As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the progress—and setbacks—that advanced energy experienced in state legislatures across the country this past year. For the most part, momentum around the clean energy and transportation transformation has continued to grow, with major wins that will drive unprecedented market growth for the industry. Still, some states dug in their heels to delay or block progress toward a 100% clean energy economy.
Using PowerSuite to track bills in all 50 state legislatures, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Congress, in May we catalogued the Top 10 Legislative Issues – So Far after analyzing the full spectrum of bills that were filed this year, whether or not they were going anywhere. But the legislative process is messy, and of the more than 1,300 filed advanced energy-related bills, only approximately 375 have been signed into law. Another handful still await gubernatorial action after receiving legislative approval, while another 10 were vetoed. Some bills will be carried through to 2022, while others will get scrapped or refiled in a brand new 2022 or 2023 session.
In contrast to all the bills that were filed, those that made it into law this year wouldn’t fill out a full list of 10, but there were too many, in too many discrete categories, for a list of just five. So here is our list of the Top 6 legislative trends of 2021.
Note: Most of the links in this post reference bill filings and other documents in AEE's software platform, PowerSuite. Click here and sign up for a free trial.1. Climate and Decarbonization Plans Get Ambitious and Specific
Progress is often incremental, but each year a handful of states take a big leap forward with game-changing energy legislation. These major bills are often the result of months (or years) of conversations, compromises, and hard work on the part of sponsors, advocates, governors, and other stakeholders. They often cover a range of topics from big climate goals and implementation strategies to environmental justice, resource planning and procurement, transportation electrification and utility reform. Here, we highlight the biggest energy bills of 2021, which came from Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, Rhode Island, North Carolina, and the U.S. Congress.
Illinois’s SB 2408, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), is a 956 page bill that sets a 100% by 2050 clean energy goal. CEJA also includes interim steps and fossil fuel generation phase-out dates, funding for just transition, workforce development, and equity and environmental justice, significant utility business model reforms, a goal for one million electric vehicles by 2030, and more.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed SB 9, a re-file of “An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy,” which the state legislature just barely failed to enact before the close of the 2020 session. This bill updated the state’s emission limit to net zero by 2050, with sector-specific sub-limits and provisions to increase development of renewable energy resources such as offshore wind and community and nonprofit solar. It also provides funding for clean energy industry workforce development for displaced fossil fuel workers, environmental justice communities, and minority and women-owned small businesses, allows for municipalities to adopt net-zero stretch energy codes, and authorizes renewable thermal energy pilot projects by natural gas utilities.
Oregon’s HB 2021 requires the state’s two major electric utilities to reduce emissions to zero by 2040. It also prohibits the siting of new emitting fossil fuel projects, creates a grant program for Indian tribes to build community renewable energy projects, and sets labor standards for large-scale renewable development. And it establishes a Community Benefits and Impacts Advisory Group to describe the energy burden and resilience challenges that environmental justice and low-income communities face and identify opportunities to increase contracting opportunities for women-, veteran-, or Black, Indigenous, or People of Color-owned businesses.
Washington’s SB 5126, the Climate Commitment Act, creates a cap-and-invest program to meet the state’s 2050 95% emissions reduction goal (set in 2020). Auction proceeds are earmarked for clean transportation, climate resilience, energy efficiency, energy transition assistance, with at least 35% going toward vulnerable and impacted communities. Notably, the Department of Ecology is tasked with conducting an environmental justice review every two years to ensure that the program achieves criteria pollutant reductions in communities highly impacted by air pollution.
Rhode Island’s S 0078/H 5445, the 2021 Act On Climate, requires the state to develop a plan to reduce emissions to net zero, economy-wide, by 2050. The plan must include strategies to ensure an equitable transition that redresses past environmental and public health harms, to support displaced and underrepresented workers, and to provide for high-quality and family-sustaining jobs in the clean energy industry.
North Carolina sets a goal to reach carbon neutrality within the electricity sector by 2050 in H 951, which also provides for the procurement of solar energy facilities and directs the Utilities Commission to establish rules that allow for securitization of costs associated with the early retirement of coal plants. It also authorizes electric utilities to file, and the Utilities Commission to approve, performance-based regulations.
And finally, we would be remiss not to mention the significant, however partial, federal investments in reliability, resilience, transmission, smart grid technology, energy storage, electric transportation (including school and transit buses and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles), energy efficiency, and advanced energy manufacturing and recycling in HR 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Biden. At the time of publication, the Build Back Better Act, HR 5376, has been passed by the House and awaits action by the U.S. Senate. The bill contains tax credits for clean electricity, tax credits and grants for electrified transportation, funding for grid infrastructure, tax credits and rebates for energy efficiency and electrification, tax credits for advanced energy manufacturing, funding for clean energy equity, and more.2. Energy Storage Charges Up with Big Legislative Wins
As energy storage technologies mature, and new storage technologies come to market, customers large and small are eyeing them as a way to save money, improve reliability and resilience, and solve grid challenges. Interest in behind-the-meter residential storage, especially when paired with rooftop solar, is growing rapidly, while electric utilities are seeing the benefits of grid-scale storage for meeting peak demand. But as with any new technology, laws and regulations that were drafted before today’s storage technologies existed need to be updated in order to let it do its thing.
The first step is often definitional. New Hampshire SB 289 adds storage with a peak capacity of greater than 30 MWh to the definition of energy facility, and Virginia HB 2148 adds electrochemical battery storage with a capacity less than 150 MW, along with storage and renewable resource hybrid projects, to the definition of small renewable energy projects. These changes mean that all other laws that govern energy facilities and small renewable energy projects, including and especially siting and procurement laws, now also apply to storage. Virginia also passed SB 1207 and HB 2201 to include energy storage projects under the state’s solar siting law.
In addition to the ability to site and procure energy storage projects, tax treatment has a major impact on project finances. That’s why Virginia (HB 2006 and SB 1201), New Hampshire (SB 102), Colorado (SB 020), Arizona (HB 2153), and Indiana (SB 0383) all passed laws to change their tax codes. The bills are all of different flavors – New Hampshire’s focuses on behind-the-meter storage while Indiana’s targets storage projects above 1 MW; Colorado’s changes the tax valuation approach that applies to storage while Virginia’s caps the revenue share that a locality may assess on energy storage systems and solar photovoltaic projects.
Connecticut and Maine joined the ranks of states that have set goals or requirements for energy storage procurement. Connecticut’s SB 00952 aims for 1,000 MW by the end of 2030, with programs for both residential and commercial and industrial customers. This law focuses on the use of energy storage to avoid or defer distribution system capacity upgrades. Maine’s LD 528 sets a goal of 400 MW by the end of 2030 and directs Efficiency Maine Trust to use energy storage to reduce peak demand. The bill also calls for a demonstration of cost-effectiveness, a pilot storage project for critical facilities, time varying energy storage rates, and a market assessment to review opportunities and challenges facing the market. California already has storage goals, so its storage bill of the 2021 legislative session, AB 33, directed the Energy Commission to allow grants and low interest loans administered to local governments and public institutions to be used for energy storage systems (along with zero-emission vehicle infrastructure).
In Texas, SB 415 allows transmission and distribution utilities to contract with power generation companies to provide energy from storage facilities to meet reliability needs, while New Hampshire’s SB 91 directs the state’s Public Utilities Commission to clarify installation and interconnection rules related to onsite storage, allow a bring-your-own-device peak reduction program, and investigate compensation for avoided transmission and distribution costs related to large-scale and behind-the-meter storage. Colorado HB 1324 allows utilities to construct, own, and operate, or enter into partnerships to construct, own, and operate, generation and storage facilities that use innovative energy technologies (up to 300 MW in the aggregate), with a particular focus on deployment in areas of the state that have been economically affected by the accelerated retirement of other resources.
3. Consumer Protections Increase Amid Hard Times
Perhaps unique to the global public health and economic context we all find ourselves (still) living through, along with escalating weather and climate-related damages to our infrastructure and a growing desire to support low-income ratepayers through the energy transition, state legislatures were especially focused on consumer protection measures this year.
Illinois, Oregon, Colorado, Maryland, and Washington all passed new bills intended to strengthen and expand low-income and emergency assistance bill assistance programs. Illinois SB 0265 amends the Energy Assistance program and seeks to double enrollment in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan by 2024. Oregon HB 2739 directs the Public Utility Commission to collect $10 million per year in electric rates, through 2023, for low-income electric bill payment and crisis assistance, and HB 3141 reduces by half, but extends through 2035, the public purpose charge that electric utilities collect from customers for bill assistance and weatherization. The bill also calls for the pursuit of all cost-effective energy efficiency, and equity metrics to ensure environmental justice expenditure accountability.
Colorado HB 1105 expands the scope of the Legislative Commission on Low-Income Energy Assistance and creates an energy assistance system benefit charge to finance direct utility bill payment assistance and low-income energy retrofit programs. Maryland’s SB 392/HB 606 require that utilities adopt a limited income mechanism and that the Commission establish an electric universal service program, funded by a charge on all ratepayers, to assist low-income customers with bill payments, weatherization, and retirement of arrearages. It also establishes an Emergency Crisis Intervention Program for low-income customers experiencing an energy emergency. Washington’s HB 5295 allows gas and electric utilities to propose low-income assistance programs after consulting with low-income and equity advisory groups and coordinating program administration with community-based organizations, among other provisions related to performance-based ratemaking.
Other consumer protection bills that became law this session include New York S 01199 and DC PR 24-0386, which both require that at least one Commissioner of the Public Service Commission have consumer advocacy experience; New York A 03359, which prohibits utilities from harassing, oppressing, or otherwise abusing customers based on complaints or late payments; Maine LD 1025, which allows utilities with net energy billing programs to apply unused customer credits to benefit participants in arrearage management programs; and Colorado SB 103, which strengthens and updates the Office of Consumer Council.
Finally, the 87th Texas Legislature looked broadly at the ramifications of winter storm Uri and passed a number of measures to reduce sticker shock on customers. Bills including HB 1510 and SB 1580 authorize variations on securitization for different entities to recover weatherization and storm-hardening costs and expenses incurred during the abnormal weather events. HB 1520 allows the Texas Public Finance Authority and Railroad Commission to finance customer rate relief bonds, and HB 4492 allows ERCOT to issue debt obligations to finance balances owned by wholesale market participants. HB 16 banned “wholesale indexed products” from being offered to residential customers.
4. States Take Varying Approaches to Reliability and Resilience
Changing energy resources and evolving grid threats have presented new considerations and challenges when it comes to keeping the lights on all, or most, of the time. And, major electricity disruptions over the past several years, including Hurricane Isaías, Henri, and Ida, Winter Storm Uri, the Northwest heat dome, and public safety power shut offs to prevent wildfires have rattled legislators and governors, sparking a national conversation about reliability and resilience. As per usual, no two states are taking the same approach.
Four western states are thinking about expanding wholesale markets, in part as a strategy to improve grid reliability. Nevada SB 448 and Colorado SB 72 direct electric utilities to join Regional Transmission Organizations by 2030, while Oregon SB 589 and Montana SJ 33 propose studies on how regional markets can support the grid of the future.
In Texas, SB 3 tackles infrastructure weatherization, creates a Texas Energy Reliability Council, requires the identification of critical infrastructure (and more) while HB 2483 allows transmission and distribution utilities to own facilities that aid in the restoration of electric service following widespread outages. Rhode Island S 0634 extends the life of triennial electric and gas utility reliability and energy efficiency and conservation plans, and California SB 423 directs the Energy Commission to plan for non-fossil resources that can deliver electricity with high availability for multi-day extremes or atypical weather and support renewable energy integration. Maine gives its Public Utilities Commission authority to approve microgrid projects, and more authority over the reliability and security of the grid, under LD 1053.
At the same time, a number of states directly support the continued use of fossil fuels in the name of grid reliability. These bills include North Dakota Concurrent Resolutions 4012 and 3025, Wyoming HB 0166 and SF 0136, West Virginia SB 542, Arkansas HB 1665, and South Dakota Concurrent Resolution 6010. Less explicitly, Indiana HB 1520 adds new utility reliability metrics that may impact retirement plans for power plants.
When it comes to threats related to naturally occurring weather or climate events, many state legislatures are passing bills to prepare or prevent the human and infrastructure impact. This includes protecting energy and grid infrastructure and finding ways to keep the lights on during a disaster, or restore power quickly afterwards. In cases where utility infrastructure may be the direct culprit of the disaster, states are looking to identify, upgrade, and modernize that infrastructure—potentially employing advanced energy transmission and distribution system technologies, like artificial intelligence to detect vulnerabilities and outages.
Wildfires: A slew of bills in western states address utility infrastructure wildfire risks directly as massive burns and smoke-filled air become unwelcome staples of summers and autumns. In California, these include AB 9, SB 456, SB 694, and SB 155, which enhance the role of the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, strengthen investor-owned utility wildfire mitigation plans, and require electrical corporations to develop their workforce. Washington HB 1168 requires all utilities in the state, including publicly and cooperatively-owned utilities, to develop consistent approaches and share data related to fire prevention, safety, vegetation systems, and energy distribution systems. It also explores the potential use of and developing markets for woody biomass residuals from forest treatments. Finally, Oregon SB 762 requires the Public Utility Commission to convene periodic workshops for all utilities that operate in the state to develop and share wildfire-related best practices, and requires all utilities to develop risk-based wildfire mitigation plans. (Of note: a number of other western state bills take on wildfire prevention, and related drought concerns, in ways that are less directly related to advanced energy: as examples, see California’s SB 109, SB 63, AB 642, and ACR 33, and Colorado’s SB 054, SB258, HB 1242 and HB 1208.)
Extreme heat and cold: Arkansas HB 1557 allows local governments to establish emergency warming and/or cooling centers and requires utilities to plan to 1) prioritize avoiding service disruptions at these centers; 2) implement measures to reduce energy consumption during events as directed by a regional transmission organization or reliability coordinator; and 3) prioritize centers for service restoration.
Flooding and Sea-Level Rise: Florida S 2514 creates the Resilient Florida Trust Fund to accompany the Resilient Florida Grant Program (created by S 1954), which designates electric production and supply facilities as “critical assets,” requires an assessment of their vulnerability, and supports projects to protect and adapt those critical assets. Connecticut HB 06441 modifies the Connecticut Green Bank to include an Environmental Infrastructure Fund in addition to the Clean Energy Fund to support clean energy and resilience projects. Tennessee SB 0795 creates a program called C-PACER, or Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Storm Resiliency. In voluntarily participating jurisdictions, commercial entities can secure low-cost, long-term financing for building improvements that, among other things, encourage energy sustainability and decrease energy costs.
More broadly, New Jersey S 2607, which passed the legislature in 2020 but was signed in early 2021, requires municipal land use plans to identify critical facilities, including utility infrastructure that must be maintained in operational state at all times. Nevada SB 14 calls for providers of new electric resources to create vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans.
5. Pro or Con, Building Electrification Get New Focus in Efficiency Efforts
Emerging as the next frontier of the energy transition, efficient electric building and appliance technologies are receiving growing attention as alternatives to natural gas, with some states looking to add building electrification to their energy efficiency efforts, and others trying to nip natural gas bans in the bud.
Missouri (HB 734), Alabama (HB 446), Wyoming (SF 0152), Ohio (HB 201), West Virginia (HB 2842), Georgia (HB 150), Iowa (HF 555), Mississippi (HB 632), Arkansas (SB 137), Florida (H 0919 and H 0839), Kansas (SB 24), Kentucky (HB 207), Utah (HB 0017) and Indiana (HB 1191) all took action to prohibit local entities from restricting natural gas service – an action that has become popular in cities, mostly in other states, such as California, Washington, Massachusetts, Colorado, New York, and Vermont.
Indeed, California, New Mexico, and Massachusetts are eyeing statewide programs to incent new all-electric buildings. California AB 137 directs the Energy Commission to develop a Building Initiative for Low-Emission Development Program Phase 2 to support the construction of electric single- and multi-family homes; it also expands the School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program. New Mexico HB 15 updates the sustainable building tax credits with bonuses for fully electric or zero-carbon construction and for the installation of energy conserving products in affordable or low-income housing. Massachusetts SB 9 allows municipalities to adopt net-zero stretch energy codes, in addition to adding energy efficiency and advanced building technologies representation to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards, and directing Mass Save, the state’s energy efficiency program, to include a greenhouse gas reduction value in its energy efficiency cost effectiveness test. (In contrast, South Dakota weakened the requirement for new construction to meet or exceed high performance green building standards with SB 134).
A handful of additional states are looking to incentivize, or support, efficient and/or electric building retrofits and weatherization. This includes Connecticut, which passed SB 00356 to create an energy efficiency retrofit grant program for rental and affordable housing (which can also be used on solar photovoltaic and energy storage systems, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, heat pumps, and weatherization), and Oregon, which passed HB 2842 creating a Healthy Homes Repair Program to provide grants to rehab and upgrade low-income households and rental units (including maximizing energy efficiency). Colorado passed two bills, SB 246 and SB 231, which require utilities to file triennial beneficial electrification plans with 20% of program expenditures targeted toward low-income and disproportionately impacted communities, and allocate money for weatherization, respectively. Rhode Island H6 144 continues a charge on gas and electricity to fund energy efficiency and energy conservation programs until January 2028, maintains required triennial reliability, efficiency, and conservation plans, and allocates $5 million for efficiency, renewable energy, and demand side management project financing. New Jersey passed S 3995 to provide grants to boards of education and small businesses to install HVAC systems and energy efficient appliances.
In other efficiency-related legislation, Missouri updated its residential and commercial energy efficiency property assessment contracts with HB 697, while New Jersey established the NJPACE program for municipalities to conduct projects related to efficiency, renewable energy, storage, microgrids, water conservation, stormwater management, electric vehicle charging, and resilience with A 2374. Montana’s SB 147 and Maine’s LD 340 also established commercial PACE programs. West Virginia HB 2667 authorizes the Secretary of Economic Development to establish an energy savings contracting program for state agencies, with a goal to reduce energy use in state buildings by 25% by 2030.
Minnesota passed HF 164 to increase the state’s energy savings goal from 1.5% of annual retail sales of electricity and gas to 2.5%. Strategies to achieve this goal must include energy conservation, efficiency, building codes and appliance standards, utility infrastructure upgrades, load management programs, and fuel switching. Illinois’s omnibus energy bill, SB 2408, includes funding related to beneficial electrification, annual energy efficiency savings goals, a public schools carbon-free assessment program, and more. Nevada (AB 383), Maine (LD 940), Rhode Island (S 0339 and H 5966), Oregon (HB 2062) and Massachusetts (SB 9) update and increase appliance efficiency standards.
Finally, Colorado HB 1286 requires building performance standards for covered buildings, with annual reporting, and Maine LD 179 convenes a stakeholder group to review municipal policies around energy efficiency and heat pumps and identify the most appropriate ways to assess such property for tax purposes.
6. EV Charging Gets Attention Coast to Coast
Transportation electrification continues to be a hot topic in state legislatures, blue- and red-state alike, with most of the focus on charging infrastructure deployment and the role of electric utilities.
Major infrastructure, planning, and study bills include Nevada’s SB 448, which directs spending of $100 million on charging infrastructure to support urban and highway depot charging, tourism and state park charging, transit, fleet and public agency charging, and more, with at least 40% of these investments benefiting historically underserved communities. The bill also sets up a process for electric utilities to incorporate transportation electrification into triennial integrated resource plans. Washington’s HB 1287 requires a publicly available mapping and forecasting tool to support the development of charging stations sufficient to meet state electrification goals, and requires utility load forecasts that anticipate projected levels of zero-emission vehicle adoption.
Virginia’s HB 2282 directs the State Corporation Commission to submit recommendations governing widespread transportation electrification, including identifying areas for public investment in low-income, minority, and rural communities. Virginia also passed SB 1223, which calls for a study of the Commonwealth’s current EV charging infrastructure and future needs to support its transportation sector net zero by 2045 goal. Rhode Island H 5031 and S 0994 direct the Department of Transportation to develop a plan for statewide EV charging station deployment, and in in Oregon three bills – HB 3055, HB 2165, and HB 2290 – allow utilities to recoup costs associated with prudent transportation electrification investments, collect money from customers for electrification efforts, and allow the State Parks and Recreation Department to install charging stations at state parks, ocean shores, and other trails and historic sites.
South Carolina and Missouri also get in on the action. South Carolina’s S 0304 establishes the Joint Committee on Electrification of Transportation to study challenges and opportunities related to vehicle electrification and directs the Public Service Commission to open a parallel docket to identify regulatory challenges and opportunities, while Missouri’s SB 262 creates an Electric Vehicle Task Force to study transportation funding issues, strategies to remove or mitigate barriers to EV charging, and strategies to manage the effects of EV charging on the grid, pricing, rates, safety standards, and more.
Narrower charging infrastructure bills in Florida (S 0630) and Maryland (SB 144 and HB 110), either allow condominium owners to install charging stations at a driver’s exclusive-use parking space or prohibit unreasonable restrictions on charging station installation at condos and in homeowners’ associations. Maine and California contemplate how electric utility rates must evolve to support electric car and truck charging with LD 347 and SB 437, respectively, while Texas (SB 1202), Kansas (HB 2145), South Carolina (S 0304), and North Dakota (SB 2091) take the foundational step of exempting the sale of electricity from an EV charger from regulation as a public utility.
Some states are directly allocating money or creating grant programs for charging station development. These include California, where SB 129 allocates over $500 million for infrastructure (along with money for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, equity transportation programs, and in-state ZEV manufacturing grants); Colorado, where SB 260 creates new fees and adjusts existing ones to raise over $700 million over the next decade to be spent on clean transportation efforts (including charging infrastructure, vehicle incentives, and multi-modal transportation); Maine, where LD 1733 allocates $8 million for charging infrastructure; and Vermont, where its Fiscal Year 2022 Agency of Transportation budget (H 0433) includes money for charging infrastructure (along with allocations for state fleet electrification and vehicle incentives, a requirement for the Agency to develop a transportation equity framework, and a directive to electric utilities to develop EV rates).
Hawaii’s HB 1142 directs 3 cents from a security tax on each barrel of petroleum product into an account to support a charging station rebate program. New Jersey’s A 1653 makes certain publicly available EV stations eligible for 100% funding from municipalities. Maryland extends and increases its EV Recharging Equipment Rebate program with HB 44 and Arkansas creates an EV Infrastructure Grant Program and Fund for Level 2 and Direct Current Fast Charging with SB 632. Finally, Mississippi SB 2598 creates an EV Infrastructure Fund within the State Treasury to receive federal monies intended for use on EV charging.
While much of the attention in state legislatures has centered on charging infrastructure, it should not go unnoticed that some states have directed significant attention toward the vehicles themselves. Virginia (HB 1979) established, though did not fund, a new EV rebate program for new and used vehicles and authorized the State Air Pollution Control Board to adopt low emission vehicle (LEV) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards (HB 1965), and California (SB 372) created a medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle purchasing assistance program. New York (A 04302) set dates after which only new zero-emission passenger vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will be sold in the state (2035 and 2045, respectively). Hawaii (HB 552) plans for its state agencies to operate 100% clean fleets by the end of 2035, and Maryland (SB 137) prohibits the Maryland Transit Administration from purchasing non-zero emission buses (with some exceptions). Virginia (HB 2118) establishes the Electric Vehicle Grant Fund and Program to help public school divisions replace diesel school buses with electric ones, install the necessary infrastructure, and train an operations and maintenance workforce.
Finally, two states took direct aim at electric transportation as an economic growth opportunity. Indiana passed HB 1168 to establish an Electric Vehicle Product Commission to evaluate EV products and in-state production capacity, opportunities for skilled and non-skilled workers, manufacturing opportunities, and opportunities for industry growth and R&D. Illinois passed HB 1769 to create the Reimagining Vehicles in Illinois (REV Illinois) Program to provide financial incentives to manufacturers of EVs, EV component parts, or EV power supply equipment.
For most states, 2022 legislative sessions are just around the corner. Lawmakers and advocates are working hard to tee up the next round of bills to debate, and the trends we saw this year show no signs of slowing down. We encourage all our readers who work on energy legislation to take note of the bills that made it into law this year, somewhere around the country, and carry the good ones into the state where you live and work.
AEE policy associates Claire Alford and Robert Haggart contributed to this blog post. Communications associate Cayli Baker provided data visualizations.