Although the Summer Season is quickly coming to an end, HPC has seen an unusual amount of positive activity in the states on residential energy efficiency policy – with more deadlines and activities coming through the end of August. HPC and its allies have been particularly active in the following states:
North Carolina – HPC presented at the North Carolina Energy Policy Council’s August 15, 2018, Quarterly meeting in Raleigh, NC on reforming cost-effectiveness testing to better target energy efficiency spending on programs that reduce energy costs, lower customer bills and create jobs. HPC’s presentation was part of a series of briefings lead by the North Carolina Building Performance Association and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment on innovations and new approaches to energy efficiency policy in North Carolina. The NC Energy Policy Council develops and directs state-wide energy policy on a wide variety of issues but focused its full Quarterly Meeting on energy efficiency and economic development. HPC has been working to support the NC Building Performance Association’s efforts to drive new state energy efficiency programs and policies that create jobs and support small home performance contractors and businesses. HPC will continue to work with industry stakeholders, local contractors, non-profit associations and the NCBPA’s Executive Director, Ryan Miller on a policy agenda for the 2019 legislative session.
Massachusetts - On July 31, 2018, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed H.4857- An Act to Advance Clean Energy which Governor Baker signed into law on August 9, 2018. The Act dramatically expands the technologies and measures eligible for inclusion in the Massachusetts utilities’ 3-year energy efficiency plans that will now be able to include energy storage, renewable energy sources, and strategic electrification. The Act allows utilities to develop broader “energy” plans that incorporate a wide variety of energy efficiency approaches while making cost-effectiveness testing more realistic and focused on energy efficiency as a resource. The Act also broadens the definition of energy efficiency program benefits and applies cost-effectiveness screening at the entire residential sector level – a significant improvement over practices in the past. Stay tuned for more details on this groundbreaking and innovative set of energy efficiency reforms in MA.
Virginia – Planning and development of the 2018 Virginia State Energy Plan has continued throughout the Summer in a series of Stakeholder Meetings in Richmond, VA and Public Hearings around the state. HPC has been working with national, state and local non-profit associations such as Advanced Energy Economy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council to develop comments and suggestions for the new statewide energy plan that will help drive energy efficiency policy development for the next four years. HPC has been emphasizing Virginia’s need to adopt contractor and software developer-friendly data standards such as HPXML as well as further reforms of cost-effectiveness testing of energy efficiency programs. Comments on the Virginia Plan are due on August 24, 2018.
Arizona, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – HPC has also been busy over the Summer working with state partners in three states on energy efficiency reforms and innovations. In Arizona and West Virginia, HPC has been developing recommendations on reforms and improvements to state cost-effectiveness testing approaches that will more accurately value energy efficiency as a resource. In Pennsylvania, HPC has been supporting efforts to develop legislative proposals that would expand and improve successful energy efficiency programs. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information and updates from these three states.
Written by: Joe Cullen, Director of Policy and Outreach