So far in 2015, there have been 122 bills introduced in 26 states related to energy efficiency, according to the Center for the New Energy Economy.
Lead by Example bills have been the most common with 40 bills introduced since January. Most Lead by Example legislation is related to improving the efficiency of public buildings including a bill in Hawaii (HB 1088) that calls for the development of a plan to achieve net zero emissions in public facilities by 2040. The second most common legislation relates to building and appliance standards. Of that, about a third of the building standard-related legislation allows more local control over implementation of building codes.
Legislation relating to Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) are the third most frequently proposed type of legislation, and states have proposed more efficiency standard-related policies in the 2015 session than either 2013 or 2014, with eight states (California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) debating changes.
At this stage in the 2015 session, Arkansas’ HB 1191 is the only energy efficiency-related bill that has been enacted. This bill limits the ability of customers to opt out of energy efficiency and demand side management programs if they have accepted financial or other incentives related to the programs. To date, 19 other bills across ten states have passed at least one chamber.
Two bills have passed both chambers: Virginia, SB 1331 adjusts methods for calculating the cost tests used for energy efficiency program decisions and Utah’s HB 410 allows for alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure under their energy saving performance contract policy.