District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility

DC SEU, Washington DC

Since March 2011, alongside the District Department of Environment, PEER has assisted in the development of the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU).  PEER’s role is to provide leadership for community engagement strategy and implementation, key assistance with policy development, and analysis/planning functions for the DC SEU. The goal of the DC SEU is to reduce per capita energy consumption, increase renewable energy generating capacity, reduce growth of peak electricity energy demand, improve the efficiency of low-housing, reduce the growth of energy demand of the largest energy users and increase the number of green-collar jobs in DC. 

In 2013, DC SEU continues to work on a full range of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives to serve the homeowners, renters, businesses, institutions and communities of the District. The DC SEU, as well as its teaming partner, PEER, believes that “there is no more effective vehicle than sustainable energy to stimulate local employment, economic development, energy security, and environmental progress.” (DC SEU ‘2012 Highlights’ Report).

Under the DC SEU contract, PEER staff also worked on the Providence Hospital Lighting Project in Washington DC. Providence Hospital requested our assistance in improving their existing outdoor lighting (Parking Garage Ground Level & Multi Level Parking, Building Periphery) conditions. The entire campus had issues with different voltage levels within the same parking lot area, code compliance issues, inefficient lighting levels, dysfunctional day light sensors, high energy costs & maintenance costs. The issue of low lighting levels was of major concern due to security and safety reasons, while the cost of energy was impacting their overall operations costs.

The team was able to address these concerns by proposing the installation of energy-efficient LED fixtures throughout the identified areas. During the course of the project all voltage levels were standardized to either 120/220 Volts, which are beneficial for optimal LED lamp operation. The cost of maintenance of these lamps/fixtures would be considerably reduced due to the high lamp life. The day light sensors were replaced so that new LED fixtures turn on only when there is reduced day-light available hence reducing the operation time of the new installed fixtures. But most importantly LED fixtures have improved the lighting levels and hence addressed their low level lighting issues, addressed their security concerns due to low light levels and reduced their energy bills (operating costs).