Since 2015, Tennessee has received $45.2 million from the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and $9.9 million from the State Energy Program (SEP), resulting in the following benefits:

Illustration of professional weatherizing home

2,883 Homes Weatherized

Tennessee reduced energy costs and improved health and safety in 2,883 homes.*

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789 Jobs Created or Retained

The State Energy Program creates or retains one job for every $12,500 invested.* 

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Connected with 72,363 People About Energy Efficiency Installations

Tennessee held 4,255 workshops, webinars, trainings, or outreach events since 2015.* 

* 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 2015.

The SCEP Project Map highlights the annual formula and competitive funding for WAP and SEP.

Tennessee's State Energy Program at Work

Energy Liaison Program

The State Facility Utility Management (SFUM) section within the Tennessee State Energy Office, otherwise known as the Office of Energy Programs (TDEC OEP), kicked off the Energy Liaison Program (ELP) to equip General Government agencies and Higher Education institutions in Tennessee with the knowledge, resources, and tools they need to optimize energy use in the buildings they own and/or operate. The ELP specifically targets facility or energy managers, building operations & maintenance personnel, sustainability professionals, and any other Tennessee government or public higher education employees who, based on their role, would benefit from assistance with managing and optimizing their energy usage.

Energy Security Planning, Preparedness, and Response

OEP has the duty and responsibility to "promote state and local energy emergency preparedness" per Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-3-510 and is the lead agency responsible for coordinating Emergency Support Function 12 - Energy (ESF-12) activities under the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan.

In August 2022, TDEC OEP collaborated with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the National Association of State Energy Offices, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to conduct the Operation Catfish: Electricity Outage Tabletop Exercise. This regional exercise included 90 participants from eight states, including representation from all levels of government and the private sector. The workshop featured expert speakers who discussed how the electric grid works at all levels, from electricity generation to local delivery.

The exercise scenario involved hypothetical severe winter weather causing long-term power outages, which was then complicated by a “catfish”-based cyberattack impacting operations of a natural gas pipeline. (In the cyber world, a catfish is a person who sets up a false personal profile or identification, usually on social media or dating sites, for fraudulent or deceptive purposes such as credential harvesting.) The materials developed during Operation Catfish are available to other states interested in conducting similar exercises.

Other presentations focused on grid resilience energy projects, physical grid security, and hazard mitigation funding opportunities. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity Electricity Security and Energy Security (CESER), the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) gave briefings on recent cyber incidents impacting the energy sector and discussed federal and private resources available to the sector.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure Deployment

Fast Charge TN Network

TDEC OEP and TVA partnered to develop a statewide EV fast charging network to power the growth of EVs across Tennessee and reduce barriers to transportation electrification. Specifically, the two have signed an agreement to collaborate and fund a network of fast charging stations every 50 miles along Tennessee's interstates and major highways. The "Fast Charge TN Network" will add approximately 40 new charging locations along prioritized corridors, filling infrastructure gaps.

TDEC and TVA are leveraging various funding sources to support the development of the Fast Charge TN network, with an anticipated project cost of $20 million. SEP funds will be leveraged to cover ongoing coordination efforts with TVA and stakeholders to develop the statewide fast charging network. The agreement between TDEC and TVA reflects recommendations outlined in the Tennessee Statewide EV Charging Infrastructure Needs Assessment by Drive Electric Tennessee, a consortium that includes TDEC, TVA, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). Learn more about the Fast Charge TN Network.

Rivan / Tennessee State Parks Partnership

TDEC OEP staff leveraged SEP funding to negotiate and secure an agreement between TDEC and EV automaker and automotive technology company Rivian to install Rivian Waypoint EV charging stations at Tennessee State Parks. (Rivian is donating all of the equipment at no cost to the State and will cover all costs associated with installation as well as maintenance costs for a period of 10 years.) The goal of the Rivian and Tennessee State Parks partnership is to have charging stations available at all viable state parks systemwide, depending on the availability of electricity and planned future park upgrades.

National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program Implementation

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) included a $5 billion NEVI Formula Program that helps states create a network of EV charging stations along Alternative Fuel Corridors designated by the Federal Highway Administration. Tennessee is expected to receive an allocation of $88 million in NEVI funding over a five-year period. Since PY2022, TDEC OEP has leveraged SEP funding to support TDOT with the development of the State’s NEVI “plan,” program design, project solicitation, stakeholder engagement, and project management and compliance. The collaboration between TDEC OEP and TDOT on NEVI implementation was recently highlighted as a best practice by Forbes. Learn more about Tennessee’s NEVI plan.

Tennessee's Weatherization Assistance Program at Work

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency is the managing agency of Tennessee’s Weatherization Assistance Program. Tennessee subcontracts with a network of local community action agencies to provide services to its low-income residents in 95 counties across the state. Tennessee residents looking for weatherization services should contact the agency that serves their county of residence.

Between 2010 and 2021, Tennessee weatherized an average of 361 homes per year with formula funds.

Tennessee 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 2023 Better Buildings Progress Report for more information on the Initiative as a whole.

Better Buildings Challenge Partners

The cities of Chattanooga and Knoxville 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 2021, public-sector Challenge partners have cumulatively saved 133 trillion Btus of energy, $1.27 billion, and 1.5 billion gallons of water since the Challenge was launched in 2011.

Better Climate Challenge

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is challenging organizations to set ambitious, portfolio-wide GHG emission reduction goals. This new effort provides additional opportunities for peer exchange and technical assistance to meet the urgent call to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga have joined the Better Climate Challenge, a commitment to reduce their portfolio-wide scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by at least 50% within 10 years. They will pursue an energy efficiency target as part of this commitment, recognizing efficiency as a key driver of decarbonization.

Better Buildings Accelerators

In the past five years, SCEP has engaged nearly 100 partners in Better Buildings Accelerators. These 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 the state of California and other states involved in the Better Buildings Initiative, check out the Better Buildings Partner map.

Outdoor Lighting Accelerator Partners

The state of Tennessee, a partner in the Outdoor Lighting Accelerator (OLA) from 2014-2016, pledged to upgrade its streetlights as a part of a nationwide commitment to retrofit 1.3 million light poles with high performance lighting. These commitments are expected to result in annual savings of $48 million. See the Outdoor Lighting Toolkit for more information and demonstrated best practices.

Sustainable Wastewater of the Future (SWIFt) Initiative

The state of Tennessee and Knoxville Utilities Board 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 almost 7%, adopted best-practice energy management approaches showcased in the Wastewater Energy Management Toolkit, and created plans to achieve 30% energy savings.

Additionally, the state of Tennessee and the cities of Carthage, Cleveland, Knoxville, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg, and Tullahoma have gone on to join SWIFt Phase 2. SWIFt Phase 2 is engaging wastewater treatment facilities in a voluntarily partnership to achieve 5% short-term and 25% long-term facility-wide energy savings and implement at least one next-generation technology (e.g., renewable energy, resource recovery, and advanced data management).

 

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