News

2021 Resource Guide for State and Local Leaders Now Available

"Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources for State and Local Leaders" provides an overview of new and high-impact energy efficiency and renewable energy resources for states, local governments, and K–12 school districts. The resource guide also spotlights partnership opportunities and resources for public-sector stakeholders from across the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Download the 2021 Resource Guide.

 

DOE Launches a National Initiative for Clean Heating and Cooling Systems in Buildings

On May 17, 2021, Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm announced a new national initiative that EERE's Building Technologies Office will lead to advance clean heating and cooling systems in buildings.

The Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3 Initiative) will focus on advancing the research, development, and national deployment of clean heating and cooling systems that include electric heat pumps, advanced water heaters, low-to-no global warming potential refrigerants, smarter HVAC diagnostic tools, and advanced window technologies.

To learn more about the E3 initiative, read the announcement or watch a recording of the Secretary of Energy's remarks at the White House's Principals Buildings Roundtable.

Federal Financial Assistance Programs for Resilience Activities

Residential homes surrounded by floodwater.

A new DOE webpage, Federal Financial Assistance Programs for Resilience Activities, is now available to inform resilience-focused energy planning in the public sector. This webpage provides an interactive matrix compiled by DOE that lists selected federal financial assistance programs available to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments for natural hazard mitigation and energy resilience activities. Users can explore and leverage various federal funding sources to strengthen long-term resiliency goals and advance energy infrastructure. This webpage builds off the recently released "Federal Resilience Resources for State Energy Offices" guide.

To learn more, visit the Federal Financial Assistance Programs for Resilience Activities webpage or contact stateandlocal@ee.doe.gov.

Energy Savings Performance Contracting Training: Earn a GESPC-U Certificate

As part of the DOE and National Association of State Energy Officials' (NASEO) Return-to-Work Initiative, DOE and NASEO are promoting training resources to enhance public-sector officials' understanding of energy savings performance contracting (ESPC). Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting University (GESPC-U) is a 25-lesson basic informational series (audio and text) presented by the Energy Services Coalition (ESC) and sponsored by DOE that covers all phases of a performance contract.

The series takes the listener from the concept of ESPC through contracts, construction, post-construction, and beyond, and includes companion quizzes to reinforce understanding. When completed, quizzes can be submitted to ESC to receive individual feedback and a GESPC-U certificate.

To access GESPC-U, go to the GESPC Online Community and register. The online community is designed to provide a peer environment where public-sector participants can share experiences and advance their knowledge. You can also listen to the podcasts on the ESC website.

Expanding Access to Solar for Low-to-Moderate Income Households and Communities: Lessons Learned for State Agencies

A new resource published by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) highlights best practices and lessons learned from a three-year multi-state initiative to develop and implement innovative strategies for expanding access to solar for low-to-moderate income (LMI) households and communities.

From 2017 to 2020, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia worked with CESA on the State Energy Strategies project, supported by funding from DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Office. Through the course of this project, over 30,000 LMI households have received or will receive the benefits of solar energy. In addition, the project team developed a deeper understanding of the unique challenges of LMI solar and of ways to meet those challenges.

Lessons learned from the State Energy Strategies project are compiled in a new webpage on the CESA website. The page also provides links to case studies, reports, webinars, and other products developed over the life of the project.
 

Virtual Events

ESPC in the eXpress Lane: New State and Local Project Tracking and Reporting Pathway

July 13, 3–4 p.m. ET

This webinar, which is part of the Better Buildings Summer Webinar Series, officially launches DOE's eProject eXpress (ePX), a new streamlined pathway for entering energy project data and reporting in eProject Builder. ePX is specifically tailored to states, local governments, and public institutions and can be used to track energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) projects. Building on DOE's eProject Builder platform, ePX enables users to preserve and track their energy project data and helps demonstrate the success of state and local energy efficiency activity and programs, like state ESPC programs. Attendees will learn about the benefits of ePX and see an overview demonstration of its features.

Register for the "ESPC in the eXpress Lane" webinar.

Decarbonization at a District Scale: Colorado Residential Retrofit Energy District (CoRRED)

July 20, 2 p.m. ET

Hear from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the results of a DOE-funded simulation of a Denver neighborhood of grid-interactive efficient homes that was conducted in conjunction with the Colorado Energy Office, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Xcel Energy. The project team simulated the coordinated deployment of demand-side management, electrification, demand response, rooftop solar, and energy storage in existing residences to understand customer utility bills, system resiliency, and reliability impacts. This scoping effort simulated performance as the first phase in a larger effort. Join this webinar to discover project results, as well as lessons learned for Colorado and other states and anticipated next steps.

Register for the "Decarbonization at a District Scale" webinar.
 

Infrastructure Investments in the News

Burlington City Council Approves Citywide Weatherization Ordinance: The Burlington City Council in Vermont unanimously approved an ordinance that would require city landlords to insulate their rental units. Under the city's revamped energy efficiency standards, property managers would be mandated to address weatherization through air sealing, upgrading heating systems, replacing drafty windows and doors, or insulating walls and attics in their properties. The ordinance comes as an effort to meet Burlington's "Net Zero Energy by 2030" goal as well as address high utility costs for city renters.

Montana Adopts Commercial PACE Legislation: In May 2021, Montana lawmakers passed legislation to enable commercial property assessed capital enhancements. The new legislation enables eligible commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy building upgrades so upfront costs are spread out over longer periods.