Since 2010, Texas has received $54.2 million from the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and $23.4 million from the State Energy Program (SEP), resulting in the following benefits: 

Number of homes weatherized in Texas.
Number of jobs created by SEP in Texas.
Number of buildings with energy efficiency upgrades
Number of people impacted by energy efficiency installations

* Findings from a National Evaluation of the State Energy Program and a National Evaluation of the Weatherization Assistance Program

** States report outcomes of State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program formula (annual) fund activities to DOE on a quarterly basis. The metrics above are outcomes of formula-funded activities since 2010.

Texas’ State Energy Program at Work

Emerging Clean Energy Technologies Program

Texas’ Emerging Clean Energy Technologies Program assists in developing commercially viable clean energy technologies at designated Clean Energy Incubators (CEIs). CEIs have played a vital role in helping clean energy startups adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. From facilitating the transition to remote operations to navigating local, state, and federal relief funds opportunities, CEIs provided mentoring support necessary for startups to continue operations.

Between August 2019–June 2020, incubated companies from the University of Texas at Austin Clean Energy Incubator and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Clean Energy Incubator raised more than $38.6 million. Their activities resulted in a total economic impact of more than $14.3 million to the State of Texas. In addition, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Clean Energy Incubator was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) to expand the incubator’s first-of-kind “CTRL-Alt-Del” program, specifically designed to support distressed clean energy startups during the pandemic.

LoanSTAR Program

The Texas Saving Taxes and Resources (LoanSTAR) Program is administered by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office and funded in part by formula funds from the State Energy Program. This program issues loans targeted for public buildings, including state agencies, school districts, higher education, local governments, and hospitals. As of August 2020, LoanSTAR has funded approximately 326 loans totaling approximately $548 million. The LoanSTAR Program has achieved total cumulative program energy savings of over $680 million, which results in direct savings to Texas taxpayers.

Industrial Energy Efficiency Program

The Industrial Energy Efficiency Program (TIEEP), established by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), supports manufacturers’ efforts to decrease the energy and water intensity of their Texas operations. The first Advisory Council Meeting for TIEEP was held in November 2019. The Texas Water Forum was held in May 2020 as an online seminar. There were 160 attendees, which is roughly four times the attendance at recent in-person forums.

Energy Education

In 2018, the K-12 education program Watt Watchers of Texas was relaunched with a focus on using digital, interactive formats. The digital program enables easier access to teacher lessons and activities. Additionally, the digital platform can continuously and seamlessly update and will help save material cost for districts.

Designed to go deeper than just turning the lights off, students, teachers and families now have the opportunity to learn about energy conservation and cost saving tips through modern, everyday categories, such as food, water, and transportation. In 2020, over 15 new schools and four new school districts were added following live workshops and training sessions. To date, at least 15 districts use Watt Watchers with a minimum of 100 schools participating, serving more than 8,000 students.

City Efficiency Program

SECO collaborates with city efficiency personnel across Texas to learn about and share their best practices in energy and water efficiency while strengthening ties among local governments. This effort coordinates and shares best practices among participating cities and provides technical assistance to overcome challenges and barriers in efficiency. Report planning continues to improve local government energy reporting responses for 2020. In spite of COVID-19, more than 347 attendees have benefited from city efficiency local government discussions since January 2020. 

Technical Assistance

SECO provides no-cost energy-engineering services to local governments and public independent school districts. These technical services are based on the needs of the public entity requesting the service and include a broad spectrum of energy-engineering assistance activities. 

Since September 2019, SECO completed 68 preliminary energy assessment (PEA) and assessed more than 79.2 million square feet of floor space. These PEAs identified potential annual utility savings of 249.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). SECO has assisted over 350 Texas cities, counties, and special districts through technical assistance and energy assessments in the last 18 years.

Clean Energy Financing Tool

SECO is funding the development of an online clean energy financing and decision tool that will facilitate small- and medium-sized PACE corporations to review possible funding options of specific capital improvement projects. The vendor previously determined that a significant hurdle remains on building the energy capital stack that best matches the needs of the end-users. The decision tool will allow end-users to work through a framework of alternate energy efficiency options and run different capital stack scenarios.

Remote Energy Audits

Provided by SECO, the Remote Energy Assessment Service is offered to Texas state agencies, institutions of higher education, public K-12 schools, and local governments. This program provides no-cost remote energy assessments for eligible facilities and infrastructure and recommendations for proposed energy efficiency improvements at the facilities. A remote energy assessment is the first step for eligible entities to determine possible efficiency solutions before doing a more involved technical assessment. 

SWIFT - Trinity River Authority

SECO funded the implementation of a project through participation in DOE's Sustainable Water Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFT) program. This project was structured in two phases:

  • Phase one funding enabled the development of design specifications of a turbo blower system replacement at the Trinity River Authority Central Regional processing plant
  • Phase two funding enabled the purchase and installation of two new turbo blowers at the Central Regional processing plant. The system is now operational. 

This project enables the Trinity River Authority to demonstrate energy, water, and dollar savings through operational efficiencies and provides the North Texas Region added wastewater treatment capacity.

Clean Energy Incubators at the University of Texas at Austin

The Clean Energy Incubators at the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service had a successful run when looking at the period between August 2019 and June 2020. The following activity is the result of support provided beyond the period described. In this time period capital raised by companies was $38.6 million.  The number of jobs created during the time period was 464 and the economic impact for the state of Texas was $14.3 million.

Learn more about SEP competitively awarded projects.

Learn more about SEP Implementation Models.

Texas’ Weatherization Assistance Program at Work

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is the managing agency of Texas’ Weatherization Assistance Program. Texas subcontracts with a network of community action agencies and nonprofits to provide weatherization services to low-income families across more than 250 counties in Texas.
 
Nearly 3.5 million households in Texas are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, which qualifies for WAP assistance. More than 600,000 households live with income at or below 50% of the Federal Poverty Level and face a home energy burden of 28%, far above the national average. Texas has weatherized more than 6,000 low-income homes with annual, formula funding since 2010.
 
Between 2010 and 2020, Texas weatherized an average of 949 homes per year with formula funds.

To learn more about other successes, visit SEP Success Stories or the EERE Success Stories Project Map.  

Texas Takes Initiative

Better Buildings Initiative

More than 900 organizations are involved in the Better Buildings Initiative working to reduce energy and water waste and modernize the nation’s buildings and industrial facilities. Download the 2020 Better Buildings Progress Report for more information on the Initiative as a whole.

Better Buildings Challenge

The cities of El Paso, Fort Worth, and Houston, and Fort Worth Independent School District, and Pasadena Independent School District have taken on the Better Buildings Challenge, a commitment to reduce the energy use of their entire building portfolios by 20% within 10 years, and are making progress toward their energy reduction goals. As of 2019, public-sector Challenge partners have cumulatively saved 83 trillion Btus of energy, $790 million, and 1.8 billion gallons of water since the Challenge was launched in 2011. 

Better Buildings Accelerators

The State of Texas and City of Forth Worth committed to improving the energy efficiency of their participating water resource recovery facilities as part of the Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Initiative Phase 1 from 2016-2019. SWIFt Phase 1 hosted 25 state, regional, and local agencies that engaged with more than 70 water resource recovery facilities in their jurisdictions and successfully reduced their total energy consumption by more than 8%, adopted best-practice energy management approaches now showcased in the Wastewater Energy Management Toolkit, and created plans to achieve 30% energy savings.

El Paso, Fort Worth, and Houston helped catalyze public-sector energy efficiency investments of over $2.1 billion in Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) from 2014–2016 as one of 25 state and local agency partners in the ESPC Accelerator. See demonstrated best practices in the ESPC Toolkit.

DOE has engaged more than 220 diverse partners in a set of 17 total Better Buildings Accelerators, with more than 70 unique public-sector partners. The Accelerators are designed to demonstrate specific innovative policies and approaches, which will accelerate investment in energy efficiency upon successful demonstration. Each Accelerator is a targeted, short-term, partner-focused activity designed to address persistent barriers that stand in the way of greater efficiency.

To learn more about other Better Buildings partners and solutions in Texas and other states involved in the Better Buildings Initiative, check out the Better Buildings Partner map.

Publications, Resources, Helpful Links

About WIP

The Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office (WIP) is part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and supports DOE's mission to create greater energy affordability, security, and resiliency.

WIP’s mission is to enable strategic investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies through the use of innovative practices across the United States in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including state and local organizations and community-based non-profits.

WIP is made up of two programs focused on state and local governments—the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the State Energy Program (SEP)—and a team that develops and delivers targeted technical assistance and strategic initiatives to state and local governments.

SEP and WAP provide funding and technical assistance to states, territories, the District of Columbia, and native American tribes to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste, and reduce energy costs for low-income households. Each state is the decision maker and administrator for SEP and WAP program activities within the state that are tailored to their unique resources, delivery and production capacity, and energy goals.