DNREC Division of Energy & Climate announces relaunch of Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, featuring new energy-saving incentives and a look to the future of net zero

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate today announced the relaunch of Delaware’s Energy Efficiency Investment Fund – a grant program that supports energy efficiency upgrades in commercial, industrial, non-profit and local government buildings.

The program has been revamped to incentivize building systems upgrades exceed energy efficiency standards currently required by Delaware’s building energy code. Additionally, the program has been improved for quicker turnaround time between submission and review of applications. Lighting incentives also have been redesigned to better reflect market trends in light of low-cost LED technology.

“The Energy Efficiency Investment Fund has supported hundreds of projects that reduce Delawareans’ energy use and help lower operating costs,” said Energy Administrator Rob Underwood, Division of Energy & Climate. “Through these program improvements, we hope to encourage a deeper dive into energy efficiency with creative projects.”

“We still encourage basic changes like switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, but there are also opportunities for larger, innovative projects like daylighting, or lower watts-per-square foot adjustments that can accomplish the same lighting goals with even less energy. The same is true for other building systems,” Underwood added.

For example, energy efficiency improvements can be implemented in HVAC systems, building automation, building envelope, plug load controls and even more complex projects like cogeneration (combined heat and power).

Energy Efficiency and Net Zero Capability
Energy efficient buildings help facility owners reduce operating costs while promoting a positive public image of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility – a move that also can be economically advantageous for businesses and organizations over their competitors.

Energy efficiency technology is also important in making buildings net zero capable, meaning the building has low energy needs that could potentially be met with onsite renewable energy, such as solar panels. In other words, the facility produces as much energy as it uses.

By supporting more extensive energy efficiency upgrades now, the Division of Energy & Climate aims to grow Delaware’s capacity for reaching this standard in the near future.

About the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund
The Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF) was initially created in 2011 to help Delaware businesses make equipment and facility upgrades that would reduce their energy use, resulting in lower operating costs and reduced environmental impacts. Due to lack of funding, the program was temporarily suspended in February 2016. The Division of Energy & Climate is now reopening the program using funding from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – a multi-state cap-and-trade program that reduces greenhouse gas pollution. With the support of the Delaware Sustainability Energy Utility (SEU) the program also has additional RGGI funding for non-profit recipients, and expanded grant eligibility to include funding for local governments.

For more information, contact Rachel Yocum by email at Rachel.Yocum@delaware.gov, or by phone at 302-735-3480, or click Energy Efficiency Investment Fund.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 292