Where does the time go? It’s already been two years since the Department of Energy (DOE) established the Technical Assistance Network (TAN) to help grantees build strong energy efficiency programs under the requirements of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), State Energy (SEP), and the Better Buildings programs.
More than $18 billion has been dedicated to the Building Sector to aid the substantial increase in building renovation aimed at making structures more energy efficient to combat rising energy costs and adverse environmental impacts, according to a recent report. Energy efficiency gains in residential and commercial buildings as a direct result of ARRA are expected to decrease overall energy consumption of these sectors by nearly 3% in 2015. The EIA estimates that the savings in energy expenditures from these efficiency gains will exceed $13 billion in 2020.
In 2009, the TAN was developed to provide state and local officials access to a network of financial and technical experts for assistance with implementing successful and sustainable clean energy programs.
Scheduled to end on September 30, 2011, the TAN continues to receive requests for assistance from grantees planning to implement new projects or working to carry out existing projects. The major focus for the Technical Assistance Network, especially over the next four months, is to assist grantees to sustain the efforts they’ve begun after the grants under ARRA conclude in 2012.
As a member of the TAN, NEEP has been able to provide guidance to regional grantees implementing energy efficiency programs, and we will continue to assist incoming requests for advice until September 30 through the TAN. NEEP has provided advisory services on a number of various projects all focused on accelerating energy efficiency in our region. Recent projects include:
- Municipal Energy Efficiency & Conservation Policies for Employees Guide. This document provides guidance on developing an energy efficiency and conservation policy for municipal employees. It provides a municipal grantee with the tools it needs to develop its policy and educate employees about their role in meeting a goal of reducing government energy consumption.
- Municipal Energy Audits: Guidelines and Resources. A set of guidelines that provides information on the types of energy audits, benefits of audits, elements that should be included in an audit report, and available resources. Lancaster County PA effectively utilized it during a large scale municipal building retrofit program.
- NEEP also provides free online training in buildings and efficiency program evaluation to help you improve the energy performance of your organization.
You can view other products developed to help grantees to implement energy efficiency programs here at the TAN website http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/solutioncenter/. While these are intended for grant recipients, these products offer practical advice for all those interested in building energy efficiency into their organization.