QUARTER 4 HIGHLIGHTS: OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2020 We use color-coded tags on individual highlights to help you find the news important to you. The tags in this edition include:
Energy Efficiency Policy State and Local Updates Alabama Public Service Commissioners: On November 3, commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh won reelection to a four-year term that will end on November 8, 2024. Public Service Commission Proceedings: In October, Alabama Power customers received a bill credit averaging $25 for a typical residential customer. The credit was due to lower fuel prices, adjustments that are usually made at the end of the year. This year, the utility proposed adjusting earlier than normal to give some rate relief to customers during the pandemic.
Arkansas Entergy Rate Case: The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved a rate decrease of about eleven cents per month for an average residential customer of Entergy Arkansas; the rate change took effect for the first billing cycle of 2021. Docket No. 15-015-U Florida Public Service Commission: On August 21, Governor Ron DeSantis named state legislator Michael La Rosa to a four-year term on the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). La Rosa took his seat after the expiration of Commissioner Polmann’s term on January 1, 2021. Energy Efficiency Rules: In a July hearing, FPSC commissioners directed staff to initiate a rule-
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making process to update the rules established by Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (FEECA). On December 15, commission staff filed a draft rule and scheduled a workshop for January 14, 2021. SEEA’s policy director, Cyrus Bhedwar, participated in the hearing and will continue to engage in the FEECA revision process. Docket No. 20200181 Clean Energy Commitments: In recent months, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) and Duke Energy announced plans to reduce carbon emissions. In a unanimous vote on August 8, the Orlando City Council approved a plan for OUC to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. On October 9, Duke Energy announced plans to double its renewable generation capacity by 2025 and to achieve net-zero methane emissions in its natural gas business by 2030. Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA): On November 2, the JEA board of directors hired Jay Stowe, former Huntsville Utilities executive, as its next CEO and managing director. Amid rumors of a potential sale, Stowe maintains that the utility will remain under municipal ownership. On November 3, Jacksonville voters approved an amendment to the city’s charter that empowers the City Council to appoint and remove four of the seven members of JEA’s board of directors. The remaining three positions will continue to be nominated by the mayor and approved by the council. Energy Efficiency Jobs: The 2020 Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report by E2 and E4TheFuture shows that Florida lost about 18,000 energy efficiency jobs as of October, largely due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rate Cases: Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Gulf Power: In November, the FPSC approved rate increases for FPL and Gulf Power customers. Average residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month will see
an average increase in bills by $2.62 for FPL customers and nineteen cents for Gulf Power customers. Docket No. 2020-0002 In early January, the merger between the two companies became legally complete and the company filed for a new four-year rate plan that will ultimately equalize the rate structures of the previously separate utilities. Docket No. 2021-0015 TECo and FPUC: The FPSC also approved rate changes for Tampa Electric Company (TECO) and Florida Public Utilities Company (FPUC). An average residential TECO customer began seeing bill increases of about $7.56 in January; an average residential customer of FPUC gets a bill reduction of about $4.92. Docket No. 2020-0002 Duke Energy Florida: In December the FPSC approved a rate decrease for Duke Energy Florida customers that will reduce rates for the average residential customer by about $3.63 a month. Docket No. 2021-0001 Georgia Public Service Commission: In the general election on November 3, incumbent commissioner Jason Shaw retained the District 1 seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC). For District 4, neither incumbent Bubba McDonald nor challenger Daniel Blackman garnered the necessary 50% of the vote plus one vote needed to win. In the runoff election on January 5, commissioner McDonald won reelection with 50.61% of the vote. Georgia Power Leadership: On October 29, Georgia Power announced the retirement of its chairman, president, and CEO Paul Bowers. The board of directors elected Chris Womack, current executive vice president and president of external affairs for the Southern Company, as Bowers’s successor. Womack assumed the role of president on November 1 and will take on the roles of chairman and CEO upon Bowers’s departure in April. Womack will be the utility’s first Black CEO
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since its establishment in 1902. Technical Reference Manual (TRM): In early January, Georgia Power filed its TRM with the GPSC as required every three years. Georgia Power’s TRM documents the energy efficiency measure assumptions used for the Technical, Economic, and Achievable Potential analysis completed by Applied Energy Group in 2021 as the initial phase of the GPSC-approved demandside management Program Planning Approach. Plant Vogtle: Georgia Power completed cold functional testing of Plant Vogtle Unit 3 in October. The plant received its first nuclear fuel shipment in December. Docket No. 29849 Kentucky Rate Cases: Kentucky Utilities: In December, the cities of Lexington and Louisville intervened in Kentucky Utilities’ request to raise rates by 10.7%. In an order issued on December 9, the commission suspended the utility’s request for a rate increase until June 30. Docket No. 2020-00349 Louisville Gas & Electric: In November, Louisville Gas & Electric applied to increase electric base rates by 11.81% or approximately $11.74 for the average residential customer. In an order filed on December 9, the effective date of the proposed rates was suspended for six months. Docket No. 2020-00350 Kentucky Power: In July, Kentucky Power’s request for a rate increase was suspended for five months. Docket No. 2020-00174 Duke Energy Kentucky: On April 27, 2020, the commission approved Duke Energy Kentucky’s application for a general rate case. The order approves a $24.14 million increase in Duke Kentucky’s electric base rates. Docket 201900271 and Docket 2020-00016
Efficient Lighting: On December 31, the Kentucky Transportation and Finance and Administration cabinets announced a joint effort to replace over 18,000 roadside lightbulbs with LEDs. Louisiana Public Service Commissioners: Two of the five seats on Louisiana’s Public Service Commission (LPSC) were up for election in 2020. On November 3, voters reelected commissioner Foster Campbell to his final term for District 5. District 1 incumbent Eric Skrmetta also won reelection over challenger Allen Borne Jr. in a runoff election on December 5. Energy Efficiency Rules: For several years, Louisiana utilities have been operating Phase I or “Quick Start” energy efficiency programs awaiting Phase II rules from the LPSC. In April 2019, the LPSC issued draft Phase II rules. However, in September 2020, the LPSC staff issued an expansion of scope and requested comments on third-party administered energy efficiency program models. SEEA coordinated with partners to submit comments in January. In an order issued on December 22, the LPSC approved to continue Quick Start Year 7 until December 31, 2021. Docket No. R-31106 Mississippi Reduced Generation Capacity: On December 17, the Mississippi Public Service Commission unanimously approved an order finding that Mississippi Power is generating more power than needed. The commission ordered the utility to present a plan for reducing its electricity generation capacity by 950 megawatts by 2027 or to submit evidence supporting the need for the excess capacity. Docket No. 2018-AD-145 Smart Neighborhood: On November 17, the Southern Company and its subsidiary Mississippi Power announced their plans to build a smart neighborhood featuring a Tesla solar roof in Lauderdale County. The 100-150 planned homes will also showcase energy efficient equipment and
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appliances, power wall batteries, and smart home automation. North Carolina Duke Energy Rate Cases: On November 4, Duke Energy Carolinas filed a proposed order to approve a rate increase with stipulations agreed to by parties to the proceeding. On December 4, Duke Energy Progress filed a proposed order regarding the contested issues in its proceeding. The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has not reacted to the filings in either docket at the time of this publication. Docket Nos. E-7 Sub 1214 and E-2 Sub 1219 Duke Energy Integrated Resource Planning: Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress jointly filed their integrated resource plans (IRPs) with the NCUC on September 1; Dominion Energy NC had filed its IRP on May 1. The NCUC scheduled a virtual technical conference on March 9, 2021 to address issues relevant to the planning processes. Docket No. E-100 Sub 165 Clean Energy Commitments: Twenty-six electric cooperatives in North Carolina have pledged to reduce carbon emission by 50% by 2030 and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Gubernatorial Election: North Carolina voters elected Governor Roy Cooper to a second term on November 3. Leadership: On December 17, then President-elect Biden selected North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan as the next administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If confirmed, Regan will be the second Black person to hold the position in the agency’s fifty-year history. Environmental Justice: The state task force created earlier this year to assess the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on North Carolina communities of color released a report in December calling for permanent environmental justice and inclusion positions to be created at the departments of Commerce, Transportation, Natural and Cultural
Resources, and the Office of Emergency Management. The Department of Environmental Quality already has such a position. Regional Transmission Organization: See Regional Highlights, page 9 South Carolina Energy Efficiency Roadmap: In early January, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University published a roadmap for the state to achieve cost and emissions savings through energy efficiency measures. SEEA’s Cyrus Bhedwar and Will Bryan participated in the creation of the roadmap. Dominion Energy Rate Case: In November, Governor Henry McMaster asked Dominion Energy SC to pause or abandon its request for an annual rate increase of 7.7% in light of the pandemic. The commission scheduled additional public hearings for January 5 and 7, 2021; customers testified via telephone. On January 12, with the agreement of the utility, the Office of Regulatory Staff filed a stipulation to stay the matter of the application for rate increase until July 12. Docket No. 2020-125-E Dominion Energy Integrated Resource Plan (IRP): In December, the commission unanimously rejected Dominion Energy SC’s proposed three-year IRP, citing a lack of clean energy resources. This is the first three-year IRP process mandated by the Energy Freedom Act of 2019. The commission’s decision directs the utility to remodel the cost of its proposed plans and expand renewable capacity, among other directives. Docket No. 2019-226-E Regional Transmission Organization: See Regional Highlights, page 9 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Leadership: In December, the U.S. Senate approved Beth Harwell and Brian Noland to TVA’s board of directors. The Senate Environment and Public
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Works Committee held a hearing on nominee Charles Cook Jr., but he was not confirmed before the end of the congressional session. Virginia Clean Economy Act: The Virginia Clean Economy Act, passed during the 2020 General Assembly session, required the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to issue regulations on setting storage targets by January 1. In September 2020, the SCC issued a proposed rule for Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to attain certain levels of energy storage capacity by 2035. The SCC accepted comments from interested parties until November 2 and issued a final ruling on December 18, which directs the utilities to maintain interim targets. The SCC approved a service fee of about $1.80 for most Appalachian Power customers to collect costs to comply with the Clean Economy Act while protecting lowincome customers. Docket No. PUR-2020-00120 State Corporation Commissioners: In December, Governor Ralph Northam appointed former deputy commerce secretary Angela Navarro to fill Mark Christie’s seat on the commission, which he vacated in early January to take a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Navarro was sworn in on January 5. The General Assembly will need to confirm Navarro and summer appointee Jehmal Hudson in the 2021 legislative session in order to serve the entire six-year term. Energy Efficiency Scorecards: On December 16, the annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recognized Virginia as an energy efficiency leader in the Southeast. Clean Energy Summit: On October 20, Governor Northam opened the state’s clean energy summit with a pledge to power Virginia’s grid with 30% renewable energy by 2030.
Rate Cases Dominion Energy: Dominion Energy filed an application for a general rate case, including requests to raise the cap for customer participation in some experimental rate designs. On December 3, the SCC scheduled a telephonic hearing for March 8, 2021 to hear public witness testimony. Docket No. PUR2020-00272 Appalachian Power: In November, the SCC denied Appalachian Power’s request for an increase in base rates and the residential service charge, finding that the utility had earned sufficient profits during the 2017-2019 period under review. On December 15, the commission granted petitions to reconsider the case and suspended its final order until further notice. Docket No. PUR-2020-00015 Dominion Earnings: The SCC had previously ruled that Dominion earned $503 million above its authorized levels from 2017-2019. In early September, Governor Northam proposed budget language that would require the utility to return the excess earnings to customers. Broadband Pilots: On October 1, Dominion Energy Virginia filed a petition for approval of its rural broadband pilot projects, in which the investor-owned utility would collaborate with local electric cooperatives to reach underserved communities. The partnership would be the first of its kind in the state. Docket No. PUR-202000197
Energy Efficiency Policy: Regional, National, and Federal Updates Regional Transmission Organization: The region’s largest utilities are expected to file plans with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to create an energy imbalance market. The proposed Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) would include the following utilities: Duke Energy, Southern Company, Dominion Energy, Tennessee
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Valley Authority, Associated Electric Cooperative, Dalton Utilities, ElectriCities of North Carolina, Georgia System Operations Corporation, Georgia Transmission Corporation, Louisville Gas & Electric, Kentucky Utilities, MEAG Power, NCEMC, Oglethorpe Power, PowerSouth, and Santee Cooper. On January 6, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) staff filed an opinion that the SEEM proposal does not require preapproval by the NCUC. NCUC Docket Nos. E-2 Sub 1268 and E-7 Sub 1245 Appliance Standards: On November 9, over a dozen states and cities filed a lawsuit claiming that the Department of Energy’s failure to review and update twenty-five efficiency standards is costing consumers $580 billion in avoidable energy costs and will be responsible for emitting over 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050. On November 17, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a report maintaining that consumers and businesses could save $1.1 trillion on utility bills through 2050 if the Biden administration were to update efficiency standards for forty-seven types of appliances and products. Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule: On October 8, EPA began to argue its case to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan and replace the regulation with the Affordable Clean Energy rule before the D.C. Circuit Court of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The agency maintains that it only has the authority to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Appointments: On November 30, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmed two candidates to the FERC. Attorney and consultant Allison Clements, and current Virginia State Corporation Commission Chair, Mark Christie were sworn in on December 10 and January 4 respectively. The commission is now at its full capacity of five members for the first time since 2018. City and State Scorecards: ACEEE released its
annual City and State Energy Efficiency Scorecards in October and December respectively. Leading Southeast cities include Atlanta, Orlando, and Louisville, while Virginia leads the Southeast states in overall energy efficiency. DOE Equity Ambassadors: In August, DOE announced the first slate of Equity in Energy Ambassadors and Champions. DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity developed the initiative to expand energy accessibility and energy jobs to more ethnically diverse individuals, women, veterans, and previously incarcerated persons. Energy Transition: On October 29, Southern Company announced it is on track to reduce its use of coal-fired power to less than 20% of its electricity portfolio. Additionally, former Duke Energy chief nuclear officer Preston Gillespie assumed the role of chief generation officer, a newly created executive position to oversee net-zero carbon efforts. In November, Utility Dive released a report outlining some of the risks that climate change poses to major utilities. A December report from the Energy and Policy Institute found that utilities need to accelerate decarbonization plans in order to meet President Biden’s target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions from the energy sector by 2035. Energy Transition for Middle America: On November 12, eight mayors from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia announced their commitment to work collaboratively to create a just energy transition for their communities. The work is based on a report from the University of Pittsburgh entitled “Marshall Plan for Middle America.” White House Transition: Before the inauguration, then President-elect Joe Biden announced several appointments that may influence energy efficiency policy at the federal level. Biden has asked Brenda Mallory of the Southern Environmental Law Center to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. If confirmed, Mallory will be the second Black person to hold the position since its creation over fifty years ago. Biden picked former Mich-
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igan governor Jennifer Granholm as the Energy Secretary and former Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy to lead the newly formed White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. The President selected Michael Regan, the current Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to lead U.S. EPA. If confirmed, Regan will be the first Black person to lead the agency since its inception. Advocacy Leadership: On October 13, the Alliance to Save Energy announced Paula Glover as the organization’s new president as of January 4. Glover was formerly the president and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy and has over twenty-five years of experience in energy policy. In January, Glover spoke about equity in energy efficiency. Guide to Building a Better Kit Programs: In October, SEEA member Franklin Energy released a guide to building a better and more cost-effective energy efficiency kit program. Blockchain: On September 30, XRP Ledger Foundation, Ripple, and Rocky Mountain Institute-backed nonprofit Energy Web announced the world’s first decarbonized public blockchain. Pandemic Debt: Industry analysts suggest that energy utility customers collectively owe up to $40 billion in debt due to pandemic-induced inability to pay bills. Duke Energy estimated in December about $170 million in delinquent energy bills across their Carolinas territory.
Energy Efficient Transportation State, Local, and Utility Policy Updates Alabama Manufacturing: Mercedes-Benz is planning a $53.6 million manufacturing plant expansion in Tuscaloosa. The plant is expected to begin production of six all-electric models in late 2022. Florida Electric Vehicle (EV) Roadmap & EV Infrastructure Master Plan: In Q4 2020, the Florida state
Energy Office released its EV Roadmap and a status report of the EV Infrastructure Master Plan. The roadmap outlines the technical feasibility and opportunity for EV charging infrastructure in the state. The Electric Transportation Infrastructure Master Plan, being developed by the Florida Department of Transportation in partnership with the Energy Office and the FPSC, will include broad policy recommendations for electric transportation and infrastructure in Florida. Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (VEMT) Funds: In November, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that school districts in some of Florida’s most populous and polluted cities are eligible to share $57 million of the state’s VEMT funds to replace diesel buses with electric ones. The eligible districts include parts of Miami-Broward-Palm Beach, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Pensacola. Florida Power & Light (FPL) Pilots: FPL proposed pilot programs for EV tariffs in June. After a public comment period, the commission approved the programs in November. Docket No. 20200170 Electric Buses: In October, the first of fourteen electric buses were deployed in Orlando as part of a partnership between the City of Orlando, Orlando Utilities Commission, and Lynx. Automated Shuttle: In November, the City of St. Petersburg, along with the transportation authority and the Florida Department of Transportation, launched an automated electric shuttle, offering free rides along Bayshore Drive. Municipal Fleet: In December, the City of Tampa added nine EVs to its municipal fleet. Georgia Manufacturing: In November, a Turkish EV parts supplier announced plans to open its first North American manufacturing plant in Calhoun, Georgia. Peachtree Corners: In October, the smart city of Peachtree Corners issued a request for proposals for EV equipment suppliers. Responses were due in November. Additionally, Peachtree Corners and The Ray announced the installment of the coun-
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try’s first road surface solar panels on an autonomous vehicle lane.
be used to retrain 2,000 employees in the new production processes.
Volkswagen Lab: Volkswagen announced plans to build a battery testing lab in Chattanooga, Tennessee that will support assembly of a new electric SUV.
VEMT Funds: On October 13, Governor Andy Beshear announced $8.5 million in VEMT funds will be used to replace about 170 transit and school buses with cleaner versions. North Carolina VEMT Funds: On November 17, the Department of Environmental Quality issued a request for proposals to apply for some of the available $1.15 million to use for rebates to install light-duty ZEV Level 2 charging infrastructure. Duke EV Pilots: On November 24, the North Carolina Utilities Commission approved $25 million EV pilot that allows Duke Energy’s to install and operate 280 EV charging stations and includes an electric school bus program. Docket Nos. E-2 Sub 1197 and E-7 Sub 1195 South Carolina Duke EV Pilots: In October, the South Carolina Public Service Commission approved a portion of Duke Energy’s proposed EV pilot programs aimed at expanding residential and fast charging networks. Docket No. 2018-322-E Manufacturing: British EV technology supplier Arrival announced it will build its first American microfactory in York County, South Carolina. In December, the company announced it will also establish its American headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Rates: In November, the TVA board of directors approved a new commercial rate structure for fast charging. General Motors Plant: In October, General Motors announced its plans to spend $2 billion to convert its assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee into a plant that will produce EVs. In November, the State Funding Board approved $35 million in economic incentives for the plant. The funds will
Virginia Electric Buses: Since the launch of Virginia’s first electric buses this fall, the state has seen many more deployments. Fifty schools across Dominion Energy’s service territory began receiving electric buses in November. Chesterfield County recently approved Dominion to install electric bus charging stations at its schools and Louisa County received its first two electric buses in early January. In addition, Fairfax County and Dominion launched an autonomous electric shuttle bus pilot in October. Also, Hampton Roads Transit’s six electric buses were deployed along Virginia’s busiest transit route between Norfolk and Virginia Beach in November. Clean Air Communities Program: From October to January, the Department of Environmental Quality accepted applications for the new Clean Air Communities Program, which supports public projects replacing medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles with electric alternatives. Volvo Plant: In December, Volvo North America announced its plans to build a plant in Pulaski County to manufacture its battery-powered heavy-duty VNR electric truck. Volkswagen Headquarters: Volkswagen Group of America announced a 20-year lease agreement in October to maintain and expand its North American headquarters in Fairfax. Vehicle-to-Grid Integration: SEEA member Roanoke Electric Cooperative is working with Fermata Energy to pilot the first EV charging system equipment to meet the North American standard for two-way current. The project aims to determine the additional financial value of EV batteries.
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Energy Efficient Transportation Regional, National, and Federal Policy Updates Drive Electric Week: The 10th annual National Drive Electric Week concluded October 4. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of events were held virtually. Car Emissions Rules: On October 8, over 200 local elected officials issued a “Clean Cars Declaration,” asking automakers to stop supporting the Trump administration’s rollback of vehicle emissions standards. In a letter on November 23, General Motors CEO Mary Barra withdrew support of the administration in the litigation. On December 4, Nissan Motor Company also withdrew its support. Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Toyota are still parties to the litigation in support of the Trump administration. A study of 2019 model year vehicles released in January 2021 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that fuel efficiency has decreased, causing increased vehicle emissions for the first time in the last five years. Industry Collaboration: EV manufacturers, utilities, and other technology and service launched the national Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) on November 17 with the goal of achieving 100% EVs sold by 2030. ZETA founding members include Duke Energy, Southern Company, ChargePoint, Proterra, Rivian, Siemens, Tesla, and Uber, among others. On January 12, 2021, ZETA released its policy platform. In addition, EV charging management company EV Connect announced its Partner Program with initial partners BTCPower, EVBox, and EVoCharge. Legislation: Former President Trump signed S. 2193, the Charging Helps Agencies Realize General Efficiencies (CHARGE) Act, on October 1. The act clarifies federal agency guidance on owning and
Transit Research Grants: In October, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced funding for three research projects that will receive grant funding to improve the energy efficiency and affordability of public transit systems. Each of the projects, including one from the Chattanooga Regional Transportation Authority in Tennessee, received $1.75 million in joint funding from DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office and DOT’s Federal Transit Administration. DRIVE Electric USA: In December, DOE awarded over $1.8 million to the DRIVE Electric USA project, whose goal is to substantially increase EV adoption rates across consumer and fleet markets in fourteen states. Southeast participants are Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Louisiana. SEEA’s director of energy efficient transportation, Anne Blair, is serving on the project’s Partner Advisory Committee. Fleet Transitions: After California’s September announcement of its ban on the sale of gaspowered cars in the state by 2025, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection called for a similar ban in October. In December, the governor of Massachusetts joined California in banning the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles along the same timeline. Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative: Honda and General Motors (GM) are leading a working group effort to develop a global standard for EV grid integration using blockchain technology. See SEEA’s report, “Introduction to Blockchain in Energy.” Electric Trucks: In October, the National Zero-Emission Truck Coalition sent a letter to congressional leaders asking legislators to advance commercial vehicle electrification efforts. In addition, Mack Trucks unveiled an electric garbage truck. Race to Zero Report: The Environmental Defense
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Fund report released in October states that commercial vehicles like trucks and buses will lead the next wave in electric mobility. Electrifying Freight Report: A November report from the Electrification Coalition outlines barriers and solutions to electrifying the heavy-duty vehicle sector. General Motors: In October, GM announced its plans to introduce twenty EVs by 2023. On November 19, GM announced it will spend an additional $7 billion on electric and autonomous models by 2025, bringing the total commitment to $27 billion. In Novemeber, GM named Travis Hester as the new Chief GM EV Officer. Amazon: In October, Amazon announced plans to begin deployment of 10,000 Rivian electric vans by 2022. The company will deploy all 100,000 of the ordered vans by 2030. In November, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled nearly $800 million in grants for clean energy projects. EV-Ready Building Codes: Three proposed changes to the International Code Council’s model codes would have facilitated electric vehicle and appliance connections. The electric-readiness proposals were ultimately left out of the final model building code.
Built Environment State, Local, and Utility Policy Updates Alabama Building Codes: Hurricane-resistant building codes helped protect Alabama residents from Hurricane Sally’s strong winds in September. North Carolina Building Codes: In December, the state’s building code council approved changes to the rules allowing developers to bypass efficiency standards if they adopt some voluntary standards. Tennessee Disaster Recovery: In early September, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a grant of nearly $1.2 million for the state to assist the city of Mount Juliet with costs related to damage and debris from March tornadoes. Nashville Building Codes: In December, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced that the city will update its building and energy codes for the first time since 2012. Virginia Building Codes: In fall 2020, the final draft of the Virginia statewide building code went to the State Building Code Technical Review Board. The proposed 2018 Virginia Building code includes most of the provisions from the 2018 IECC, with some modifications to the mechanical and insulation requirements. The final code is expected to be published in early 2021 and made mandatory in 2022.
Built Environment Regional, National, and Federal Policy Updates Building Codes Study: In November, FEMA published a study quantifying avoided losses from strong building codes during extreme events. Smart Energy Analytics Campaign: The U.S. Department of Energy campaign facilitated by Lawrence Berkley National Lab has collected the world’s largest library of building energy analytics. The four-year campaign reportedly saved participants an average of $3 million in annual energy costs for a collective $95 million in energy savings. Building and Construction Emissions: According to a new report from the United Nations, emissions from buildings and construction reached a record high of 38% of total global emissions in 2019. 2021 Energy Model Code: The 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), boasting a 10% efficiency improvement from the 2020 code, is
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pending final approval. Three proposed changes to the International Code Council’s IECC would have facilitated electric vehicle and appliance connections. The electric-readiness proposals were ultimately left out of the final model building code.
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