State Policy Program

SSDN facilitates statewide action.

State Policy Program

Program Overview

As stewards of sustainability objectives for Southeastern communities, local governments have a unique stakeholder position that can inform long-term decision making at state public service commissions, legislatures, utilities, and state agencies.

In 2019, SSDN launched the State Policy Program, which aims to (1) build the capacity of local governments to engage in legislative and regulatory decisions; (2) advance their climate and energy goals by educating our members about state policy issues; (3) connect them with resources, knowledge, and expertise; and (4) provide direct support through policy research, analysis, and resource development.

Local governments are critical stakeholders in the regulatory environment due to being large energy users with expansive facilities (including water/wastewater), fleet owners/operators, and stewards of their communities - representing the interests of community members and businesses. Our members, often some of the largest utility customers in their regions, have historically lacked representation in energy stakeholder discussions and decision-making processes. We actively seek to ensure that our members have a seat at the table.

Issues We Work On

Clean Energy Generation and Procurement

SSDN monitors clean energy generation and procurement proceedings at state utilities commissions. We evaluate resource planning dockets across our six-state program and help members determine how the resulting decisions made by state regulators impact their own operations and ability to procure renewable energy. We also provide capacity building resources related to innovative procurement strategies (e.g., virtual power purchase agreements) and provide context regarding utility-offered programs as members navigate installing onsite generation.

Transportation Electrification

In addition to electrifying their own fleets, SSDN members are interested in working with utilities and others to expand access to public EV and fast charging (DCFC) infrastructure along highway corridors. Several Southeastern utilities are expanding their transportation electrification program offerings, and SSDN has participated in stakeholder convenings to shape those programs and their scope. SSDN also tracks relevant legislation that supports or impacts transportation electrification broadly, with particular focus on impacts to local governments.

Data Access

Local governments have a vested interest in access to utility billing data to ensure that they are able to accurately measure emissions from their operations and the effectiveness of sustainability programs in their communities. SSDN supports members as they engage with consumer advocates, Attorney General Offices, and other stakeholders to develop data access rules that adequately protect privacy - while also allowing local governments to access utility billing and aggregated data for their own operations, for their communities, and for local program participants.

Demand-Side Management

The State Policy team monitors utilities’ energy efficiency (EE) and demand-side management (DSM) programs through engagement in regular utility stakeholder meetings and commission dockets. We provide support for members interested in engaging in relevant commission proceedings, and participate on behalf of/alongside members in several utilities’ EE/DSM-focused stakeholder convenings. Our team also tracks relevant EE/DSM policy proposals during legislative sessions that may impact our members’ climate goals.

Preemption Defense

SSDN tracks legislation that includes preemptions with the potential to impact local governments’ sustainability and resilience goals. This includes state preemptions that restrict the (2) types of energy sources that political subdivisions may regulate; (3) projects that aim to decrease car-dependency and expand more efficient forms of transportation; (4) local ordinances that protect environmental and public health; (5) deployment of EVs and EV charging infrastructure; and more.

Distributed Energy Resources

During the legislative session, the State Policy team educates on and monitors dockets that support the deployment/implementation of distributed energy resources (DERs) and financing opportunities (e.g., C-PACE programs). SSDN engages members on issues related to net metering and interconnection – connecting DER resources to the existing grid – which can be time consuming and expensive for members.

Rate Making

SSDN helps members participate in utility ratemaking by providing (1) education on the ratemaking process, (2) analysis of rate cases, (3) assistance with rate case intervention/engagement, and (4) instruction on drafting and submitting comments to state utility commissions. Local governments are broadly interested in issues of energy affordability for themselves as well as their residents.


Caitlin Rose, Senior State Policy Manager:

Daniel Antonio Miguel, State Policy Manager (FL):

Emily Morrow, State Policy Program Coordinator (NC/SC/VA):