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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL)

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Release: Rep. Stephenson’s Landmark Energy Legislation Signed into Law

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

St. Paul, MN– Today, Governor Walz signed the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act of 2021 (ECO Act) into law. The legislation, chief authored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) will strengthen Minnesota’s energy conservation programs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs across the state.

“I’m thrilled to see this significant legislation cross the finish line,” said Rep. Stephenson. “This is the most important energy and climate legislation to pass in Minnesota since 2013 and makes Minnesota a national leader on energy conservation. As one of the fastest warming states in the country, Minnesota is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Enacting the ECO Act into law will help protect our people’s health, our state’s lakes and woods, and utility infrastructure.  Energy conservation saves consumers money, creates jobs, and protects our climate. It’s a win-win-win.”

The ECO Act expands and upgrades Minnesota’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). CIP helps Minnesota households and businesses use electricity and natural gas more efficiently conserving energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and lessening the need for new utility infrastructure. The changes include millions of dollars of new investments in programs targeting low-income households; increasing conservation goals; and giving new tools to utilities and regulators to achieve energy savings. Most important, the bill allows utilities to assist consumers in switching from dirty and expensive fossil fuel sources to more efficient, cleaner, and cheaper electricity with rebates and other incentives.