Demand response, energy efficiency and renewable energy all play a role in the development of the smart grid. Given the services they offer, I thought the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) deserves a shout out. I suspect many are not aware of the free technical expertise and information the office provides. Created to facilitate the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions, EERE has a team of talented engineers and others who work to develop and deliver market-driven solutions for energy-saving homes, buildings, manufacturing, sustainable transportation and renewable electricity generation. The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) will benefit regulators, utilities, state and local government and even school districts. One-on-one support is available in addition to an informative webinar series. The program covers a range of topics including financing solutions. Here are a few upcoming webinars:

Commercial Building Energy Data Access: A Success Story
Tuesday, August 6, 2013; 3–4:30 p.m. EDT
Register to attend
This webinar will present the underlying barriers affecting access to building energy data and the solutions currently underway across the country. The webinar will also feature the successful collaboration between building owners, utilities, regulators and policymakers in Philadelphia, and new resources that state and local leaders can use to replicate this model in their communities, including SEE Action’s Utility Regulator’s Guide to Data Access for Commercial Building Energy Performance Benchmarking. State and local government leaders, state utility regulators, building managers, energy consultants and other key stakeholders are encouraged to attend.

TAP Webinar: Emerging Technologies
Thursday, August 15, 2013; 2–3:30 p.m. EDT
Register to attend
This webinar on Emerging Technologies and Energy Efficiency will cover how states can use new technologies to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. This presentation will highlight new technologies and approaches to auditing, building retrofitting, lighting, heating, cooling, retro-commissioning and deep energy retrofits that can assist state and local programs in reaching energy sustainability. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the internationally-known Jesse Dean of NREL and other presenters, offering local and national experience.