Trump’s regulatory freeze halts four Obama rules aimed at promoting greater energy efficiency

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Nearly simultaneously with President Trump’s oath of office Friday, the White House website shifted to remove climate change related content from the Obama administration and supplant it with a new statement of Trump’s energy policy — one focused, it said, reducing “burdensome regulations on our energy industry.”

Those are just words — but an action hours later by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus had more teeth. Priebus’s memorandum, issuing a governmentwide freeze on new or pending regulations, would appear to have the effect of sweeping up four very nearly finished Energy Department energy efficiency standards, affecting an array of products, including portable air conditionersand commercial boilers. The standards are designed to reduce energy use, and, in the process, consumer bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Priebus memo states that federal agencies cannot send new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register — a key step in the finalization of new rules — until Trump’s administration has leaders in place to approve what these agencies are doing. Moreover, it also states that regulations that have been sent to the office but have not yet made it into the published register need to be withdrawn. The Obama administration issued a similar memorandum right after the president took office in 2009.

Energy Efficiency Jobs in America: A Comprehensive Analysis of Energy Efficiency Employment Across All 50 States

Download the document.

Unlike large wind turbines or rooftop solar panels, most energy efficiency improvements are invisible: They might be folded within a super-insulated building, embedded in the controls of a smart monitoring system, or quietly embodied in a high efficiency AC system. Looking at the job sector, however, the impact couldn’t be more clear. Energy efficiency is the largest sector within the U.S. clean energy economy, accounting for three in four of its jobs and employing nearly 1.9 million people nationwide.

How Innovative New Dehumidifiers Would Make the Marijuana Business Greener

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

The cannabis industry is not as green as you might think.

Growing marijuana indoors is energy intensive, as it requires various equipment to regulate light, temperature, and moisture levels. Growers account for approximately 1 percent of electricity use in the United States, according to a 2012 study, releasing as much carbon dioxide as three million cars on average. And as more states legalize marijuana, grow houses could put a greater strain on public utilities. For the industry to grow sustainably, more energy efficient systems will need to be developed and adopted—and, as it turns out, there are plenty of points in the growing process ripe for innovation.

In a new study, researchers at the University of California–Davis’ Western Cooling Efficiency Center tested out a new dehumidification system for indoor farms, and found that it was much more energy efficient than traditional dehumidifiers.

Illinois Energy Now announces 2016-2017 Standard and Custom Incentive Program

Illinois Energy Now has announced new incentive programs for 2016-2017. They are:

  1. Waive $300,000 building cap for all facilities. The IL ENERGY NOW Standard and Custom Incentive Programs are waiving the $300,000 building cap for all facilities. If possible, break up large projects into multiple applications not to exceed $150,000 each. The IL ENERGY NOW Standard and Custom Incentive Programs are lifting the incentive cap from 75% of the Total Project Cost to 100% of the Total Project Cost for applications received after December 1, 2016 from all State and Federal facilities and school buildings which have never participated in the Standard and Custom Incentive Program. If you are unsure whether your facility has previously participated in the Standard or Custom Program, please contact Lisa Teubner at Illinois.energy@illinois.gov or 217.785.7440.
  2. The ILLINOIS ENERGY NOW SEDAC retro-commissioning programs are waiving the minimum implementation spending of $10,000 for new state and federal facility projects. Apply at http://smartenergy.illinois.edu/retro-commissioning.html
  3. All LED Streetlight upgrades are now $0.30 kWh.
    • Promotion is available through the Standard Incentive Program application at: https://www.illinois.gov/dceo/whyillinois/Target Industries/Energy/Pages/EnergyEfficiencForms.aspx
    • The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity will apply the LED Streetlight incentive of $0.30/kWh.
    • kWh savings based on 4903 hours per year and reduced watts from the Standard Incentive Program application
    • LED Streetlights are defined as a light illuminating a street or road, typically mounted on a tall pole. This does not include parking lot lights.
    • LED fixture must be listed at Design Lights Consortium, https://www.designlights.org.
    • If you have already submitted a 2016-2017 Application with LED Streetlights, please contact your DCEO project manager.
    • The promotion is instead of the incentive normally offered at $0.70/Watt, not in addition to.
    • Questions: Contact Andrea Reiff, andrea.reiff@illinois.gov or 217.785.0164.

Free Boiler Tune-ups for Illinois Public Schools

The promotion is available through Illinois’ Boiler System Efficiency Program. The application is available at https://www.illinois.gov/dceo/whyillinois/TargetIndustries/Energy/Pages/PublicSector
NaturalGasBoilerTuneUp.aspx.

The 75% incentive cap has been removed for Boiler Tune-Ups in Public Schools. Projects that combine multiple Boiler System Efficiency Projects are still eligible, though only the Boiler Tune-Up measure may exceed the incentive cap. Boiler output must be greater than 200,000 Btuh and must be heated via natural gas. The incentive is only available to schools that HAVE NOT received an ILLINOIS ENERGY NOW rebate for Boiler Tune-Up in the last 36 months.

Questions: Contact Brian Katamay, boiler@uic.edu or 312.355.2019

Texas Tribune series on global and local efforts to conserve energy

One crisis, two futures: How Denmark and Texas answered an energy challenge
Facing the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, Denmark shifted from fossil fuels. Texas responded differently. Here’s a look at how things went for each.

This energy technology gets no respect at all — but it’s cutting carbon
Sometimes called the “Rodney Dangerfield” of the energy industry, the district energy concept has fueled Denmark’s shift from fossil fuels. Energy efficiency advocates want to encourage more district energy projects in Texas.

The Clean Power Plan and energy efficiency: where do we go from here?

Read the full post from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

As another round of global climate talks has concluded, many observers wonder whether the 2016 election means the end of greenhouse gas regulation in the United States. More specifically, what happens to the Clean Power Plan?