Boosting global energy productivity can boost GDP and help address climate change.
We can all agree that setting targets is a means to catalyzing action, but there are many metrics and targets to choose from. We believe that countries and their economies can be best-served by setting targets for improving energy productivity. By focusing on increasing GDP produced per unit of energy consumed through the deployment of energy efficiency technologies, countries and businesses alike can contribute to climate goals while enjoying significant economic benefits.
For the past two years, the Alliance has received a grant from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to implement the PowerSave Schools program at fifteen of Los Angeles Unified School District’s most energy intensive middle and high schools. The program teaches integrated demand side management concepts, including energy efficiency, demand response and distributed generation to empower students to promote energy conservation. During the two years of the program, Alliance staff have worked closely with students and faculty team leads to create connections between the environmental/financial costs of energy waste and easy, convenient ways to save. The successful program reinforces the idea that students can significantly influence the energy efficiency of schools by creating a culture in which energy conservation is “the new normal”.
Green bonds are becoming increasingly popular as investors focus on energy efficiency and the environment.
As the market for green bonds becomes increasingly attractive for investors, conversations are stirring about what it truly means for a bond to be “green”.
PowerSave Campus students lead their schools in energy efficiency programs.
Part of the excitement of working in the field of energy efficiency is observing the consistently innovative strategies that are introduced, implemented and improved over time. Energy reduction competitions are still in their infancy and are an example of a strategy with plenty of potential; even the most established programs are just now hitting the five-year mark. Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN), a joint collaboration between the Alliance, Lucid Design Group, National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Green Building Council, celebrated its fifth year this past spring. CCN, which involved 125 schools in the 2015 competition, is the largest higher education energy reduction competition in the nation.
The Upper Midwest region has proven to be a leader in advanced manufacturing, energy efficiency and energy productivity.
As part of our Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 initiative, a collaborative effort to help achieve the President’s goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030, we’re in St. Paul today for our third State and Local Dialogue with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Council on Competitiveness (Compete). We’ll hear from local and national government leaders along with representatives from local utilities, businesses, academia and more.
Energy efficiency innovation and funding is now coming from a variety of places.
As a follow up to our blog post on the Clean Energy Investment Initiative, we’re taking a closer look at some other new and innovative energy efficiency funding sources. With more people in the United States becoming aware of the benefits of energy efficiency technology, it’s no surprise that funding sources are becoming as diverse as the technology itself.
In August 2014, the Alliance to Save Energy partnered with the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to bring the PowerSave Schools program to four Northern California schools: Fairmont Elementary, Lupine Elementary, Madera Elementary and Richmond High. Housed within the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), the four schools built teams of students, teachers, custodians and administrators to learn about energy efficiency and to reduce energy waste. Local Project Leaders Jennifer Alvarez and David Younan-Montgomery assisted the schools in their energy-saving ventures.
New investments and innovations were announced at the White House Clean Energy Summit.
In what Vice President Joe Biden is calling a “once in a generation energy transformation,” the Obama administration recently announced the Clean Energy Investment Initiative, a public private partnership that commits over $4 billion for clean energy innovation. As the result of an unprecedented collaboration between major philanthropic organizations, family offices, venture capitalists, universities and institutional investors, early stage clean energy technology will be better supported through the new initiative. An integrated investment ecosystem aims to turn the “valley of death” — the gap between initial capital investment and revenues from commercialization — into a valley of opportunity.
The VCEP tour traveled across the U.S. to learn about energy efficiency practices that can be implemented in Vietnam.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Vietnam Clean Energy Program (VCEP) recently concluded another successful tour as part of its five-year initiative to reduce energy consumption in Vietnam through improved energy efficiency in the building sector. Initiated in 2012, the program has been implemented by Winrock International with support from the Alliance to Save Energy. Successfully building upon the first study tour in fall 2014, the main objectives in this year’s study tour included promoting the implementation of Vietnam’s new building energy code and highlighting green building technologies.
Weatherized homes are more efficient and save homeowners money on energy bills.
A report issued last week by a faculty research collaborative from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley strongly criticized the cost-effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP is a government-funded program that retrofits homes to improve occupant health and safety and lower energy costs for limited-income populations. Basing their conclusions on statistical analysis of a sample of WAP’s efforts in Michigan, the report’s authors conclude that the program fails the most basic economic test: return on investment. The authors extrapolated their regression analyses to a broader questioning of the value of the WAP program nationwide. Only slightly more subtly, they suggested that energy efficiency investments as a whole, even those made without any connection to WAP or other government subsidies, often lack compelling economics.