Archive for April 23rd, 2012

A Map For Navigating Sustainable Energy Incentives

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Author: Matt Shipman with NCSU News Services

“Renewable energy” and “energy efficiency” have become key terms in the home-owner’s lexicon – whether you’re buying a new house or renovating an old one. And the bewildering array of local, state and federal policies make it difficult to know whether you could be getting a rebate or tax incentive to install those solar panels you’ve been thinking about (it is almost Earth Day, after all). Luckily, there’s a website that pulls all of that information together in one place for you.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (better known as DSIRE) is an online resource that provides information on policies and incentives that support or promote the use of renewable energy or energy efficiency efforts. And it is as user-friendly as it gets. To get started, just go to the site and click on the state you live in. DSIRE is based out of NC State’s Solar Center. The program was launched in 1995 and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Altogether, DSIRE currently tracks more than 2,700 policies across the country. These range from rebates provided by utilities to federal, state and local tax incentives – as well as hundreds of other initiatives involving cold, hard cash. But DSIRE also tracks policies running the gamut from local green building standards to statewide renewable portfolio standards, which dictate the percentage of retail electricity sales a utility must generate using renewable energy sources.

Each month, approximately 175,000 unique users visit the DSIRE site. Some are homeowners, looking for rebates to mitigate the cost of installing solar panels or buying an energy efficient refrigerator. But the database is also used by state regulators and legislators to keep track of the changing policy landscape from state to state.

Businesses also use DSIRE, to ensure compliance with existing standards and to identify financial incentives for pursuing green initiatives. And the renewable energy and efficiency industry sectors use DSIRE to target markets with policies that are particularly favorable to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects – because those markets will likely generate more business for their companies.

So, if you’re thinking of pursuing some renewable energy or energy efficiency projects around the house, check out DSIRE. There may be a program out there to help you do it.


Written by Matt Shipman with N.C. State News Services

Mobile CARE awards recognize transportation emission reduction efforts

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Raleigh, N.C. – April 23, 2012 – The sixth annual North Carolina Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy (CARE) awards were announced Friday. The Mobile CARE awards recognize transportation emission reduction efforts that support alternative fuel and advanced technology activities and policies in North Carolina. The four awards were presented by N.C. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Ted Vedan at the Eco Driving to Electric: Clean Transportation Opportunities Abound session of the 9th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference held in Raleigh, N.C.

2012 Mobile Care Award Winners

2012 Mobile Care Award Winners

The Mobile CARE awards are part of a $3 million, six-year Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project lead by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University with funding provided by the N.C. Department of Transportation. The project focuses on three activities: education and outreach, emission reducing sub-awards and recognition of outstanding initiatives. “These awards present an important opportunity to recognize exemplary efforts made by individuals and organizations across the state to improve air quality,” said N.C. Dept of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. A panel of judges from the N.C. Dept of Transportation, State Energy Office and Division of Air Quality reviewed over two dozen nominations to select the 2012 award winners.


The individual effort award went to:

Jeff Barghout, director of transportation initiatives at Advanced Energy, is a pioneer in the electric transportation arena where he has spearheaded the N.C. Get Ready Initiative, piloted in the Triangle area and supported by a consortium of public and private partners. He currently leads Advanced Energy’s efforts on the N.C. Plug-In Vehicle Task Force, a statewide planning project to prepare for widespread deployment of electric vehicles.


The Fleet award went to:

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office for efforts that include converting 29 out of 200 Ford Crown Victoria cruisers in their fleet to run on clean-burning, domestically produced propane (LPG) autogas using a bi-fuel system that can operate of either gasoline or propane.  The success of 13 initial vehicles, partially funded through the N.C. Solar Center’s CFAT project, spurred the sheriff’s office to convert an additional 10 vehicles to LPG solely by utilizing confiscated drug money.


The Fuel/Technology Provider award went to:

 Holmes Oil Company, a Chapel Hill-based company that currently operates 21 convenience stores, three of which sell biofuel blends. Since 2004 the company has provided over 1.5 million gallons of E85 and B20 to the motoring public.


The Policy/Organization award went to:

Center for the Environment at Catawba College for serving as a leading example of how an organization dedicated to education and the environment can have a considerable impact on the air quality arena. The Center’s varied and innovative Campaign for Clean Air, facilitation of emission reduction programs and its intentional effort to help others replicate programs is particularly noteworthy.
Click here for a full description of the award winners.

About the North Carolina Solar Center

Created in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center, The North Carolina Solar Center, at N.C. State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. The N.C. Solar Center serves as a resource for innovative, clean energy technologies through demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource providing financial incentives and policies. Visit to learn more.  Twitter: @NCSolarCenter



Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340,

Anne Tazewell, N.C. Solar Center, 919-513-7831,