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PSEG Claims Among Lowest Power Producer CO2 Emissions (Ind Report)
Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)
Date: 2019-07-01
In the Garden State, Newark-based power producer Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) is touting its record as having one of the lowest carbon emissions rates of the nation's largest power producers, according to Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States , a recently released report by M.J. Bradley & Associates, Bank of America, CERES, Entergy, Exelon and NRDC. According to the report:
  • In 1993, PSEG became the first electric utility in the U.S. to volunteer to participate in the Climate Challenge Program; PSEG successfully met this goal and stabilized carbon dioxide emissions from its New Jersey plants to 1990 levels by 2000.

  • In 2002, PSEG joined EPA's Climate Leaders program to reduce the six greenhouse gases covered under the Kyoto Protocol. Under this program, PSEG committed to reduce its CO2-equivalent GHG emissions on a pound-per-mWh basis by 18 pct from 2000 levels by Dec. 31, 2008. PSEG surpassed this goal by achieving a 31 pct reduction, due primarily to the fact that more than half our power comes from nuclear generation.

  • In 2009, PSEG established a new goal of reducing company-wide GHG emissions by 25 pct from 2005 levels by 2025. PSEG met this goal 14 years ahead of schedule. PSEG achieved this goal through implementation of energy efficiency programs, deployment of renewable energy, increasing nuclear output and building clean, efficient natural gas generation.

  • Since 2010, PSEG has invested approximately $400 million in energy efficiency initiatives that reduce emissions in hospitals, multifamily housing and buildings occupied by nonprofits and government agencies.

  • In 2018, PSEG announced its new goal of eliminating 13 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent by 2030 from 2005 levels. The new goal expands upon previous reduction goals, including efficiency upgrades of existing combined-cycle natural gas fleets and the retirement of the company's New Jersey and Connecticut coal plants.

  • PSEG has invested $1.7 Billion in 625 MWs of solar, including 211 MWs in New Jersey and 23 projects in 14 states totaling 414 MWs. PSEG is New Jersey's leading developer of solar energy resources and is an active supporter of efforts to develop offshore wind facilities.

  • Supplying more than 90 pct of the state's emissions-free power, PSEG's Salem and Hope Creek nuclear generating plants play a key role in supporting New Jersey's clean energy goals.

    Download the Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States report HERE. (Source: PSEG, CSRWire 28 June, 2019) Contact: PSEG, PSE&G, PSEGPower, www/

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG),  Carbon Emissions,  

  • Coalition Seeks Renewed Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives (Ind. Report)
    Alliance to Save Energy
    Date: 2019-05-03
    The Alliance to Save Energy and a coalition of manufacturers, advocacy groups, and trade associations representing millions of American workers has called for Washington to modernize and extend expired energy efficiency tax incentives. If so enacted, the updated incentives that would sharply reduce US carbon emissions. create employment and cut millions of dollars in energy bills.

    The coalition, led by the Alliance to Save Energy, includes leading manufacturers of windows, air conditioners, insulation and other components alongside environmental and efficiency advocates such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

    The proposed tax incentives call for broadly supported improvements to the expired 45L tax incentive for high-efficiency new home construction and the 25C tax incentive for homeowner efficiency improvements -- installing insulation, replacing windows, or purchasing high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. The improvements include strengthening the efficiency level that must be met to receive the incentives, while also increasing the dollar value of the incentives.

    The coalition also called for extending the 179D incentive for efficiency improvements in commercial buildings. (Source: Alliance to Save Energy, PR, May, 2019) Contact: Alliance to Save Energy, (202) 857-0666,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alliance to Save Energy,  Energy Eficiency,  

    Ending Woody Biomass Power Gen. Subsidies Urged in UK (Int'l)
    Committee on Climate Change
    Date: 2019-05-03
    In the UK, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and other environmental groups are calling for an end to the government's multi-billion pound subsidy programme for wood-fired electric power generation on the grounds that woody biomass does not fit the government's net-zero GHG by 2050 plan.

    Environmental groups, including to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Biofuelwatch, the Dogwood Alliance, and the Southern Environmental Law Center, have noted that relying on woody biomass with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to achieve climate targets is "misguided" and will prove overly expensive. Biomass power generation reached a record 35.6 TWh in 2018, up by 12 pct year-on-year, according to government statistics.

    The environmental organizations say the UK should rely on genuinely zero-emission renewables like wind, wave, and solar power, energy efficiency and conservation, and smart resources like energy storage, rather than woody biomass power generation. (Source: Committee on Climate Change, Renewables,May, 2019) Contact: Committee on Climate Change,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biomass,  Committee on Climate Change ,  

    Trump Wants to Withhold $353Mn in Energy Efficiency Funds (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Alliance to Save Energy
    Date: 2019-03-22
    "We've (the Alliance to Save Energy) seen a constant tension in the last two years: Congress has maintained funding for the DOE's investments in energy efficiency, but under the Trump administration, the DOE has at times slowed research and development work and other efficiency programs.

    "For instance, the GAO found in 2017 that the DOE had failed to spend ARPA-E funds appropriated by Congress, and last year NRDC raised serious questions about how much, or little, the Department had actually spent in the 2018 fiscal year on energy efficiency and renewable energy research.

    "The latest wrinkle in the 'will-they-won't-they' spend the money drama emerged last week, when the administration, again proposing deep cuts in energy efficiency for the coming fiscal year, called for $343 million for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, plus a proposal to use $353 million in prior year balances for a total of $696 million.. A detailed budget estimate for the Department, released by the White House on Monday, similarly said that $353 million 'shall be derived from prior year unobligated balances previously appropriated.

    "Unobligated balances? That's a fancy term for funding that Congress authorizes that the administrative branch doesn't spend. The administration is saying it wants to use such money for next year. Just how much unobligated funding currently exists is not clear.

    "Of course, the executive branch is generally legally required to use the funds appropriated by Congress -- it's not an optional thing. In September, to make the point extra clear, Congress even specified, when it passed the appropriations bill for the current year, that it was directing the Department to 'fully execute the funds appropriated in a timely manner.'

    "The administration's new proposal -- and it's stated reliance on not spending money Congress has directed it to spend -- raises more questions about its commitment to following Congress's direction." (Source: Alliance to Save Energy, 20 Mar., 2019)Contact: Alliance to Save Energy, Jason Hartke, Pres., (202) 857-0666,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alliance to Save Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

    NRDC Calls Coal vs. Renewables Political Divide Fake News (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Date: 2019-02-25
    The following is from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): "New polls show that all Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike -- want to close the book on our dirtiest fossil fuel. From a political standpoint, defending coal consumption is harder than ever. Coal is far and away the dirtiest fossil fuel there is in terms of carbon emissions and regular old air pollution (and its messy mining practices certainly aren’t helping its reputation). And when you factor in health care costs, environmental costs, and costs to local communities in the form of reduced tourism and property values, coal is also a real loser economically speaking -- especially in relation to natural gas and renewables like wind and solar.

    "Still, lawmakers from coal-producing states and members of the current presidential administration have long attempted to justify their defense of coal on the grounds that it's more than a fossil fuel -- it's a way of life. This has been a reasonably effective tactic, up to a point. If you're trying to neutralize the arguments of those who want to see coal phased out of the U.S. energy diet, the best way to do so is to play the culture card: Point to all the people who rely on the coal industry for a regular paycheck and appeal to their sense of history and heritage.

    "But this last line of defense -- 'Renewables may be all the rage in San Francisco or Seattle or wherever, but where I come from, the people still love coal and always will' -- may not be effective for much longer.

    Two recently released reports show how public sentiment regarding coal and renewables has shifted dramatically in recent years. One of them looks at attitudes at the national level; the other explores them in the historically coal-friendly state of Ohio. Both spell trouble for the future of an industry that's already, by nearly all accounts, on its last legs.

    "The University of Michigan's National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) is a biannual survey of public opinion surrounding issues of climate and energy policy, providing perhaps the best snapshot we could ever hope for in regard to how Americans stand on subjects like coal, renewables, climate science, geoengineering, a carbon tax, and a host of other climate-related topics. Late last year, to commemorate its 10th anniversary of publication, NSEE released a trove of reports that illustrate just how much public opinion has changed on these matters over the past decade.

    "One of them in particular should strike fear into the hearts of the coal industry's dead-enders and spark joy in the hearts of the rest of us. It shows that between 2016 and 2017, the number of Americans who strongly support a coal phaseout increased 11 percentage points, from 18 pct to 29 pct. In that same one-year period, the number of Americans who oppose a phaseout fell by the same amount. Remarkably, in states with active coal mines, strong support for a phaseout rose even more: by 13 points. Just as remarkably, this trend seemed to cut across political lines, rising among Democrats, independents, and Republicans. Among the last group, strong support for a phaseout actually increased by 5 percentage points, whereas the number of Republicans who strongly oppose it fell by 14 points.

    "Another NSEE report provides a perfect complement. As more Americans announce their willingness to say goodbye to coal, they're also saying hello to the opportunity presented by renewables. This report reveals that 88 pct of Americans are in favor of increasing the use of solar energy in their state, and 82 pct feel the same about wind energy. Here, too, there's real bipartisan buy-in, with 79 pct of Republicans getting behind solar and 72 pct getting behind wind. What's more, the numbers show that a sizable majority of Republican, Democratic, and independent respondents support requiring and/or subsidizing renewable energy production at the state level. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans surveyed -- 64 pct -- said they like the idea of a state renewable energy requirement; even more amazingly, 65 pct of them said they have no problem with boosting the nascent renewables sector through subsidies.

    "But an even more eye-opening poll is making news too. An organization with a somewhat eyebrow-raising name, the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, released the results of a survey last week suggesting that support for renewables is no longer a politically exploitable issue. In a survey of 400 Ohioans who self-identify as conservative, two-thirds of respondents said they believe their state needs to diversify its energy portfolio by having at least half of its energy come from renewable sources. Nearly the same percentage of respondents said they were more likely to support a politician who voted for or otherwise expressed support for renewable energy or energy efficiency legislation. "Ohio, just as a reminder, ranks 11th in coal production among U.S. states, and its coal industry supports about 33,000 jobs. It also ranks fourth among states in coal consumption.

    "For too long, it's been too easy for lawmakers and administration officials to claim that by kowtowing to the coal industry's wishes, they were simply doing right by voters. It's getting harder. The gap between the interests of average Americans and the interests of coal-company executives is getting wider every day. And solar and wind are wedging their way in. (Source: NRDC, 22 Feb., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Jeff Turrentine

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Coal,  NRDC,  

    Notable Quote
    Natural Resources Defense Council.
    Date: 2018-12-12
    "All in all, rural renewable energy projects are laying the foundation for a clean energy economy that meets the needs of local communities and provides clean and affordable energy throughout the (mid-western) region. Federal leaders should increase funding for clean energy research, development, and demonstration projects that will continue to bring down the costs of clean energy and allow more people to gain access." -- -- Arjun Krishnaswami, Policy Analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  

    Steel City Adopts Climate Action Plan Update (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-06-13
    In the Keystone State, Pittsburgh City Council reports it has approved Climate Action Plan 3.0 -- a holistic vision for how the city will achieve dramatic greenhouse gas reductions.

    Unlike the previous 2008 and 2012 versions, the new plan tracks progress and adds new measures to further slash emissions as needed with a new goal of cutting the city's CO2 emissions by 80 pct below 2003 levels by 2050.

    Under the new plan, the city will have divested city funds from fossil fuels and transitioned city operations to use 100 pct renewable electricity and a fully fossil fuel free fleet of vehicles, by 2030. The plan also identifies a wide range of additional strategies for buildings to achieve a mid-term goal of 50 pct energy reduction by 2030. For example, the city intends for all newly constructed buildings to be carbon neutral by 2030 by using passive house standards and to use energy usage transparency to reduce consumption among residential buildings, using energy labeling and transparency strategies. The city also plans to implement a PACE program to fund building energy efficiency retrofits, upgrades and renewables projects. (Source: City of Pittsburgh, NRDC, June, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  NRDC,  

    Race to Reduce to Energize Saint Paul (Ind. Report)
    Energize Saint Paul
    Date: 2018-06-13
    The ity of Saint Paul, Minnesota, is reporting the launch of it's "Race to Reduce" Energy Efficiency Challenge directed at the city’s largest buildings.

    The program aims to streamline energy operations, reduce utility costs, and slash greenhouse gas emissions. In total the city aims to enlist 100 of the city's largest commercial and multi-family buildings over the three months of the program in an effort to reduce emissions 4 pct by the end of the summer. To that end, the city will provide tip sheets, newsletters, and networking and training events to help identify concrete opportunities for efficiency upgrades, while creating a network of building managers for future collaborations . The "Race to Reduce" is part of the Energize Saint Paul Initiative, a broader city energy efficiency effort. (Source: City of St.Paul, NRDC, 12 June, 2018) Contact: Energize Saint Paul,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Reduction,  Energy Consumption,  

    Reno Touts Energy Efficiency Leaders, ReEnergize Reno (Ind. Report)
    City of Reno
    Date: 2018-05-21
    In the Silver State, the City of Reno is touting its first annual Green Building Awards celebrating the accomplishments of local leaders in building energy efficiency. The event took place on May 8th.

    Award recipients included four organizations that have invested in green and high-efficiency buildings: the Glenn Group, Harrah's Reno Hotel and Casino, the University of Nevada, and the Veterans Administration Hospital. Reno also recognized two notable ENERGY STAR certified buildings -- JC Penney's Logistics Center and Silver Lake Apartments -- both of which had recorded significantly lower energy consumption than their peers across the nation.

    In addition, the City lauded eleven leaders in the city's ReEnergize Reno energy efficiency challenge program. Through the program, launched in October of last year, commercial, industrial, and multifamily buildings have committed to cut their energy consumption 20 pct by 2025.

    Details on the ReEnergize Reno program are HERE. (Source: City of Reno, NRDC, May, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Star,  Green Buiding,  

    The Case for More Energy Efficiency in New York -- NRDC Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-03-12
    More energy efficiency can help New Yorkers create new good clean energy jobs, enjoy better health, and save billions, according to the just released attached NRDC fact sheet.

    The fact highlights the findings of several published studies that describe the many benefits of increased energy efficiency. "By adopting a bold and pioneering new energy efficiency initiative, Governor Cuomo can ensure New Yorkers enjoy all of them, which will improve the economy and clean our air," the fact sheet says.

    Access the NRDC The Case for More Energy Efficiency in New York fact sheet HERE. (Source: NREDC, Mar., 2018) Contact; NRDC,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  NRDC,  

    NRDC Identifies Expected COP23 Trends (Int'l. Report)
    COP23,COP21,Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2017-11-06
    The upcoming COP23 -- the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC -- round of international climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, will set the tone for how leaders will come together during the TU.S. Trump administration and how they will take action on climate change during the Trump era, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

    The NRDC has identified the following key themes it expects to dominate the meetings: (listen to the recording):

  • U.S. climate action continues despite President Trump -- While President Trump has announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, NRDC says it has witnessed a resounding revolt in the U.S. to against Trump's decision by Governors, Mayors, business leaders, and citizens. States are committing to expand renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner transportation. Mayors are committing to go to power their cities with 100 pct renewable energy and are finding ways to use energy more efficiently. Business leaders are committing to power their companies with 100% renewable energy and to ensure that their supply-chains are helping solve climate change, not make it worse. In short, Trump may be trying to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, but we are still in and committed to helping deliver on America's climate targets.

  • Countries are acting at home -- Key countries are showing that they aren't waiting to implement new actions to reduce their emissions and meet their Paris targets. While not all countries are yet on track to meet their targets, noticeable progress has been made in some of the world's biggest emitting countries.

  • Paris Agreement "rulebook" matters a great deal -- The Paris Agreement established the essential foundations for how the world is going to advance international climate action for decades to come. Critical to its continued success will be ensuring that the "rulebook" for the Paris Agreement helps to ensure that countries meet their targets and creates incentives for countries to beat their targets. Countries agreed to finalize the details of the Paris rulebook next year, so this year's meeting needs to ensure strong progress towards building a system of strong rules to help ensure that the promise of the Paris Agreement is translated into reality in the years ahead.

  • While significant progress is being made by many key countries to meet their Paris Agreement targets, stronger action will be needed in the coming years if we are going to be on a safer climate trajectory. The Paris Agreement created a dynamic process for countries to adopt more aggressive commitments starting in 2020. Countries will need to be prepared to announce even stronger targets in the years to come. There are emerging positive signs that some key countries will be in a position to deliver even greater ambition than they promised in 2015, according the NRDC. (Source: NRDC, Blog, 2 Nov., 2017)Contact: NRDC,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  COP21,  Paris Climate Agreement,  

  • Ameren Missouri Touts Major Renewables Investment (Ind. Report)
    Ameren Missouri
    Date: 2017-10-20
    In its recently filed Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the Show-Me state's largest utility, Ameren Missouri outlined its plans to invest in at least 700 MW of wind generation by 2020 and 100 MW of solar projects in the next decade -- the utility's largest renewable energy investment to date.

    Presently, coal accounts for almost 70 pct of Ameren's power generation while solar and wind make up less than 1 pct of the supply. The company owns no wind projects and only purchases enough wind to power roughly 25,000 homes. The new commitment would raise winds share of the company's power generation to 10 pct. (Source: Ameren Missouri, NRDC, 16 Oct., 2017) Contact: Ameren Missouri, Dan Laurent, Dir. Energy Services, Michael Moehn, Pres., CEO, (314) 554-2165,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Renewable Energy,  Ameren Missouri,  Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Ameren Missouri Commits to Major Emissions Cuts (Ind. Report)
    Ameren Missouri
    Date: 2017-10-20
    Ameren Missouri, the Show-me state's largest utility is now among the first utilities in the country to announce an ambitious carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction goal of cutting its CO2 emissions by 80 pct by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. To that end, Ameren is retiring half of its coal capacity by 2050. The average age of Ameren's coal fleet is nearly 50 years, with the newest plant being 40 years old.

    Other utilities that have committed to major emissions cuts include Xcel Energy, DTE Energy, Duke Energy and others. (Source: Ameren, NRDC, 16 Oct., 2017) Contact: Ameren Missouri, Dan Laurent, Dir. Energy Services, Michael Moehn, Pres., CEO, (314) 554-2165,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameren Missouri,  Carbon Emissions,  

    America's Clean Energy Revolution (Ind. Report)
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    Date: 2017-10-09
    The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released its Fifth Annual Energy Report America's Clean Energy Revolution highlighting the increase in capacity of both solar and wind energy over the past 10 years.

    According to the report, U.S. solar energy capacity is 450 pct higher than prior EIA predictions for solar energy capacity and 350 pct greater than previously predicted.

    Download the full NRDC report HERE. (Source: NRDC, PR, Supra, 7 Oct., 2017) Contact: NRDC,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Resources Defense Council,  NRDC,  Renewable Energy,  Clean Energy,  

    America's Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future -- NRDC Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2017-09-27
    The attached Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) recently released America's Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future. report outlines measures the U.S. could take to increase renewable energy power generation and cut greenhouse gases 80 pct by 2050. The report aims to identify the cleanest, most cost-effective way to cut carbon pollution by 80 pct from 1990 levels by 2050 -- the necessary U.S. contribution if the world is to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

    Download the America's Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future HERE. (Source: NRDC, Sept., 2017) Contact: NRDC,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Renewable Energy,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  NRDC,  

    Groups Seek FHA Clean Air Standard Reinstatement ( Reg & Leg)
    U.S. PRIG,Federal Highway Administration,NRDC
    Date: 2017-08-02
    In the nation's capital, the Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. PIRG -- a public interest advocacy group, and the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Clean Air Carolina, report they have taken legal action against the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) for illegally suspending the Clean Air Standard this year, and are seeking its immediate reinstatement.

    The suit claims the Trump administration ignored requirements under the federal Administrative Procedure Act when it suspended the transportation greenhouse gas standard which was intended to curb transportation sector climate-changing emissions. The suit asks the court to invalidate the suspension, meaning that the standard would go into immediate effect and thus help slow climate change and reduce ground-level ozone and other harmful pollutants . (Source: U.S. PIRG, PR, 31 July, 2017) Contact: NRDC, Jake Thompson, 202-289-2387,,; SELC and Clean Air Carolina, Claudine McElwain , 434-977-4090,,; U.S. PIRG, Matthew Casale, 617-747-4314,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Federal Highway Administration,  Clean Air Act,  NRDC,  

    Renaissance BioScience R&D Scores NRDC Support (Funding)
    Renaissance BioScience Corp.
    Date: 2017-06-09
    Vancouver-based Renaissance BioScience Corp. reports it has been awarded a multi-year, non-repayable $500,000 contribution from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program. The funding will support the company's ongoing non-GMO yeast technology R&D and the utilization of advanced technology capable of improving the company's proprietary strain development platform. (Source: Renaissance BioScience Corp., Canadian Biomass, 7 June, 2017) Contact: Renaissance BioScience Corp., (604) 822-6499,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Yeast,  

    Cal. Passes Renters Energy Efficiency Legislation (Reg & Leg)
    California Assembly
    Date: 2017-06-05
    In Sacramento, the California State Assembly reports passage of Assembly Bill 1088. The legislation will ensure that low-income multi-family renters have access to a diverse offering of energy efficiency programs and sources of clean energy.

    With AB 1088, the state will benefit from energy bill savings, job creation, economic output, and public health benefits -- all due to increased levels of property improvements that benefit owners and renters, while safeguarding rents.

    California multifamily-specific energy efficiency programs presently receive less than 5 pct of statewide funding, operate on unpredictable start-and-stop cycles, and are acknowledged to be difficult to access due to service territory variability and differing income eligibility requirements. (Source: California Assembly, NRDC, 1 June, 2017) Contact: California State Assembly, (925) 679-2715,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

    NRDC Will Sue as Trump Threatens Dismantling of Methane Pollution Protections (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    Date: 2017-06-02
    In Washington, the international not-for-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports it will go to court to block the Trump administration from withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and rolling back protections against dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

    NRDC Climate and Clean Air Program Director David Doniger issued the following statement: "On the heels of news reports that the U.S. will walk away from a global commitment to combat climate change, President Trump is sabotaging headway the U.S. has already made. The Trump administration is giving its friends in the oil and gas industry a free pass to continue polluting our air. EPA is continuing to put thousands of people in communities near these facilities at increased risk for asthma attacks and cancer. We will fight Trump's latest polluter giveaway in court." (Source: NRDC , PR, 31 May, 2017) Contact: NRDC, Kate Slusark Kiely, (212) 727-4592,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Resources Defense Council,  Paris Climate Agreement.Methane Rule ,  

    Bldg. Energy Efficiency Tax Incentive Stressed (Ind. Report)
    Regional Economic Models Inc
    Date: 2017-05-26
    According to a study by Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI), 77,000 or more new design and construction jobs would be created annually over 10 years -- along with almost $7.4 billion more in annual GDP -- if Congress and the Trump Administration continue an important energy efficiency tax policy, the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction (Sec. 179D). The deduction allows qualifying building owners and businesses to receive up to a $1.80 per square foot tax deduction for certain energy efficient improvements placed into service during all open tax years.

    The REMI study documents job creation and GDP growth under three scenarios that continue energy efficiency tax policies:

  • Modernizing Section 179D, including increasing the deduction to $3 per square foot and making certain other reforms to strengthen it, generates significant job creation -- on average 76,529 per year during its first decade.
  • A long-term extension of the deduction at its current $1.80 per square foot level creates an average of almost 41,000 jobs per year over 10 years.
  • A long-term extension at $1.80 per square foot, extension of the deduction to hospitals, schools, and other non-profits and to tribal community facilities, and an increase in the energy efficiency requirements creates almost 40,000 jobs per year over the next decade.

    The study was co-funded by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Alliant Group LP, Ameresco, Blue Energy Group, Concord Energy Strategies, Energy Tax Savers, Energy Systems Group, National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).(Source: Regional Economic Models Inc., Proud Green Building, 25 May, 2017) Contact: Regional Economic Models Inc.,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Incentive,  

  • Windy City Cuts Emissions with Energy Benchmarking (Ind. Report)
    City of Chicago
    Date: 2017-02-06
    The City of Chicago reports it has cut citywide emissions by 7 pct from 2010-2015, according to an analysis performed by the engineering consultancy AECOM. The reduction was achieved during a period of 1 pct population growth and 12 pct growth in the local economy. According to the AECOM analysis, the built environment contributes about 70 pct of citywide GHG emissions. Over the past 5 years this sector experienced a 10 pct drop in carbon emissions led by energy savings in buildings. The residential building sector cut emissions by 11 pct, commercial buildings by 10 pct and institutional buildings by 8 pct. Over 80 pct of the city's total emissions reductions came from energy savings in buildings.

    One strategy that Chicago implemented to encourage energy savings is an energy benchmarking and transparency law for existing buildings. The 2013 benchmarking ordinance came into force in 2016. In 2016, the city had nearly 2,700 buildings track and report energy use -- eleven times more buildings than initially reported in 2014. These properties represent about 733 million square feet of space, 23 pct of citywide energy use, and about $2 billion in energy bills.

    The benchmarking report shows that regular tracking and reporting is helping to reduce energy use and emissions. Properties that have reported consistently are demonstrating annual energy reductions of 2 percent year-over-year. Combined, these energy reductions are saving the properties $17.6 million per year. (Source: City of Chicago, NRDC, Lauren Zullo, February 03, 2017) Contact: Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge,; City Energy Project,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Benchmarking,  

    L.A. Passes Building Efficiency Benchmarking Policy (Ind. Report)
    Los Angeles Management Committee
    Date: 2016-12-21
    In the Golden State, the Los Angeles Management Committee reports the unanimous passage of the Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance that applies to most City-owned buildings of 7,500 square feet or more and privately-owned buildings of 20,000 square feet or more.

    The ordinance requires a transparent annual benchmarking of energy and water use with buildings over 100,000 square feet complying by July 1, 2017. Beginning in 2019, buildings will required to undergo an energy and water audit and retro-commissioning every five years. If the building can demonstrate sufficient energy and water efficiency improvement, it can be exempted from the audit and retro-commissioning requirements.

    The new ordinance is expected to cut the city's greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 pct and energy consumption by 7 pct by 2025, compared to business as usual. It is also expected to shave more than $368 million off of city residential and business power bills by 2025.

    Download the Los Angeles ordinance HERE. (Source: City of Los Angeles, NRDC Blog, 19 Dec., 2016) Los Angeles Management Committee , (213) 473-3231

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Benchmarking,  Building Energy Efficiency,  

    Transition to Clean Energy Economy "Irrevocably Underway", says NRDC (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2016-12-14
    According to Accelerating into a Clean Energy Future, a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the US shift away from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy is undeniable and irresistible for the simple reason that clean energy is now less expensive than dirty energy.

    Smarter energy use in homes, buildings, and appliances reduces the need for dirty fuels and allows utilities to avoid building polluting power plants, lowering customer bills and emissions levels. The US has also worked to reduce pollution from the transportation sector by improving vehicle efficiency, advancing cleaner fuels, promoting electric vehicle use, and improving land use practices. The report adds that oil consumption in 2015 was 12 pct below its 2005 peak, primarily as a result of historically low coal use, energy efficiency gains, and soaring generation from solar and wind. According to the report, 2015 marked a milestone in modern US history -- CO2 emissions from electric generation dropped below those of the entire transportation sector for half of the year.

    To continue the US's clean energy progress, the NRDC report urges the following:

  • In both international and domestic policy, the federal government should remain an active partner in a clean energy transition driven increasingly by the recognition that clean energy is cheaper than dirty energy.

  • States should strengthen renewable portfolio standards that require a specific amount of energy generation from emissions-free sources like wind and solar, and adopt strong energy efficiency policies for US homes, buildings, and appliances and equipment.

  • Utilities and their regulators should curb power plant emissions and prioritize renewable energy and energy efficiency.

  • The transportation sector should incentivize electric vehicles and strengthen fuel economy standards to continue reducing US reliance on oil.

  • Clean energy companies and businesses should also lead the way, creating jobs for the sustainable energy economy.
  • (Source: NRDC., Blog, Dec., 2016)Contact: NRDC, (212) 727-2700,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy,  NRDC,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Orlando Legislates Building Energy Benchmarking (Reg & Leg)
    City of Orlando
    Date: 2016-12-12
    In the Sunshine State, the Orlando city council reports approval of the Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy (BEWES) ordinance, effective May, 2018.

    The ordinance requires buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to to annually benchmark and report their energy and water consumption. It also requires energy audits for buildings that perform below the national average in terms of their energy use.

    The ordinance, which aims to help building owners identify low-cost energy efficiency improvements, is expected to save building owners and tenants an estimated $208 million in energy costs over the next 15 years as well as avoid an estimated 1.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution. Orlando's bui;ldings sector accounts for over 72 pct percent of the city's energy consumption. (Source: City of Orlando, NRDC Blog, 8 Dec., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Building Energy Efficiency,  Energy Benchmark,  

    City Energy Project Membership on the Rise (Ind. Report)
    City Energy Project
    Date: 2016-12-07
    The City Energy Project (CEP) -- a joint project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation -- reports that the 19 cities and one county presently participating in CEP could save $1.5 billion annually by 2030 and cut carbon emissions by 9.6 metric tons, according to a CEP press release.

    The CEP aims to tailor individualized measures aimed at reducing energy consumption in large commercial buildings and integrate energy efficiency targets and goals into a community's overall sustainability plan.

    CEP members include: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles; Orlando; Philadelphia; Salt Lake City; Des Moines; Fort Collins; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; Reno, Nev.; San Jose; St. Louis; and St. Paul, MN. (Source: City Energy Project, PR, Energy Manager, 5 Dec., 2016) Contact: City Energy Project, NRDC, (212) 727-2700,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News City Energy Project ,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Consumption,  

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