By Melanie Condon

Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), whose state has been hit hard by the recent propane shortages, chaired a hearing last week on state energy efficiency programs that focused on what states are doing to create jobs and alleviate problems, such as the propane shortage, through innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency policies.

efficient bulbTo follow up on the hearing, NCSL staff took the half-mile trek across the street on Thursday to the Hart Senate Office Building and met with Senator Franken’s staff to discuss our position and research on energy efficiency issues. The Senate office buildings can seem like ghost towns when Congress is on recess (they will be back next week), but the quiet did not deter NCSL from providing information and resources to the congressional staffers.

Some specific topics NCSL staff highlighted to the Senator’s staff included renewable energy portfolio standards, energy efficiency standards, on-bill financing, and combined heat and power standards, to name a few.

The issue of energy efficiency has been big in the states and NCSL has been tracking it quite regularly. In fact, NCSL’s energy department held a free webinar on Thursday, highlighting an energy efficiency policy called on-bill financing, which helps home and building owners overcome the upfront costs that often put energy efficiency improvements out of reach. The webinar highlighted case studies and the role state legislatures are playing to expand on-bill financing policies.

NCSL staff was encouraged by the meeting and looks forward to working with the Senate in the future as energy efficiency legislation continues to be discussed. Just another way NCSL is working for you!

Check out more of NCSL’s research on state energy efficiency policies on our Energy Efficiency Overview Page.

Melanie Condon is a NCSL policy associate with the Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee.

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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.


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