Implementing Delaware’s Climate Action Plan

Delaware has for more than a decade been working to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and increase the state’s resilience to climate change. The Climate Action Plan outlines broad strategies and specific actions that can be taken to further those efforts.

Climate-related Bills Passed in the 2023 Legislative Session

The Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act of 2023

The Act (House Bill 99) follows the issuance of Delaware’s Climate Action Plan in 2021, and does the following:

  • Establishes a statutory target of greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the medium term (50% emissions reduction from a 2005 baseline by 2030) and long-term (net zero emissions from a 2005 baseline by 2050) to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions on the state.
  • Establishes a process of regular updates to the Climate Action Plan to serve as the framework to achieve the targeted emissions reductions and develop resilience strategies for the state. (Read the Report)
  • Creates Climate Change Officers in certain key cabinet-level departments who will assist DNREC in the ongoing implementation of the Climate Action Plan.
  • Requires state agencies to consider climate change in decision-making, rulemaking and procurement, and requires an implementation report every two years on the progress of the state toward meeting the statutory targets.

Electric School Buses

House Bill 10 establishes targets for annual purchase of electric school buses through fiscal year 2030 and requires the Department of Education to submit an annual implementation report through 2029 as well as a comprehensive report in 2030 detailing future recommendations for electric vehicle purchases and other measures to reduce the carbon and environmental impact of the state’s school transportation fleet.

Solar-Ready Buildings

House Bill 11 requires new commercial buildings with a foundation footprint of 50,000 square feet or greater to meet certain requirements to ensure that their roof is able to support solar energy infrastructure.

Electric Vehicle Rebates

House Bill 12 creates an Electric Vehicle Rebate Program to incentivize the purchase and lease of new and used electric vehicles by Delaware residents. All-electric vehicles receive a rebate of no more than $2,500 and hybrid vehicles receive a rebate of no more than $1,000.

Energy Efficiency Investment Fund

House Bill 161 allows the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to assist more small businesses and organizations in making energy efficiency improvements to their facilities by raising the proportion of those projects that can be funded through grants or loans by the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund.

State Energy Office

Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 7 amends the Delaware Energy Act, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 80, Subchapter II, by updating and expanding upon the duties of the State Energy Office (located in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy).

EV Ready Residential Buildings

Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 103 requires that newly constructed single-family and multi-family residential dwellings include certain electric vehicle charging infrastructure and provides county and municipal government enforcement of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure requirements of this Act.

Electric Utility Restructuring

Senate Bill 111 clarifies and confirms that utilities and farm customers may enter into contracts, such as power supply agreements, that specify how Excess kWh Credits will be applied at the end of an annual billing period.


Senate Bill 126 clarifies that state building code and other local codes must align with substitute standards for refrigerants as approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through their federal listing requirements.

Offshore Wind

Senate Bill 170 directs the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to work with PJM Interconnection, LLC to study the transmission impacts of offshore wind development, to work with neighboring states on offshore wind transmission, and to study and report back to the Governor and the General Assembly on a process for procuring offshore wind power. (Read the Report)

Additional Actions Since the Release of the Climate Action Plan

The following are additional actions that have occurred since the Climate Action Plan was released in November 2021.

Implemented the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative

DNREC launched the Tree For Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI) in November 2021. An online database, the TEDI Tracker, allows people to post their plantings and have them added to the total with a goal of planting 1 million trees.

Launched Delaware’s Climate Leadership Academy

DNREC partnered with the Association for Climate Change Officers in developing a Delaware specific training program and cohort — the Climate Leadership Academy. The program features educational programs aimed at building climate literacy and awareness, training activities that build professional competencies in climate change preparedness and solutions and facilitating collaboration among Delaware professionals to aggregate interests and solve complex challenges. The program also provides professional certification through the Association. The first cohorts were held in the Spring of 2022, with additional cohorts planned.

Assessing Forest Change and Loss

DNREC is supporting and mentoring a NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Fellow conducting a research project titled “Tracking marsh migration and subsequent upland forest retreat from sea level rise using remote sensing.” This project will help identify areas in Delaware’s coastal forests which have experienced losses due to flooding and salt stress from sea level rise and coastal storms.

Implementing a Competitive Grant Program for DC-Fast Electric Vehicle Chargers

DNREC released a competitive request for proposals (RFP) in Fall 2021 for $1.4 million to provide incentives to encourage businesses to install and operate DC-Fast charging stations for electric vehicles. Funds are from the VW Mitigation Trust. It is anticipated that this will fund 3-5 project sites.

Clean Cars Program

In March 2022, Gov. John Carney announced that Delaware would begin the process of gathering public and stakeholder input on California’s Advanced Clean Car II (ACC II) regulations. The program is designed to accelerate the commercialization of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles, and would require light-duty vehicle manufacturers to make specific quantities of zero-emission vehicles available for sale in the state beginning with the 2027 model year.

Low- to Moderate-Income Solar Pilot Program

On July 1, 2022, DNREC launched a Low- to Moderate-Income Solar Pilot Program. The program seeks to test expansion of residential solar photovoltaic systems into these market segments, which have been underserved by existing renewable energy assistance programs. Experience acquired by the department during the two-year pilot program will be used to develop a statewide solar program that will provide services to low- to moderate-income homes regardless of electric utility service territory.

Statewide Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan

DelDOT and DNREC are working together to create a statewide electric vehicle infrastructure plan. The goal is to better understand where charging stations should be located based on how many electric vehicles we expect to see on the roads in the coming years.

National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program

The NEVI program will provide nearly $15 million in federal dollars to Delaware over a five-year period to deploy fast and reliable electric vehicle charging stations along highways. DelDOT has submitted its plan to the Federal Highway Administration and the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation for approval.

Prior to the Release of the Climate Action Plan

September 2021

Gov. John Carney signed legislation which expands access and removes some barriers to community solar project development and makes it easier for low-income residents to access community solar.

May 2021

Delaware’s Department of Transportation created a new Division of Resiliency and Sustainability to centralize efforts to improve the resiliency of the state’s transportation network and focus on sustainability.

February 2021

Gov. John Carney signed legislation increasing Delaware’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 40 percent by 2035. Prior to the legislation, Delaware’s Renewable Energy Portfolio goal was 25 percent by 2025.

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