You are here

News

Data-Driven State and Local Energy Planning Platform Beta Now Available

SLOPE Beta Platform homepage

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform is an easy-to-access online resource that enables data-driven state and local energy planning by integrating dozens of distinct sources of energy efficiency and renewable energy data to assist state and local decision makers in understanding the various cost-effective options to meet their energy goals. Sustainable transportation data will be available as part of phase two of SLOPE. 

Representing a collaboration between eight DOE technology offices and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the platform provides public-sector leaders with important energy-planning questions, including:

  • What will my jurisdiction’s future energy needs look like?
    • Electricity and natural gas consumption
    • Project population
  • What are the options for meeting future energy needs with new energy resources?
    • Energy efficiency potential
    • Renewable energy technical generation potential
    • Levelized cost of energy

We want to hear from you! Please contact slope@nrel.gov with any questions or feedback on the platform. Stay tuned for phase two of SLOPE that add sustainable transportation and generation mix projections data, enable users to save their settings, and incorporate user feedback and increasingly granular and integrated capabilities. Access the SLOPE Platform Beta and download the overview fact sheet to learn more. 

DOE Launches Plastics Innovation Challenge

The Plastics Innovation Challenge accelerates innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies. Over the coming weeks, DOE will release requests for information and host workshops to engage with stakeholders about the current barriers to plastic recycling technologies and shape the work that will bring those technologies to market. DOE also plans to announce funding opportunities and strategic partnerships to spur innovative solutions to plastics recycling.

Plastics are used in thousands of products essential to modern life and waste is of increasing concern on global levels. The Plastics Innovation Challenge is led by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in collaboration with the Office of Science and other DOE programs. For more information, read the press release.

New State-by-State Profiles of Time-Based Programs to Cut Energy Bills

Energy efficiency is a proven strategy for lowering state and local energy costs. In a growing number of communities, however, knowing when a building is consuming energy can also lead to big savings. EERE's Federal Energy Management Program launched a new website, Demand Response and Time-Variable Pricing Programs, which provides profiles of demand response programs and utility time-variable pricing options across the country.

This website is unique in the United States, offering a streamlined, no-cost way for utility customers to access these cost-saving opportunities. States, local governments, and other public-sector building managers can quickly look up the offerings available in their state, get a quick description, and follow the link to the relevant program or tariff. Access the website.

REopt Lite Upgrades to Address User Priorities: Resilience Modeling, Utility Rate Help, and More

The latest upgrades to NREL's REopt Lite tool address users' growing focus on providing backup power to sustain critical load during outages—a feature especially important to public-sector stakeholders in charge of critical infrastructure.

The REopt Lite web tool helps building managers:

  • Evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected photovoltaic, wind, and battery storage at a site
  • Identify system sizes and battery dispatch strategies to minimize energy costs
  • Estimate how long a system can sustain critical load during a grid outage.

REopt Lite now has expanded resilience capabilities to enable users to optimally size new diesel generation and better understand the benefits and trade-offs of resilience.

To learn more about the latest upgrades to REopt Lite, read the NREL news article and access the tool.

For information on how public-sector buildings managers can use this tool to integrate energy efficiency with other distributed energy resources to achieve resilience benefits, access the DOE resource, How Distributed Energy Resources Can Improve Resilience in Public Buildings: Three Case Studies and a Step-by-Step Guide.

New Wind 101 Webinar Provides an Introduction to Wind Siting and Development

A recently recorded webinar from the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, Wind 101: An Introduction to Wind Energy Siting and Development, is now available online. It includes background on wind project siting and development and discusses opportunities and constraints for wind energy from the perspective of permitting, engineering, and economics, as well as the application of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines. This information can be beneficial to public-sector stakeholders investigating wind energy development for the first time. View the webinar recording and presentation slides.

New Hampshire Challenges Commuters to Rideshare

With the help of the EERE State Energy Program, the New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives, in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation and the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission, promoted and improved ridesharing throughout the state. As part of this initiative, New Hampshire launched a state-wide challenge to encourage commuters to switch to alternative forms of transportation, resulting in 2,200 rideshare trips totaling nearly 30,000 miles and saving more than $17,000.

New Hampshire launched web software to give commuters easier access to other commuters with similar destinations and working hours. It also allows the various New Hampshire offices to calculate energy savings, energy-cost savings, and emissions reductions of the program. The statewide ride-sharing challenge encouraged commuters to use the software to switch to alternative forms of transportation. Read the EERE success story.

Michigan Creates Roadmap to Accelerate Clean Energy Market Competition

Michigan created a roadmap to make energy efficiency and renewable energy more affordable to its residents using a State Energy Program competitive award. The goal of the roadmap is to accelerate market competition within the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector by incorporating strategies for advanced energy clusters, or geographic concentrations of related companies, organizations, and institutions in a particular field.

Michigan sought to identify opportunities in advanced lighting and building controls clusters located within the state and in the northeast region of Ohio. The roadmap has resulted in three new programs and helped the state meet its energy goals, support clean energy businesses, promote waste reduction and innovation in manufacturing processes, and help small businesses move from clean technology prototypes to market deployment. To learn more, access the EERE Success Story.

Chicago PACE Program Paves the Way for More Energy-Efficient Buildings

The Chicago Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program offers low-cost financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy technology in new and existing buildings. In 2018, Illinois passed authorizing legislation for PACE. A new luxury hotel on La Salle Street will be the first Chicago property to take advantage of the PACE program, which will use roughly $21 million in PACE financing to fund the installation of energy-efficient windows; elevators; lighting; plumbing; and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

The City of Chicago is a member of DOE’s Commercial PACE Working Group, a cohort of state and local governments working together to learn about, launch, and refine commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing programs with the goal of achieving $60 million in C-PACE investments by 2022. Learn more about the Chicago PACE program.

Infrastructure Investments in the News

Efficiency Vermont six-year plan focuses on weatherization and grid efficiency: Efficiency Vermont’s new six-year plan to increase energy efficiency across the state includes new performance targets that focus on expanding weatherization support and partnering with electric utilities to optimize grid efficiency, such as assisting 4,500 Vermonters with weatherizing their homes during the 2021–2023 timeframe.

Philadelphia mayor signs law requiring green tune-ups for city’s biggest buildings: A new Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, law requires all non-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet to get tune-ups to bring their energy and water systems to their highest efficiency, or submit a certification of high-energy performance to the city.

Atlanta becomes 100th LEED-certified city: Atlanta, Georgia is the 100th city to become certified through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Cities and Communities, and the city’s resilience strategy was a key element for earning the certification.