2017 Energy Efficiency Grants


Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest – $20,000
To provide legal support to EMEF grantee partners; finish work on utility rate cases opposing increased basic service charges and other rate design changes that undermine energy efficiency; support the extension of the state Energy Efficiency Standard (EES) beyond 2020; use the utility Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and Sustainable Portfolio Principles (SPP) process to advocate for increased energy efficiency programs and funding; use the Demand Side Management (DSM) implementation plan process to insure that energy efficiency programs that have been approved have the funding to support them; in addition, exit grant funding ($5,000) to boost development capacity to retain a consultant to focus on fundraising.

Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Foundation – $14,000
To build and sustain support for energy efficiency by highlighting its benefits via case studies and stories from individuals on our website, via social media, and in our electronic and printed newsletters; to organize around energy efficiency implementation plans which helps to maintain and build the support of Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) commissioners and keep utilities on track to achieve the savings projected in the EES; to host workshops, trainings, letter-writing mixers, and other group activities to educate people about the benefits of energy efficiency; to generate individual letters to key commissioners, letters-to-the-editor, opinion pieces, and other communications to sustain support for energy efficiency.

Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) – $30,000
To defend the full implementation of the energy efficiency policy frameworks of the ACC; to improve the IRP process so that Arizona utilities continue to invest in energy efficiency after the EES and SPP sunsets; to finish work on rate cases to ensure that designs that dis-incentivize energy efficiency are not implemented; to focus on expanding energy efficiency portfolios to incorporate more comprehensive, innovative, and diverse offerings to engage more consumers and deliver greater savings; to improve the cost effectiveness analysis of energy efficiency so that more technologies are made available through the utility programs; to work with Commissioners to support changes to strengthen the IRP process so that utilities adequately count on energy efficiency as a resource and demonstrate its value; work to educate policy-makers on the benefits of energy efficiency.


Audubon Arkansas – $75,000
To support comprehensive state energy efficiency programs including the incorporation of non-energy benefits in cost-effectiveness screening; to explore the addition of consistent carbon cost assumptions in utilities cost-effectiveness analyses; to participate in the Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC) process to enhance the transparency and consistency of the methodology employed to calculate energy efficiency cost-benefit results; to participate in ongoing Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) activities including providing input as part of the annual Technical Resource Manual (TRM) update process; to support the Independent Evaluation Monitor (IEM) contract extension through 2020; to continue to build relationships with policymakers and other stakeholders.

Arkansas Public Policy Panel – $60,000
To grow and educate the public about energy efficiency including providing targeted trainings to inform, engage and increase public interest in energy efficiency; to hold an Environmental Policy Summit and focused outreach such as energy policy luncheons to build consensus on a long-range plan among advocates; strengthen the PWC group to advance energy efficiency policies at the Public Service Commission (PSC); to explore and advance opportunities to expand energy efficiency policies within electric cooperative territories; in addition, exit grant funding ($10,000) to develop a long-term strategic plan to advance energy policies in Arkansas and increase and diversify the Panel’s funding stream.


Southern Alliance for Clean Energy – $65,000
To promote energy efficiency through engagement with utilities, the Demand-Side Management Working Group (DSMWG), the Public Service Commission (PSC), and other key leaders and stakeholders; to ensure current energy efficiency programs remain in place and promote transparency regarding the technical and financial issues that affect budget and program design; to help implement the $2.5 million pilot program focused on low-income energy efficiency work including a focus on manufactured homes, the Whole Building Data Program, and development of a Technical Reference Manual; to continue to work with the Georgia Building Performance Association (BPA) to encourage energy efficiency advocacy from the contractor community; to pursue a campaign through traditional and social media to bring more interest and awareness to energy efficiency and how it can benefit low-income communities.

Southern Environmental Law Center – $60,000
To advocate before the state’s PSC to increase utilities investment in energy efficiency helping these power providers tap a resource to yield substantial energy savings and reduce electric bills for customers; to work with utility co-op managers and boards to increase energy efficiency and identifying co-ops and munis that can serve as models for their peers; to develop a program that provides commercial property owners with convenient, electronic access to whole building energy data which allows building owners to benchmark and improve their performance; to develop a cities initiative designed to encourage municipalities to provide the quantitative analysis cities need to evaluate energy loss in commercial buildings; to work with the Demand-Side Working group convened by the Georgia PSC to provide extensive technical analyses of the potential for cost-effective energy efficiency programs.


Natural Resources Defense Council – $60,000
To work with partners and allies in the business community and among veterans to help make the case for energy efficiency including the economic and job benefits to the state; to work on saving energy in public buildings (including hospitals, schools, and universities) as a way to save taxpayer dollars and possibly tied to a job initiative for military veterans; to significantly increase investment in energy efficiency and help shape the new utility business model; to create more headroom for energy efficiency by developing a blueprint for the early retirement of coal plants; to advance energy efficiency by working with local business, building owners and developers, and financing entities to make it easier to do energy efficiency.

Renew Missouri – $65,000
To work with our energy efficiency allies to identify top priorities to expand utility portfolios
for the 2018-2021 cycle and engage utilities to solve how to achieve approval of those priorities; to build upon Public Service Commission (PSC) secured commitments from utilities to develop a residential inclining block rate structure and time-of-use rates with stakeholders; to support the development of a shared statewide protocol for Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) as part of the statewide Technical Resource Manual (TRM) process; to propose a pilot program to achieve savings in all state buildings and large facilities receiving state funding.


Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) – $15,000
To educate key decision-makers about the value of energy efficiency and best practices for supportive policy; to conclude defense of the state clean energy standards and get them on track for implementation through 2026; to present the Public Utility Commission (PUCO) with strong arguments against any significant fixed charge increase; to advocate for more rapid deployment of voltage optimization technology to provide substantial, long-lasting energy savings by allowing utilities to more finely control electrical voltage on the distribution grid, reducing usage for customers’ appliances; to provide the PUCO with a proactive vision for using grid modernization technologies and complementary rate design to incorporate demand-side and other clean energy resources into the grid by allowing customers to fully realize their value; to build on our success in expanding utility commitments to smart thermostat deployment in their energy efficiency programs.

Ohio Environmental Council – $41,000
To plan campaign and communications work to defend against further erosion of the state Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) including organizing letters to decision-makers, op-eds, and earned and paid media; to intervene in utility fixed-charge rate design proposals at the PUCO seeking outcomes that minimize or eliminate the negative impact on the value proposition of energy efficiency; to coordinate with allies and business partners to elevate modern rate design, grid efficiency, and data access issues, and negotiate grid modernization provisions in various PUCO cases anticipated to move in the 2017-18 timeframe.

Ohio Sierra Club Foundation – $10,000
To defend progress with energy efficiency and renewable energy utility programs, maximize opportunities to promote efficiency through grid modernization and bailout cases at the PUCO and advocate for more efficient residential energy codes; to participate in ratemaking decisions to promote more cost-effective clean energy solutions for our state; to promote voltage optimization, a powerful set of technologies that reduces energy waste on both the distribution and consumer sides of the meter; to advocate for energy efficiency improvements in residential construction; to work with faith groups, low income advocates, labor unions, and other social justice organizations to advocate for climate action, low-income weatherization, utility efficiency programs, and Ohio’s participation in the clean energy market; to recruit and train volunteer leaders through workshops focused on clean energy messaging for letters-to the-editor and press outreach, and background information on Ohio’s energy market and climate change.

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.)