State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



19.0Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 4.5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

Delaware offers several consumer loans for energy-efficient investments. The state government leads by example by benchmarking energy usage in state buildings, encouraging energy savings performance contracts, and requiring energy-efficient fleets and buildings. Researched focused on energy efficiency takes place at several institutions in the state.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial Incentive information for Delaware is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Delaware). Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here.

Small Business Energy and Facilities Revolving Loan Fund Program: In anticipation of federal HOME STAR legislation, Delaware has created a $1 million loan fund for small business energy efficiency projects. The program, known as the Small Business Energy and Facilities Revolving Loan Fund, will be overseen by the Council on Development Finance. The new fund was made possible with a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which was matched by the Delaware Strategic Fund. Known as the Small Business Energy and Facilities Revolving Fund, it will provide loans at market to below-market interest rates to businesses that cannot otherwise obtain capital, provided that those businesses will create or retain jobs in industries that promote energy efficiency and/or recycling.

Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program: The Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program provides residential loans to Delawareans who want to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. Loans can be used to identify and install cost and energy-efficient Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) that can be expected to provide annual energy savings.

Last Updated: July 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

In February 2010 Governor Markell issued Executive Order 18, which set a variety of energy conservation goals and requirements intended to make the state a leader by example in clean energy and sustainability.

Under Executive Order No. 18, executive branch state agencies and departments are required to reduce energy consumption by 30% by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 when compared to FY 2008, with an interim target of 20% by the end of FY 2013. The requirement applies to covered entities that occupy either state-owned or state-leased buildings. The order further prescribes a series of energy conservation practices for state employees to follow, such as turning off lights when they are not in use, eliminating the use of portable appliances, following green computing practices, and setting appropriate thermostat settings in different types of facilities. The order also dictated that new construction and major renovation projects should be designed to meet or exceed the USGBC LEED Silver rating standards, and that third-party certification must be pursued for such projects if it can be accomplished at a reasonable cost. EO 18 also directs executive agencies and departments to procude at least 30% of their electricity load from clean, renewable sources.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), was required to develop a system for benchmarking, monitoring and tracking energy use and carbon emissions in state-owned and state-leased facilities. The state currently tracks all state-owned buildings over 1,500 square feet using EPA’s Portfolio Manager tracking database.

As an extension of the state’s efforts to track energy use in public buildings, Delaware joined the President’s Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) in 2012, committing over 8 million square feet of public building space. The BBC is a voluntary program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, setting long range energy reduction targets for building portfolios and requiring states to track and report detailed energy use annually.  The BBC also requires states to submit at least one showcase project to demonstrate best practices in energy efficiency and energy conservation, as well as an implementation model which serves as a playbook for how states develop their energy use goals, identify barriers, and implement replicable solutions to achieve their goals.  Delaware has met all BBC requirements and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy each year since joining the BBC.

Last Updated: July 2016

Fleets List All

Executive Order 18 sets goals for vehicles operated by state agencies to reduce petroleum consumption by 25%, vehicle emissions by 25%, and vehicle miles traveled by 15% by the end of fiscal year 2012 (using 2008 as the baseline year).

All new light-duty vehicles state agencies, departments, and offices purchase must be hybrid electric, alternative fuel, fuel-efficient, or low emission vehicles, unless such a purchase compromises health, safety, or law enforcement needs.

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

In 2005, SB73 established Delaware’s goals for ESPCs.  The Energize Delaware Performance Contracting Program is administered through Delaware’s Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) and facilitates ESPCs for both public buildings and qualifying private entities.  SEU is required to compile a list of prequalified ESCOs and offers both a written and graphical guide to the ESPC process.

In 2011, the State of Delaware entered into eight performance contracts, totaling $75 million, largely as a result of a $67 million bond issue administered by the Delaware SEU. The construction scope included both public buildings and higher education facilities. In the public building scope, nearly 50 buildings received energy efficiency retrofits. Outside the bond issue, two other performance contracts were initiated, covering approximately five public buildings. 

Currently, approximately 50 public buildings are engaging with performance contracts. Construction is now complete and the buildings are in the measurement and verification phase.

Last Updated: July 2016

Research & Development List All

University of Delaware’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy: The Center is composed of an internationally diverse faculty and research staff with backgrounds in a variety of disciplines including economics, sociology, geography, political science, philosophy, engineering, urban planning and environmental studies. As part of the Center's energy sustainability theme, researchers explore sustainable energy utilties and clean energy futures.

University of Delaware’s Mid-Atlantic Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) is one of 24 in the country that provides energy, waste and productivity assessments to small and mid-sized manufacturers with a concentration in energy efficiency. The Energy Savings Assessments are conducted at no cost and offer the next generation of engineer’s valuable hands-on training while producing energy efficiency recommendations resulting in reduced energy consumption. Since its creation the IAC has yielded over 100+ clients 10%-30% energy bill reductions. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the Mid-Atlantic IAC the “Center of Excellence” award. 

Delaware Technical and Community College was awarded $4,297,800 in grants in 2009-2010 by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build energy facilities at three of their campuses; Owens, Terry, and Stanton. The construction of these buildings marks the region’s first comprehensive workforce development centers in the field of energy efficiency. Delaware Tech’s Energy House and Center for Energy Education and Training were both awarded LEED Platinum certifications. The Sustainable Energy Training Center was awarded LEED Gold. Delaware Technical & Community College partnered with Trane and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) to create the Trane Center of Excellence. The Center is the fourth of its kind across the country and has the ability to run simulations on energy efficiency opportunities at a system level, as opposed to the unitary level approach which allows for maximum energy efficiency gains. This Center is key for preparing Delaware’s energy efficiency workforce through real-life applications of commercial air handling units, boilers, and chillers.

Last Updated: July 2016

Score: 5.5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

Residential and commercial codes follow the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010, however, Delaware is currently reviewing the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 and anticipates adoption by May 2017. The state has completed a gap analysis and baseline compliance study.

Residential Codes List All

Residential construction in Delaware must comply with a weakened version of the 2012 IECC. The state is currently reviewing the 2015 IECC and anticipates adoption, with minor amendments, by May 2017. Residential and commercial codes are reviewed triennially by the Delaware Energy Office within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Last Updated: September 2016

Commercial Code List All

Commercial construction in Delaware must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2010. The state is currently reviewing ASHRAE 90.1-2013 and anticipates adoption by May 2017. Residential and commercial codes are reviewed triennially by the Delaware Energy Office within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Last Updated: September 2016

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: In 2011, the Delaware Gap Analysis and the Delaware Strategic Compliance Plan were published and provided an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of Delaware’s energy code adoption, implementation, and enforcement.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: Delaware has not conducted a study/evaluation of energy code compliance, but plans are currently underway to develop an RFP for such a study.  The current expectation is that such an RFP would be developed in 2016.
  • Utility Involvement: NA
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: The Delaware Energy Codes Coalition meets quarterly to serve as a diverse stakeholder advisory group focused on code compliance.  Delaware also participates in BCAP. 
  • Training/Outreach: Delaware is currently providing training to contractors, code officials, and other building professionals on both the 2012 IECC residential code and ASHRAE 90.1-2010.  The state has partnered with the Home Builders Association of Delaware to provide site training allowing contractors and code officials to see firsthand how the new residential code has affected various stages of home construction. Approximately $100,000 has been allocated for 2016 training. Delaware’s Division of Energy and Climate is in the process of restructuring its Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF) grant program, which incentivizes efficiency improvements at existing commercial and industrial properties, in order to leverage the EEIF as a mechanism to catalyze beyond-code design and operations.  The current building energy code is being used as a baseline upon which improvements must be made in order to qualify for an EEIF grant.  This would apply to existing building additions and renovations that trigger code compliance.

Last Updated: September 2016

Score: 1.5 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

Delaware has limited policies to encourage CHP. One new CHP system was installed in 2015.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Delmarva Power & Light, Delaware's only investor-owned electric utility, has four basic levels of interconnection based on system size and system type. Delaware Electric Cooperative has two tiers. All forms of CHP including fossil- and renewable-fueled systems of up to 10 MW are eligible for interconnection in Delaware.

Last Updated: June 2016

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

There are currently no state policies designed to acquire energy savings from CHP (like other efficiency resources) or energy generation from CHP (in terms of kWh production) that apply to all forms of CHP.

Last Updated: June 2016

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing: CHP systems may be eligible for an incentive through Delaware’s Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF), which helps commercial and industrial customers with the cost of energy efficiency equipment.

Last Updated: June 2016

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Through the Delaware Division of Energy and Climate, the state provides technical assistance focused on encouraging CHP deployment. State program staff coordinate with CHP developers and/or local energy utilities to conduct outreach, help evaluate the feasibility of potential CHP sites, and identify and support applications for state financial incentives for CHP projects.

Last Updated: June 2016

Score: 1 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Delaware has made advances toward strengthening its energy efficiency programs, establishing the nonprofit Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) to operate programs to deliver comprehensive end-user efficiency and customer-sited renewable energy services. SEU operates as “Energize Delaware.” Since 2006, Delaware law has required electricity providers to engage in integrated resource planning (IRP).  In 2009, Delaware approved an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) that set goals for consumption and peak demand for electricity and natural gas utilities. The goals are 15% electricity consumption and peak demand savings and 10% natural gas consumption savings by 2015. However, rules outlining how these goals were to be met were never finalized. To date utilities have had little involvement in efficiency programs, and available funding has significantly limited progress toward savings goals. In 2014, the state legislature passed SB 150 with an amendment calling for expansion of cost-effective electric and natural gas utility programs, and allowing utilities to deliver these programs and recover costs through rates. 

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last updated: September 2016

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

In 2007, Senate Bill 18, Substitute Number 1 was passed, creating the nonprofit corporation Sustainable Energy Utility under the direction of an Oversight Board and the State Energy Coordinator within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The SEU was designed to operate programs to deliver comprehensive end-user energy efficiency and customer sited renewable energy services.  In January 2013, the SEU re-launched a residential new construction program and has additional programs under development.

Parallel with the development of the sustainable energy utility, electric utilities are required to prepare integrated resource planning demand-side management plans. Delmarva Power & Light filed its second Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) on December 7, 2012 opened under Order No. 8259. On July 29, 2011 Delmarva Power & Light filed an application with the Commission seeking approval of the Company's proposed Residential Direct Load Control Program (PSC Docket No. 11-330). Delmarva Power & Light's New Residential Air Conditioning Cycling Program was approved on October 17, 2012.

The Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) programs are funded by Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative proceeds and via "special purpose" bonding by the State of Delaware. Revenue sources to pay off the bond debt and help the SEU to grow will include:

  1. Shared savings agreements with program participants,
  2. Partial proceeds from the sale of renewable energy credits in local and regional markets, and
  3. Green energy fund monies (from a fund, established by an earlier statute that collects revenue from electricity sales).


In 2014, the state legislature passed SB 150 with an amendment calling for expansion of cost-effective electric and natural gas utility programs, and allowing utilities to deliver these programs and recover costs through rates. The Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) was created through SB 150. The Council began meeting in December 2014 to develop a suite of cost-effective energy efficiency programs and have since approved energy savings targets. Program implementation plans are also being developed through the Council and evaluation, measurement, and verification regulations to govern the programs are being drafted by DNREC.

Additionally, the EEAC has begun reviewing the energy efficiency program portfolios developed by Delaware's energy providers and the Sustainable Energy Utility.  In order to support a robust and comprehensive portfolio of programs, the EEAC worked to create a common template for all Program Administrator's to use when developing their program plans, budgets, and timelines to submit to the EEAC. This enables interested parties to better understand individual's plans and affords the opportunity to identify gaps that could be filled in either target markets and/or geographic coverage, while making it easier to identify where PA’s could leverage and coordinate efforts to maximize cost-efficiencies and depth of services.  EM&V regulations have been drafted by DNREC in consultation with the EEAC.  Public workshops are scheduled for May 2016 to continue the regulatory process. The regulations are expected to be finalized this year.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: June 2016

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

In 2009, Senate Bill 106 stated that energy efficiency would be the “highest-priority resource” in the state. Cost-effectiveness was one motivation for this decision. The Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006 requires electricity providers to file 10-year integrated resource plans that will address long-term supply contracts, including provisions for renewable energy and demand-side resources (26 Del. C. §1001-1012.). Additional integrated resource planning rules are under consideration. In PSC Regulation Docket Number 60, the PSC entered Order Number 7318(2007), proposing integrated resource planning regulation. This regulation was finalized in 2008.

Last Updated: June 2016

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

Summary: Delaware does not have a mandatory EERS. Considered voluntary until final implementation rules are established.

Delaware established energy savings targets in 2009 with the passage of SB 106, the Energy Efficiency Resource Standards Act of 2009, but final implementation rules have yet to be established. 

The Act set cumulative targets for the reduction of energy consumption and peak demand through electricity and natural gas energy efficiency programs: a 15% reduction in electricity consumption, a 15% reduction in peak electricity demand, and a 10% reduction in natural gas consumption by 2015, based on 2007 retail sales.  The targets apply to all electric and natural gas utilities in the state.  The Act also requires utilities to first consider cost-effective electricity demand response and demand-side management strategies for meeting base load and load growth needs before any increase in energy supply.

The Act set up an eleven-member stakeholder workgroup to assist in developing key regulations, assessing the feasibility and impact of pursuing the established targets, reviewing progress annually, and recommending changes to the plan as needed.  In its June 2011 report, the workgroup identified several issues that undercut the effectiveness of the policy. First, the level of proposed funding (gathered through an energy efficiency charge on customer bills) make it unlikely that the state would meet the targets established in the Energy Efficiency Resource Standards Act. Second, the workgroup found that conflicting state statutes muddied the institutional structure around efficiency program implementation and accountability, making it impossible to determine which entity (utilities, the Sustainable Energy Utility, or the Public Service Commission) has accountability for EERS performance results and the development of enforcement mechanisms.  

Given the lack of final implementation rules, and the funding and institutional challenges outlined above, Delaware's energy savings targets are considered voluntary.

Last Updated: June 2016

Utility Business Model List All

The state evaluates the issue of decoupling on a utility-by-utility basis when it sets utility rates through rate case proceedings. In September 2009, the PSC entered Order 7641 (Docket No. 09-276T), examining a modified fixed variable rate design for Delmarva (electric and gas). The docket has been on hold since late 2011 because the conditions required to implemented decoupling had not been met, and could not be met until Delmarva was able to implement efficiency programs that benefit its customers.

In 2014, the state legislature passed SB 150 with an amendment calling for expansion of cost-effective electric and natural gas utility programs, and allowing utilities to deliver these programs and recover costs through rates.

Performance incentives for utilities are currently under consideration by the Delaware Energy Efficiency Advisory Council.

Last Updated: June 2016 

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Delaware relies on legislative mandates (Energy Efficiency Resource Standards Act of 2009). Evaluations are administered by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Statewide evaluations are conducted. In terms of a benefit-cost test, Delaware relies on the Total Resource Cost Test (TRC), and considers it to be its primary cost-effectiveness test. Rules for benefit-cost tests and evaluation requirements are outlined in the Delaware Evaluation Framework and will be specified in upcoming regulations. Regulations are under development by DNREC with public workshops scheduled for May 2016. The Total Resource Cost (TRC) Test (with DRIPE and Non-Energy Benefits) will be the primary test in Delaware.  The Rate Impact Measure (RIM) Test will no longer be formally included. 

Last Updated: June 2016

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Delaware established legislative energy savings targets in 2009 with the adoption of SB 106, although these have yet to be implemented. The legislation sets up a Sustainable Energy Trust Fund to collect charges assessed by energy providers in service of energy savings goals. SB 106 specifies that 20% of assessment be provided to the Weatherization Assistance Program.

Electric utility restructuring legislation passed in 1999 specifies that Delmarva Power and Light collect  0.095 mills/kWh (approximately $800,000 annually) from customers to be forwarded to the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of State Service Centers to be used to fund low-income fuel assistance and weatherization programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Rules for benefit-cost tests and evaluation requirements are outlined in the Delaware Evaluation Framework and will be specified in upcoming regulations. Regulations are under development by DNREC with public workshops scheduled for May 2016.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) administers federal weatherization funds, which are coordinated and joined with federal LIHEAP block grant, state utility funds, and funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Last updated: April 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Delaware does not allow for large customers to self-direct the funds they would have paid for energy efficiency, nor to opt-out entirely from participating in energy efficiency programs. 

Last updated: July 2016

Data AccessList All

Delaware has no policy in place that requires the release of energy use data to customers or third parties. 

Last Updated: June 2016 

Score: 6.5 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

The state commits a significant amount of effort to integrating transportation and land-use planning. Delaware has passed complete streets legislation.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

Delaware adopted California's clean car program in December 2010.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land use Integration: Delaware has required local communities to submit comprehensive plans since the inception of the Shaping Delaware’s Future Act in 1995. In 2001, Delaware enacted the “Livable Delaware” initiative, which included legislation to provide funds and planning resources to municipalities for the creation of comprehensive growth plans. The initiative now includes a statute to establish a governor’s advisory council to coordinate development efforts and the creation of a realty transfer tax fund to finance the stewardship of undeveloped land in the state.

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: In 2009, the state adopted a complete streets policy to promote safe and equal access for all users.

MAP 21 Freight Plans and Goals: The state also has a comprehensive freight transportation plan. 

Last Updated: July 2015

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

The Delaware Clean Vehicle Rebate Program offers rebates for alternative fuel vehicles. The rebate amount ranges between $1,000 and $2,200 depending on the type of vehicle: new plug-in, conventional converted, etc. The total budget of the program is $330,000. The rebate limits are set to one per individual and five per fleet. Only residents and organizations from the state of Delaware are eligible to participate in the program. 

Last Updated: June 2016

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Delaware has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

Last Updated: June 2017