GRID: Consumers Energy’s latest smart thermostat rebate program in Michigan is the largest of its kind and will help curtail demand during peak times in the summer. (Energy News Network)

Ameren Missouri is proposing to offer on-bill financing of energy efficiency upgrades to 1,000 customers with no upfront costs. (Energy News Network)
• Virtual energy efficiency audits are becoming more widespread and will likely continue following the pandemic. (Yale Climate Connections)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Columbus, Ohio, has exceeded its goal for electric vehicle adoption, while surveys of city residents suggest more growth is coming. (Smart Cities Dive) 

PIPELINES: A federal appeals court rejects the Trump administration’s request to revive a permitting program for oil and gas pipelines crossing streams and wetlands. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: U.S. renewable energy consumption surpassed coal last year for the first time in 130 years, according to the Energy Information Administration. (The Hill)

WIND:  Ohio utility AEP has secured enough regulatory approvals to move forward with a nearly 1,500 MW wind project in Oklahoma that it says will save customers $3 billion over the next 30 years. (Greentech Media, S&P Global)

LAW: A federal judge has issued multiple major rulings in recent weeks involving pipeline permitting, oil and gas leases and pipeline inspections. (E&E News, subscription)

• Two dozen U.S. lawmakers call on FERC to reject a proposal they argue would remove state authority on net metering. (Utility Dive)
• Indianapolis leads the region and ranks 12th nationally in solar capacity per capita, according to a new report. (Solar Power World)

• Michigan utilities extend disconnection protections through June 12 while Iowa’s two major utilities will resume disconnections in July. (MiBiz, Cedar Rapids Gazette)
A decline in wholesale power prices leads Duke Energy Ohio to reduce rates for residential power customers starting next week. (WLWT)
An Ohio gas utility says prices are the lowest it has offered customers since 1997. (Toledo Blade)

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BIOFUELS: Iowa’s two senators want clarification from the U.S. FDA on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer, which has provided producers some revenue as fuel sales dropped dramatically from the pandemic. (Radio Iowa)

COMMENTARY: Minnesota environmental activists say the proposed “Clean Energy First” state Senate bill that didn’t get a vote this session would have made it easier to develop fossil fuel projects. (Duluth News Tribune)

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.