Other Than PACE, Wisconsin Fails in Community Clean Energy Action Policies

The 2019 Community Power Scorecard, issued by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, scores states based on their energy policies that help enable communities and individuals to take clean energy action. Four states excelled: Massachusetts, California, New York and Illinois. Among the 11 states and the District of Columbia with above average scores were Ohio and Minnesota. 15 were mediocre, including Michigan, Nebraska and Missouri. Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana were the Midwest states of the 20 that received failing grades.

Wisconsin is in the bottom nine states because it has few programs that support local authority over energy. The only policies of nine scored that Wisconsin has in place are Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. With the recent addition of Sawyer and Marinette Counties, 36 or half of all Wisconsin Counties offer PACE low-cost long-term loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy, ad water conservation improvements tocommercial and industrial property owners.

The policies and programs scored that encourage local renewable energy include: 1. customer-friendly net energy metering; 2. simplified interconnection rules to encourage distributed renewable energy generation (like solar on homes and businesses); 3. requirements that utilities include distributed resources in renewable energy procurement; 4. policies that allow shared/community renewable energy; 5. policies that allow communities to pick their own energy suppliers; 6. PACE financing for residential buildings and 7. commercial buildings; 8. stretch code allowing local governments to go beyond state energy efficiency building codes; and 9. standard contract for distributed renewable resources. Also, see Community Power Map