Claiborne Pell Elementary School, Newport RI
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Along with being a trite yearbook quote, this phrase also describes the impetus behind NEEP’s workshop on the path to zero net energy buildings — buildings that generate as much energy as they consume annually. While we currently have the technology and knowledge to design and build these hyper-efficient buildings, we envision a future in which zero net energy construction is the norm instead of a case study.
As part of the 9th Annual Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit, NEEP’s Buildings Team will hold a workshop entitled Daybreak on Zero Net Energy Buildings: Illuminating Our Future with Comprehensive Strategies for the Built Environment. Over the course of the day, we will assess the opportunities and challenges facing the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region (and beyond) and draw cross-cutting connections between short and long-term strategies for realizing a zero net energy future. Policymakers, practitioners, utility program managers and real estate professionals will lead discussions exploring the public policies, technologies and innovations, and stakeholder partnerships necessary for realizing our zero net energy building future.
Dave McMahon, Co-Executive Director of Dismas House
Energy costs can be an enormous burden to social service providers who typically operate on a shoe-string, and often in older, in-efficient facilities. Finding ways to save energy is crucial to stretching our budgets and increasing comfort for residents— while also reducing environmental impact of our buildings.
The Worcester Green Low Income Housing Coalition (WGLIHC ) has been creating substantial reductions in energy costs for participating agencies in Central Massachusetts through energy audits and partnerships with state energy efficiency programs to insulate, install new heating equipment, utilize capital funds, and take advantage of state solar credits. These savings, tracked by Wegowise software, are creating opportunities to reinvest into the housing infrastructure and strengthen the standing of agencies after four years of poor revenue growth in the state.
Courtney Lane, Senior Analyst, National Grid Rhode Island
At a time when states are still struggling to recover from the recession, investment in energy efficiency is providing a much needed boost. Investment in energy efficiency saves residents and businesses money on their energy bills, spurs investment in the local economy, and creates and maintains jobs.
Rhode Island is experiencing these benefits firsthand. A recent study by the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC) Institute shows that National Grid’s 2012 Rhode Island energy efficiency programs led to the creation of 528 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs with an annual economic impact of $27 million in the state.
by Lynn Westerlind, manager of policy and evaluation at National Grid, and Laura Schauer, a director at Tetra Tech.
While preparing this article, the authors discussed personality tests. We found that whenever we completed personality tests, the results are the same for the both of us. We are both high “E”s (extroverts). Whether at work or in our personal lives, we have both learned to partner with others with diverse strengths to achieve success. When individuals work as a team to collaborate, they are pooling their knowledge, as well as their resources and skills, to reach an overall goal. The same is true for energy efficiency collaborative groups.
Collaborative groups may consist of utility program administrators, evaluators, regulators, consumer groups and other stakeholders that support the long-term success of energy efficiency programs. Collaborative groups are a tool to optimize program design, delivery and regulatory review, and assist in the development of program processes that have the transparency and accountability in place to meet the needs of the environment in which programs operate.
Ed White, VP of Energy Products at National Grid and NEEP Board Member
As consumers, we are faced with multiple choices in our decision making. Sometimes, personal preference can influence our choices, as in Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Starbucks coffee. Other times, technological improvements have an equally strong impact, as in the choice between an Android vs. an iPhone. Regardless of the breakfast beverage we opt to drink or the latest gadget we use, the bottom line is we have the ability to choose. As individuals, when faced with a decision, the choices we make matter. Energy efficiency is no different.