Of the 94 energy efficiency-related bills proposed nationwide this year, to date, eight laws have been enacted and 13 bills remain active, according to the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE).
Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) legislation was enacted in Indiana, where SB 340 repealed utility efficiency programs. In New Hampshire, HB 1540 outlines new requirements related to energy efficiency in utility integrated resource planning.
States have been more active in EERS policies in the 2014 session, with five states (Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, and West Virginia) debating changes. Legislation proposed in Missouri (HB 2197) and West Virginia (HB 2323; HB 2210) would have implemented an EERS. Ohio’s SB 310, which would freeze the standard for at least two years, is the lone EERS-related bill still moving.
Idaho, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Washington modified efficiency requirements in building codes. In Washington and Wisconsin, new data disclosure policies clarify consumer data protections.
Thirteen bills continue to be active this session. These include a pair of bills in Maryland where HB 207 requires energy efficiency improvements in new state facilities and SB 1053 allows local governments to adopt stronger building codes. Three bills relate to Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC). For example, Oklahoma’s SB 1359 clarifies cost saving and bonding procedures, and Mississippi’s SB 2521 authorizes ESPC for state facilities.
Key Takeaways in 2014 Energy Efficiency Legislation include:
1. Though the total volume of energy efficiency bills is lower in 2014 than in 2013, a total of 31 states have proposed at least one energy efficiency bill, and eight have enacted legislation.
2. The most common types of enacted policies have been building codes, lead by example, and ESPC- related.
3. Relative to 2013, there is an uptick in EERS activity this session with Indiana dismantling programs, and major changes proposed in Ohio. It has not all been repeal attempts, however. Legislators in Missouri and West Virginia continue to push for the creation of an EERS policy.