Category: News

McAuliffe promises action on carbon, climate change, sets task force in motion

RICHMOND – Gov. Terry McAuliffe promised a close look Tuesday at energy regulations to cut carbon production and increase clean energy use that he can promulgate without legislative approval.

The governor convened a working group under Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, giving her 10 months to recommend options for “a regulatory strategy to reduce carbon pollution.” A number of environmental groups applauded the move, though some said McAuliffe has not pushed near far enough on clean energy issues.

Republicans, through Speaker of the House William Howell’s office, criticized the move as “another deliberate attempt to circumvent the legislature and the will of Virginia voters.”

Read the full story. (Daily Press)

Ceres ranks U.S. utility companies’ energy efficiency, renewable energy performance

A new analysis released today by Ceres shows that many of the nation’s largest electric utilities and their local subsidiaries are moving toward lower carbon fuel sources and that ambitious state policies and strong corporate demand for renewable energy are key drivers of this trend.

The 2016 Benchmarking Utility Clean Energy analysis ranks the 30 largest electric utility holding companies and their 119 subsidiary companies, which collectively account for about 60 percent of U.S. retail electricity sales. The results show overall advances on renewable energy and energy efficiency in 2014, the latest year for which data is available, with some utilities producing 25 to 35 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewables.

Wide disparities in the utilities’ clean energy performance remain, however, underscoring the need for swift implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The plan reduces carbon emissions from electric power plants by 32 percent by 2030.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency, key building blocks of the Clean Power Plan, are increasingly cost-effective options for electric utilities looking to lower their carbon emissions,” said Dan Bakal, director of electric power programs at Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization. “Our analysis shows that the U.S. electric sector is in the midst of an unprecedented shift toward clean energy resources and that state policies are critical for continued progress in achieving national and international climate goals.”

– See more at: http://3blmedia.com/News/Ceres-Ranks-US-Electric-Utility-Companies-Renewable-Energy-Energy-Efficiency-Performance#sthash.2TRVl6Td.dpuf

Read the press release. 

US, Mexico, Canada pledge 50 percent clean power by 20150

The U.S. and Mexico will commit to joining Canada in boosting their use of wind, solar and other carbon-free sources of electricity, helping North America meet an ambitious goal of generating at least 50 percent of its energy from “clean” sources by 2025.
The pledge is set to be made as part of a trilateral summit of North American leaders Wednesday in Ottawa, where the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union is likely to consume much of the agenda. The meeting will also focus on trade and regional security issues.
“We believe this is an aggressive goal but one that is achievable by all three countries,” Brian Deese, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama on environmental and energy matters, said Monday on a conference call with reporters.

Read the full story. (Bloomberg)

Richmond’s environmental plan wins first-place mayors’ award

Richmond won a first-place award among large cities for its sustainability plan, the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced Friday.
The city’s “RVAgreen” program took home the honor in the 2016 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, announced in Indianapolis during the annual meeting of the mayors conference, with Mayor Dwight C. Jones on hand to accept the award.
The awards recognize mayors for their climate protection efforts, and Richmond competed in the category for cities with populations greater than 100,000.

Read the full story. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

Virginia startup aims to create green score for existing homes

While LEED and other certifications are well-known indicators of commercial buildings’ energy efficiency, there is no such system for homes that have already been built.

That could be about to change.

A Virginia startup aspires to provide a guide of sorts for homeowners to focus improvements on energy features that can boost market values along with updated kitchens and bathrooms.

“The big hole in the certification donut has been on the existing homes side,” said Cynthia Adams, CEO of Pearl Certification in McLean, Virginia.

“If you’ve ever bought an existing home, you know it doesn’t come with a user manual. First-time buyers in particular may find themselves asking, ‘How the heck do I take care of this’?“ said Adams, who is credentialed in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and is Chair of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council.

Read the full story. (Southeast Energy News)

New “Alliance for a Sustainable Future” announced

WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwired – June 21, 2016) – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) today announced a new alliance to spur public-private cooperation on climate action and sustainable development in cities.

The USCM-C2ES Alliance for a Sustainable Future will create a framework for mayors and business leaders to develop concrete approaches to reduce carbon emissions, speed deployment of new technology, and implement sustainable development strategies as a part of implementing the Clean Power Plan and responding to the growing impacts of climate change.

City and business leaders will identify barriers to action and share research and analysis on climate and sustainable development solutions. By building crucial links between cities and companies, the alliance aims to spur innovative partnerships and increase participation in state and national climate efforts.

“Since 2005, USCM has been leaders on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mayors and businesses must work together to develop sustainable solutions,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, The U.S. Conference of Mayors President. “The Clean Power Plan is the cornerstone of the nation’s strategy to achieve these reductions, which are becoming more and more important as the effects of climate change are upon us.”

Read the press release. 

Survey shows millennials increasingly driving force behind electric utility transformation

A motivational trifecta of environmental sensitivity, practicality and affordability is driving residential consumers and businesses to find ways to utilize more renewables and expand energy management practices, according to Deloitte’s “Resources 2016 Study – Energy Management: Navigating the Headwinds.” The report highlights the increasing influence of millennials aged 21-34, the largest and most dominant consumer group, as a dynamic force behind the shift to cleaner sources of energy – inspired by the desire to reduce their personal carbon footprints.

“The strong desire of residential consumers for clean-energy options, coupled with the increasing cost-effectiveness of solar and wind, are driving growing opportunities for utilities and businesses to explore ways to expand deployment of renewables,” said Marlene Motyka, U.S. alternative energy leader and principal, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP. “This trend is really being led by the millennial generation, whose wants and needs are not only relevant, but increasingly an influential factor in the transformation of electricity providers.”

Read the full press release. 

Millennials increasingly driving force behind electric utility transformation

A motivational trifecta of environmental sensitivity, practicality and affordability is driving residential consumers and businesses to find ways to utilize more renewables and expand energy management practices, according to Deloitte’s “Resources 2016 Study – Energy Management: Navigating the Headwinds.” The report highlights the increasing influence of millennials aged 21-34, the largest and most dominant consumer group, as a dynamic force behind the shift to cleaner sources of energy – inspired by the desire to reduce their personal carbon footprints.

“The strong desire of residential consumers for clean-energy options, coupled with the increasing cost-effectiveness of solar and wind, are driving growing opportunities for utilities and businesses to explore ways to expand deployment of renewables,” said Marlene Motyka, U.S. alternative energy leader and principal, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP. “This trend is really being led by the millennial generation, whose wants and needs are not only relevant, but increasingly an influential factor in the transformation of electricity providers.”

Read the full story. (Deloitte press release)

Featured Member of the Month (June 2016): Siemens

sie-logo-claim-petrol-rgbFor over 165 years, Siemens has built a reputation for delivering leading-edge products and services, high levels of customer satisfaction, and an unending spirit of innovation. As a $100B company with over 370,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens is a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, industry, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, and building automation.

From initial assessment through ongoing support, the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc. is the world market leader for safe, reliable, energy-efficient, and sustainable buildings and infrastructures. As a service provider, system integrator, and product manufacturer, Siemens offers sustainable building products, technologies, and solutions that help optimize building automation, fire safety and security systems, HVAC, air quality, power distribution and management, and energy efficiency. Our systems, services, resources, and experience help ensure facilities are safe, efficient, and compliant.

As a true full-service energy services company (ESCO), Siemens provides the industry’s most comprehensive end-to-end energy solutions – from energy reduction to production and procurement – enabling cities to best achieve energy and water goals while positively impacting the economy and environment. Siemens extensive expertise in guaranteed performance-based solutions, combined with our scalable, proven portfolio, allows us to most efficiently and effectively meet the needs of all communities, including small-, medium-, and large-sized cites.

Siemens Commissioning Advantage Program (CxA) is a comprehensive building energy and performance optimization program designed to improve the way facility mangers operate their facilities. This program includes a variety of individual offerings that have a far greater impact when combined as a holistic solution.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 12.57.42 PMSiemens white paper, “Commissioning: An Essential Part of a Comprehensive Energy Strategy,” talks about how and why Commissioning should be included in a company’s energy plan.   Here is an excerpt from that white paper:

“Through proper assessment and planning, a comprehensive energy strategy that includes commissioning will serve as a roadmap to maximize building performance. A fragmented approach to commissioning can compromise the long-term health of the building; it is important to integrate commissioning into a facility’s energy management strategy. Depending on the building’s level of energy-efficiency, age, and use, the commissioning approach will be comprised of both one-time initiatives and ongoing services, and both are designed to reduce energy costs while enabling continuous performance improvements.”

A Holistic Energy Strategy Includes Five Key Phases

  • Strategy & Planning
  • Evaluation & Assessment
  • Program Implementation
  • Ongoing Services & Optimization
  • Measurement & Reporting

Learn more at www.usa.siemens.com/commissioning or contact:

Janet S. Tribble

Siemens Industry, Inc.

Building Technologies Division

Business Development, Building Performance & Sustainability

janet.tribble@siemens.com

804-426-1980

Energy Secretary: Climate goals require efficiency, innovation

Ernest Moniz, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, came to town to talk about climate change.

He stressed that he had come to the right place.

“When a region is called Tidewater, Virginia, that’s a pretty good indication that there’s a significant risk of global warming and sea level rise,” Moniz said in his keynote address as Sen. Mark Warner’s Virginia Energy Policy Forum, held on Friday at the Hampton Convention Center. “The higher sea level and the warmer waters mean a higher risk of damage done with storms, and we’re already seeing that.

“In Norfolk, the sea level is already fourteen and a half inches higher than in the late 1920s and on its way higher. If this continues, the risk to the region, to our assets, to our Navy’s assets, is enormous.”

Read the full story. (Daily Press)

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