FEMP Utility Management Web Site Identifies Energy Efficiency and Other Incentive Opportunities for Federal Customers

August 31, 2005

What funding opportunities are available for energy efficiency, distributed energy, demand response, and renewable energy projects that can help federal facilities manage their costs, improve reliability, and reduce environmental impacts? How can federal customers stay informed about developments in electricity and gas markets and utility restructuring? Visit FEMP's Utility Management site.

Energy managers at federal sites have a valuable tool in FEMP's Utility Management Web site, a key resource to help inform energy management decision-making. The Web site provides detailed information on incentives and technical assistance offered by utilities, independent system operators, and state-based public benefits administrators for energy efficiency, distributed energy, demand response, and renewable energy projects.

Energy managers may also use the site to keep current with utility restructuring in their state by browsing recent regulatory developments, learning how federal sites are affected, and considering the various electricity or gas supply options that may be available. Periodic updates to the Web site communicate the state-specific regulatory changes or proposals that could present opportunities or new challenges to utility managers. A concise historic overview of electricity and gas utility regulation within each state provides useful background, as does information related to electricity reliability within the different regions of the country.

The Web site offers practical, cost-saving tips to managers contemplating the costs and potential benefits of demand-side management projects at their sites. Many of these tips are simple and easy to implement. In many states, for example, comprehensive analysis of facility energy use and recommendations for cost-effective energy efficiency improvement are provided at no cost by the servicing utility. More comprehensive information is available to help managers identify state- or utility-sponsored financing for energy efficient retrofits, and to help apply for public benefit funds to promote energy efficiency. Likewise, detailed information is available on utility or independent system operator programs that provide incentives to curtail demand and reduce load during peak periods in response to system reliability or market conditions.

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FEMP's interactive maps provide detailed, state-specific information on financial incentives available to leverage energy-efficiency, distributed energy and renewable projects at federal sites, coupled with status updates on utility restructuring in each state.

For utility managers interested in purchasing renewable power, technical resources are available to identify opportunities and assist with decision-making. Either alone or with assistance from FEMP staff, these technical resources can help managers determine the best renewable power purchase option for a given area. Strategies covered by the Web site include "green" power pricing through a regulated utility, the purchase of renewable energy through a competitive supplier, or the purchase of renewable energy certificates as a proxy for delivery of actual green power.

Managers with an interest in on-site construction of distributed generation, including renewable energy projects, will find current information on state- or utility-sponsored programs that offer rebates or other financing. In many states—as well as a number of municipalities—significant funding is available for construction of mid- to large-scale photovoltaic, wind, and fuel cell energy sources. Where federal sites are eligible, the grants or rebates under these programs are described in detail.

Additional resources, including links to federal agencies and trade associations that can provide technical support, are provided to help utility managers take the next step. Specifically, managers can find contact information for FEMP's Utility Services Program and knowledgeable staff at DOE Laboratories throughout the country.

For more information, please contact Chuck Goldman, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 510-486-4637.