Since 2015, Texas has received $63.0 million from the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and $28.6 million from the State Energy Program (SEP), resulting in the following benefits:
5,832 Homes Weatherized
Texas reduced energy costs and improved health and safety in 5,832 homes.*
2,290 Jobs Created or Retained
The State Energy Program creates or retains one job for every $12,500 invested.*
40.6 Million Square Feet of Building Space Retrofitted
Since 2015, Texas has installed energy efficiency upgrades in 557 buildings.*
Connected with 28,847 People About Energy Efficiency Installations
Texas held 580 workshops, webinars, trainings, or outreach events since 2015.*
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.
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 after 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 July 2022 and June 2023, activities of the incubated companies from the University of Texas at Austin Clean Energy Incubator and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Clean Energy resulted in a total economic impact of more than $19.5 million to the State of Texas.
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 2021, LoanSTAR has funded approximately 328 loans totaling approximately $553 million. The LoanSTAR Program has achieved total cumulative program energy savings of over $725 million, which results in direct savings to Texas taxpayers.
From the beginning of FY22 to present, the Texas LoanSTAR (Saving Taxes and Resources) Revolving Loan program has financed energy-related, cost-reduced retrofits of tax payer supported entity facilities become energy efficient, including public school districts, public colleges and universities, as well as units of local government such as counties, cities, towns, public hospital taxing districts or political subdivisions. Through retrofit activities, over $43,365,532 has been given out to these entities culminating in over $46,550,902 energy savings and $56,706,912 in annual emissions saved, respectively.
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 TIEEP goal is to help Texas industries maintain their world-leading position through ever-improving energy intensity, reduced environmental impact, and enhanced social and economic development. TIEEP's goals are achieved through four components:
- Program Advisory Council—The council consists of experienced personnel with energy management experience, drawn from representative industries across the state. The council meets two times per fiscal year where they provide ongoing assessments of the needs of the industry and guide the selection of topics to be addressed in the TIEEP's outreach events.
- Outreach Energy-Efficiency and Water-Efficiency Events Directed to Support Texas Industries—The target audience for these events is process industry energy and water management engineers and consultants. The events have a minimum combined registration of 240 people each fiscal year.
- Dissemination of Information—Three highlight bulletins are created each year. These bulletins contain program announcements with short articles and summaries on topics of relevance to energy and water management engineers and consultants to the process industries. The bulletins are disseminated by email to the target audience of at least 800 people.
- Stakeholder Meetings and Texas Industrial Energy Efficiency Network (TIEEN)—TIEEP also coordinates meetings of interested stakeholders and serves as an administrative home for TIEEN. TIEEN is a network of publicly supported industrial energy-efficiency organizations. The goal of the network is to enhance opportunities for effective collaboration by members through structured periodic communication.
SECO recently completed the fourth year of the project with the University of Texas—Austin to create, pilot, and distribute Watt Watchers of Texas energy education materials for K–12 students. The main goal of the current and upcoming year's contract is to leverage the interactive, digital format and partner with key organizations, and continue to distribute the content to more students, schools, families, and communities. The digital program enables easier access to teacher lessons and activities.
Additionally, the digital platform can continuously and seamlessly be updated and will help save material costs 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.
Watt Watchers teacher trainings and workshops, and in-school student education sessions reached 100-plus teachers last year. With training partner KLRN San Antonio, Watt Watchers conducted a large teacher training with professional development (PD) certification and they also hosted a one-hour regional training for educators and high school student ambassadors, reaching over 25 individuals. These sessions offered one hour of PD credit for teachers that complete the training.
This contract enabled Watt Watchers to develop a working relationship with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to expand the Watt Watchers program to NWF's EcoSchools USA audit-based program across Texas through training and workshops. The effort targeted 10 school districts across Houston, Austin, and Round Rock during Years 4 and 5.
In collaboration with existing partner CPS Energy, KLRN, and the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, Watt Watchers lessons and activities were delivered to over 2,000 K-12 girls in the San Antonio area through the Girl Scouts Energy Efficiency and Environmental Suitability Badge Program.
City Efficiency Program
SECO continues to collaborate with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) to expand the City Efficiency Leadership Council CELC) and collaborate to provide targeted assistance and outreach to Texas cities, specifically related to city energy efficiency projects, energy code adoption, and compliance. HARC/SPEER hosted three regional outreach workshops to Texas cities, specifically related to energy code adoption and PACE financing. HARC/SPEER also facilitated monthly webinars covering energy management best practices and other topics of interest to be cultivated from conversations with the CELC stakeholders.
HARC/SPEER continued to promote the local government toolkit, Actions Cities Can Take to Support Energy Efficiency in Texas, and "Best Practices" identified and documented by the City Efficiency Leadership Council through its continued communication and meetings with Texas cities. They also continued to inform cities and counties of their statutory obligation to report energy and water use and plan for reduced consumption, HARC/SPEER's goal was to complete reporting by 100 public entities in 2021.
Texas Council of Governments
SECO collaborated with three separate Texas Council of Governments (TCOG) to develop and deploy regionally focused energy management programs. This strategy facilitated public-sector energy and water management benchmarking, education, activities, partnerships and resulting in taxpayer dollar savings. This project also increased the accuracy of emissions reduction data used to quantify their impacts on regional Air Quality data.
The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) continued their collaboration to provide targeted HVAC system performance training to HVAC technicians across Texas. Both the webinar and in-person trainings are available along with bilingual and web accessible resources. Training and materials are directed to HVAC licensed contractors and technicians. SPEER continues to collaborate with the Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association (TACCA) and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to maximize training opportunities.
HARC also created a series of commercial and institutional clean energy decision tools developed over the last year. This work, along with previous work, culminated in the development of the Texas Clean Energy Hub. The Hub houses not only these decision tools, but a variety of resources including case studies, reports, and the Energy Crossroads Podcasts.
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 2018, SECO vendors have completed 188 preliminary energy assessments (PEA) and identified potential annual utility savings of $13.6 million. Identified projects have an overall simple payback of 10.3 years.
PACE Technical Standards
SECO funded the update of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing PACE Technical Standards. As part of this process, HARC also developed and facilitated a "PACE for Development" webinar to provide private institutional, commercial, industrial, and multi-family developers with in-depth information on how to leverage PACE as part of the capital stack in a post-COVID-19 real estate market. HARC also identified and is working closely with several communities to create PACE districts.
LoanSTAR Engineering Support
The program supports the LoanSTAR Program by ensuring that Utility Assessments Reports (UAR) submitted by loan applicants meets the loan guidelines. Since September 2022 until August, 2023, the program has supported the completion of over 25 Utility Assessment Reports, required for qualified tax-payer government entities to receive over $72 million dollars in LoanSTAR loans authorized to use for energy efficieny retrofits activities.
Energy Training and Education Program (Texas Transportation Institute – PO1012)
With this program, SECO collaborated with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to research and provide a Public Charging Infrastructure for an Equitable Transition to Electric Government Fleets plan project for the Houston and Austin metropolitan areas respectively. The project produced tools for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure planning dashboard for the Houston area to include Austin, and which will enable design and test functionality of tools to meet stakeholder needs and to make the dashboard available for general public use with features to account for equity with local community input and engagement as well as prove scalability of approach to broader Texas user-group. The project was carried out in conjunction with the Houston and Austin City Governments transportation departments.
Level 2 EV Charging Station
For FY22 and FY23, SECO funded the cities of Austin and Farmers Branch in the amount $54,000 in reimbursable grants to install 6 Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations at city owed transportation facilities which are being used to charge city and government electric vehicle fleets. All but two charging stations in the city of Austin are in full functional operations as at August 31, 2023. The two charging stations are undergoing permitting processes after which they will be installed and operational by end of the year 2023. The cities contributed local funds to the awarded amount to complete the projects.
Exterior & Interior LED Lighting (ending FY22)
In FY22, SECO provided assistance in the amount of over $3 million to Local Governments including municipalities, cities, counties and Independent Schools Districts to retrofit their exterior and interior lighting fixtures with LED lighting. This assistance saved School Districts and Local Governments a total of about $4,348,916 annually (kWh) with and an annual emissions saved about $5,297,719. This is equivalent to 40,051 trees planted and 519 gas powered vehicles per year removed.
Cool Chillers HVAC Loan Program
The “Cool Chillers HVAC Loan Program” enables public entities to replace 12-year-old or older chillers and associated equipment. Approximately $40 million in loan funding was made available for the replacement of water cooled or air-cooled chillers. The intent of this project is to replace electrically powered, existing air-cooled chillers with higher efficiency air-cooled chillers and to replace existing water-cooled chillers with higher efficiency water-cooled chillers. SECO is working with 9 school districts and 1 county on the replacement of 61 air cooled chillers and 18 water cooled chillers with an average age of over 22 years.
Public Utility Commission
State Energy Security Plan
SECO collaborated with the PUC to review and revise the 2012 Texas Energy Assurance Plan, renamed the State Energy Security Plan, (SESP) so that it met the requirements of section 366(b) and section 366(c) of the Energy Conservation and Policy Act (EPCA), as amended by section 40108 of the IIJA.
SESPs are an essential part of energy security planning as they ensure a reliable and resilient supply of energy. SESPs include a description of the state’s energy landscape, people, processes, and the state’s strategy to build energy resilience. The SESPs detail how a state, working with energy partners, can secure their energy infrastructure against physical and cybersecurity threats; mitigate the risk of energy supply disruptions to the State; enhance the response to, and recovery from, energy disruptions; and ensure that the state has secure, reliable, and resilient energy infrastructure.
The PUC updated the 2012 Texas Energy Assurance Plan by incorporating response actions for a new or revised energy plan that met the requirements of section 366(b) and section 366(c) of the Energy Conservation and Policy Act (EPCA), as amended by section 40108 of the IIJA. The updated plan is called the Texas State Energy Security Plan (SESP).
Mandatory Support of Electric Transmission and Distribution
SECO is collaborating with the PUC to develop and implement approved activities that support ongoing transmission and distribution planning. The purpose of this project is to comply with new State Energy Conservation Plan, 42 U.S.C 6322(c)(7) requirements.
The approved activities include the following:
- Demonstrate support for local governments and Indian Tribes.
- Develop a feasibility study for transmission line routes and alternatives.
- Develop criterion and next streps for project design and permits.
- Create and test a strategy for outreach to affected stakeholders.
The PUC has addressed how elements of the activities may be used in a risk mitigation approach to enhance reliability and end-use resilience, address potential hazards to energy systems or address other elements of section 42 U.S. Code § 6322(c)(7) requirements.
This project is ongoing.
Public School LED Lighting Retrofits in Gymnasiums, Multipurpose Rooms, Interior Hallways and/or Classrooms
SECO collaborated with Texas independent school districts (“ISDs”) on reimbursable grants to retrofit public school gymnasiums, high ceiling multi-purpose rooms, interior hallways and/or classrooms (including administrative spaces within the school. Ex: principal’s office, break room, maintenance room, copy room, etc.) with high-efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology to improve the indoor environment and reduce energy consumption. While the funding program for LED lighting retrofits was open to all ISDs regardless of size, SECO encouraged applications from smaller school districts.
SECO awarded over $1 million to 10 different ISD’s. 4 of the ISD’s have a district enrollment of under 500 students and 8 of the ISD’s have a district enrollment of under 1000 students. The ISD’s have reported receiving positive feedback on the lighting projects from students, teachers, staff, parents, and alumni.
Texas' Weatherization Assistance Program at Work
Between 2018 and 2023, Texas weatherized 618 homes with formula funds.
Texas Takes Initiative
Better Buildings Initiative
Better Buildings Challenge Partners
The cities of El Paso, Fort Worth, and Houston, as well as 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 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 city of Dallas has 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. Dallas 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.
ESPC Accelerator Partners
The cities of 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.
Sustainable Wastewater of the Future (SWIFt) Initiative
The state of Texas and the city of Fort 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 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 Texas, Austin Water, and the cities of Arlington, Laredo, San Antonio, and Wylie 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).
Publications, Resources, Helpful Links
- State and Local Solution Center, a one-stop shop of impactful public-sector resources
- Weatherization Assistance Program
- State Energy Program
- NASEO State Energy Office Contact
- Contact State Weatherization Agency
- Texas Implementation Model: Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power
- EIA Texas State Profile and Energy Estimates
- El Paso Better Buildings Challenge Partner Profile
- Fort Worth Better Buildings Challenge Partner Profile
- Houston Better Buildings Challenge Partner Profile