Tag Archives: energy efficiency

California Energy Bill Passes, Awaits Governor Signature


The California state legislature bill AB 327 passed and is now awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s signature. The bill seeks to essentially remove the “cap” from California’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS), which is already one of the most aggressive in the nation.


Currently, California state law requires power companies to generate 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Once signed into law, AB 327 will allow the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to raise that percentage without the need for legislative action.


The bill will also allow the CPUC to redesign utility billing rates, potentially cutting monthly bills for end users living in the hotter interior parts of California.


Source: Renewable Energy World

Washington D.C. Seeks the Lead in Energy Efficiency


The nation’s capital city has some bold plans to be the greenest city in the U.S. The city’s Energy and Sustainability Office recently launched Build Smart D.C., a new website and tracking system that details and shares energy consumption information for every District-owned facility.


As part of the Sustainable D.C. initiative, the city has a goal of reducing the energy use in more than half of the 30 million-plus square feet of municipal facilities by 20 percent in twenty months.


“We’re trying to embrace truly transparent data to create tremendous savings,” said Sam Brooks, the associate director of the city’s Energy and Sustainability office. “The goal here is to eliminate energy waste and create effective cash flows back to the city.”


Source: GreenTechMedia

How to Drive Innovation in a Small Business


Energy efficiency doesn’t always come so easily. So how do you get your small business on board to drive innovation?


According to some new research, “innovation can show up in almost any of your company’s operations, including how you design, package, and promote products; how you hire and train employees; and even the type of business you run. Innovation can be free and simple or expensive and complex.”


Innovation can involve a lot of things including improving employee health and safety, increasing revenue, and lowering energy costs. By doing this, small businesses can receive a stronger reputation and make changes in their industry.


The tips to drive innovation include:

  • Change where you’re headed by setting big goals, using back-casting, and ensuring the whole company is on board.
  • Change what you know starting with asking employees for ideas, scan unfamiliar places for inspiration, get inspired by nature, and “unlearn” outdated knowledge.
  • Change how you work by rethinking your business model, replace products with services, and turn garbage into gold.
  • Change who you work with by broadening your networks, embracing “co-opetition”, and continuing education.


Read more about the research conducted by GreenBiz.com.

Energy Efficiency Laws Spur Demand


Two new laws in New York have created a large opportunity for enhanced efficiency. The two regulations that will affect New York property owners are the PlayNYC and Greener, Greater Buildings Plan.


The laws will require buildings to complete projects that increase the building’s energy efficiency including lighting retrofits, energy audits, and reduce consumption.


“Every building over 50,000 square feet [in New York] has to get an energy audit done sometime in the next ten years,” said Bright Power founder Jeffrey Perlman. “This law is a great catalyst for people to say, ‘I have to do this anyway, so now is a great time to handle it.”


Source: GreenTechMedia

Building Owners Create Big Savings with Small Steps


According to a new report, it doesn’t take much for building owners to enjoy plenty of energy efficiency savings. In fact, all it takes are a few small, but important steps.


Written by the nonprofit Carbon War Room, the white paper is called “Raising the Roof: How to Create Climate Wealth Through Energy Efficiency” and surveyed more than 30 municipalities from Chicago to New Zealand.


It found that misinformation and a lack of understanding are a few reasons why building owners don’t utilize efficiency practices. The findings are surprising: with some key steps, building managers can reduce energy use by 80 percent, cutting more than $78 billion per year from electricity bills.


Joshua Kagan, the Carbon War Room’s operation lead for building energy efficiency, says that current industry and commercial technologies, including LED and lighting controls, could achieve a 3-20 percent reduction in carbon emissions with little upfront costs.


“There’s been a misperception that we need future technologies to be discovered or created to drive down emissions and we already have those technologies today,” said Kagan.


“If you’re a business and you’re able to reduce efficiency costs to a building, which often times is the largest expense, you can reduce the operating costs and therefore increase the value of the building.”


To read more about the study, visit Greenbiz.com.

Top 10 Efficiency Tactics for Commercial Buildings

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) recently released a list of top 10 ways commercial real estate professionals can make energy efficiency and sustainability a priority.

1. Measure and manage. Benchmark energy and water consumption through Energy Star Portfolio Manager.

2. Audit yourself. Perform regular energy audits to identify opportunities for cost-effective energy reductions. Remember to perform midnight evaluations to make sure lighting and HVAC are not running when the building is unoccupied.

3. Get the word out. Institute a tenant energy awareness program, using your company newsletter and/or building announcements to keep tenants informed about energy management goals and how they can help. Provide them with energy saving tips.

4. Become enlightened. Replace incandescent lights, which uses less energy, have a longer lamp life and produce less heat.

5. Go low flow. Install low-flow/flush fixtures and hands-free fixtures in restrooms.

6. Don’t forget electronics. Hold an e-waste day and collect old printers, computers, and electronics for recycling.

7. Use sensors. Install occupancy sensors and photo sensors that monitor daylight. Occupancy sensors also work for HVAC controls.

8. Be shady. Install solar shades to block heat.

9. Encourage eco-friendly transportation. Install bicycle racks and electronic vehicle chargers/

10. Improve IAQ. Use high-efficiency HVAC filters and change them often. Use low-VOC paints, sealants, and adhesives for building improvements.

Source: Energy Manager Today


By Gaylen Davenport

Are Retrofits Better for Efficiency?

A recent study found that simple behavior changes can drastically lower energy use in commercial buildings. So does this mean the end of retrofits?

FirstFuel, a Massachusetts-based company that analyzes energy consumption in buildings, says that behavioral changes are a primary driver to efficiency problems in commercial buildings.

The company examined utility data for 60 million square feet of commercial buildings across the U.S. It found that “half of energy efficiency opportunities could be realized with simple operational improvements.” This could save about $12 million across the facilities sampled.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean companies could rule out retrofits. In fact, implementing operational changes and retrofits are both great ways to reduce costs.

“Operational change is a crucial part that provides a high-volume and low-cost way to allow building owners to figure out how to spend their time. But it’s the first step in the process.”

Either way, it’s not surprising that businesses and owners are moving forward toward the intelligent monitors to help change behavior but often you need the controls and systems to execute it.

Source: Green Tech Media


By Gaylen Davenport

Energy Efficiency Needs Research

USA Today recently published a column calling for more research in energy efficiency to “identify where consumers are systematically making mistakes and how large these mistakes are.”

Following the State of the Union, the president set a goal of cutting half the energy wasted by homes and businesses over the next 20 years. In 2011, federal and state governments spent nearly $10 billion on energy efficiency programs to promote the plan. And it seems to be working as more consumers and business owners are making sensible choices and reducing their energy usage.

The E2e Project was “developed to help inform the decision of both consumers and lawmakers by deeply researching all aspects of energy efficiency.”

Read more about the project.

Energy Efficiencies May Save $169B for Businesses

Commercial buildings energy

The aggressive promotion of efficiency programs could cut $169 billion a year from the energy bills of U.S. businesses by 2030.

According to a recent report, the aggressive promotion of efficiency programs could cut $169 billion a year from the utility bills of U.S. businesses by 2030.

The Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy found that the U.S. could double its productivity, which in turn would create thousands of jobs and save homeowners and businesses billions of dollars in annual utility costs.

“Stopping energy waste will help all Americans get the most out of their hard-earned income,” said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.

Read more about the report at Bloomberg.com.

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