News Updates for the Week of January 14, 2013 - Energy Watch News

News Updates for the Week of January 14, 2013

1.     Making the Switch: Traditional 75-Watt Bulb Is the Next to Go – As of Sept. 30, 2012 it became illegal to import or manufacture the traditional 100-watt incandescent bulb. But stores can still sell what they have on the shelves. On Jan. 1, 2013 the same federal energy legislation passed in 2007 now covers a manufacturing and import ban on 75-watt incandescent bulbs. On Jan. 1, 2014 the most widely-sold wattage bulb — the 60-watt — will be on the way out, along with the 40-watt bulb. The law requires most bulbs to be 30 percent more efficient.  The traditional bulbs are cheaper at 60 cents or so. CFLs are $3 or less per bulb, and halogens range from $4 to $6. LED’s are $20 to $70 a bulb. The more energy-efficient bulbs last longer than traditional bulbs.
2.     Demand Response for Commercial Buildings The commercial sector offers a significant growth opportunity for the demand response (DR) market. Commercial buildings account for a substantial amount of electricity consumption and represent a major underserved market. Pike Research forecasts that the number of commercial facilities participating in DR programs will rise from fewer than 600,000 in 2012 to more than 1.5 million sites by 2018.  The market opportunity and technology issues for DR in commercial facilities are explored, and market drivers and inhibitors are examined.
3.     Ames Laboratory to Lead New Research Effort to Address Shortages in Rare Earth and Other Critical Materials The U.S. DOE announced 1/09 that a team led by Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, has been selected for an award of up to $120 million over five years to establish an Energy Innovation Hub that will develop solutions to the domestic shortages of rare earth metals and other materials critical for U.S. energy security. The new research center will be named the Critical Materials Institute (CMI). The new Hub will focus on technologies that will enable us to make better use of the materials we have access to as well as eliminate the need for materials that are subject to supply disruptions.  These critical materials are essential in modern clean energy technologies – such as wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting.
4.     Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements Reinstated – Federal tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements are back.  Reinstatement of the popular credits was a little-noticed part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the last-minute legislation that kept America from tumbling over the fiscal cliff.  The law allows homeowners to claim tax credits of varying amounts on improvements such as insulation, energy-smart windows and highly efficient furnaces. Congress made those credits retroactive, meaning improvements made in both 2012 and 2013 will qualify.  1/09 Akron Beacon Journal
5.     DEP Farm Show Exhibit Offers Graphic Illustration of Energy Efficiency – Anyone who is not convinced that there really is a difference in energy efficiency can try pedaling a bike that allows them to not just hear about the facts, but feel them.  Visitors to the Department of Environmental Protection’s new “DEP at Home” exhibit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show can ride a bike to turn on light bulbs. It is much harder to pedal to get the incandescent light bulbs to illuminate because they are less energy efficient,
6.     Scotland, NC County Revives Energy Savings Project – Once thought dead, the $1.2 million energy savings project, part of the “Energy Savings Performance Contract” program to update the HVAC and lighting systems in several county buildings is now back on track.  When Johnson Controls, one of 15 state-approved contractors in the program, reported that the savings were only going to be $800,000 — not the $1.2 million initially projected — it appeared that the project was dead in the water.  Thanks to Johnson Controls’ revised report to the county, it is projected that the project can now be financed with an additional $400 in excess energy savings. The $1.2 million savings would occur over 15 years and is expected to begin during the 2013-14 fiscal year. 1/8 Laurinburg Exchange
7.     TVA Program Offers Business Incentives – Knoxville businesses have an opportunity to save money on light bills and get up to $2,000 in incentives toward more efficient lighting under a new TVA/KUB program.  The Tennessee Valley Authority launched its MainStreet Efficiency pilot program Monday.  Participating customers get a free lighting assessment of their facility, to show how much they could save on energy costs each month with more efficient lighting. Lighting upgrades could include replacing fluorescent fixtures with higher-efficiency lamps and ballasts, changing regular bulbs to CFLs or LEDs or upgrading “Exit” signs to LED technology For more information: 1/10 The Knoxville News-Sentinel
8.     Alliant Energy to Install LED Street Lights in Newton, Iowa  Alliant Energy owns or maintains around 44,000 of these specific streetlights in Iowa.  IPL successfully implemented a project pilot for the LED fixtures in the Cedar Rapids community. The project was so successful that cities all across the state joined the program. The previous fixtures used a 100-watt HPS bulb. The new fixtures will use an 80-watt LED bulb. Based on 2012 electrical rates, Newton will save an average of 68 cents per light per month in energy cost. Alliant Energy will save money on maintenance cost as well as HPS bulbs can last up to seven years, and LED bulbs can last more than 20 years. 1/10 Newton Daily News
9.     Nextera Energy Solutions Launches $7.5 Million Renovation Project in Dallas Mt. Pleasant Independent School District Using an innovative financing approach, the Mt. Pleasant Independent School District (ISD) partnered with energy savings specialist NextEra Energy Solutions to upgrade lighting, replace aging HVAC equipment, lower operating and maintenance costs, and deliver a significantly improved educational environment for Mt. Pleasant students and staff. The $7.5 million project, which will benefit almost all of the district’s buildings, produces a positive cash flow in each of the 15 years of the contract term. 1/08 PRNewswire
10.  Greeley, CO Looks into Energy Efficiency Upgrades to City FacilitiesFollowing a report that Greeley’s aging city facilities need more than $25 million in repairs, city officials are mulling an energy efficiency program that would pay for energy-smart improvements with utility cost savings.  The upgrades, identified in an audit that was paid for through an energy block grant, would mean $1.7 million worth of improvements to lighting, ventilation, pool pumps and other utilities in seven Greeley buildings.  1/08 Greeley Tribune
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