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Midwest Energy Policy Series 2023


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The 2023 Midwest Energy Policy Series on

Energy Efficiency took place on August 29th

in Columbia, MO. Over 130 policymakers, energy

industry leaders, and other stakeholders from across the Midwest came together both in person and virtually to discuss current energy efficiency programs and ideas for opportunities going forward.


In addition to the knockout line up of expert

presentations and interactive sessions

attendees had the opportunity to network

and engage with fellow leaders in the energy

policy sector. See below for a full recap of

the Energy Efficiency event and don't miss

the next session in the series: Economic

Development in St. Louis on December 7th.


MEEIA - 10 Year Anniversary


  • Andrew Linhares - Renew Missouri

  • Tim Via - Ameren

  • Natalie Gray - Evergy

Session highlights

Over the past decade, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEIA) has made significant strides in the realm of energy conservation, benefiting the lives of over 1,256,000 residents and more than 29,000 businesses. In the state of Missouri alone, over 1,666,000 residential customers have been positively impacted by their initiatives, representing approximately 70% of Evergy and Ameren customers. These efforts have resulted in a remarkable 4.2+ billion kilowatt-hours of energy saved since 2013, effectively powering 375,135 homes with the energy conserved. Moreover, MEEIA's initiatives have had a substantial environmental impact, removing the equivalent of 662,354 cars from the road and reducing harmful emissions. The economic benefits are equally impressive, with each dollar spent generating over $2.00 in returns. MEEIA has also directly engaged with communities, conducting 11,259 residential energy walk-throughs and providing business rebates totaling $204,747,000. They have helped transform 5,040 income-eligible multi-family buildings into energy-efficient structures, benefiting 55,000+ income-eligible multi-family units through energy-efficient product installations. These achievements underscore MEEIA's commitment to energy efficiency, environmental stewardship, and the well-being of both residential and business customers.

Regulators on Energy Efficiency


  • Scott Rupp - Missouri Public Service Commission

  • Stacey Paradis - Illinois Commerce Commission

  • Susan Duffy - Kansas Corporation Commission

Session highlights

​In Illinois, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) of 2021 stands as a comprehensive policy framework with a strong emphasis on addressing climate change and promoting equitable job opportunities. A key component of CEJA is its commitment to statewide power sector decarbonization while actively seeking to enhance workforce development, particularly for BIPOC communities and those disproportionately affected by environmental injustices, by creating pathways into the clean energy industry. CEJA also ushers in significant changes in energy efficiency policies, permitting greater flexibility in electric energy efficiency standards and encouraging electrification efforts. It replaces the previous large customer exemption with a new framework, intensifies support for low-income programming, prioritizes health and safety concerns, and mandates the development of a statewide stretch code for municipalities to adopt. Moreover, CEJA extends the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CPAS) beyond 2030, bolstering energy efficiency initiatives with increased budgets, a focus on holistic whole-home projects, and measures to promote electrification. In 2022, these efforts translated into substantial energy efficiency savings, with 6.8 million megawatt-hours of electric energy saved, equivalent to $1.5 billion, and 145 million therms of natural gas conserved, amounting to $330 million in savings. Meanwhile, in Kansas, their Energy Assessment program has been instrumental in assisting small business owners, conducting 175 energy assessments and awarding 77 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants, totaling $1,239,000. Impressively, 95% of REAP grant applications received funding, highlighting the program's effectiveness in supporting energy efficiency initiatives at the local level.

Multifamily Energy Efficiency 


  • Andrew Linhares - Renew Missouri

  • Brian Handshy - HUD

  • Natalie Newman - Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance 

Session highlights

From 2016 to the present, multifamily low-income programs in the Midwest have made substantial investments in energy efficiency. Ameren Missouri's Cycle II invested $8.8 million, saving 19,600 MWh. Cycle III invested $18.5 million, saving 22,800 MWh. KCP&L/KCP&L-GMO Cycle II invested $3.9 million, saving 19,900 MWh. Evergy's Cycle III invested $4.6 million, saving 3,900 MWh. In total, $25.8 million was invested, resulting in 66,200 MWh in energy savings. The Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP) allocated $837.5 million for retrofits, with loan authority extended up to $4 billion through the IRA. In the Midwest, 87% of multifamily units are rentals, with 20% higher energy expenditures per square foot compared to owner-occupied homes. Expected energy savings by 2035 include Michigan targeting a 32% reduction in electric consumption and 15% in gas, Illinois aiming for 20% in electric and 24% in gas, and Missouri mirroring Illinois's goals. Key programs for multifamily energy efficiency include DOE's HOMES and High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program, EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), and HUD's GRRP, collectively advancing energy efficiency in Midwest multifamily housing.

Flexibly Load Management


  • Natalie Mims Frick - Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

  • Karma Sawyer - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Session highlights

The changing energy landscape requires precise timing and operation of distributed energy resources (DERs) to address grid constraints and reduce peak loads. Energy efficiency and DERs, along with demand flexibility, can align with grid needs and policy goals, such as integrating system investments, lowering emissions, and benefiting both the grid and building occupants.


Buildings are key players, responsible for 75% of U.S. electricity use and 80% of peak grid load, but most lack adequate control infrastructure. Transitioning from isolated buildings to interconnected "connected communities" of grid-interactive, energy-efficient buildings with diverse DERs can optimize efficiency and grid flexibility. Collaborative research efforts by institutions like Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Department of Energy (DOE) provide valuable insights into enhancing energy affordability, grid reliability, and resilience.


Flexible loads in connected communities can mitigate challenges from high renewable energy penetration, but substantial control infrastructure investments are needed. Deploying scalable solutions in commercial buildings can support grid reliability cost-effectively. Well-designed building grid services can minimize service level disruptions.


Connected community projects offer a blueprint for cost-effective grid service deployment and data to inform utility programs incentivizing DERs to adjust consumption in line with energy and environmental goals.

Generation Efficiency - Demand Side vs Time of Use


  • Tim Nelson - Evergy

  • Laura Baker - Boone Electric Cooperative 

  • Andrew Petri - Boone Electric Cooperative 

Session highlights

​Timing is everything when it comes to energy costs. By switching to time-based rates, Missouri is working to match the cost consumers pay with the actual cost to produce energy. With time-based rate plans, you’ll pay less for energy used during off-peak times, when demand for energy is lower, and more for energy used during peak hours.

IRA/BIL Update


  • Nenha Young - Coalition for green Capital

  • Andrew Wynne - EPA

  • Jenny Kissel - EPA

Session highlights

The Coalition for Green Capital is actively pursuing comprehensive funding opportunities to drive environmental and climate initiatives. They have applied for both the National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) and the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA). Their aim is to optimize pipeline investments spanning all 10 EPA regions, with a strong emphasis on reducing energy burdens, mitigating health impacts, and curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, their approach prioritizes community engagement, fostering collaborative efforts to work alongside and empower communities. By aligning their efforts with national climate goals, the Coalition for Green Capital seeks to make a meaningful contribution to the reduction of climate pollution and environmental justice, bolstered by the financial support provided through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund ($27B), Climate Pollution Reduction Grants ($5B), Environmental & Climate Justice Block Grants ($3B), Grants to Reduce Air Pollution at Ports ($1.55B), and the Clean Heavy-Duty Program ($1B).

Building Energy Exchange 


  • Malachi Rein - STL Building Energy Exchange 

  • Ashley Sadowski - KC Building energy Exchange 

  • Mary English - Metropolitan Energy Center

Session highlights

The Building Energy Exchange in Kansas City is actively leveraging federal funding opportunities to eliminate barriers towards achieving net-zero emissions goals. They've secured a Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant and a Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation Grant. Additionally, they've submitted proposals for a Renewing America’s Non-profit Grant, Building Up Prize, and participation in the GHG Reduction Fund's Solar for All competition. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Energy Center plays a pivotal role in providing energy code training and supports policy and advocacy efforts. They recently updated the Energy Codes and Standards Report in 2023 and maintain a comprehensive database of energy codes adopted by municipalities in the Kansas City metropolitan area, including any amendments. They also provide event support through initiatives like Code 101 training for local policymakers, training sessions for local codes officials, and benchmarking activities. Furthermore, they actively engage in various policy and advocacy opportunities and programs related to energy efficiency and energy codes to drive progress in the field.

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