Pollution Mitigation Program
The Pollution Mitigation Program allows SECO to provide technical assistance to public entities in the State of Texas. This program demonstrates the value of energy-related technologies, technology transfer and training, energy-efficient green building practices and the development of long-term performance, emissions, and energy data. The goal is to promote pollution mitigation strategies. The objective is to encourage, promote and evaluate feasibility studies, model development, and demonstration and profiling projects.
The value of energy-related technologies is demonstrated by actual use in the public facilities through a reduction in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The value is then reported to SECO and disseminated to other public entities with similar needs. An annual report is published and made public. Also, public entities give presentations during workshops reporting on the technologies they have employed and their effectiveness. The audience is other public entities. SECO also regularly gives workshops introducing public entities to new and existing technologies that may be beneficial to them.
Energy Management Assistance Tool for Small Municipalities
Report (pdf) (October 2006)
This project is designed to develop and maintain an interactive web-based information and planning tool for energy management in small municipalities within Texas. This tool will provide very specific guidance to city staff in planning, implementing and evaluating energy conservation efforts. It will include access to documents such as spreadsheets for evaluating energy bills, documents describing financing options, guidelines for conducting audits and evaluating and prioritizing projects, a model Request for Proposals (RFP), recommended project acceptance criteria, guidelines for reviewing savings reports, recommended evaluation criteria and draft resolutions for City Council actions regarding energy projects.
The tool will include a protocol for documenting case studies of successful projects (including processes employed and savings realized) and developing a location to post links to this documentation so that other cities can learn by example.
Market Transformation First Steps: A Study of Energy Efficiency in Building Types in the Hot, Humid, and Hydro-thermal Region
Report (doc) (November 2006)
This research project will culminate in the transformation of the local and regional residential home market. This project is designed to monitor two distinct housing types for their abilities to maximize energy efficiency in the hot and humid climatic conditions that define the Houston-Galveston Area non-attainment zone located within the southeastern portion of Texas. The project will include the analysis of data collected from these homes and establish a platform for evaluating the success of each home relative to its energy efficiency. In addition, the homes will be evaluated in terms of their impact on health and well being of the occupants, ease of maintenance and operation, and cost-effectiveness. Specifically, the homes will be monitored and tested for mold, a major factor in the hot and humid climatic zone.
A case study detailing the information and lessons learned will be prepared. The study will go beyond the Building America's primary function of research into deployment. The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) proposes to share the case study and results in public forums with the building industry and the public. This effort will be accomplished through integration into the educational components of HARC programs and those of SECO's partners. This information will also be provided through a lecture series. SECO is exploring the possibility of including our project results directly into the curricula of the University of Houston and Rice University's Architectural and Engineering colleges.
Small Scale Fuel Cell Templates Project
Final Report (pdf) (July 2006)
This project is designed to identify ten application templates for small scale fuel cells (5 kilowatt to 25 kilowatt) in public and non-profit institutions in the Houston-Galveston non-attainment area. The project will help accelerate the implementation of low emission fuel cells in the Houston-Galveston non-attainment zone by identifying and characterizing key residential, commercial, and industrial process applications for fuel cells and related systems. Additional deployment of fuel cells of all sizes will help offset emissions of NOx from power and heat production, which is consistent with the emissions goals as detailed in the State Implementation Plan (SIP).
Bexar County Energy Manager Demonstration Project
Final Report (doc) (2005)
In partnership with SECO and DOE, Bexar County hired an Energy Manager to create the first-ever formal Energy Management Program (EMP) at the County. During this pilot project, the Energy Management Program targeted three county facilities; the Courthouse, Justice Center, and Vista Verde Plaza. The energy efficiency projects in these facilities exceeded $300,000, thus proving the economic worth of establishing an energy manager position.
Gulf Coast Regional Combined Heat and Power Center
Final Report (HARC) (doc) (2002)
Combined heat and power (CHP) refers to a set of technologies that produce both electricity and steam from a single fuel at a facility located near the consumption point. The Gulf Coast Regional Center will conduct general education and outreach activities in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. This activity includes maintaining an educational CHP website at www.gulfcoastchp.org, providing case studies of existing CHP projects in the region, providing project- specific assistance to adopters and developers as needed, and acting as an expert resource on CHP within the region.
HARC also proposes to hold an annual CHP Summit, which would be a regional forum where the CHP industry, potential CHP adopters, and CHP regulators can convene to continue discussion on regional issues impacting CHP. Stakeholders such as project developers, equipment suppliers, electric and gas utilities, engineering firms, architects, the green building community, environmental organizations, industrial assessment centers, state energy offices, and others will be engaged to identify a common platform of education and outreach activities across the region, emphasizing actions in key market segments as determined by the Roadmap Workshop and the resulting Regional Strategic Plan.
An important aspect of the Strategic Plan could be the identification of high impact CHP applications, especially to identify 1,500 MW of CHP sites that are well suited for rapid development.