FEMA Announces Theme for 2019 National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote disaster and emergency planning for families and communities across the country. For 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has selected the theme, “Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters.” Each week in September, FEMA will hold activities and provide outreach on the following preparedness topics, including how to prepare for large-scale, sustained energy disruptions:
  • Week 1 (September 1-7): Save Early for Disaster Costs
  • Week 2 (September 8-14): Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
  • Week 3 (September 15-21): Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters
  • Week 4 (September 22-30): Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness
For additional information and resources, please visit the National Preparedness Month 2019 site at
TDEC OEP Promotes K-12 Energy Education in Tennessee
TDEC OEP has a long history of supporting K-12 energy education through professional development and student learning opportunities. These offerings link the broad topic of energy to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects and provide educators with the knowledge and resources necessary to teach energy concepts. In August, OEP hosted K-12 Energy Education Workshops for the Collegedale Public Library Kid’s Club as well as the Overlook Ridge Apartment Complex in Davidson County. These workshops provided students, educators, and parents with lessons on energy-related topics, including sound energy, solar power, chemical reactions, and electric circuitry. OEP also hosted an energy education booth at the Metro Nashville Public Schools Science and STEAM Teacher In-service Symposium, which was attended by more than 600 educators and other interested parties. Learn more about OEP’s K-12 Energy Education programming here.
New Energy Efficiency Job Skills Training Program in Chattanooga
TVA, the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, and the Tennessee Urban League Affiliates recently announced a job skills training and minority candidate recruitment program for employment opportunities related to home construction and residential energy improvement. The program will teach minority contractors and employees how to properly weatherize homes, which both reduces residential energy consumption and improves residents’ safety. TVA anticipates launching similar programs across the state in Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville and will expand the training to include training on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services in the future. Learn more about the Chattanooga program here.
NES Home Energy Uplift Weatherizes 200 Homes
The Nashville Electric Service (NES) Home Energy Uplift program recently weatherized its 200th home. The Uplift program aims to preserve affordable housing through the completion of whole home energy efficiency retrofits designed to increase resident comfort and conserve energy. Participating residents have saved upwards of $500 on their electricity bills each year.
Eligible, single-family homes must be site-built in Davidson County and use electricity as their primary heat source. To qualify for program assistance, participants’ household income must be 80% or less of the State median income for a given household size (details on income eligibility can be found within the program application). Please visit the NES program’s website for information.
Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball Team Holds Green Power Night
On August 23, the Chattanooga Lookouts became the first American minor-league baseball team to play a 100% carbon-neutral game when they took on the Montgomery Biscuits at AT&T Field. The Green Power Night was powered by solar energy credits, which were generated at EPB’s Solar Share community solar installation. Click here to learn more about the Lookouts’ Green Power Night.
Biotechnology Company Invests in Tennessee, Agricultural Fiber Products
Genera, a Tennessee-based biomass solutions company, recently announced that it has secured $118 million in new investment funds to build a manufacturing facility in Vonore, which is expected to bring 80 new jobs to the area. The facility will produce a line of compostable food service products—including plates, bowls, takeout containers, towels, tissues, and cups—made from locally grown grasses and other agricultural crops. These products will be a sustainable alternative to plastics and Styrofoam and are expected to be commercially available in 2020. Click here to learn more.
TDEC Announces Winners of Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards
TDEC recently announced winners for the 2019 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, which honor outstanding accomplishments that support the protection and enhancement of Tennessee’s natural resources. A panel of professional representatives from agriculture, conservation, forestry, environment, and academia awarded winners in ten categories, including Building Green; Clean Air; Energy and Renewable Resources; Environmental Education and Outreach (for both school and non-school projects); Land Use; Materials Management; Natural Heritage; Sustainable Performance; and Lifetime Achievement.
In the Energy and Renewable Resources category, the Tennsco Corporation was awarded for its continued investment in onsite solar installation. In 2018, Tennsco worked with Dickson Electric Company and TVA to expand its onsite solar photovoltaics capacity up to 1.15 MW. Within one month of this solar expansion, Tennsco displaced over 100 MWh of electricity with renewable power generation, diverting almost 70,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions. Tennsco has also invested in several energy efficiency measures to lower the business’s overall energy consumption, including improvement of indoor and outdoor lighting with LEDs and lighting control systems; conversion of 183 propane forklifts to electric; right-sizing of air compressors and other commercial equipment; and more.
The winners were formally recognized for their achievements at an awards ceremony in Franklin on August 1, which was attended by Governor Bill Lee. Details about each award recipient and their accomplishments can be found here.
Second Round of the Solar Energy Innovation Network
The Solar Energy Innovation Network is seeking applications for collaborative research projects that address challenges related to solar adoption in rural communities, at multifamily housing complexes, and at commercial buildings. Teams are encouraged to include State and local governments, utilities, industry, regulators, nonprofits, and academic institutions and may address topics in the following areas:
  • Solar in Rural Communities – Analysis and testing to help cooperative utilities, counties, and other rural community stakeholders understand the potential for solar energy to improve energy affordability and resilience.
  • Commercial-Scale Solar – Research and analysis to address market barriers and reduce the costs of solar energy for multifamily housing, community solar projects, and commercial buildings (e.g., offices, warehouses, hospitals, retail stores, college campuses, etc.).
Research projects may address solar power generation combined with other technologies, such as battery storage or microgrids. The selected project teams will work to address barriers to solar adoption through in-person meetings and targeted research and analysis over 15 months. These teams will be grouped based on common solar market challenges so that they can exchange ideas and address similar solar adoption issues. Teams will receive funding and access to technical expertise from U.S. DOE’s National Laboratories.
The program, managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is in its second round and will accept applications through September 4. Click here to learn more and apply.
U.S. DOE Announces $2M for Geothermal Research
As part of its new membership with GEOTHERMICA (a transnational consortium that combines financial resources and research expertise to demonstrate and validate novel concepts in geothermal energy use), U.S. DOE announced that it will contribute up to $2 million in funding to advance geothermal research and development. Collectively, participating nations (the United States, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Italy, and Slovenia) will work to optimize geothermal direct-use and power generation, including development of innovative, integrated, and combined systems. GEOTHERMICA encourages consortia with a wide geographic spectrum to apply, requiring that eligible consortia represent at least three participating countries. Consortia may consist of applicants and partners from companies, research organizations, universities and higher education institutions, industry organizations, local/regional governments, and non-government organizations. GEOTHERMICA focuses on three technological themes, which cover all stages in the development cycle of a secure, sustainable, competitive, and affordable geothermal installation:
  • Identification and assessment of geothermal resources suitable for direct use and power generation;
  • Geothermal resource development (drilling, completion, materials, and equipment); and
  • Supply and smart integration into energy systems and operations.
Pre-proposals must be submitted by 13:00 UTC on September 13. Full proposals will be accepted until 13:00 UTC on Friday, January 31, 2020. Click here to learn more about the funding opportunity. Apply at
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded grant program that aims to assist low-income households, primarily those that pay a high proportion of household income on home energy, in meeting their immediate energy needs. In Tennessee, LIHEAP is administered through a network of 19 local agencies that reach all 95 counties.
Applicants must come from eligible households with income at or below 150% of U.S. Poverty Guidelines. Applications, along with all necessary verifications, must be submitted through the designated LIHEAP agency in the applicant's county of residence. LIHEAP offers one-time assistance to help defray heating and cooling expenses, as long as funding is available. LIHEAP assistance does not go directly to the client or applicant; rather, direct payments are made through the LIHEAP agency to the local power company or energy supplier.
For more information or to receive assistance with the application process, please contact your local LIHEAP agency. Click here for a list of agencies and counties they serve. Click here to learn more about LIHEAP in Tennessee. Applications for LIHEAP 2019 are due by September 30.
Energy Efficient Schools Initiative Launches Web-Based Application
The Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI) was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2008 to provide energy efficiency grants and low-interest loans to public, K-12 schools across the state. Since its inception, EESI has disbursed over $130 million to participating schools, which has resulted in more than $64 million in cumulative energy savings. EESI recently announced that a new, web-based loan application is now available online for school districts implementing energy efficiency upgrades, allowing for a more user-friendly and convenient application experience. Applicants have the ability to save their application and come back to it later by using a unique verification key code, which they receive via email. Other improvements include the ability to upload documents and save the application as a PDF. Eligible EESI energy projects include interior and exterior lighting system upgrades; replacement of pumps and motors; installation of energy management systems and equipment controls; installation of building insulation; upgrade of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment; purchase of water and wastewater treatment equipment; and load shifting initiatives. For additional information, visit the EESI webpage.
Webinar and Guide: Energy-Plus-Health Playbook
The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, in collaboration with E4TheFuture, will host a webinar on Sep 9 at 02:30 PM ET to discuss the newly released Energy-Plus-Health Playbook and present associated case studies on how to integrate health into energy efficiency program design. The webinar will be moderated by Ellen Tohn of Tohn Environmental Strategies and will include speakers from energy and health programs referenced in the Playbook. Click here to register for the webinar, and click here to read through the Playbook.
Renewable Natural Gas Workshop in Nashville
RNG WORKS is a two-day technical workshop and trade expo hosted by the RNG Coalition for the North American Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) industry; this year’s RNG Works will be held in Nashville from September 11-12. The event is designed to educate feedstock owners (landfill, wastewater, livestock, agriculture, food processing, etc.); RNG project developers, operators, financiers, and engineers; and RNG end-users (fleets, municipalities, utilities, etc.) about RNG best practices and resources for increased development, deployment, and utilization of RNG across the region. Click here to register for RNG WORKS. Learn more at
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.
ACEEE 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard 
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard, a report that ranks 75 U.S. cities (including Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville) based on local efforts to save energy, promote renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and embed equity in policymaking. Cities are ranked on their performance in five key policy areas: local government operations; community-wide initiatives; buildings; energy and water utilities; and transportation. Click here to read the full ACEEE report.     
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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