Message from our ceo

Our country is steadily moving to a clean energy future. In the best of American traditions, competitive markets are spurring innovation and delivering big economic and health benefits for all of us…

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Photo credit: Tim Porter

Message from our ceo

Our country is steadily moving to a clean energy future. In the best of American traditions, competitive markets are spurring innovation and delivering big economic and health benefits for all of us: Residents in multifamily housing are saving money every month from more efficient buildings. Our cars and trucks go farther on a gallon of gas, with less pollution. Solar industry growth last year created jobs at a rate 20 times faster than the national average, bringing low-cost electricity to more and more homes and businesses. 73,000 people now work in the growing U.S. wind industry.

As clean energy prices continue to drop, it just makes good business sense for leading U.S. companies to invest in renewables and energy efficiency. Walmart has more on-site installed solar capacity than any other company in America. Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and other tech leaders are investing in clean energy—in some cases powering their data centers with 100 percent renewables. In response to consumer demand for cheaper electricity, Lennar Homes is building communities where every house is equipped with affordable solar power. General Motors and Tesla say that, thanks to advances in technology, within two years each will offer a family-friendly electric vehicle with a 200-mile range and a roughly $30,000 price tag.

American innovation is driving the clean energy economy and serving the public good. New investments in cutting-edge technologies provide local jobs, reduce electric bills, and clean the air and water—for today’s children and future generations. And they help curb climate change.

At the Energy Foundation, staff energy experts use their experience and industry knowledge to make grants to organizations working to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. We are immensely proud of our grantees—and grateful to our foundation partners for making this work possible.

I hope you enjoy our 2014 annual report.

image description Eric Heitz
CEO and Co-founder
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In business

From Walmart to tech giants, investing in clean energy

Makes good business sense.

Investments Deliver Jobs, Healthier Air 

America’s most successful companies are investing in renewable energy because it’s good for business. Markets are growing, costs have dropped, and reliable, affordable clean energy is the new normal.

At Apple, renewable energy powers 100 percent of U.S. operations and data centers, and 87 percent of global operations. Facebook Inc. set a goal of running half its operations with clean energy by the end of 2018. And renewables—including wind—power 35 percent of Google’s operations.

“Because energy is a large operating expense at Google, it is beneficial to power the data centers with low-cost wind power,” Director of Data Center Energy Operations Gary Demasi told Utility Dive in April 2015. 

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, now has more installed solar capacity than any other company in America—by far. Nearly 26 percent of its electricity needs globally are provided by renewable energy.

Renewable energy data


Wind industry investments in new wind projects since 2008


Increase in solar jobs in the past four years


Rate of solar jobs growth over national average in 2014

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“It’s part of our business plan to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy.” Kevin Gardner Senior Director of Global Responsibility Communications for Walmart
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U.S. companies seek
low-carbon future

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U.S. companies SUCH AS Walmart, Kohl’s, Costco, Apple, AND Ikea have embraced solar energy. COLLECTIVELY, THEY have 1,110 systems totaling 569 megawatts.

Go to to Find out more

U.S. Wind capacity by state

RI 9 DE 2 NJ 9 TN 29 MA 107 HI 206 NV 152 MO 459 WI 648 ME 440 AZ 238 ID 973 MT 665 NE 812 NH 171 NM 812 SD 803 OH 435 UT 325 VT 119 WV 583 PR 125 IL 3,568 IN 1,745 MI 1,531 NY 1,748 MN 3,035 KS 2,967 ND 1,886 CO 2,593 OK 3,782 PA 1,340 OR 3,153 WA 3,075 WY 1,410 IA 5,688 CA 5,917 14,098 TX CT AL MS AR LA GA KY VA NC SC FL MD 160 AK 62 0-100 >100 - 1,000 >1,000 - 5,000 >5,000-10,000 Wind-related Manufacturing Facilities (end of 2014) >10,000 MEGAWATTS
Source: AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year as of q2 2015

On the road

GM and Tesla alike to offer $30,000 electric vehicles

that will go hundreds of miles on a charge.

Video courtesy of General Motors

Cleaner Cars Mean Consumer Savings

Cars and trucks are getting more efficient and going farther on a gallon of gas, thanks to fuel economy standards. Rules passed in 2012 require passenger vehicles to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and reduce by half the carbon pollution that causes climate change.

Standards that cover model years 2012 through 2025 are projected to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs and reduce America’s dependence on oil by more than 2 million barrels per day in 2025.

Some of the technological advances spurred by the standards include lighter-weight materials, more efficient engines and drive trains, and advanced designs for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs).

One of America’s earliest automakers, General Motors, and the country’s newest car company, Tesla, plan to debut EVs in the next two years that will get 200 miles on a charge, with target prices of $30-$35,000. The designs will showcase American innovation—and competition—as they incorporate game-changing technology. Car-buyers are ready.

Auto industry data

Average mpg cars must achieve by 2025


Number of hybrid models available in the U.S.


Number of EVs sold in California alone

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The average driver will save about $8,000 net over the lifetime of a model year 2025 car compared to a model year 2011 car.


“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said General Motor’s North America President Alan Batey in early 2015. The car will be manufactured at the company’s Detroit-area Orion Assembly plant, which is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, and a large, 350-kilowatt solar installation.

U.S. auto start-up Tesla says it will deliver its Model 3 EV in mid-2017. Its power will come from batteries produced in the new Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. With a price tag in the $35,000 range, the Model 3 is expected to get at least 200 miles per charge.

Even more impressive: Plug these electric cars into a home powered by solar panels—and you’re practically driving on sunshine.

Making sure everyone benefits from EVs

California sold its 100,000th electric vehicle in 2014 . The Charge Ahead coalition is a pioneering effort to get 1 million electric vehicles on the state’s roads over the next 10 years. With a focus on social equity, the group wants to ensure that all state residents—especially lower-income households in communities most impacted by air pollution—benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.

The campaign is working with state agencies to provide access to clean transportation in disadvantaged communities through new car-sharing programs, financing options that would lower combined monthly car payments and fuel costs, and incentives for the replacement of gas-guzzling “clunkers” with electric cars or vouchers for transit and car-sharing.

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Fuel economy standards

In the Year 2025

The fleet-wide average will be


A family that purchases a new vehicle in 2025 will



in fuel costs when compared with a similar vehicle in 2010.

Consumers will have SAVED


at the pump over the life of the program.

Over the life of the program, the standards will



Billion barrels
of oil.



Billion metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution.

At home

Lennar installs solar panels on every homE it builds

in hundreds of communities.

Homebuyers demand clean, efficient energy

Energy efficiency and clean power make American homes more comfortable while costing less to maintain. Rooftop solar cuts electricity bills, as do LED lights, energy-saving appliances, smart home-management systems, and weatherization.

Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, is responding to consumer demand for solar with a program that includes solar technology as a standard feature in hundreds of communities across the country.

Lennar’s program outfits every home in the community with a solar power system designed to generate 60 to 70 percent of the home’s anticipated electricity needs. Buyers put no money down for the system and are guaranteed to never pay more than retail for the clean energy produced on their roofs.

“New home buyers want the latest in technology, comfort, and design—at competitive prices,” says Emily Frager of SunStreet Energy Group, the Lennar subsidiary that created and operates the solar program. “By leveraging Lennar’s scale and production efficiency, we’re able to hit the sweet spot where consumer desirability and economic viability converge.”

“It’s good for buyers, good for us, good for the economy, and good for the planet,” says Frager. “Those things are not mutually exclusive.”

Homes and clean energy data

Drop in cost of home solar since 2007



2014 utility bill savings due to appliance efficiency standards



Installed U.S. wind energy can power this many homes

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“It’s good for buyers, good for us, good for the economy and good for the planet. Those things are not mutually exclusive.” Emily Frager Chief Marketing Officer of SunStreet Energy Group

Thriving solar industry means jobs in East L.A.

Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, allowing them to become contributing members of the community. That includes covering the costs for clients to enroll in the Photovoltaic Training program at East Los Angeles Skills Center and providing hands-on installation experience through a partnership with nonprofit GRID Alternatives.

“Close to 1,000 Homeboy clients have been trained since we started the program in 2008,” says Thaddeus Skiles, solar program coordinator. “We graduate over 92 percent of our candidates and place more than 70 percent of them within 90 days of graduation. Every member of the latest class of 19 students is now working.”

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GRID Alternatives

Job trainees from Homeboy Industries' solar program help install solar for a low-income family in Long Beach, Calif., through a partnership with nonprofit GRID Alternatives.

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This multifamily housing is
affordable—and efficient

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Green MLS touts
homes’ efficiency

Better performance,
lower energy use

Average energy use of major appliances in the U.S. (kWh/yr)

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Energy Use per Year (kWh/yr)

*What appears to be an uptick is due to a change in test methods. The trend in efficiency actually continued.

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Green MLS touts
homes’ efficiency