Archive

May 2014

Blog Post | May 27, 2014

It takes more than just a poster to change behavior!

In my college dormitory, there was a large, bright poster in the basement laundry room. The poster encouraged us to always use the “cold” setting on the washing machine in order to save energy. It probably cited an EPA figure that 90% of energy used in laundry goes toward heating water. As an environmental science major, I dutifully used the cold cycle already, but I remember noticing that most of my classmates did not.

When trying to change behavior, posters alone don’t work.

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Blog Post | May 16, 2014

Where every day is bike to work day

Today is National Bike to Work Day, an annual campaign to encourage people to consider biking as a viable transportation choice for their commutes. Besides being fun, bicycling saves energy. It produces no new emissions, and burns no fuel other than our own calories.

Currently only 0.6% of U.S. commuters use a bicycle to get to work, and it rises only to 1.0% in the largest cities. Of all trips made by Americans in major cities, 76.7% are by car, despite the fact that 40% of these trips are two miles or less.

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Blog Post | May 14, 2014

The “whole elephant” method for commercial building retrofits

Commercial buildings consume 20% of the total energy used in the United States---more than the energy consumed by all the nation’s cars, trains, and airplanes put together. A significant portion of this energy can be saved through efficiency in design, systems, and operation. Utilities and other efficiency program administrators have long been incentivizing energy efficiency measures that target various energy end uses such as lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

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Blog Post | May 13, 2014

The GROW AMERICA Act is a big step forward for freight policy

The U.S. Department of Transportation rolled out the GROW AMERICA (Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America) Act recently, calling for several big changes in transportation policy and funding.

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Blog Post | May 13, 2014

Misleading Ohio into a clean energy “freeze”

The Ohio Senate reconvened so late last Wednesday night that when a motion was made to adjourn until Thursday, the Senate president had to remind the senators that it was already Thursday. What emergency situation kept Ohio’s upper house busy into the small hours? A bill, hastily substituted and amended at the last minute, that would cut back Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable energy standards.

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Blog Post | May 6, 2014

Energy efficiency finance joins the starting line-up

After a long warm-up, energy efficiency is taking its rightful place as a starting player in the clean energy game. This spring, we’ve seen both the public and the private sector put serious resources into helping build financing solutions to help efficiency reach the scale it needs.

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Blog Post | May 5, 2014

Introducing ACEEE’s new and improved State and Local Policy Database

State and local governments are laboratories for innovation in energy efficiency policies and programs. Policymakers, regulators, and citizens at all levels increasingly recognize that energy efficiency is crucially important to their economies and are increasingly taking action and seeking information on policies and programs in their communities. Today ACEEE is launching a new database tool that highlights the energy efficiency leadership—and opportunities for improvement—of state and local governments around the United States.

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Blog Post | May 5, 2014

Shaheen-Portman: The low drama bill with huge benefits

The Senate has returned to the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill it dropped last fall, and has resumed fighting over amendments to it. In the midst of the battles over Keystone XL, EPA, LNG, and ACA (or, for the uninitiated: an oil pipeline, pollution standards, natural gas exports, and the Affordable Care Act), it’s easy to forget that there is an energy efficiency bill in there that does not get much press attention or warrant a three-letter moniker. Why? Because nobody is fighting over it!

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