“The value of gathering a variety of DLC stakeholders in one place to engage in constructive and candid dialog can’t be overstated.” – Dan Mellinger, Efficiency Vermont
The first DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) Stakeholder Meeting in Atlanta, GA was a huge success and brought together professionals from all over the lighting industry. Through informal, educational sessions, context panels, break-out sessions, and structured networking, DLC was able to and make new connections and offer unique perspectives and opportunities to build mutual understanding among all stakeholders. Continue reading
A pat on the back for the ENERGY STAR brand was well deserved at this year’s Partners Meeting where attendees celebrated 20 years of the brand’s achievements in the market adoption of high efficiency products and billions of dollars and millions of metric tons of GHG emissions saved each year from ENERGY STAR products ($20 billion on utility bills and 195 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 alone!). Whether it was looking back at ENERGY STAR’s humble beginnings in 1992, or looking forward to the opportunities and challenges in deeper energy savings, the important role of energy efficiency for the environment and the economy was a key message. Continue reading
Rocky Mountain Institute
The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is a research and consulting non-profit in Colorado exploring the opportunities for increased efficiency with existing and new technologies. The RMI recently published a report: Turbo Charging Energy Efficiency Programs, calling for utilities to dig deeper and broader for increased efficiency savings.
In a blog post today on the RMI Outlet, authors Brendan O’Donnell and Mathias Bell highlight NEEP’s collaborative work with regional program administrators, manufacturers and retailers as an innovative approach toward maximizing the availability of efficient products to consumers. Here’s a snippet of what they had to say:
Three: One to change it and two to argue over the age of the old one. (*rimshot*)
I love a good light bulb joke as much as the next guy in the lighting biz. But the era of light bulb jokes is dimming, and you can blame long-lasting LED lighting.
These days, parents can screw an LED light in their child’s nursery and potentially not worry about changing it until they leave for college.
LED lighting lasts significantly longer and saves more energy than other lighting technologies. But that doesn’t mean all home and business owners are chomping at the bit to swap out their old, inefficient lighting.
After all, LED lighting costs more upfront than its filament and fluorescent foes. Continue reading
Josh Craft, Public Policy Associate
April brings showers and a whirlwind of legislative activity, as states hold hearings and votes on the major energy issue before them. NEEP has been actively engaged in the public policy process, seeking to educate our leaders and provide expert testimony on matters related to energy efficiency policy and building energy use.
Busy Time in the State Legislatures
We have been closely following developments related to energy efficiency policy in state legislatures throughout the Northeast. Here’s a round-up of what’s happening:
- Building Energy Codes: NEEP’s building energy codes staff testified against provisions in Maine and Pennsylvania that would undermine or repeal the state’s building energy codes. The Pennsylvania bill, HB 377, has passed the General Assembly and now heads to the Governor for final consideration.
- Building Energy Disclosure: Measures to promote statewide disclosure, benchmarking, and rating of energy use in buildings have received serious consideration this year in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Vermont. NEEP believes these efforts could have significant impact on the market for energy efficiency and will be watching these developments closely throughout the next year.
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): Efforts to repeal RGGI continue in New Hampshire, where the state Senate is set to consider HB 519 this month. NEEP has opposed this legislation as detrimental to the state’s economy and energy efficiency programs. Maine also recently considered a bill to leave RGGI, LD 793, while Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is also weighing leaving the program, though no policy change has been formally proposed.
- Oil heat energy efficiency: Maine and Massachusetts are considering new energy efficiency programs for oil heat customers, a missing link in energy savings programs in the Northeast. Maine held initial hearings on its oil heat programs last week.
- Property Assessed Clean Energy: States are considering new mechanisms to allow municipalities and property owners to pay for energy improvements to their homes and businesses, sometimes known as “PACE 2.0.” Maine’s PACE Loan program launched early this month, while legislation is moving forward to create similar programs in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Check out these NEEP resources for guidance and information on important energy efficiency policy issues:
Noteworthy Reports and Information
- The Maryland Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released “Fall Behind on Energy Efficiency,” detailing the difficulties Maryland is having in reaching its EmPower Maryland Act energy savings goals. While much progress was made by the utilities in 2011, the state is unlikely to meet its goal of 15 percent reduction in electricity use by 2015. The report cites poor oversight and evaluation by the Public Service Commission and the use of restrictive cost effectiveness tests in inhibiting energy efficiency programs.
- Efficiency Vermont has released its initial energy savings claim for 2010, available online here. The report shows significantly higher energy savings than last year, jumping 34 percent to 114,000 MWh in annual electric savings. That represents more than 2 percent of the state’s electric load.