The Leaf Stampede: Nissan revealed that 90 percent of the U.S. presale orders for the all-electric Leaf are customers new to the Nissan brand. Perhaps there’s a lesson for other companies: Lead the way into green, and a whole new class of customers could follow.
Every home has unique energy efficiency needs, but there are a lot of universal energy saving projects that will help homeowners lower their utility bills and take advantage of incentives that are available now.
Too often, advice about how to make your home more efficient falls into one of three categories:
Costs a lot of money and has a big impact: Geothermal heating, for instance. Great project, but it’s a big upfront cost for a long-term payback. Not everyone is in a position to do something like that right now.
Doesn’t cost much, but doesn’t have much impact: Insulating your hot water heater tank in a basement that already has wall insulation. (more…)
We talk a lot about the need for America to lead the world in green manufacturing, and with good reason: a strong green manufacturing sector will create good, domestic jobs and boost exports, all while helping us reduce carbon emissions and break our dependence on foreign oil.
But it’s not just talk. We’re taking action to re-establish that leadership, and what’s happening today, down in Louisville, Kentucky, is a perfect example of how we’re going to do it.
Virginia Tech’s Lumenhaus was just awarded the grand prize at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 in Madrid, beating out the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim by less than one point in the event’s inaugural year. University of Florida’s RE:Focus also shined, bringing home the public choice award via public online voting. In its first year to be hosted internationally, this was a great showing by American Universities and a promising sign for the future of the US design and engineering industry.
Virginia Tech’s ‘Lumenhaus’ is a flexible pavilion style home inspired by Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth house. Large glass walls to the North and South are shaded by their custom designed ‘Eclipse System’ which has the ability to slide open with the glass allowing the occupant to become more in tune with nature. Rainwater collection, radiant floor heating and sun tracking solar PV panels are just a few of the (more…)
Today I am going to highlight a bunch of interesting articles that have come out lately which interest me. Some of these will become future posts, but I want to highlight them as they come out to keep my readers up to date, and give you something to read in your spare time.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (the “LADWP”) recently held a meeting to discuss its strategic plan. As the nation’s largest public utility, its actions will have an immediate economic impact and significant influence on other utilities.
The news stories of today focused more on the high profile elements of the strategic plan, including LADWP general manager, Austin Buetner’s intentions to sell and leaseback the utility’s iconic downtown headquarters (more…)
The folks who install insulated windows, efficient factory motors and energy saving lights apparently missed the memo about the economic meltdown.
As US gross domestic product slipped to under 1% in 2008, the $4.1 billion energy service industry grew 7%. Jealous? Just wait. That was nothing compared to the expansion predicted over the next couple of years, according to a new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (more…)
PACE financing is one of those issues that has sweeping implications for clean energy adoption, but can be just so darn difficult to understand (see: net metering). If you can you believe it, the current acronym (PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a major step toward intelligibility from what we were first calling it (Municipal Property Tax Financing . . . or MPTF?). Acronym alphabet soup aside, it’s a topic that mixes the intricacies of tax law and bond finance with mortgages and clean energy. Like we said, not easy. (more…)
In the past few weeks, the Northland Pines Third Party LEED challenge has exploded, the Washington Building Industry Association sued the State of Washington to enjoin their energy code from taking effect, and a private lawsuit which could potentially turn into green litigation emerged onto the scene. In other words, the wave of green litigation which I first predicted back in 2007 has arrived. (more…)
An abundance of technology upgrades offer ways to reduce energy use in commercial facilities.
Trimming energy consumption in commercial buildings is an objective in the campaign to curb fossil fuel use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that is attainable by upgrading mechanical systems with improved technologies.
There are choices for reducing energy use in almost all functional areas of a commercial facility, according to energy expert David Wylie, vice president of ASW Engineering Management Consultants of Tustin, Calif., “as long as owners are willing to look beyond initial costs to see the long-term gains in lower utility costs, less downtime and increased building equity.”
Wylie outlined the latest developments in technologies for commercial building energy efficiency in seven broad categories during a daylong workshop held at the California Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego, Calif. (more…)