Accountability for our Aging Infrastructure

Kavitha Rajagopalan writes a commentary piece about the lack of accountability  for building disasters and the need for cities at the local level to address the aging infrastructure.

She states:

“Emerging thinking in resilience shows that true sustainability begins when communities are responsible for their own governance. The people who live in a place and use its resources are the best sources of information on how sufficient those resources are or how well they are functioning. Only when local residents are empowered to become “stewards” of their lived environment can they make the best use of this information.”

Read more. 

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40W and 60W incandescent bulbs will no longer be produced

“The new light bulbs use less power to give off the same amount of light. Therefore, consumers will no longer be buying bulbs simply based on their power, expressed in watts, and will shift toward buying  bulbs based on their light output, expressed in lumens. In the near term, manufacturers are including claims like “replaces 60W bulb” or “13 W = 60 W” for a 13-watt CFL that gives off as much light as the old 60-watt incandescent bulb. “– Horowitz

 

 

Does subsidizing energy reduce the incentive to economize?

” Worldwide, the amount of energy employed to produce a unit of gross domestic product fell by 0.4 percent a year from 2000 to 2010, according to theInternational Energy Agency. Last year and the year before, the annual declineaccelerated to 1.5 percent. Looking ahead 20 years, though, the IEA (in effect, a club of energy ministers) estimates that two-thirds of the potential for energy efficiency will remain unexploited.”— Bloomberg News

 

Comments on Proposed Commissioning Guideline Accepted | Energy Manager Today

“ASHRAE Guideline 0.2P, The Commissioning Process for Existing Systems and Assemblies, describes the procedures, methods, documentation, requirements and physical activities of the commissioning process for existing buildings, systems and assemblies using the principles developed in ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process.”–William Opalka

The proposed guideline is open for public comment from Dec. 6 until Jan. 20, 2014. For more information, visit www.ashrae.orgpublicreviews.

 

New green programs are helping to guide small-business owners across NYC

“Small-business requests for green audits and retrofit overhauls tend to spike after natural disasters, a pattern repeated in the wake of superstorm Sandy last fall, said Don Giampietro, assistant commissioner at the city’s Department of Small Business Services. But in normal times, small-business owners often need an extra push.

New York City is also attempting to help businesses navigate the red tape involved in applying for green tax incentives and abatement plans, including discounts for natural gas or subsidies for solar panels.”–Richard Morgan 

 

ASHRAE Announces Technology Award Recipients

“The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design.  Their designs incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality. The awards communicate innovative systems design to other ASHRAE members and highlight technological achievements of ASHRAE to others around the world. Winning projects are selected from entries earning regional awards.

First place awards will be presented at the ASHRAE 2014 Winter Conference in New York, N.Y., Jan. 18-22, New York Hilton.”–Jodi Scott

New ACEEE Report Centerpiece of White House Sponsored Roundtable with Building Owners and Utilities

“The paper will also be the centerpiece of a White House sponsored discussion that will launch an expansion of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative. The initiative will include multifamily buildings for the first time, as called for in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The event, organized by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and will bring together utilities that have partnered with ACEEE and leading owners of multifamily housing that are pledging to reduce energy consumption across their building portfolios by 20% within 10 years.”–Patrick Kiker

A Deeper look into the impacts of clean tech on Germany

“The web is littered with conflicting opinion pieces on the German experience — some claiming the country’s aggressive promotion of renewables is anoncoming economic disaster, and some saying those concerns are far overblown, if not totally false. So what are we to believe?

In this week’s show, we’ll look at Germany’s evolving relationship with renewables, the impact on electricity prices, and the outlook for its nuclear phase-out.” — The ENERGY GANG

The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

“According to the 2013 State Scorecard, the five states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are: North Dakota; Wyoming; South Dakota; Alaska; and Mississippi. However, Mississippi also appears on ACEEE’s list of the top five most improved states, revealing an upward trend as more and more states embrace energy efficiency. Last year Mississippi passed comprehensive energy legislation that included energy efficiency as a major component. The bill included provisions setting an energy code for commercial and state-owned buildings. Mississippi is now set to become a regional leader in energy efficiency. West Virginia’s score improved due to the state adopting stronger building codes. The other three most improved states in 2013 were:  Maine, Kansas, and Ohio.”—ACEEE

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz said: “Energy efficiency is a critical tool for cutting harmful carbon emissions and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families. We applaud the continued progress in energy efficiency nationwide and stand ready to help states as they make their communities cleaner and more sustainable, while saving taxpayer dollars and fostering greater economic growth.”

Energy Management Trends: The Power Of Plugs

Energy Management Trends: The Power Of Plugs

“Approaches to reducing equipment energy use at minimum cost can be grouped into three categories: software, hardware, and people….The increased attention being paid to this source of energy use in facilities is resulting in new technologies, methods, and resources for firms who aim to put plug loads in their place.”– Higgins and Harris