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A wave of new energy efficiency policies swept across the Midwest in the last decade, from utility mandates to building code updates.
A new guide aims to help stakeholders keep track of these and other programs and practices that are cutting the region’s energy footprint.
“Energy Efficiency Policies, Programs, and Practices in the Midwest: A Resource Guide for Policymakers,” is an almanac of state and local efforts to curb energy consumption, compiled by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) and the Joyce Foundation.
Both organizations are members of RE-AMP, which publishes Midwest Energy News.
Seven Midwestern states have mandatory energy efficiency targets for their gas or electric utilities. Collectively, utilities in those states will spend $1.2 billion on efficiency projects this year. That figure is projected to hit $1.67 billion in 2015.
Many of the lawmakers and regulators who helped pass those policies are no longer in office, though, and that turnover has left a need to re-educate current policymakers on energy efficiency, said MEEA Deputy Director Stacey Paradis.
“There’s no need to re-invent the wheel,” Paradis said.
There’s also no need to look to California or the Northeast for model policy. Paradis said that, in her experience, policymakers are more receptive to ideas that are being successfully implemented in neighboring states rather than the coasts.
“They want to know what’s happening in the Midwest,” Paradis said.