2016 Energy Efficiency Grants


Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest – $22,000
To provide legal support to EMEF grantee partners; participate in Unisource Electric (UNSE), Tucson Electric Power (TEP), and Arizona Public Service (APS) rate cases in which the Arizona utilities are pursuing mandatory demand charges for residential customers.

Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Foundation – $19,000
To pursue a range of work around the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP), including participation in the stakeholder engagement process, grassroots organizing, and partnerships with vulnerable communities most affected by climate change and fossil fuel power plants; develop case studies and stories from individuals to highlight the benefits of energy efficiency; organize around energy efficiency implementation plans; organize UNSE, TEP, and APS rate cases, all of which could potentially undercut energy efficiency programs in Arizona; engage Salt River Project (SRP) customers to ensure that the utility does not backslide on energy efficiency; conduct a series of green building tours to highlight the benefits of energy efficiency.

Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) – $65,000
To intervene in upcoming utility rate cases that could have significant detrimental impacts on energy efficiency investment and energy efficiency policy achievement; work to improve Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) so utilities adequately count on energy efficiency as a resource and demonstrate the value that energy efficiency provides; pursue a range of work around the EPA CPP, as SWEEP Arizona sits on the CPP advisory board in the state; engage existing and new energy efficiency supporters including energy efficiency businesses and other stakeholders and community groups.


Audubon Arkansas – $120,000
To oversee the implementation of new 3-year utility energy efficiency savings targets (for implementation in 2017-2019); codify the inclusion of non-energy benefits in cost-effectiveness analysis; actively participate in the Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC), including in the process to select the new independent monitor of the PWC; preserve comprehensive program design of cost-effective energy efficiency policy at the Public Service Commission (PSC); explore energy efficiency financing options to expand the implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures, including through the new state-wide weatherization program; pursue a range of work around the Clean Power Plan (CPP), as part of its role on the Governor’s CPP taskforce.

Arkansas Public Policy Panel – $55,000
To strengthen grassroots efforts on energy efficiency education by broadening tactics by the Citizens First Congress to build and implement an outreach campaign to expand supporters to include more conservatives; continue to educate key policymakers on the benefits of energy efficiency as a state compliance opportunity for the CPP; maintain and advance energy efficiency policies with the legislature, PSC, and Energy Office.


Energy Efficiency Business Coalition – $10,000
To strengthen the organization’s fundraising ability by developing a funder database, working with a Denver-based grant writing agency, developing fundraising materials, adding fundraising tools to the EEBC website, developing a fundraising communications and outreach plan, and training staff in fundraising for small non-profits.


Southern Alliance for Clean Energy – $60,000
To intervene in the Georgia Power 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), testifying as expert witnesses on the Demand Side Management Working Group and participating in meetings with allies and Public Service Commission (PSC) staff; continue to support the Georgia Building Performance Association to develop its own IRP engagement strategy; continue to participate in the Just Energy Circle, to empower low-income and communities of color to participate in Georgia’s electricity planning process; engage community action agencies, providing tools for energy efficiency and regulatory engagement to increase opportunities for low-income communities.

Southern Environmental Law Center – $55,000
To actively engage in the 2016 IRP process as part of hearings and with written arguments, to push Georgia Power toward energy savings approaching one percent of electricity sales per year, up from the current 0.4 percent; take part in Georgia Power’s next rate case before the PSC in late 2016, to advocate for greater investment in energy efficiency and champion new programs for the commercial, industrial and low-income sectors; push Georgia Power to adopt a system-wide program aimed at aggregating commercial tenant energy use for building owners, to identify energy waste and prioritize energy efficiency retrofits; push to rescind the industrial opt-out policy, which currently allows industrial customers to opt out of paying for and taking part in Georgia Power’s energy efficiency programs.


Idaho Conservation League – $65,000
To build on existing decoupling policies by proposing a new incentive mechanism for utilities; protect prior gains by commissioning an analysis of the value of efficiency and distributed energy to use in upcoming regulatory dockets, including plans to file on electric rate design and distributed energy policy; begin a new campaign to engage Idahoans in efficiency programs; engage in utility proceedings and cases before the Public Utility Commission (PUC) including reviews of EE programs, reviews of decoupling mechanisms, and utility EE advisory group meetings; pursue a range of work around the Clean Power Plan (CPP), including continuing to engage with state agencies, organizing a conference to show business support, and developing a proposed CPP compliance plan for Idaho.

Snake River Alliance – $9,000
To help launch its new development program in 2016 that includes hiring and training a new Development Director position, improving fundraising infrastructure (e.g., databases, donor prospecting), traveling to meet with donors, and producing development materials.


Natural Resources Defense Council – $70,000
To continue retaining outside expertise, specifically to prepare for and engage in the Summer 2016 collaborative that Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and Ameren will each hold as stipulated in their Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) plan settlements to explore ways to increase customer participation and overall savings levels for 2017 and 2018 – and then get Public Service Commission (PSC) approval; engage in administrative rulemakings, including the PSC’s revisions of the MEEIA rules; contribute to development of a statewide Technical Resource Manual (TRM); engage in issues involving Demand Side Management (DSM) potential studies and Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs); engage in Clean Power Plan compliance advocacy; advance energy benchmarking in St. Louis; work with utilities to identify stories that help put a human face on energy efficiency.

Renew Missouri – $90,000
To prepare for and participate in the Summer 2016 collaborative that KCP&L and Ameren will each hold to explore ways to increase customer participation and overall savings levels for 2017 and 2018 – and then get PSC approval and work with utilities to implement the higher targets; work with the multifamily program coordinators of both Ameren and KCP&L to identify low-income building owners and other good candidates and to convene stakeholders to revisit the structure of utilities’ multifamily low-income programs and devise ways to improve their effectiveness; engage in administrative rulemakings, including the PSC’s revisions of the MEEIA rules and any dockets or other implementation flowing from legislative action (e.g., decoupling, mandatory EERS); contribute to development of a statewide TRM; conduct grassroots outreach to individual co-op members, encourage members to run for seats on their co-op boards, and help members advocate for expansion of efficiency programs; provide data and input regarding a proposed building benchmarking ordinance for St. Louis; in addition, exit grant funding ($10,000) to boost development/fundraising capacity to hire a new full-time staff member to focus on fundraising.


Environmental Law & Policy Center – $40,000
To educate key decision-makers on the benefits of energy efficiency and push for the lift of the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) freeze; work with all four utilities in the energy efficiency planning process for 2017-2019, with a focus on smart thermostats, LED lighting, and weatherization; participate in rate cases to oppose dramatic increases to the fixed customer charge, as proposed by Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) and being considered by First Energy.

Ohio Environmental Council – $50,000   To restore the EERS through campaign communications and education of decision makers at the Ohio General Assembly and Governor’s office; continue work at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to work directly with utilities on their energy efficiency portfolio planning, industrial energy efficiency incentives/rebates, and advanced metering and to oppose rate design proposals, such as “straight fixed variable” charges that remove incentives for customers to take energy efficiency actions.

Ohio Sierra Club Foundation – $20,000
To secure energy efficiency progress and at a minimum prevent any further setbacks; promote the continuation of utility energy efficiency programs, with a focus on the PUCO for recovery of program costs and other energy efficiency incentives; continue its robust campaign against coal and nuclear “bailouts” and use the bailout cases to secure additional clean energy wins; advocate for more efficient energy codes for residential and commercial construction; pursue a wide range of work around the Clean Power Plan, including outreach to diverse coalition partners and strategic grassroots mobilization.

Real-World Effectiveness

A few stories about impacts of the work supported by EMEF's grants

Arizona’s energy efficiency programs have served hundreds of thousands of customers across the state. In 2014, Arizona Public Service (APS) reported that 40% of its customers had participated in its energy efficiency programs. An APS homeowner submitted a letter read aloud by energy efficiency advocates during a hearing before the Arizona Corporation Commission. “As a single dad, I look for every avenue of saving money.Energy efficiency upgrades have saved me thousands of dollars on my energy bill and our home is way more comfortable."

As a result of grantee efforts, more Arkansans than ever are receiving energy efficiency audits – benefiting residential and commercial customers alike. For instance, a family-owned boat manufacturer founded in 1960 in rural Arkansas, completed an extensive energy efficiency retrofit and realized annual utility savings of $135,000. This will allow the company to stay competitive and keep jobs in Arkansas.

Xcel’s incentives for retrofit of homes and apartment buildings occupied by low-income families, implemented by Energy Outreach Colorado, has helped rehab several low-income multifamily buildings.

As a result of grantee prodding, Idaho utilities are publishing success stories about participants in their efficiency programs. One Idaho school upgraded its lights, saving hundreds of dollars each year. Within two years, the school will pay off the investment, meaning more money for kids and better light to study by.

A farm owner in Missouri set himself the goal of lowering his energy costs as much as possible. Over the last few years, he has converted entirely to electric, taken advantage of Ameren rebates on equipment and air sealing incentives, and paired his efficiency investments with solar. All told, he ended up with a payback of less than 4 years, very little monthly energy overhead, and a greater sense of stability and self-reliance.

An historic cathedral in Columbus, Ohio benefited from AEP Ohio incentives for energy upgrades, including an LED lighting retrofit and optimizing the heating and cooling system. Utility incentives helped cover costs for the upgrades and the church used the money saved on energy bills to increase services for low-income members and neighborhoods (such as the food pantry and soup kitchen.)