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Community Energy Success Stories

Renewable Energy Success Stories
Buildings Efficiency Success Stories
Designing Community Energy Programs 
Demand Side Management Programs
Community Industry Efficiency Programs
Collections of Community Energy Success Stories


Community Renewable Energy Programs 

Binghamton Federal Building the first federal facility to buy 100 percent wind power. The Federal contract for wind energy covers the facility's electricity usage for 34 months, beginning in July 2002. The 30-megawatt wind farm in Fenner, New York, will produce the power, which should total about 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year. The government is purchasing the wind power from Community Energy, Inc. through an agreement with Select Energy, Inc.

BJ's Wholesale Club in south Jersey installed a 52-kilowatt solar electric system in May 2002. The New Jersey Clean Energy Fund provided financial support for the facility.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the newest landmark in Los Angeles, features a 66-kilowatt solar power system on the roof of its conference center. The Los Angeles Department of Power and Water (LADWP) Solar Incentive Program helped reduce the cost of the system, which was manufactured by PowerLight Corporation using Shell Solar photovoltaic panels.

Dairyland Power Cooperative announced in April 2004 that a new 3-megawatt landfill-gas-to-energy project is online in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Dairyland is buying the waste gas from the Seven Mile Creek Landfill and converting it into electricity in a facility designed and built by Ameresco. Dairyland is also working to install anaerobic digesters at several dairy farms in its service territory. The digesters convert manure into a biogas that is used to produce electricity, and are expected to begin producing power later in 2004.

Dow Chemical began drawing on a 75-kilowatt fuel cell to help power its Texas Operations site in Freeport, Texas, in February 2004. The fuel cell marks the first concrete step in a Dow-GM fuel cell collaboration. Dow produces the hydrogen fuel for the fuel cell as a byproduct of its chemical manufacturing process; currently, Dow either burns the hydrogen in its boilers or sells it to industrial gas companies. Dow and GM plan to eventually install 35 megawatts of fuel cells.

The Durst Organization—owner of seven high-rise office buildings in Manhattan—became New York State's largest commercial buyer of wind power last week, when the company agreed to buy 10.5 million kilowatt-hours of wind power per year. Community Energy, Inc. (CEI) will generate the wind power at its 30-megawatt Fenner Wind Power Project, located east of Syracuse.

Environmental Services Operations Station in San Diego, California, is home to a new 65-kilowatt photovoltaic system that is expected to generate enough electricity annually to meet the building's electricity needs.

The Franchise Tax Board Building in Sacramento, California, received a 470-kilowatt solar power system. The 50,000-square-foot photovoltaic system--the largest system owned by the state--will provide about half of the power needs for the building, generating enough electricity to power more than 400 homes.

The Geysers, located in northern California, is the world's largest geothermal facility. The Geysers is a rare type of geothermal field in which the energy is carried by dry steam.

The Grand Canyon Trust, a group working to clean up the air around Grand Canyon and across the Colorado Plateau, has installed a 1.44-kilowatt solar system on its headquarters building in Flagstaff, Arizona. The system, which will generate some of the electricity needed by the building, includes a tracking component that tracks the sun throughout the day, improving the system's efficiency by some 25 percent. The Trust plans to eventually expand the system to 5 kilowatts.

Grand View Estates, in Clear Lake, California, is a new (2004) 90-home community that features energy-efficient, solar homes, each with a 2.5-kilowatt solar power system. The modular homes are highly insulated and include low-emissivity windows and Energy Star appliances. The homes are also "affordable" by California standards: only $230,000 each, with the added advantage of low utility bills. Typical utility bills in the area are $150 to $400 per month, but the unique combination of solar and energy efficiency are expected to reduce utility bills by as much as 75 percent.

Harvard University installed its first solar system in November 2003. The 36.5 kW system is comprised of 192 solar panels, and is installed on Harvard Business School's (HBS) Shad Hall on its Boston campus.

Long Island Power Authority Fuel Cell Demonstration got underway in February 2003, with an installation at a McDonald's restaurant. Twenty additional systems will be installed in single- or multiple-family residences.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) began operating the largest fuel cell system in North America as of March 2003. FuelCell Energy Inc. built the 250-kilowatt power plant and installed it at LADWP's downtown headquarters building. LADWP has also broken ground on a second 250-kilowatt fuel cell power plant, to be located at Terminal Island in San Pedro. The Terminal Island facility will be fueled with digester gas from a nearby wastewater treatment plant.

Lowe's Companies, Inc., completed installation of a 370-kilowatt solar power system on the roof of its West Hills store in Los Angeles, California, in fall 2003. The system, said to be the largest retail solar system in the U.S., cover 37,500 square feet of the store's roof and will produce enough electricity during the daytime to power more than 370 homes.

Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan commits the state to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions through measures such as energy efficiency and renewable energy. The state has pledged to cut its energy use enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions at state facilities by 25 percent by 2012, and will purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-efficient office equipment for its facilities. In addition, Massachusetts will improve its efficiency standards, encourage the construction of "green" buildings, encourage the development of renewable energy, and implement California's Low Emission Vehicle program to reduce emissions from vehicles in the state.

Midwest Wind Energy Program is a joint effort between Waverly Power & Light and the University of Northern Iowa to install and operate an 80-kW wind turbine in Waverly, Iowa. The program has reduced carbon dioxide output by some 119 tons and generated more than 325,000 kWh of electricity. 

Minnesota Poultry Litter Biomass Plant is the first power plant is the U.S. to be fueled primarily with poultry litter is now under construction in Benson, Minnesota. Fibrowatt LLC completed financing of the 55-megawatt plant in mid-December 2004 and immediately began construction. The plant will consume about 700,000 tons per year of biomass, of which about 90 percent will be poultry litter and 10 percent will be other agricultural biomass. SNC-Lavalin Power Inc. is building the Minnesota plant under a $142-million contract, and expects the plant to start operating in early 2007.

New York City Fuel Cell Project involves the installation of eight 200-kilowatt fuel cells at four of the city's wastewater treatment plants. The fuel cells are fueled with the biogas produced in anaerobic digesters at the treatment plants. That biogas--a combination of methane and carbon dioxide--is not only a greenhouse gas, but is also a source of noxious odors. DOE provided partial funding for the fuel cell installations.

Nicolet College, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, recently installed a 10-kilowatt wind tower that joins two solar arrays. The renewable energy installation forms the cornerstone of the college's new EcoVillage, designed to teach people about sustainable energy production and conservation-oriented building design.

North Carolina Solar Center was established in 1988 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as a state clearinghouse for solar energy information, education and technical assistance. The center since has developed into one of the most comprehensive solar energy institutions in the country. It offers a variety of programs and services related to solar energy.

North Point High School Fuel Cell project in North Port, Florida, is the nation's first joint hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen curriculum project. The April 2004 dedication marks the culmination of a cooperative effort between DOE and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The 5-kilowatt fuel cell—installed through a partnership between the Florida DEP, Florida Power and Light, and Sarasota County—gives students the opportunity to see this new technology in operation. The accompanying hydrogen energy curriculum, designed by DOE, provides a hands-on educational experience for students interested in energy science. North Port High School is one of ten pilot schools implementing the hydrogen energy curriculum.

Office Max Wind-Made Paper
OfficeMax Inc. is offering its North American business customers a 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper manufactured with wind power and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The paper is also made without the use of chlorine and chlorine compounds. Mohawk Color Copy Recycled Paper is manufactured by Mohawk Paper Mills, the only U.S. mill using wind energy in its paper-making process. In August 2003, Mohawk Paper Mills entered into a contract with Community Energy, Inc. to purchase four million kWh of wind power annually for its manufacturing facilities. The paper product will be available through contract orders.

Pfalzsolar GmbH, one of the world's largest solar power plants, went online in Neustadt, Germany, in early 2004. The plant will generate a total of 2 megawatts of electricity, enough to continuously power 700 households.

Pierce College Solar System
Pierce College has a new solar electric parking system and microturbines on its campus in Woodland Hills, California. Installed in late 2003, the system is said to be the largest solar energy system installed on a U.S. community college. The system is expected to provide as much as half the school's energy needs.

Portland Sewage Plant Powered with Biogas
A sewage treatment facility is supplying its own power from methane generated during the sewage treatment process. The plant recently installed four microturbines to burn biogas from a previously installed fuel cell that converts biogas into energy. The micro-turbines burn the gas to provide electricity and heat used in plant operations. The project is part of the Portland Office of Sustainable Development's City Energy Challenge (CEC), which claims to have reduced Portland's energy costs by more than $2 million per year.

Renewable Energy Mitigation Program is an innovative program of the city of Aspen and Pitkin County, Colorado, that taxes energy consumption. Launched in 2000, the program requires homeowners who wish to exceed the city's strict energy "budget" for new buildings either to install a renewable energy system or to pay a renewable energy mitigation fee.The funds--more than $2 million--are used for for local energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Wind Farm has installed the first Native American-owned utility-scale turbine on its tribal lands in South Dakota. The wind farm initially consists of one 750-kilowatt NEG Micon turbine, which will produce enough electricity over the course of one year to power 300 to 350 homes.

Solar Grade Silicon, LLC is a Moses Lake, Washington facility that opened in November 2002. The plant plans to turn out 2,000 metric tons of solar-grade crystalline silicon every year. This annual production will be enough to support fabrication of approximately 130 peak megawatts of PV cells, equivalent to about one-third of global production in 2001.

A new solar model home in Wrentham, Massachusetts, earned the Energy Star Label for its energy efficiency and features solar power systems as well. The model home, part of a 25-home development, includes a 1.3-kilowatt system manufactured by Evergreen Solar, and a 2.6-kilowatt system is also available. With a combination of state tax incentives and funding from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, homeowners should pay only one-quarter to one-half the cost of the solar power system.

Terminal Island Treatment Plant
The City of Los Angeles dedicated a new 250-kilowatt fuel cell power plant in September 2003. The Terminal Island Treatment Plant in San Pedro is currently fueled with natural gas, but city officials plan to switch the fuel source to biogas by next summer. The methane-rich biogas is produced during the wastewater treatment process, but the city needs to install a gas- processing system in order to feed the gas into the fuel cell system.

Union Pacific Solar-Powered Lights Project
Union Pacific Railroad is using 350 of blue-signal rail yard lanterns. The lights combine energy-saving light-emitting diode (LED) lights with rechargeable batteries and small solar cells. Because of the low energy usage of the LED lights, the lanterns run reliably using solar cells encased in the lanterns themselves. The reliability of the blue-signal lanterns is critical, as they are used by railways to indicate that a train is being worked on and must remain stationary. Union Pacific will use the lantern at its North Platt, Nebraska, rail yard, which is the largest in North America.

The University of Nevada will use geothermal energy to supply all the energy needs for its new Redfield Campus in Reno. Advanced Thermal Systems, Inc. (ATS) will build and operate an 11-megawatt geothermal power plant adjacent to the campus. Under a 30-year agreement with the university, the power plant will provide electricity and hot and chilled water to the university, using an absorption cooling system to produce chilled water from the geothermal heat. ATS expects to sell excess electricity to Sierra Pacific, the local electric utility. The new campus is expected to open in 2004.

University of Missouri-Rolla won the American Solar Challenge in July 2003. The 2,300-mile solar car race from Chicago to Los Angeles. Missouri-Rolla averaged nearly 43.3 miles per hour overall and beating the record time from the 2001 race by more than four hours. The University of Minnesota came in second, nearly five hours behind Missouri-Rolla, while the University of Waterloo took third place. The race is sponsored by DOE, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, BP Solar, and EDS.

Utah Power Battery Storage System
The first vanadium-based battery energy storage system in the United States began operating in March 2004 in Castle Valley, Utah. Vanadium is a commercially available metal commonly used as an additive to steel. The pilot project consists of tanks that hold solutions of vanadium ions in two forms, one more positive and one more negative than the other. The two solutions are brought together in a fuel cell stack, where they react to produce electricity. The system is capable of generating 250 kilowatts of power for eight hours and will be used to improve reliability for Castle Valley customers, who are located at the end of the utility's longest electrical distribution line.

U.S. Marine Corps Solar Installation
One of the largest solar power systems in the country is now online at a U.S. Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, California. The Marine Corp base installed a 1.1-megawatt photovoltaic system, which will provide about 10 percent of the base's electrical needs. The project earned a $4.5 million incentive award from the state's Self Generation Incentive Program, the largest rebate ever given through the project.

White Bluffs Solar Station is the largest solar energy facility in the Northwest/ The the solar station is owned and operated by Energy Northwest. DOE's Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) will integrate the power from the system into its electrical grid, while the Bonneville Environmental Foundation will sell green tags from the project. DOE contributed $30,000 toward the project through its "Brightfields" program.

Windland Inc. announced in July 2002 plans to build a 200-megawatt wind plant on Cotterel Mountain, southeast of Burley in south-central Idaho. The site covers about 4600 acres on federal lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Windland is still conducting technical and environmental evaluations of the site, but intends to begin construction in 2004. The project would be the first utility-scale wind installation in the state.

The world's largest wind turbine is now operating in northern Germany. Although designed for offshore wind plants, REpower Systems AS installed the 5-megawatt prototype on land for ease of testing. The hub of the massive turbine stands 120 meters off the ground, and the 120-ton rotor, featuring wind blades from LM Glasfiber A/S, has a diameter of 126 meters. REpower began building the "5M" wind turbine in April 2004, completed it in October, and expects to connect it to the electrical grid before year's end.


Community Buildings Efficiency Programs  

2005 Energy Value House Awards
24 home builders were recognized at the January 2005 International Builder's Show for their efforts to make homes more energy-efficient. The Energy Value Housing Awards went to builders in ten states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

2004 Presidential Energy and Environmental Awards
Six federal teams were honored for their renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts include DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Purchase Program, the Air Force Renewable Energy Team, and energy management teams from the Marine Corps, the New England Region of the General Services Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Together, the six teams helped save 1.8 trillion Btu per year.

2003 Presidential Awards for Leadership in Federal Energy Management
Given to five energy-saving teams at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force in October 2003. The teams implemented measures that will save the federal government about 1.3 trillion Btu (British thermal units) of energy each year -- more energy than is used by 13,000 typical U.S. homes.

2002 Presidential Awards for Leadership in Federal Energy Management
Given to five agencies--the Department of Commerce, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Defense's Pentagon Renovation Office, Navy Shipboard Energy Conservation Team, and Fort Detrick U.S. Army Base--which collectively saved more than $100 million.

The 20/20 Energy Conservation Program in California has been renewed for 2002. The program provides a financial incentive for residential customers in California to reduce electricity consumption during critical summer and fall months.

The Acme Building in Billings, Montana, is a historic building that, after being vacant and closed for two decades, will reopen in 2004 as an apartment building. The renovation of the building was directed by homeWORD, a local nonprofit who purchased the building several years ago and financed the renovation through loans and city help, as well as tax credits. The building houses 19 new apartments for lower income tenants, is partially built with recycled materials, incorporates energy efficiency techniques, and is powered by the largest solar array in the state.

Block-by-Block Weatherization Program is administered by the city of Portland, Oregon's Energy Office and provides free basic weatherization and energy-use education to needy, low-income households in the city’s neighborhoods. 

Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow is a program developed by Portland, Oregon's Energy Office. It encourages businesses to adopt a comprehensive energy-efficiency program by detailing the benefits available to them through participation. 

California Energy-Efficient Building Standards have been adopted by the California Energy Commission. Emergency standards for energy efficiency in new buildings will cut the state's energy use by 200 megawatts annually--enough electricity to power 200,000 average-sized Californian homes.

City Energy Challenge is a Portland, Oregon program nicknamed "One Percent for Energy."  The program imposes a fee of one percent on all city government energy bills to finance an energy management program for city facilities.  The energy efficiency projects completed under the program will save more than $700,000 each year. 

City of Toledo Municipal Energy Management Program was designed by the city of Toledo, Ohio to reduce the energy consumption of city buildings while ensuring a safe, comfortable environment for occupants. 

CO2 Reduction Project discusses the city of Chula Vista, California’s approach to energy conservation and CO2 reduction as part of a worldwide EPA and United Nations sponsored program called the "Urban Carbon Dioxide Reduction" project. 

Denver’s Environmental Program represents a comprehensive effort to protect the health and welfare of Denver, Colorado, citizens and the region's economy through protection and enhancement of the environment. Energy efficiency is part of the program and includes participation in EPA's "Green Lights" program, a mortgage program benefiting the purchasers of energy-efficient homes and implementation of energy-reduction measures in city facilities. 

Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa earned special recognition in early 2004 for the technical innovations in its heating and cooling system. The system distributes heated and cooled air through a 12-inch space underneath the building's raised floor, an innovation that earned a first-place technology award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The system draws its energy from a four-acre pond on the campus, using a geothermal water-source heat pump. In areas with concrete floors, water-to-water heat pumps supply an in-floor radiant heating system.

East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupation Program/Technical Center was awarded the Alliance to Save Energy's Golden Apple Award in 2000-2001. This outstanding energy efficiency program culminated with students building an energy-efficient house in their region.

Energy Conservation Project profiles the projects and benefits resulting from a partnership between the City of St. Paul, Minnesota and Northern States Power Company to upgrade city buildings and conserve energy. 

Energy Conservation Savings Reinvestment Plan is an energy-management program in Phoenix, Arizona that will save the city some $42 million in energy costs. Half of all documented energy savings are placed in a fund that finances the coming year’s energy projects. 

Energy Efficiency Partnership profiles a public- and private-sector partnership in Kansas City, Missouri designed to reduce energy consumption in metropolitan-area government and nonprofit buildings by 25 percent. 

Energy Resource Center serves the community of Downey, California by displaying the latest in energy-efficient appliances, designs and materials. The building that houses it incorporates state-of-the-art efficiency measures into its construction and operation. 

Habitat for Humanity Energy-Efficient Duplexes -- Yonkers, New York
Three new Habitat for Humanity duplexes offer an important benefit to their residents: low energy bills. Features include insulated concrete forms, structural insulating panels, energy-efficient windows, high-effiicency heating systems, and a photovoltaic system to generate electricity from the sun.

Harrison County (Mississippi) School District
Twenty schools will save an estimated $390,000 in energy costs each year, thanks to energy efficiency improvements completed by Chevron Energy Solutions. The improvements included lighting retrofits throughout the Harrison County School District, as well as water conservation retrofits, the installation of digital thermostats in classrooms and a centralized energy management system, and the use of a Web-based information system for remote energy monitoring at each of the 20 schools. The improvements also included new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems at two schools, plus the installation of two new boilers. The Harrison County School District will pay only $2.4 million of the total project cost of $6.4 million, with future energy savings paying the remainder through a financing structure known as an energy savings performance contract (ESPC).

HP Smart Cooling is a cooling modeling system developed by Hewlett Packard to design data centers, which the company claims could dramatically reduce energy and save millions of dollars per year. Created in HP labs, the system uses computational fluid dynamics--like that used to improve airplane design--to create a 3-D model of temperature distribution throughout a data center. It then recommends strategic placement of computing resources and air conditioning equipment to optimize energy use for cooling. HP Services is offering customers an analysis of their data centers to determine whether the smart cooling solution could benefit them. HP suggests energy savings could offset the cost of this new service.

Interfaith Coalition on Energy is a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is helping some 4,200 churches and religious institutions in Pennsylvania cut their collective energy bills by more than $1 million. 

Jordan Commons is a new 200-home model community being developed in Metro-Dade County, Florida for residents left homeless by Hurricane Andrew. Features of the project include energy efficiency, water efficiency, recycling, composting and appropriate landscaping, as well as educational programs that will emphasize to the community’s residents the importance of conservation. 

Outdoor Lighting Standards were adopted by the community of Chittenden County, Vermont as a result of concern over the visual effects of outdoor lighting on the night landscape. The program also includes the development of outdoor-lighting standards for three case-study communities. The program’s benefits will include reduced energy consumption and preservation of the night-time views, as well as education about lighting solutions. 

Schools Utility Report Card -- Orange County, Florida
The public schools in Florida's Orange County are the first in the nation to try a new on-line energy monitoring system that tracks, evaluates, and charts energy use in the schools. The Utility Report Card system helps school districts to monitor energy used by individual schools during everyday activities, allowing districts to implement operation and maintenance changes to reduce consumption. Teachers and students can also examine on-line data to learn more about smart energy use and efficiency as a complement to DOE's EnergySmart Schools education program.

The Solaire is a new residential high-rise building in Battery Park City, New York. The building is the first new residential construction completed in downtown Manhattan since the events of 9/11, and the first to earn the state's green building tax credit. Compared to a building constructed to meet the minimum requirements of the building code, the 27-story building uses 35 percent less energy and has a 67 percent lower electrical demand during peak hours. Features include solar energy systems, a rooftop garden, energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment and appliances, and more.

U.S. Postal U.S. Postal Service Energy Efficiency Project. USPS's San Francisco Processing and Distribution Center and the Embarcadero Postal Center underwent major energy efficiency upgrades and installation of a fuel cell and two solar power systems. The improvements at both facilities will cut power purchases by about 10 million kilowatt-hours—a 46 percent reduction. In addition, the energy efficiency upgrades will reduce the heating needs by 69 percent at the San Francisco Processing and Distribution Center and by 28 percent at the Embarcadero Postal Center.

The Vail Environmental Strategic Plan was adopted to maintain and improve the environmental quality in Vail, Colorado and to ensure the prolonged economic health of the region. The plan outlines actions designed to achieve four goals, including improving energy efficiency in businesses, homes and government. 

Wisconsin Energy Initiative is a partnership between the private sector and state government in Madison, Wisconsin developed as a result of a gubernatorial directive that energy consumption in state buildings be reduced by 15 percent. Three years after the project's inception, Wisconsin's state buildings consume 21 percent less energy than they did in 1973, even though state facilities' square footage has increased by 27 percent. 


Designing Community Energy Programs  

Easy Ways Your Community Can Save Energy is a brochure developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab that identifies ways your community can easily achieve energy savings, as well as ways through which a number of communities have succeeded.

Ohio Energy Smart Community Challenge is a project that seeks commitment from communities to engage in multiple local initiatives, which serve to educate consumers, business, industry and government.

The Portland Community Energy-Efficiency Plan (PDF), newly revised in February 2001, is a suite of energy-conservation programs designed to meet Portland, Oregon's needs. The plan includes a number of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional programs.

The Sustainable City Project develops urban planning processes that identify, rank and implement energy policies and program options for promoting urban sustainability. Through participation in this project, San Jose, California, designed and implemented an energy-management program that aimed to reduce energy use by 10 percent across all sectors by 2000. 

Municipal Energy Office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was formed within the city’s Office of Management and Productivity and boasts an impressive success record in energy savings. 


Demand Side Management Programs  

Peak Load Reduction Program was implemented in 2000 in response to California's energy shortages. This program saved 161 megawatts of peak electricity load by June 1, 2000. Roughly half of the load reductions will come from energy efficiency projects, ranging from efficiency improvements in wastewater treatment and agriculture to improved lighting, heating and air conditioning systems in state buildings and public universities.

An Energy Efficiency Program is offered by Wahoo Utilities of Wahoo, Nebraska that provides incentives to all its electric customers to make energy-efficiency improvements in their homes and businesses. The program also provides free energy audits and financial analyses of energy-efficiency options. 

Environmental and Conservation Programs were implemented by Seattle, Washington's City Light conservation program. They provide conservation information to customers and offer financial incentives to encourage customers to install energy-efficiency measures in their homes and businesses. 

ISO New England Inc., the operator of the region's electrical grid, took an unusual step in April 2004 by contracting for energy efficiency services in order to improve the reliability of its power grid in southwest Connecticut. Under the new contract, Conservation Services Group (CSG) will help reduce energy demand in southwest Connecticut by four megawatts over the next four years, primarily by retrofitting buildings in the area with energy-efficient lighting. The contract is a small part of an effort to secure emergency energy resources for southwest Connecticut, including 125 megawatts of new generating capacity and up to 255 megawatts of demand-response resources such as emergency generators and voluntary load reductions.

Midwest Wind Energy Program is a joint effort between Waverly Power & Light and the University of Northern Iowa to install and operate an 80-kW  wind turbine. The program has reduced carbon dioxide output by some 119 tons and generated more than 325,000 kWh of electricity. 

Osage Municipal Utilities is a utility program in Osage, Iowa that began in 1974 and uses giveaway programs, rebates and energy audits to promote energy efficiency among its customers. The voluntary program has achieved nearly universal participation from customers in a variety of its initiatives. 

Climate Challenge Participation Accord profiles the Sacramento, California Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) commitment to DOE’s Climate Challenge, including its DSM efforts, goals and programs. 

Espanola Power Savers Community-Based Conservation Project is a full-scale effort by Ontario Hydro to reduce electricity consumption in Ontario, Canada to as great an extent as possible through DSM programs. An impressive 87 percent of residential and commercial customers are participating in the program. 

Profiles in Renewable Energy: Case Studies of Successful Utility-Sector Projects describe successful renewable energy projects utilizing six renewable resources—biomass, geothermal, hydropower, photovoltaics, solar thermal and wind—undertaken by U.S. utility companies. Discussed are key factors to the success of each project, development issues, project cost, performance and environmental impacts and benefits. 


Community Industry Efficiency Programs 

Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Baldwinsville, New York
Describes a project to install new heat recovery equipment that should save the company more than $550,000 each year in energy costs, thanks to state incentives. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is providing a $250,000 cash incentive to the brewery in support of its $1 million project. The project will use an innovative configuration and underutilized heat recovery technology to recover 25 percent more waste energy from the brewery's four boilers than is currently recovered. The new equipment should be installed by fall 2003.

Cascade Wood Products, located in Oregon, installed new systems for dust collection, air compression, and lighting, saving nearly 2 million kilowatt-hours per year. The company received financial incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon and expects to receive Business Energy Tax Credits and other rebates from the State of Oregon.

Elk River Energy City profiles an industry-focused partnership project between the Minnesota Environmental Initiative and Elk City, Minnesota, with demonstrations and projects intended to show the potential economic and environmental benefits of becoming an "energy city." 

Roseburg Forest Products, located in Oregon, stalled a new "rolling screen" system to sort wood pieces for manufacturing particleboard, replacing steam-driven refiners and saving about 22 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. The company received financial incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon and expects to receive Business Energy Tax Credits and other rebates from the State of Oregon.

DOE’s Motor Best Practices site offers showcase demonstration case studies that target electric motor-driven system efficiency and productivity opportunities in specific industrial applications. 

Weyerhouser Company saved about 1.3 million kilowatt-hours per year at its sawmill in Coburg, Oregon, by upgrading the facility's compressed air system.


Collections of Community Energy Success Stories  

R&D 100 Awards
DOE-funded research won 35 R&D Magazine's 100 awards in 2003, and DOE national laboratories contributed to many of the innovations. Among all the awards, 12 relate to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

4th National Green Power Leadership Awards
On October 4, 2004, EPA honored 19 organizations that are significantly advancing development of the green power market.

2003 EPA Green Power Leadership Awards
EPA honored a number of companies and groups for their leadership in green power in this third annual awards program.

2002 Alliance to Save Energy Winners
The Alliance to Save Energy honored a number of "Stars of Energy" as top achievers in the energy efficiency field. The awards were presented on October 9, 2002, as a prelude to the ASE Summit on Energy Efficiency.

2004 ENERGY STAR Awards Winners
DOE and EPA recognized 57 businesses and organizations in March 2004 as winners of the Energy Star Partner of the Year Awards. The award winners are businesses and organizations that have achieved energy efficiency in new homes and consumer products, as well as firms that have achieved excellence in energy management and in energy efficiency and environmental education.

2003 ENERGY STAR Awards Winners
DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored 39 businesses and organizations with Energy Star Partner Awards in April 2003. In addition, Eastman Kodak Companay earned the "Corporate Commitment Award."

2002 Landfill Methane Outreach Program Winners
Profiles the six winners of EPA's landfill-to-gas energy projects, announced in May 2003.

Champion of Energy Efficiency Awards profiles five winners of the American Council for Energy Efficiency's (ACEEE) Champions of Energy Efficiency Awards for 2002.

Steps to Successful Municipal Energy Management profiles 10 communities that have successfully implemented community energy programs. The link also includes a document that discusses financing strategies for municipalities. 

Communities Using Renewable Energy is an information brief prepared by DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC) that briefly profiles a number of communities that have successfully implemented renewable energy projects.

Energy Star Small Business Success Stories provides information about small businesses that have successfully saved energy and money by participating in EPA’s Energy Star Small Business Program. 

The Results Center was created to document and promote successful energy efficiency efforts by researching the best programs. The Center’s profiles enable utilities, regulators, government agencies, energy service companies, consultants, municipalities and others to benefit from the experiences of leading programs. Case studies are organized by sector and by type. 

Megalinks to success stories on other sites provide links to success stories on a wide variety of sustainable development topics, including Community Energy Planning.

Windustry provides examples of community wind enegy projects, a wind energy curriculum, information on wind energy, and more.

Last updated: March 3, 2005

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