The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money. In 2008, the Council of the District of Columbia enacted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act (CAEA), which established a Sustainable Energy Trust Fund and the creation of a “Sustainable Energy Utility” to be operated by a private company under contract to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). Since 2011, the DCSEU has delivered financial incentives, technical assistance, and information to tens of thousands of District residents and businesses, helping them to save millions of dollars on their energy costs.
The goals of the DCSEU are to:
- Reduce per-capita energy consumption;
- Increase renewable energy generating capacity;
- Reduce the growth of peak electricity demand;
- Improve energy efficiency of low-income housing;
- Reduce the growth of energy demand;
- Increase the number of local green jobs.
The DCSEU provides technical assistance and incentives to help District residents and businesses make energy efficiency improvements. The DCSEU also works with local contractors to finance and install solar PV installations for low-income homeowners and spends thirty percent of its annual budget in low-income community.
Over the last two years, the DCSEU has met major success. Since 2012, the DCSEU has served more than 54,000 households, including over 14,000 low-income households. In total, the DCSEU has saved over 74,000 MWh, enough to power 8,000 homes. The DCSEU has contracted with local solar installers that hire and train DC residents to install over 110 solar PV systems for income-qualified homeowners. Residents participating in the DCSEU Solar PV initiative have seen a 30 – 40% decrease in their energy bills. Over 450 District residents have worked in support of DCSEU initiatives, growing the District’s green economy.