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May 14, 2013 - 9:25am

By Aparna Sundaram, Business Development Director, Metrus Energy

While many building owners and facilities managers understand that the cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one not consumed, most energy efficiency projects leave a lot of energy savings on the table. At the 7th Annual ACEEE Energy Efficiency Finance Forum in Chicago on May 14-15, Metrus Energy will be presenting an infographic, Which Financing Vehicle Gets You on the Road to Energy Efficiency, we created to help those in the building energy efficiency ecosystem identify the best financing vehicle for their projects. 

To summarize, retrofits typically compete with investment opportunities that are core to a company’s business for a share of limited capital resources. Consequently, capital budget allotments usually inhibit investments in integrated...

May 10, 2013 - 8:37am

By Therese Langer, Transportation Program Director

With heavy truck fuel efficiency standards in place and federal agencies gearing up for the next phase of the program, it’s time to consider energy savings opportunities in the freight system more broadly. Our new report Energy Efficiency Potential of the U.S. Freight System: A Scoping Exercise compares the findings of five recent studies to find out what energy savings estimates have been offered. Three were studies of the greenhouse gas reduction potential in the U.S. transportation sector, from which we extracted the findings on reductions in the freight sector through energy efficiency strategies. The studies generally found more savings potential...

May 1, 2013 - 9:05am

By Daniel Trombley, Senior Industrial Analyst

Last year, President Obama issued an Executive Order recognizing the importance of industrial energy efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP). Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy, issued on August 30, 2012, calls for increased coordination of several federal agencies to promote the benefits of and help remove barriers to CHP deployment. It also set a nationwide goal of 40 GW of new CHP capacity by 2020 (in addition to the 80 GW of CHP capacity currently installed in the U.S.). The Executive Order, the result of years of discussion among the White House, industry, and the energy efficiency community, is notable for its focus on energy efficiency and CHP in the industrial sector (an area until recently often overlooked in federal energy policy), as well as for its recognition of the unique, state-specific barriers to CHP deployment.

While the Executive Order did not direct any new funding toward CHP, it does leverage existing federal activities...

April 24, 2013 - 8:59am

By Steven Nadel, Executive Director

As many regular readers of our reports and blog posts know, for the past decade ACEEE has increasingly been working on energy efficiency policy at the state level, working with local allies to encourage the development and implementation of best-practice energy efficiency policies.  Our focus on states was brought home to us when we realized that our nation-trotting staff were testifying or conducting field work in four different states early this week.

Yesterday, Associate Director Neal Elliott was in Columbus, Ohio testifying before the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, presenting the results of a new analysis of the impacts of the state’s ...

April 23, 2013 - 1:55pm

By R. Neal Elliott, Associate Director for Research

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) today released Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Resource Standard: Impacts on the Ohio Wholesale Electricity Market and Benefits to the State, a report that the OMA commissioned ACEEE to prepare. This report is the product of almost 6 months of research by ACEEE staff, supported by analysts at Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.

I will be presenting our findings to the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, chaired by state Senator Bill Seitz. Chairman Seitz has initiated hearings on his legislation, Ohio Senate Bill 58, which is intended to review, and possibly modify, Ohio's energy efficiency resource standard (...

April 22, 2013 - 4:04pm

By Rachel Cluett, Research Analyst

What if people could have access to a piece of valuable information that they don’t currently receive about the house they are considering for purchase?  What if this could happen with very little bureaucracy and limited program implementation costs? Sound appealing? While home inspections to ensure safety and structural soundness have long been part of the home buying process, and while real estate taxes and home insurance costs have been regularly accounted for in mortgage underwriting calculations, one major cost to homeowners has been left in the dark at the time of sale---the cost of the energy needed to “run” your new home.  

In a new report by ACEEE, Residential Energy Use Disclosure: A Review of Existing Policies, fourteen U.S. residential energy use disclosure laws were examined in order to shed light on how residential energy disclosure policies can most effectively reach homebuyers and renters in single-family homes and multifamily buildings. While commercial benchmarking is quickly becoming a hot policy in many major U.S. cities, residential policies have popped up in a remarkably diverse spread of...

April 18, 2013 - 9:13am

By Suzanne Watson, Policy Program Director

Today Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) released The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, a new energy efficiency-based bill. The bill will take up portions of a previously introduced bill, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 (S. 1000), that did not pass as part of The American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act of 2012 (H.R. 6582). The bill also contains a new private commercial building financing  provision, the ‘‘Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Financing Initiative,”  that will provide modest funding to states to create and operate innovative financing programs for efficiency upgrades to private sector commercial buildings.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) supports the passage of The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, also called S. 1000, in the 113th...

April 15, 2013 - 10:14am

By Daniel Trombley, Senior Industrial Analyst

The manufacturing sector is critically important to the U.S. economy, and this is reflected in the Obama administration’s FY 2014 budget request. The $365 million request for industrial energy efficiency through DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) shows a strong commitment to manufacturing. The Department has yet to release a detailed breakdown of the funding beyond the following allocations:

While overall funding would increase over FY 2013, requests for technical assistance and next generation R&D decrease from FY 2012, a development which ACEEE finds troubling. The major increase in funding is allocated for advanced manufacturing R&D facilities that fund Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, a Critical Materials Hub and...

April 12, 2013 - 1:24pm

By Steven Nadel, Executive Director

Earlier this week President Obama submitted his proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year to Congress. The budget runs for 244 pages with lots of proposals ranging from preschool education to infrastructure to energy efficiency. Overall, the President proposed a substantial increase in energy efficiency funding, with requested funding of $575 million for transportation technologies, $300 million for building technologies, $248 million for weatherization and intergovernmental programs, and $365 million for manufacturing. These are compared to 2013 actual budgets of $312, $208, $122, and $110 million, respectively, after the sequester is deducted. The proposed increase for manufacturing is particularly large and reflects an overall...

April 4, 2013 - 2:27pm

By Therese Langer, Transportation Program Director

Freight movement is among the fastest growing energy uses in the world, yet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for the heavy-duty vehicles that move freight are still in their infancy. To date, Japan, the U.S., and Canada have adopted fuel efficiency and/or greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses, while China, Mexico, and the European Union are considering doing so.  A new ACEEE report looks at what these programs have in common, how they differ, and what the prospects are for bringing them closer together.

Distinct configurations of heavy-duty vehicles are legion, presenting a challenge to creating manageable standards. The U.S....