TDEC OEP Promotes K-12 Energy Education in Tennessee
OEP provides educators with the knowledge and resources necessary to teach energy concepts in the K-12 classroom, helping Tennessee educators inspire their students and prepare them for success in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. OEP staff travel across the state to support year-round professional development and student learning opportunities in energy education. Learn more about OEP’s K-12 Energy Education programming here.
In September, OEP hosted three K-12 Energy Education Workshops at the Lewis County Public Library and Mount Juliet Elementary School, reaching more than 700 students and educators with lessons on energy-related topics, including solar power, chemical reactions, sound energy, electric circuitry, radiant energy, and more. Other 2019 K-12 Energy Education Workshops have already taken place across Tennessee; find more information on these Workshops here.
Best Practices Magazine Shines Light on TN Industrial Assessment Centers
Tennessee’s two Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), which are based out of Tennessee Tech University and the University of Memphis, were recently featured in Compressed Air Best Practices Magazine for their technical assistance and training programs. Since the program started, Tennessee’s IACs have conducted 221 assessments and provided assessment reports to 180 manufacturers. The average assessment identifies more than $100,000 in energy savings opportunities. Assessments involve all plant systems and utilities, including compressed air, steam, process heating and cooling, HVAC, lighting, and more. In Tennessee, the IACs pay undergraduate students an hourly wage to participate. Graduate students earn two years of college tuition and a monthly stipend. Additionally, students who complete the program also earn a certificate in energy assessment expertise. Click here to read the full article. Click here to learn more about IACs across the country.  
Knoxville Reduces Energy Emissions
Knoxville recently reached its goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from a 2005 baseline. Now, officials within the city’s sustainability office are outlining new emission goals to reduce community emissions 80% by 2050. As part of this process, the city is encouraging citizens to efficiently use transportation and electricity. From reducing food waste to switching to energy-efficient vehicles or appliances, city officials say Knoxvillians can reduce emissions and save money in the process. Click here to read the full story.
U.S. DOE's Better Plants Partners Saved $6.7 Billion
Earlier this month, U.S. DOE announced that its Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have cumulatively saved $6.7 billion in energy costs and more than 1.3 quadrillion British thermal units. More than 220 organizations have partnered with U.S. DOE’s Better Plants program; combined, these partners have more than 3,200 facilities across the country and represent roughly 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. One of these partners, Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical Company, won a 2019 Better Project Award for devising a process to develop specialized versions of a chemical product and reducing production energy costs by 42%, or $725,000 annually. Click here to read the 2019 Better Plants Progress Update for more information.
REAP to Fund Rural Energy Projects
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. This program helps improve American energy independence by both increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers. Funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is available in a variety of forms, each under its own application process and timeline. Grant applications are due October 31, 2019 and March 31, 2020. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.
Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as biomass (biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels); geothermal for electric generation or direct use; hydropower below 30 MW; hydrogen; small and large wind generation; small and large solar generation; and ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation. With regard to transportation, REAP funds may be used for solar-assisted electric vehicle charging stations. Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC); insulation; lighting; cooling or refrigeration units; doors and windows; electric, solar, or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots; switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor; and replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.
Click here to learn more and to apply for REAP financial assistance. Click here to find the REAP point of contact for your Tennessee region.  
Applications Open for Solar Decathlon Design Challenge
U.S. DOE recently released the 2019-2020 Competition Guide to provide information on its solar design challenge, the Solar Decathlon. The purpose of this collegiate competition is to take buildings in the United States to the next level through a variety of advancements, including making them more affordable for American families; incorporating grid-interactive technologies; improving construction productivity; providing greater comfort and healthier indoor environments; and optimizing operational efficiency with resilient solutions that will stand the test of time. Participating students get hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter the clean energy workforce. The winners of the Solar Decathlon competition are selected from the teams that best blend technology, market potential, and design excellence with smart energy efficiency and production.
Collegiate team applications are currently being accepted for the Design Challenge and must be submitted to U.S. DOE by November 5. Visit for more information on the competition and registration process, or subscribe to the competition newsletter. For other questions, email
Applications Open for Collegiate Wind Competition 2021
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a request for proposals for students interested in competing in U.S. DOE’s Collegiate Wind Competition, which will take place in the Spring of 2021. Students will be challenged to 1) design, build, and test a model wind turbine, and 2) design a hypothetical utility wind farm that maximizes energy production and balances environmental and community impacts. Interested parties are invited to attend an informational webinar on October 17 at 4:00 PM ET to learn more about the Collegiate Wind Competition and hear from contest organizers. Applications are due by December 9. Click here to learn more about the opportunity.
Energy Efficiency Day is October 2
Each year, organizations and citizens across the country endorse energy efficiency’s benefits and participate in online energy efficiency challenges and promotions in celebration of Energy Efficiency Day (EE Day). Cities, counties, and states issued official proclamations to recognize EE Day last year, as did the U.S. Senate. EE Day 2019 (#EEDay2019) will return on October 2, and event organizers have already updated the EE Day website with new energy efficiency campaigns and materials. As October approaches, EE Day organizers ask that interested parties sign up as 2019 supporters. These supporters will receive both updates from EE Day organizers as well as energy efficiency facts and materials to share on social media. Find more EE Day resources at
Webinar: 2019-2020 Winter Energy Outlook
The National Association of State Energy Officials and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will host a 2019-2020 Winter Energy Outlook Webinar on October 8 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET. The webinar will address global oil supply uncertainty and the effects of projected winter weather on the demand for heating and key transportation fuels. The webinar will include presentations on the following topics:
  • Winter Weather Forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • World Market Overview from Citi Group
  • 2019-2020 Short-Term Energy and Winter Outlook Overview from EIA
To register for the webinar, click here.
Best Practices 2019 Expo
The creators of BEST PRACTICES magazines will host a three-day conference and expo in Nashville on October 13-16 to provide industry professionals with information on compressed air, vacuum, blower, and cooling technologies. Speakers from General Mills, Nissan, Eastman, and other companies will educate attendees on how to reduce electricity and water consumption in their factory processes. Additionally, representatives from the Tennessee Technological University’s Industrial Assessment Center will attend the expo to promote their no-cost technical assistance and whole-plant energy assessment programming.
Interested parties can attend the conference for free on Tuesday, October 15. Presentations that day will include a U.S. DOE Compressed Air Challenge Workshop as well as an Energy Treasure Hunt Training Zone on the exhibit floor.
Click here to register for the expo. Use Discount Code TDEC to save $200 off the full conference rate, or $85 on a single-day pass. Learn more about the conference and expo at
2019 Middle Tennessee Cyber Conference
The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville will host the 2019 Middle Tennessee Cyber Conference from October 15-16 at the Middle Tennessee State University Student Union Building in Murfreesboro. The event will bring together individuals from education, government, and industry to share the latest in cybersecurity and emergency preparedness. Presenters will address business and industry cybersecurity, incident handling and response, identification of vulnerabilities, and strategies for security. Registration for the conference is free, and attendance is limited to the first 500 registrants. Learn more at
2019 Tennessee Valley Solar Conference
The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) will host the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference on October 16 at the Embassy Suites in Franklin. The purpose of the conference is to bring together solar advocates and adopters to discuss strategies, market trends, and policies that impact the Tennessee Valley solar industry. This includes topics like TVA's utlity-scale solar RFPs, solar opportunities under new programs like the Renewable Investment Agreement pilots, and latest efforts on program design for the residential solar market. TenneSEIA members may receive a conference registration discount. Click here to learn more about conference registration fees. Visit to learn more.
2019 ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard 
On October 1, ACEEE will publish its 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, an annual report ranking all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for their work on energy efficiency. ACEEE will also host a webinar that day from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CT, explaining the findings of the report and the changes in state rankings between 2018 and 2019. Register to attend the webinar here. Find more information on the State Scorecard reports at   
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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