What reduces energy waste, saves consumers and businesses money on utility bills, reduces electricity demand in a congested grid and was first established by Ronald Reagan when he was California’s governor? If you guessed appliance standards, then you are correct (and may give yourself a pat on the back). Maybe as a supporter of the Alliance to Save Energy, you are well versed in how appliance standards are a bipartisan win-win-win. Or, perhaps you knew the answer because you read Andrew deLaski’s op-ed in The Hill last week.
In the 21st century, economists and policymakers alike have recognized education as a catalyst for growing economies and social well-being. However, what has often been excluded in development rhetoric is the importance of quality education over the mere presence of schools. On September 25th 2015, leaders from around the globe converged in New York City to discuss the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Expanding upon the Millennium Development Goals created in 2000, the new SDGs serve as targeted paths for countries to achieve a sustainable, equitable and poverty-free world by 2030. Among the 17 new goals, quality education stands as one of the most salient.
The Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) is set to deliver a comprehensive report to the General Assembly this week that provides a set of options and recommendations for establishing a new “green bank” to spur investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The report, written with support from the Coalition for Green Capital, Town Creek Foundation, and other key stakeholders, was authorized by a bill enacted in 2014. The General Assembly is expected to consider green bank legislation when it convenes in January.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning make up a very large minority of energy usage in the United States. As such, making HVAC systems more streamlined is the goal of many organizations seeking to increase U.S. energy productivity. Since HVAC energy usage has serious global impacts, increasing efficiency is crucial to minimizing detrimental effects. Below, learn about every stage of the HVAC process, including design of equipment, installation, maintenance and system use.

In a week, more than 190 countries will meet in Paris for the 21 st annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 21 st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to negotiate the final details of a legally binding and universal agreement on limiting global temperature increases for the first time in several decades.

We are deeply saddened by the recent events in Paris, and extend our heartfelt sympathy and concern for anyone impacted by the tragedies. While some large public events have been canceled in the wake of the November 13 attacks, the majority of COP21’s side events will continue as planned, albeit with a higher level of security. More than 100 heads of state are still expected to visit Paris for the opening of the negotiations.

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Last week regulators and industry convened in Austin, TX for the 127th annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), where topical utility regulatory issues for electricity, water, gas and telecommunications were addressed, and where the 127th President of NARUC, Travis Kavulla of Montana, was installed. It was an interesting week all around.
El Monte Union High School District (EMUHSD), which has taken great strides in recent years to lead the way in energy conservation, was recently honored with the prestigious U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School award for 2015. The Green Ribbon School program recognizes schools and school districts that are reducing environmental impacts, improving wellness of schools, students, and staff, and providing environmental education to students.
Few energy efficiency policies are as impactful or far-reaching as robust building energy codes and appliance standards. Under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), stakeholders from industry, advocacy groups and the public sector routinely meet and negotiate in good faith to develop cost-effective and technologically-feasible codes and standards. While the average consumer might not realize how much time and effort are involved in developing codes and standards, the results are tremendously beneficial. When a family purchases a new home and outfits it with a furnace, air conditioner, dishwasher and other appliances common in modern life, energy efficiency is a core engineering and design element that delivers long-term savings.
Setting ambitious energy efficiency targets for 2030, a goal that the Alliance shares and strongly pursues, is becoming increasingly popular among leaders. In the latest example, on October 7, Governor Jerry Brown (D) enacted landmark legislation ramping up California’s clean energy goals via energy efficiency and renewable energy penetration. The California Assembly voted 52-26 on September 11, the last day of the legislative session, to approve S.B. 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, which requires the state to increase its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) from 22 percent to 50 percent and double energy efficiency in buildings by 2030. Both of these provisions will help drive a cleaner, safer, cheaper and more efficient electric grid, and sets a bold precedent for other states around the country to follow suit.
Connected homes – homes that contain interconnected devices that connect to the internet – present an exciting market opportunity and a way for consumers to save money. While there are challenges, such as finding scalable solutions, addressing data security and communicating the value to consumers, leaders in the industry are viewing connected homes as a promising new frontier. And with 75 percent of the electricity in the United States used by buildings, the Alliance to Save Energy sees an opportunity to advance residential energy productivity through connected homes. Subject experts speaking at the Alliance’s November 4th Connected Homes Congressional Briefing provided insight into some of the market’s opportunities and challenges. Read below for a summary of the briefing discussion and observations from the briefing’s panelists.