News Updates for the Week of July 30 - Energy Watch News

News Updates for the Week of July 30

1.      U.S. Economic Growth Slows to a Rate of 1.5 Percent in the Second Quarter High unemployment isn’t going away—not as long as the economy grows as slowly as it did in the April-June quarter.  Weak consumer spending held growth to an annual rate of just 1.5 percent, even less than the 2 percent rate in the first quarter. And few expect the economy to accelerate in the second half of the year as Europe’s financial woes and a U.S. budget crisis restrain businesses and consumers. The growth estimate Friday from the government suggested that the U.S. economy could be at risk of stalling three years after the recession ended. Economists generally say even 2 percent annual growth would add only about 90,000 jobs a month. That’s too few to keep up with population growth and drive down the unemployment rate, which is stuck at 8.2 percent. 7/27 Washington Post
2.      Universities Will Receive More Than $1M in Energy-Efficiency GrantsMississippi universities will direct $1,175,000 toward increasing their energy efficiencies over the next few years.The USDOE will allocate $7.9 million to help 13 states develop cost-saving, whole-building retrofit programs in public facilities through its Advancing Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings category of competitive grants. Mississippi’s grant was the largest in the category.7/26 Mississippi Daily Journal
3.      2012 Profile of the Electrical Contactor – For the past 50 years, Electrical Contractor has surveyed its readers every other year to get a snapshot of the industry and pinpoint emerging trends, opportunities and other changing dynamics. This 26th biannual survey, the 2012 Profile of the Electrical Contractor, reveals new markets, shows how once-emerging trends have become ingrained, and provides guidance. July 2012 Electrical Contractor
4.      Will The Plastics Industry Kill LEED?The latest skirmish in a decade-old battle broke out this week, as 20 trade groups announced a new coalition to challenge the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system as the dominant standard for buildings. The new coalition, the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition, includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Chemistry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Vinyl Institute, the Vinyl Siding Institute, the Flexible Vinyl Alliance, the Society of the Plastics Industry and 20 other industry associations. The group is lobbying the U.S. General Services Association, which requires the LEED standard for all federal buildings, to reconsider, opting instead to require the Green Globes standard (“The Practical Building Rating System,” according to its website), considered to be friendlier to industry, including the plastics industry, which has invested heavily in the building products space.
5.      AD Encourages Affiliates to “Go For The Green” – AD held its second annual Clean Energy Summit July 23-25 in Chicago. The meeting featured a Clean Energy Expo, one-on-one strategy sessions, supplier training sessions and updates on AD’s Clean Energy Initiative, marketing, and program enhancements.
6.      Lighting Efficiency Can Reduce Costs Up To 30% New energy-efficiency requirements have created a large market for energy-efficient lighting equipment in the U.S., and can reduce electrical costs by up to 30% per month. Consumers are eager to not only adopt products that have the least impact on the environment, but also reduce energy consumption. Despite the vast opportunities in the market, intense competition and the higher initial costs of advanced lighting products are limiting revenue growth and market penetration. The slowdown in construction activity has further dampened the growth rate of the market. In the last few years, due to the challenging economic environment, customers have started inspecting more cost-effective systems. However, once the economy recovers, the market is anticipated to witness steady growth until 2016. 11.
7.      2012 Better Buildings Federal Awards – The Better Buildings Federal Award recognizes the Federal Government’s highest-performing buildings through a competition to reduce annual energy use intensity (Btu per square foot of facility space) on a year-over-year basis. The Federal building that achieves the greatest percentage energy intensity savings for that year wins.The competition is on! Featured here are the eight finalists competing in this year’s race to reduce their building’s fiscal year 2012 energy intensity. The winner will be decided after September 2012, the last month of the competition.
8.      Better Buildings Federal Award 2013 Guidelines for Entering – Agencies should consider nominating a building based on how well it expects the building to perform in 2013 as compared to 2012, taking into account a wide range of innovative or comprehensive energy management practices being undertaken by the building, including energy-saving projects and technologies as well as educational and outreach activities that encourage behavior change. The winner is the Federal building that reduces its energy intensity the most as compared to the previous year.
9.      SSL Market Introduction Workshop Presentations Posted The seventh annual DOE Solid-State Lighting Market Introduction Workshop, was held on July 17–19 in Pittsburgh. Nearly 200 attendees gathered to share the latest updates and strategies for successful market introduction of high-quality, energy-efficient SSL solutions. The workshop was preceded by a series of tutorials for those new to SSL.The tutorial and workshop presentations and materials have been posted on the DOE SSL website at 
10.  Avnet Opens Lighting Lab to Help Customers Test LEDsAvnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc. and a distributor of LED components for use in general lighting applications, has opened a lighting lab in Chandler, Ariz., that will enable its customers to test and measure a wide range of LED applications.The Avnet Light Lab is a 900-square-foot facility designed to measure the key optical, electrical and thermal characteristics of high-power LEDs, modules and luminaires. 
11. Philips 2Q Revenue, Profit Rise Gains in Health Care, Lighting Divisions and Cost SavingsImproved sales of health care products and LED lighting at Royal Philips Electronics NV combined with cost-cutting measures to help the electronics giant post rises in revenue and net profit in the second quarter, LED light sales grew 37 percent compared to the second quarter in 2011 and now account for 20 percent of the company’s 2Q lighting sales of just over €2 billion ($2.44 billion). 7/23 Washington Post
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