2011 State Energy Efficiency Action Update

4/25/2012

In the past year, 27 states enacted more than 55 bills related to energy efficiency. Much of this legislation focused on addressing the up-front costs of energy efficiency upgrades through financing, similar to many of the renewable energy bills passed in the last year. Legislation also covered energy efficiency standards and goals, green building codes, energy efficiency improvements and promoting energy efficiency and savings.

Financing Energy Efficiency Projects

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Financing Status Update

Twenty-seven states authorize PACE financing under state law as of March 2012.1 State and local governments allocated over $150 million in federal grant funds in order to launch PACE programs which allow property owners to obtain low interest loans for energy efficiency improvements.2 The loans are often repaid as an addition to their property tax. However, in 2010, the Federal Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) concluded that residential PACE programs presented significant concerns to the housing finance industry. FHFA argued that PACE loans increased the risk of mortgage lenders because they were treated as first liens on properties; if a default occurred FHFA argued that mortgage lenders would take the hit rather than organizations that loaned funds to property owners. This argument against PACE stalled most residential programs across the United States. Since then, litigation has been taking place. In August, 2011 a judge in California partly ruled against the FHFA, ordering them to hold a public comment period process regarding PACE. In response to this decision the FHFA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on January 26th 2012. On March 26th, 2012 the comment period ran out. A final ruling is still pending.3 

Loans

California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming enacted bills related to loans or revolving loan programs. A revolving loan program’s central fund is replenished as loans and interest on those loans are paid back, creating the opportunity to issue other loans for new projects.4  Many revolving loan program’s funds that are focused on energy efficiency improvements initially came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Other initial funds for revolving loan programs may also come from revenue from taxes, funds or other programs within states. For example, Texas’ LoanSTAR Revolving Loan Program’s initial funding sources came from ARRA and also from the Petroleum Violation Escrow Funds – funding Texas (and other states) received from oil companies due to alleged overcharges in the 1980’s.5

  • California enacted three energy efficiency loan bills. The first requires the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to administer the Clean Energy Upgrade Program by using money from the PACE Reserve program in order to reduce loan costs to property owners. The program will support loans from financial institutions in order to broaden access to financing for residential and small commercial property owners for energy efficiency upgrade installations. The second bill provides loans to eligible institutions to finance energy conservation projects from the Energy Conservation Assistance Account. Funding for this account came from Renewable Resource Trust Fund which is supported by the California Energy Commission. The third bill appropriated money received from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into the Energy Efficient State Property Revolving Fund which provides loans for projects on state-owned buildings and facilities.
  • Nevada authorized the director of the Fund for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation Loans -created with funds from ARRA - to make loans available to qualified applicants for the construction of an energy efficiency or conservation project.
  • Oklahoma established a municipal energy district authority and authorized it to make loans available in order to finance energy-efficient improvements or retrofits that are permanently affixed to residential, commercial or industrial property.
  • Oregon directed the State Department of Energy to establish a clean energy deployment program to provide low-interest loans (and grants) to finance energy efficiency or clean energy projects, specifically directed at schools districts. To fund the program, the department accepts grants, donations, contributions and gifts from various sources. Interest earned by the fund is credited back into the fund and the moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the department in order for them to provide financing for projects.
  • Texas expanded their Loanstar Revolving Loan Program to include non-profit organizations and religious institutions in the program in order to make untaxed entities eligible for loans that can be used to improve energy efficiency.
  • Similar to Oklahoma, Wyoming authorized local governments to provide loans to owners of real property to make energy improvements to existing residential, commercial or industrial buildings.

California Energy: Energy Upgrade Financing

CA A 14 a 2011 (Chapter No. 9)

Relates to the Property Assessed Clean Energy Reserve program. Requires the Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to administer a Clean Energy Upgrade Program to reduce the costs to property owners of a loan provided by a financial institution that has a loan program that satisfies specified requirements. Requires the authority to report annually specified information regarding the reserve program.

Energy: Energy Conservation Projects: Financial Assistance
CA S 679 2011 (Chapter No. 597)

Appropriates a specified portion of the unencumbered balance of a specified amount of funds that was appropriated to the Energy Conservation Assistance Account to be expended for the purposes of providing loans to eligible institutions to finance all or a portion of the costs incurred in energy conservation projects. Reverts any unexpended funds back to the Renewable Resource Trust Fund for use for the Property Assessed Clean Energy Reserve Program.

Energy
CA A 1392 2011 (Chapter No. 488)

Authorizes, for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 fiscal years, the State Energy Resources and Development Commission to transfer an amount of money it determines to be appropriate, up to a specified maximum amount of funds, from the moneys received for the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into the Energy Efficient State Property Revolving Fund that provides loan moneys for projects on state-owned buildings and facilities.
 

Nevada Renewable Energy Loans
NV S 60 2011 (Chapter No. 315)

Revises provisions relating to the Fund for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation Loans, relates to administration of the Fund, authorizes the Director to make loans from the Fund to qualified applicants for the construction of an energy efficiency project or an energy conservation project, relates to construction, expansion or operation of a renewable energy system or the manufacturing of components of a renewable energy system.
 

 Oklahoma Energy Efficiency Loans
OK H 1366 2011 (Chapter No. 103)

Establishes a municipal energy district authority, authorizes the authority to make loans to finance the purchase and installation of distributed-generation renewable energy sources, for energy-efficient improvements or retrofits that are permanently affixed to residential, commercial, or industrial property, for conducting residential and commercial building energy audits, and for capital expenditures to implement green community programs and qualified energy-conservation projects.
 

Oregon Energy
OR H 2960 2011 (Chapter No 467)

Directs the Department of Energy to establish a clean energy deployment program to provide grants and loans to support energy efficiency or clean energy projects, including projects to weatherize, upgrade or retrofit public schools, establishes a pilot program within the clean energy deployment program, establishes Jobs, Energy and Schools Fund, requires the department to establish grant and loan program to support certain initiatives and develop a plan for weatherization of K-12 public schools.
 

Texas Loanstar Revolving Loan Program and Energy Efficiency
TX H 2077 2011 (Chapter No. 993)

Relates to a pilot program under the loanstar revolving loan program to promote the use of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technology by community-based organizations and houses of worship.
 

Wyoming Local Improvements and Energy Improvement Program
WY H 179 2011 (Chapter No. 152)

Relates to local improvements, authorizes the adoption of an energy improvement program by a local government to provide loans to owners of real property within a energy improvements area to make energy improvements to existing residential and/or commercial or industrial buildings on the property, provides for financing, provides for loan liens on the benefited property, provides procedures.
 

 

Bonds

California, Montana and New Hampshire enacted legislation relating to bonds for energy efficiency projects.

  • California added a bond secured by a special tax on property levied by specific districts in the definition of a Property Assessed Clean Energy Bond. The same bill also authorized community facility districts to finance energy improvements to real property and buildings.
  • Montana modified the procedures for payment of energy cost savings from projects funded from energy conservation program bonds in order to create a debt service account.
  • New Hampshire established that financing for property owners in energy efficiency and clean energy districts may be provided through issuance of municipal revenue bonds but not from general municipal revenues. 
California Local Government: Community Facilities Districts

CA S 555 2011 (Chapter No. 493)

Authorizes a community facilities district to finance energy improvements to real property and buildings. Authorizes a separate procedure for establishing a district and incurring bonded indebtedness. Provides that the refusal by person to undertake an act relating to a district shall not be a factor in any governmental organization or reorganization. Adds a bond secured by a special tax on property levied by specified districts in the definition of a Property Assessed Clean Energy bond.
 

Montana State Building Energy Conservation Programs

MT H 51 2011 (Chapter No. 240)

Modifies the procedures for payment of energy cost savings from projects funded from energy conservation program bonds, creating a debt service account, provides authority for each participating state agency to transfer funds in an amount equal to the agency's energy cost savings for the energy conservation program debt service account, provides a period of time for such transfers, amends provisions regarding the long range building program.
 

New Hampshire Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Districts

NH H 144 2011 (Chapter No. 68)

Establishes that financing for participating property owners in energy efficiency and clean energy districts may be provided through issuance of municipal revenue bonds but not from general municipal revenues, removes the priority lien provision for loans made by energy efficiency and clean energy districts.
 

On-Bill Financing

Hawaii directed the Public Utilities Commission to investigate an On-Bill Financing Program for residential electric utility customers to finance purchases of energy efficient devices. On-bill financing is a way for homeowners to repay loans for energy efficiency improvements by paying an additional fee on monthly utility bills.  

Hawaii Renewable Energy

HI H 1520 2011 (Act No. 204)

Directs the Public Utilities Commission to investigate an On-Bill Financing Program for residential electric utility customers to finance purchases of energy efficient or renewable energy devices and systems through their regular electric utility bills, authorizes the Commission to implement a program by decision and order or by rules if the program is found to be viable.

Energy Efficiency Investment Fund

Delaware reduced the general public utility tax rate on electricity and transferred the first $5 million in proceeds generated by the public utility tax to the new Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, which will be used to finance energy efficiency projects. 

Delaware Public Utility Tax Rates

DE H 129 2011 (Chapter Number 75)

Reduces the general public utility tax rate on electricity and gas, reduces the rate on electricity and gas distributed to manufacturers, food processors and other agribusinesses, transfers the first $5 million in proceeds generated by the public utility tax to the new Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, which will be used to finance energy efficiency projects that will reduce overall energy use and create jobs, provides a preference for projects that produce the greatest reduction in energy consumption.
 

Financing for Rental Properties

South Carolina allowed electricity or natural gas providers to enter into financing agreements with customers that own rental property for the installation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. If both the landlord and tenant agree, the provider may recover the costs of energy efficiency and conservation improvements through a meter conservation charge on the account.

South Carolina Energy Efficiency Financing Agreements

SC H 3584 2011 (Act No. 56)

Relates to the financing agreements for the installation of certain energy-efficiency and conservation improvements, corrects an erroneous cross-reference, makes a technical change, provides where an electricity or natural gas provider contracts with a third party to perform certain functions, the liability of the third party is limited in a specific manner, provides an exception to the limitation of the applicability of these provisions.
 

Promoting Utility Investment in Energy Efficiency Resources

Rhode Island enacted two bills, both enabled utilities to invest in energy efficiency resources that are cheaper than energy supply while lowering energy bills.

Rhode Island Public Utility

RI S 293 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-28)

Harmonizes electric and natural gas energy efficiency funding with the provisions of the least-cost procurement law, enables investment in all energy efficiency resources that are cheaper than supply, lowering consumer energy bills and extend the renewable energy fund.

Public Utility

RI S 5281 (Public Law No. 2011-19)

Harmonizes electric and natural gas energy efficiency funding with the provisions of the least-cost procurement law, enables investment in all energy efficiency resources that are cheaper than supply, lowering consumer energy bills and extend the renewable energy fund, takes effect upon passage.
 

Grants

Colorado, Illinois and Virginia enacted bills relating to grants for energy efficiency projects.

  • Colorado authorized grants to homebuyers for energy efficiency improvements to an existing residence as long as the buyer is purchasing a highly efficient new home.
  • Illinois allowed school energy efficiency grants to be made to special education cooperatives for school energy efficiency projects.
  • Virginia created a program that provides financial incentives to companies that manufacture or assemble equipment, systems or produces used for energy conservation through the Clean Energy Manufacturing Grant Program combined with other grant programs in the state. 
Colorado Green Building Incentive Pilot Program

CO H 1160 2011 (Chapter No. 141)

Concerns the establishment of a green building incentive pilot program to reduce electricity, gas, and water use in older homes and provide an incentive for homebuyers to purchase new residential construction that meets certain energy efficiency standards, authorizes grants to homebuyers for energy efficiency improvements to an existing residence the buyer is selling if that home that buyer is purchasing is a highly efficient new residential construction.
 

Illinois School Energy Efficiency Grants

IL H 12 2011 (Public Act No. 205)

Amends the School Construction Law, allows school energy efficiency grants to be made to special education cooperatives for school energy efficiency projects, provides for local matching funds, provides for the manner in which special education cooperatives must account for the use of grant moneys.
 

Virginia Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program

VA S 1360 2011 (Chapter No. 864)

Relates to the Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program, relates to the the Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program and the Biofuels Production Incentive Grant Program, creates a program that provides financial incentives to companies that manufacture or assemble equipment, systems, or products used to produce renewable or nuclear energy, or products used for energy conservation, storage, or grid efficiency purposes, relates to job creation.
 

Tax Credits, Exemptions and Donations

Georgia and Virginia enacted legislation regarding tax credits, exemptions and donations for energy efficiency services and projects.

  • Georgia extended the tax credit for the purchase of clean energy property.
  • Virginia allowed localities to make donations to tax exempt non-profit organizations that are engaged in providing energy efficiency services.
Georgia Taxes

GA H 346 2011 (Act No. 73)

Clarifies provisions authorizing the use of tax information by persons commissioned by the Department of Revenue or where necessary for certain purposes, requires employers to withhold income tax on deferred compensation and stock options, authorizes the transfer of tax credits for donation of real property for conservation purposes, extends and modifies credits for the purchase of clean energy property.
 

Virginia Donations By Localities

VA H 436 2011 (Chapter No. 509)

Provides that a locality may make like gifts and donations to any tax exempt nonprofit organization, association or agency that is engaged in providing energy efficiency services or promoting energy efficiency within or without the boundaries of the locality.
 

Energy Efficiency Standards and Goals

California, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New York and Texas enacted legislation relating to energy efficiency standards and goals.

  • California made it a civil penalty for violating energy efficiency standards and required those penalties to be deposited in the Appliance Efficiency Enforcement Subaccount.
  • Hawaii required the Public Utilities Commission to consider the need to reduce the State’s reliance on fossil fuels through energy efficiency. It provided that in making determinations of the reasonableness of the costs of utility system improvements and operations the commission shall consider the effect of the State’s reliance on fossil fuels on price volatility.
  • Illinois resolved that each public university would have a target goal of reducing its footprint on power, gas and water consumption by at least 15% within 2 years.
  • Nevada revised the definition of energy efficiency measure for the purposes of the portfolio standard to include any measure used to improve energy efficiency that is installed for a retail customer.
  • New York required the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to comply with the Public Service Commission order establishing energy efficiency portfolio standards.
  • Texas enacted two bills. The second required utilities to eventually meet Energy Efficiency Resource Standards based on peak demand rather than growth in demand. The second required each political subdivision, institution of higher education, or state agency to establish a goal to reduce electricity consumption by at least 5 percent each fiscal year for 10 years, beginning September 1, 2011.
California Energy Efficiency Standards

CA S 454 2011 (Chapter No. 591)

Authorizes the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to establish an administrative enforcement process. Provides for civil penalties for violations of energy efficiency standards. Requires those penalties to be deposited in the Appliance Efficiency Enforcement Subaccount. Prohibits public utility rebates or incentives unless the recipient certifies the improvement or installation has complied with permitting requirements and applicable licensing requirements.
 

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

HI S 1482 2011 (Act No. 109)

Requires the Public Utilities Commission to consider the need to reduce the State's reliance on fossil fuels through energy efficiency, provides that in making determinations of the reasonableness of the costs of utility system capital improvements and operations, the commission shall consider the effect of the State's reliance on fossil fuels on price volatility, export of funds for fuel imports, fuel supply reliability risk, and greenhouse gas emissions.
 

Illinois Energy and Water Goals

IL HR 120 2011 (Adopted)

Resolves that each public university in this State shall have a target goal of reducing its expense footprint for power, gas, and water consumption by at least 15% within 2 years or show how it has previously met this goal.
 

Nevada Electric Service Providers

NV A 150 2011 (Chapter No. 53)

Revises the definition of energy efficiency measure for the purposes of the portfolio standard to include any measure used to improve energy efficiency that is installed or implemented at the service location of or for a retail customer, that reduces the consumption of energy by one or more retail customers, and the costs of the acquisition, installation or implementation of which are directly reimbursed, in whole or in part, by the provider of electric service.
 

New York Energy Research and Development Authority

NY A 261 2011 (Chapter No. 5)

Requires the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to submit to specified entities a copy of the annual report the authority is required to produce to comply with the Public Service Commission order establishing the energy efficiency portfolio standard and approving programs.

Texas Energy Efficiency Goals

TX S 1125 2011 (Chapter No. 180)

Relates to utility energy efficiency goals and programs, relates to incentives for retail electric providers and competitive energy service providers to acquire additional cost-effective energy efficiency for customers, the use of renewable energy technology, programs for demand-side renewable energy programs, commercial and institutional building energy consumption reductions, and publicly available energy efficiency plans.

Energy Efficiency Programs

TX S 898 2011 (Chapter No. 637)

Relates to energy efficiency programs in institutions of higher education, qualified agencies and certain governmental entities, requires an evaluation.

Energy Codes and Building Standards

California, Maryland, North Carolina, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas enacted bills regarding energy efficiency codes and building standards.

  • California required that at least one member of their State Building Standards Commission be a sustainable building expert.
  • Maryland authorized the Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt the International Green Construction Code.
  • North Carolina reconciled the effective dates of certain rules adopted by the building code council relating to the 2012 energy conservation code.
  • Nebraska updated provisions in the International Energy Conservation Code requiring new state buildings, buildings constructed with state funds and newly built houses or buildings to meet or exceed requirements of the Code.
  • South Dakota adopted the International Energy Conservation Code as the voluntary standard which applies to the construction of new residential buildings in the state.
  • Texas required higher education buildings or buildings costing more than $2 million to comply with high performance building standards.
California The California Building Standards Commission

CA A 930 2011 (Chapter No. 399)

Requires that at least one member of the State Building Standards Commission be a person who is experienced and knowledgeable in sustainable building, design, construction, and operation.

Maryland Adoption of the International Green Construction Code

MD H 972 2011 (Chapter No. 369)

Authorizes the Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt by regulation the International Green Construction Code, authorizes local jurisdictions to adopt and make local amendments to the Code, defines the term International Green Construction Code, provides an updated definition of the code.

North Carolina Building Permit Exception Laws

NC S 708 2011 (Session Law Number 2011-269)

Reconciles the effective dates of certain rules adopted by the building code council related to the 2012 energy conservation code and the 2012 state residential code.

Nebraska Building Energy Conservation

NE L 329 2011 (Signed by Governor)

Updates the International Energy Conservation Code in provisions requiring new state buildings, buildings constructed with state funds, and newly built houses or buildings to meet or exceed requirements of the Code, clarifies the definition of building, clarifies requirements for historic buildings, provides that a specified training program for local code officials and residential and commercial builders shall be established upon adoption and implementation of a new Nebraska Energy Code.
 

South Dakota Building Energy Codes

SD S 94 2011 (Chapter No. 72)

Repeals and revises provisions related to building energy codes, adopts the International Energy Conservation Code as the voluntary standard applying to the construction of new residential buildings in the state, modifies the builder's energy efficiency disclosure statement form regarding energy efficient elements and certification and Energy Star certified water heater, heating system, and cooling system.
 

Texas Building Energy Efficiency Standards

TX H 51 2011 (Chapter No. 937)

Relates to energy efficiency standards for certain buildings and to high-performance design, construction, and renovation standards for certain government buildings and facilities of institutions of higher education, relates to buildings that cost more than a specified amount.
 

Energy Efficiency Improvements and Audits

Arkansas, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada and New York enacted bills which help certain buildings be more energy efficient.

  • Arkansas promoted the conservation of energy in buildings owned by public agencies and institutions of higher education. It also required public agencies occupying a state-owned building to complete an energy audit using certain procedures.
  • Maine enacted three bills. The first directed the Efficiency Maine Trust to allocate $200,000 for the completion of an energy audit and the implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures in the State House. The second amended Department of Health and Human Services rules regarding reimbursement of energy efficient improvements in order to encourage improvements at residential care facilities funded by MaineCare. The third changed included upgrading heating equipment which would result in increased energy efficiency to the definition of energy savings improvements under the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.
  • Nebraska required energy audits under the Deferred Building Renewal Act and required the energy audits of state-owned buildings be sent electronically to the state agency managing that building.
  • Nevada established training and qualifications for energy auditors. Requires energy auditors to be licensed and established requirements for conducting energy audits.
  • New York allowed independent not-for-profit colleges and universities to have access to energy-related projects, programs and services of the New York Power Authority. 
 Arkansas  Buildings Owned by Public Agencies

AR S 823 2011 (Act. No 803)

Promotes the conservation of energy and natural resources in buildings owned by public agencies and institutions of higher education, provides that each public agency occupying a state-owned building shall complete an energy audit using American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers audit procedures and report the findings to the Arkansas Energy Office.
 

 Maine State House Energy Use

ME H 287 2011 (Resolve No. 2011-40)

Directs the Efficiency Maine Trust to allocate $200,000 for the completion of the energy audit and the implementation of costeffective energy efficiency measures in the State House and the Burton M. Cross State Office Building.

Energy Efficiency Improvements and MaineCare
ME S 219 2011 (Resolve No. 2011-106)

(Resolve)Fosters energy efficiency improvements and other needed renovations at residential care facilities funded by MaineCare, amends department rules regarding reimbursement of energy efficient improvements and other capital expenditures, permits qualified facilities to receive cost reimbursement for new construction, acquisitions, equipment and renovations up to a specified amount in one fiscal year without prior approval.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Program
ME S 135 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-84)

Modifies the definition of energy savings improvement under the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program to include an upgrade of any heating equipment that will result in increased energy efficiency.
 

 Nebraska  Energy Audits for Deferred Building Renewal

NE L 228 2011 (Signed by Governor)

Provides for energy audits under the Deferred Building Renewal Act, provides that a report of the findings of any energy audit conducted under the Deferred Building Renewal Act shall be sent electronically to the state agency operating or managing the state- owned building, utility, or ground on which the audit was conducted and the Committee on Building Maintenance of the Legislature.
 

 Nevada  Energy Auditors

NV A 432 2011 (Chapter No. 348)

Provides for the licensure of energy auditors, establishes the training and qualifications an energy auditor must have to be licensed, establishes requirements for conducting an energy audit, limited energy audit or energy assessment of a home, makes it a category E felony to attempt to obtain a license as an energy auditor through intentional misrepresentation, deceit or fraud.
 

 New York Assistance from New York Power Authority

NY S 3755 2011 (Chapter No. 494)

Allows independent not-for-profit colleges and universities to access energy-related projects, programs and services of the New York Power Authority, expands the scope of NYPA's energy related projects, programs and services.
 

Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Energy Savings

Connecticut, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas enacted legislation regarding encouraging and promoting energy efficiency and energy savings in their states.

  • Connecticut established the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and stated the Department’s goals include increasing the use of clean energy and technologies that support clean energy.
  • Maryland required the Department of Housing and Community Development to encourage the construction of new high-performance homes.
  • Mississippi urged all state agencies to define the smart grid for the purposes of creating jobs and encouraging consumer energy savings in the state.
  • South Carolina allowed the distribution of excess revenue to go to the state’s electric cooperatives’ members in order for them to advocate energy efficiency initiatives within the state.
  • Texas allowed electric utilities to market energy efficiency programs directly to retail electric customers in their service territories. It also allowed utilities to provide rebates or incentive funds directly to a customer to promote such programs. 
 Connecticut The Establishment of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Planning for Connecticut’s Energy Future

CT SB 1243 (Public Act No. 11-80)

Establishes a Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which has jurisdiction relating to energy and policy planning and regulation and advancement of telecommunications and related technology. For the purposes of energy policy and regulation, the department shall have the following goals: (1) Reducing rates and decreasing costs for Connecticut's ratepayers, (2) ensuring the reliability and safety of our state's energy supply, (3) increasing the use of clean energy and technologies that support clean energy, and (4) developing the state's energy-related economy.

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

MD H 630 2011 (Chapter No. 135)

Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to encourage the construction of new residential structures that are high-performance homes.

Mississippi Electric and Telephone Cooperatives

MS SCR 665 2011 (Adopted)

Urges all state agencies to define the smart grid for the purposes of creating jobs and encouraging consumer energy savings in the State of Mississippi.
 

South Carolina Electric and Telephone Cooperatives

SC S 766 2011 (Act No. 44)

Relates to the distribution of excess revenue to allow electric cooperatives' members to advocate energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, provides clarity to patronage capital procedures, exempts electric cooperative patronage capital from the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, relates to distribution of excess revenue by telephone cooperatives.
 

Texas Western Electricity Coordinating Council

TX S 1910 2011 (Chapter No. 1113)

Relates to the transition to competition for electric utilities located in a specified service area, applies only to an investor-owned electric utility that is not affiliated with ERCOT, specifies that until an electric utility implements customer choice, specified subchapters do not apply, specifies stages and conditions for the transition to competition, relates to interconnection of distributed renewable energy generation, allows the direct marketing of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
 

Energy Savings Contracts 

Texas and West Virginia enacted legislation relating to energy savings contracts. An energy savings contract is a partnership between a building owner and an energy service company. The energy service company finances and installs building energy upgrades and guarantees the owner a certain amount of energy savings. The building owner then pays back the project by using money saved through conserving energy.

  • Texas allowed local governments to contract with energy providers in order to perform work related to measures identified in an energy savings performance contract.
  • West Virginia amended energy savings contracts entered into by county boards, allowing them to have a term of up to 15 years. 
 Texas Energy Savings Performance Contracts

TX H 1728 2011 (Chapter No. 982)

Relates to energy savings performance contracts and efficiency planning, provides that a local government may contract with the provider of the energy or water conservation measures to perform work that is related to or ancillary to the measures identified in the scope of an energy savings performance contract, allows the governing body to use any available money to pay the provider and is not required to pay for such costs solely out of the savings realized by the local government under said contract.
 

 West Virginia County School Boards

WV H 2709 2011 (Act No. 49)

Relates to lease purchase contracts for energy saving measures and energy-saving contracts entered into by county boards, includes insulation, energy control systems, heating and ventilation modifications, energy efficient lighting system and co-generation systems, sallows these contracts to have a term of up to fifteen years, provides for a board option to terminate the agreement during each fiscal year of the contract.
 

Energy Service Companies 

Maine created a fair process for energy service companies contracting with State schools. 
 

 Maine Energy Service Companies and Contracts

ME H 583 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-279)

Creates a fair process for energy service companies contracting with State schools, makes changes concerning school administrative unit contract requirements, requests for proposals, and required performance criteria that guarantee energy savings, a maximum price, and that the project will meet specified codes, directs certain entities to develop guidance for school administrative units procuring energy conservation and related air quality improvement services.
 

Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Texas enacted a bill which provides funding for low-income energy efficiency programs. 
 

Texas Low Income Weatherization Programs

TX S 1434 2011 (Chapter No. 1346)

Relates to low-income weatherization programs, provides for funding for low-income energy efficiency programs, provides for agency participation in energy efficiency cost recovery factor proceedings related to expenditures under this subsection to ensure that targeted low-income weatherization programs are consistent with federal weatherization programs and adequately funded, relates to an unbundled transmission and distribution utility.
 


Net Energy Billing

Maine allowed eligible customers who have highly efficient generators to be billed on the basis of net energy used.

Maine Net Energy Billing

ME S 239 2011 (Public Law No. 2011-262)

Provides that under current rules of the Public Utilities Commission, eligible customers who have certain interests in small renewable or highly efficient generators may elect net energy billing under which the eligible customer is billed on the basis of net energy used by that eligible customer, taking into account electricity generated by the eligible customer and electricity delivered to the eligible customer by the transmission and distribution utility.
 

 

Repealing Energy Efficiency Provisions

Montana and Oklahoma enacted bills that would repeal certain energy efficiency provisions.

  • Montana revised their state energy policy, removing certain requirements relating to energy efficiency standards for new construction.
  • Oklahoma repealed the Lighting Energy Conservation Act which had established lighting standards for public buildings.
 Montana  State Energy Policy

MT S 65 2011 (Chapter No. 43)

Modifies the process for revising the state energy policy, provides that the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee may determine whether or not a review is necessary and shall discuss issues to be included in a revised policy, removes requirements relating to coal-fired generation, rebuilding electric transmission lines, state land use, energy efficiency standards for new construction, and promotion of alternative energy, including wind energy.
 

Oklahoma Lighting Energy Conservation Act

OK S 100 2011

Repeals the Lighting Energy Conservation Act, which establishes lighting standards for public buildings.
 

References

1.  Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Map, 2012.

2.   Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing: Update on Commercial Programs, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2011.

3.  Alliance to Save Energy, Rulemaking for Pace, 2012.

4.  Council of Development Finance Agencies, Revolving Loan Funds, 2012.

5.  U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Conservation Update: Texas Revolving LoanSTAR, 2010.

Sources for Legislation: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011  and Photo Courtesy of NREL