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Energy use is a cornerstone of every business, household, and office's daily functionality. The most cost-effective fuel is using less of it. And also consider return on investment from energy use: Investing $1 in Delaware energy efficiency programs returns an estimated $2.40 to the state's economy.
The Division of Energy & Climate supports a number of energy efficiency and conservation programs and policies that work to reduce Delawareans' energy use and its impact on the state's environment and public health. These programs are designed to help businesses and homeowners use less energy while improving their day-to-day operations. Energy efficiency investments reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy bills, improve the value and comfort of our homes and businesses, and grow the economy.
The most comprehensive source on energy efficiency in the country is the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). On the ACEEE website, there is information for businesses and homeowners, the State Energy Efficiency Policy database, green ratings for automobiles, data on energy efficiency programs throughout the United States, and research and publications.
In Delaware, the Division of Energy & Climate’s energy efficiency efforts are centered around these programs:
- Energy Efficiency Investment Fund: The Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF) was created to help Delaware businesses make strategic investments in capital equipment and facility upgrades that will help decrease operating costs, reduce energy consumption, and improve environmental performance. The program offers funding for technical assistance, as well as competitively awarded grants and loans for implementation of energy efficiency projects.
- Building Energy Codes: Legislation mandated the adoption and enforcement of the most recent versions of the model energy codes - the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007. Delaware has since adopted the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, which became regulation May 2014. The Delaware Energy Office will establish procedures for compliance certification.
- Evaluation, Measurement and Verification: EM&V (Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification) is a catchall acronym for determining impacts of energy efficiency programs and projects. EM&V is a vital tool for creating consensus regarding the impact of current and future efficiency investments. Additionally, EM&V is used to inform future energy efficiency program design and investment decisions.
- Energy Efficiency Advisory Council: (EEAC) Senate Bill 150 with House Amendment 2 was signed into law by Governor Markell on August 6, 2014. This landmark legislation enables Delaware electric and gas utilities to provide cost-effective energy efficiency programs to their customers and will help Delaware meet the requirements of the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard.
- Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: The Energy Conservation and Efficiency Act of 2009 created Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS), which require a percentage reduction in energy use through energy efficiency and conservation measures. The goals are a 10 percent natural gas consumption savings and 15 percent electricity consumption and peak demand savings by 2015. A 2-percent reduction in electricity consumption and peak demand and a 1 percent natural gas savings are also required by 2011.
Energy Efficiency Potential Study
DNREC commissioned Optimal Energy to estimate the potential for Delaware to reduce electricity, natural gas, and petroleum fuel consumption in the building sector. The study focused on savings opportunities that could be achieved through the implementation of energy efficiency technologies and practices. Completed in February of 2014, the study assesses energy efficiency potential in Delaware from 2014 through 2025.
Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU)
The Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) is a unique non-profit organization offering a one-stop resource through its Energize Delaware initiative to help residents and businesses save money through renewable energy and energy efficiency.