Day: September 5, 2012

Exemplary Utility Energy Efficiency Programs — Nominations Now Open!

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) seeks to recognize and profile America’s leading utility-sector energy efficiency programs. ACEEE will award these programs a “Certificate of Recognition” and will feature them as exemplars of best practices in a compendium of program profiles to be published by ACEEE in the Spring of 2013.


We’re looking for leading examples of energy efficiency programs for all types of customers (residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural) and end-uses. The only constraint is that they must be “utility sector” energy efficiency programs (i.e., funded by customers through utility rates, public benefits charges, or other similar utility revenue mechanisms). The programs can be administered by utilities, government agencies, or “third party” independent administrators. Both electric and natural gas programs are eligible. Programs recognized in ACEEE’s 2003 and 2008 reviews are eligible for this new review. In these cases, program data and results need to be updated to reflect the latest information available.

Organizations may only nominate themselves for a maximum of three programs each.

[Note: we are NOT seeking nominations for “load management” or “demand response” programs, with one exception: we are interested in “integrated” programs where broader energy efficiency measures and savings are incorporated as an explicit priority in the program design in addition to load management. Inclusion of integrated, significant energy efficiency measures and savings (not just peak reduction) also need to be well documented.]

Selection Criteria

The primary selection criteria for recognition by ACEEE are:

  • Direct Energy Savings: Demonstrated ability of the program to deliver significant immediate and long-term kWh (and/or therm) savings from energy efficiency.
  • Market Impacts: Demonstrated ability of the program to produce desirable and lasting improvements in the energy efficiency characteristics and performance of the targeted market.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Demonstrated ability to yield significant energy savings and related benefits relative to the costs of the program.
  • Customer Service and Satisfaction: High quality of services available and provided to customers participating in programs.
  • Innovation: Incorporation of particularly innovative measures, program designs, and/or implementation techniques that have achieved positive near-term results and promise significant future impacts.
  • Transferability:  Well documented programs with characteristics amenable to replicating the program design in other similar settings.

Additional factors that may be regarded favorably include: success in serving “hard to reach” target populations; success in achieving “deep” energy savings by participants; and the ability to leverage significant customer investments in energy efficiency.

To demonstrate achievement according to the various  criteria, it is advantageous that nominated programs have used good quality ex post evaluation and verification methodologies to document savings impacts, market effects and other results achieved by the program.

How to Nominate a Program

To nominate a program, ACEEE asks that you complete an online nomination form here. Hard copy/paper nominations will generally not be accepted without permission. The review and selection process will consist of two phases: (1) an initial screening of nominated programs to identify leading candidates, and (2) a more in-depth review of these candidate programs; in this 2nd phase ACEEE is likely to request supplemental data and information on the programs, such as evaluation reports or other documentation. An expert panel (ACEEE staff plus external experts) will review the nominations and select the final set of programs.

Nominations due October 5, 2012.

For additional information, please contact:
Seth Nowak


Dan York

Please note: ACEEE will confirm receipt of all nominations. If you do not receive a confirmation within one week of your submission, please call Seth Nowak at the above number. 

Please feel free to distribute this invitation widely. Self-nominations are perfectly acceptable (a limit of 3 self-nominations per organization) All nominations will be kept confidential unless otherwise requested. The results of ACEEE’s second national review of exemplary programs can be found here:

EPA Opens Registration for Campus RainWorks Design Challenge Competition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened registration for student teams from colleges and universities across the country to participate in its new design competition, the Campus RainWorks Challenge, through which teams will compete to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. This first annual competition, will help raise awareness of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in green infrastructure principles and design. Stormwater is a major cause of harmful water pollution in urban areas in the U.S., impacting tens of thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, as well as hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds.

Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge is open from September 4 through October 5, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 – $2,500, as well as $8,000 – $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus.

EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Green Infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide other community benefits. Green infrastructure is increasingly being used to supplement or substitute for single-purpose “gray” infrastructure investments such as pipes, and ponds. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage stormwater discharges.

More information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge:

Recycled Vegetable Oil Powers Whole Foods Commercial Kitchen

Read the full story at Sustainable

The Massachusetts kitchen used to prepare foods for 62 stores in the Whole Foods North Atlantic region is now using its old cooking oil to generate virtually of its electricity.

That includes the lights, appliances and all the other culinary gadgets that go into food preparation.

The 70,000-square-foot facility in Everett relies on a 50 kilowatt (kW) renewable energy system from Lifecycle Renewables of Marblehead, Massachusetts, that runs on LR 100, a renewable diesel fuel made out of waste vegetable oil.

You’re using more water than you think

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

A water footprint is the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services consumed. Here are some ways to lighten your water footprint.

Waste not at Del. restaurants: Sussex establishments keep compostables out of landfills

Read the full story at DelawareOnline.

Leave some seared ahi tuna or grilled asparagus behind when you get up from the table at one of about 30 Rehoboth-area restaurants and it will end up here, inside a long row of mulch in the making, at a yard waste recycling plant, instead of being tossed in a landfill to rot.

From pastry to plastic: Starbucks finds sweet spot for food waste

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Local Hong Kong Starbucks branches have teamed up with researchers to boil old baked goods down to their core chemical components in order to extract recycled ingredients used in plastics, laundry detergents and other ubiquitous products.

How the University of Iowa busted silos to boost sustainability

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Busting down silos at the University of Iowa has nothing to do with mixing different bushels of corn together.

Instead, in the state known for producing the largest corn crop in the U.S., it means pushing different departments to work together to make the university’s campus more sustainable.

That goes beyond the paper, electricity and other items expected in educating 30,000 students. It also means keeping food trash from a stadium full of football fans out of the landfill, and finding an eco-friendly means of disposing of the gowns and gloves used in medical care.

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