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FUNDING RENEWAL ENERGY WITH EFFICIENCY PROJECTS

Dennis Roberts's picture
President Energy Efficiency Done Right

About the author: Dennis G. Roberts President of Energy Efficiency Done Right Consultant to Gerson Lehrman Group and TGR Research for Energy Efficiency and Windows Past contributing author...

  • Member since 2005
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  • Nov 23, 2021
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Imagine you are the energy manager of a large school district and the school board of directors instructed you to develop a plan for the school infrastructure to made it carbon neutral by 2030. Where would you start?

Should you do what cities, states, or the federal government are doing to meet carbon emission goals? Maybe you could look at what large corporation with a conscious are doing or are putting in place to be good global citizens. From what I am seeing neither of these could provide much inspiration or guidance.

Instead of looking at what different levels of governments or corporations are doing, let’s look at what the US Department of Energy is saying- “"When pursuing a decarbonization plan, DOE is encouraging partners to lead with energy efficiency. Energy not used is energy saved, making the transition to clean, renewable energy infrastructure easier." https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/carbon-hub/energy-efficiency

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In reality, the DOE wants us to “Reduce Before We Produce” then right size the renewals. Let’s keep in mind, well planned energy efficiency projects can pay for themselves, then generate savings to fund renewal projects but the reverse will not work.

Let’s add to the DOE’s statement-Energy not used is energy saved, and energy savings can fund renewal energy projects.

Let’s all act as though our businesses and homes should to be part of the global solution for less carbon emissions. We can use the equity in our homes or business infrastructure or great programs like PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to fund energy efficiency projects wherein the monthly energy savings are greater the monthly payments! When that project is paid for, do another efficiency project or fund a renewable energy project.

The DOE has the right idea, but it is not being widely utilized. Let’s individually and collectively have a plan for a clean climate world. A plan that focuses on making sure we maximize energy not used!

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