Go Green - Save Green

Rebates, Grants, & Services

DNREC provides grants for energy efficiency and clean fuel technology, supports energy policy development, and provides coordination and assistance to support sustainable land use and building practices. All of these actions and resources can make it easier for people in Delaware communities to save money while being environmentally-responsible.
Protecting our planet starts with you. Some things are small, such as switching what light bulbs you use, while others are larger, such as driving an electric car. It can be hard to know where to start when you have big changes in mind, but DNREC has the knowledge, tools, and/or funding to help along the way. Everyone has the ability to take action against climate change, from individuals, to businesses, to state agencies. By identifying what approach best suits your activities, you can take steps to help. There are two main approaches to reducing climate change impacts:
  • Mitigation - tackling the causes of climate change (e.g. reducing emissions of greenhouse gases)
  • Adaptation - focusing on the effects of climate change (e.g. reducing vulnerability to flood or temperature changes through improved building codes or assistance programs)
What You Can Do
  • Drive an alternative fuel vehicle
  • Buy solar panels or other forms of renewable energy
  • Use energy more efficiently
  • Weatherize your home
  • Prepare for possible changes in environmental conditions
Greenhouse Gases
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas (GHG). Like a greenhouse traps heat to protect plants from the cold, greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, warming the earth's surface over time. CO2 is not the most efficient of the greenhouse gases at trapping heat, but it is the most abundant. While it exists naturally, its concentrations are influenced by human activities - mainly through the combustion of fossil fuels for energyindustry, and transportation. Making changes in these areas can result in positive impacts to the environment. 
Other major greenhouse gases include nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). The impacts of these gases can be compared with each other using a common unit of CO2 equivalent (CO2e). This is calculated from the global warming potential of each gas and their actual emissions.
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of each greenhouse gas emissions by year. To see how these percentages have changed over time and are predicted to change into the future, select a year between 1990 and 2030 from the drop-down menu. Hover over a slice of the pie to see the emissions in million metric tons of CO2e (MMTCO2e). 

The State of Delaware, as part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% from 2005 levels by the year 2025. The chart below shows how different economic sectors contribute to annual greenhouse gas emissions total estimates and projections in Delaware.

There was a downward trend in emissions estimates from 1990-2016, but future forecasts show an overall increase again. Land-use and land-use change, including forestry management,  can act as a carbon sink and contribute to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by removing carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. According to factors taken into consideration when developing these projections, we are only on course to reach a 16% reduction from gross emissions estimates in 2005 (excluding carbon sinks). An emissions gap of 1.9 MMTCO2e must be accounted for to achieve the 2025 reduction goal.
Predictions for greenhouse gas emissions in the future did not account for potential social and behavioral changes as they relate to new policies, incentives, and grassroots efforts among members of Delaware communities. DNREC and other organizations provide many tools and resources to help you decrease your carbon footprint so that you can do your part in changing the predicted trend from increasing to decreasing again and help Delaware meet or exceed our reduction goal.
A Brief History of Carbon Dioxide on Earth

The animation created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and various partners below begins by showing how CO2 levels have changed over the past 40 years from 336 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in January, 1979 to 406 ppm in January, 2017 at the same location. Then it reveals the changes that have occurred since the industrial revolution, and the fluctuations over the past 800 thousand years (800 kyBCE). It is clear from this visualization that while these fluctuations have occurred naturally in the past, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere today is increasing at an unprecedented rate.

Page reviewed 7/26/19