Representative Zack Stephenson (D) and Senator Jason Rarick (R) fought tirelessly to pass the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act (ECO) of 2021. ECO is the first significant update to Minnesota’s highly successful Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) since 2007 and the result of four years of intensive stakeholder discussions and negotiations about the shape and future of utility-funded energy efficiency in Minnesota. ECO builds on CIP’s success by safeguarding traditional energy efficiency and increases customer choices by expanding CIP to include load management and efficient fuel-switching. Additionally, Rep. Stephenson and Sen. Rarick successfully championed multiple clean energy bills, including Natural Gas Innovation Act and market transformation in 2021. Their great challenge and success are underscored by Minnesota having the only divided state legislature in the U.S.