Hard on the heels of a successful international negotiation in Paris, the start of 2016 marks an unprecedented opportunity for nations around the world to enact meaningful energy efficiency policies that will improve their national energy productivity while contributing to the international climate plan. Just like in the United States, where energy efficiency is a key part of states’ strategies to comply with new regulations capping CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled power plants, implementing energy efficiency policies and practices will be the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way for political leaders the world over to meet the emissions-reduction targets agreed to at COP21.
When I last blogged about innovative financing on November 30, I had just attended a stakeholder meeting convened by the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) to discuss the final draft of a report that recommends the establishment of a green bank in Annapolis. Well, since then, a lot has happened to give added momentum to the green bank movement in Maryland and beyond. If the progress made during the final month of 2015 is any indication, 2016 could be a very big year for green banks.
As 2015 comes to a close, we felt that it was a good time to look back at the strides made in energy efficiency over the last year. From action on the Hill, to increased discussion on the presidential campaign trail, and energy productivity progress across the private sector, energy efficiency has remained a hot topic. Moving forward into the new year, we are optimistic for forthcoming energy efficiency successes across sectors in 2016.
Dear Friends and Allies, happiest of holidays to you all and a HUGE thank you from all of us at the Alliance for helping to make 2015 chock-full of critical policy wins for our cause – truly, a year for the energy efficiency record books! And, as we prepare to cross this mid-point in our self-proclaimed Decade of Energy Efficiency, I predict that 2016 will bear witness to even greater increases in the energy productivity of businesses, governments and economies around the world. This final note to you in 2015 takes a quick peek back at just some of the highlights of the year; if I had reported on all, you would be reading into the new year!
With the holiday season in full swing, the Alliance has its own wish list for the upcoming Republican presidential debate on December 15th. As the Republican presidential candidates are articulating and building out their energy policy platforms, several have specifically promoted energy efficiency. Here are some points we would like to hear in the upcoming debate:
Decoration lights, gift exchanges, and celebrating the holidays with friends and family are the beauty of the holiday season. At the same time, it’s the time of the year when most households are likely to use more energy. And if environmental concerns aren’t enough, the holidays can also bring on sky-high energy bills. The good news is that it’s not that hard to curb energy consumption during the holiday season – it can actually be quite simple. After all, you should enjoy this time! So take a look at these five tips to have a merry, bright and efficient holiday season.
The Alliance to Save Energy co-hosted an official side event on the sidelines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations on December 4. The panel, entitled A Key to Energizing Efficient, Productive, and Smart Cities and Grids, featured Alliance senior vice president for policy and research Kelly Speakes-Backman, alongside industry experts from Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric and other leading organizations. A wide-ranging discussion highlighted the role of policy in shaping efficiency outcomes and also provided a dynamic conversation about technologies and best practices available to public and private actors alike.
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.