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Policy Edition

In This Newsletter: 

  • Energy Efficiency Implementation Project Meeting **Engagement Opportunity**
  • Legislative Implementation – PUCT and RRC **Engagement Opportunities**
  • 2023 SPEER Policy + Industry Workshop Recap
  • Upcoming Events and Webinars
  • SPEER Resources
  • What We’re Reading

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Fall EEIP Meeting September 26th

**Engagement Opportunity**

Today, September 26th, the PUCT will be hosting its fall Energy Efficiency Implementation Project (EEIP) meeting from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm in the Commissioners’ hearing room at the William B. Travis Building in Austin. The agenda includes a review of the draft statewide energy efficiency portfolio report, updates to the statewide technical reference manual for program year 2024, and an overview of the energy efficiency developments related to the Inflation Reduction Act. 

These meetings are a great opportunity for stakeholders to hear about the programs directly from PUCT staff, EM&V contractors, and utilities operating in the state. SPEER has been an active participant in these meetings and can assist with any questions you may have. Tune in here and see the full agenda below:

Legislative Implementation: PUCT and RRC

**Engagement Opportunity**

With a brief reprieve from legislative sessions, Texas state agencies are now beginning the process of implementing legislation passed earlier this year. For its role, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has published in Docket 55156 a list of priority rulemakings to enact new statutes for the agency. Most of the rulemakings outlined currently revolve around HB 1500 provisions, the PUCT sunset legislation. For those interested in being involved in the process, please review the rulemaking calendar in Docket 54455 or Docket 55156 mentioned above. One rule to bring to your attention is located in Docket 55250 Transmission and Distribution System Resiliency Plans rulemaking. In accordance with HB 2555, the PUCT is holding a public comment period that will end on October 6th. This rule will impact how electric utilities develop resiliency plans to keep power on for Texans during times when it is most crucial. 

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is also beginning their efforts to implement new statutes into their rules. One specific rule to bring to your attention is the ongoing public comment period that runs between September 19th to October 25th for changes to the proposed natural gas energy conservation program designs, the request can be found on the RRC website. This is a great opportunity to assist the RRC 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.

If you have any questions on how to file public comments or would like to discuss these rulemakings further, please reach out to us. 

2023 SPEER Policy + Industry Workshop Recap

On September 14th and 15th SPEER held its annual Policy + Industry Workshop in Austin. The event was a huge success and we heard from industry leaders across the sector and region focused on grid challenges, energy efficiency solutions, utility and gas efficiency programs, heat pumps, DERs, and their impacts on Texas and Oklahoma. We were thrilled to hear directly from the PUC Interim Chair Kathleen Jackson on the importance of energy efficiency to meet the growing demand for electricity in Texas. If you would like to review the materials presented during the event please visit our event recap page.

SESSION HIGHLIGHT: 88th Texas Legislature Wrap-Up

I was honored to have an open conversation with Texas State Representative Erin Zwiener to review the many bills considered during the 88th Texas Legislature.  We discussed high-profile bills from the recent session such as SB 7 & SB 2627 that cover supply-side generation needs, reviewed energy codes with bills SB 2453 & HB 2127, as well as energy efficiency bills like SB 258 and SB 114. We also reviewed the impact of renewables on the grid and the importance of climate planning in a region that is seeing more frequent natural disasters and extreme temperatures. Representative Zwiener provided her perspectives on a possible second special legislative session for Texas and what she is anticipating as we move toward the 89th Legislative Session.

Events + Webinars

SPEER: Looking to increase your knowledge on energy codes? Our Energy Code Manager, Randy Plumlee, wants to demystify the complexities of the energy code and how they impact residential buildings with today's webinar on "The Energy Code and Residential Buildings: What Every Homeowner Needs to Know". Register here.

GCPA: SPEER’s State & Local Policy Manager, Noah Oaks, will be providing a brief presentation and overview on energy efficiency landscape in our region at the Gulf Coast Power Association‘s 38th Annual Fall Conference & Exhibition on October 4th. Following his presentation there will be a panel hosted by Interim Chair Jackson and several energy experts discussing the need to increase energy efficiency programs and demand response in the state as Texas has fallen behind (many) other states in energy savings. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

SPEERSPEER will be hosting a webinar, IRA and IIJA for Energy Efficiency Teams, on October 3rd. This webinar will provide an overview of IRA and IIJA with a particular focus on customer-facing programs including programs that can help promote the adoption of energy efficiency, building electrification, DER’s, and EVs. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

TIEEN webinar: The next TIEEN collaborative webinar will take place Tuesday October 17, 2:00-3:30 pm (Central). This will be a panel discussion on the topic of Legislative and Regulatory Developments in Texas Impacting Energy Production, Efficiency, and Use. The recent Texas legislative session included several bills with significant potential impacts on both deployment of renewables and energy efficiency. Learn more and register now.

SPEER Resources

SPEER recently updated our State and Local Policy webpage where you can now 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, SPEER Codes Program, and SPEER Local Governments Program. 

We have also launched a new resource page. What can you expect to find on it?

  • 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...

New plan aims to quadruple heat-pump adoption in 25 states – Canary Media


Gov. Greg Abbott says special legislative session on "school choice" coming in October – Texas Tribune

ERCOT has more questions to answer – Texas Energy and Power Newsletter  

White House launches clean energy youth workforce program amid labor shortage concerns – Utility Dive

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