Go Green: Energy Efficiency

Save energy, save money, save the environment
Reducing energy consumption at home and in the workplace decreases the cost of the electric bill each month, but it also reduces air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency improvements are a key part of emissions reductions strategies.
Where does electricity come from?
Homeowners and businesses rely on electricity to power lights, electronics, and appliances, and often hot water heaters, and air conditioners. It can be generated from a variety of sources, such as fossil fuels (for example, coal, natural gas, and oil), solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal sources, and nuclear power. Although the least expensive method of generating electricity is through burning fossil fuels, it is often the most harmful to the environment. Burning fossil fuels releases many pollutants and greenhouse gases into the air, which are harmful to health and may contribute to the warming of the planet.
Save energy at home
There are many small things that can be done around the house to help save money and improve energy efficiency, like turning off the lights and adjusting the thermostat. However, one of the more effective methods of saving energy is through weatherization. This means "weatherproofing" your home to decrease indoor exposure to temperature changes, precipitation, and wind. Energize Delaware provides home energy audits to help you understand what kinds of improvements can be made in your home, as well as a number of rebates for energy efficiency upgrades to aid in this process.
Delaware's Weatherization Assistance Program has provided services that reduce energy costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, children, and people with disabilities, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety for over 40 years. This improved efficiency can reduce energy bills by up to 30%, resulting in an average household savings of $437 per year. It is estimated that for every $1 invested in weatherization, $2.50 is returned to the household and society.
Weatherization Assistance Provided
This demographic information cannot be taken as percentages because the disabled portion may be representative of a child, elderly person, or other person under the age of 60, meaning they could be double counted and bring the total to over 100%.
In 2017, the Weatherization Assistance Program estimated energy savings specific to Delaware homes weatherized through this program based on how the homes are heated. According to this specific method, approximately 5,086 million Btu were saved through weatherization in the 2017 program year, which is equivalent to removing 81 cars from the road.
Commercial and Industrial Savings
Opportunities for increasing energy efficiency are not only available through incentives to homeowners, but also to businesses. Improving the energy efficiency of a business helps decrease operating costs while simultaneously decreasing its carbon footprint. DNREC offers grants and low-interest loans to support energy efficiency projects through the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF) and Energy Efficiency Industrial (E2I) Program. EEIF provides grant money and offers loans to businesses, local governments, and non-profits to make facility upgrades that lower their energy use and costs. A 2014 study showed that for every $1 invested in energy efficiency through EEIF, $2.34 is returned to the economy in savings, showing that energy efficiency can be a valuable investment. E2I is a new program geared toward large-scale energy consumers to encourage non-standard, full-facility energy efficiency upgrades to maximize energy savings and cost effectiveness.

Page reviewed 1/7/19