Sustainability is a focus of Energize Delaware, whose mission is “inspiring sustainable energy solutions for a thriving environment and economy.”
By creating a sustainable present, we will avoid compromising the needs of future generations. That is exactly why the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, which does business as Energize Delaware was created by the Delaware Legislature over a decade ago. They help Delawareans become more energy-efficient and use renewable energy through a variety of programs ranging from grants, low-interest loans, rebates, and incentives.
Executive Director Tony DePrima explained, “We have twenty programs that focus on sustainable solutions for Delawareans. Over the years Energize Delaware has closed roughly $50 million in low-interest loans to assist Delawareans.” Some have referred to Energize Delaware as a “Green Bank.”
All Energize Delaware programs start with an energy audit. Whether a homeowner, business, nonprofit, farm, or faith-based organization an audit determines the deficiencies and efficiencies of a building.
A detailed report given to the building owner lays out what they can do to improve energy efficiency, thus reducing their utility bill.
To incentivize Delaware homeowners or nonresidential program participants, Energize Delaware offers rebates on energy-efficiency upgrades made to their homes and buildings when using a program participating contractor. To date they have done over 10,000 residential audits.
“People ask us all the time if we are a state agency,” DePrima said. “We are not a state agency, but a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Our funding does not come from taxes, it comes from “RGGI” the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Powerplants in the Northeast whose smokestacks emit more carbon than permitted pay into a fund that must be used to reduce carbon emissions or provide renewable energy.”
Though Energize Delaware’s programs are for all Delawareans, several of them focus on assisting low- to- moderate income families, that have energy burdens or are at risk of environmental harm. Energize Delaware’s Empowerment Grant/Energy Equity Fund works with other nonprofit organizations to help make lives more comfortable.
Last year Energize Delaware and a team of stakeholders created www.SolarDelaware.org, a website to help people learn about solar energy. “As more people desire to go solar,” said DePrima, “ they need to understand how it works and where to begin. That’s why we stepped up to create the new solar website.”
We also have an online Marketplace, www.EnergizeDelawareMarketplace.com where Delawareans can purchase ENERGY STAR® LEDs, smart thermostats and other energy saving devices at a reduced rate because we subsidize part of the costs.
To learn more about our programs, visit www.EnergizeDelaware.org or call 302-883-3048.
Energize Delaware and our partners are happy to help Delaware residents increase their energy-efficiency.
Tony DePrima said, “We believe in good energy.”