News

Resource Spotlight: Energy Data Management Guide for the Public Sector

Energy Data Management Guide

The Energy Data Management Guide, a web-based resource created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), provides states, local governments, and K–12 school districts with a step-by-step approach to establish a robust and sustainable energy data management program. By following the guide's seven steps, public-sector organizations can reduce energy use, save taxpayer dollars, and improve the efficiency of operations.

The Energy Data Management Guide features:

  • Proven strategies with demonstrated portfolio-wide energy savings
  • Data management tools and resources
  • Customizable templates and worksheets
  • Relevant examples and case studies.

Learn more about the Energy Data Management Guide through an upcoming webinar series, listed in the Events section below.

DOE Announces New $2.5 Million Prize to Support Diversity in Innovation

Inclusive energy innovation prize

DOE recently launched the new Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize that will award up to $2.5 million in cash prizes to groups and organizations that support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underserved in climate and energy technology funding. Through the prize, DOE will deliver resources to ensure applicants from all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to apply for and receive DOE funding. The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize supports the Biden-Harris Administration's Justice40 initiative to put environmental and economic justice at the center of America's transition to a net-zero economy by 2050.

Learn more about this effort to support diversity in innovation by reading the announcement.

DOE Hits Solar Milestone, Increasing Community Engagement

On Sept. 28, 2021, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced that DOE exceeded its goal of engaging 125 communities to sign up for Solar Automated Permit Processing+ (SolarAPP+), a tool that instantly approves permits for residential solar installations. Granholm also announced a new goal to have 60 communities join SolSmart—a national recognition program that provides local governments with free technical assistance to make it faster and easier to go solar—by March 2022. SolSmart has helped more than 400 communities in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands streamline processes that make it faster and easier to deploy solar energy, attract investment, and lower energy costs for families and businesses.

Apply for a SolSmart designation today.

Annual Wind Market Reports Highlight Record Growth in Wind Power Installations

Wind report

DOE released three market reports showing record growth and declining costs in U.S. wind energy over the past year. The annually updated data tracks installations, technologies, costs, prices, incentives, and performances for three wind energy market sectors—land-based utility scale, offshore, and distributed—at the national, regional, and state levels. In 2020, wind energy was the largest source of U.S. electric-generating capacity additions, accounting for 42% of new capacity. Learn more about the three reports below:

EPA Will Fund $7 Million for Electric School Bus Rebates in Underserved Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates program will offer $7 million to eligible school districts and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric school buses. Selected applicants that scrap and replace their old diesel buses with new electric buses will receive a rebate of $300,000 per bus. Applications are now open.

To learn more about this funding opportunity, visit the EPA webpage, 2021 ARP Electricity School Bus Rebates.

New Outreach Materials on Electric Vehicles Now Available

DOE recently published new outreach materials with the most up-to-date electric vehicle (EV) information.

  • The Electric Vehicle Basics fact sheet is designed for organizations with fleets who are considering implementing EVs. The fact sheet includes information on EV models, charging, costs, and benefits, as well as easy-to-understand graphics on charging options, average emissions by vehicle type, and benefits of all-electric vs. plug-in hybrid vehicles. 
  • The At a Glance: Electric Vehicles brochure answers common consumer questions about why to consider an EV, costs, charging information, and maintenance.
eProject-xpress

Events

Free eProject eXpress Training

Oct. 18, 2021, 1–2 p.m. ET

Nov. 8, 2021, 1–2 p.m. ET

Dec. 13, 2021, 1–2 p.m. ET

DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) recently released eProject eXpress (ePX), a streamlined tool to help state and local governments implement energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) and reap the benefits of energy efficiency. ePX unlocks new capabilities to meet the unique data management and reporting needs of the municipal and state governments, universities and colleges, schools, and hospitals market. Using ePX can significantly reduce customers' costs and staff time associated with tracking project data and contract agreements and clearly demonstrate the success of energy efficiency programs.

DOE and LBNL are providing free, one-hour webinars each month designed to guide interested users through ePX operation so they can start using ePX to strengthen their ESPC projects and programs.

Register for an upcoming ePX training webinar:

In addition to the upcoming trainings, a recording of the July 2021 ePX launch event is now available on the Better Buildings Solution Center website.

Energy Data Management Webinar Series

Nov. 4, 2021, 11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET

Dec. 2, 2021, 11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET

DOE is hosting a 3-part webinar series that takes you through the Energy Data Management Guide, a web-based resource that provides public-sector organizations with a seven-step approach to establish a robust and sustainable energy data management program. The webinar series will examine each of the guide's seven steps; highlight case studies, resources, and tools associated with each step; and feature public-sector speakers sharing proven energy data management practices.

Register for each part of the webinar series:

This 3-part webinar series is targeted to public-sector officials from states, local governments, and K–12 school districts who are responsible for managing energy and/or energy-using assets in their organizations.

Watch the recording from part one in the webinar series.

BETO panel

Community Waste Management Technical Assistance Forum: Exploring Solutions to Convert Waste to Energy and Bioproducts

Nov. 4, 1–2 p.m. ET

In 2021, the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and NREL provided technical assistance to 18 communities across the United States on converting waste to energy. Over the past several months, these partnerships explored a multitude of topics in conjunction with NREL experts, including resource assessment, economic trade-off analysis, technology evaluation, and many others.

On Nov. 4, 2021, BETO will host a virtual forum with a panel of community experts involved in the partnerships to share updates about the program and plans for further technical assistance in 2022.

The forum will include a series of presentations from several partnering communities, followed by a Q&A session to hear about how various communities are looking to tackle their organic waste challenges and how NREL can aid in this planning.

Register for the BETO virtual forum.

State and Local Leaders in the News

Illinois Passes Sweeping Clean Energy Legislation

Recently, a substantial clean energy bill was signed into law in Illinois. It will impose new emission standards across most of Illinois' fossil fuel sector and encourage new use of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. In place of carbon-emitting energy sources, the bill calls for gradually increasing Illinois toward using more renewable energy over time, eventually having the state use 100% clean energy by 2050.