Tag Archives: ENERGY STAR

Efficiency’s Climate Manifesto

Energy Efficiency has an impediment when it comes to being recognized as a climate solution – it lacks oomph appeal. It doesn’t have Solar energy’s dazzling solar arrays glinting in the brilliant radiance of the sun. Nor does it have Wind energy’s elegantly arching wind mills, so sophisticated and alluring so as to capture the mind of Don Quixote. It doesn’t even have Hydropower’s ferocious tumble and roar of water. Nope, it has none of that. What does it have? It has regulations, excel spreadsheets and technological advances. Energy efficiency is full of abstraction – at best it has cold data.

Climate change

“Energy efficiency needs to go from a ‘hidden fuel’ to a ‘first fuel’ as it exceeds the output from ANY OTHER fuel source.”

But guess what? Climate change is knocking at our door. Deniers troll the internet, Congress has been reduced to a sideshow of an all-nighter, and the international treaties are a stalled frustration.  Meanwhile, in the face of all that nonsense, energy efficiency is getting the job done. The United Nation’s Environmental Program launched a new initiative, ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ (SE4ALL), and will be relying heavily on Energy Efficiency as one of their main pillars for success. Voluntary efficiency programs, such as ENERGY STAR under the Environmental Protection Agency, have saved 1.9 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas over the past two decades. So, those excel spreadsheets end up looking pretty impressive.

Continue reading

From Edison to the LED, NEEP’s RLS Has You Covered

thomas_edisonLight is amazing. Not only is the lightbulb the international symbol for ideas and innovation, but lighting is one of humankind’s earliest technologies. From the first fires to candles to oil lamps, when Thomas Edison created the incandescent lightbulb in 1879, it was the best invention since—well, the lightbulb! However, though the bulb itself represented innovation, the incandescent technology used today is largely the same as in Edison’s time—hardly innovative.

Continue reading

Building Rating Helps Markets Understand and Value Energy Efficiency

Everyone knows that one way to judge the performance of a car is by its fuel efficiency, and car manufacturers love to crow about cars with high ‘miles per gallon’ ratings. But, what if there was a way to assess “MPG” for buildings that gave potential owners or renters a sense of how much it would cost to operate their building over time? The idea is gaining traction in cities and states around the U.S., and internationally – where a number of countries require a building’s energy rating to be prominently displayed.

Building Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure

Building energy benchmarking and disclosure policies allow access to information that enables the market to value and respond to building energy performance.

 Building energy benchmarking and disclosure policies allow access to information that enables the market to value and respond to building energy performance — helping consumers make informed choices,  similar to MPG stickers or food labels.

This year, Boston became the first city in New England, and the eighth nationwide, to enact a building energy reporting and disclosure ordinance (BERDO).  In May, the Boston City Council voted to adopt energy benchmarking for large buildings. The goal? To promote energy and carbon savings in Boston’s commercial and industrial building sector, which is responsible for almost half of the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Continue reading

Ode to the Air-Source Heat Pump

In the distance, there is a soft humming of a compressor, the ticking of its meter, and the whirring of the fan.  The warm blanket of air envelopes the room.  The small metallic grating in the wall glints with polished cleanliness.  The faint scent, the very aroma, of money saved in your wallet perfumes the room.

 DRAMATICA bit melodramatic?

 Yes, well it can’t be helped. When one begins to imagine heating a home efficiently with an Air-Source Heat Pump, the senses simply ignite with excitement.

Continue reading

NEEP’s Guide to Picking the High Hanging Fruit of Energy Efficiency

Computers, BCEThe Northeast Mid-Atlantic region is a leader in energy efficiency and has achieved substantial energy savings over the last several decades. Innovations in lighting, HVAC, and air sealing have meant homes continue to become more efficient. But why aren’t we seeing electricity bills shrink across the board?

Continue reading

The Monster in My Basement: Tough Lessons in Building Science

Sweetum

Sweetums seems much less scary now that I’ve met the monster called mold.

When I was a little girl, I was convinced that a monster lived in my basement. I was afraid to go downstairs alone in the morning — this terrifyingly vivid image of the dining room floor opening up, and the Muppets ogre Sweetums climbing out.

Decades later as a first-time homeowner, I’ve learned that monsters are real. But instead of a big hairy guy, it’s zillions of microbes of mold that keep me up at night.

NEEP’s Retail Products Initiative receives ENERGY STAR’s Partner of the Year Award

  The Northeast Retail Products Initiative, facilitated by NEEP, in conjunction with its sponsoring utility and energy efficiency program administrators, has been awarded the coveted 2013 ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence –ENERGY STAR’s highest honor.

Sustained Excellence

Continue reading

Boston’s New Building Energy Disclosure Law Boosts Property Portfolios

On February 22, the Boston Globe published an article on Boston’s new building energy disclosure ordinance. Here is NEEP’s response, submitted as a letter to the editor:

“We, at NEEP, were delighted to see the article regarding Mayor Menino’s proposed building energy reporting ordinance [Menino takes on Boston buildings' energy use, 2.22.2013] featured on the front page of the Globe. We couldn’t agree more with the mayor’s commitment to high performance buildings and building energy disclosure as a means to tackle aggressive energy and GHG reduction goals. This law is a huge win for everyone and will make Boston’s real estate portfolio even more attractive and lucrative to investors. Continue reading

Lighting Savings Remain Large, Cost Effective and Cost Efficient

RLS Update_coverpageAccording to NEEP’s Northeast Residential Lighting Strategy (RLS) Update, energy savings from efficient lighting continues to be the most cost effective measure for efficiency programs.  In order to expand upon the savings from efficiency programs, ratepayer funded programs require robust support. The RLS update serves as a supplemental document to NEEP’s original 2012 Northeast RLS with current information, and not as a replacement. Continue reading

Standing up for the CFL

The saying, “you only have one chance to make a first impression” has never been so true than for the CFL.  When the highly efficient light bulb was first introduced into the market two decades ago, even the most die-hard energy efficiency experts would agree the technology was probably not ready for prime time.  The light output was low and the bulbs took a long time to “warm up”.   Those first versions of CFL bulbs left the market frustrated.  Since then, through many upgrades to the CFL bulb,  the market still holds a grudge.  Many are not willing to admit that the CFL of today is a completely new generation of technology that far surpasses the bulb of yesteryear. Continue reading