With the Louisiana statewide energy efficiency program restored, energy efficiency programs are on the brain. Here is a list of our top 10 energy efficiency programs around the US. These programs all highlight creative solutions and successful innovation in cities throughout our country.
1) Energy Trust of Oregon: Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable energy. Cash incentives and solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, and Cascade Natural Gas save more than $1 billion on their energy bills. In ten years, Energy Trust participants have made energy-efficiency and renewable power investments at 438,000 sites across Oregon and southwest Washington, saving enough energy to power 320,000 homes and heat another 45,700 with natural gas.
2) Vermont Weatherization Trust Fund: The Vermont Weatherization Program was startedin 1976 in response to the nation’s energy crisis. In its early days, it was funded solely by the U.S. Department of Energy, which changed in 1990 when the State of Vermont Legislature passed a bill that established the Vermont Weatherization Trust Fund. The trust provides state funding for weatherization through a one-half percent gross receipts tax on all non-transportation fuels sold in the state. The Weatherization Trust Fund stabilized the funding, infrastructure, and technical capacity of the program. It also allowed Vermont to raise the average cost per job for more comprehensive work.
3) Arizona’s ARRA Weatherization Assistance Program: The Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Office manages the Weatherization Assistance Program. The program offers weatherization services such as adding attic insulation and window shades, reducing air infiltration, testing, tuning and maintaining heating and cooling equipment, reducing duct leakage in forced air systems, installing low-flow showerheads, and implementing other energy conservation improvements identified by the home energy auditor. Arizona’s ARRA Weatherization Assistance Program estimates it has saved $5,618,809.56 for homeowners since the first ARRA home retrofit on Sept. 4, 2009. To date, 4,293 home energy retrofits have been completed statewide using stimulus funds. This has cut kWh usage in Arizona by 49,768,020 and reduced emission offsets equivalent to 90,848,999 miles not driven on Arizona roads.
4) Illinois’s Tri-County Construction Labor Management Council (TRICON): TRICON’s award-winning, innovative programs and activities focus on workforce development, public relations, safety, green building, and business development. By partnering with education, business, industry, chambers of commerce and other organizations, TRICON carries the spirit of labor-management cooperation into the entire community. Membership includes the 6,000 building trade workers in 15 trades unions and the hundreds of union contractors.
5) Colorado’s Renewable Energy Trust: Renewable Energy Trust helps Colorado’s non-profit organizations and communities by making a tax-deductible donation that supports renewable energy projects. Renewable Energy Trust funds and supports solar projects as well as photovoltaic systems for organizations throughout Colorado. They have awarded over thirty grants since 2002, with the average award amounts varying between $15,000-$40,000.
6) Georgia Power: Georgia Power offers rebates to business customers who pay taxes as well as non-tax paying commercial customers. Incentives are available for lighting, HVAC,food service equipment, refrigeration equipment, water heating measures and others. Prescriptive and Custom lighting measures are available for new or existing facilities. Georgia Power has helped over 297,000 commercial customers make upgrades to their business and community.
7) Florida’s Progress Energy: Progress Energy customers and other homeowners can improve the energy efficiency of their homes with this fast and convenient monthly payment financing option for high-efficiency heating, cooling, windows, insulation and more. This allows homeowners to make the upgrades needed for their homes.
8) Energy Efficient Remodel Demonstration Program: This program does it all; plugging leaks, installing energy efficient water heaters, doors, windows, ceiling fans, installing new, efficient ductless heating and air systems. The program goal is to make your home more energy efficient, comfortable, environmentally friendly and less costly. The program saves participants 50 to 80 percent on their energy bills by taking a comprehensive approach to the remodeling project.
9) Alaska’s Second Mortgage Energy Conservation Program: Through this program, borrowers may obtain financing to make energy improvements on owner-occupied properties. Participants will select from the list of energy upgrades included with the energy audit of their home performed by a certified energy rater. The maximum loan amount is $30,000. The maximum loan term is 15 years.
10) Home Performance with Energy Star Program: The Energy Star program was started in 1992 by the EPA under the authority of the Clean Air Act. The program is offered in over thirty states, including Louisiana. The program helps with various services, from simple things like CFL light bulbs to solar water heaters. Energy Star also insures the work will be done well by providing licensed certified contractors. In the past twenty years, they have saved $230 billion in utility bills for families and business, and have prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. While this program isn’t perfect (see this article) it also sets up a framework to measure and analyze energy efficiency opportunities.