DNREC Division of Energy & Climate increases funding for Clean Transportation rebate program after exceeding goal of 100 rebates

Delawareans choose electric vehicles, save 830,000 pounds CO2 per year

DOVER – The success of DNREC’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program and high public demand for participation in it led the Division of Energy & Climate to announce today that an additional 100 rebates are being offered for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles purchased or leased in Delaware.

Launched in July 2015, the Clean Transportation Incentive Program has exceeded its goal of 100 vehicle rebate applications from Delaware drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. In light of the program’s high demand, 100 more rebates at $2,200 each are now available.

“The vehicles that have been purchased through the rebate program so far represent a savings of 830,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year that would have been emitted into our atmosphere if these drivers had chosen traditional gasoline cars,” said Climate Section Administrator Susan Love, Division of Energy & Climate.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which have a back-up gasoline engine, and battery electric vehicles, which run solely on electricity, have more reliable and typically lower fuel costs compared to gasoline. In addition, battery-electric vehicles produce no tailpipe pollution, leading to cleaner air and a lower carbon footprint.

“Transportation accounts for roughly a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Delawareans are embracing electric, plug-in hybrid electric and alternative fuel vehicles as a cleaner, cost-effective way to get around,” Love said. “That means a lot for our public health, our natural resources and our efforts to mitigate climate change.”

Rebate-eligible electric vehicles include the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Energi, Chevy Volt, BMW i3, Tesla Model S and other options. Battery-electric vehicles such as the BMW i3, Chevy Spark and Nissan Leaf can drive about 80 miles on one charge, making them a viable option both for frequent local travel and some commutes.

Drivers in all three counties have applied for and received Delaware clean vehicle rebates, and dealerships across the state have partnered with DNREC to help inform and engage Delawareans. Partnering dealers are: AutoTeam Delaware, Wilmington; Diver Chevrolet, Wilmington; Sheridan Ford, Wilmington; Sheridan Nissan, New Castle; Bayshore Ford, New Castle; Porter Auto Group, Newark; Willis Chevrolet Buick, Smyrna; Willis Ford, Smyrna; and I.G. Burton, Milford.

Clean Transportation Grants and Rebates
In addition to vehicle rebates, the Delaware Clean Transportation Incentive Program also includes grant and rebate opportunities for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware by promoting propane, electric and natural gas vehicles – collectively known as alternative fuel vehicles – and related infrastructure. Alternative fuel vehicles can meet the needs of drivers of all types of vehicles, from everyday four-door sedans and pick-up trucks to vans, dump trucks and heavy-duty tractor trailers.

In addition to state rebates and funding opportunities for vehicles and charging/fueling equipment, manufacturer rebates and federal funding opportunities and tax incentives also may be available.

For more information about funding available through Delaware’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program, visit de.gov/cleantransportation.

Fueling the Future Conference and Ride-and-Drive Event
Interested transportation professionals and state partners can learn about and experience alternative fuel vehicles firsthand at Fueling the Future: Clean Transportation for a Greener Delaware, a one-day conference and ride-and-drive event on Tuesday, May 24 at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. Expert panels will discuss the mechanics and benefits of alternative fuel vehicles for businesses, fleets, shipping and other transportation needs. In the afternoon ride-and-drive component, attendees will have the opportunity to drive alternative fuel vehicles, and ride in alternative fuel commercial vehicles.

To register, visit de.gov/fuelingthefuture. Registration is open through Wednesday, May 11.

Delaware’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program is made possible through Delaware’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a market-based emissions trading program designed to reduce emissions from the electricity generation sector. Delaware’s proceeds from RGGI are invested in energy efficiency, renewable energy, emissions reductions programs and programs that benefit energy consumers. In addition to providing funds, RGGI encourages innovation, growing a clean energy economy and creating green jobs.

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

Vol. 46, No. 140

Delaware students experience renewable energy technology firsthand in 2016 Junior Solar Sprint model car competition

HARRINGTON – More than 100 Delaware middle school students, teachers and volunteers from across Delaware came together today for Delaware’s 22nd Annual Junior Solar Sprint, a competition in which students build and race solar-powered model cars. DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate partnered with the Delaware Technology Student Association to organize this year’s event at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.

Over the past few months, the student racing teams have worked with classmates and teacher advisors to build model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells, or solar panels. Today, the sun-driven racers competed for top speed in time trials, as well as for awards in engineering and creative design.

“Solar photovoltaic technology allows us to harness the abundant energy from the sun for a clean, lasting power source,” said DNREC Deputy Secretary Kara Coats. “Students may use solar power every day without realizing it, in objects like watches and calculators. Junior Solar Sprint challenges students to think about ways solar energy can play a larger role in our lives by providing electricity for transportation and buildings. Watching young people working in teams and using technology is very rewarding but this isn’t just a fun competition, it is readying a new generation to take control of their future.”

“Solar photovoltaic capacity in Delaware has grown almost 3,000 percent since 2008, from 2.3 MW capacity to 71.8 MW capacity. Solar and other forms of clean energy allow Delawareans to achieve the quality of life they desire while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our environment,” Deputy Secretary Coats added.

The Junior Solar Sprint competition is part of a national program geared toward environmental awareness and sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program. It encourages students to engage in problem-solving, teamwork and creative scientific thinking to solve environmental challenges.

At this year’s Junior Solar Sprint, participating schools were: Beacon Middle School, Lewes; Milford Central Academy, Milford; Postlethwait Middle School, Camden; Holy Cross Middle School, Dover; Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Newark; H.B. DuPont Middle School, Hockessin; Sanford School, Hockessin; and Springer Middle School, Wilmington.

Race Results

The top five teams in time-trial races were:

  • First place: Sanford School, Car #16
  • Second place: Sanford School, Car #17
  • Third place: Holy Cross Middle School, Car #8
  • Fourth place: Springer Middle School, Car #20
  • Fifth place: Springer Middle School, Car #21

The top five teams in design were:

  • First place: Springer Middle School, Car #21
  • Second place: Springer Middle School, Car #20
  • Third place: Holy Cross Middle School, Car #8
  • Fourth place: H.B. DuPont Middle School, Car #5
  • Fifth place: Postlethwait Middle School, Car #14

About Solar Photovoltaic Energy in Delaware
Solar technologies and other renewable energy technologies reduce our country’s reliance on foreign oil, and provide a clean and infinite source of energy to meet growing demands while minimizing risks to resources and human contributions to climate change. In addition, a growing solar industry stimulates Delaware’s economy by creating jobs in solar products manufacturing and installation.

For more information on renewable energy programs administered by the Delaware Division of Energy & Climate, visit www.energy.dnrec.delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 46, No. 126

DNREC Division of Energy & Climate announces changes to Energy Efficiency Investment Fund availability

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate has announced that the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF) is no longer accepting new applications for the prescriptive portion of the funding program, and that custom applications will be considered on a modified basis. In addition, Energy Assessment Grant applications will no longer be accepted.

Established in 2011, the EEIF was created to help Delaware businesses make strategic investments in capital equipment and facility upgrades to help lower operating costs, reduce energy consumption and improve environmental performance. The fund was intended to be capitalized annually with the first $5 million in public utility tax receipts. The program was fully funded for its first two years of operation, and continued with reduced funding for two additional years. For fiscal year 2016, no new funding was appropriated, necessitating the suspension of select portions of the program.

All prescriptive and custom applications received prior to July 1, 2015 will continue to be reviewed and approved accordingly. However, prescriptive applications – including prescriptive lighting and lighting controls, vending misers, and natural gas heating and water heating equipment – that were received on or after July 1, 2015 will not be considered. Custom applications received on or after July 1, 2015 will be considered on a modified basis, as the custom portion of the program is still accepting modified custom applications for process and manufacturing improvements, compressed air systems, pumping systems and variable speed drives.

“The EEIF program has experienced a significant increase in the number of applications resulting from the prescriptive application process that was introduced with the re-launch of the program in July of 2014,” said Energy Program Administrator Robert Underwood, Division of Energy & Climate. “In the first three years of EEIF through Fiscal Year 2014, there were 56 applications awarded. By comparison, 322 applications were awarded in Fiscal Year 2015 alone.”

“We understand that these changes will affect our valued business partners and contractors in the short term, but we continue to work on innovative ways to reestablish funding for the program that will allow us to fully open EEIF in the future,” Underwood added.

For more information the EEIF, please visit the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund pages.

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

Vol. 46, No. 51

Delaware to continue climate change fight, pushing ahead with Clean Power Plan objectives

Despite CPP setback from Supreme Court stay, DNREC to host listening session and public workshop March 1 on path forward

DOVER – The State of Delaware will continue preparing for implementation of the Clean Power Plan, undeterred by a Supreme Court stay of the EPA’s proposed rule issued Feb. 9. DNREC has scheduled a public workshop and listening session for March 1 in Dover to discuss the state’s strategy toward meeting the objectives of the Clean Power Plan, and to gather input from citizens on this essential part of the fight against climate change and its impacts on Delawareans.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from power plants while encouraging clean and renewable energy across the country, was temporarily suspended on Tuesday in the face of legal opposition. Delaware Governor Jack Markell was “disappointed in the Supreme Court’s action, but optimistic that the Clean Power Plan will be upheld when the courts review the merits of the case” and followed by declaring that, “We remain determined to move forward in responding to the issue of climate change.”

“As a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) state, Delaware has led the country in working to curtail greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector,” Gov. Markell said, “and we will continue to do so regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan rule. As a coastal state, we are acutely aware of the serious threats of climate change and sea level rise, and the Clean Power Plan represents a sensible and flexible approach for states to make the changes required to protect our economy and quality of life.”

Without the significant reduction of heat-trapping greenhouse gas pollutants, Delaware faces projected increased days of extreme temperatures, stronger storms, rising sea levels, and costly damage to agriculture, industry, and public health and resources.

“We understand that the legal issues of the Clean Power Plan need to work themselves out, but we must continue the strong actions we have taken through our participation in RGGI, the Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment and Executive Order 41, which has directed agencies to identify steps we can take to further reduce emissions and adapt,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “Along with many other states, we will continue to develop our plans to comply with the Clean Power Plan – and gathering feedback from stakeholders in the energy sector, conservation organizations and the public is an important part of that process. ”

Sec. Small noted that as of 2014, RGGI states including Delaware have seen carbon pollution from the power sector decrease by over 40 percent, and have benefitted from lower energy costs and positive job creation.

DNREC’s March 1 workshop and informal listening session will provide an opportunity for public input on methods for reducing carbon pollution from power plants, and how Delaware can achieve the goals of the Clean Power Plan in ways that are both environmentally and economically sustainable, while also maintaining the integrity of the state’s and region’s electrical infrastructure. The session will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. More information can be found on the Division of Air Quality’s website.

For more information on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, visit http://www.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan.

For more information on climate change impacts and action in Delaware, visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/energy/Pages/The-Delaware-Climate-Impact-Assessment.aspx.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 41

DNREC’s Division of Air Quality offering public workshops for demolition contractors and municipalities Feb. 10, 16 and 23

DOVER – Demolition contractors and municipality representatives who want to learn more about demolition-related requirements and regulations are encouraged to attend public workshops offered this month by DNREC’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) and Small Business Environmental Assistance Program. The workshops will provide information on regulations related to demolition activities, asbestos, state and federal notification requirements as well as information on enforcement and recycling opportunities for demolition waste.

Workshops will be held in all three counties from 6-8 p.m., with dates and locations as follow, and preregistration suggested:

  • Sussex County: Wednesday, Feb. 10, Sussex County Administrative Offices West Complex, 22215 DuPont Boulevard, Georgetown, DE 19947
  • Kent County: Tuesday, Feb. 16, DelDOT Administrative Building, Farmington/Felton Room, 800 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901
  • New Castle County: Tuesday, Feb. 23, Bear Public Library, Meeting Rooms 1A & 1B, 101 Governor’s Place, Bear, DE 19701

“Similar workshops were last held in 2012, and a few recent compliance issues prompted DNREC to hold the workshops again,” said Tom Postell, program manager with DAQ’s Area Source Compliance Program. “With these workshops we want to re-educate both demolition contractors and municipalities about the requirements surrounding demolition activities, and thus enhance future compliance. Contractors and municipality representatives are encouraged to attend.”

For more information, please contact Tom Postell, Division of Air Quality, at 302-739-9402. To preregister, please email Michelle Jacobs, DNREC Small Business ombudsman, Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, at or call 302-739-9069.

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

Vol. 46, No. 31