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Summer is heating up... literally, as a new June peak demand record in Texas was recently set. The weather and demand forecast shows the potential to set another before the end of the month. SPEER is continuing to push for more energy efficiency adoption, policies, and education to keep consumers' utility bills low and homes comfortable. In the meantime, we're bringing you energy and policy news for our south-central region as we undergo special sessions in both Texas and Oklahoma.

Policy Edition - In This Newsletter: 

  • Texas 88th Legislature Activities + Recap
  • ERCOT Issues Weather Watch
  • Oklahoma 59th Legislature Activities
  • Local Policy Actions
  • 2023 SPEER Policy + Industry Workshop
  • Upcoming Events and Webinars
  • SPEER Resources
  • What We’re Reading/Hearing

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2023 Texas Legislature Activities + Recap

The Texas Legislature is in the final days of its first special session called by Governor Abbott with the only item on the call sheet being property tax relief. As a result of an ongoing dispute between property tax relief proposals, over 70 bills have been vetoed. Important legislation like SB 2453 which would have allowed the State Energy Conservation Office to adopt newer energy codes was vetoed because “at this time, the legislature must concentrate on delivering property tax cuts to Texans” according to the Governor’s veto proclamation. As was SB 2010 which required additional reporting by the independent market monitor relating to the ERCOT power grid. The first special session ends on Tuesday and if no property tax compromise is made, it is very likely the Governor will call legislators back to Austin for a second special session. You can find the full list of vetoed bills here.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these bills or viewing any hearings, you can find that information and recordings on the Texas Legislature website here.

Prior to the 2023 session beginning both Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick named grid reliability as their key priority, and as a result, dozens of bills were filed that would directly impact the Texas grid. In total SPEER tracked over 180 bills this session, participated in meaningful conversations with policymakers and stakeholders, and provided resource and support testimony to several pieces of legislation in the 180-day-long regular session. Since the conclusion of the session, we have analyzed the bills that were filed, along with our priorities, and compiled an 88th Texas Legislature Wrap-Up report for an in-depth review.

Many bills negatively impacting Texas' clean energy powerhouse were mostly spared but there is still a drastic need for more efficiency and demand reduction. The current heat dome sitting on top of Texas signals summer is here, but it is only June, and many more hot, record-setting days are expected. ERCOT has already issued calls for conservation and a weather watch due to this extreme heat. Stress on the grid from the constant running of air conditioners in many inefficient, old, and leaky Texas homes will continue until we implement stronger building codes and more energy efficiency.

Another Weather Watch Issued by ERCOT

We are off to another blistering hot summer in Texas as the state set a new June peak demand record of 79,304 MWs on June 19th with another new peak record possible in the remaining few days of the month. As a result, ERCOT issued a weather watch in the middle of the month and has issued another one to be in effect Sunday 25th  through Friday, June 30th. Peak demand on the system is forecasted to be around 84,000 MWs early this week. With this high demand and a higher-than-typical number of gas and coal plant outages, wind and solar production have helped keep the power on in Texas and are forecasted to make up over a third of our power mixture this week.

Supply-side generation remains an important issue for the state, but more cost-effective energy-efficient policies would significantly impact the reliability and resiliency of the grid while saving Texans money on their bills. As a result, SPEER will continue to work with state leaders to address the need to improve our energy efficiency programs in the region.

Oklahoma 59th Legislature Session Update

The 59th Oklahoma Legislative session has concluded and is currently back in the Capitol building for a special session. SPEER will continue to monitor any updates relating to the special session as needed. If you are interested any of the bills we tracked this session, please visit the SPEER Policy Oklahoma page which can be found here.

Local Policy Updates

Recent and Upcoming Local Government Policy Actions: 

Austin: On June 8th the Austin City Council approved an ordinance amending the FY 22-23 Austin Energy Operating Budget Special Revenue Fund to accept $569,500 in grant funds from FEMAs Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program. For more information, please see the Austin City Council Agenda page.

San Antonio: On June 27th the San Antonio City Council’s Municipal Utilities Committee will be meeting to discuss several items relating to the city’s climate action and adoption plans for CPS and SAWS and to review legislative impacts to the utilities. For more information, please see the San Antonio City Council 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

Don't Miss SPEER's Industry + Policy Workshop

Join SPEER members, partners, and allies for two days of energy dialogue in Austin on September 14-15. We'll be joined by utilities, implementers, manufacturers, state and local governments, energy service companies, and more as we discuss regional grid issues, record-setting demand, demand-side solutions as well as national trends. Through small discussions, panels, and open dialogue energy experts will share insight on the rapidly evolving energy landscape both in the ERCOT market and nationally. REGISTER NOW for this prime event! Don't forget, SPEER members attend for free.

As the 88th Texas legislative session and 59th Oklahoma legislative session both conclude we will discuss energy policies and ways to expand efficiency during the next sessions including:

  • How to improve energy efficiency adoption in the South-central region
  • Ways to better engage stakeholders with policymakers
  • Increasing the adoption of DERs

But we won’t be the only ones talking! We’ll have small discussions, panels, and keynotes sharing their knowledge and thoughts on these important issues in the evolving energy landscape.

Save Your Spot

Show your support and sponsor today!

Looking for increased brand visibility, reputation enhancement, and the opportunity to be associated with a cause that resonates with your audience? We invite you to become an event sponsor and showcase your brand's commitment to energy efficiency and the growing clean energy movement.

These sponsorships are important to us and help continue the sustaining efforts of SPEER as we educate and support energy efficiency across the Texas and Oklahoma region. As extreme weather continues to wreak havoc on our aging grid, especially our transmission and distribution system, change has never been more necessary.

Big thank you to Texas PACE Authority for sponsoring our Happy Hour!

Events + Webinars

PUCT: The PUCT Aggregate Distributed Energy Resource (ADER) pilot project is hosting a workshop on June 28th for project 54311 beginning at 1 PM and hosting a workshop on June 30th starting at 10 AM for project number 54233 to review technical requirements for interconnection process of DERs. This workshop will be available to stream through the Texas Admin website. 


Join us for a dive into the world of Manual J and S reports, which are now part of the standard review process for city plan reviewers. Our expert presenter, Alex Meaney, will guide us through the intricacies of these essential reports, highlighting key points of attention and potential areas of concern. This webinar represents a unique chance for plan reviewers to elevate their knowledge and understanding of these critical tools. It’s designed to equip you with the necessary insights to evaluate HVAC system loads and sizing accurately, thereby facilitating well-informed permit decisions. Register This webinar will take place on June 29th @ 11:30 AM Central. Register here.

The CELC group is hosting a webinar on Plug loads management for commercial buildings on July 11th from 10-11 AM Central. This webinar will review lessons learned by the Houston Advanced Research Center in optimizing and managing its plug load consumption to minimize costs and decarbonize building operations.  Register here.

SPEER Resources

What can you expect to find on our newly launched 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. 

SPEER has also 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. It's your one-stop shop for recently 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, SPEER Codes Program, and SPEER Local Governments Program. Check it out.

What We're Reading...

ERCOT issues another Weather Watch for next week – KVUE

REPORT: As Grid Decarbonizes, Energy Efficiency More Critical than Ever to Reduce Costs – ACEEE

REPORT: Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy for the ERCOT Region (SARA) Summer 2023  – ERCOT

Texas Has Never Had a Summer Blackout - Here's Why That May Change – Texas Energy and Power Newsletter

To improve multifamily housing energy efficiency and resiliency, HUD offers $4.8B for retrofits – Utility Dive

ERCOT can’t be sued over power grid failures during 2021 winter storm, Texas Supreme Court rules – Texas Tribune

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