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In this newsletter

  • "Watt's Up" with Senator Nathan Johnson
  • Oklahoma 59th Legislature Activities
  • Texas Interim Legislative Activities
  • Local Policy Actions
  • SPEER’s Industry & Policy Workshop: September 19-20
  • Join SPEER!
  • Upcoming Events and Webinars
  • SPEER Resources
  • What We’re Reading/Hearing

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"Watt's Up" with Senator Nathan Johnson

On January 14th, 2025 the 89th Texas Legislature will convene. As we move closer to the first day of session, SPEER is sitting down with energy policy leaders in our video series “Watt’s Up” to discuss a broad range of topics that impact the Texas grid operations, reliability and resiliency, and consumer bills. In our first discussion, we had the opportunity to speak with Senator Nathan Johnson, representing Senate District 16, to review distributed energy resources (DER), how they can be deployed effectively to reduce stress to the grid, recent legislation that is pending implementation at the PUCT, and what the Senator is looking forward to in the upcoming session. 

For our next discussion available in July, we will meet with Representative Gina Hinojosa to talk about the importance of clean energy workforce development in Texas.

Oklahoma 59th Legislature Activities

The second half of the 59th Oklahoma Legislative session began on February 5th and has officially concluded, entering Sine Die on May 31st. SPEER reviewed bills and followed bill movement throughout session. Our bill tracking list can be found on the SPEER Policy page for Oklahoma here.

Of the bills SPEER tracked, only five were approved by Governor Stitt. Some of the bills, like SB 1535 and SB 1505, take aim at lowering emissions through making adjustments to existing rebate programs to reduce downstream oil and gas consumption (SB 1505) or adding members to the Low Carbon Energy Initiative (SB 1535). While these items do not directly impact efficiency efforts, they are steps towards lowering emissions and energy efficiency can assist in that regard in future sessions.

Relating to improved resiliency in homes and businesses, HB 3089 establishes a new grant program to help homeowners prepare and fortify their roofs for extreme storms. While it's certainly worth noting the need for building resiliency in homes and businesses, it is important to also state the positive impact that updated building codes have on preparing buildings for extreme weather events. Oklahoma currently has a statewide building code standard set to the 2018 codes with amendments. Being a home rule state, cities and municipalities can adopt stronger code standards, however with the statewide minimum that is aged and lower standards than newer codes, many Oklahomans do not get the benefits that increased codes provide.  Coupled with energy efficiency programs that are provided by the state’s utilities, residents would be able to substantially prepare for extreme weather should the state seek to adopt newer codes. Additionally, the Legislature did consider a bill that would help with training code officials and third-party evaluators (HB 3819), however the bill as it was written would have also limited measures to a shorter payback period that likely would have stunted the adoption of newer statewide codes. This bill was not passed out of the legislature this session. It is SPEER's hope that Oklahoma policymakers realize the full potential that improved codes and energy efficiency measures have in preparing the state for extreme weather and grid stress.

Bills on the Move

House Bills

HB 2367 Corporation Commission; exemptions; discussion; attendance; documentation; scheduled meetings; effective date – Approved by Governor 4/29/2024

HB 3089 Insurance; Strengthen Oklahoma Homes Act; retrofitting; program; Department of Insurance; grant; contractor; evaluator; revolving fund; Insurance Commissioner; effective date - Approved by Governor 5/13/2024

HB 3053 Energy; requiring Secretary of Energy and Environment evaluate relationship of the Southwest Power Pool and the state; requiring preparation of certain report; emergency. – Approved by Governor 5/10/2024

Senate Bills

SB 1505 Rebates; providing rebates for emission reduction projects; creating fund; effective date. Emergency – Approved by Governor 5/28/2024

SB 1535 Oklahoma Low Carbon Energy Initiative; modifying duties and membership of the Low Carbon Energy Initiative Board. Effective date – Approved by Governor 4/18/2024

SPEER is currently tracking legislation that pertains to our mission. Our tracking list will be uploaded weekly to the SPEER Policy Oklahoma page which can be found here. If you have any questions or would like to discuss pending legislation, please reach out to us!

Texas Interim Legislative Activities

In late Spring, both the Texas Senate and Texas House published the Senate interim charges and House interim charges for committee research and review ahead of the 89th Legislative Session in 2025. Several items have been listed relating to Texas energy. Public hearings in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee and House State Affairs Committee were held in June, revolving directly around the state’s energy needs. Invited testimony from PUCT Chairman and PUCT Commission members around the Performance Credit Mechanism, Texas Energy Fund, and state transmission needs, among other topics were discussed. Additionally, stakeholder input from utilities, REPs, trade groups, and advocacy organizations was heard by policymakers. Concerns over the cost to consumers were top of mind from policymakers who are likely to file more legislation this year related to grid operations. While generation resources continued to dominate much of the discussion, demand-side resources did have a few mentions from some members of the committee. SPEER and other stakeholders have noted that energy efficiency remains one of the most cost-effective measures to address grid stress, build resiliency and reliability, and save consumers money on their bills. This point was underscored by ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas, who stated the importance of energy efficiency and demand response explicitly in his testimony.

What’s next at the Lege?

The Senate Business and Commerce committee has more public hearings set on August 27th and October 1st to review interim charges. The House State Affairs Committee will have another public hearing set on July 8th to review progress of implementation of several legislative items, including HB 1500 relating to the continued functions of the PUCT, OPUC, and ERCOT, HB 2555 relating to the T&D resiliency planning, and SB 1699 relating to DER participation and residential demand response goals for utilities.

A few key dates to remember as we move through the summer into the fall: November 5th is the general election, and on November 11th Texas legislators are able to begin filing new bills for the 89th session. The 89th session officially begins on January 14th, 2025.

If you are interested in attending or viewing any of the interim legislative activities, you can find more information posted on the Texas Legislature website here. SPEER will be monitoring and will provide updates through social media and this newsletter. 

Local Policy Updates

Recent and Upcoming Local Government Policy Actions: 

Amarillo: On June 25th, the Amarillo City Council will discuss and hear public testimony in a Q&A session regarding the 2021 Energy Codes. For more information, please see the Amarillo City Council Agenda page.

If you are aware of upcoming policy discussions or actions in your area and would like to share them in this newsletter, please send information to

SPEER's Industry & Policy Workshop: September 19-20

We're thrilled to announce that Doug Lewin, author of the Texas Energy and Power Newsletter and the host of the Texas Power Podcast with Renewable Energy World, will sit down with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) Chairman Thomas Gleeson. You won’t want to miss this conversation! They'll discuss pertinent energy grid related issues and cover topics around energy efficiency, balancing reliability and affordability in the energy sector, energy policies, and the fast approaching legislature session to name a few.

This year's SPEER Industry + Policy Workshop will be held in Austin at the Archer Hotel on September 19-20th.  Join us in the Lone Star state for insightful discussions and presentations from energy experts and leaders focused on the most pressing energy matters in our region, including consumer's role in resiliency, shifting demand with energy efficiency policies and residential demand response programs, heat pump insights and EER requirements, navigating DER policy implementation and much more. Let’s create change and expand efficiency together. Registration rates will increase 50% after July 31, 2024.

Huge thanks to Mitsubishi Electric, CLEAResult, and Advanced Power Alliance for supporting SPEER's 2024 Industry + Policy Workshop! Interested in joining them as conference sponsors? Head over to our registration page to save your spot and browse sponsorship opportunities! Your sponsorships are incredibly important to us and help continue the sustaining efforts of our organization as we educate and support energy efficiency across the Texas and Oklahoma regionWith your support we are able to further our mission and initiatives. The SPEER team looks forward to seeing you in the fall!

SPEER Membership Drive

As a membership-driven organization, the pursuit of our mission is largely possible with the involvement of our 60+ current members. Membership dollars allow us to push forward in our commitment to expand energy efficiency in our territory and beyond, and to help create a more sustainable, healthy environment for all Texans and Oklahomans.

Special Membership Offer: Take advantage of our 18-month membership special available until 8/31, extending your benefits through 2025. Your participation and support are vital to advancing our mission and creating a sustainable future.

Why Join SPEER?

Membership Benefits:

  • Receive discounted rates for events & conferences.
  • Enjoy networking opportunities with industry leaders and peers.

Presentation Opportunities:

  • Highlight your organization and share your expertise in our webinars and panel discussions. Speaking opportunities are first offered to members.

Local Impact:

  • Engage in initiatives that reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability in your community.

Policy Advocacy:

  • Influence policy development to support and enhance energy efficiency.

Professional Development:

  • Access our upcoming on-demand energy courses specifically designed for local governments.

Upcoming Events + Webinars

July 11th, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

CELC Webinar – Building Operations, Workforce Training, and Navigating Federal Grant Requirements: The field of building operations and facility management are evolving rapidly due to factors such as benchmarking, grid enhancing technologies (GETs) and a swiftly retiring workforce. Join us to learn more about the Building Operator Certification (BOC), a program addressing the need for maintenance staff training as new technologies enter the market. Renowned for its comprehensive curriculum, BOC is an ideal choice for meeting various federal government grant training requirements in energy efficiency. BOC is the nation’s leading training and credentialing program for building engineers and maintenance personnel, and is now aligned with an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – ISO 17024. Graduates make their buildings more comfortable, efficient, environmentally friendly, and save $10,000 annually in utility bills thanks to skills they master in classes.If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Visit SPEER's calendar for all upcoming events and training.

SPEER Resources

SPEER has updated its State and Local Policy webpage! You can now find state-specific policy information including links to key state agency webpages, our previous public comments, and additional information about our work in both Texas and Oklahoma. You will also find our released reports, templates and materials for engaging with policy leaders, and additional materials on how our Policy Program interacts with the ongoing Heat Pump Working Group, SPEER Codes Program, and SPEER Local Governments Program. SPEER State and Local Policy.

What can you expect to find on our resource page?

  • SPEER Programs + informational flyers
  • Messaging guides
  • Public Utility Commission of Texas Comment Template
  • Heat pump resources

We have created a library of local government resolutions, energy plans & policy work, climate action plans, and resiliency initiatives. These documents are meant to be a resource and showcase the commitment made by local governments to create an equitable, safe, and economically stable future for Texas and Oklahoma citizens. Head over to dive in and bookmark the page as we will continually be expanding and adding new material. 

What We're Reading...

Texas electricity demand could nearly double in six years, grid operator predicts – Texas Tribune

DOE, conservation groups defend furnace efficiency rule, technology requirement – Utility Dive

Data center, AI load growth could threaten grid reliability: Conference Board – Utility Dive

UK’s Octopus Energy plans to ramp up Texas presence with new investment – Canary Media

The Past, Present, and Future of the Texas Energy Market with Former PUC Chair Becky Klein – Energy Capital Podcast

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