7 tips on selling energy efficiency to senior management

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

When it comes to energy efficiency, middle management is in a unique and tactically strong position. They have the ability to identify, define and propose energy saving measures as well as mobilize the organizational resources to make them happen and track the impact.

The key to success, however, is the ability get buy-in from senior management. The following steps are designed to help you pitch your ideas and win them over.

Webinar: REAP Funding Opportunities for E3 Communities

Via the USDA:

As partners of the E3 framework, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants make sure you’re aware of possible funding opportunities to support your E3 activities as they pertain to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. These funding opportunities are contained in the recent modifications made to the USDA Rural Energy for America Program or REAP. The final rule that captures these modifications was published on December 29, 2014. The final rule became effective February 12, 2015.

The Energy Efficiency Improvement/Renewable Energy Systems (RES/EEI) component of the REAP program is the perfect complement to E3 Energy Audits because it provides grant and guaranteed loan funding for the integration of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements into a rural small business or agricultural producer’s operations. REAP can provide grant funding of up to $150,000 for EEI and $250,000 for RES. REAP Guaranteed loans can be up to $25 million and are eligible to be combined with a REAP grant.

We encourage you to take advantage of this exciting funding opportunity if you have recently received an E3 Energy Audit and want to take the next step toward energy efficiency or a renewable energy system that will save your business money on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

To provide additional background on the program and to learn how agricultural producers and rural businesses can easily take advantage of REAP’s benefits, our REAP Outreach Team will host an interactive webinar, titled REAP Funding Opportunities for E3 Communities, specifically for E3 partners on Monday, March 30 from 1:00-2:30pm Eastern (12:00-1:30 Central; 11:00-12:30 Mountain; 10:00-11:30 Pacific). Please click on the following link to register for the free webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/399561791213939458.

Additional information on the REAP program can be found at: rd.usda.gov/reap. For further information and questions, please contact your State Energy Coordinator. A list of State Energy Coordinators can be found here: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf.

New efficiency standards would help address heating bills of many homes in cold climates

Read the full post from the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.

On the heels of a proposed rule for new efficiency standards for furnaces, late on Friday the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a proposed rule for another type of home heating equipment. While the proposed standards for boilers would save money for many consumers in cold climates, higher standards could achieve significantly greater energy savings.

Beyond the CFL: Winning Images for Energy Efficiency

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Which images work best to get people excited about energy efficiency? More importantly, what kind of images inspire people to take action to save energy and support policies that drive energy savings? Resource Media’s research into energy efficiency visuals suggests several strategies to make energy efficiency imagery more appealing, inspiring and engaging.

The research demonstrates that:

  • Visuals are a powerful way to motivate people to take action in support of energy efficiency—whether through improvements in their own home, or through support for policies.
  • The best images are those that show real people doing tangible things to save energy in their homes and businesses.

California building codes: to analyze the forest you need to understand the trees

Read the full post from ACEEE.

ACEEE is a strong supporter of analyzing energy efficiency programs in order to see what they have accomplished and to learn lessons so we can do even better. It was thus with interest that we reviewed “How Much Energy Do Building Energy Codes Really Save? Evidence from California” by Arik Levinson. In this paper Levinson conducts several analyses and concludes that “there is no evidence that homes constructed since California instituted its building energy codes use less electricity today than homes built before the codes came into effect.” On the surface his conclusions about the efficacy of building codes are very different from other recent analyses such as papers by Aroonruengsawat et al., Deason and Hobbs, and Jacobsen and Kotchen, so we took a deeper look.

DOE Announces Webinars on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s FY2016 Budget Request, and More

EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

Upcoming Webinars

February 25: Live Webinar on Models for Tribal Energy Development Organizations

Webinar Sponsors: Office of Indian Energy, Western Area Power Administration

The Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy and the Western Area Power Administration will present a live webinar titled “Models for Tribal Energy Development Organizations” on Wednesday, February 25, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  The webinar is part of the Energy Department’s Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series. Presenters will discuss the benefits of developing new organizations to support energy project development, including organizations with the ability to effectively manage and implement projects that significantly contribute to community economic development and support tribal goals of energy self-sufficiency and self-determination. In addition to learning about available business models, attendees will learn how to establish strategic partnerships with private industry to advance tribal energy projects and initiatives.

Register for the webinar.

February 26: Live Webinar on Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy

Webinar Sponsor: Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office

The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled “Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy” on Thursday, February 26, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  This Technical Assistance Program webinar will feature a comparative analysis of program design elements of existing property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs across the country. PACE is an innovative financing technique that allows energy efficiency and renewable energy investments to be made on existing structures, and is continuing to expand in communities across the country. This webinar will feature research recently conducted by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) and provide insight into how different commercial PACE programs have structured their programs in areas such as capital sources, underwriting criteria, and eligible energy upgrades. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of how PACE works, program design element choices, and lessons learned from early adopters.

Speakers include the Energy Department’s Eleni Pelican; LBNL’s Emily Fadrhonc, Program Manager of Electricity Markets and Policy; and Chris Kramer with Energy Futures Group, Inc.

Register now.

March 3: Dealerships to Donuts: Best Practices for Energy Efficiency in the Franchise Model

Webinar Sponsor: Better Buildings

The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled “Dealerships to Donuts: Best Practices for Energy Efficiency in the Franchise Model” on Tuesday, March 3, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Finding energy savings opportunities for a business franchise can be easy, but getting them implemented can be hard. While franchisors typically supply business knowledge, architectural designs, and equipment, franchise agreements and business models are not often designed to make it simple for franchisees to capitalize on energy efficiency opportunities.

Learn about the programs and tools being employed by Better Buildings partners Dunkin’ Brands and InterContinental Hotels Group to bridge this gap and motivate franchisees to save energy and reduce their environmental impact.

Register for the webinar.

March 3-5: Live Webinars on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s FY2016 Budget Request

Webinar Sponsor: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will present a series of webinars on our Fiscal Year 2016 budget request from Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday, March 5. The webinars will feature our deputy assistant secretaries and technology office directors providing in-depth presentations of the budget proposal by sector, including specific technology office requests, and an opportunity for participants to ask questions.  Topics and registration details are below:

  • Tuesday, March 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time: Sustainable Transportation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Sarkar. Register for the webinar.
  • Wednesday, March 4, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time:  Energy Efficiency, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Hogan. Register for the webinar.
  • Thursday, March 5, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time: Renewable Power, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Doug Hollett. Register for the webinar.

Federal Government’s Energy Consumption Lowest in Almost 40 Years

Read the full post on the EERE Blog.

Recently, the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration highlighted Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) data illustrating the progress the federal government has made in reducing its energy use since 1975. While the U.S. federal government continues to be one of the largest energy consumers in the world, its consumption has been steadily declining for nearly four decades, and now stands at less than 1 quadrillion Btu, the lowest since 1975, when data collection began. Much of the decline in recent years can be attributed to a decrease in the use of jet fuel, the fuel most consumed by the government, by 40% and to energy used in federal facilities which has decreased by 46% since 1975. Fiscal Year 2013 is the latest available data, but preliminary data reported to FEMP by federal agencies for FY 2014 indicates that overall federal energy use continued to decline. While FEMP maintains a full suite of tools, this accomplishment is directly attributed federal employees making the choice for efficiency and striving to reduce operating costs of their sites.