Delaware has invested the majority of its CO2 allowance proceeds in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) hosts a variety of programs for residents, Delaware-based businesses, and non-profit organizations. All programs administered by the SEU are dedicated to increasing on-site energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the deployment of clean energy.
In 2013, the SEU reinvigorated the Green for Green program as well as launching the Energy Assessment Program for Non-Profits. The Green for Green Program is a residential construction program offering incentives for home buyers that purchase energy and water efficient, sustainably built homes. Between 2010 and 2013, the Green for Green Program has served over 350 new homes in the State of Delaware. The Energy Assessment Program for Non-Profits is an innovative program that provides experiential learning collaboration between the Sustainable Energy Utility and The University of Delaware.
Delaware invests proceeds into projects that directly reduce GHG emissions and promote innovative climate policy. To date Delaware has invested approximately 11 percent of RGGI proceeds into GHG reductions and policy development. In 2013, the State of Delaware used RGGI funds to assist in the deployment of Executive Order 41, which was directed at reducing GHG, increasing resilience to climate change and flood, and sea level rise avoidance. The Executive Order has resulted in the development of a state GHG emissions target, over 150 climate change adaptation recommendations, and specific guidance for state investments to avoid areas subject to flooding and future sea level rise.
Home weatherization and heating assistance to low-income Delawareans is also a key area for RGGI proceeds investments. Delaware has invested approximately 61 percent of its cumulative-to-date investments in low-income home weatherization and low-income heating assistance, implemented by the Delaware Division of Energy and Climate housed in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
Program Highlight: The Energy Assessment Program for Non-Profits The Sustainable Energy Utility’s (SEU) new Energy Audit for Non-Profits Program is an innovative partnership with the University of Delaware’s Industrial Assessment Center. This program allows University of Delaware students studying energy efficiency technologies to gain real world experience with energy audits and energy improvements. This program targets buildings that are home to Delaware non-profit and governmental organizations. To date this program has completed 20 audits of community centers, fire houses, non-profit social service agencies, churches, schools, and local government buildings. The recommendations provided through the audits can save these organizations up to 25% off of their annual utility bills. The SEU pays 90% of cost of audit and also follows up with funding and financing assistance for the improvements identified in the audit. Follow-up surveys are done after one year to determine actual implemented savings. The audits have found over $11.5 million in lifetime energy savings potential and over twenty graduate students are gaining hands on experience.