Energy efficiency

Extra Credit for Efficiency

Read the full story in National Journal.

Nationwide, energy costs eat up more than $2,000 of an average household’s income each year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration—typically more than residents pay for property taxes or insurance. But that expense is rarely considered when it comes to valuing a house. In the eyes of mortgage lenders, a drafty home that leaks heat is no different than one with double-paned windows and a state-of-the art furnace.

That’s something that Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, a former Realtor, wants to remedy. His bipartisan bill with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado would instruct federally backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration to consider energy costs in the mortgage-valuation process, alongside traditional factors such as an applicant’s likely tax and insurance bills.

5 keys to a successful energy performance contract

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Set it up well and an energy performance contract (EnPC) can achieve amazing things for businesses with must-be-met targets to save or generate their own energy. Such as finally getting postponed maintenance and asset replacement projects underway. Or overcoming scepticism that promised benefits will materialize. Or doing away with the need for upfront capital, when a project would pay for itself quickly if it could just get done.

It’s vital to get your key decision makers to understand how an EnPC approach can deliver the results they want.

That’s why I’m a huge fan of EnPCs. They’re a great vehicle to getting things done and making big dents in a business’ energy consumption and carbon emissions.

So what makes a successful EnPCs?

Simple. The good ones are planned and socialized well.

Yes, like many things in life and business, preparation is the secret to reaping the rewards an energy performance contract can deliver. So here are my five top things to get right when preparing an EnPC:

3 energy efficiency myths debunked

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Common misconceptions about efficiency not only can increase energy use, but actually can end up costing consumers and business money. From using less energy to energy audits to the cost dilemma, below are three common misconceptions that should be debunked.

Energy Efficiency Exchange 2015

August 11-13, 2015
Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix AZ
For more information, visit

As the nation’s largest energy consumer, the federal government has a tremendous opportunity and clear responsibility to lead by example, while working to meet federal and agency-specific energy management objectives. Join project implementation specialists and subject matter experts in addressing the challenges and opportunities of energy consumption, sustainability, energy efficiency, and energy security in and across federal agencies.

Energy Efficiency Exchange 2015 will provide International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) continuing education units (CEUs) and help agencies satisfy requirements outlined in:

  • Federal Building Personnel Training Act of 2010
  • Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005
  • Executive Order (E.O.) 13423
  • Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
  • E.O. 13653
  • President’s Performance Contracting Challenge
  • National Defense Authorization Act.

An Assessment of the Energy-Efficiency Gap and its Implications for Climate-Change Policy

Download the document.

Discussion Paper ES 2014-3, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

This Discussion Paper is the third in an annual series supported by the Enel Foundation addressing important topics in international climate policy.

The Harvard Project will co-sponsor a side event, based in part on this paper, at the Twentieth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru on Monday, December 8, 2014. For details see here.

Improving end-use energy efficiency—that is, the energy-efficiency of individuals, households, and firms as they consume energy—is often cited as an important element in efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Arguments for improving energy efficiency usually rely on the idea that energy-efficient technologies will save end users money over time and thereby provide low-cost or no-cost options for reducing GHG emissions. However, some research suggests that energy-efficient technologies appear not to be adopted by consumers and businesses to the degree that would seem justified, even on a purely financial basis. We review in this paper the evidence for a range of explanations for this apparent “energy-efficiency gap.” We find most explanations are grounded in sound economic theory, but the strength of empirical support for these explanations varies widely. Retrospective program evaluations suggest the cost of GHG abatement varies considerably across different energy-efficiency investments and can diverge substantially from the predictions of prospective models. Findings from research on the energy-efficiency gap could help policy makers generate social and private benefits from accelerating the diffusion of energy-efficient technologies—including reduction of GHG emissions.

Building a sustainable future: why energy efficiency is everybody’s business

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Few dispute the need to make building stock more energy efficient. But is a lack of coherent central government thinking and bold grassroots leadership stalling progress?

$1 Million Funding Opportunity for University R&D Teams

View the full Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001167

Register for the informational webinar – Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

The Building Technologies Office’s (BTO) Emerging Technologies Program has announced the availability of up to $1 million for the Buildings University Innovators and Leaders Development (BUILD) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001167. This FOA makes available competitive, 2-year cooperative agreements for U.S.-based university teams to research and develop innovative building energy efficient technologies, manufacturing (for projects developing hardware), and commercialization.

Learn more about the BUILD funding opportunity →

Submission Deadlines

  • Submission Deadline for Concept Papers: December 19, 2014, 5:00 PM ET
  • Submission Deadline for Full Applications: February 11, 2015, 5:00 PM ET

More information, application requirements, and instructions for this funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0001167) can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website. Questions about this FOA may be sent to