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

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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

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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.

New studies are showing what we already know: energy efficiency keeps electricity affordable and reduces environmental compliance costs

Read the full post from ACEEE.

Multiple studies looking at spending and savings across programs, over time and in multiple states, all show the same thing: energy efficiency is highly cost effective. Put another way, it keeps electricity affordable by meeting demand and environmental regulations at a lower cost than if we generated new power, including from clean energy resources. To help break down this discussion to key points, we released two new fact sheets today, one showing that energy efficiency is consistently the lowest-cost option for meeting electric demand and the other showing that including energy efficiency can lower the cost of Clean Power Plan compliance.

How Much Does Energy Efficiency Cost?” includes results from studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ACEEE, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fact sheet shows how these studies provide further evidence that energy efficiency costs less than other sources of energy, and also that the costs of energy efficiency have been level in recent years. “Energy Efficiency Lowers the Cost of Clean Power Plan Compliance” looks at the results of three studies, all finding that including energy efficiency as part of state compliance plans will lower costs to utility customers.  For example, a study by Synapse Resource Economics provides state-by-state information on most of the states.