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Energy Department Announces $5 Million for Energy Planning, Innovative Energy Practices, and Technical Assistance in 16 States

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $5 million in State Energy Program (SEP) Competitive Award funding for 16 states to fund projects intended to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and improve energy productivity. Through SEP, each of the 16 awardees will work to advance energy efficiency, renewable energy, grid resiliency, and improve energy reliability and affordability. Several of the SEP projects are multi-state partnerships, expanding the impact of these investments. The projects fall under three categories: State Energy Planning, Innovative Opportunities for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Practices, and Technical Assistance to Advance Clean Energy Activities. State-led projects will culminate in replicable actions that other state and local governments can adopt. Learn more about the projects announced.

Energy Affordability Case Studies Published in Special Edition of Electricity Journal

Low-income households suffer a disproportionate energy burden, defined as the percentage of gross household income spent on energy costs. DOE and national lab staff recently authored seven articles published in a special energy affordability edition of the Electricity Journal in July 2018. While the journal articles currently require a subscription to access them, Interactive Story Maps for the following case studies are available online without a subscription: rural, suburban, remote, and utility shut-off. Each of the Story Maps examine barriers these communities face in accessing technologies that could make their energy costs more affordable. Learn more about Low Income Community Energy Solutions.

New Home Energy Affordability Data Tool Available in Solar for All Map

The Home Energy Affordability Map is a new tool that allows users to access data tables and interactive geospatial maps to determine where communities with limited ability to pay for energy reside. Available data layers include health indicators, demographic and housing information, energy efficiency technical potential from the ResStock tool, solar technical potential, susceptibility to extreme weather events, and utility service area boundaries. The tool has been integrated into the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Solar for All map and incorporates data from the Low-income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool regarding energy burden in low-income households. Access the Energy Data Affordability Tool.

Online Energy Retrofit Tool Reaches New Milestones

Developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in a partnership with DOE, the eProject Builder tool offers a standardized platform to manage and benchmark energy project performance data nationwide. The system has recently reached a milestone of 500 projects initiated and 1,000 users trained. With billions of dollars of energy retrofit projects implemented across the United States, and historically no standard way to manage project data and track performance, eProject Builder fills the gap by providing the only nationwide reporting system. Since its launch in 2014, eProject Builder has seen growing adoption by the $6 billion energy service industry. The project was funded by DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program and WIP. Read more about the tool in a news segment from EIN News.

Utah Launched Greenpower Electric Car Challenge to Engage Students in STEM

With an investment from SEP, the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development funded the Greenpower Electric Car Challenge to engage young students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The challenge provided a hands-on learning opportunity for middle and high school students to gain relevant STEM experience through building and racing a single-seat electric car. SEP funds support STEM-related programs that train future energy professionals and provide pathways to developing a skilled workforce for the future. With participation from 20 schools in the 2018 challenge, Gunnison Valley Middle School took home the victory. Another competition is expected for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. Read more and watch the recap video.

Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Receives Efficiency Upgrades

In 2014, the Salt Lake City Corporation completed the construction of new headquarters for the City police and fire departments, emergency operations center, and combined dispatch unit. The project was funded by a voter-approved bond and features an ultra-efficient design with the goal of achieving “net zero” energy use and carbon emissions through on-site building efficiency features and solar panels as well as the construction of an offsite, 1-megawatt solar farm associated with the building. The project has improved energy performance, reduced utility bills, and improved the comfort of the City’s first responders. The entire project had a financial payback period of just two years. The building has received LEED® Platinum certification, achieved an ENERGY STAR® score of 100, and has now met its carbon net zero goal. Read more.

Infrastructure Investments in the News

  • Governor Carney signs PACE legislation: Delaware’s PACE legislation was crafted with input from various stakeholders, including national experts, and has received broad support from the business community. Once implemented, PACE will offer a new method for financing commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.