The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) advances energy efficiency through work on policy, incentives, and regulation. SWEEP proactively engages official processes in each of the states in our region to pass help bills that help remove barriers and make it easier for utilities, businesses, and consumers to embrace energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, and clean transportation. SWEEP also works closely with the public utility commissions in each state, providing technical assistance and intervening in some utility cases to advocate for goals, incentives, and rate structures that support greater energy efficiency.

SWEEP supports a wide range of state and local policies that will increase the efficiency of energy use including the following:

  • State-of-the-art building energy codes based on the latest versions of the International Energy Conservation Code.
  • Energy code “add-ons” or amendments such as solar-ready, electric vehicle (EV)-ready, and electrification.
  • Beneficial electrification — converting appliances and other equipment from fossil fuel use to electricity use, when the conversion results in lower energy costs, reduced air pollution, or improved utilization of grid resources.
  • Benchmarking and building performance standards for commercial and multifamily buildings.
  • Home energy audits at time of listing homes for sale.
  • Minimum efficiency standards for appliances and other products.
  • Energy savings goals, ENERGY STAR product purchasing requirements, third party financing mechanisms, utilization of performance contracting, and other policies to cut energy waste in public buildings.
  • Expanded utility energy efficiency programs, including incentives for the adoption of all cost-effective efficiency measures.


  • State programs that encourage industries to establish energy savings goals, recognize outstanding achievements, and provide technical assistance.
  • Rules that allow or require electric utilities to offer beneficial electrification programs to industrial customers.
  • Rules to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industrial customers, with options for trading and purchasing high quality GHG emissions offsets.


  • Installation of public charging stations for EVs.
  • Utility pricing strategies that encourage and reward EV owners for off-peak charging.
  • Acquisition of EVs by public fleets.
  • Sustainability and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction goals as part of regional transportation and land use plans.
  • Use of state gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees for public transit and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Increased use of tolling, VMT fees, and congestion pricing on highways.
  • Expansion of mass transit systems including express bus and bus rapid transit service.
  • Smart land use and transit-oriented development.


  • Energy efficiency goals or standards for electric and gas utilities.
  • Performance-based financial incentives so that utility shareholders are not penalized when investor-owned utilities help their customers save energy.
  • Beneficial electrification in state and local plans to achieve aggressive climate change goals, including: using energy as efficiently as possible, and reducing the carbon-intensity of the electricity grid through renewable energy sources. Switching from fossil fuel use to electricity, in buildings and vehicles, results in significant carbon dioxide emission reductions.
  • Integrated resource planning and other techniques for identifying and pursuing cost-effective energy efficiency options in the context of utility resource planning.
  • Decoupling of utility sales and cost recovery.


  • State tax credits for consumers and businesses that purchase innovative energy efficiency measures such as electric and hybrid vehicles, achieve substantial energy savings through deep home retrofits, or construct highly energy efficient new homes and commercial buildings.
  • Emissions standards and emissions trading and credit schemes that encourage and recognize the benefits of energy efficiency improvements as part of pollution reduction efforts.
  • Expanded funding for energy efficiency education, training, demonstration, and technical assistance.
  • Financing programs for all types of energy efficiency upgrades.