Missouri’s Division of Energy (MDE), now housed under the Missouri Department of Economic Development, assists, educates and encourages Missourians to advance the efficient use of diverse energy resources to provide for a healthier environment and to achieve greater energy security for future generations.
The transfer of the MDE from the state’s Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Economic Development was effective August 28, 2013. The Division of Energy continues to serve as Missouri’s State Energy Office, receiving U.S. Department of Energy funding for the State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program, with a core focus of working towards an energy future that achieves both economic and environmental benefits for Missourians through energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
MDE recently celebrated a milestone of 25 years with its Energy Loan Program. Established in 1989, 550 loans have been awarded to schools, local governments, colleges, universities and healthcare institutions for energy-saving investments, such as lighting upgrades, heating and cooling systems, insulation, windows and other measures affecting energy use. These projects have resulted in more than $160 million in estimated cumulative energy savings.
Another of the division’s longstanding initiatives, the Weatherization Assistance Program, has operated since 1977, providing cost-effective energy efficient home improvements to 180,000 of Missouri’s low-income households.
In partnership with the Missouri Rural Water Association, MDE has launched an energy efficiency demonstration audit and training initiative for water supply and wastewater treatment plants throughout the state. The objective is to assist plant personnel with identifying energy savings opportunities and implementing energy efficiency and conservation measures. The training program includes energy management system information, case studies, software, audit demonstrations and peer exchange.
The Division of Energy, in cooperation with some of Missouri’s utilities and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), provides Building Operator Certification (BOC) training in Missouri. Utility companies encourage building operators in their service territories to participate by paying a portion of the course training costs. The training offers courses on energy and resource-efficient practices to individuals responsible for day-to day operations and maintenance of public facilities and commercial buildings, which can result in measurable energy savings. BOC training consists of a series of seven courses, given over an eight-day period, on building systems, energy-conservation techniques, HVAC systems and controls, lighting, environmental health and safety regulations, indoor air quality, and facility electrical systems. Successful completion of these courses and their assigned projects qualifies individuals for certification awarded by MEEA. Currently there are more than 500 building operators certified in Missouri through this training.