Advanced Energy Perspectives

STATE UPDATE: AEL Tracker Follows Legislation and Trends

Posted by Tom Plant

May 8, 2013 3:03:00 PM


Advanced Energy LegislativeThe Advanced Energy Legislative Tracker (AEL Tracker) debuted this week, putting all legislation related to advanced energy pending in all 50 states just a mouse click away.

Advanced Energy Economy partnered with with Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy to develop AEL Tracker. The searchable online database is the first of its kind, allowing the user to search by policy category, state and keyword. The resulting information allows users to find legislation quickly and easily while also tracking the status of bills through the legislative process.  In total, 2,228 bills are now covered by AEL Tracker.

Other legislative databases either don’t deal specifically with energy legislation and its various topic areas, or simply catalogue legislation after it has passed, not linking directly to the legislative language or following the bill’s progress.

“If we look at where the country is going on advanced energy policy, overwhelmingly that transition is being led by states,” said former Colorado governor Bill Ritter, Jr., director of CNEE and a senior fellow and board member of AEE. “To get the pulse of where the country is going we need to understand what the states are doing.” 

“This online database provides information on critical state legislation that is available nowhere else,” said Graham Richard, CEO of AEE. “AEL Tracker is a nonpartisan tool that allows researchers, journalists, policymakers and concerned citizens to follow and analyze advanced energy legislation, individually and in aggregate. We hope this unique database will increase awareness of advanced energy and the way state action can unleash its economic potential for the United States.”

The AEL Tracker was initially designed as a tool for legislators – helping them identify model legislative language and track progress of bills.  However, the database also provides great utility for businesses interested in identifying legislation that may move their markets in states around the country, and for media interested in identifying state-level legislative trends.

Researchers are also finding the tool useful.  In their first posting on the database, Colorado State University used the tool to identify national trends in energy efficiency policy.  In that analysis, they found that lawmakers in 35 states have proposed 130 different pieces of legislation in this year’s session dealing with energy efficiency. (Since the analysis was drafted, the number of energy efficiency bills has risen from 130 to 186.)

Using the tracker, researchers discovered that the majority of states considering new energy efficiency legislation were, in fact, the states that had already achieved the most in energy efficiency, suggesting that leaders are pushing the envelope further, rather than states trying to catch up with what the leading states have already done. The analysis also identified three policy areas – lead by example legislation, building codes, and appliance standards – that are the focus of most state-level energy efficiency bills, making up 65% of the legislative proposals. 

AEE was proud to partner with CSU to bring such a valuable tool to the public and the advanced energy industry at large. We encourage our member companies and state partners to put AEL Tracker to work and let us know how to improve this resource and make it more valuable to you.

Just how big is the advanced energy industry in the United States? Find out in our report: "Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy." 


Download "Economic Impacts  of Advanced Energy"


Topics: State Policy Update


Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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