DC Sustainable Energy Utility Generates Big Energy and GHG Savings, Green Jobs over Last Decade

Report Details Environmental, Economic, and Community Benefits


January 25, 2022

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) recently marked the end of a five-year contract period and its tenth full year in operation having helped residents and businesses generate more than $1.3 billion in lifetime energy cost savings and prevent more than 7 million metric tons of lifetime CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions. Under a performance contract with the District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) and operated by VEIC, the DCSEU has been designing and implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and workforce development and training programs in the District since 2011. Today, the DCSEU released a report detailing its performance and achievements in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and over the last decade in its efforts to help the District achieve its clean energy and climate change goals. Some highlights in the report include:

  • Exceeding all of its cumulative five-year maximum Performance Benchmarks, including reducing electricity and natural gas consumption, increasing the amount of renewable energy generation, and financial leveraging.
  • Achieving all of its annual benchmarks, including spending in low-income communities, energy savings in low-income communities, and green job creation.
  • Installing enough solar to cut electricity bills in half for 6,000 income-qualified DC residents for the next 15 years through the Solar for All program.
  • Creating more than 420 full-time equivalent green jobs paying at least DC’s Living Wage for District residents over the past five years.
  • Spending more than $60 million with District Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs), including more than $10.2 million in FY 2021.

“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved in partnership with District government, businesses, and residents in support of efforts to make DC the most sustainable city in the country,” said Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DCSEU. “Our work is not only significantly reducing energy consumption and harmful GHG emissions, but is also creating jobs for DC residents, economic opportunity for DC businesses, and benefits for low-income residents.”

Over the last ten years, the population of the District grew by approximately 60,000 residents. There has also been tremendous development throughout DC, with more than 106 million square feet of new commercial and multifamily buildings between 2011 and 2020. Thanks to bold policies from District leaders, aggressive building and energy codes, and the DCSEU’s efforts to help residents and businesses reduce their energy consumption, electricity and natural gas sales in DC have largely remained flat or even declined despite the growth in population and real estate development. Collectively, these efforts have helped the District improve its ranking on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE’s) State Scorecard from 30th in 2013 to 8th in 2020. ACEEE also ranked the District third out of more than 100 of the largest cities in the U.S. on its 2021 City Clean Energy Scorecard, which rates cities’ energy efficiency policy and program efforts.

"The decade of progress with GHG reductions, energy savings, and job creation could not have happened without the partnerships and advocates of this city,” said Director Tommy Wells of the District Department of Energy and Environment. “The DCSEU has done a fantastic job balancing the importance of a greener energy system and providing benefits for underserved communities. Ensuring a cleaner energy future will require a collective effort and we look forward to continuing the great work alongside the DCSEU."

Over the next five years, the District is increasing its investments in the DCSEU to decarbonize buildings, preserve affordable housing, train and develop DC’s current and future green workforce, and ensure low-income residents are benefiting from energy efficiency and renewable energy. The DCSEU looks forward to continuing to make a positive impact on the economy, the environment, and the community.

For more information, download the DCSEU’s FY 2021 Annual Report.


About the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)
The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money. Since 2011, as a contractor to DOEE, the DCSEU has delivered financial incentives, technical assistance, and information to tens of thousands of District residents and businesses, helping them save more than $1.3 billion in lifetime energy costs. Its work is building a brighter economic, environmental, and energy future for the District. For more information, visit www.dcseu.com.

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Jahmai Sharp
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