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The U.S. transportation sector has transformed since a 2015 highway bill, overtaking power plants as the top emitter of greenhouse gases, even with the increased presence of electric and alternative fuel vehicles. The upcoming transportation reauthorization bill presents a key opportunity for lawmakers to set new policies to help significantly reduce energy use – and greenhouse gas emissions – from the sector.
The hard work and long hours that the sponsors and their staff have put into this effort is obvious. This is the best version yet.
The energy efficiency story is generally one of progress, but here’s some troubling news: Energy efficiency investment in the United States decreased by nearly 20 percent from 2016 to 2018, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Investment 2019 report, released in May.
The overall message from the Energy Efficiency Global Forum was clear – we need to double down on our energy efficiency efforts globally and connect and reap synergies from the many disruptions and innovations taking place across the energy sector.
As homes and buildings become more connected, opportunities to manage energy use to save money will also increase. But for more than 20 million Americans who still lack access to high speed internet, these benefits remain largely out of reach.
In April, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued implementation guidance to carry out Executive Order 13834, a White House directive that, in theory, is aimed at improving the energy efficiency of federal operations. Unfortunately, particularly when read alongside the president’s egregious proposed budget cuts for the past three years, the documents reveal a continued lack of federal leadership and represent a step backward from efforts under President Obama, President George W. Bush and others to advance the energy efficiency of federal facilities.
Government officials, business leaders, and non-profit advocates from around the world gathered in D.C. this week for our 12th annual Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global). Throughout the event, global energy efficiency leaders had the chance to exchange ideas, make new connections across sectors and borders, and deepen commitments to doubling down on energy efficiency. Here are just a few highlights from the past two days.
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Summer is upon us, and cranking up the air conditioner is usually the first thing that comes to mind when trying to escape the heat during a long, hot summer day. But for those of us trying to hold down our energy bills, there are simple tips for keeping your home comfortably cool during the summertime while cutting your carbon footprint and saving money.
Dr. Austin Brown is the Executive Director of the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy – and an expert on the intersection of transportation and energy policy. He’s been an integral advisor to the work of the Alliance’s 50x50 Commission. The Blog to Save Energy caught up with him recently to hear his outlook on coming changes in American transportation.
Although there are multiple initiatives underway to establish a definition of zero energy buildings, there is no recognized consensus standard that determines if a building is a zero energy building. A new ASHRAE standard could help resolve this issue and bring the industry into agreement.

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