EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: Virginia Joins Top Tier of U.S. States Advancing Climate Action

Virginia has become the first state in the South to begin a clean energy transition with the passage of a sweeping energy bill that sets the state on the path to carbon-free power by 2050. The law replaces the voluntary renewable energy portfolio program with a mandatory standard, and paves the way for an enormous expansion of wind and solar power, energy storage, and energy efficiency.

Oregon Governor Orders Sweeping Climate Action Setting Sector-Specific Emissions Caps, Tougher Clean Fuel Targets

Democratic Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order on March 10, setting a goal for the state to achieve 45 percent emissions reductions by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. The order, which comes after the legislature failed to pass a cap-and-trade bill for the second year in a row, directs…...

Michigan Regulator Approves Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Utility Customers

The Michigan Public Service Commission on March 5 approved settlements expanding energy efficiency programs for low-income customers of Consumers Energy Co. and DTE Energy. The energy waste reduction, or EWR, program, which includes efforts to cut waste, improve efficiency, and lower energy use, have saved 1.5 million megawatt hours of electricity and 5 million cubic…...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Building Electrification Comes to the Forefront as More U.S. Cities Ban Natural Gas Use

A growing number of cities across the U.S. are moving toward electrifying their building sectors and banning natural gas use. The Northern California city of Berkeley passed the first such ban, initiating a wave of similar ordinances as a means to reduce carbon emissions. The movement prompted Arizona to enact the first state law preventing local bans on natural gas, and several other states to introduce bills with similar language.

Virginia’s Landmark Zero-Carbon Bill Calls for 5.2 Gigawatts of Offshore Wind, 2.7 Gigawatts of Energy Storage

The final version of Virginia’s Clean Economy Act cleared the state’s House of Delegates and Senate on March 7, and now awaits Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s signature. The legislation codifies the 2050 clean energy goal that Governor Northam laid out in an executive order issued last September. The bill calls for more wind and solar…...

Arizona Law Prevents Local Restrictions on Natural Gas Use in Buildings

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed legislation on Feb. 21 that bars a municipality or county from imposing requirements that restrict a utility provider’s authority to operate and serve customers. Under the law, municipalities may not deny building permits based on the utility provider that will serve the project. The measure comes at a…...

U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Advance Innovative Energy Technologies

Senators Lisa Murkowski, a Republican representing Alaska, and Joe Manchin, a Democrat representing West Virginia, unveiled a bipartisan legislative package on Feb. 27 that compiles more than 50 energy-related measures reported by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year. The comprehensive bill supports innovative energy technologies covering a range of topics including energy efficiency,…

Utility-Scale Wind Accounted for 70 Percent of Michigan’s Renewable Energy in 2019: Report

Utility-scale wind generators accounted for 70 percent of the 3.1 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in Michigan last year, according to a Feb. 18 report by the state’s Public Service Commission. Across the state, new wind and solar projects are expected to add more than one gigawatt of new, utility-scale electricity generation in 2020 and…

Virginia Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Energy Bill to Achieve Carbon-Free Power by Mid-Century

Virginia lawmakers passed the Clean Economy Act on Feb. 11 that  sets the state on the path to carbon-free power by 2050, establishes a mandatory renewable portfolio standard, adopts an energy storage deployment target, and strengthens energy efficiency requirements. Among the major provisions, the legislation replaces the existing voluntary renewable energy portfolio system program with…

New Jersey Unveils Framework to Achieve Energy Efficiency Targets

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Jan. 22 proposed a framework to administer energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs following a 2018 law that established annual energy use reductions of at least 2 percent for electric utilities and 0.75 percent for gas utilities. The Clean Energy Act of 2018 directed the board…

U.S. Energy Department Raises Energy Savings Threshold for Appliance Standards

The U.S. Energy Department revised its current rulemaking method for considering new or modified energy efficiency standards for consumer appliances and some industrial equipment, according to a Jan. 15 news release. The rule, which updates a procedure that was developed in 1996, defines a significant energy savings threshold that must be met before the agency…