April 29, 2014 was our night. This was the Oscars, the Grammys, and the Super Bowl for the Energy Efficiency industry. The ENERGY STAR Awards Ceremony was a tour-de-force event and it seemed like everyone was there. The cheerful mingling, clinking china, and upbeat presentations made one wonder if the animated scenes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby were inspiration for the event.
NEEP, and our Sponsors from New England and the Mid-Atlantic, were recognized for our collective outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. In fact, the Northeast Retail Products Initiative, facilitated by NEEP, in conjunction with its sponsoring utility and energy efficiency program administrators, was awarded the coveted 2014 ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence –ENERGY STAR’s highest honor. When NEEP’s very own Executive Director, Susan Coakley, was called up to the stage to accept the ENERGY STAR Award, the room erupted into applause.
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.
“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.
Light 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.
Posted in Products, Uncategorized
Tagged DOE, Energy Efficiency, energy efficiency programs, ENERGY STAR, high efficiency products, Innovation, LED, LED Lighting, Northeast, residential lighting strategy
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.
A 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.
The 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?
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.
Posted in Best Practices, Buildings
Tagged Buildings, ENERGY STAR, Envirotest, high efficiency products, HVAC, Mass Save, mold, Muppets, remidation, Sweetums
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.
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
According 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