The Energy Department announced new investments in state-led energy efficiency projects, supporting the Obama Administration’s commitment to reduce building energy costs and transfer those savings directly to taxpayers. The Energy Department awarded nearly $14 million to 22 states and territories to conduct energy efficiency upgrades in public facilities and develop local policies and programs to help reduce energy waste and save taxpayer money.
It has often been said that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Data from the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) have important direct and indirect impacts on the building industry and U.S. economy. CBECS is a nationally representative survey of commercial building energy consumption and expenditures, and their energy-related characteristics in the United States.
The Department of Energy (DOE) today [June 20, 2011] recognized the publication of ISO 50001, a new global energy efficiency and energy management standard which will help organizations worldwide save money in their buildings and industrial facilities. The new international standard will pave the way for long term energy savings and serve as a critical tool for the implementation of the Department’s energy efficiency programs.
In March, NEEC conducted free webinars for members with our governmental affairs teams in Washington and Oregon. The format worked successfully and we have decided to extend the concept and offer our members opportunity to participate in informational webinars on items of interest to the industry. All current members (subtle reminder to renew your dues if you have not already!) will receive a webinar schedule for the next 6 months. Participation is easy, just a phone line and internet connection is all you need.
The US House of Representatives volleyed first in the federal budget battle over the spending in the current federal fiscal year. The current federal operations are operating under a “continuing resolution” since the beginning of the federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2010. Faced with the expiration of that resolution on March 4th of this year, the House passed a budget on Feb. 19th making deep cuts in programs at the US EPA and US DOE (and other programs not reviewed here).
Earlier this month, President Obama, in a speech at Penn State University, called energy efficiency the best (albeit least sexy) way to a job producing clean energy economy. [By the way, NEEC members who subscribed to the NEEC RSS feed would have read about this immediately on the new NEEC News Blog posting site – sign up on the NEEC home page, it’s free and easy.] The President laid out a 5 point plan for jump starting the commercial/institutional building retrofit market.
Last Thursday, Feb. 3rd, President Obama addressed the new Penn State University energy efficiency center proposing a series of steps under a Better Buildings Initiative – a 20% improvement in building energy efficiency by 2020. The President proposed 5 initiatives including;
At its January 2011 Conservation Advisory Committee meeting, the Energy Trust provided results and analysis of its efforts in residential energy performance scoring (EPS) as well as it highly successful “90x90” industrial efficiency program for 2010. The Trust continues to examine approaches for an asset rating system for the energy performance of homes, concluding that simple approaches are nearly as accurate as more complex ones but uncertain still on the best (read more motivating) way to present that information to homeowners.
Last month, President Obama signed into law a tax package that contains modifications and extensions to energy efficiency tax incentives for homeowners, home builders, and appliance manufacturers. Information on all of these energy efficiency tax incentives are accessible on the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) Web site so that consumers and businesses can take full advantage of changed federal tax credits for energy-saving technologies and practices.
The City of Seattle’s $20M federal stimulus award for community based approaches to energy efficiency got a jump start at the Obama White House early this week and will be followed by a local kickoff of activity in February. On January 18th, a White House policy briefing, Greening America’s Cities, included two panels both of which had Northwest representation. The first panel, “Green Cities: An Urban Strategy for a Sustainable Future” featured four mayors including the Seattle mayor, Mike McGinn.