Midwest governors commit to energy efficiency targets

Governor Jim Doyle,
chair of the
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 19, 2007 – Governors of ten midwest states of the United States and Canada have agreed to meet at least 2 percent of regional annual retail sales of natural gas and electricity through energy efficiency improvements by 2015, with an additional 2 percent in efficiency improvements every year thereafter.

Each state is required to identify its technical and economically achievable energy efficiency potential and to establish a policy and regulatory environment that enables and encourages implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency investments and practices, as well as accelerate adoption of economically achievable energy efficiency measures by building greater awareness and facilitating financing and delivery

This is one of the measures in an Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform for the Midwest that was launched by the governors at an energy summit organized by the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week.

The Platform, and an associated greenhouse gas accord, are intended to serve as a regional strategy to increase the production and use of renewable energy, promote energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a reliable electric grid.

“The U.S. Midwest depends heavily on electricity generated by traditional coal-fired plants and on largely imported petroleum to fuel our agricultural, transportation and industrial sectors, all of which presently represent major sources of GHG emissions,” say the governors in the Platform’s preamble. “However, because of our vast base of energy resources, ingenuity and manufacturing prowess, the Midwest has the greatest potential of any region in North America to transform our present energy vulnerabilities into advantages.”

Energy efficiency policy options that are proposed include requiring retail energy providers to make energy efficiency a priority, removing financial disincentives to enable investment recovery for energy efficiency program costs, and strengthening building codes and appliance standards.

Other measures in the Platform include the development of a low-carbon energy transmission infrastructure, establishing a regional CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure, and advancing bioenergy and a bioproduct procurement program.

Signatories to the Platform and accord were governors Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Chester J. Culver of Iowa, Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Ted Strickland of Ohio, M. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, and Gary Doer of Manitoba.