Energize Delaware and the Sustainable Energy Utility
The Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) is a unique non-profit organization offering a one-stop resource through its Energize Delaware initiative to help residents and businesses save money through clean energy and efficiency. The SEU was created in 2007 by the state of Delaware to foster a sustainable energy future for the state. The SEU model is the first of its kind to be established in the United States, and is being replicated in several other communities around the world.
While most programs have been operating for a short time, the collective action of Delawareans taking advantage of the energy efficiency solutions is adding up to big energy savings. This is particularly important for a state that where per capita energy consumption is higher than uses more energy than its neighbors. Delaware’s leadership was recently recognized by the Alliance to Save Energy, which encouraged other states to adopt comprehensive energy-saving programs like Delaware’s.
The portfolio of programs that help Delawareans save energy and money continues to grow and evolve and includes:
- Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program with rebates for a range of efficiency improvements from insulation and sealing to efficient heating, cooling and other appliances
- Lighting Discounts were offered through August 2011 which included CFL's and LED's
- Efficiency Plus Business providing efficiency and renewable energy solutions for businesses and non-profits
- Performance contracting to cut energy waste in state and local government buildings, schools and universities
- Multi-family low-income new construction and rehab construction
- Green for Green rebates for new construction homes built to high efficiency standards
As an independent non-profit, the Energize Delaware is able to leverage multiple sources of funding to serve Delaware's clean energy needs. Current funding sources for the SEU include:
- Tax-exempt bonds and leases
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
- Federal stimulus funding (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act)
- Fees and interest on financing
Through the programs and participation expected, Delaware aims to reduce energy waste by 30% by 2015 for each participant, and in addition, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2020. This aggressive reduction will spur rapid green job creation in an economy hard hit by recent business closings and cutbacks.
The legislation creating the SEU called for market research to point the way for the development of energy-saving programs to meet the unique needs of Delaware residents and businesses.
Here's what some of Delaware's leaders are saying about the importance of clean energy and efficiency:
"The SEU's Energize Delaware is a timely, powerful force to generate savings, jobs, and cleaner air and water. The simple no-and-low-cost steps offered through this one-stop resource add up to big savings at a critical time in our state's economy."
-- Governor Jack Markell
"By aggressively pursuing energy conservation and efficiency and adopting clean, renewable sources of power, we can strengthen our economy, improve our competitiveness, and create a more sustainable environment. The SEU’s Energize Delaware has the potential to help thousands of residents and businesses save money and stabilize their energy costs, while creating thousands of jobs and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions."
--Collin O’Mara, Secretary, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
"Sustainable energy is the largest, cheapest, cleanest way to save money and create in-state jobs. A tough economy is exactly the right time to take aggressive action toward a sustainable energy future, and everyone can reap the benefits. Through the SEU's Energize Delaware, we can be a model for the rest of the nation and world to follow."
- Senator Harris McDowell III