40 posts categorized "Government" Feed

November 10, 2010

Audits, Loans, and a Home Energy Score

Home-energy-score-doe

Today Joe Biden and the Obama Administration unveiled a new program with low-cost energy audits, federally-insured PowerSaver loans, and a new Home Energy Score, according to Wendy Koch of the USA Today.  Details of the program are available now at HomeEnergyScore.gov, which includes an interactive graphic explaining the new score based on a 1 to 10 scale. 

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March 03, 2010

President Obama Explains Proposed HOMESTAR Retrofit Program

Official-president-homestar

Yesterday, President Obama toured a training facility at Savannah Technical College and took the opportunity to outline more detail on the proposed HOMESTAR Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program.  The program has been called "Cash for Caulkers" due to similarities with Cash for Clunkers, but we're going to stick with the HOMESTAR terminology.  Here's some additional detail. 

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July 29, 2009

Colorful Wavy Solar Transit Shelters

Geary-street-solar-bus-stop

This is a story about an interesting collaboration of five different organizations: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., Lundberg Design, 3Form, and Konarka.  San Francisco needed to replace its existing transit locations, and the SFMTA selected Clear Channel for the contract based upon a transit shelter design by Lundberg Design.  So far, the first five of roughly 1,200 new, sustainably designed transit shelters have been installed, and ~400 of the total will be powered by roof integrated photovoltaics.  The shelters have wireless internet, NextMuni, and Push to Talk capabilities. 

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July 02, 2009

The Waxman-Markey Building Energy Performance Labeling Program

NewarkWetlands side-1

There's been a lot of talk about various green building provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454 or "ACES"), but there's one specific section of ACES that deserves more attention.  Section 204 needs to be included in the green building discussion, because this is where the Building Energy Performance Labeling Program is.  With this program, as we predicted with our Seven Green Trends, the federal government could lay the foundation for true and legitimate building environmental impact labels.  Let's talk about this unprecedented policy, with a little background discussion. 

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October 22, 2008

California Finds the Missing Piece of the CO2 Emissions Puzzle

California Sprawl - SB375

This article was written by Charles Lockwood, a green real estate authority and consultant based in southern California and New York City.  His articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Barron’s.

California—the state that invented freeways and suburban sprawl—has become a trendsetter again, and not a moment too soon in our new age of global climate change.  In October 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law SB375, which was supported by environmentalists, homebuilders, and cities and counties.  SB375 will limit the state’s CO2 emissions by curbing suburban sprawl and increasing transit-based development through various incentives. 

If a community plans walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented growth that reduces automobile use and greenhouse gas emissions, for example, it gets moved to the front of the line for state and federal transportation funds.  If a proposed building is located near a transit line, it will have an easier environmental review process.  Why is SB375 important?

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August 19, 2008

STAR Community Index, Like LEED But For Cities and Local Governments

Portland Cityscape

Keep your eyes out for the newest tool designed to rate cities in their efforts to push environmental stewardship.  The STAR Community Index is like LEED, but it's designed to rate local governments.  With myriad green city rankings and websites trying to calculate the sustainability of local governments,* it's high time for a highly respected, standardized formula for measuring a community's sustainability.  According to ICLEI, the STAR Program will create a process, not unlike LEED, to bring in leaders in the field toward the goal of establishing shared measures and processes for greening communities.  STAR will have tiered levels, with the aim to accomplish the following:

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July 18, 2008

California Adopts Statewide Green Building Code!

[+] California adopts statewide green building code [SF Chronicle]
[+] State adopts nation's first state green building codes [Bizjournal]
[+] California code adopted for all new construction [GreenBiz]

July 10, 2008

Japanese Zero Emissions Home Unveiled for G8 Summit

Zero Energy House - Gaikan

In conjunction with The Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit in Japan occurring right now from July 7-9, 2008, Japan and Sekisui House have released details of The Zero Emissions House, a high-tech, prefabricated home designed in the vernacular of traditional Japan.  As the G8 Summit focuses on various issues pressing on the world right now, representative nations will be discussing the environment and how to deal with climate change.  In that regard, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) is constructing the house a short distance from the summit to show Japan's potential contribution to cutting emissions in the world's built environment. 

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July 03, 2008

AIA Report: 42+ Million People Live in Cities with Green Building Programs!

Nation-wide Green Building Programs

The AIA has been publishing some interesting analysis of U.S. green building programs, which I wanted to share with all you enthusiasts.  In their report, Local Leaders in Sustainability, the AIA looked at 661 communities, or cities with a population greater than 50,000 people, and conducted research of each communities' green building programs.  The AIA spoke with planners and other officials from 606 cities, getting a 92% response rate.  They found that 92 of the 606 responding cities had green building programs -- or to put that in perspective, over 42 million people live in cities with green building programs.  The report also elaborated on program trends and includes case studies of programs in Portland, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Chicago, Austin, and Atlanta. 

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June 17, 2008

Town of Babylon to Provide Funds to Make 65,000 Homes Energy Efficient!

In an innovative move, the Town of Babylon has set up an extensive program to work with citizens to pay for energy efficiency upgrades for every home in the town.  The basic premise of the program is that the town wants to help residents use less energy, so here's what they plan to do.  They're going to loan up to $12,000 at the super low interest rate of 3% to pay directly for renovation costs.  Under the program, residents get home energy audits that include recommended actions for renovations, including adding more insulation, changing out the HVAC system, etc.  The town pays for the renovations and the homeowner then makes payments to the town based roughly on the reduction in payments caused by having a more efficient home.  So it's quite the innovative system. 

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