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Grand Teton National Park hybrid vehicles.
Between months of quarantine cabin fever and evidence that coronavirus spreads less easily outside, this summer will undoubtedly see many Americans flocking to the great outdoors. The majority of our renowned national parks have reopened (find the latest info here), and with park locations in 29 of the 50 states, a road trip can be a great getaway for families looking to vacation a little closer to home this year. With this in mind, we thought we’d take a closer look at how our national park system uses energy resources, and ongoing efforts to ensure these national treasures are every bit as efficient as they are beautiful.
DFW airport at night.
The COVID-19 pandemic completely upended the familiar rhythms and routines of modern life. As countries around the world began to shut down, airports that once welcomed millions of travelers a day were eerily quiet. National and international commerce and business flights saw a dramatic drop in volume as the spread of COVID-19 increased. Nevertheless, for airports like Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), the duty of transporting essential people and supplies to their final destination never stopped, even as our economic model was thrown into chaos. In April, we saw passenger traffic decrease by 92%. Yet at the same time, our electricity demand stayed constant and our electricity costs actually increased by 8% due to price increases.
Family outside with sunset.
Riding on the coattails of a flurry of legislative activity occurring before August recess, House Democrats released their highly anticipated Climate Crisis Action Plan yesterday, billed as the most ambitious climate plan ever introduced. The 547-page, almost encyclopedic report confirms what we’ve known for a long time: efficiency is a critical component for achieving deep emissions reductions. It’s also great to see that efficiency and equity are woven throughout almost all the plan’s 12 “pillars,” rather than siloed to one section. Here are some of the ‘best in efficiency’ recommendations included.
Alliance blog
Fourth of July may be a day for fireworks, cherry pie, and eating way too many hot dogs, but it’s also a time to reflect on this country’s history—particularly if COVID-19 has changed your BBQ plans. As lovers of all things efficiency, we couldn’t help but take this opportunity to think back on the half-century history of energy efficiency in the U.S., and where we might just go from here.
Alliance blog

While Congress has yet to seriously consider legislation to help combat the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic – including its impacts on the energy sector workforce – both the House and Senate took first steps, recently hearing testimony from industry experts on how the energy sector can play a role in the economic recovery.

Several of the experts who testified promoted energy efficiency policies that would not only drive job...

Alliance blog

“If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that being prepared and having the right infrastructure in place are critical to our response capabilities.” - Alliance Interim President Clay Nesler

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear our aging infrastructure was not ready for a crisis of this scale. It’s also unfortunately evident that the economic fallout from this pandemic will have no quick fix, but will require long-term, targeted stimulus to provide families with relief and get millions of displaced workers back on the job. This unprecedented crisis calls for bold solutions to address our infrastructure’s state of disrepair and prepare our country for future emergencies.

That’s why we are thrilled to see Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Rep. Lisa...

Alliance blog

By Jeff Hamel , Director of Industry Partnerships, Google

Our nation’s energy system is witnessing an unprecedented transformation, and the implications are critical for addressing the climate crisis. Over the past decade, the grid has become increasingly digital and now includes connections to a host of distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs are physical and virtual assets that introduce flexibility and can provide value to the grid when used to effectively manage demand —think energy storage, smart devices, electric vehicles (EVs), and behind-the-meter renewables. These are important changes, because the climate...

Alliance blog

Among the many challenges of working from home, an increase in personal energy use might not be first on your mind. However, as summer arrives and millions of Americans continue to telework, your utility bills could be hit by a double whammy: at least one in five households have already experienced rising energy costs as people spend more time at home, and summer brings the highest electricity demand of the year as air conditioners flip on....

Alliance blog

It’s no secret that COVID-19 upended any expectations for what 2020 might look like, but the impact on the energy efficiency sector has been particularly devastating. At the end of 2019, the efficiency industry celebrated unprecedented growth with potential for an even stronger year ahead. But instead, the industry saw a shocking 413,000 jobs lost in March and April. While May’s analysis, released by E2, E4TheFuture, and other partners, found that job losses slowed to 18,900, it showed an...

Better Buildings Summit 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE)’s annual Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit is the comic book convention of the efficiency sector. Each summer, more than 3,000 C-Suite executives, building managers, engineers, and other decision-makers convene for four days to explore emerging technologies and share strategies in energy and water efficiency.

The summit is hosted by the Better Buildings Initiative , a market-driven program housed within DOE that works with public and private sector partners to set and achieve aggressive energy reduction targets. You won’t see capes or cosplay at this summit, but don’t be fooled:...

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