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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

State Climate and Energy Webcasts

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EPA's State Climate and Energy Webcast series (formerly known as the State Technical Forum) helps state staff explore key issues surrounding state climate and clean energy efforts, and learn about the implications of federal policies on state policies and programs. Organized as a discussion among state energy, environmental, and public utility commission officials, the State Webcasts feature peer exchanges and expert presentations. To receive announcements about future webcasts, sign up for EPA's State Climate and Energy Webcast Update or contact Julia Miller (Miller.Julia@epamail.epa.gov).

Upcoming Webcasts

There are currently no upcoming webcasts.

Topics covered include:

Clean Energy Jobs

Climate Change Policy

Communications

Emissions

Energy Efficiency

Energy Supply

Funding Initiatives

Lead By Example / Government Operations

Transportation

Water / Wastewater

Working with Local Governments


Clean Energy Jobs

Clean Energy Workforce Development

Clean energy workforce development programs are becoming increasingly important at both the state and local levels. Appropriately trained employees will be needed to transition to a cleaner economy that addresses climate change and energy challenges while also creating new jobs. Some of these new jobs will require little additional training while others will require training or possibly advanced degrees. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in February 2009.

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The Jobs Impact of Clean Energy

Clean energy programs and projects have positive economic and jobs impacts, and being able to quantify them is important to building support for clean energy. This Technical Forum covered key concepts to consider when quantifying the jobs impacts from clean energy; two different methods that states have used to quantify the jobs impacts of clean energy initiatives; and NREL's publicly available Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model, which is used to estimate jobs impacts from clean energy policies and programs. EPA's State Technical Forum held a call on this topic in August 2011.

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Climate Change Policy

Climate Change Adaptation for State and Local Governments

Adaptation to climate change is increasingly important as the effects of climate change become apparent across different regions of the United States. In order to mobilize their communities, state and local governments must be able to communicate the risks and impacts of climate change to stakeholders to build support for adaptation efforts. There are a number of frameworks that can be used to assess climate change vulnerability, and employing these tools strengthens subsequent adaptation planning and implementation activities. These adaptation efforts are most effective when integrated into existing operations. The federal government has a variety of guidance, data, tools, and other resources that state and local governments can access to support their adaptation efforts. EPA’s State Technical Forum and the Local Climate and Energy Program jointly held Technical Forums on this topic in November and December 2010 and January 2011, and again in March-May 2013.

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Emerging Climate Protection Technologies

Several states have established programs to encourage emerging climate protection technologies, and to ease the transition from research and development to commercialization of these technologies. Benefits of these programs include mitigating climate impacts, encouraging energy efficiency and renewable energy, promoting demand response, and stimulating economies through job creation. As emerging technologies, these products generally start out earlier on the commercialization curve, where they may be subject to cost and reliability issues. State programs can help address these issues and support a technology's evolution into a proven, cost-effective product appropriate for promotion through programs like ENERGY STAR. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in November 2007.

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Federal Climate Legislation and Implications for State Energy Offices

The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act of 2009 establishes a combined efficiency and renewable electricity standard (ERES), develops a strategy for promoting carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), places performance standards on new coal-fired power plants, supports state and local adoption of advanced building codes, supports state building retrofit programs, instructs states to submit goals for transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, establishes a cap-and-trade program covering multiple GHGs and sectors, and establishes a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Provisions of the Act of particular interest to states include preemption of state cap-and-trade programs for the years 2012-2017, allocation of allowances to states, treatment of state/regional allowances, and funds given directly to states for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in June 2009.

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Federal Mandatory Reporting Rule (MRR) for Greenhouse Gases

In response to the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (PDF) (613 pp, 1.5M) (H.R. 2764; Public Law 110-161), EPA issued a Final Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule in September 2009. The rule, which became effective on December 29, 2009, requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large sources and suppliers in the United States, and is intended to collect accurate and timely emissions data to inform future policy decisions. Under the rule, suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial greenhouse gases, manufacturers of vehicles and engines, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHG emissions are required to submit annual reports to EPA. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in February 2010.

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Communications

Gaining Support and Attracting Participation through Communication

In Part 1 of a three-part webcast series on communications strategies and methods, we explore how to gain support from partners and attract participation in climate and clean energy programs. The webcast will address the importance of developing a communications plan and using it as a framework throughout the course of the initiative and cover tactics that engage, empower, and transform community-level participation into actionable results. The importance of understanding intended audiences and tailoring strategies to their needs will be emphasized.

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The Role of Communication in Ensuring Sustained Behavior Change

In Part 2 of a three-part webcast series on communications strategies and methods, we address how communications tools can be used throughout the implementation of climate and clean energy programs to achieve behavior change and ensure sustained, lasting impacts. Speakers will discuss the role of behavior change in the success of a program; the value of communicating program results and successes in sustaining change; and how to assess behavior change.

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Using Effective Communication to Showcase Program Successes

In Part 3 of a three-part webcast series on communications strategies and methods, we focus on how communities can effectively showcase the benefits and successes of a clean energy initiative to ensure additional funding opportunities, continued engagement, and sustained behavior change. Speakers will also cover how to encourage replication of success.

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Emissions

AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) Webcast

Many states are adopting, implementing and expanding cost-effective energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) policies and programs. While the number of states with EE/RE policies continues to grow, quantifying the emissions impacts of these policies and programs can be challenging. EPA is committed to helping state air quality planners calculate the emissions benefits of EE/RE policies and program so that these emission reductions can be incorporated in Clean Air Act plans to meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and other clean air goals. The EPA State and Local Branch designed the AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) to meet the needs of state air quality planners and other interested stakeholders. AVERT is a free tool designed to use public data, which is accessible and auditable.

This webcast provides information on tool functionality, walk through the benefits of the tool, and provide a demonstration of AVERT (including how to run scenarios).

In addition, staff will present information on projected impacts from key state energy efficiency and renewable energy policies not captured in the Energy Information Administration’s 2013 Annual Energy Outlook.

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Co-Benefits to Advance Clean Energy Programs

Clean energy resources have often been evaluated and advanced based primarily on their energy cost-saving or fuel diversity benefits. However, as states tackle a broad range of environmental, energy, and economic issues, clean energy is increasingly being considered and recognized for the multiple benefits it helps provide. Some of these benefits can include improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved energy system reliability and security, and job creation and economic development. Recognition of the multiple benefits of clean energy is helping to create broad constituencies and increased investment opportunities across state agencies. By more fully recognizing the benefits side of the benefit-cost equation, states are leveraging resources and expertise to promote a holistic and integrated approach to achieving a range of societal goals. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in June 2007.

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Estimating the Health Impacts of Climate Change and Clean Energy Programs

State and local climate change and clean energy policies can improve air quality, reduce negative impacts on human health, and save lives. In October 2012, EPA held a Technical Forum call that covered three EPA tools that state and local governments can use to estimate and communicate the health and related economic benefits of actions that reduce air emissions:

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Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Budget Energy Efficiency / Renewable Energy Allowance Set Asides

EPA and the Eastern states designed an interstate emissions trading program – the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Budget Trading Program – to reduce ozone season emissions of electric generating and industrial combustion units. Under the NOx Budget Trading Program, 22 states and the District of Columbia allocate allowances to these units. In addition, states may choose to reserve (i.e., "set aside") allowances to provide incentives for new sources and/or for certain activities. For example, under an energy efficiency/renewable energy (EE/RE) set-aside, a state awards NOx allowances to eligible EE/RE projects. Awardees can either sell these allowances to help finance their projects or retire the allowances and thereby account for the emissions reductions associated with the project. EPA held Technical Forum calls on this topic in June 2006 and November 2004.

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Output-Based Emission Standards

Establishing output-based emission standards for air pollutant regulation is a way to reward efficiency and encourage development of clean distributed generation and combined heat and power (CHP), as well as other energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Output-based regulations (OBRs) relate emission limits to the productive output of a process. The goal of OBR is to encourage the use of fuel conversion efficiency and renewable energy as a pollution prevention measure. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in March 2006.

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Quantifying the Emission Impacts of Clean Energy Initiatives

Clean energy programs and projects help reduce air pollution, improve public health, lower health care costs and reduce contributions to climate change. To build support for these initiatives, it is important to be able to quantify their emission impacts. This Technical Forum covered two methods for quantifying emissions from the electric power sector; why and how the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments built an emission reduction calculator; and the potential application of a California clean energy benefits quantification tool in air and energy planning at the state and local level. EPA's State Technical Forum held calls on this topic in June 2011 and January 2012.

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Using EPA’s GHG Reporting Rule Data for State and Local Governments

Comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data reported directly from large facilities and suppliers across the country are now easily accessible to the public through EPA’s GHG Reporting Program. This information can be used by state and local governments to identify nearby sources of GHGs, identify opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce emissions, or to inform policies and programs. The EPA State Technical Forum and Local Climate and Energy Program jointly held a Technical Forum on this topic in March 2012.

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The Emissions & Resource Generation Integrated Database: Potential Uses for State and Local Governments

Developed by EPA, the Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) is the preeminent source of air emissions data for the electric power sector. Using plant-specific data for U.S. electricity generating plants, the tool documents the environmental attributes of electric power generation. State governments can use it to help develop greenhouse gas inventories and calculate the benefits of clean energy programs. The EPA’s State Technical Forum and the Local Climate and Energy Program jointly held a Technical Forums on this topic in March 2011.

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Energy Efficiency

Decoupling and Other Mechanisms to Address Utility Disincentives towards Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a proven least-cost approach to meeting electricity demand in many instances. It also carries benefits for system reliability, environmental impacts, and economic development, and it can reduce or delay the need for new generation and transmission. Under many rate structures, however, efficiency investments lead to a loss of profits that can be several times greater than the lost revenue. For instance, some utilities see a 5 percent loss in profits for every 1 percent loss in sales. A number of regulatory mechanisms are available for consideration in attempting to align utility incentives with energy efficiency investments, including ensuring recovery of prudently incurred energy efficiency program costs, addressing the typical utility throughput incentive through decoupling, and providing utility incentives for the successful management of energy efficiency programs. Determining which mechanism will work best for any jurisdiction is a process that takes into account the type and financial structure of the utilities in that jurisdiction, existing statutory and regulatory authority, and the size of the energy efficiency investment. EPA held Technical Forum calls on these topics in December 2007 and May 2005.

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Energy Efficiency and Metering Technologies

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiatives are gaining popularity in states as a tool to modernize the electricity grid, reduce peak demand, and reach energy efficiency goals. Often called smart metering, AMI is part of the foundation for utilities to implement a new "smart grid" that can minimize the need for additional power generation facilities and transmission lines. AMI uses technology to capture and transmit energy use information on an hourly, and sometimes sub-hourly, basis to a central collection point. In contrast, standard meters provide a daily electricity usage total and a cumulative monthly billed amount that is determined by multiplying total usage by a fixed, non-time sensitive price. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in January 2008.

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Energy Efficiency and Peak Electricity Demand

Historically, most electricity energy efficiency programs focused successfully on reducing overall energy use, consistent with permanent reductions associated with energy efficiency technologies. As a result, quantifying peak demand reductions from energy efficiency—particularly using direct, on-site measurement, rather than estimating based on load curves and billing data—was not typically a priority. Given growing concerns about increasing demand, reliability issues, and the costs and siting challenges of meeting additional generation, transmission, and distribution capacity needs, many states are now looking at how their energy efficiency efforts can be re-prioritized, at least in part, to provide peak demand benefits. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in April 2007.

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Energy Efficiency as a Resource in New England's Forward Capacity Market

In June 2006, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the design of Independent System Operator-New England's (ISO-NE's) forward capacity market as a means to purchase sufficient capacity for reliable system operation. The design will enable the wholesale electricity market in New England to, for the first time, permit energy efficiency and other demand-side resources to bid for payments on a comparable basis with traditional supply-side resources. This creates the possibility of a new revenue stream for energy efficiency; it also calls for new guidance on how to measure and verify the performance of demand resources. The responses to these path-breaking developments create many opportunities for using energy efficiency as a resource. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in February 2007.

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Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing

The "energy burden" for low-income households can be three to six times greater than that of median income households and is a key driver for state and federal energy efficiency measures. Energy efficiency in low-income housing also affords states improved environmental protection, health benefits, enhanced local economic development, and greenhouse gas reductions. For utilities, low-income energy efficiency and the related bill savings can help lower credit, collection, and shut-off costs and reduce account write-offs. Low-income energy efficiency efforts range from weatherization programs that involve insulation, cool roofing materials, and efficient windows, doors, and appliances to whole-building systems integration, building orientation, and tree placement for optimum passive solar heating and cooling. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in December 2006.

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Energy Efficiency Measurement and Verification (M&V)

M&V refers to the determination of electricity savings or generation from an EE/RE project. M&V data are important to states because they allow states to: achieve an accurate estimate or measure of EE/RE electricity savings and generation; provide a credible basis for rewarding projects or programs for actual benefits; develop a basis for measuring the success of EE/RE policies and communicating with the public; and determine a basis for estimating emissions avoided due to reduced generation from traditional sources. EPA held Technical Forum calls on this topic in December 2004 and November 2008.

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Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (EEPS)

Energy efficiency portfolio standards (EEPS), also known as energy efficiency resource standards (EERS), are market-based mechanisms that require energy providers to meet quantitative targets for energy savings. These targets are generally set by a regulatory body such as a state legislature or utility commission. They specify numerical targets that electricity service providers are expected to meet on an annual and/or cumulative basis (for example, a set kilowatt-hour level of reduction or percent reduction from projected growth or total sales). EPA held Technical Forum calls on these topics in January 2010, May 2006, and April 2005.

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Energy Efficiency Potential Studies

An energy efficiency potential study is a quantitative analysis of the amount of energy savings that exists, is cost-effective, and/or could be realized through efficiency programs and policies. Studies can focus on one or more fuel types, one or more specific geographic areas, and/or one or more sectors or industries. Potential studies can be helpful policy tools, assisting in tasks such as setting energy savings targets, quantifying energy efficiency as a resource, and determining funding for energy efficiency programs. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in March 2008.

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Energy Efficiency through Performance Contracting

Performance contracting for energy efficiency provides a one-stop procurement process that allows states to use future energy cost savings to pay for new energy-efficient equipment and services. Performance contracting can provide states with a means of freeing capital and operating budget dollars for "lead by example" activities while producing many other energy, environmental, and economic benefits with no out-of-pocket expense. Typically, performance contracts (PCs) also include a guarantee that cost savings will meet or exceed payments for equipment and services over the contract period. PCs can be used to finance a variety of energy efficiency activities, ranging from simple lighting retrofits to comprehensive packages involving auditing, engineering design, and maintenance services, in addition to equipment procurement and installation. PCs can also be used to increase energy efficiency at different scales, from a single building to a portfolio of buildings. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in April 2008.

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High-Performance Buildings

Public buildings, including office spaces and schools, account for a significant amount of building energy use in the United States; they also offer a number of opportunities for cost-effective efficiency improvements in new construction and within the existing building stock. Many states are taking advantage of these opportunities by promoting high-performance green building practices in the public sector and reaping the related energy cost savings and environmental benefits. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in December 2005.

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National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NAPEE): A Vision for 2025

The Vision for 2025 from the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency establishes a goal of achieving all cost-effective energy efficiency by 2025. It presents ten implementation goals for states, utilities, and other stakeholders to consider to achieve this goal; describes what 2025 might look like if the goal is achieved; and provides a means for measuring progress. It is a framework for implementing the five policy recommendations of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, announced in July 2006, which can be modified and improved over time. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in February 2008.

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State Appliance Standards

In addition to efforts by the federal government, several states have established minimum energy efficiency standards for many major commercial and residential appliances and other energy-consuming products. These standards are designed to reduce energy use by prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or installation of less efficient models. Reduced demand for electricity also reduces pollution associated with power generation, and can help improve electric system reliability and reduce consumer and business energy (electricity and natural gas) and water bills. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in June 2005.

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Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)

EPA and state environmental agencies offer supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) as an option for partial settlement of violations of environmental regulations. A SEP allows the regulated entity to develop an environmentally beneficial project in lieu of part of its fine. Primary benefits must be to public health or the environment, although the violator is not prohibited from receiving profits or other secondary benefits. Some states have made a concerted effort to encourage SEPs that incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Some examples of SEPs include a Maryland utility installing photovoltaic cells (solar electricity generation) at two schools and a local environmental center; a New Jersey oil refinery installing electrical hookups to decrease pollution from truck idling; and a Colorado industrial gas compression company agreeing to purchase wind power from its servicing utility over a five-year period. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in February 2005.

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Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy

Energy efficiency offers a vast, low-cost energy resource for the U.S. economy—but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it. A recent report by McKinsey & Company quantifies the economic potential of energy efficiency, analyzes the barriers to achieving that potential, and identifies policy strategies that may address barriers. EPA held a Technical forum call on this topic in November 2009.

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Energy Supply

Clean Distributed Generation (DG)

Clean DG refers to renewable energy technologies and combined heat and power (CHP) electricity generation that occurs at or near the point of use. Clean DG contributes to energy supply while increasing source diversity, delivery reliability, power quality, and efficiency. At the same time, it reduces and, in the case of some renewables, offsets emissions of air pollutants and GHGs. Given these benefits, several states are developing specific measures (e.g., favorable interconnection standards) oriented towards promoting or removing barriers to clean DG. EPA held Technical Forum calls on these topics in February 2006 and March 2005.

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Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) is a process that turns coal into a gas, removing impurities from the coal gas before it is combusted. For traditional pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), and mercury (Hg), IGCC is inherently lower polluting than the current generation of traditional coal-fired power plants. IGCC also has the potential to reduce solid waste by using a combination of coal and renewable biomass products as fuel. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the separation, capture, transport, and underground storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) resulting from the production, processing, and burning of oil, gas, and coal from power plants. CCS operations compress the gas to a "supercritical" liquid and send it underground via a pipe (or pipeline) to maintain critical pressures and temperatures. A number of states, as well as the federal government, are examining and adopting various policy and financial incentives to help support the development of a commercial application of IGCC with CCS to reduce air pollutants and CO2 emissions. EPA held Technical Forum calls on these topics in November 2006 and June 2006.

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Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)

A state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires that a portion of all electricity sold in a state must be generated from renewable resources. Renewable energy certificates, or RECs, (also known as renewable energy or electricity credits, tradable renewable certificates, and green tags) provide documentation for the generation of a unit of renewable energy - typically a megawatt-hour. RECs represent the non-energy attributes (environmental, social, and economic) of renewable generation that may be sold separately from the energy itself. The definition of RECs can vary from state to state. States need to establish policies and administrative functions to define the attributes associated with RECs in their jurisdiction in order to make it possible for RECs to be used in compliance and trading, to avoid confusion or fraud in the marketing and use of RECs, and to enable reporting for public and private uses. In addition to materials from the Technical Forum calls in October 2008 and January 2005, the documents below include information from the three-part "State RPS Collaborative," held in April, May, and June 2005, which focused more in-depth on this topic.

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State and Regional Clean Energy Planning

Energy planning at the state or regional level can be an effective means for ensuring that clean energy is considered and used as an energy resource, and for helping states address multiple energy and non-energy challenges. In the past few years, as energy concerns have grown (including concerns with rising costs, availability, and reliability), alongside environmental and economic concerns, more and more states and regions have either expanded their existing energy planning efforts or created new efforts that attempt to capture the multiple benefits associated with clean energy. EPA held Technical Forum calls on this topic covering state energy forecasting, energy data availability, and energy and transmission planning in January 2011, June 2008, May 2008, and November 2005.

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The Electricity Grid

State clean energy programs can be influenced by the design and operation of the United States’ electricity transmission and distribution (T & D) system. Although states do not have direct responsibility for the operation of the system, they have a number of opportunities to influence the planning, operation, and cost recovery of the system. In particular, states have opportunities for greater integration of clean energy programs and policies with the planning and management of the transmission system in key areas such as planning for future transmission needs and modernizing the grid. Additionally, state planning is critical to the development of a “smart grid” that will realize its potential for supporting clean energy. EPA held Technical Forum calls on these topics in April 2011, March 2010 and December 2008.

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Funding Initiatives

Clean Energy Approaches to Economic Recovery Funding

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA 2009) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. ARRA is a wide-ranging effort to jumpstart the weakened economy and to lay the groundwork for developing an economy that will be able to meet the challenges of the 21st century through investments in infrastructure, energy, education, and tax incentives. The ARRA includes a large number of funding opportunities and tax incentives to support investment in clean energy at the state and local levels. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in April 2009.

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Clean Energy Tax Incentives

Clean energy tax incentives are programs that offer tax credits or exemptions in order to encourage the adoption of energy efficient practices, as well as renewable energy and combined heat and power (CHP) technologies. Implementing these programs reduces net costs to the consumer, as well as further encouraging the development of clean energy practices and technologies. Tax incentives can include tax credits on personal or corporate income, tax exemptions (on sales, excise, or property taxes), or production credits. They can target a wide variety of groups and technologies, including manufacturers, purchasers, building operators, and commercial, industrial, and residential customers. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in April 2006.

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Lead By Example / Government Operations

Lead By Example Programs

Lead by example programs include energy efficiency targets for public buildings, specifications for product procurement, fleet efficiency requirements, green power targets, and variety of other initiatives. State and local governments develop these programs to save money on energy costs, reduce emissions, and promote market acceptance of clean energy technologies. In addition to cost savings, lead by example programs provide direct operational benefits to state and local governments, such as encouraging clean energy development, achieving substantial savings through aggregated purchasing of energy-efficient products and green power, and supporting the development of in-state markets for clean energy. Tracking performance is critical to ensuring long-term success. EPA held Technical Forum calls on this topic in March 2009 and January 2006.

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State Public Utility Commission Overview

Public utility commissions (PUCs) regulate electric, gas, telecommunications, water and wastewater utilities. Utility regulation takes many forms, including price regulation, resource planning and acquisition, reliability and quality of service regulation. PUC decisions related to electric utility regulation can affect clean energy and air quality. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in May 2010.

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Transportation

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

As concerns over greenhouse gas emissions and energy security continue to grow, reducing the transportation sector's environmental impacts and petroleum demand remain a critical element for state and national level discussions. Over the past several years, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have generated high levels of interest due to their potential environmental and energy security benefits. PHEVs allow greenhouse gas abatement options in the electricity sector to play a potentially major role in reducing transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions. PHEVs also can provide a technological bridge to commercially viable electric vehicles (EV), by stimulating the high-volume production of components such as batteries, motors, and power electronics that are similar between PHEVs and EVs. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in March 2007.

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Water / Wastewater

Clean Energy in Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities

Water and wastewater treatment facilities are often owned by local governments. Because these facilities can account for 30 to 40 percent of total energy consumed by local governments, many localities are eager to explore clean energy options to save energy. Energy efficiency and clean energy practices can help reduce energy use, energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in January 2009.

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Working with Local Governments

Supporting Localities to Advance State Clean Energy Goals

States and the federal government offer a variety of funding and incentives to support clean energy, and much of it is accessible to local governments. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Action of 2009 (ARRA) and other funding mechanisms will help local governments expand their roles in promoting clean energy, and many localities are seeking advice on programs to be funded. States have an important role to play by providing resources, technical assistance, model programs and funding to local governments to design and implement clean energy and climate initiatives. In addition to directly benefiting state residents, businesses, and industry, local government actions to support clean energy can play an important role in meeting state clean energy, environmental, and economic goals. EPA held Technical Forum calls on this topic in May 2009 and January 2007.

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Urban Heat Islands (UHI), Clean Energy, and Air Quality

The term "urban heat island" refers to elevated surface and air temperatures in built-up areas compared to nearby rural surroundings. On average, urban areas are generally between 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the natural land cover around them. These elevated temperatures lead to a number of energy, environmental, and public health impacts. Communities across the country are adopting strategies that help mitigate urban heat island impacts. Their efforts are often driven by a broader energy or environment objective and can have multiple benefits. Communities are also working to help their residents adapt to excessive heat events that are exacerbated by heat islands. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in May 2007.

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