October 5 is National Energy Efficiency Day

October 5 is Energy Efficiency Day (#EEDay2017), a collaborative effort between regional and national organizations, businesses, utilities, and individuals working to promote energy efficiency, which is the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, cut consumer bills, and reduce pollution. The message is simple: “Save energy. Save money.”

Through the means of energy efficiency, we can both use and waste less energy as well as maximize the productivity of each unit of energy we consume. Energy efficiency offers many important benefits, such as:

  • The opportunity to defer or eliminate the need to build new electric power generating and transmitting facilities and capacity, which keeps electricity rates lower;
  • The opportunity to reduce electricity bills for utility customers who participate in energy efficiency programs and rebates AND lower rates for all customers;
  • The opportunity to address electric grid constraints, and enhance grid reliability, especially during peak hours;
  • Reduced environmental impact;
  • Local job creation and economic growth (According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Jobs report, more than 50,000 Tennesseans are currently employed by the energy efficiency industry);
  • Improved health, comfort, and productivity for all citizens.

On this year’s Energy Efficiency Day, TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs invites you to participate and find out more about the energy efficiency measures that benefit Tennessee.

The goals for Energy Efficiency Day are to raise awareness of energy issues, educate individuals and businesses on how to reduce energy costs, and unite people who are passionate about cutting energy waste and conserving resources. Here are three ways you and your organization can spread the word about the benefits of energy efficiency:

  1. Visit the new Energy Efficiency Day website and sign up. You can sign up as an individual or as an organization. By signing up, you will receive information and ideas on how to save energy, including fun facts to share on social media.
  2. Take the Lightbulb Challenge or the Office Lighting Challenge. By taking the challenge, you agree to replace at least one light bulb with an LED. If each US household purchases just one LED bulb, consumers could save $500 million annually.
  3. Create and share your own energy efficiency content online. You can share the news about Energy Efficiency Day and the benefits of saving energy—and money!—through blog posts, emails, newsletters, and social media. Tell your own energy efficiency success story with videos, photos, graphics, or other content. Or share this blog post! When you sign up on the EE Day website, you will receive additional material that you can use.

Want to know more about what you can do to enhance your energy savings? There are a variety of financing opportunities and incentive programs within Tennessee that encourage energy efficiency within the State. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) offers its EnergyRight Solutions program to both residential customers as well as to commercial and industrial customers. When qualifying customers make an investment in energy upgrades through the EnergyRight Solutions program, they may be eligible for an incentive payment to offset some of the costs.

Similarly, the Pathway Lending Energy Efficiency Loan Program provides below-market loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to Tennessee businesses, non-profit entities, and local governmental entities. All costs related to the efficiency measures may be financed, including assessments, design, equipment, and installation.

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds may also be used by local governments to invest in energy efficiency projects within their jurisdictions. Examples of qualified projects include energy efficiency capital expenditures in public buildings, efficiency/energy reduction measures for mass transit, or even energy efficiency education campaigns.

Join the growing network of efficiency advocates by sharing the news about Energy Efficiency Day and the benefits of saving energy today!

Tennessee Celebrates National Drive Electric Week

NDEW2017 Neyland StadiumIn 2015, the United States imported about 24% of the petroleum it consumed, and transportation was responsible for nearly three-quarters of total U.S. petroleum consumption. Using hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles instead of conventional vehicles can help reduce U.S. reliance on imported petroleum and increase energy security.

EVs can also reduce fuel costs dramatically due to the high efficiency of their electric motors. Depending on how they’re driven, today’s light-duty EVs (or PHEVs in electric mode) can exceed 100 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge).

Lastly, EVs and PHEVs can have significant emissions benefits over conventional vehicles. Although the life cycle emissions of an EV or PHEV depends on the sources of electricity used to charge it, in geographic areas that use relatively low-polluting energy sources for electricity production, plug-in vehicles typically have a large life cycle emissions advantage over similar conventional vehicles running on gasoline or diesel. (For more information, use this calculator to compare life cycle emissions of individual vehicle models in a given location.)

Pictures from #NDES2017 at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, 9/9/17

Pictures from #NDES2017 at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, 9/9/17

Events in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Memphis were held last weekend. Attendees celebrated with various educational outreach activities, including EV parades, “tailpipe-free” tailgate parties, and the launch of new public EV charging stations.

If you missed these events, don’t fear! You still have time to attend a final Tennessee-based Drive Electric Week event this Saturday, September 16 in Knoxville from 10AM – 4PM Eastern. The event will take place at the Whole Foods market in Knoxville on Papermill Drive and will feature test drives of a Nissan Leaf as well as ride-alongs in other EVs. To learn more about the event , click here or contact Patrick LaDue at pladue63@gmail.com. By registering for the event at the link above, you will also be entered to win a $250 gift card!

To learn more about National Drive Electric Week events across the nation, click here. We also invite you to connect with TN Clean Fuels, our statewide DOE Clean Cities representatives, to learn more about alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies available in Tennessee.

University of Tennessee Wins the Green Power Partnership College and University Challenge

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) has made its way to the top of the “Green Power Partnership Top 30 College & University” list. This list recognizes the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership, an EPA program launched in 2001 to increase the use of renewable electricity in the U.S. The combined green power use of these higher education organizations amounts to nearly 2.9 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) every year. That number is equivalent to the annual electricity use of nearly 266,000 average American homes.

A March 2012 aerial photo of the West Tennessee Solar Farm, a 5-megawatt facility installed and operated by the University of Tennessee in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and local utilities Chickasaw Electric Cooperative and Tennessee Valley Authority.

A March 2012 aerial photo of the West Tennessee Solar Farm, a 5-megawatt facility installed and operated by the University of Tennessee in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and local utilities Chickasaw Electric Cooperative and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Throughout the 2016-17 academic year, UTK consumed 336,370,231 kWh of green power. Of that total, 245,736,000 kWh were either generated or purchased by UTK. The University’s commitment to renewable energy was born from a 2005 student-led initiative that facilitated the use of a small amount of tuition fees for the added costs of clean electricity. The fees now pay for both UTK’s annual green power purchases as well as for campus environmental initiatives, from recycling to energy conservation. The University uses these programs to communicate with both internal and external audiences about the importance of environmental stewardship. In addition, the green power commitment showcases the ways in which the University is working both to educate and serve the State of Tennessee.

If you would like to join UTK in its green power efforts, check out programs like TVA’s Green Power Switch, which lets both businesses and homeowners purchase renewably-generated electricity for as little as $4 a month, and the Green Power Providers (GPP) program, which encourages the development of small-scale (up to 50kW) solar, wind, low-impact hydro and biomass projects across the Valley. GPP participants are paid a retail rate for every kWh generated by their renewable energy systems.

The Better Buildings Challenge in Tennessee

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy launched its Better Buildings Initiative to encourage businesses, local governments, educational institutions, and other community members to cut down on their energy usage. Over 900 organizations have joined the initiative and are looking for ways to raise the energy efficiency of their buildings in a strategic, cost-effective manner. With increased energy efficiency, these organizations encounter lower energy costs and separate themselves as leaders on environmental issues of our day. Over 340 of these 900 institutions have taken the Better Buildings Challenge, which entails reducing the energy usage of their buildings by at least 20% within 10 years. Nearly two billion dollars have been saved since the onset of the project. Of note, many Tennessee organizations have gotten in the game:

At the beginning of 2016, the City of Chattanooga formally agreed to take the Better Buildings Challenge. Buildings that occupy over 2 million square feet of space have been and are currently undergoing energy efficiency renovations ever since the City drafted its Climate Action plan in 2009, setting goals on reducing energy waste and misuse. TVA and Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board (EPB) are among the community partners assisting the City in its goals to cut energy use and costs. Chattanooga’s Showcase project for the Better Buildings Challenge will be its downtown Public Library, as announced by Mayor Andy Berke this past December. Renovations to the forty year old building will include installation of LED lights and replacement of the HVAC system. From this one project alone, taxpayers can expect to save $60,000. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Erlanger hospital are also joining the City in its Better Buildings Challenge, bringing the total square footage of partnered buildings to over 7 million.

In 2015, the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel entered into the Better Buildings Challenge, and improvements were soon to follow. By April 2017, Loews had reduced energy consumption by 22%, saving approximately $328,250 per year. Replacing outdated roofing over the ballroom, updating the chiller system, and modifying the electric system in the elevators are the main renovations the hotel employed. Upcoming changes to the Vanderbilt Loews’ thermostat system will help the staff decrease energy costs even more in the future. These changes by the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel are a part of a larger collective effort by the entire Loews company to make their hotels more sustainable.

In 2012, Knoxville became the first city in Tennessee to join the Better Buildings Challenge, aiming to lower its energy costs at least 20% by 2020. More private companies with headquarters in Tennessee, such as Nissan North America, International Paper, and Wesley Housing are also partaking in the challenge, with Nissan having already met its goal of 25% baseline reduction in energy intensity. Sewanee led private higher education institutions in joining the Better Buildings Challenge in 2016 as a complement to the goals expressed in its 2013 Sustainability Master Plan.

More information about DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge can be found at https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/. Specific details on the Loews renovations can be read here: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/beat-blog/reducing-energy-use-and-improving-guest-experience-at-vanderbilt-hotel. More information on Chattanooga’s energy efficiency efforts can be found here: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/partners/chattanooga-tn.

2017 TDEC Energy Camps Promote Energy Education

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs held two no-cost Energy Education Camps in June at Montgomery Bell and Pickwick Landing State Parks. The three-day educational sessions, directed by the Office of Energy Programs’ Angela McGee, were desgined to provide k-12 educators with information and resources needed to actively engage and involve their students in learning about energy and energy conservation in the classroom.  Educators left the camps with energy-related classroom materials valued at over $200.

Measuring Plug Loads, Montgomery Bell State Park

Measuring Plug Loads, Montgomery Bell State Park

Camp Sessions focused on a variety of energy lessons such as plug loads, a solar scavengar hunt, an Electric Circuits KitBook demonstration, and a game of Energy Jeopardy.  Participants  also competed in teams to build  energy efficient houses using recycled materials.

To further broaden the reach of the Energy Education Camps, the Office of Energy Programs will also look to hold several one-day Energy Camp Workshops around Tennessee in the upcomming program year.  For more information, contact Energy Camp Director Angela McGee at angela.mcgee@tn.gov or (615) 532-7816.

2017 Energy Camp Feedback: “The hands-on activities were excellent and I loved walking away with materials I can use in my classroom.” -Malcom Sanders, Millington Middle School

“[Energy Camp] opened my mind to alternatives sources of energy as well as how to use energy more efficently.” -Debra Gann, McKissack Middle School

Solar Balloon Experiment, Pickwick Landing State Park

Solar Balloon Experiment, Pickwick Landing State Park

“I was able to develop concepts and ideas to better meet the needs of my students.  I am excited about sharing what I learned with other educators.” -Alyson Gunster, LaVergne Lake Elementary

“This has been the BEST PD I have ever participated in. The activities were great and I can’t wait to try them in my classroom. The fellowship with other science teachers has been inspiring and enlightening.”  – Leanne Shell, Etowah City School

“Wow! I had no idea how fun it could be learning about ENERGY! I loved all the hands-on activities. I have learned so many ideas I can take back to help my students. I met so many kind, helpful teachers from all over Tennessee. The setting at Pickwick Landing State Park was amazing.” – Chris King, Smyrna Primary School

“I really enjoyed the energy camp! The presenters did an excellent job. I think the format and pacing was better than at any other workshop I’ve attended. I also appreciate that the activities presented came with a lesson plan and that they could be used with a variety of grade levels and topics. Mr. Basconi’s kit book is one of a kind. I really wish there were other science concepts explained as simply and as thoroughly with a hands-on approach as he’s done in his book. You’ve really created a workshop that can be applied in the classroom.” – Amy Steinbrink, Munford Middle School

Better Fuel Resiliency: Summer Blend Fuel Requirement Relaxed for Middle Tennessee

EPA published a final rule on June 7, 2017 (82 FR 26354) that relaxed the 7.8 psi federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirement for Nashville (Middle Tennessee counties of Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties). The final rule approves the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) request to change the summertime gasoline RVP standard for Middle Tennessee from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.  Previously, these counties were required to use 7.8 psi gasoline from June 1 to September 15 as part of an EPA-approved maintenance plan for Middle Tennessee to meet the 1997 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).  Similar relaxations have been approved for cities in Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana.

TDEC Air Pollution Control successfully demonstrated that relaxing the standard to 9.0 psi would not interfere with the air quality in Middle Tennessee. In the final rule, EPA states:

EPA evaluated the impacts on air quality associated with the change in RVP requirements and determined that any such impacts will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any NAAQS or with any other applicable requirement of the Clean Air Act (82 FR 11517, 11520-11522, Feb. 24, 2017).

What this action means: Effective June 7, 2017, these counties are no longer subject to the 7.8 psi federal volatility requirement to use the 7.8 psi as the summer blend gasoline from the period of June 1 to September 15.

What this means for you: Improved fuel security for Tennessee

The change to 7.8 psi summer blend fuel in mid-May and then back to 9.0 psi in mid-September created vulnerability in the fuel supply chain for Nashville. The last two major fuel shortages in Nashville in 2008 and 2016 both occurred during September when inventories were lower than normal due to the need to deplete the summer blend stock.  With this change, Nashville is more resilient to disruptions to its fuel supply.

“With this final rulemaking, the gasoline sold in the Middle Tennessee Area can be identical to the fuel sold now in most of the rest of Tennessee. For motorists, the change in summertime gasoline volatility specifications will be virtually unnoticed,” said U.S. EPA in their official Regulatory Announcement on Relaxing the Standard: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-06/documents/420f17011.pdf

Crown College Advances a Mission of Stewardship through Energy Efficiency

The Crown College of the Bible is a private, nonprofit Christian college located in East Tennessee. Since opening its doors in 1991, the college has grown to an enrollment of more than 800 students in various fields of study through in their School of Ministry, School of Education, School of Business, Graduate School and Seminary, and Crown School of Trades and Technology. Crown College opened the doors of its first building in 1991 in rural Powell, Tennessee. With extensive growth came the need for a larger physical space, and in 2004 the school expanded its campus to a former Levi Strauss manufacturing facility just down the road. Constructed in the 1970s, the facility was well-built, but not with an eye to energy efficiency.

Dr. Charles Prescott learned about Pathway Lending’s energy efficiency program and saw the opportunity to invest in long-term energy and financial savings. As the Chief Financial Officer and Dean of the School of Business for Crown Graduate School, Prescott has a keen understanding of business decisions, and has enlisted Pathway for several building upgrades. 

Crown College used Pathway Lending energy efficiency loans to upgrade several hundred interior and exterior lights, install water conservation measures, and upgrade the HVAC and building controls systems. All told, the majority of this 200,000 square foot former manufacturing facility has been thoroughly upgraded to keep students and faculty comfortable while generating long-term reductions in utility costs. For more information about this project, click here.

The Tennessee Energy Efficiency Loan Program is a collaborative effort between Pathway Lending, the State of Tennessee / TDEC, and TVA. Since launching in 2010, the program has originated more than $24 million in loans to businesses and nonprofits across the state. The program now welcomes Tennessee local governmental entities to participate on a first come, first served basis.

For more information, click here or contact Brandon England at Brandon.england@pathwaylending.org

Crown-College-EE-collage

 

Energy Efficiency Success Story: Wade’s Food Center, Inc.

Started in 1917, Wade’s Food Center, Inc. has evolved from a hardware and grocery store on the square in Decatur to more than a dozen grocery and hardware stores across East Tennessee and Georgia. Along with their stores, the Wade family has been a fixture in rural Tennessee since well before Willis Wade opened his first Piggly Wiggly in Decatur in 1983.

client-sucess-story-wades-food-center-inc_-180x180At the helm of the latest generation of Wade’s Food Center stores is Willis Wade’s daughter Tiffany Wade-Pilkey. “My favorite part about working in the grocery business is the people,” said Tiffany. “You have a lot of grateful people in a small community. All of our stores are in rural areas and we support each of the communities wholly.”

Tiffany recently lead all six of their Tennessee stores through a complete lighting upgrade with the help of an energy efficiency loan from Pathway Lending and funds from the USDA, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative. The Wades found out about Pathway Lending’s loan program and the other incentives they were eligible for through Jim Clark of Intelligent Energy Optimizers, who stopped by their Etowah store while visiting family.untitled-design-7-225x180

“Jim’s company had just completed a lighting project in South Carolina, and told my dad about the energy efficiency program,” said Tiffany.  “Right after their meeting, our project started. I have learned so much through this process – grant writing, inspections, everything.”

The only hurdle the Wades encountered during the process was their light usage hours being underestimated. “Make sure you are clear on your operating hours and how your impact funds are calculated.” Their inspection and projections process had to be repeated, and sensors installed in the store to measure light usage. “Brandon England from Pathway Lending helped us every step of the way – he helped answer a lot of my questions.”

Upgrading the lighting in their six Tennessee grocery stores will save enough energy to power more than 100 households for a year. The new lights produce less heat, which also helps the Wade’s bottom line for cooling costs. “Investing in this energy efficiency program has been worth every penny. Basically by the time the project is done, you’ve already paid for it.”

What’s next? The Wades are already looking at upgrading the lighting in their Georgia locations, and have plans to install a cool roof for the Decatur store.  Pathway Lending is proud to help Wade’s Food Center, Inc. invest in improving the community their family has called home for generations.

wades-collage

For more information about Energy Efficiency Loans and other programs available in Tennessee, visit the Pathway Energy Efficiency Resources page or contact Brandon England at brandon.england@pathwaylending.org.

A Tale of Two Calendars: Colonial Pipeline Explosion Causes a Second Gasoline Supply Disruption in Tennessee

By Ben Bolton, Energy Programs Administrator

November is Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which builds awareness and appreciation for the essential services that serve as the backbone of our nation’s economy, security, and health.  We know it as the electricity we use, the water we drink, the transportation that moves us, and the communication systems that keep us in touch with friends and family.  These vital structures are a national security priority that requires planning and coordination at the regional, state, and local levels. 

Built in 1963, the Colonial Pipeline system connects Gulf Coast refineries with markets across the Southeast and East Coast U.S.  As the largest fuel-shipping pipeline in the nation by volume, it delivers 1.3 million barrels per day at 5 miles per hour along its route, terminating in the New York Harbor.   Colonial supplies more than 70% of liquid petroleum fuels (gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) to Middle and East Tennessee (Energy Information Administration, 2016).

Site photo by Alabaster (AL) EMA on October 31, 2016.

Site photo by Alabaster (AL) EMA on October 31, 2016.

On October 31, about 4:00 PM Central, a Colonial Pipeline contractor crew was working on Line 1 (gasoline) in preparations to reconnect the main line from the bypass installed after the September leak.[1]  A trackhoe struck a below-ground, 36-inch steel transmission gasoline pipeline and ignited the gasoline inside the line.  The resulting explosion injured six, where five were transported to nearby Birmingham hospitals and one fatality occurred.  The incident occurred near Pelham, Shelby County, Alabama, about 5 miles west of the September leak site, which led to the recent gasoline supply issue in Tennessee.[2] The pipeline rupture resulted in a discharge of approximately 3,300 barrels (138,600 gallons) of gasoline, yet, fortunately, water quality testing showed no fuel in the Cahaba River, about a mile from the explosion, or in a creek feeding the river.

For nearly four days, the remaining gasoline was allowed to burn to allow quicker access onsite.   During the September incident, the high gasoline vapor concentrations prevented crews from accessing the leak site for several days.  Colonial, in conjunction with the local Emergency Management Agency and Incident Command, continued preparations to repair the line and restart by that weekend.  The use of unmanned surveillance drones allowed a quicker and safer visual inspection of the site.

In response to the resulting gasoline supply disruption, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Office of Energy Programs’ (OEP) Emergency Service Coordinators (ESCs), Ben Bolton and Jason Carney, to monitor the situation.   (OEP is responsible for the  Emergency Support Function 12 / Energy (ESF-12) mission related to transportation and heating fuels as defined under the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan.) Throughout the disruption, OEP’s ESCs communicated frequently with petroleum industry stakeholders and engaged with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Emergency Assurance Coordinator network.  These activities allowed OEP to keep public sector partners such as TEMA, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, various TDEC divisions (Office of General Counsel, Air Pollution Control, and Emergency Services) appraised of the market supply across Middle and East Tennessee and resolve any shortages.3-month-average-retail-price-chart

OEP worked with the industry stakeholders and partners to increase flexibility for sourcing gasoline to Tennessee.  On November 2, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture issued a waiver to allow a different blend gasoline (Class E gasoline up to 15 Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP)) to be used in Tennessee until November15, two weeks earlier than normal.  This action allowed retailers to transport gasoline from locations including Louisville and St. Louis into the state.

On November 3, the Tennessee Departments of Environment and Conservation Agriculture submitted a joint request to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue an emergency multi-state wavier of reformulated gasoline (RFG) requirements.  That same day, EPA issued the waiver through November 23 for select Clean Air Act-regulated areas within the affected states.  The RFG waiver also permits co-mingling of reformulated and conventional gasoline in the same pipeline for more delivery options.  For instance, Colonial was able to transfer gasoline upstream from the incident site into the Plantation Pipeline, which allowed deliveries to Chattanooga and Knoxville terminals.

Aerial photo of explosion site and surrounding wildfires (Jeremy Gray, AI.com, 10/31/2016)

Aerial photo of explosion site and surrounding wildfires (Jeremy Gray, AI.com, 10/31/2016)

Meanwhile, the gas associations released media statements urging the public to maintain typical fill-up behaviors, which allowed retailers to restock at normal levels.[3], [4]  The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office, released a statement saying after reviewing more than 600 complaints during the September incident, “Preliminary indications do not show a basis for price gouging” under the Price Gouging Act of 2002.[5]

TEMA and OEP discussed the different circumstances of this incident with media.  The shortages caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and by the Colonial Pipeline leak earlier this year both occurred in September when inventories are lowest to deplete lower-polluting summer blend fuel stocks and transition to cheaper winter blends.   Thus, inventories in early September 2016 were about 45 % less than normal when the previous Colonial leak occurred.[6]  Gas retailers reported the run of the pumps increased demand more than 50 % that next weekend.[7]  It is easy to understand why gas stations across Middle and East Tennessee may experience full outages during fuel disruptions in the month of September.  Average gas prices rose 10 to 30 cents per gallon in September 2016, yet gas prices only increased 6 to 10 cents per gallon during this incident.

The initial explosion resulted in 32 acres of forest fires (ABC 33/40, 10/31/2016)

Unlike the shutdown in September, Colonial repaired Line 1 permanently and successfully restarted it at normal flow at 5:45 a.m. CST, Sunday, November 6, only six days later.  The U.S. Department of Energy prioritized deliveries to Tennessee first to help prevent gas station outages, and within 24 to 36 hours, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville terminals received gasoline deliveries. As a result, inventory levels returned to normal a week later.

The State of Tennessee and gasoline wholesalers worked around the clock to keep this critical infrastructure system supplied with the fuel we all need.

ABOUT EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTION (ESF) 12 (ENERGY ASSURANCE):

Center for Toxicology & Environmental Health (CTEH®) employee Don Warren monitoring air quality at the incident site (Colonial, 11/2/2016)

Center for Toxicology & Environmental Health (CTEH®) employee Don Warren monitoring air quality at the incident site (Colonial, 11/2/2016)

Emergency Support Functions are mechanisms developed under the National Response Framework to provide federal, state, and local governments a common language and organization structure for responding to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other catastrophic events. Each of the 15 ESFs has a corresponding organization or agency tasked with overseeing the preparedness, response, and recovery phases of incident management. Tennessee was one of the first to integrate the ESF concept and TEMA was tasked to manage the activities of the ESCs.

The purpose of ESF-12 Energy is to facilitate energy assurance in areas of the State affected by an emergency.  While TVA is responsible for electricity generation and the electric grid, OEP has primary responsibility for monitoring the status of the transportation and heating fuel distribution network, and, if necessary, coordinating the State response to fuel disruptions. Working with our public sector partners, such as TEMA, the Governor’s Office, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and Insurance, and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the State is able to convene the necessary government agencies and private sector stakeholders to ensure a continuous supply of transportation and heating fuels to citizens throughout the State.

If you would like to learn more about ESF-12, please contact ben.bolton@tn.gov (Primary ESC for ESF 12).

Anticipated delivery times after Colonial successfully restarted Line 1 (Colonial Pipeline, 11/06/2016)

Anticipated delivery times after Colonial successfully restarted Line 1 (Colonial Pipeline, 11/06/2016)

[1] Colonial Pipeline. (2016, November 6) Alabama Response Incident Update

[2] Energy Information Administration. (2016, November 3) Major gasoline pipeline in Southeast disrupted for second time in two months

[3] Arrandondo, Briona, and Heather Hourigan. WSMV Nashville (2016, November 1) Drivers urged to continue normal fuel habits following pipeline explosion.

[4] Christen, Mike. The Daily Herald (2016, November 1) Alabama gas pipeline in flames, drivers urged to avoid run on fuel.

[5] Alvarez, Matt. Fox17 Nashville (2016, November 3)  TN Officials: No basis for price gouging after September Colonial Pipeline break.

[6] Sisk, Chaz. WKNO NPR (2016, November 4) A Look at the Calendar may help explain why the latest pipeline breach hasn’t caused panic.

[7] Siner, Emily. WKNO NPR (2016, September 23) How a gas shortage got worse with panic buying.

—–

[Updated on December 1, 2016, to clarify U.S. Department of Energy’s role in the response.]

State Heating Oil and Propane Program (SHOPP)

October is National Energy Awareness Month, which serves to underscore how critical energy is to our prosperity, security, and environmental well-being. Throughout the month of October, TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs will highlight a variety of case studies and tips to promote energy conservation, resiliency, and smart energy management. Through these efforts, we rededicate ourselves to a more conscious use of energy, so that we can continue to strive for a cleaner, stronger, and more secure future.

While some may remember the ice storms that struck the Cumberland Plateau after Valentine’s Day in 2015, few likely know of the impact felt by Tennessee’s poultry industry. In an odd confluence of events – a very wet Midwest using propane to dry corn crops, the normal shift of moving stored propane into the Northeast, and extremely cold weather – created a distribution problem for propane.   Plenty of supply existed elsewhere, but the increased demand experienced during the ice storm led to distribution companies running critically low in Tennessee.

The low propane supplies became problematic for the poultry industry in Tennessee, as many commercial poultry operations rely on propane to heat their poultry facilities. According to the Tennessee Poultry Association, icy road conditions also made it difficult to deliver feed for the birds in 1,650+ commercial houses located in 550+ family farms across the state.

In response, the Office of Energy Programs’ (OEP) Emergency Service Coordinators (ESCs) were activated by TEMA and worked closely with the Tennessee Propane Association and Tennessee Poultry Association to keep propane supplied to the poultry industry. (OEP is responsible for the Emergency Support Function 12 / Energy (ESF-12) mission related to transportation and heating fuels as defined under the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan.) At the request of these industries and the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association, OEP and TDEC Office of General Counsel collaborated with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Department of Transportation to structure a request to the Governor’s Office to provide increased flexibility for supplying propane and animal feed. On February 18, 2015, Governor Haslam signed Executive Orders 43 and 45 declaring a State of Emergency for the purpose of waiving federal hours of service requirements for commercial drivers. These declarations ensured uninterrupted delivery of necessary food supplies, animal feed and heating fuels to Tennesseans.

While working with numerous Southern states that winter to address propane concerns, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) determined that the South uses nearly as much propane for agricultural heating as the Midwest uses for home heating.[1] (EIA is the federal agency responsible for collecting, analyzing, and distributing impartial energy information about electricity and fuels such as petroleum, heating oil, and propane.) Afterward, EIA expanded the State Heating Oil and Propane Program (SHOPP) from 24 to 38 states, with the additions mainly in the South. SHOPP participants collect weekly residential heating oil and propane prices at the state level from October through March. Industry analysts, policymakers, and consumers use this data to better predict propane supplies and anticipate possible disruptions.

Distribution of primary home heating sources by region (EIA).

Distribution of primary home heating sources by region (EIA).

Tennessee joined the SHOPP effort in the fall of 2014. Data collection in Tennessee is a cooperative effort between OEP and EIA. OEP makes the individual calls to selected suppliers and reports it to EIA, which provides weekly status reports tracking pricing and state inventory levels. OEP also maintains valuable relationships with the Tennessee Poultry Association and the Tennessee Propane Association in order to know the status of propane use and storage.

EIA presented their Winter Fuels Outlook webinar on October 13. Average U.S. household energy expenditures are projected to increase from last winter; EIA projects bills during the upcoming winter heating season could increase by 26% for propane and 22% for natural gas. Overall, EIA expects households using propane to spend less on heating this winter than in eight of the past ten winters, but more than last winter. For EIA’s Heating Oil and Propane Updates, see http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/heatingoilpropane/.

To learn more about Propane in the Agriculture Market, take a look at the presentation by Mike Caldarera of the National Propane Gas Association.

ABOUT EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTION (ESF) 12 (ENERGY ASSURANCE):

Emergency Support Functions are mechanisms developed under the National Response Framework to provide federal, state, and local governments a common language and organization structure for responding to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other catastrophic events. Each of the 15 ESFs has a corresponding organization or agency tasked with overseeing the preparedness, response, and recovery phases of incident management. Tennessee was one of the first to integrate the ESF concept and TEMA was tasked to manage the activities of the ESCs.

The purpose of ESF-12 Energy is to facilitate energy assurance in areas of the State affected by an emergency. While TVA is responsible for electricity generation and the electric grid, OEP has primary responsibility for monitoring the status of the transportation and heating fuel distribution network, and, if necessary, coordinating the State response to fuel disruptions. Working with our public sector partners, such as TEMA, the Governor’s Office, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and Insurance, and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the State is able to convene the necessary government agencies and private sector stakeholders to ensure a continuous supply of transportation and heating fuels to citizens throughout the State.

If you would like to learn more about ESF-12, please contact ben.bolton@tn.gov (Primary ESC for ESF-12).

[1] Specifically, the East South Central states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama use propane for agricultural heating nearly as much as the much colder East North Central states of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri use it for residential heating. (EIA SHOPP Workshop, July 13, 2016).