The DCOI pioneered a pilot program starting in 2012 to help Duke employees reduce home energy use and increase renewable energy use through education, incentives, and discounts. Beyond this pilot, the DCOI supports the Help My House energy efficiency retrofit program for low income mobile home residents in South Carolina. The Help My House program results in unverified emissions reductions that the DCOI tracks.
The employee residential energy efficiency pilot reduced energy use, facilitated comfortable indoor temperatures, improved indoor air-quality, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions from 48 participating homes. The DCOI co-led a student research team to design and implement the Solarize Duke campaign. Through educational workshops, Solarize Duke assisted employees in receiving residential rooftop solar installations to reduce emissions that result from grid supplied electricity.
Building on the experience gained through these pilot programs, the DCOI has charted the path to scalable change by connecting Duke employees and other employers across North Carolina to Home Energy North Carolina (HENC) who continue to present these educational workshops. The DCOI also connects Duke employees to resources such as Energy Sage, a service which facilitates competitive bidding from multiple companies to install residential rooftop solar.
- Home energy investments lead to lower energy and medical bills, higher property values, and financial savings for the homeowner.
- The DCOI’s initial pilot and Home Energy Affordability Loan pilot (HEAL) reached 48 homes reducing energy consumption by 10-25% for participating households.
- Solarize Duke resulted in 152 kW of solar capacity being installed across 29 employee homes.
- Through our residential energy programs, the DCOI has access to monthly energy data from over 300 houses and uses this data for research and educational purposes.
Home Energy North Carolina
Educational: Provides opportunities for Duke students to learn about residential energy usage, conduct surveys and market research, and develop materials for educational workshops.
Social: Empowers employees to build skills that will benefit them personally and professionally, supports local contractors and community organizations, and helps to build employee-employer relationships.
Environmental: Improves indoor air quality, decreases allergy and asthma symptoms, and reduces trips to the hospital.
Scalable: The DCOI’s partnership with HENC will enable the energy efficiency workshop to reach a statewide audience, offered by employers to their employees.
Project Partners: UNC Environmental Finance Center, Clinton Climate Initiative, ResiSpeak, Duke Energy, NC State Cooperative Extension, Duke Credit Union, The Duke Endowment, Advanced Energy, Bass Connections in Energy, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, UNC’s Environmental Finance Center, NextClimate, Yes! Solar Solutions, and Southern Energy Management