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What are Your State’s Energy Programs?

States and localities are America’s traditional laboratories for public policy and that’s true for the nation’s transition to clean energy technologies. States have a wide variety of policies and programs that promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy tracks these policies on a data base called DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency). The data show that:

22 states offer grants for renewable energy systems;

24 states offer tax creditsPropertyTax_map for renewable energy; and

43 states have policies that allow homeowners to connect their renewable electric systems to the utility grid.

The data show what an important role states are playing in America’s move to a clean energy economy.




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Building Energy Tools from the Department of Energy

If you design or build buildings, you’ll find a very full toolbox at the U.S. Department of Energy. It has posted a wide variety of software and calculators to help evaluate the life-cycle potential of different energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The tools help designers develop energy strategies in new or existing buildings. Some are available for free, others for a fee.

And if you’ve developed a tool along these lines, DOE invites you to submit it.


Massachusetts Smart Growth/Smart Energy Toolkit

The Smart Growth/Smart Energy Toolkit Toolkit is designed expressly to assist in the implementation of smart growth / smart energy.

Smart Growth
Smart growth is a principle of land development that emphasizes the mixing of land uses, increases the availability of a range of housing types in neighborhoods, takes advantage of compact design, fosters distinctive and attractive communities, preserves open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas, strengthens existing communities, provides a variety of transportation choices, makes development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective, and encourages community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.

Smart Energy
Smart energy is the use of clean, renewable resources to create electricity and heat, as well as more efficient use of energy through conservation and high efficiency technologies, which will save money as well as energy. In addition to buildings, the technologies and fuels used in the transportation sector are also major components of smart energy. Implementation of smart energy practices decreases global warming emissions and other pollutants, enhances public health, and reduces spending on fossil fuels while promoting the use of innovative technologies that enhance economic development in the Commonwealth. Described briefly below, clean energy practices are discussed in more depth in other sections of the Toolkit, most notably “Smart Energy.” Through this Toolkit and other policies and programs municipalities are encouraged to promote smart energy through incorporation of building and fleet efficiencies, local power generation, energy purchasing, and regulatory practices.