March 28th (Today!)

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) will hold its spring Energy Efficiency Implementation Project (EEIP) meeting on March 28th, 2023. This is a biannual public meeting held at the PUCT offices and provides interested parties the opportunity to learn about the on-going utility and PUCT efforts revolving around energy efficiency programming in Texas. This meeting will have a morning and an afternoon session. The morning session will have a short presentation on Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and a comprehensive review of both ERCOT and Non-ERCOT utilities energy efficiency program plans for the upcoming year. 

The afternoon session will provide an overview and update of the recent efforts by the four energy efficiency stakeholder groups which were formed to gather ideas to improve the utilities’ energy efficiency programs. As a reminder, each working group focused on a particular area of interest: program goals, program planning, low-income/underserved, and demand response/load management. Each of the four groups held four meetings which were facilitated and recorded by Tetra Tech. The afternoon session will end with a wrap up and next steps discussion.

If you are unable to attend in person, the meeting will also be broadcast live and recorded at: https://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/puct/workshop/20230328/

In this newsletter:

  • PUCT EEIP Meeting March 28 (above)
  • Texas 88th Legislature Activities
  • Oklahoma 59th Legislature Activities
  • Local Policy Actions
  • SPEER's Presentation recap at the Texas Energy Innovation Forum
  • Upcoming Events and Webinars

Texas 88th Legislature Activities

The Texas Legislature is in full swing now, with over 9,000 bills filed and currently being considered by lawmakers. SPEER is currently tracking over 180 energy-related bills and will be providing updates on committee hearings and bill movement via social media, newsletters, and updates on our policy page here. Since public meetings are required to be posted a week in advance, please check these resources frequently.

All committee hearings are recorded and are available on the Texas Legislature website here.

Bills on the Move

Appropriations bills:

HB 1 Appropriations Act reported favorably as substituted on Mar 23, 2023

SB 1 Appropriations Act left pending in committee on Feb 21, 2023

House Committee Hearings March 27-30th 

Energy Resources on Monday, March 27th at 2:30 pm or upon adjourn./recess:

 HB 1158 Relating to advanced clean energy projects and certain other projects that reduce or eliminate carbon dioxide emissions.

HB 2263 Relating to the authority of a natural gas local distribution company to offer energy conservation programs.

Full Energy Resources Agenda


State Affairs on Wednesday, March 29th at 10:30am or upon adjourn./recess:

HB 2848 Relating to the approval of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for certain transmission projects.

HB 3054 Relating to regulation of ownership and control of installed electric generation capacity.

HB 4831 Relating to the implementation of a program to meet the reliability needs in the ERCOT power region.

HB 4832 Relating to the reliability of the ERCOT power grid.

HB 4834 Relating to the use of the Texas energy reliability fund to finance construction of electric generating facilities in the ERCOT power region; authorizing fees.

HB 4836 Relating to the legislature's goals for natural gas generating capacity.

HB 4862 Relating to reporting by the market monitor of potential manipulation of the wholesale electric market.

HJR 180 Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas energy reliability fund to finance construction of electric generating facilities.

Full State Affairs Agenda.

Senate Committee Hearings March 27-30th

Finance on Monday, March 27th at 10am:

Full Finance Agenda

Business and Commerce (today) on Tuesday, March 28th at 8:30am:

SB 330 Relating to the resilience of the electric grid and certain municipalities; authorizing an administrative penalty.

SB 624 Relating to the permitting of renewable energy generation facilities by the Public Utility Commission of Texas; authorizing fees.

SB 1093 Relating to facilities included in the electricity supply chain.

SB 1212 Relating to the interconnection and integration of distributed energy resources.

SB 1295 Relating to the provision of information regarding distributed generation and certain electrical loads.

SB 1699 Relating to the participation of aggregated distributed energy resources in the ERCOT market.

SB 1751 Relating to the regulation and tax treatment of facilities in the ERCOT power region that demand a large load of interruptible power.

SB 1929 Relating to the authority of an independent organization certified for the ERCOT power region to require information from and registration by certain facilities.

SB 2112 Relating to resources used to ensure the continuous provision of power.

SJR 82 Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas power resiliency fund to finance the operation of backup power sources.

Full Business and Commerce Agenda

Bill filing continues and SPEER will be reviewing and tracking all legislation that pertains to our mission. Our full tracking list will be uploaded weekly to the SPEER Policy Texas page which can be found here. If you have any questions or would like to discuss pending legislation, please reach out to us!

Oklahoma 59th Legislature Activities

The 59th Oklahoma Legislative session has begun. Both halves of the Oklahoma Legislative regular session will last no longer than 160 days. The final date for legislators to pre-file legislation for the first half of the session was January 19, 2023. Over 2,500 individual bills were pre-filed. 

Bills on the Move

House Bills:

HB 1023 Property; owners association; solar energy; effective date - first read in Senate on 3/13

HB 2425 Professions and occupations; authorizing Construction Industries Board to administer the Uniform Building Code Commission Act; repealer. – First read in Senate on 3/21

HB 2472 Public finance; performance based efficiency contracts; public entity; initial payments; effective date. – First read in Senate on 3/21

HB 2556 Professions and occupations; authorizing Construction Industries Board to administer the Uniform Building Code Commission Act; repealer; effective date – First read in Senate on 3/20

Senate Bills:

SB 19 An Act relating to carbon capture technologies; defining terms; requiring energy produced from certain sources be considered carbon neutral; requiring energy produced from certain sources in conjunction with carbon capture technologies be considered carbon negative; providing for codification. – First read in House on 3/21

SB 168 Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission; prohibiting any provision from being enacted to prohibit or limit use of refrigerant designated as federally acceptable. – First read in House on 3/1

SB 202 General provisions; protecting the internal combustion engine. – First read in House on 3/23

SB 433 Department of Commerce; requiring Department to publish information relating to energy efficiency programs. – First read in House 3/23

SB 477 Oklahoma Emission Reduction Technology Rebate Program; modifying rebate limit. Effective date. Emergency – First read in House 3/13

SB 502 Electric vehicles; creating the Oklahoma Electric Vehicle Charging Act. Effective date. – First read in House 3/9

SB 1103 Electric utilities; creating the Ratepayer Protection Act of 2023. Emergency. – Reported Do Pass as amended Energy and Telecommunications committee on 3/2

SPEER is currently tracking legislation that pertains to our mission. Our tracking list will be uploaded weekly to the SPEER Policy Oklahoma page which can be found here. If you have any questions or would like to discuss pending legislation, please reach out to us!

Local Policy Updates

Recent and Upcoming Local Government Policy Actions: 

Austin: On March 23rd  the Austin City Council approved a resolution directing the City manager to encourage the use of underground electric lines in areas where the City is planning capital projects in public right-of-way. The council also approved a resolution directing the City manager to develop a plan to convert existing overhead electric distribution lines to underground electric distribution lines. For more information, please see the Austin City Council Agenda page.

If you are aware of upcoming policy discussions or actions in your area and would like to share them in this newsletter, please send information to noaks@eepartnership.org.

Where Has SPEER Been?

Earlier this month SPEER's Policy Manger, Noah Oaks, had the opportunity to speak at the PowerHouse Texas Energy Innovation Forum on the power of energy efficiency. The discussion included the benefits of energy efficiency to the ERCOT grid and consumers. High demand was the cause for blackouts during Winter Storm Uri and the reason ERCOT set 11 (!) peak demand records this past summer. We need to increase the state's EE goals to reduce stress on the grid and lower consumer electric bills. These saving goals have not been increased or changed since 2011 yet the state could significantly benefit. Thanks to all that attended!

Catch a recap of the event:  

Upcoming Events + Webinars

Energy Thought Summit:

The Energy Thought Summit will be held on April 3-6th in Austin. There will be sessions on climate issues, grid supply chain logistics, public financing, energy efficiency and more. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Air Quality Related to Energy Efficiency webinar:

Heating and cooling buildings use a lot of energy — about 43 percent of all energy use in the United States. Producing this energy requires us to burn fossil fuels like coal and oil, which contributes to air pollution and generates large amounts of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Understanding the connection between air quality and energy is essential in moving the needle forward in improving Texas’s air quality and energy. If you'd like to attend this webinar on April 6th at 10 am (Central), you can register here.

TIEEN Industrial Energy Efficiency in a volatile, high price energy market webinar:

TIEEN will present its annual collaborative webinar Wednesday, April 12, 2-3:30 pm (Central). This will be a panel discussion on the topic of Industrial Energy Efficiency in a volatile, high-price energy market. We invite you to join us at this thought-provoking event, as we grapple with this challenging topic.  If you are interested in attending, please register here.

What We're Reading...

Appeals court says state agency set electricity prices too high during 2021 winter storm – Texas Tribune

REPORT: Record High Electricity Rates Still Not Enough to Get Customers Thinking About Sustainability – Utilities Intelligence Report

Spearmint Energy acquires 900 MW/2,000 MWh battery storage portfolio in Texas – Utility Dive

CHART: How much clean energy has been added globally since 2017 – Canary Media

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Which Home Heating System Is Best? – US News

PODCAST: Heat Pumps are Hot – Redefining Energy

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