The most positive development in state policy toward advanced energy occurred in December, 2010, when the Arkansas Public Service Commission issued orders creating an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard.
AAEA and its allies helped gain significant policy changes in 2013 that should open the door to a more vigorous market place for the state’s advanced energy industry, particularly energy efficiency contractors. In fact, some predict that the new incentives for energy efficient residential, commercial and public buildings will make 2014 a “transformational year” for Arkansas’s advanced energy economy.
These new and expanding policies coincide with a growing trend by Arkansas businesses and manufacturers to deploy sustainable energy practices and improvements in order to stay competitive in the global economy. Arkansas companies are finding new and affordable ways to reduce energy costs through energy efficient technologies.
AAEA is an intervening party at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) on Docket 13-002-U, to continue and enhance the state’s utility energy efficiency programs, which have already spurred job growth and increased sales for energy efficiency service companies and manufacturers. The utilities are working with AAEA and other non-utility parties in this docket to agree on a three-year extension that would extend the successful program through at least 2017. APSC orders and AAEA filings for Docket 13-002-U can be viewed here.
The utility EE programs will now be further enhanced by some key policy changes advocated by AAEA and adopted in early 2013 by the Arkansas General Assembly.
• PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Act 1074 –
Allows local governments to form energy improvement districts to administer
100% loans that are secured by the property to property owners for energy
• Guaranteed Energy Cost Savings Act 554 – New rules resulting from this law will spur millions of dollars in energy savings improvements to state-owned buildings to create jobs and save taxpayer dollars;
• Energy Revolving Loan Fund Act 1252 - Authorizes the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority to issue energy bonds to assist state agencies in funding energy improvements
AAEA and its members continue to focus on legislative, regulatory and economic development policies that expand the energy efficiency job market in Arkansas and enable Arkansans to consume energy more efficiently.