and benefits, and recommendations about future policy design. By acting on these recommendations, Congress and state legislatures can light a way forward towards a stronger economy and a brighter energy future.