BLOG TO SAVE ENERGY

Installing efficient light bulbs is an incredibly cost-effective way to save energy.

Installing energy efficient light bulbs is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to save energy.

Recognizing the huge potential for energy savings that is possible through simple light bulb upgrades, the U.S. Congress adopted energy efficiency standards for everyday light bulbs and established a timeline for a progressive phase-out of inefficient bulbs. President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) into law. The standards do not ban any specific light bulb type, but stipulate that light bulbs must use at least 25% less energy.

Saving water and energy are two issues that are greatly interconnected.
California is facing one of the most severe droughts ever recorded. For the last three years, the state has been enduring water shortages, destructive wildfires, crop losses and state restrictions on water use. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 82 percent of the state is in extreme or exceptional drought. The drought has implications far beyond California’s borders — the Golden State produces 70 percent of the nation’s top fruits, nuts and vegetables. Soon, the continued loss in agriculture due to the drought could result in increased food prices across the nation. It is estimated that the drought will inflict a total of $2.2 billion in losses for the agricultural industry.
Congress returns this week from August recess with a number of items on the docket and only a few legislative weeks remaining before both Chambers leave town again for the campaign trail. Work on a Continuing Resolution (CR), funding the government through at least the midterm elections will likely dominate the two-week September session, as lawmakers look to avoid another government shutdown. While many believe that Democrats and Republicans will be able to get through a “clean” CR, without any controversial policy riders, that does not preclude more partisan brinkmanship next year if control of the Senate changes hands in November. Along with hopefully passing a CR to keep the government running, Congress will look to find a way to prevent the Export-Import Bank from closing at the end of the month, and possibly push through a bill barring new taxes on Internet access. Other big ticket items such as tax extenders, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, known as the Shaheen-Portman bill, all loom on the horizon as well.
Utilities are facing new challenges as demand for electricity decreases.
In the United States, electric utility companies are primarily responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity. Electric utilities have traditionally depended on large, centralized power plants, usually burning fossil fuel, to produce electricity. Under the traditional utility business model utilities depend on increasing energy sales to earn a profit. However, the traditional utility model is facing challenges. In much of the United States, electricity sales have stagnated and even decreased, even as electrical devices have proliferated in our homes, schools and work places. Nationally, electric retail sales increased an average of over 2% from 1982 to 2007, but since then sales have stagnated with a slight average annual decrease of 0.2%.
Hospitals can save money through increased energy efficiency.
Most of us can agree that money invested in hospitals is money well spent, and most would also agree that healthcare facilities should take advantage of any opportunities to cut down on operational costs without sacrificing patient care. That very opportunity exists when it comes to energy use.
High speed rail will help increase the energy efficiency of American transportation.
In a recent post, we discussed exciting new developments in EV technology, of which there are seemingly more every week. High speed rail is another transportation sector being developed in cities across the country. Although building rail infrastructure — particularly of the high speed variety — can be time intensive, establishing high-speed train routes in the U.S. could increase the energy efficiency of the transportation sector, much like electric vehicles.
Breweries are adopting new techniques to increase the energy efficiency of the brewing process.

The plow, the wheel, irrigation and other inventions were a result of the agricultural revolution in 9000 BC. What spurred such innovations? The somewhat unexpected answer is... beer. The demand for barley (and ultimately America’s favorite alcoholic beverage) was the inspiration for many advanced technologies.

Meanwhile, in modern day, we are in the midst of a revolution to save energy. Fortunately, the American brewing industry has started to embrace energy saving practices in production, helping the bottom line while supporting energy efficiency.

Utilities are ramping up energy efficiency efforts.
Four utility associates of the Alliance to Save Energy — San Diego Gas & Electric, and Alliance founder-level members PG&E, Southern California Edison (Edison International) and National Grid — were ranked in the Top 10 for both cumulative and incremental annual energy efficiency savings in a recent report by Ceres and Clean Edge. We are proud to name these utilities among the elite group of our associates, and we applaud them for taking leadership roles in the utility sector and we look forward to continuing our work with them to further the adoption of energy efficiency measures.
The DOD is one agency working to reduce energy use, in part as a result of President Obama's Executive Order.
With the U.S. government as the largest energy user in the country, the President fully understands the importance of leading by example. The federal government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings and operates more than 600,000 vehicles—providing the Administration with a huge opportunity to cut down on waste, saving both energy and taxpayer dollars.
ESPCs and UESCs help reduce energy consumption and save taxpayer dollars.
As the nation’s largest energy consumer, the Federal government is always trying to find ways to reduce energy consumption and save valuable taxpayer dollars. One popular method used to reduce consumption is through improved energy efficiency because it has proven to be a cost-effective way to produce significant savings. However, due to the nature of energy efficiency projects, with the costs paid upfront and savings accrued annually thereafter, it can be difficult to fund such projects. A common sense solution to this problem is the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESCs). These agreements allow Federal agencies to form beneficial partnerships with outside companies to alter the cost structure of energy efficiency projects, but recent interpretations of the budgetary process by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have made it more difficult for Federal agencies to use ESPCs and UESCs.

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