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Minimizing Emissions

By minimizing greenhouse gas emissions now, we contribute to a worldwide effort to reduce the severity of rapid climate change.

Action Areas to Minimize Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Delaware’s Climate Action Plan capitalizes on the work already underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware and identifies five key areas the state can focus on as we move forward:

Clean and renewable energy expansion, which has the greatest potential to reduce emissions in the long term.

Energy efficiency measures, which can be put in place relatively quickly and implemented through existing programs.

Transportation sector transitions to zero-emission vehicles and more efficient transportation systems.

High global warming potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions and management of greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide.

Offsetting carbon emissions by preserving forests, croplands, wetlands and urban greenspaces that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Past and Present Actions

Policies and partnerships, along with various incentive programs, have helped reduce emissions in Delaware, but more needs to be done in order to meet our goal of achieving a 26 to 28 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2025.

Delaware’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act, updated in February 2021, requires the state’s utilities to get an increasing percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. By 2035, 40% of utilities’ electricity must be from renewable sources.

Delaware is a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program. This program sets a regional cap on carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. Since the program’s inception in 2008, emissions from electricity generation in the state has decreased by 45 percent.

The state first established a minimum statewide building code for energy conservation in 1979. The Delaware Code for Energy Conservation, updated in 2020, aims to improve energy efficiency and cost savings for new construction.

In 2017, DNREC issued Evaluation, Measurement and Verification regulations that set forth procedures and standards for defining and measuring electricity and natural gas savings from energy efficiency programs provided by Delaware’s utilities.

DNREC’s Division of Air Quality has several programs that monitor air quality from vehicles. The Mobile Sources Control Program implements measures and programs to reduce motor vehicle-related pollution from on-road vehicles and non-road vehicles.

Delaware has instituted a multitude of incentive programs to help lower the cost for residents, businesses and companies that seek to reduce their carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency.

The Green Energy Program provides grants and incentives to promote the development of renewable energy systems in Delaware. The program is offered to residents and businesses through the state’s electric utilities.

The Energy Efficiency Investment Fund helps commercial and industrial customers replace aging, inefficient equipment and systems with energy efficient alternatives.

The Energy Efficiency Industrial (E2I) program helps large-scale energy users make their operations more energy efficient through innovative upgrades.

The Cool Switch Low Impact Refrigerant Program provides incentives to non-residential consumers to switch from hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants to those with lower global warming potential impacts.

The Clean Transportation Incentive Program provides rebates to individuals and businesses to offset the cost of purchasing electric vehicles. Rebates are also available for propane- and natural gas-powered vehicles.

The Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Rebate Program offers incentives for workplace, fleet, public access and multi-family charging stations.

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