Keeping It in the Community:
Sustainable Funding for Local Energy Efficiency Initiatives
Eric Mackres and Sara Hayes
May 2012 – revised May 10
Report Number E124
- ACEEE fulfills its mission by: Conducting in-depth technical and policy assessments Advising policymakers and program managers
- Working Collaboratively with businesses, public interest groups, and other organizations
- Organizing conferences and workshops Publishing books, conference proceedings, and reports
- Educating consumers and businesses
- Projects are carried out by staff and selected energy efficiency experts from universities,national laboratories, and the private sector.
- This report is intended for communities looking to sustain their energy efficiency efforts and provides actionable program funding options and information to policymakers and staff.
- Common practices used in developing sustainable funding mechanisms includes leveraging seed funds; leveraging existing external resources; designing self-sustaining programs; tracking and verifying energy and cost savings; dedicated staff; reducing risk of funding loss; diversifying initiatives; focusing on community needs and values; and cultivating champions and partners.
- EECBG grants funded a wide variety of energy efficiency activities such as energy planning, building energy retrofits and weatherization, building code development and implementation, energy-efficient street lighting, and development of combined heat and power.
- In 2010, the surcharge applied to departmental energy bills was 9-11% and paid for all county staff time related to energy 10 Sustainable Local Funding Management and energy efficiency, while most capital costs for efficiency measures were funded from other sources.
- VALIDATE PROGRAM BY TRACKING ENERGY AND COST SAVINGS Energy Savings goals provide a metric for measuring the success of the program and demonstrate to current and potential funders that the investments have a tangible benefit.
- Up to 20% of funds can be used for demonstration and education projects and up to 10% can be used to produce information, such as energy audits, for facility managers.
- These funds support retrofits in public buildings and pay for eight full-time staff that lead sustainability efforts for the government and community, as well as program costs associated with the effort.
- BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO-CLIMATE SMART LOAN PROGRAM
- Seed funds: Municipal bonds, Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds
- Sustainable funds: Payments on Property Assessed Clean Energy loan obligations, program fees
- Use of funds: Energy improvements to existing commercial and residential buildings Using funding from a dedicated $40 million tax-exempt bond measure approved by county voters in 2008, this program finances energy efficiency and renewable energy investments for existing residential and commercial buildings.
- CITY OF CHULA VISTA, CA AND SDG&E-LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP
- Seed funds: Program grants from local investor-owned utility mandated by state.
- Sustainable funds: Program grants from local investor-owned utility mandated by state
- Use of funds: Citizen education and outreach, free building evaluations customer financial incentives. One of the most developed utility and local government partnership programs is in California where the 2010-2012 statewide utility efficiency budgets allocated over $270 million to the Local Government Partnership Program
- It funds events and public kiosks for energy efficiency education and free building energy evaluations for residential and commercial customers, in addition to existing utility incentives
- DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-SUSTAINABLE ENERGY UTILITY
- Seed funds: Clean and Affordable Energy Act established a surcharge on customer utility bills contributing to the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund
- Sustainable funds: Surcharge On customer utility bills contributing to the SETF
- Use of funds: Customer energy efficiency incentives and technical assistance programs for residential and commercial buildings 34 Sustainable Local Funding Established by the District of Columbia’s Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility is a third-party administered entity that provides energy efficiency and renewable energy services to residential and commercial customers.
- OREGON-CLEAN ENERGY WORKS PORTLAND/CLEAN ENERGY WORKS OREGON
- Seed funds: Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, EECBG formula and Better Buildings grants
- Sustainable funds: Payments on loans from revolving loan fund including administration fees, allocation of ratepayer funds through Energy Trust of Oregon
- Use of funds: Residential home energy retrofits and program administration Clean Energy Works Oregon, formerly Clean EnergyWorks Portland, offers an on-bill loan program providing long-term, low-interest financing to homeowners for whole-home energy upgrades.
- BPS served as the leader and convener for the effort, and provided the initial funding for the 36 Sustainable Local Funding pilot program from its formula EECBG grant.
- SAINT LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI-SUSTAINABLE AND VERIFIABLE ENERGY SAVINGS
- Seed funds: QECB bonds and EECBG grants
- Sustainable funds:Interest rates on loan payments are designed to cover program administration costs
- Use of funds: Residential home energy retrofits, interest rate buydowns,and program administration The Saint Louis County Sustainable and Verifiable Energy Savings program offers residential loans for home energy upgrades.