The first nationwide bulk solar purchase program has been launched to give North American homeowners easier access to more affordable, clean, renewable energy. Developed in conjunction with 3M, Cisco, Kimberly-Clark and the National Geographic Society, and created by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), the Solar Community Initiative presents a new approach to purchasing, financing and installing solar panels at a uniform discounted price.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) research and development, along with experts from SMUD's Savings by Design program are helping environmental services and information technology company Synectics to realize 80 percent savings on their energy bills. Synectics and SMUD are collaborating on a new approach to more efficiently manage climate control in the office-- a warehouse Synectics is repurposing for use as office space.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), utilities, regional transmission organizations, and auto manufacturers are demonstrating an advanced software platform for integrating plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) with smart grid technologies for two-way communication that would allow PEVs with varying technologies to work with power grids. The system will enable the utilities to send a message directly to the vehicle, asking it to stop charging temporarily as a way of helping a grid that is becoming overloaded.
A majority of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) want better sustainability programs but are hindered by costs and a perception that such investments don't matter to customers, according to a survey by Cox Enterprises through its national sustainability program, Cox Conserves, which focuses on energy and water conservation and waste reduction.
Webster Groves, Missouri is the latest city to have been officially designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Green Power Community (GPC). To become a GPC, the city, including local government, businesses and residents must collectively use enough green power to meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community purchase requirements.
This year, the Environmental Defense Fund's EDF Climate Corps of fellows has uncovered $130 million in potential energy savings. Since 2008, when the program began, more than 300 organizations have worked with EDF Climate Corps fellows to uncover energy savings in their own operations, including utilities and energy providers like Pacific Gas and Electric, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, New Jersey Resources, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Southwestern Energy, TXU Energy, and Washington Gas.
The procurement of renewable energy is part of Microsoft's goal of achieving and maintaining carbon neutrality and net zero emissions-- a commitment that Microsoft made beginning in its fiscal year 2013, which began on July 1, 2012, for its data centers, software development labs, offices and even employee air travel by increasing efficiency and purchasing renewable energy.
The Georgetown University Energy Prize-- a $5 million national incentive competition that challenges communities across America to reduce their energy consumption by implementing creative strategies to increase efficiency-- requires local governments, residents, utilities, and others to work together to demonstrate success in sustainably reducing energy consumption.
More than 800 investors worldwide are divesting their holdings in fossil fuels. The signatories, including foundations, individuals, faith groups, health care organizations, cities and universities around the world will make their divestiture commitment public today at the United Nations Climate Summit. Signers pledge to divest from fossil fuels over five years, taking a variety of approaches.
Energy is as important to Americans as food, clothing and shelter. As I get to visit with people around the country on my Just the Fracks book tour I am learning a lot about what Americans think and know about energy. It seems that the further I get from areas that produce oil, natural gas and coal the less people know about where their energy comes from.