NEEP’s Jim O’Reilly wrote a response to the Boston Globe’s article, Boston Energy, Water Use Law Approved, to set the record straight on Boston’s Building Energy Disclosure Ordinance. Continue reading
Author Archives: Jim OReilly
A great dialogue continues here in Baltimore on accelerating industrial energy efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP) in the region.
Not only do public policies need to provide a solid framework that allows for CHP to be broadly deployed, but champions among end users really need to drive projects and help other stakeholders understand their value propositions.
Those points were driven home particularly by John Baker, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, as well as speakers from New Jersey and New York, including Brian Platt of NYSERDA, Mike Winka, director of the Office of Clean Energy in New Jersey, and Steven Goldenberg, chief counsel to the New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition. Continue reading
To help set the table for the U.S. DOE and NEEP co-hosted dialogue on advancing industrial energy efficiency and CHP, NEEP’s Sue Coakley is moderating a discussion on ‘Opportunities and Successes.’ She started this dialogue by showing a video from NEEP’s 2012 Energy Efficiency Summit in Stamford, Conn. that highlighted Sikorsky Aircraft and the energy efficiency and CHP investments they’ve made to their Stratford plant. With support from United Illuminating, Sikorsky is aiming to make their facility zero net energy with the help of an innovative co-generation unit. And with support from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, the payback period for Sikorsky’s measures has been dropped to under four years.
Showing that best practices are not limited to New England, Jim Freihaut, director of the Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center at Penn State University, highlighted Proctor and Gamble’s Mehoopany, PA paper products plant, which has saved so much energy with its CHP application, that the company has closed plants in other states and moved those jobs to Pennsylvania. Continue reading
Good morning from Baltimore, where the U.S. Department of Energy and NEEP have just kicked off our Regional Dialogue on Accelerating Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power (CHP). This meeting is being held to advance the development and implementation of state-level best practices in both public policies and investment models that address the barriers to greater investments in industrial efficiency and CHP in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
Jason Miller, of the National Economic Council and a Special Assistant to President Obama for Manufacturing Policy, welcomed the 160+ participants here in Baltimore by highlighting the President’s Executive Order that sets a national goal of 40 gigawatts of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020. In noting that a revitalized manufacturing sector is a core element of the administration’s economic development agenda, Miller noted the importance of accelerating efficiency and CHP in this sector because “Energy is intertwined with competitiveness. Continue reading
Hallelujah. Finally, we have an American president devoting considerable attention to the topic of climate change and the energy policies that drive it.
In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama made very clear that the time has come to act. For those of us engaged in ending energy waste and believing we can do more with less, his words were most welcome. The President is absolutely right in asserting that “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future.” But that sentence did more than just allow him to introduce the litany of progress that we’ve made; it also marked a call to end the “phony debate” on whether climate change is real.
The much anticipated state energy efficiency policy scorecard was just issued by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and, once again, Massachusetts has topped the list as the number one state in the nation for energy efficiency public policies. (See: http://www.aceee.org/sector/state-policy/)
In a Feb. 5 cover story of the Boston Globe Magazine, Neil Swidey’s “What if the Lights Go Out?” paints a bleak picture of the state of our regional electric grid. And all of his reasons are quite valid: we are overly-reliant on natural gas fired electricity generation; we have an aging electricity and natural gas infrastructure that is vulnerable to failures on its own and attacks from those intent on crippling our power system; and we are increasingly facing extreme weather events that challenge both that system and our resolve.
Swidey largely dismisses renewable energy resources, focusing on their intermittent nature rather than their promise to deliver clean energy from sources that, unlike fossil fuels, are not finite.
But his biggest disservice to readers is his complete omission of a solution that is quickly deployed, clean, reliable, affordable and indigenous to our region: energy efficiency.
Swidey makes no mention of the fact that cost-effective energy efficiency has the potential to save New England about 31,800 gigaWatt-hours of electricity, or the equivalent to the amount of energy produced each year by about four large coal-fired power plants. The electricity saved could power 4 million homes for one year – about equal to the households in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont combined.
ACEEE today released its 2011 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, and Massachusetts topped the rankings. Also making the top 10 were New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland.
Congratulations again to Governor Deval Patrick and to all of the folks at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Energy Resources, Department of Public Utilities, Board of Building Regulations and Standards, and to the efficiency program administrators (the electric and gas utilities and the Cape Light Compact) who made it all happen.
Hello from Salt Lake City, where the U.S. Department of Energy is hosting its annual energy codes conference. This year’s event has a decidedly different feel to it, as codes move from just being in the domain of building officials, to taking center stage for a number of legislative and administrative offices, energy offices, climate change task forces and advocacy groups. NEEP’s Carolyn Sarno led this morning’s first session on Conducting Grassroots Advocacy to advance energy codes. From the group of utility representatives, manufacturers, building trades professionals, state energy officials, advocates and others who made up the session, a couple of key themes emerged: Continue reading