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SPEER Executive Director Todd McAlister and State and Local Policy Manager Noah Oaks will be visiting Oklahoma this month to meet with key stakeholders in the Sooner State. We have made great strides and hope to continue building on these efforts throughout 2024. We look forward to seeing you all March 26-28th!

In this newsletter

  • RRC Energy Conservation Program Update
  • PUCT Approves Texas Energy Fund Rules
  • Heat Pump Contractor Workshop
  • Oklahoma 59th Legislature Activities
  • Local Policy Actions
  • Upcoming Events and Webinars
  • SPEER Resources
  • What We’re Reading/Hearing

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Oklahoma 59th Legislature Activities

The second half of the 59th Oklahoma Legislative session began on February 5th and will continue until Sine Die on May 31st. SPEER is reviewing bills and following bill movement throughout the session. Our bill tracking list can be found on the SPEER Policy page for Oklahoma here.

Bills on the Move

House Bills

HB 2367 Corporation Commission; exemptions; discussion; attendance; documentation; scheduled meetings; effective date – First Reading in Senate on 3/18/2024 

HB 3053 Energy; requiring Secretary of Energy and Environment to evaluate relationship of the Southwest Power Pool and the state; requiring preparation of certain report; emergency. – Referred to Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee on 3/19/2024

HB 3819 Professions and occupations; Uniform Building Code Commission Act; definitions; vice-chair duties; Commission powers and duties; training; energy payback – First Reading in Senate on 3/18/2024

HB 4093 Utilities; requiring certain retail electric service provider to provide certain notification; effective date – CR; Do Pass Utilities Committee on 2/15/2024

HB 4097 Public Utilities; rights of electric transmission owners; bids; effective date – Referred to Senate Rules Committee on 3/19/2024

Senate Bills

SB 1505 Rebates; providing rebates for emission reduction projects; creating fund; effective date. Emergency – First Reading in House on 3/12/2024

SB 1535 Oklahoma Low Carbon Energy Initiative; modifying duties and membership of the Low Carbon Energy Initiative Board. Effective date – First Reading in House on 3/18/2018

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!

RRC Energy Conservation Program Update

On March 19th the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) approved the proposed new natural gas energy conservation programs in accordance with HB 2263 (88th Session, 2023). SPEER, along with ten other stakeholders, provided public comments back in October 2023 recommending amendments to the draft rules. If you would like to review the recommended edits from SPEER or other organizations, you can find them here.

This new program offers gas distribution companies the opportunity to implement energy conservation programs through direct financial incentives, technical assistance (including building energy performance analyses), discounts and/or rebate for products, and weatherization for low-income customers. While energy efficiency programs for electric utilities have been in use in Texas since 2005, this is the first natural gas conservation program sanctioned by the state. The order by the RRC can be found here.

We appreciate the conversations we had as we developed our redline edit recommendations and look forward to working with the RRC, our gas distribution company partners, and other interested stakeholders as these programs continue to be developed to help increase efficiency in Texas. 

If you were unable to attend in person, the meeting broadcast recording can be viewed at:  

PUCT Approves Texas Energy Fund Rules

On March 21st the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) adopted a new rule to implement the Texas Energy Fund In-ERCOT Generation Loan Program. The Texas Energy Fund was approved by Texas voters in November 2023 with the intent to incentivize construction of new dispatchable electric generating facilities or expand existing facilities in ERCOT with low-interest loans to qualifying companies. 

Qualifying projects must add at least 100 MW of new dispatchable generation capacity to the grid. The adopted rule also establishes procedures for applying for the loan, outlines criteria the PUCT will use to evaluate applications, details repayment terms, and specifies performance standards. In total, the new program can install up to 10,000MW of new or upgraded generation capacity in the ERCOT region. 

While this new generation is needed as the Texas energy demand grows and is anticipated to continue growing, it is vital to the state to also consider necessary improvements to the state’s energy efficiency programs. With the potential new funds invested into energy efficiency from the Inflation Reduction Act in coordination with the states existing utility energy efficiency programs, Texas could offset thousands of MW’s of energy consumption, saving residents and businesses money on their electric bills monthly while increasing resiliency and reliability to the grid.

For more information on the Texas Energy Fund, please see the PUCT’s press release here, or view the meeting recording here.

For additional information on the Home Energy Rebates, please view the DOE website here or check our website for updates:

Heat Pump Contractor Workshop

On March 5th SPEER, in collaboration with Austin Energy, hosted a day long heat pump contractor training workshop led by Garrett Smith of Mitsubishi. Mr. Smith outlined many of the technical aspects of high efficiency heat pump units, including variable speed systems, reviewed impacts to contractor operations, and discussed frequently asked questions from customers as they relate to heat pump technologies versus more traditional gas and electric HVAC systems.

We greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn about the technology and have in-depth technical conversations with those contractors that are currently installing or interested in promoting heat pumps in the region. Working with our manufacturing and utility partners, we hope that we can continue to shed light on the efficiencies gained through heat pumps in Texas and Oklahoma while saving residents and businesses money on their monthly energy bills.

Local Policy Updates

Recent and Upcoming Local Government Policy Actions: 

Austin: On March 21st the Austin City Council approve issuance of a capacity-based incentive to the City of Sunset Valley for installation of solar electric systems on their facilities in the amount of $119,899. 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 [email protected].

Upcoming Events + Webinars

Energy Thought Summit: The Energy Thought Summit will be held on April 15-18th 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.


March 26 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 am CST

Why Energy Codes Matter: Discover through expert insights and a wealth of data the importance of energy codes in building energy-efficient homes. Learn how these codes not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also offer substantial cost savings. This informative session will guide you through the benefits, key components, and application of energy codes. Whether you’re an industry veteran or new to the energy code, this webinar will arm you with essential knowledge to contribute to a healthier planet. Dive into the future of construction, where efficiency and sustainability meet.” If you are interested in attending, please register here.

March 28 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am CST

Clean Energy Investment Act: Tax Credits & Elective Pay: Join us for an insightful webinar hosted by the Department of Energy (DOE), where we'll delve into strategies for empowering investments in clean energy. In light of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes provisions for tax credits aimed at stimulating clean energy development, this webinar will explore the opportunities and implications for investors, businesses, non-profits, state and local governments, and policymakers. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

April 23 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST

Implications of EER Requirements on Heat Pump Adoption in Texas and Oklahoma: On April 23rd presenter Jonathan Moscatello with Daikin will review the efficiencies gained by variable speed heat pump systems, discuss EER issues that remain, and look forward to policy implications for this transformative technology. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Visit SPEER's calendar for all upcoming events and training.

SPEER Resources

SPEER has updated its State and Local Policy webpage! You can now find state-specific policy information including links to key state agency webpages, our previous public comments, and additional information about our work in both Texas and Oklahoma. You will also find our released reports, templates and materials for engaging with policy leaders, and additional materials on how our Policy Program interacts with the ongoing Heat Pump Working Group, our energy codes program, and SPEER's local government program. SPEER State and Local Policy.

What can you expect to find on our resource page?

  • SPEER Programs + informational flyers
  • Messaging guides
  • Public Utility Commission of Texas Comment Template
  • Heat pump resources

We have created a library of local government resolutions, energy plans & policy work, climate action plans, and resiliency initiatives. These documents are meant to be a resource and showcase the commitment made by local governments to create an equitable, safe, and economically stable future for Texas and Oklahoma citizens. Head over to dive in and bookmark the page as we will continually be expanding and adding new material. 

What We're Reading...

Why some Texas cities are getting rid of their minimum parking rules – Texas Tribune

US saw $4B in clean energy investments in February: E2  – Utility Drive

US electricity prices outpace annual inflation – Utility Dive

Yes, heat pumps slash emissions even if powered by a dirty grid – Canary Media

ERCOT working to avoid disruption of solar eclipse 2024 on solar power– KXAN

PODCAST: "The Name of the Game is Flexibility," a Conversation with ERCOT's Pablo Vegas – The Texas Energy and Power Newsletter

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