Effective Action: The Basics of Energy Program Design, Energy Center Wisconsin's fourth webinar in the Community Energy Leadership series is happening Wednesday, July 28th at 1pm! If you can make it, register now!
As record breaking temperatures raise energy bills for us who live here in DC this month, energy bills of another type are the focus on the Hill. In the next few weeks, before the August recess, policymakers and the Obama administration are expected to address energy and climate legislation.
One thing we keep hearing from power utility experts is that with the volatility of capital markets negatively impacting the availability, terms and cost of capital, there is no better time for utilities to invest in energy efficiency as a resource.
While I was at the American Public Power Association's (APPA) National Conference in Orlando last week, I wanted to find out how public power was using energy efficiency as a first fuel to overcome the challenges of the financial crisis and meet growing demands for power.
How does your state's energy legislation affect your public power community? What climate change mitigation initiatives have public power communities championed? What is public power doing by way of energy efficiency and renewable energy programming?
.. APPA's new Energy Efficiency Management Certificate Program (EEMCP) 
addresses all aspects of energy efficiency program development,
implementation, budgeting, marketing and management.
*Who Should Attend*
This program is designed for utility personnel who work or have interest in
the multiple aspects of energy efficiency.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has just released its assessment of the top utility green power programs in the U.S. for 2009. Public power utilities earned the top spot in 4 of 5 categories, emerging as clear leaders in promoting renewable energy in this country.
More than 850 utilities across the United States now offer green power programs, and since 2000, NREL has conducted analysis to determine the “Top 10” utility programs for the following categories:
Bolstered by support from an unprecedented coalition of business and political leaders, the HOME STAR legislation (H.R. 5019) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 246 to 161.
With opportunities in the energy arena growing, competition for experienced energy efficiency or conservation staff is increasing. The good news for utility hiring managers is that at the same time, opportunities for future job candidates to be trained in the energy industry and job-seeker interest in utility careers are also growing exponentially.
HOME STAR – nicknamed “Cash for Caulkers” – is a proposed federal program that would provide direct incentives to homeowners who invest in improving the energy efficiency of their homes. In addition to allowing Americans to see immediate savings of 5 – 40 percent on their energy bills, the program could also provide direct economic benefit by putting hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans back to work and stimulating demand for building materials produced by American factories.
This month, many states will be launching their version of the Energy
Efficient Appliance Rebate Program. Backed by $300 million in funding from
the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the programs offer incentives to
homeowners who purchase qualifying ENERGY STAR appliances.
Each state developed its own rebate program and had the flexibility to select
which appliances to include and what rebate amounts to offer. Some are fixed
timeframe promotions, like Florida’s which will launch April 16 and is
scheduled to last 10 days. Others will continue until the money runs out.
River Falls Municipal Utilities (RFMU), which serves 5,800 customers in River Falls, WI, is celebrating the recent launch of “Save Some Green,” an innovative financing program, designed to help residential customers purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
RFMU’s program follows the Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE model, which allows customers to finance projects through a loan that is attached to their property and paid back overtime via a line item on their property tax bill.
The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule for new efficiency standards for water heaters on the eve of April Fool’s Day. But the energy-saving potential of these standards is no joke!
Every year, 9 million home water heaters are sold in this country and their use by most Americans for daily needs accounts for around 12 percent of typical home energy use. According to a coalition of energy efficiency, consumer and environmental organizations the new standards will mean huge energy savings nationwide.
In 2009, customers of public power utility, Snohomish PUD, lowered their utility bills by $5.4 million by participating in energy conservation programs.Some of the biggest energy savers were businesses, from local pizza parlors and car dealers to hotels and major industrial manufacturers. Business customers completed nearly 700 projects with the PUD, including lighting and HVAC retrofits. PUD also made a push to encourage area grocers to replace their refrigeration systems.
Waverly Light and Power (WLP), a utility that serves just 4,600 customers in and around Waverly, Iowa, issued a report this month that demonstrates the tremendous impact that energy efficiency programs have had for the utility and the community, since they began in 1991.
Move over Watt; the new metric of the moment is the “Rosenfeld!” In the
current era of increased investment in energy saving activities, the
importance of communicating energy efficiency’s benefits in a clear and
standard manner to decision-makers and constituents is underscored. Yet, many
expressions of energy savings can be difficult to conceptualize or lack
standard reference. In expressing potential electricity savings, “avoided
power plants,” for instance, often replaces the more abstract “billions
of kilowatt hours saved” to describe the potential of efficiency measures.
On Thursday, February 4th at 3pm EDT, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will host a webinar on “The Community Energy Challenge in Whatcom County, Washington”. This program models creative uses of funding (including ARRA funds) and local partnerships to create a full-service retrofit program for businesses and residents. The Community Energy Challenge is being coordinated by two non-profits functioning as a “one stop shop” for energy efficiency services.
On Thursday, February 11th at 3:00pm EDT, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will host a webinar on “Clean Energy Works Portland”. Clean Energy Works Portland offers homeowners access to low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency improvements that are paid back on utility bills. The effort is a collaboration between the City of Portland, ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, Energy Trust of Oregon, NW Natural, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric and many others.
Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in Iowa plant to ramp up energy efficiency programs in the next few years, according to reports filed last week with the state.
Iowa's electric cooperatives plan to collectively spend an average of $14 million annually between 2010 and 2014, or more than $71 million over five years, to encourage energy efficiency by customers, according to a report filed by the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives to the Iowa Utilities Board. That's about 30 percent more annually than they already spend.
Washington, D.C. (December 23, 2009): In a new report released today, ACEEE presented profiles of over 40 municipal energy efficiency programs as a guide for cities and counties preparing to implement federally-funded energy efficiency and conservation plans.
Glendale Water & Power (GWP) will soon debut Green Allowance, a new web-based service that gives kids the tools and motivation to champion energy conservation and help them actually earn a Green Allowance. The free program is being developed through an agreement between the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) and Green Allowance LLC in New York. The program includes an innovative and kid-friendly website, www.greenallowance.com, which provides practical ideas and customized assignments for kids -- showing how they can save energy and, in turn, save money.
DOE is now accepting applications for up to $454 million in EECBG competitive grants. The competitive grants Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was issued on October 19, 2009 and applications will be accepted through Grants.gov until December 14, 2009.
DOE is releasing this FOA seeking innovative state, local government and Indian tribe programs funded under the Recovery Act. This FOA will use up to $454 million in Recovery Act EECBG funds for these competitive grants awarded in two topic areas - (1) the Retrofit Ramp-up Program and (2) the General Innovation Fund.
The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) is tracking code improvements in several cities through its Ten Places to Watch in 2010 Campaign. Among them is public power city Austin, Texas for its above-and-beyond adoption and implementation of 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).