Energy Program Services Available Online

DNREC’s Energy Efficiency Investment Fund Goes Paperless

Businesses looking to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Energy Efficiency Investment Fund can apply for the program online.

The online portal replaces the current practice for accepting applications in all other formats and will make applying faster and easier for customers, increase the efficiency of reviewing files and improve communication between applicants and program staff. The Energy Efficiency Investment Fund provides grants to help commercial and industrial customers replace aging, inefficient equipment and systems with energy efficient alternatives.

Users can enter project information, including materials and energy savings, into simple tables. The portal contains specialized calculators which streamline the details provided by the applicant to generate an estimated total project cost and grant award. Applicants can also share and store documents, allowing the EEIF team to communicate clearly and directly with the applicant.

“The portal will bolster a program that already saves Delawareans millions of dollars in annual energy costs and will create a more streamlined process for applicants,” said Dayna Cobb, director of the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy.

Improving the energy efficiency of a business helps to decrease operating costs, reduce energy consumption and improve environmental performance. Visit de.gov/eeif to learn more about grant and loan programs available, or log on to eeif.smartsimple.com to apply to the program.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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Delaware Building Energy Codes Receive Update

An update to the state’s building energy codes that took effect this month will help reduce long-term costs to consumers while also decreasing greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware.

Energy codes establish minimum design and construction requirements for energy efficiency in buildings, including insulation, air leakage limits, lighting and heating and cooling systems. The standards increase building sector energy efficiency, deliver energy cost savings to building owners and occupants, increase occupant comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware.

The update introduces energy efficiency improvements, including increased residential air sealing requirements, hot water pipe insulation and energy efficient windows and lighting options, as well as more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system operation resulting from improved duct design and sealing, energy efficient windows and lighting options.

“The adoption of these updated standards is an important step in helping Delawareans reduce their energy costs,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “It will also help us toward meeting our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Governor John Carney has committed to reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Electric power generation is among the top three sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware.

Construction costs related to the updated codes will be offset by the energy savings accrued to building occupants and owners, according to analyses from the U.S. Department of Energy, including two Delaware-specific assessments completed by the Pacific Northwest National Lab.

The state first established a minimum statewide code for energy conservation in 1979. The code, which is based on standards set by the International Code Council and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, was last updated in 2009. Legislation requires DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy to review and update the state’s regulations every three years. The latest code update went through a full regulatory process, including a public hearing in December and acceptance and consideration of public comment on the changes.

The update includes a six-month transition period, during which the Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy will provide targeted training and technical assistance to the construction industry and code enforcement officials. Topics that will be covered by the training will include:

  • An overview of the changes
  • Practical compliance strategies, particularly for the building envelope requirements in the new energy codes
  • Construction and design strategies for air sealing smaller homes
  • Other topics, including hot water pipe insulation and HVAC duct design

The training also will provide an opportunity for DNREC to gather additional feedback and input from participants to determine the need for follow-up training topics.
Visit DNREC’s Building Energy Codes webpage for more information.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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Superior Court dismisses lawsuit against DNREC challenging Delaware’s participation in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDOVER – Delaware Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged Delaware’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative program among nine states that reduces carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and funds energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in RGGI states, including Delaware.

The lawsuit, Stevenson, et al. v. Delaware Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Control, et al., was brought in December 2013 by David T. Stevenson, R. Christian Hudson, and John A. Moore, who claimed that the state’s participation in the program caused an increase in their electric bills. Judge Stokes issued his decision dismissing the suit June 26, stating that the plaintiffs, after more than four years of litigation, had failed to demonstrate that RGGI affected their electric bills.

“We are pleased the Court’s decision allows Delaware to continue with this market-based, environmentally-conscious and cost-effective collaboration that reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and supports a clean energy economy,” said Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “RGGI is vital in supporting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation programs that save Delawareans energy and money. RGGI helps us provide for our energy needs while reducing our contributions to climate change.

“DNREC is pleased to continue our involvement with RGGI, and also to be the state agency that directs the benefits this landmark regional initiative brings to the people of Delaware,” Secretary Garvin said.

Delaware has participated in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative since its inception in 2008, and is one of nine current member states along with Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. RGGI sets a cap on overall carbon dioxide emissions, and sells emissions allowances to electricity generators through a competitive auction.

In June 2008, the Delaware General Assembly approved Delaware’s participation in RGGI through Senate Bill 263, which also mandated that Delaware use RGGI proceeds to fund programs that promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low-income programs. These programs help residents, businesses, local governments, and non-profits lower their energy use and costs, support cleaner air quality, and through rebates and incentives also have helped over 750 Delaware drivers in buying electric vehicles for their transportation needs.

The Superior Court’s decision can be found on the State of Delaware website at https://courts.delaware.gov/Opinions/Download.aspx?id=275020 .

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

Vol. 48, No. 175

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Public Advocate Calls on White House to Deny Subsidies for Coal and Nuclear Plants

Dover, Del. – Delaware’s Public Advocate today issued a letter to the White House asking the Trump administration to deny a request for emergency bailouts for aging coal and nuclear power plants owned by a large regional energy supplier.

The letter addresses a recent filing from Ohio-based FirstEnergy Solutions asking the federal Department of Energy to issue an “Emergency Order” directing subsidies to the company’s plants using funds from ratepayers’ electric bills in Delaware and other states in the PJM region.

“Not only has FirstEnergy not shown why coal and nuclear subsidies are needed, but they are trying to circumvent the deliberative process that is ongoing at PJM,” said Delaware Public Advocate Drew Slater. “In a free market, price is a key determinant in business decisions. As coal and nuclear plants become uneconomic, ratepayers should not be forced to prop up old and inefficient technology just to protect the profits of a big power company.”

This week PJM, the regional grid operator serving 13 states and the District of Columbia, performed a reliability analysis given FirstEnergy’s recent bankruptcy and Emergency Order filings. PJM found that phasing out FirstEnergy’s coal and nuclear plants as scheduled would have no adverse effect on the reliability of the electric grid.

“Given that PJM has stated the system remains reliable, and absent a true emergency need, which has not been demonstrated, to subsidize uneconomic coal and nuclear plants, I ask that FirstEnergy’s request for an emergency order be denied,” Slater said.

In addition to the White House letter, the Division of the Public Advocate has intervened in the FirstEnergy case pending before the federal Department of Energy and provided comment on the proposed order along with many other stakeholders, including the Delaware Public Service Commission.

The Division of the Public Advocate advocates for the lowest reasonable rates, principally on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers, consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and consistent with an equitable distribution of rates among all classes of consumers.

 

 


State of Delaware releases 2016 progress report on climate change and steps forward

DOVER – The State of Delaware this week released Climate Action in Delaware: 2016 Progress Report, highlighting the state’s progress toward meeting the challenges of climate change and outlining steps forward, DNREC announced today.2016_climate_action_progress_report_cover

In 2013, Governor Jack Markell issued an Executive Order directing all state agencies to address the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change and to protect Delaware from current and future impacts. As a result, state agencies developed the Climate Framework for Delaware, which outlines more than 155 recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to rising heat and sea levels. Now, the state has released its 2016 progress report to update Delawareans on the state’s climate action.

“Our state has repeatedly proven that protecting our environment also protects and strengthens the health and prosperity of our citizens, communities and economy,” said Governor Markell. “We’ve taken important steps by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaner fuels, moving toward our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. We’re also making our low-lying state more resilient to sea level rise through projects such as dike and beach restorations.”

“The progress we have made must continue,” Governor Markell continued. “Together, we can continue to prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change, supporting Delawareans’ health and safety, promoting economic opportunity and addressing one of the greatest threats to the future of our state, our nation and our planet.”

“This report highlights the progress we’ve made in areas including clean transportation, agriculture, energy use, public health and worker safety,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “Under Governor Markell’s leadership, the collaboration among a number of state agencies has laid a solid foundation upon which to build future efforts to help Delaware adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

Susan Love, Climate Section lead with DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate, said that these strategies include partnering with local governments and engaging communities. “Climate change is a challenge that affects all of us, and it’s going to take all of us to meet it,” Love said.

The progress report also includes a comprehensive appendix detailing the progress of each of the Framework’s adaptation recommendations. To read the report, click Climate Action in Delaware: 2016 Progress Report.

To learn more about state actions and what you can do to help, visit de.gov/climatechange.

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

Vol. 47, No. 14

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