New Resources for Rural States, Local Governments, and K-12 Schools

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released two resources to help rural states, local governments, and K-12 schools achieve energy and cost savings from energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades.

  • The new Rural Resources for States, Local Governments, and K-12 School Districts webpage offers information and resources on technical assistance programs, case studies, and applicable examples. Topics include energy planning, energy efficiency financing, energy data management, outdoor lighting, and wastewater infrastructure.
  • The new Better Buildings Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources for Rural K-12 School Energy Managers and Educators includes information that:
    • Addresses the unique opportunities and challenges rural K-12 schools face
    • Helps states, local school administrators, school boards, and facilities personnel supporting rural school districts to make informed decisions around the use of funds for energy efficiency improvements as a part of their facilities management plans
    • Compiles some best practices and solutions to foster energy and cost savings in rural schools.

To Buy or Not to Buy: Evaluating the Costs of LED Street Lighting Ownership

Graphic of outdoor lighting.

The DOE Solid State Lighting Program estimates annual U.S. energy consumption attributed to outdoor lighting is 6.7 quadrillion BTUs, at a cost of approximately $6 billion per year. Developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with the support of DOE, the Street Lighting Acquisition Evaluation Tool was developed as part of the Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Toolkit. This tool helps stakeholders to assess the potential energy and cost savings municipalities can achieve from street lighting ownership changes as part of energy efficiency upgrades to highly efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

The tool considers the following:

  1. Summary information on the stock of street lighting
  2. Information on utility tariffs for both utility-owned and municipally owned systems
  3. The terms of utility-offered buybacks
  4. Project financing terms available to the jurisdiction

For more information on how to use the tool and additional outdoor lighting related resources for state and local governments, visit the tool overview.

New Lighting Toolkit for K-12 School Districts

K-12 schools could save up to 50% on lighting-related energy use and costs if they optimize their lighting equipment and operations. Nationally, K-12 schools have reduced lighting energy consumption by an average of 5% from 2003 to 2012, according to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey. Lighting retrofits to highly efficient LED technology are responsible for a significant portion of these achieved savings, and there are even more potential savings remaining. This toolkit provides resources to K-12 schools interested in energy-efficient lighting upgrades and covers a wide range of technical implementation details, case studies, specifications, and more on lighting technologies available to increase energy and costs savings. To access the full list of resources, view the toolkit.

Rhode Island’s Clean Energy Jobs Increased by 72% in 5 Years

Photo of two men with solar panels.

Funded in part by DOE’s State Energy Program, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources leads in-state energy policy and programs. In August 2018, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Executive Office of Commerce released the 2018 Clean Energy Jobs Report detailing how the Rhode Island clean energy industry has continued to grow. The report counts more than 15,800 total clean energy workers throughout the state and notes that clean energy employment has grown by a remarkable 72% since 2014, resulting in 6,650 new jobs during that period. Clean energy workers now account for 3.3% of the total labor force in Rhode Island, with most of the employment—over 9,000 jobs—found across energy efficiency organizations. For more information on Rhode Island’s success in clean energy growth, read the success story.


Register for 2019 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit

Better Buildings Summit.

July 10–11, 2019
Arlington, Virginia

The 2019 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit features two days of interactive sessions, insightful speakers, and many opportunities to connect with peers. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to collaborate with other leaders and gain actionable insights to accelerate energy efficiency throughout your organization, understand the latest in emerging technologies, address workforce needs, and share your perspectives on upcoming issues.

What to expect at the 2019 Summit:

  • Discover what's next in emerging technologies, resiliency planning, and workforce development.
  • Share and discuss successful approaches used by Better Buildings, Better Plants partners facing the same challenges as your organization.
  • Grow your network and make connections with industry peers, technical experts, and other Better Buildings partners and Allies.
  • Explore future opportunities to achieve greater energy, water, and waste efficiency in your organization.

Registration is now open—reserve your spot today!

For more information, visit the Summit event website.

Upcoming NASEO Regional Meetings

The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its annual series of regional meetings designed for state and territory energy officials and key staff with participation from federal agencies and NASEO affiliated members. Upcoming meetings include:

  • Southeast Region: April 22-23, 2019 – Baker Donelson Law Firm, Jackson, Mississippi
  • Northeast Region: May 7-8, 2019 – New England College Concord, Concord, New Hampshire
  • Midwest Region: May 14-15, 2019 – Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Western Region: May 21-22, 2019 – Smart Buildings Center, Seattle, Washington
  • Mid-Atlantic Region: June 3-4, 2019 – The Calvert House, Annapolis, Maryland
  • Central Region: June 10-11, 2019 – Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Helena, Montana.

Infrastructure Investments in the News

New York regulators approve $32 million fast-charger plan: New York utilities won approval from regulators to install more than 1,000 fast-charger plugs for electric vehicles, setting the stage for charger providers to expand their business in the state.

Southcoast Health cuts facility maintenance and energy costs by 15%: Southcoast Health, a not-for-profit, community-based health system in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, reports reducing maintenance and energy costs at their facilities by approximately 15% using real-time monitoring, commissioning, and fault detection and diagnosis.

EPA accelerates investments in America's Water Infrastructure: In support of the President’s Infrastructure Initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued seven Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans to help finance over $4 billion in water infrastructure projects that will improve water quality and create up to 6,000 jobs