DOE Announces $18.6 Million to Expand the Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced an $18.6 million funding opportunity to help state, local, and tribal governments enhance the impact of the existing residential Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and help lower energy costs for consumers. Projects supported by this funding will expand the types of residential buildings eligible for energy efficiency retrofits, prepare more homes for electrification, and increase opportunities for local, clean energy jobs. It will also provide targeted benefits to communities disproportionally impacted by high energy burden, supporting the Biden Administration’s commitment to an equitable clean energy transition.
“Weatherization retrofits and home energy upgrades – like heat pumps, LED lighting, insulation and sealing up leaks — cuts monthly energy bills for families by up to 30%, and makes our air healthier,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to the investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE will be able to help even more communities, cut more air pollution, and generate good-paying local jobs.”
Today’s funding announcement will help shape the future of the program by improving traditional weatherization services, addressing home repairs and upgrades necessary for electrification, and deploying innovative technologies and practices. Each award will provide a maximum of $2 million over a three-year performance period.
Read more about the funding opportunity and learn how to apply by visiting this EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange webpage.
New Case Study Profiles Deferred Payment Model for Energy Efficiency Financing in Low- and Moderate-Income Homes
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) released a new case study spotlighting a deferred payment loan program as a promising model for providing energy efficiency financing for low- and moderate-income homes. Based on the Home Repair Program run by the Opportunity Council, a community action agency in Washington state, the case study describes a program that offers 0% interest loans with no payments due until sale of the property, the proceeds from which give the borrower sufficient funds to repay the loan. Known as the deferred payment loan financing model, this method can help low- and moderate-income households adopt energy efficiency improvements to their homes while avoiding upfront costs, avoiding burdensome financing payments, and minimizing the risk that participants will not be able to repay the loan.
Deferred Payment Loans for Energy Efficiency: Case Study of a Low- and Moderate-Income Home Improvement Financing Model and Potential Application to Energy Efficiency Projects can be found on the LBNL website.
Join the First-Ever 50001 Ready Wastewater Cohort
Wastewater treatment facilities are invited to join the first-ever 50001 Ready Wastewater Cohort, which is part of the DOE 50001 Ready Program. This cohort will learn how to implement a robust energy management system based on the global ISO 50001 energy management system standard.
Each cohort will be tailored to meet the needs of participating partners and includes 6-12 months of support from national ISO 50001 experts. Support will be delivered through
- Monthly cohort group training webinars.
- Monthly virtual coaching sessions with each site.
- On-demand guidance on the use of 50001 Ready tools and resources.
- Opportunities for peer-to-peer learning.
Organizations that complete implementation can receive 50001 Ready Recognition from DOE, which includes
- A project showcase and article across DOE websites and social media to amplify your success.
- A profile on DOE’s recognition webpage.
- The right to display the 50001 Ready mark for as long as your annual recognition remains up to date.
Join the 23,000-plus sites worldwide benefiting from 50001 and get on a path toward deeper and more sustained energy and cost savings!
If your facility is interested in joining the cohort, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOE Announces Launch of Study to Improve Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission
The Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) announced the launch of a comprehensive study of transmission options to support offshore wind development on the U.S. East Coast through 2050. The study will evaluate multiple pathways to offshore wind goals through coordinated transmission solutions, under various combinations of electricity supply and demand, while supporting grid reliability and resilience and ocean co-use. The study will also facilitate meeting the interagency goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, which would support 77,000 jobs, catalyze $12 billion per year in capital investments, revitalize ports, and unlock a pathway to 110 GW offshore wind by 2050.
DOE Announces $13.5 Million to Support Sustainable Development of Offshore Wind
DOE recently announced $13.5 million in funding for four projects that will support offshore wind siting and permitting and help reduce the impacts of offshore wind on wildlife and fisheries. These projects will provide a better understanding of how to support wildlife and fisheries through monitoring efforts on the East Coast as well as prepare the West Coast for floating offshore wind development by collecting wildlife distribution data and developing tools to monitor the environmental effects of floating offshore wind energy.
North to the Future: DOE Helps Alaskan Partners Pursue a Renewable Future With Water Power
The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) is helping Alaskans tap a massive renewable energy source rushing through their state―water. Throughout 2021, WPTO and partners invested in several marine energy and hydropower projects in Alaska, working closely with community members to learn how to best serve their energy needs while respecting their culture.
In 2019, WPTO partnered with the Igiugig Village Council, the state of Alaska, and Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Company to design and install a device that could generate energy from currents in the Kvichak River. The 35-kilowatt device, called the RivGen® Power System, can generate 8 megawatt-hours of hydrokinetic energy a year. Two years later, the riverbed device was the longest operating current energy converter in the United States and provided close to half of the village’s energy needs. In 2021, the original device was removed for refurbishment and—with funding from the Office of Indian Energy—the village and its project partners deployed a second RivGen system. Once the original device is redeployed in summer 2022, the dual RivGens could reduce the community’s diesel use by 90%.
Read more about WPTO’s efforts in Alaska and the Arctic.
Free eProject eXpress Training
Jan. 10, 2022, 1–2 p.m. ET
Feb. 14, 2022, 1–2 p.m. ET
DOE and LBNL recently released eProject eXpress (ePX), a streamlined tool to help state and local governments implement energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) and reap the benefits of energy efficiency. ePX unlocks new capabilities to meet the unique data management and reporting needs of the municipal and state governments, universities and colleges, schools, and hospitals market. Using ePX can significantly reduce customers’ costs and staff time associated with tracking project data and contract agreements and clearly demonstrate the success of energy efficiency programs.
DOE and LBNL are providing free, one-hour webinars designed to guide interested users through ePX operation so they can start using ePX to strengthen their ESPC projects and programs.
Register for an upcoming ePX training webinar:
In addition to the upcoming trainings, a recording of the July 2021 ePX launch event is now available on the Better Buildings Solution Center website.
State and Local Leaders in the News
Oregon Experiments with Healthy Homes Repair Fund
Recently, the Oregon Legislature created a $10 million healthy homes repair fund, which was the third leg of the Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity Campaign, rounding out legislative efforts to make electricity more affordable and emission-free by 2040. To qualify, projects need to fit one of three categories: maximizing energy efficiency, extending the usable life of residences, or improving the health and safety of the occupants. The latter two categories fall outside typical energy efficiency work but are critical to improving housing conditions for people most exposed to the impacts of climate change. Specific health and safety measures can include removal of asthma triggers; abatement for radon, lead, and mold; fire resistance; smoke filtration; and accessibility improvements.
State Energy Program Funding Enables Three Pennsylvania Institutions to Achieve Certification in Energy Resilience Rating System
In October 2021, the Green Business Certification, Inc. announced that three Pennsylvania institutions, Hershey Medical Center, Chatham University, and Lafayette College, achieved certification in the organization’s Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) rating system using State Energy Program (SEP) dollars. PEER recognizes cities, utilities, campuses, and transit systems that improve their local electric grids to enhance resiliency, reliability, and sustainability, and assesses performance across four categories: reliability and resiliency; energy efficiency and environment; operations and management; and grid services. Through the use of SEP funds and strategic partnerships between the state energy office and the private sector, Pennsylvania’s critical facilities are becoming well-equipped to handle future natural disasters and grid outages while meeting the state’s carbon reduction goals.
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