Energy Incentive Programs, Delaware

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Updated October 2015

What public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs are available in my state?

Delaware's 1999 restructuring legislation mandated the creation of a systems benefit charge to fund low-income, energy efficiency, and renewable energy programs. In 2007, the state created the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU), a non-profit corporation funded from bond issues, proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and fees for some of its services. DESEU's major initiative for efficiency and renewables is called Energize Delaware. Its primary large customer offering, the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, provides prescriptive rebates for a set of both efficient electric equipment (mostly lighting and lighting controls) and gas space and water heating equipment. There is also a custom project option for measures falling outside those covered by the prescriptive incentives.

What utility energy efficiency programs are available to me?

No utility energy efficiency programs are currently available to federal customers.

What load management/demand response options are available to me?

The PJM Interconnection (PJM), a regional transmission organization (RTO), offers several demand response programs. Two specific programs may be attractive to federal facilities in the PJM footprint:

  • PJM's emergency "capacity" program allows demand resources to participate in PJM's Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) forward capacity market via a curtailment service provider (any existing PJM member, such as their utility, a third-party electricity supplier, or a specialty CSP). Participants pledge to either reduce their load by a specified amount (guaranteed load drop, GLD), or to a specific kW level (known as firm service level, FSL), within one or two hours of an event notification. Load reductions are mandatory and may occur up to ten times per year, lasting up to six hours per event. Penalties for non-compliance are substantial. Remuneration is based on the results of the annual RPM capacity auctions in various PJM regions. Remuneration levels for the 2016-17 PJM year (which begins June 1, 2016) are in the $80,000 per MW range for Delaware customers. Participants are also eligible to receive energy payments for actual reductions, if and when the program is called.

  • The Economic Load Response program allows electricity users to provide load reductions in exchange for a payment based on hourly wholesale electricity prices. Participation is fully voluntary. Customers start by submitting load reduction bids (through their CSP) of at least 100 kW into the day-ahead energy market. Participants whose bids are accepted are paid for their load reductions based upon the day-ahead, hourly electricity market prices (the day-ahead "locational marginal price," or LMP). Reductions are figured based on a customer baseline load (CBL), which is essentially the average loads for the same hours in four of the facility's previous non-responding days. Regardless of which type of firm it is, the CSP will generally offer to split the revenues with the customer at a pre-determined percentage.

In both programs, participants can provide load reductions either through curtailing electricity use or operating on-site generation consistent with local environmental regulations and permits.

What distributed energy resource options are available to me?

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides information on programs that offer incentives for renewable distributed generation. The following programs may be of interest to federal customers:

  • Delaware's Green Energy Program provides grants, funded from the state's public benefits fund, for a portion of the installed cost of qualifying photovoltaic, solar water heating, wind turbine, geothermal heat pump, and fuel cell systems. Delmarva Power and Light (the state's lone investor-owned utility), the Delaware Electric Cooperative, and the state's municipal utilities (under the aegis of the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, DEMEC) all have their own initiatives, but each is similar and all three are administered under the Green Energy Program by the state's Division of Energy and Climate. Depending on the utility and technology, the maximum incentive ranges between $10,000 and $50,000.

  • Delaware's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requiring retail suppliers to provide 25% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2026, includes a solar PV set-aside. The set-aside, which ramps up to 3.5% of all electricity sold in the state by 2025-26, is currently (2015-2016) at 1.0%. Pursuant to the RPS, the state's SREC Procurement Program administers an annual auction in which winning bids receive the auction SREC price for ten years and then $35/MWh (i.e., $035/kWh) for another ten years. The most recent (2015) auction yielded prices roughly in the $50-100/MWh range, depending on the category (existing versus new systems, as well as system capacity tiers).

Are there energy efficiency programs sponsored by state government?

Delaware's Division of Energy and Climate administers both the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (part of Energize Delaware)and the Green Energy Program (see above).

What additional opportunities are available to me?

Federal customers whose utilities have area-wide supply contracts through GSA (e.g., Delmarva Power & Light), may be able to take advantage of 3rd-party financed energy efficiency projects called utility energy services contracts (UESCs). Information is available in GSA's Energy Division Library. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.

PJM (see above in the demand response section) now allows energy efficiency projects to participate in its forward capacity markets, based on its Reliability Pricing Model (RPM). To be eligible, EE projects must reduce load continuously by at least 100 kW during peak summer hours. This load reduction can be bid into PJM's annual (for three years in advance) and "residual" (nearer-term) capacity auctions, and if selected will receive the auction clearing prices. EE reductions are eligible for four years' worth of participation. Interested customers can participate through energy service companies conducting ESPCs or utilities executing UESCs at their sites.