Can energy efficiency rise to its $279 billion potential and help meet climate goals?

Read the full story from ACEEE.

Energy efficiency financing has seen record growth over the past year. Property-assessed clean energy (PACE) hit a billion dollar milestone, the nation’s largest green bank has roughly $4 billion of projects in the pipeline, and green bond issuance grew from $3 billion four years ago to over $40 billion in 2015. Total energy efficiency investment in buildings is slated to reach $125 billion by 2020, which is still less than half of the estimated $279 billion available.

But is it enough? On one hand, the market is telling us that we are poised to leave hundreds of billions of dollars on the table, while the Paris climate negotiations earlier this year set investment targets of over $200 billion to help avoid climate change. Energy efficiency financing is growing fast, but can it grow fast enough?

Tight budget? Consider other options to fund energy-efficiency projects

Read the full story in Health Facilities Management.

Sustainability groups discuss four financing alternatives to help health care facilities get green initiatives off the ground.

Lifting the High Energy Burden in America’s Largest Cities: How Energy Efficiency Can Improve Low Income and Underserved Communities

Download the document.

Energy burden is the percentage of household income spent on home energy bills. In this report we measure the energy burden of households in 48 of the largest American cities. We find that low-income, African-American, Latino, low-income multifamily, and renter households all spend a greater proportion of their income on utilities than the average family. We also identify energy efficiency as an underutilized strategy that can help reduce high energy burdens by as much as 30%. Given this potential, we describe policies and programs to ramp up energy efficiency investments in low-income and underserved communities.

Critiques of Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs: Some Truth But Also Substantial Mistakes and Bias

Download the white paper.

Several recent studies purport to show that particular energy efficiency programs and policies do not work or are too expensive. This short paper is written for people who are not evaluation experts and are trying to understand what conclusions they can take from these studies. We examine many of these papers and find that while they do have some useful findings, they often include a variety of unreasonable assumptions or outright mistakes that undermine their conclusions. Based on this review, we offer several recommendations on ways we can constructively move forward.

Spanish Language Pollution Prevention Resources

The Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange has made available a series of pollution prevention fact sheets in both English and Spanish. The fact sheets, developed by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, cover:

  • Auto body
  • Auto repair
  • Mercury switches
  • Energy efficiency/resource conservation
  • Green living

Untangling the energy-use knot in cities

Read the full post from ACEEE.

“How much energy do cities use?” We get that question a lot. The answer is, excepting a few cities, we generally don’t know. Only a handful of cities publish their energy use, and while the Energy Information Administration collects and reports a lot of great data on state- and utility-level energy consumption, they do not report city-level data.

We are very interested in that question, though, and have been compiling city-level energy consumption data since 2013. So far, our dataset includes limited data for a sample of cities. Today, we are making it available on our State and Local Policy Database website.

The dataset contains total and per capita energy use data, including both community-wide and local government operations, for the buildings and transportation sectors in a selection of cities from the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard.