Community Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Texas

By Brooke Drake, November 6, 2013, Charity & Community, Green

Community Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York (Part 1)Many cities around the US are making great strides to become greener for their residents. In fact, some have even made it a goal to become the “greenest city” in the US. In order to become greener, many cities have created energy efficiency initiatives to help with the task. In the first installment of our series examining the community energy efficient initiatives in the Bounce Energy service area, we look into how Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth have contributed to make Texas a greener and healthier state.

Houston

Energy Efficiency Incentive Program (EEIP) – The EEIP will provide a financial incentive to help motivate office building owners, property managers, and tenants located in the City of Houston to reduce energy consumption and increase the economic performance of their building.

Green Office Challenge – This friendly competition for commercial property managers and office tenants acknowledges participants for their achievements in greening their operations through Mayoral and media recognition.

Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) – Funded by CenterPoint Energy, the City of Houston created the REEP to provide income-qualified Houstonians the opportunity to receive the implementation of weatherization measures for their homes for free.  These funds allow for Houstonians to reduce their energy consumption by installing energy efficiency upgrades such as CFL light bulbs, door weather-stripping, caulking, wall and attic insulation, air conditioners, HVAC system upgrades, refrigerators, solar screens and more.

Houston is a community partner in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) offered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). According to the DOE, “the BBC is a voluntary leadership initiative that asks leading CEOs and executives of U.S. companies, universities, school districts, multifamily residential organizations, and state and local government to make a public commitment to energy efficiency. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is highlighting leaders that have committed to upgrading buildings and plants across their portfolio, and providing their energy savings data and strategies as models for others to follow.” Through this challenge, Houston committed 30 million square feet to achieve a 20% energy reduction goal by 2020.

Dallas/Fort Worth

Fort Worth & Green Dallas Initiatives – With financial support from the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, Fort Worth and Dallas were able to use funds to make each of the City governments more energy efficient. Some small scale examples are Fort Worth installing energy efficient, solar lighting in City facility parking lots and the City of Dallas was able to improve the energy efficiency by upgrading to energy-efficient indoor lighting and installing digital HVAC controls in its 248 city-owned buildings.

The City of Fort Worth is also a community partner in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge.

Energy efficiency and water conservation kits are provided to Dallas residents.

Dallas participates in EarthHour each year by turning off architectural and feature lighting at many City facilities and private sector buildings, including some of the main downtown skyline buildings.

The City of Dallas has renewed its commitment to purchase energy credits from renewable sources, like wind, and has taken steps to use the energy more efficiently. The renewable energy credits purchased are in an amount equivalent to approximately 40% of the City’s annual usage.

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