News Updates for the Week of November 12 - Energy Watch News


News Updates for the Week of November 12

1.      E Source Finds U.S. Businesses Annually Waste $60 Billion on Energy – A new E Source report reveals that U.S. businesses waste more than $60 billion annually on energy, presenting significant opportunities for utilities to increase enrollment in energy-efficiency programs. The report includes energy-use data from a variety of industries, including restaurants, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, data centers, education, and government.  E Source found that restaurants are among the worst offenders, with nearly 80 percent of the $10 billion spent annually by the commercial food service sector lost to inefficient cooking methods. Another sector of note is healthcare: On average, hospitals use twice as much energy per square foot as office buildings. For more information: http://www.esource.com/Blog/ESource/9-27-12-Waste
2.      Energy-Efficient LED Lighting Hits the Streets: 95 Percent of Cities SatisfiedThere are more than 50 million streetlights in the United States. From parking lots to park trails to bridges, these ubiquitous lights permeate our night lives and go largely unnoticed by the sustainability-inclined city dweller.  But this necessary technology comes with a whopping energy cost. A 2009 University of Pittsburgh study shows most streetlights use high-pressure sodium bulbs.A 2012 survey by Northeast Group LLC was published in October, claiming 95 percent of U.S. cities that have tried LED streetlights are satisfied with the results, saving nearly 60 percent in costs. Yet, LED lighting currently accounts for only about 1 percent of the streetlights in the country. http://www.motherearthnews.com/energy-matters/led-streetlights-zb01210zrob.aspx
3.      400 Builders Commit to ENERGY STAR Homes in 2012 Although we wonder how many new homes will be built in 2012, 400 of the nation’s builders pledged they will meet newly upgraded ENERGY STAR standards, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).The 400 builders include six of the country’s largest – Ashton Woods Homes, Beazer Homes, KB Home, Meritage Homes, M/I Homes and NVR, Inc. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/23139
4.      Honeywell and Tinker Air Force Base Launch Landmark Efficiency ProjectHoneywell today announced an $80.6-million energy efficiency project for the U.S. Air Force that will improve operations and cut utility costs at Tinker Air Force Base (AFB) near Oklahoma City, Okla. The project is the Air Force’s largest domestic energy retrofit funded through guaranteed savings to date. And, combined with previous Honeywell-led improvements and other on-base initiatives, it will help Tinker meet the mandated 30 percent energy reduction goal defined by Presidential Executive Order 13514. It should also remove Tinker from atop the list of the most energy-intensive Air Force bases. 10/30 PRNewswire
5.      New DOE GATEWAY Report on Occupancy Sensors for the Outdoor Lighting Market – The report, Use of Occupancy Sensors in LED Parking Lot and Garage Applications: Early Experiences, describes the results at four sites–two parking lots and two parking garages–where LED lighting was controlled by occupancy sensors. At this early stage, simply installing occupancy sensors in parking lots and garages don’t guarantee you’ll get energy savings, or that the energy savings you do get will be worth the initial cost. But the potential is there, waiting to be tapped by those who are willing to do their homework. http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/2012_gateway_sensors.pdf 
6.      Cree-Powered LED in Best Buy Stores An LED light bulb started selling in more than 1,000 Best Buy stores last week that’s made to look like a typical incandescent light bulb.  The bulb, called the Insignia LED bulb, is made with LED technology from Cree Inc., a Durham-based company.  This is the second consumer product made with Cree LEDs on the store shelves of a major national retailer, which also has an LED light that directs light downward selling in Home Depot stores.  The cost is $13.99 for an Insignia LED bulb that produces 450 lumens of light, and is meant to be equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent. An Insignia LED bulb that creates 800 lumens of light, and is equivalent to a 60-watt light bulb, is selling for $16.99. The Herald-Sun – Cree powered LED in Best Buy stores
7.      Rexel Acquires Munro Distributing Company – Rexel announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Munro Distributing Company, an electrical products and services distributor specializing in energy efficiency solutions in the Eastern United States and California. According to a Rexel press release, “Munro Distributing Company significantly reinforces Rexel’s position in the U.S. as a premier provider of energy efficiency solutions. The combination of Rexel’s robust energy platform within its Gexpro and Rexel Inc. banners and Munro Distributing Company will create an energy efficiency solutions offering of unrivaled scope in the U.S. market.” http://www.tedmag.com
8.      Millions in Green Energy Grants, Loans Remain to Be Used – More than two years into a three-year government program to create jobs and boost energy efficiency in homes and businesses in three southeastern Wisconsin cities, many millions of dollars in grants and low-interest loans available for property owners remain uncommitted.Funded by federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the $20 million program is focused on Madison, Milwaukee and Racine.And, while more than 500 homeowners and about 100 businesses have seen green updates under the program–known collectively as Wisconsin Energy Efficiency, or WE2, and as Green Madison locally–much opportunity remains in the program’s last seven months. After that, any unused money must be returned to the federal government.11/04 Wisconsin State Journal
9.      DOE Releases Feasibility Assessment of LED Roadway Lighting on the Golden Gate Bridge – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published a technical feasibility assessment of replacing existing high-pressure sodium and low-pressure sodium roadway lighting on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The goal was to identify solutions which would reduce maintenance and energy use without compromising the quantity or quality of existing illumination. However, the historic status and high efficacy of the existing luminaires—as well as their accepted color characteristics—present challenges for energy-saving alternatives. The report is available for download at: www.ssl.energy.gov/gatewaydemos_results.html
10.  Election Results: What It Means for Energy in CA – Energy took the stage in Tuesday’s elections, from the presidential race to California’s long list of ballot propositions, and the results hold immediate and long-term implications for Southern California. The approval of Proposition 39 should funnel an estimated $500 million a year for five years into energy efficiency retrofits on buildings, starting with public schools and universities. As for Proposition 39, the measure closes at out-of-state tax loophole and is expected to raise up to $1 billion a year. Half of those funds will be dedicated to energy-efficiency retrofits.  That infrastructure investment is designed to pay off in long-term energy savings, adhering to existing state laws that stress conservation ahead of all other energy solutions.11/8 North County Times
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