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Policy Edition

In This Newsletter: 

  • Resiliency Workshop + Happy Hour: November 1st
  • PUCT Winter Preparedness Workshop
  • November Election
  • Railroad Commission Energy Conservation Program Rulemaking
  • Upcoming Events and Webinars
  • SPEER Blog: How the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can help Texas and Oklahoma move forward 
  • What We’re Reading/Hearing

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SPEER & Zpryme Resiliency Workshop + Happy Hour

Reclaiming energy efficiency in Texas! Join us tomorrow, November 1st from 2-6 PM for an afternoon of learning, engaging with energy experts, and networking. Efficiency remains an important and cost-effective resource Texas can use to increase resiliency and lower peak demand at a fraction of the cost compared to many expensive supply-side generation mechanisms.

We can reduce energy consumption and cut peak loads with simple efficiency measures and flexibility services such as incentive programs for attic insulation, sealing, heat pumps, smart thermostats & demand response programs. Save your spot, and discover ways consumers can be part of the solutions through energy efficiency upgrades + utility programs.

The workshop is free and includes drinks and hor d'oeuvres during the happy hour to follow!

BIG thank you to our sponsor and SPEER member EIS Lighting! During the workshop Marc Migliazzo, Co-Founder & President of EIS Lighting, will be demonstrating and sharing the benefits of the led smart troffer light. While it does have standard features like coming in a 1x4, 2x2 or 2x4 foot size and the ability to use battery backup, it also includes more advanced features; one being that the majority of applications such as color control and 0-10v dimming can be controlled within the Keilton app on a phone or tablet and via Bluetooth switch on the wall. Admin and guest control in the app provides access as needed to office personnel or building services. Weekly scheduling can be implemented along with motion sensing and daylight harvesting to tune the lights in groups or individually in certain areas of a building. 

Energy monitoring allows you to collect consumption data and generate energy reports for tracking. Wireless commissioning means no need for specific dimming wires, which reduces installation cost and time. With all of the features at your fingertips we are moving towards newer and more efficient ways to control and track lighting and energy usage. EIS Lighting is presently installing 1890 2x4 of these LED Smart Troffer for the City of Dallas on an 11-story office building that is being renovated. The energy saving per year is 839,025 kWh. Or in dollars $92,29275.

For more information contact Marc at [email protected].

PUCT Winter Preparedness Workshop

On October 20th the PUCT hosted a winter preparedness workshop where the agency, ERCOT, utilities, and other stakeholders had the opportunity to discuss the state of the Texas grid as winter quickly approaches.  Discussions were held on preparation through weatherization efforts, the firm fuel supply service, and TDU demand response programs. The PUCT and stakeholders also reviewed their expectations for the upcoming winter weather, transmission constraints, and the newly adopted monthly outlook for resource adequacy (MORA formerly the seasonal report SARA). The Texas investor-owned utilities all state that they will be ready for this winter. It should be noted that energy efficiency programs were scarcely brought up. Energy efficiency with specific focus on home heating would dramatically increase the states reliability by reducing the main driver of peak demand during the cold months. 

If you would like to review the agenda, presentation, or any stakeholder comments (including SPEERs) you can find them on the PUCT Docket page here.

November Election

On November 7th Texas will be holding elections on fourteen state propositions that have come out of this spring's 88th Legislature. Included in the statewide propositions is Prop 7 which would create the Texas Energy Fund in accordance with SB 2627/SJR 93 to provide state financing for thermal generation plants producing at least 100 MWs of power. A full list of the fourteen propositions is below:

Proposition 1 – HJR 126 "The constitutional amendment protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management."

Proposition 2 – SJR 64 "The constitutional amendment authorizing a local option exemption from ad valorem taxation by a county or municipality of all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate a child-care facility."

Proposition 3 – HJR 132 "The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual wealth or net worth tax, including a tax on the difference between the assets and liabilities of an individual or family."

Proposition 4 – HJR 2 from the second special session "The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to establish a temporary limit on the maximum appraised value of real property other than a residence homestead for ad valorem tax purposes; to increase the amount of the exemption from ad valorem taxation by a school district applicable to residence homesteads from $40,000 to $100,000; to adjust the amount of the limitation on school district ad valorem taxes imposed on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect increases in certain exemption amounts; to except certain appropriations to pay for ad valorem tax relief from the constitutional limitation on the rate of growth of appropriations; and to authorize the legislature to provide for a four-year term of office for a member of the board of directors of certain appraisal districts."

Proposition 5 – HJR 3 "The constitutional amendment relating to the Texas University Fund, which provides funding to certain institutions of higher education to achieve national prominence as major research universities and drive the state economy."

Proposition 6 – SJR 75 "The constitutional amendment creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state."

Proposition 7 – SJR 93 "The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities."

Proposition 8 – HJR 125 "The constitutional amendment creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects."

Proposition 9 – HJR 2, regular session "The constitutional amendment authorizing the 88th Legislature to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas."

Proposition 10 – SJR 87 "The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation equipment or inventory held by a manufacturer of medical or biomedical products to protect the Texas healthcare network and strengthen our medical supply chain."

Proposition 11 – SJR 32 "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to issue bonds supported by ad valorem taxes to fund the development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities."

Proposition 12 – HJR 134 "The constitutional amendment providing for the abolition of the office of county treasurer in Galveston County."

Proposition 13 – HJR 107 "The constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges."

Proposition 14 – SJR 74 "The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks."

Railroad Commission Energy Conservation Program Rulemaking

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) began their efforts to implement new statutes into their rules. One specific rule to bring to your attention was the public comment period running between September 19th  to October 25th  for changes to the proposed natural gas energy conservation program designs, the request can be found at the RRC website. SPEER and several other organizations filed comments to the RRC in response to their request for feedback to assist in developing programs that could provide assistance to Texas homes and businesses to become more efficient through appliance replacement, weatherization upgrades, and educational efforts as these programs are designed. 

SPEER appreciated the opportunity to provide comments and discussed possible changes to include a cost-effectiveness standard, developing a technical reference manual for gas conservation programs, establishing a public engagement process, and requiring a minimum budget threshold for low-income residents.

If you would like to see any of the comments filed or learn more about the development of these rules, please go to the RRC public comments page here.

Events + Webinars

Texas Energy Summit: The Texas Energy Summit will be held at the Texas Capitol in Austin on November 14-16. This annual conference will review the intersection of air quality and energy with sessions on energy optimization, renewable energy, storage, EVs, sustainability, and resiliency. 


SPEER is proud to be a part of this event and will be presenting on both 11/15 discussing the economic opportunities from energy efficiency, and job growth in the energy efficiency sector and on 11/16 covering ways to prevent winter outages with heat pumps. Don't miss this opportunity to network, learn, and contribute to the energy landscape. Learn more about the Summit, explore the agenda, and secure your spot here. We hope to see you there!

SPEER Webinar: The 2024 IECC Residential: What we know so far (Part 2) on November 7 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm. Quickly approaching is the final draft of the 2024 IECC. We’ll review changes to each chapter and each table. You can reviewPart 1 of the 2024 IECC Residential: What we know so far which aired October 20th on our YouTube channel here.

New SPEER Blog:

How the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can help Texas and Oklahoma move forward

The Time to act is NOW! Texas and Oklahoma continue to lag behind in building and energy codes and in some areas local jurisdictions have codes that were set in 2009 and earlier. Updated energy codes are crucial for our underserved communities and to combat our increasing extreme weather. Our communities need updated codes, which help with resiliency during the extreme weather events which are becoming more common, help alleviate pressure on the grid and most importantly, reduce energy costs many of our neighbors.

The Department of Energy and the State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) have released guidance on receiving up to $400 million to update and modernize existing codes. Read our newest blog How the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can help Texas and Oklahoma move forward and learn more about what DOE is offering and how your state or local jurisdiction can become eligible to receive this funding.

What We're Reading...

REPORT: World Energy Outlook 2023 – IEA

Sheep graze on Texas solar farms as renewable energy companies embrace agriculture – Texas Tribune

ERCOT's summer review is misleading and incomplete – Texas Energy and Power Newsletter  

Texas ban on non-incumbent transmission is unconstitutional: US solicitor general – Utility Dive

New ERCOT battery rule could limit energy storage use in grid emergencies, operators say – Utility Dive

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