Welcome to the August Policy Tracker blog! The Boston area is continuing to dry off after the rainy month of July, and is finally enjoying some summer sun. This blog will cover legislative trends and updates that we have noticed over the past few months.
This is the second installment of a new blog series called Turning Policy into Performance. In this series, we'll take a look at how states can implement decarbonization and climate goals with energy efficiency programs
It’s amazing to think about where we were this time last year – in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. States were scrambling to protect their citizens and mitigate economic damage. Energy discussions were focused on how to keep the lights on and help low-income customers pay for utilities.
Welcome to the first installment of a new blog series called Turning Policy into Performance.
Across the NEEP region, eight states, at least eight municipalities, and one county have passed a benchmarking ordinance. The newest state to join this illustrious group holds down the southern border of the NEEP region: West Virginia!
The clean energy transition is here and is accelerating with each day. States and communities are strengthening their carbon reduction goals and taking a serious look at new clean and efficient technologies. To stabilize the climate and meet the growing number of binding carbon commitments, the world will need to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. This is an opportunity to create new sustainable and well-paying jobs at all levels up and down the market and across sectors.
Outside my window in Boston, Massachusetts is a bright winter wonderland. It feels like forever since we’ve seen snow quite like this. Watching the mesmerizing dance of snowflakes and hearing the muffled sounds of wind and diligent snow shovelers offers the perfect time for some introspection about all that has happened this year. What a year it has been!
Strategic electrification – or the conversion of appliances and heating systems traditionally powered by fossil fuels to efficient electric alternatives – is a key piece in the decarbonization puzzle and is growing in interest among states and municipalities looking to reduce their carbon footprint. What differentiates strategic or beneficial electrification from “electrification” is that it must benefit the customer, environment, and distribution grid.
The previous two months were a good demonstration of the checks and balances embedded in state governments. There were three cases of back-and-forth vetoes between governors and their state legislatures, resulting in two energy efficiency “wins” and one “loss”. Let’s take a closer look at these cases.
September is here and, with it, possibly the strangest first day of school in recent history. Remote learning, work from home schedules, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of unemployed, mean many live, work, and play in a full house and rely on energy to connect to the outside world. Soon, heating systems across the country will be switched on for the winter. Consistent and uninterrupted energy to power our lives has never been so important. Unfortunately for many, the pandemic brought economic hardship.