Month: August 2013

Green chamber of commerce program helps St. Louis pick up the pace

In her P2 Pathways article for GreenBiz, Green chamber of commerce program helps St. Louis pick up the pace, author Jean Ponzi explains how St. Louis companies participate in a region-wide learning lab to make their daily operations greener.

Here is the link to the P2 Pathways landing page:

September 2013: Upcoming Climate and Energy Webcasts for State and Local Governments

EPA Webcasts

September 10, 1:00-2:00 pm (EDT) – The Power of Aggregated Purchasing: How to Green Your Electricity Supply & Save Money
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EPA’s Green Power Partnership hosts this webinar discussing how an aggregated model for renewable energy purchases can lead to significant energy, environmental and financial benefits by addressing administrative cost barriers and leveraging the shared purchasing power of multiple organizations. By pooling their purchasing power, many organizations have been able to secure competitive renewable electricity supply at a lower cost as compared to conventional sources.

The webinar will examine the aggregated purchasing experiences of the Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium and the Nonprofit Energy Alliance, including lessons learned and best practices for organizations interested in using an aggregated model. The Consortium, a municipal electricity purchasing group, has seen electricity cost savings of close to 20 percent while increasing green power use to 25 percent among members. The Nonprofit Energy Alliance is a group of nonprofit organizations that have joined together to negotiate for cheaper, greener electricity, resulting in meaningful cost savings and environmental benefits.

September 11, 2-3:30 PM (EDT) – Sources of Energy Efficiency Program Savings for Air Regulators
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Sponsored by EPA’s State Climate and Energy Program, and the State Energy efficiency Action Network, this webinar will focus on energy efficiency evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V). Experts will discuss how and where state air quality regulation agencies and others can find information to support the use of energy efficiency to achieve emissions reductions and other co-benefits. Webinar participants will learn about key sources of efficiency savings information – at the national, regional, and state levels – and about ways to access and apply it.

Webinar presentations will cover:

  • A new report by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) on energy efficiency data sources for air regulators working to include EE in criteria air pollutant State Implementation Plans (SIPs)
  • The Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED), which is a new EE reporting and data platform for New England and Mid-Atlantic states

The presentations will be of particular relevance to jurisdictions considering the use of end-use (e.g., buildings) energy efficiency in their criteria pollutant State Implementation Plans (SIPs), and to states interested in quantifying the co-benefits of efficiency.

September 18, 3:00-4:00 PM (EDT) – Smart Growth and Economic Success
Click here for details on how to attend

Sponsored by EPA’s Smart Growth Office, this webinar will explore how smart growth strategies at the regional, city, and neighborhood level can maximize economic advantages while creating attractive, healthy communities that help protect the environment. Dr. Kramer will discuss the report, Smart Growth and Economic Success: Benefits for Real Estate Developers, Investors, Businesses, and Local Government, and speakers from Lehigh Valley, PA, Champaign, IL, and Phoenix, AZ will discuss how smart growth is helping their communities prosper.

September 18, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT) – Sustainability and Adaptation
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This webinar is an introduction to EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utility initiative and climate change adaptation planning. The recently updated CRWU Adaptation Strategies Guide highlights strategies for pursuing both adaptation and sustainability goals, specifically those related to green infrastructure and energy management. This webinar will provide an in depth look at the new sustainability information in the Guide and utility representatives will share their experience planning and implementing sustainable strategies.

September 24, 3:00-4:00 PM (EDT) – Infrastructure Financing for Transit-Oriented Development
Click here for details on how to attend

Transit-oriented development (TOD) offers a mix of housing, employment, shopping, and transportation choices that can help reduce air pollution and development on open lands and improve water quality and access to jobs. Yet the infrastructure required to create TOD is expensive and funding for infrastructure for new TOD can be difficult to obtain. Sponsored by EPA’s Smart Growth Office, this webinar will cover some of the lessons learned from a year-long Smart Growth Implementation Assistance project on financing TOD infrastructure. Speakers from the Utah Transit Authority and the NoMa Business Improvement District in Washington, DC will then discuss TOD in their communities.

DOE Webcasts

September 25, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (MDT) – Tribal and Utility Partnership Opportunities
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Tribes and utilities can be a nexus of renewable energy project development. The future utility likely will have a resource portfolio that is a hybrid of centralized power plants, distributed generation, microgrids, and demand response programs that result in a more efficient system of both generation and consumption. This webinar focuses on the opportunities for a partnership between Tribes and utilities that improves the energy system and stimulates economic development on tribal lands.

SEE Action Webcasts

September 26, 2:00–3:00 PM (EDT) – Using Integrated Resource Planning to Encourage Investment in Cost-Effective Energy Efficiency Measures
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An integrated resource plan (IRP) is a long-range utility plan for meeting the forecasted demand for energy within a defined geographic area through a combination of supply-side resources and demand-side resources. Generally speaking, the goal of an IRP is to identify the mix of resources that will minimize future energy system costs while ensuring safe and reliable operation of the system. This webinar, sponsored by SEE Action, will highlight SEE Action’s Using Integrated Resource Planning to Encourage Investment in Cost-Effective Energy Efficiency MeasuresPDF report, which explains the purpose and use of IRP, recommendations for successful IRP, alternatives to IRP in states with competitive retail markets, examples of successful IRP efforts, and how IRP interacts with other energy efficiency policies and programs.

NACo Webinars

September 5, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – Updating Your County’s Green Building Toolbox
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Building green provides many benefits: efficient operations, higher property value, comfortable and healthy spaces, creation of skilled jobs, and more. County governments can support local construction economies and meet growing demand for green buildings with thoughtfully designed policies, mandatory codes, and voluntary incentive programs. In this National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar, the first of two, industry experts will outline best-available building rating systems, standards, and model codes, highlighting recent updates.

Security & Sustainability Forum Webinars

September 4, 1:15-2:45 PM (EDT) – Community Shared Solar and Urban Neighborhoods
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In this Security & Sustainability Forum webinar, solar experts explore emerging approaches to Community Shared Solar. This solar development model allows consumers to lease or purchase the output of a solar project, with each participant receiving a share of the benefits-usually credited to their utility bill. The panelists will discuss approaches that maximize the benefits for participants and for the community at large, in part through utility innovation.

September 5, 1:15-2:45 PM (EDT) – Empowering Communities to Find Resilient Solutions
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In this Security & Sustainability Forum webinar, panelists will discuss innovative tools for bringing together diverse interests in dialogue where they can learn, build relationships, and face tough choices together. The session will focus on case studies that highlight the role of community engagement in decision-making on challenging issues related to both the “before” and “after” of extreme environmental events. There will be time for questions from the participants.

To Grow Sweeter Produce, California Farmers Turn Off The Water

Read the full story from NPR.

A week without water can easily kill the average person.

But a garden that goes unwatered for months may produce sweeter, more flavorful fruits than anything available in most mainstream supermarkets — even in the scorching heat of a California summer. Commercial growers call it “dry farming,” and throughout the state, this unconventional technique seems to be catching on among small producers of tomatoes, apples, grapes, melons and potatoes.

On a Remote Island, Lessons In How Ecosystems Function

Read the full story at Yale Environment 360.

Transformed by British sailors in the 19th century, Ascension Island in the South Atlantic has a unique tropical forest consisting almost entirely of alien species. Scientists say that what has happened there challenges some basic assumptions about ecosystems and evolution.

Incineration Versus Recycling: In Europe, A Debate Over Trash

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

Increasingly common in Europe, municipal “waste-to-energy” incinerators are being touted as a green trash-disposal alternative. But critics contend that these large-scale incinerators tend to discourage recycling and lead to greater waste.

Does the Sharing Economy Really Have Catastrophic Impacts?

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

From time to time you see an article or study challenging one of your beliefs. This is exactly what happened to me when reading an article about ConvergEx, a brokerage firm warning its clients that the ripple effects the sharing economy could be “catastrophic.”