This is an interesting week. Today the D.C. District Court of Appeals is hearing oral arguments on challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), and earlier this week the participating states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) released their annual report tracking the cumulative investments of auction proceeds.
Energy isn’t free – and individuals often have to take extreme measures to afford the cost when utility bills get out of control, sometimes even sacrificing basic comfort to reduce energy use. But that doesn’t have to be the case. That’s where energy efficiency comes in – by reducing monthly utility costs without sacrificing home comfort. And for Regis Borsari, the idea of using less energy to do more couldn’t ring more true.
Since the creation of the electric grid, when you flipped on your light switch, pretty much the same thing happened: a power plant somewhere in the distance sent electricity over a bunch of wires that eventually made it to your house and lit up the light bulb. The more lights you, or your city, or your state, turned on, the more power plants and wires were built. And when lights were followed by air conditioners, televisions and computers, the solution was the same: build more power plants and wires to carry more power from source to sink.
One of the most important pillars of our work here at the Alliance to Save Energy is our Associate membership, who represent nearly 130 companies and organizations actively working to advance energy efficiency in their respective sectors. Read on to learn about the concrete ways our Associates are making real advancements in Boston’s energy efficiency.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which operates bus, subway, railway and ferry routes in and around the Boston metro area, knew it wanted to cut back on energy costs. (The MBTA spends $42.5 million a year on electricity and is Massachusetts’ largest electricity consumer.) There was just one problem: lacking a system-wide view of operations, they weren’t sure where to begin.
On July 19, during the Alliance to Save Energy’s EE Noon webinar, we posed the following question: What if you could determine the efficiency capability of your building by measuring how it uses energy? Well, actually, you can: ASHRAE has created a building energy rating program – the Building Energy Quotient (Building EQ) – that can determine your building’s energy performance based on its potential and actual performance. The process involves an audit completed by an experienced practitioner using ASHRAE’s methodology.
In many parts of the United States, this summer has been hotter than average – and energy bills have been soaring as a result. With heating and cooling costs typically accounting for almost half of the average utility bill, homeowners and business owners would be wise to seek out energy-saving tactics for the remainder of the summer. From simple DIY tricks to energy-efficient appliances, there are dozens of adjustments that you can make to reduce your energy bills. Here are a few favorites to help you finish out the summer strong.
In addition to the Senate building energy codes provisions, there are many other sections of the two energy bills worth noting for their potential to improve energy efficiency across sectors and boost U.S. energy productivity. Today, let us take a look at another element of the bills: the energy-water nexus. The “nexus” terminology is widely used to convey the idea that human water and energy consumption are inextricably linked. As with many other Alliance priorities, energy-water efficiency policies currently enjoy significant bipartisan support, which we think will help bring House and Senate negotiators together during the energy bill conference.
The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) for Clean Energy is a first-of-its-kind database that enables users to quickly identify existing clean energy policies across states – and to “spot” policy gaps. This easy-to-use and free resource was developed by the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
Energy policy has been a major issue of the 114th Congress. As you read this post, two competing energy bills – one passed by the House of Representatives, the other by the Senate – are being negotiated by leaders engaged in a conference committee. Conferees, and especially their top staff, are working hard to sort out the differences between the two. Both bills address energy efficiency – and for good reason: improving energy efficiency is the easiest, least expensive, most cost-effective and cleanest way to boost our productivity, create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.