Posts From February, 2016

NASEO Convenes Expert Energy, Regulatory, and Air Officials at Special CPP Workshop

During the 2016 NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference, NASEO hosted a special workshop with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and National Association of Clean Air Agencies to provide state officials, conference attendees, and invited guests the opportunity to hear directly from states about the challenges, concerns, and opportunities they see under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP).  The workshop's timing, which followed the Supreme Court's action to stay the rule, offered an excellent opportunity for states to be informed about implications of the court's action, and allowed interested states to ask questions of EPA and others on prudent next steps.  Each session was organized into a regional issue discussion and lead by an expert group of panelists who offered varying perspectives. 

The Keynote Address was delivered by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  Noting a major transition taking place in the country’s energy sector marked by plummeting renewable energy costs and long term tax credit extensions, the Administrator reaffirmed her confidence in the CPP and EPA’s commitment to achieving a low-carbon future.

She noted that in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay the implementation of the CPP until pending litigation is concluded, the EPA will continue working with states on a voluntary, as-needed basis to offer support and assistance to those who chose to move forward with their planning efforts.  While several states intend to continue developing a compliance strategy, many have expressed concern over the impacts the Supreme Court’s decision will have on the EPA’s timeline.   

NASEO and U.S. DOE Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (DOE-EPSA) Co-host Interactive Workshop on the Future of Energy Efficiency

On Wednesday, NASEO Fuels and Grid Integration Committee Co-Chair Dub Taylor (Texas) and Deputy Secretary for Climate, Environment, and Energy Efficiency at DOE-EPSA Judi Greenwald co-hosted an interactive, workshop style discussion to explore the anticipated evolution of energy efficiency through 2040.  State energy officials were able to engage in dialogue with an expert panel of state, federal, and private sector partners to discuss potential, opportunities, challenges, players, and trends for energy efficiency and explore how increasing amounts of efficiency will interact within the electric system.  Emerging efficiency technologies, innovative new financing vehicles, greater access to data, and an evolving utility-customer relationship have demonstrated the value proposition for energy efficiency as a low-cost resource.  Panelists and workshop participants agreed that while the energy sector has just begun to tap into the advantages of energy efficiency, existing policy and regulatory barriers could be refined to advance and expand investment in energy efficiency. 

Information discussed during this roundtable will be utilized by NASEO to develop recommendations regarding the U.S. Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review 1.2 analysis and will inform future state technical assistance on energy efficiency and energy planning programs and investment.  Panelists included:  Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency with the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Jessica Burdette, Conservation Improvement Program Supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources; John Jimison, Managing Director of the Energy Future Coalition; and, Bryan Hannegan, Associate Laboratory Director of Energy Systems Integration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

Ambassador Kirk Speaks on Nuclear Energy's Role in a Diverse Energy Portfolio

On February 11, 2016, Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Representative and current co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, gave a rousing keynote address to the NASEO Policy Outlook Conference. Ambassador Kirk cited both Republican and Democratic leaders extolling nuclear energy as a powerful option for protecting the environment while assuring electric reliability.

If not for the Nation’s 99 nuclear reactors at 61 plants, 656 million metric tons more of carbon dioxide (CO2) would be emitted by the United States annually, equivalent to the emissions of 135 million cars.  Globally, nuclear energy avoids 2.7 billion tons of CO2. Nuclear energy reduces other emissions as well. New plants under construction in several states will greatly help those states meet their Clean Power Plan targets while closure of existing plants would make meeting emission goals difficult. New small modular reactor designs offer the cost and time savings of standardized design while enhancing safety and reliability.

Ambassador Kirk made the point that nuclear energy is a responsible part of a diverse energy portfolio alongside renewable, fossil, and efficiency resources. The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition will soon offer a Clean Power Plan Resource Center on its website ( to provide state-by-state data and resources for assessing the benefits and opportunities of nuclear energy.

Heard on the Hill: 2016 Legislative Update

During this morning’s plenary sessions, NASEO attendees recieved an update from Jeff Genzer, NASEO’s General Council. Mr. Genzer provided an update on congressional and Administration energy actions. And, Al Stayman, Professional Staff for the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources updated NASEO members on the pending bi-partisan Senate energy bill.

Mr. Genzer covered additional topics such as the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request and the Supreme Court’s Tuesday ruling on the Clean Power Plan; both themes that will continue throughout the 2016 Energy Policy Outlook Conference.

NASEO Launches the ENERGY STAR Task Force

After soliciting feedback from several State Energy Office and Affiliate members, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will team up to bring greater awareness of the successful, voluntary, ENERGY STAR program and related tools for State Energy Offices (SEO) use in promoting energy efficiency.

“We are extremely pleased to renew our cooperation with EPA on the ENERGY STAR program and related tools that states have found such an effective means to promote voluntary energy efficiency actions,” said NASEO Executive Director, David Terry. “The NASEO ENERGY STAR Task Force offers a focal point for states to engage other states and EPA to learn first hand how to utilize this nationally recognized brand to aid consumers, businesses, and state and local government partners in saving energy and money.”

NASEO, through our Buildings Committee, will reconstitute the NASEO ENERGY STAR Task Force. The Task Force is open to participation from all NASEO State and Affiliate Members. Early state participants already include the State Energy Offices of Tennessee, Colorado, Utah, and Indiana along with NASEO Affiliate Members Schneider Electric, the National Electrical Manufacturers, Johnson Controls and Bosch.

Through the establishment of an ENERGY STAR Task Force, NASEO and EPA will work with NASEO State and Affiliate Members to develop policy and programmatic recommendations, resources, and best practices to be shared through the broader Buildings Committee and NASEO membership at-large. The Task Force will deploy ENERGY STAR resources and program models to accelerate state-wide efficiency efforts targeting state-owned buildings and key markets such as K-12 schools, commercial, industrial, and multifamily sectors.  Additionally, State Energy Offices will work with EPA and NASEO to leverage ENERGY STAR in ongoing activities such as state energy planning, state-wide benchmarking programs, and efforts to streamline access to building energy data. In addition, the Task Force will make recommendations on the States’ specific needs for tailored ENERGY STAR education, training, and recognition activities.

Jean Lupinacci, EPA’s Director of ENERGY STAR Commercial and Industrial Branch says, “EPA and NASEO have a long history of advancing energy efficiency by deploying EPA’s ENERGY STAR program offerings in states across the country. The ENERGY STAR Task Force will allow us to accelerate our work together in partnership with State Energy Offices and NASEO affiliate members.”

Given the renewed interest in ENERGY STAR among State Energy Offices, NASEO and EPA are also rolling out a five-part webinar series for states. The webinar series will provide an opportunity to engage states on the topic of ENERGY STAR, broadly, address specific tools, and share state successes. The series is designed for State Energy Office staff at all experience levels.

The webinars kick off March 10, 2016 and run through July 2016. Exact dates and topic areas can be found below. Details on registration are forthcoming.


NASEO Energy Star Task Force Webinar Series:

March 10, 3:00 PM EST: Introduction to ENERGY STAR and Program Updates from EPA
April 21, 3:00 PM EST: Engaging Target Markets with ENERGY STAR
May 19, 3:00 PM EST: Best Practices for Successful State-wide Benchmarking Programs
June 16, 3:00 PM EST: ENERGY STAR Tools for State-wide K-12 Efficiency Programs
July 14, 3:00 PM EST: Leveraging Local Benchmarking Programs and Improving Energy Data Access

NASEO and DOE Sign MOU on Federal and State Energy Emergency Coordination, Communication, and Information Sharing

Today, during the 2016 Energy Policy Outlook Conference, David Terry, NASEO’s Executive Director, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NASEO, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), National Governors Association (NGA), and National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) which renews and expands the Energy Emergency Assurance Coordinators (EEAC) Program.

The MOU, updates and expands upon the original agreement signed by NASEO and DOE on January 23, 1996, under which the EEAC Program was established. Over the last 20 years, information technology, communications, and data analysis have dramatically changed. In addition, the creation of state energy assurance plans has led to an evolution in the states’ roles and responsibilities as it relates to energy emergencies which emphasize intra-state coordination that can include various agencies within a state. For these reasons the agreement has been updated and expanded to include the NARUC, NGA, and NEMA who will support and encourage their members to participate in this effort on an ongoing basis.

The MOU builds on already strong cooperation between DOE and the states and will broaden energy emergency response coordination efforts in the future.

Secretary Moniz Addresses State Energy Offices at NASEO Energy Outlook Conference

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz addressed the State Energy Offices on the importance of innovation and collaboration at NASEO’s Energy Outlook Conference. The Secretary provided insight on the Administration’s “Mission Innovation,” an international initiative to expand public and private investment in energy research and development over the next five years. This initiative will build on the Administration’s accomplishments, including the launch of Revolution Now, an ongoing commitment to efficiency standards and grid modernization, and will result in a broad suite of low carbon and systems efficiencies projects.

The Secretary also emphasized the importance of continued collaboration between the Federal and State departments of energy through the Quadrennial Energy Review, as well as through ongoing initiatives such as the State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program. The President’s recently announced budget includes a request for increased funding for these programs. In addition, the Secretary noted that emergency energy response and preparedness should be an additional mission of the Department of Energy. The budget request for state energy assurance planning technical assistance and support is consistent with recommendations from the Quadrennial Energy Review.

The Secretary also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to the Clean Power Plan, in light of Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision, and noted that DOE will continue to work with states on plan development in the coming months.

Experts Panel Provide Conference Attendees with “Outlooks” on Energy Policy and Markets

NASEO's 2016 Energy Policy Outlook Conference kicked off with a discussion-oriented panel focusing on ways public policy, both at the state and federal levels, can drive energy markets and open opportunities to increase overall energy system efficiencies. Panelists included Andrew McAllister, Commissioner from the California Energy Commission and NASEO board member, Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and the Environment, Bartley Matthews from the Utah Energy Office, Karen Wayland, Deputy Director for State and Local Cooperation with U.S. DOE Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, and Phil Giudice, President and Chief Executive Officer for Ambri and former chair of NASEO. 

The panelists shared their perspectives on the outlook for energy policy and markets and identified several cross-cutting themes that resonate not only at the state level, but in the private sector, in the federal government, and in military installations.  Panelists agreed that this is an exciting time and reliability, affordability, and economic development goals will help drive investment in new and future energy technology.

Another topic the panel addressed was data access, analytics and achieving robust and reliable forecasting tools which can catalyze data driven decision making and lead to better, more informed public policy. 

Ms. Wayland provided an update on the Quadrennial Energy Report II including the process for stakeholder engagement at upcoming public listening sessions.  These six sessions will take place regionally and Ms. Wayland directed attendees to the EPSA website for more information about the 2016 stakeholder meetings. She also discussed an EPSA project focused on energy investment partnerships (more information can be found here).

NASEO Welcomes Attendees to the 2016 Energy Policy Outlook Conference

David Terry, Executive Director of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), Janet Streff, Manager of the Minnesota State Energy Office and Chair of the NASEO Board of Directors and Robert Jackson, Director of the Michigan Agency of Energy and Vice-Chair of the NASEO Board of Directors welcomed attendees to the 2016 NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference and gave an overview of this year’s conference focus—Powering Economies: Energy as the Engine for Smart Growth.

Mr. Terry, Ms. Streff, and Mr. Jackson discussed the policy focus that the NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference takes and the sessions that will address new energy technologies, energy policies and the potential these two areas have for driving the energy market. Additionally, Ms. Streff highlighted the senior level cabinet officials’ attendees will hear from later today including Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. 

Powering Economies: Energy as the Engine for Smart Growth

The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) is thrilled to welcome you to Washington, D.C. for the 2016 Energy Policy Outlook Conference. The conference is the national forum to connect with and learn from state energy officials working on innovative energy policies and programs, and to engage with federal officials on priority energy issues. We have planned informative sessions featuring experts and strategists from government, business, and advocacy groups who will share new ideas and partnership models that promote energy affordability, infrastructure resilience, clean energy technologies, and economic opportunity. Some major highlights from our conference agenda include:

  • Keynotes from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; Administrator Gina McCarthy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and Former U.S. trade ambassador and Dallas mayor Ron Kirk;
  • Roundtable discussion on the future of energy efficiency;
  • Insights from industry experts and policy leaders on the outlook for energy policy and markets in the year ahead; and
  • Dynamic discussions on EPA’s Clean Power Plan and how state agencies are working together to overcome barriers and creating new opportunities for compliance.

NASEO would especially like to thank the conference sponsors for their support and valuable input into the conference agenda and design. We are grateful to the Edison Electric Institute, our Gold-level sponsor, our Silver-level sponsor the Diesel Technology Forum, and Nest, our Bronze-level sponsor.  Finally, we encourage you to visit the conference exhibitors and talk to their expert staff over the course of the meeting.