ACEEE Launches State Energy Efficiency Policy Database

Last month ACEEE finalized a new on-line resource for state policymakers and energy efficiency advocates, the State Energy Efficiency Policy Database. The site serves as an easy-to-use on-line database of energy efficiency policies in the states, searchable by state or by policy. Each state has separate pages for each extant policy area, with links to external resources, information on useful contacts, and ACEEE research. The latter resource includes State Clean Energy Resource Project (SCERP) state potential analyses, including the recent Virginia report available here. The database covers:

  • appliance standards
  • building codes
  • clean distributed generation policies
  • climate change initiatives
  • smart growth policies
  • tax incentives
  • vehicle policies
  • a host of utility-related energy efficiency information

The Web site was released in concert with ACEEE’s 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. ACEEE anticipates updating information on the site as new policies are developed, and encourages users to provide corrections as well as overall feedback to staff through a brief survey. Two recent additions to the site came about as a result of important efficiency policy developments in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Michigan: Recent Energy Efficiency Legislation

On October 7, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation (PA295) that requires utilities to provide energy efficiency programs for customers and to achieve mandatory annual energy savings goals. ACEEE Utilities Program Director Marty Kushler was heavily involved in developing the new policy and observed: “This legislation represents a significant achievement for Michigan, which has had no utility energy efficiency resource programs since 1995.”

Read the press release.

Under this bill, annual savings requirements for electric utilities begin at 0.3% of total sales in 2009, and ramp up to 1.0% per year by 2012 and each year thereafter. Natural gas utilities begin at 0.1% and ramp up to 0.75% per year. The legislation also includes other important policy advancements, including providing for utility shareholder incentives if energy savings goals are exceeded, and allowing symmetrical revenue decoupling for natural gas utilities that spend above 0.5% of total revenues on energy efficiency programs. The text of the legislation is posted on the State of Michigan Web site. Read more details on Michigan energy efficiency policies.

Pennsylvania: Recent Energy Efficiency Legislation

Also during October, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a law requiring electric distribution companies to meet 1% electricity savings in 2011 and a total of 3% by 2013 and to reduce peak demand by 4.5% by 2013. Each utility will submit plans to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) by July 1, 2009, which detail how the savings targets will be achieved.  In addition, last July, Governor Rendell signed the Alternative Energy Investment Act into law, creating a $650 million energy fund. Energy efficiency allocations include $92.5 million that will be allocated over eight years to support loans, grants, and rebates for energy efficiency improvements to homes and small businesses. Read more about Pennsylvania energy efficiency policies.