September 27, 2012
Get involved: Make our electrical energy system more efficientThe Citizens League is now organizing the next phase of our Electrical Energy Policy Project: developing policy recommendations. Participation is open to all. If you are interested in participating, sign up here.
Project purpose and backgroundThe Citizens League is bringing together Minnesotans from businesses, utilities, environmental organizations, government, and unaffiliated citizens to:
- Come to agreement on what the state's electrical system must achieve in the long term.
- Identify and advance policy reforms necessary to achieve these goals.
- Lay the foundation for this by building agreements among participants from all sectors and political backgrounds.
In Phase 1 (2011), we convened a cross-sector base to agree on the ideal characteristics of Minnesota's electrical system in the long-term. This year, we held a series of workshops and many conversations to identify barriers preventing Minnesota from achieving these ideals, and understand how this project can best make an impact.
The Next Step: Developing System-Level Solutions to Motivate EfficiencyThe next phase of the Electrical Energy Policy Project is policy development so that Minnesota can reach these ideals. We will approach this work -- what we have been calling Phase 2 -- through a framework of efficiency.
Why focus on efficiency? Efficiency supports both affordability and sustainability -- the outcomes most frequently cited as priorities for the future of the electrical system. The less electricity needed to accomplish an end, the less expensive it will be, the smaller the environmental and health effects, and the fewer resources necessary. Good work is being done in Minnesota to improve efficiency today and in the coming years -- much of it by organizations involved in this project. However, no one has taken on the critical long-term questions: What is next? How can efficiency incentives be truly integrated into our electrical system? What systems-level changes will be needed to make this practical in the long term?
Policy development process: Using a committee and working group structure to convene citizens and stakeholders, we will ask you to prioritize and develop recommendations to a small number of focused questions to motivate efficiency. The specific questions will be prioritized by participants, but some possible directions include:
- How can utility business models drive efficiency?
- How can the investment community take advantage of the values of energy savings?
- What changes could allow consumers to capitalize on efficiency savings -- for manufacturers, real estate, residences, or other groups?
Timeline and commitment for participation: This work will take approximately 6 months to complete. During that time, expect to meet every 3 to 4 weeks. At the end of 6 months, we will evaluate our progress and determine the best next steps.
If you are interested in participating, sign up here.
Membership and supporting the workAs a membership-based organization, the Citizens League depends on Minnesotans like you to develop policy and to help cover the costs of projects like this. As we are now beginning to develop electrical energy policy recommendations for the Citizens League, we ask that participating individuals be members. Basic membership starts at just $25 a year, and your contribution makes a big impact -- 40% of our unrestricted funding comes from individuals like you. Click here to contribute.
The contribution should never be a barrier to membership; please contact me if you'd like to make other arrangements.
If your organization is interested in supporting this work or becoming an institutional member of the Citizens League please contact me directly at alevensonfalk[at]citizensleague.org or 651-289-1072.
Thanks to the phase 2 project sponsors: Xcel Energy, District Energy, and Target.
Posted by Annie Levenson-Falk at September 27, 2012 11:10 PM