Energy Efficiency Policies and Practices in the Midwest

Utility Sector

Most states in the Midwest have enacted policies that promote energy efficiency at the utility level.  These policies can require (or encourage) utilities to value energy efficiency as a resource in their forecasting and planning processes, and to offer energy efficiency programs to their customers to meet statewide energy efficiency standards. In addition to providing for cost-recovery for energy efficiency programs run by utilities, many states have policies to allow rate structures that encourage energy efficiency and to reward utilities who meet or exceed energy efficiency targets. Many states have processes to encourage utilities to listen to stakeholders and seek consensus on energy efficiency issues. Most states where energy efficiency programs are being run have established processes for determining the cost-effectiveness of the programs, for evaluating programs to determine how much energy was saved, and for reporting those savings. A recent trend toward advanced smart grid policies seeks to optimize operations of the energy grid and allow utility customers to have greater understanding of how and when they use electricity and the variable cost associated with that use.

The scope and breadth of utility sector energy efficiency policies varies from state-to-state in the region. No two states have the same set of policies and there is no single "right" mix of policies. Each state implements the policies that work politically and economically for their constituents. Some states lead the way at an aggressive pace, while others have been running at a steady pace for a long time, and still others are just getting started. The table below provides an overview of the region's utility sector energy efficiency policies.

Overview of Utility Sector Energy Efficiency Policies and Practices in the Midwest
State Integrated Resource Planning Statewide Efficiency Standard Rate Structures & Incentives Stakeholder Collaboration Evaluation Policies Smart Grid
Illinois + ✔ +
Indiana X X <> ✔ (+)
Iowa +
Kansas       <>
Michigan + * ✔ +
Minnesota + * <> ✔ +
Missouri (✔) ✔ * <>
North Dakota          
Ohio +* ✔ (+)
South Dakota ^ ✔ *  
Wisconsin * + * (✔) ✔ +

Click through on the state name to visit that state's Utility Policies page, or click the individual symbols in the chart for detailed state-level information on a particular policy


Integrated Resource Planning
has an IRP process
Statewide EE Requirement
has a mandatory EE savings requirement
(✔) has a voluntary EE savings goal
^ has a voluntary renewables goal that can include energy efficiency
* has a spending-based EE requirement
X standard has been repealed
Rate Structures and Incentives
has lost revenue recovery
+ has decoupling pilots
* has performance incentives or shared net benefits
X standard has been repealed
Stakeholder Collaboration
has a stakeholder collaboration process, either statewide or by individual utilities
(✔) has a limited stakeholder process
<> previous stakeholder process identified, but no longer active
has a requirement for cost-benefit testing
+ has a statewide technical resource manual
(+) a statewide technical resource manual has been proposed or  is in development
Smart Grid
has smart grid pilots within utility service territories

Descriptions of Utility Sector Energy Efficiency Policies


Read the report that accompanies these pages:
Energy Efficiency Policies, Programs, and Practices in the Midwest:
A Resource Guide for Policymakers (2014 Edition)

►more information about the Resource Guide