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Indian Community Scores $46Mn for Renewables Project (Funding)
Prairie Island Indian Community
Date: 2020-05-27
In St. Paul, the Gopher State legislature last week passed legislation awarding the Prairie Island Indian Community $46 million over three years for a "net-zero" renewable energy project -- Minnesota's first such clean-energy project.

The project would include a 5 MW solar array along with a microgrid -- a self-contained distribution system that would include a battery for electricity storage. The new solar installations would also power geothermal heating and cooling projects. (Source: Prairie Island Indian Community, Star Tribune, 23 May, 2020)Contact: Prairie Island Indian Community, 651-385-4124,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Energy,  Renewable Energy,  

World's Largest Commercial Living Building Underway (Ind. Report)
International Living Future Institute
Date: 2020-04-13
Portland-headquartered architecture firm ZGF is touting a commercial, 58,700-square-foot, mixed-use PAE Living Building that broke ground last month in Portland. With an expected opening date of summer 2021, the PAE Living Building is slated to be the largest commercial-use Living Building not only in Oregon but also, as it stands now, in the entire world.

The 5-story building, which meets the highest level of seismic criteria, is on track track to achieve full seven-petal Living Building Challenge certification performance standard established by the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

The building will include: a five-story vacuum-flush composting waste system, the first urinal-to-fertilizer system, and a photovoltaic-powered battery storage system with a two-way power connection with the city's grid; a 71,000-gallon rainwater collection system that will allow the building to meet 100 pct of its water needs through on-site collection and treatment; a 133 kW on-site rooftop solar array and an 195 kW off-site array that combined will enable the building to produce more than 5 pct of its energy needs over the course of a year.

The PAE Living Building is expected to consume 18.6 kilo-BTUs per square foot per year -- by comparison, 40.8 kilo-BTUs per square foot per year is consumed by new built-to-code Portland office buildings. The building is aiming for net-zero energy upon completion. (Source: ZGF Architects, Architects Newspaper, 10 April,2020) Contact: International Living Future Institute, 206 223 2028,; PAE Engineers,; ZGF Architects,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building,  Living Building,  Energy Efficiency Solar,  

Net-Zero and Beyond -- What Role for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage? (Int'l., Ind. Report Attached)
Chatham House
Date: 2020-02-03
Further to our 23rd Feb., 2017 Chatham House, biomass and climate change report coverage, according to Net-Zero and Beyond -- What Role for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage?, new report from the London-headquartered NGO Chatham House, the UK Government is over-prioritizing carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and biomass in its net-zero plans and failing to account for the impact these technologies could have on land use.

The potential unintended consequences of scaling up biomass energy carbon capture and storage (BECCS} in the UK and assesses the extent to which the technologies could deliver true and sustainable decarbonisation to the energy sector.

BECCS has received a swathe of Government support and media coverage in recent times, both in the build-up to the ratification of the UK's 2050 net-zero goal, and after its implementation. Supporters of the technologies point out that biomass, unlike gas or other fossil fuels, is renewable, and that it is produces less emissions when burned. If these emissions can be captured for storage and reuse, the process can become carbon neutral or even carbon negative, firms including Drax have claimed.

The report, however, warns that BECCS is "no silver bullet" for a net-zero energy sector. It claims that there has not been enough research into the likely energy output of BECCS or the environmental impacts of scaling up biomass supply chains, making it difficult to determine whether BECCS systems can be carbon-neutral across the life cycle.

According to the report, deployment of BECCS at the scales assumed by the UK's modelling, on a global scale, would consume land equivalent to that currently accounted for by cropland. This could pose problems for food security, result in biodiversity loss and hamper plans to re-assess land-use in line with net-zero, Chatham House concludes. Chatham House claims that failures to account for biomass supply chain emissions undermine the assumption that BECCS systems are inherently carbon-neutral and is accordingly calling for stricter sustainability requirements for biomass feedstock and urging the Government to prioritise decarbonisation across carbon-intensive sectors, reshape its land-use strategies to ensure BECCS decisions are made after full considerations of all alternatives, both technology-based and nature-based.

Download the report HERE. (Source: Chatham House, edie news, February 2020) Contact: Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs, +44 (0) 20 7957 5710,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News BECCS,  Chatham House,  Carbon Emissions,  Biomass,  Bioenergy,  

ASHRAE Guides Target Net-Zero Energy Office Bldgs. (Ind. Report)
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers
Date: 2019-12-13
ASHRAE -- the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers -- reports the availability of its nely published guides on designing K-12 and small to medium office buildings that achieve net-zero energy consumption without compromising quality.

Building on previous guides targeting deep energy savings, the first two new guides were developed in partnership with the American Institute of Architects, Illuminating Engineering Society, and U.S. Green Building Council.

Additional information on the new guides is HERE. (Source: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning EngineersFacilitiesNet, 12 Dec., 2019)Contact: ASHRAE, (404) 636-8400,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  ASHRAE,  

Newfoundland Lagging in Canadian Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
Efficiency Canada
Date: 2019-11-27
In its just released provincial energy efficiency scorecard, Efficiency Canada, a new Carleton University headquartered think tank in Ottawa, has ranked Newfoundland and Labrador in 10th place for its lack of policies on everything from promoting electric vehicle use to improving efficient construction codes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "There's just a general lack of attention in Newfoundland to implementing efficiency policies relative to other jurisdictions" including British Columbia which came in first.

According to the score card, B.C.'s provincial government is charting progress toward 2032, when all new builds will have to be net-zero energy ready and produce as much clean energy as they consume.

In an effort to address energy efficiency, and by extension climate change, Newfoundland recently expanded its home energy savings program, doubling in the last budget year to $2 million in grants to low income households for insulation, hat pumps and other energy efficiency upgrades. (Source: Efficiency Canada, CBC, 25 Nov., 2019) Contact: Efficiency Canada, Brendan Haley, Policy Director,, ; Newfoundland Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment,

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

Consumers Willing to Pay More for Net-Zero Energy (Ind. Report)
Propane Education & Research Council
Date: 2019-08-26
A recent survey by the Propane Education & Research Council of 2,200 U.S. adults planning to purchase, remodel or build a home, found most have a favorable opinion of Net-Zero Energy (NZE) homes. Of those surveyed, 83 pct of purchasers would consider an NZE home even if it meant paying more -- cost savings and environmental benefits of NZE homes being the prime motivation.

Of the survey respondents planning to remodel their existing homes, 81 pct said they'd be willing to pay 20 pct to 30 pct more on the cost of their projects to achieve NZE.

Construction professionals estimate, on average, that it would cost 36 pct more for a home to meet ZNE standards compared to a standard home. (Source: Propane Education & Research Council, Realty Business News, 25 Aug., 2019) Contact: Propane Education & Research Council,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Energy,  Energy Conservation,  Energy Efficiency,  

Cyprus Moving to Net-Zero Energy Buildings Goal (Int'l Report)
Net-Zero Energy
Date: 2019-06-24
The Eastern Mediterranean island country of Cyprus reports the incorporation of EU Directive -- 2010/31 / EU -- which aims to improve the energy performance of buildings while taking into account the external climatic conditions and indoor climate requirements.

Under the new legislation, photovoltaic (PV) systems will be mandatory in homes, business and government buildings to hlp Cyprus meet energy consumption and near zero-energy goals.

Buildings constructed after 31 December 2018 are required to hold an Energy Performance Certificate classifying them as Energy efficiency class B. This means that buildings will have to be built with materials insulating the interior and generate part of their energy needs from renewable energy sources. Housing units built after the end of 2018 should be producing up to 25 pct, blocks of flats 3 pct and other building types 7 pct -- rising in 2020 when all buildings must be classified as class A. This entails high-performance thermal insulation (walls, ceilings, windows, exposed floors), very low heating requirements, and have a primary annual energy consumption of under 100 kWh per m2. (Source: Cyprus Energy Ministry, Financial Mirror, June, 2019) Contact: Cyprus Energy Ministry, +357 22 867100,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

Built Green Canada Issues Sustainable Bldg Challenge (Ind. Report)
Built Green Canada
Date: 2019-06-07
Concurrent with National Environment Week, Built Green Canada announces its sixth annual challenge to municipalities across the country to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable building practices, to challenge municipalities to encourage green building, and to highlight those builders leading the way.

The challenge is marked by a growing number of municipalities who have proclaimed June 5 as BUILT GREEN Day. This reflects the growing concern faced by public and private industry on climate change and the heightened expectations of the municipality's role in addressing this social problem. In response to meeting environmental targets, all orders of government are developing climate mitigation strategies, while for those working in the residential building industry, increased energy performance and other regulations continue to change.

The increased stringency of codes and standards is driving costs up for the industry -- the unintended consequence is the further deterioration of housing affordability. With the intersection of these two social problems, there is possibility for further collaborative actions between government and industry collaboration that considers the environment, costs, and the pace of change given realizing sustainability targets requires the support of private industry.

Built Green Canada works with its builders to support the successful certification of their builds, assist them in meeting compliance requirements, while its programs' four levels of certification offer industry a means to voluntarily stay ahead of code and incrementally improve in preparation to be net-zero energy ready for 2030 regulations.

Though some municipalities are exclusively focused on energy performance, Built Green's programs are complementary as they take a more holistic approach that may reduce the load on civic infrastructure including water, power, and waste. Built Green recognizes municipalities may not be able to favour one program over another and therefore encourages municipalities to include its programs, alongside others, as an option to endorse.

Meanwhile, Built Green Canada has partnered with the Green Builder® Coalition to bring the first performance-based water rating to Canada through the water conservation section of their builder programs. Though parts of Canada, and the world, are increasingly experiencing droughts, and freshwater ecosystems are shown to be under stress, water conservation in the residential building industry has not received the attention energy efficiency has, though they are both connected and significant. The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is based on measurable parameters, along with a scoring scale that considers indoor and outdoor water use, reuse via rainwater, greywater and blackwater catchment calculations.

Built Green Canada is an industry-driven, national, non-profit organization offering programs for residential building. Since its inception, builders have worked with Built Green to complete over 32,750 certified homes represented in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario -- including the units in multi-storey projects, the total is over 36,090. At the end of 2018, the cumulative impact of these single family certified homes translated into more than half a million (588,505.29) tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions saved (up to December 31, 2018). (Source: Built Green Canada, PR, June, 2019) Contact: Built Green Canada, Jenifer Christenson, CEO, (855) 485- .0920,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Built Green Canada ,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  

Survey Notes Increased Energy Efficiency Spending (Int'l Report)
Johnson Controls
Date: 2019-05-20
In its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey, Johnson Controls noted more than half of global organizations planned to increase spending on energy efficiency over next 12 months -- 2019. The survey of nearly 2,000 facility and energy management executives from 20 countries found that 57 pct of organizations in the U.S. and 59 pct of global organizations planned to increase investment in energy efficiency, smart building measures including building controls and building systems integration at a greater rate than more traditional energy efficiency measures in 2019.

Survey organizations identify greenhouse gas footprint reduction, energy cost savings, energy security and enhanced reputation as key drivers of investment fueling growth in green, net zero energy and resilient buildings. Building controls improvements were cited as the most popular investment energy efficiency related investments.

In Johnson Control's 2008 survey, under 10 pct of respondents had a certified "green" building and only 34 pct planned to certify new construction projects to a recognized green standard. In 2018, 19 pct of U.S. organizations have already achieved voluntary green building certification for at least one of their facilities, and 53 pct plan to in the future. Globally, 14 pct of organizations have achieved voluntary green building certification for at least one of their facilities and 44 pct plan to in the future.

The survey also notes a year-over-year increase in net-zero energy goals, with 61 pct of U.S. organizations extremely or very likely to have one or more facilities that are nearly zero, net zero or positive energy/carbon in the next ten years.(Source: Johnson Controls, Building Design & Construction, Nov., 2018)Contact: Johnson Controls, Clay Nesler, VP Global Sustainability,,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls,  Energy Efficiency,  

Net-Zero Energy Apt Community Opens in Schenectady (Ind. Report)
NYSERDA,New Buildings Institute
Date: 2019-04-22
In the Empire State, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is reporting completion of the first phase of the 248-unit Solara Apartments complex in Schenectady County. The multifamily project is built to net-zero construction standards and will benefit tenants with energy-efficient technologies and affordable, predictable living costs and services that include:
  • networked smart building controls;

  • solar carports to cover residents’ vehicles and charge them too (free of charge):

  • solar thermal panels that use the sun's energy to heat water for the domestic hot water system;

  • solar shades on the windows and larger windows on the southern facing sides of the buildings to capture more solar energy;

  • smart home technologies such as keyless entry, control of locks, lights and other compatible devices;

  • premium GE EnergyStar appliances, all LED lighting, EPA Indoor Air Plus certification which requires use of low/no VOC materials and finishes, continuous fresh-air ventilation with smart controls that regulate humidity and monitor carbon dioxide and VOC levels.

    According to a New Buildings Institute report, New York State leads the Northeast in net-zero buildings, with 27 documented ongoing and completed net-zero building projects and a total of 132 net-zero, high-performance and passive house building projects.

    To facilitate the construction of similar projects, NYSERDA will provide $15 million through the next round of the New York State Consolidated Funding Application process to expand the state's Net-Zero Energy for Economic Development program. (Source: NYSERDA, Multi Housing News, 19 April, 2019)Contact: New Buildings Institute,; NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News et Zero,  NYSERDA,  Net-Zero Energy Building,  

  • REI Distribution Center Lauded for Energy Efficiency (Ind Report)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-03-27
    Kent, Washington-headquartered outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI Co-op reports it has been recognized by the Alliance for making strides in its energy productivity goals at its Goodyear, Arizona distribution center for achieving an 18 pct energy reduction and an annual cost savings of $170,000 in its first two years of operation. The distribution center is aiming for net-zero energy consumption, the company said.

    To reach its goal, REI installed a 2.2-MW solar array that is expected to power the entire facility and installed a robotic fulfillment system that streamlines and speeds operations.

    REI has been part of the DOE's Better Buildings Alliance in 2015. The program brings together commercial building owners to share energy efficiency best practices with peers in the retail sector. (Source: REI Co-op, DOE Better Building Alliance, DC Velocity, 26 Mar., 2019) Contact: DOE; REI Co-op, (253) 395-3780,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  DOE Better Buildings Alliance,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Ontario's Most Energy Efficient Residential High-Rise Construction Underway (Ind. Report)
    Net-Zero Energy
    Date: 2019-03-20
    London, Ontario-based Sifton Properties is reporting construction is underway on two new net-zero energy projects -- 1305 Riverbend, a 40,000 square-foot office retail building, and Helio, a 10-storey, 115-unit mixed-use apartment tower. When complete in April of 2020, Helio is slated to be the most energy-efficient residential high-rise in Ontario.

    Helio will be part of Sifton's fully connected, energy-efficient neighbourhood comprised of urban condos, rental townhomes, apartments and retirement suites overlooking retail spaces and a vibrant central park. Helio's energy efficient features include:

  • building exterior wrapped in solar panels to generate power from the sun;
  • individual hydro metering;
  • in-suite thermostat controlled heating and air conditioning;
  • electric car charging stations;
  • garbage chutes to facilitate recycling;
  • ENERGY STAR appliances;
  • fully occupancy sensor lighting, and others.

    (Source: Sifton Properties, PR, Canadian Apartment, 19 Mar., 2019) Contact: Sifton.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management ,  

  • Binghamton U. Touts Energy Efficiency, Smart Energy (Ind. Report)
    Binghamton University
    Date: 2019-01-23
    In the Empire State, Binghamton University, part of the NY State University System (SUNY), reports it is retrofitting buildings with energy-efficient technology and building new structures to net-zero energy standards. New net-zero building projects include an environmental research center on the campus' Nut Hollow property.

    The new Nuthatch Hollow building will have a Living Building certification, which means it will produce more energy than it uses. Currently, only 22 buildings worldwide hold a Living Building certification.

    The University is also focused on advancing its academic efforts into clean energy fields and has created a smart energy trans-disciplinary area of excellence. Additionally, the school's smart energy research is centered on lithium-ion batteries and efficient energy storage. (Source: Binghampton Univ., Pipe Dream, 21 Jan., 2019) Contact: BU, Harvey Stenger, Pres., 607-777-2000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SMart Energy,  Lithium-Ion Battery,  Energy Storage,  SMart Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

    USGBC Launches LEED Zero for Green Building Projects (Ind. Report)
    USGReen Building Council
    Date: 2018-11-21
    The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is touting the launch of LEED Zero, a new program to address net-zero operations and resources in green building projects. LEED projects can achieve LEED Zero certification when they demonstrate net-zero carbon emissions, net-zero energy use, net-zero water use, or net-zero waste.

    LEED Zero recognizes specific achievements in building operations and rewards projects that have used LEED as a framework to address important aspects of green buildings and taken their buildings to the next level by designing and operating toward net-zero goals.

    LEED Zero encourages a holistic approach for buildings and places that will contribute to a regenerative future. This is part of a vision to ensure the next phase of USGBC's efforts will be LEED Positive, where buildings generate more energy than they use, and remove more carbon than they produce. (Source: USGBC, The Construction Specifier, 19 Nov., 2018) Contact: USGBC LEED Zero,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  

    Johnson Controls Notes Increased Energy Efficiency Spending (Int'l)
    Johnson Controls
    Date: 2018-11-19
    According to John Controls' just released 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey. more than half of global organizations plan to increase spending on energy efficiency over next 12 months.

    The survey of nearly 2,000 facility and energy management executives from 20 countries found that 57 pct of organizations in the U.S. and 59 pct of global organizations plan to increase investment in energy efficiency, smart building measures including building controls and building systems integration at a greater rate than more traditional energy efficiency measures over the next 12 months.

    Today, organizations identify greenhouse gas footprint reduction, energy cost savings, energy security and enhanced reputation as key drivers of investment fueling growth in green, net zero energy and resilient buildings. Building controls improvements were cited as the most popular investment energy efficiency related investments.

    In Johnson Controls'2008 survey, under 10 pct od respondents had a certified "green" building and only 34 pct planned to certify new construction projects to a recognized green standard. In 2018, 19 pct of U.S. organizations have already achieved voluntary green building certification for at least one of their facilities, and 53 pct plan to in the future.

    Globally, 14 pct of organizations have achieved voluntary green building certification for at least one of their facilities and 44 pct plan to in the future.

    The survey also notes a significant year-over-year increase in net-zero energy goals, with 61 pct of U.S. organizations extremely or very likely to have one or more facilities that are nearly zero, net zero or positive energy/carbon in the next ten years.(Source: Johnson Controls, Building Design & Construction, Nov., 2018)Contact: Johnson Controls, Clay Nesler, VP Global Sustainability,,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls,  Energy Efficiency,  

    NYSERDA Offers Bldg. Net-Zero Energy Performance Funds (Funding)
    Date: 2018-10-26
    The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is reporting the availability of $10 million for clean energy projects to reduce carbon emissions at commercial and industrial buildings statewide. The funding is part of the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge to determine whether flexible uses of funding for clean energy projects is more cost-effective and reduces more carbon emissions than traditional state-supported programs.

    The Carbon Challenge will offer awards ranging from $2 million to $5 million to help offset the development costs of clean energy projects at large-scale buildings. The projects should demonstrate the highest potential for lowering carbon emissions in buildings with an aggregate 12-month average demand of 10 MW or greater, and achieve this in a cost-effective way. Projects can involve energy efficiency or distributed energy resources that provide increased flexibility for commercial and industrial customers to achieve carbon reductions. All proposals must include a three-year carbon emissions reduction target and identify the path to achieving the target.

    Awards will be made to proposals demonstrating the highest potential for cost-effectively implementing carbon-reducing clean energy actions, which must be completed by 2021, according to NYSERDA. (Source: NYSERDA, 25 Oct., 2018)Contact: NYSERDA, Alicia Barton, Pres., CEO, (518) 862-1090,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NYSERDA,  Energy Efficiency,  

    UK PM May Pledges Net-Zero Energy Buildings by 2030 (Int'l Report)

    Date: 2018-06-11
    In a recent speech at the Jodrell Bank observatory complex in Cheshire, UK the Prime Minister Theresa May is reported to have vowed to slash the energy use in buildings by half by 2030, as part of her Government's Industrial Strategy. The PM also pledged to halve the energy costs for existing commercial and residential buildings. Heat and power for buildings currently account for 40 pct of country's energy consumption.

    The Prime Minister noted that her government's Industrial Strategy would act as a "catalyst for new technologies" that could then be exported to a "global market for clean technologies." The strategy aims to achieve net zero carbon from 2030, as well as set long-term incentives for retrofitting homes and commercial buildings. (Source: edie, Various Other Media, May, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Energy Efficiency,  Energy Effeciency,  Net-Zero,  

    Ithaca Issues Green Building Energy Efficiency Policy (Ind. Report)
    Green Building
    Date: 2018-03-19
    In the Empire State, the City and Town of Ithaca reports it has issued the second draft of its Ithaca Green Building Policy report. The report provides policy recommendations for energy efficiency requirements and related incentives to substantially reduce carbon emissions in all new buildings while emphasizing affordability.

    The proposed policy would require all new buildings to be constructed to standards that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 pct to 50 pct compared to New York state code standards. The policy would ramp down over time to require all new buildings be designed to a net-zero energy standard within the next 12 years.

    The proposed policy would have two compliance paths available to all property owners: a point system where the builder chooses from a menu of over 20 features to achieve six points equaling a 40 pct to 50 pct reduction in greenhouse gases; a second path of compliance allows the use of US Green Building Council LEED and similar rating systems to show a 40 pct to 50 pct reduction in greenhouse gases.

    The Green Building Policy second draft report prepared by consultants STREAM Collaborative, Randall + West, and Taitem Engineering is posted at (Source: City of Ithaca, Ithaca Journal, 15 Mar., 2018) Contact: City of Ithaca,, www.cityofthaca,org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building,  Energy Efficiency,  USGBC,  LEED Certification,  

    Cutting Building Carbon Emissions Cuts Operating Costs (Ind. Report)
    Concordia University
    Date: 2018-03-09
    Researchers from Montreal's Concordia University report they've found a way to significantly reduce carbon emissions produced by residential and non-residential buildings while also cutting energy and operating costs. In 2014, Canadian homes and buildings contributed nearly 20 pct of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions.

    To reduce overall energy consumption the researchers developed a way to optimize the integration of eight residential buildings with various characteristics, operating costs and technical constraints to arrive at an energy-efficient and cost-effective usage pattern. After running all possible variations, the team found that by prioritizing the reduction of carbon emissions, energy costs could be cut by 75 pct emissions cut by 59 pct. However, when they prioritized overall costs instead, it resulted in savings of just 38 pct, but carbon emissions were much higher.

    The study noted "Renewable energy sources used in the optimal simulation create a net-zero energy usage by the network, removing the need to rely on traditional heating and cooling technologies with higher emissions, and draw less power from the grid."

    This research aims to further lower both carbon emissions and overall costs by optimal integration and sizing of energy storage systems (both thermal and electrical) into the community. The researchers' findings were published in December by the journal Applied Energy. (Source: Concordia University, Applied Energy, domain-b, 3 Mar., 2018) Contact: Concordia Univ., Prof. Fariborz Haghighat, Department of Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering , (514) 848-2424 ext. 3192,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  

    Victoria Ready for New B.C. Energy Step Code (Ind. Report)
    City of Victoria,BC Building Code
    Date: 2018-01-22
    In British Columbia, the City of Victoria reports it is initiating the implementation of the new B.C. Energy Step Code. In a move being criticized as premature at best, Victoria is taking initial moves to implement the new B.C. Energy Step Code, an amendment to the 2017 B.C. Building Code that establishes performance-based energy efficiency requirements for new residential and commercial construction. The plan's ultimate goal is that all new buildings will be "net-zero energy ready" -- wind or solar -- by 2032.

    Rather than mandating particular building practices or materials, the code is performance-based. Builders choose how to achieve performance targets -- design issues related to heat loss, such as placement of windows and doors, types of heating systems, and others.

    The new code came into effect in 2017, but requires individual municipalities to pass bylaws that advise local builders what is expected of them.

    Download the Step Code HERE. (Source: City of Victoria, Times Colonist, 21 Jan., 2018)Contact: City of Victoria,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  

    Hawaii U, HECO Collaborate on "Green Tariff" Initiative (Ind. Report)
    Hawaiian Electric Companies
    Date: 2017-11-27
    In the Aloha State, the University of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) are reporting a non-binding MoU to collaborate on an innovative energy initiative to help the university achieve its net-zero energy goal and bring more cost-effective, renewable energy resources online.

    Subject to Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission approval, the initiative aims to develop a "green tariff" for projects that would increase renewable energy generation, improve grid capacity for renewables and lower energy costs for the university. If approved and successful, the new green tariff would be made available to other similar institutions in the future.

    A joint university-utility working group will develop a model tariff, eligibility requirements, cost structure and other details. The working group will also evaluate sites for possible renewable energy development, concentrating first on utility-scale projects that would offset energy use at the Manoa campus. The group will also consider currently available energy storage technologies such as combined solar-photovoltaic systems with energy storage. (Source: University of Hawaii News Community, HECO, 21 Nov., 2017) Contact: HECO, Shelee Kimura, VP Bus. Dev., (808) 543-7780,,; University of Hawaii,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Energy,  Hawaiian Electric Companies,  

    Net-Zero Energy R&D Building Opens in Jamaica (Ind. Report)
    University of the West Indies
    Date: 2017-10-30
    In Jamaica, University of the West Indies (UWI) is reporting the opening of the Jamaica's and the Caribbean region's first net zero energy building in Kingston, Jamica.

    The 2,300-square-foot structure is designed as a model to encourage construction of sustainable and energy-efficient buildings throughout the region. The building will host the Centre for Advanced Research in Renewable Energy (CARRE) to promote energy efficiency, solar, wind and biomass energy R&D. The building is expected to save approximately 50,000 kilowatts of energy, which translates to a reduction of 34.5 metric tpy of CO2.

    The net zero energy building project was implemented by the UWI Institute of Sustainable Development with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and technical assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (Source: University of the West Indies, Jamaica Information Service, 27 Oct., 2017) Contact: University of the West Indies, +876 927 1660,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Energy,  

    CARB Touts New UC Riverside Emissions Testing HQ (Ind. Report)
    California Air Resources Board
    Date: 2017-10-30
    In the Golden State, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reports the groundbreaking of its $419 million joint southern California headquarters and research and testing facility that will also be the board's Southern California headquarters at University of California Riverside.

    The 380,000-square-foot "state-of-the-Art" facility will be certified LEED Platinum, as well as the nation's single largest net-zero energy structure, according to CARB. Construction is slated to get underway in February. (Source: UC Riverside, California ARB, UCR Today, 27 Oct., 2017) Contact: UC Riverside, Richard Chang, (951) 827-5893,; CARB, (800) 242-4450,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  UC Riverside,  

    Date: 2017-10-29
    California Air Resources Board Breaks Ground on Facility at UCR UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox addresses the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony for the California Air Resources Board’s test and research facility. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) broke ground Friday on a key $419 million research and testing facility that will also be the board’s Southern California headquarters.

    The Air Resources Board played an instrumental role in uncovering the emissions defeat device installed by German car manufacturer Volkswagen on some of its vehicles, resulting in a worldwide scandal. The 380,000-square-foot square facility has been billed as state-of-the-art and will be certified LEED Platinum, considered the highest level of energy efficiency for building standards. The building will also be the nation’s single largest net-zero energy structure, according to CARB, which means it will produce as much energy as it uses. Solar panels on the rooftop and over the parking lot will supply at least 3.5 megawatts of electricity. Construction at the site is slated to begin in February. (Source: UC Riverside, California ARB, UCR Today, 27 Oct., 2017) Contact: UC Riverside, Richard Chang, (951) 827-5893,

    priMED Centre Scores CaGBC LEED Platinum (Ind. Report)
    priMED Medical Products,CaGBC
    Date: 2017-10-13
    Edmonton, Alberta-headquartered global medical product manufacturer, priMED Medical Products, Inc. (priMED) reports it has been awarded Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification for the priMED Mosaic Centre -- the northernmost net-zero energy commercial building in the world.

    In addition to its water efficiency, material selection and innovative design, the priMED Mosaic Centre includes: multi-media conference rooms, "huddle" spaces, a 12 meter Living Wall, electric vehicle charging stations, an exterior garden and courtyard and other features. (Source: primed, Newswire, 10 Oct., 2017 Contact: priMED Medical Products, David Welsh, President and CEO, (780) 497-7600,; Canada Green Building Council Thomas Mueller, Pres., CEO, (613) 241-1184,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  LEED Certification,  Green Building,  CaGBC,  

    U.S. DOE Promoting Net-Zero Energy Schools (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2017-09-01
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports it is working with k-12 school districts around the country to break down barriers to zero energy schools and to create educational facilities that can produce enough renewable energy to meet their consumption needs.

    To that end, DOE has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop a feasibility study on zero energy schools and provide specific energy usage targets to cost-effectively achieve zero energy and focused on strategies to balance energy consumption and energy supply. The pathways for managing energy consumption include optimal design of the building walls, roof, and windows, lighting systems, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, controls, and service water heating. (Source: US DOE, NREL, ProudGreenBuilding, Aug. 31, 2017)Contact: NREL, Dr. Martin Keller, Director,; US DOE BETO,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Energy,  NREL,  US DOE,  Energy Efficiency,  

    College Touts Net-Zero Energy Facility Teaching Tool (Ind. Report)
    Mohawk College,World Green Building Council
    Date: 2017-07-28
    In Hamilton, Ontario, the $20 million Mohawk College Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation, which is currently under construction, is being touted as a unique, hands-on learning tool for current and future building professionals alike.

    The net zero-targeting project is part of Canada Green Building Council and World Green Building Council pilots that will establish benchmarks for carbon neutral buildings.

    The Joyce Center facility is designed to support the expansion of the college's engineering program, although it will ultimately accommodate up to 1,000 students from various disciplines in flexible learning spaces. The facility is expected to operate at roughly 70.5 to 71 kWh per square metre on an annual basis, one-third of which is assigned to equipment and plug loads and two-thirds of which is assigned to building systems. The facility features geothermal and photovoltaics systems for heating and cooling, as well as occupancy sensor controlled lighting and ventilation. (Source: Mohawk College, Canadian Facility Management & Design, 25 July, 2017) Contact: Mohawk College, (905) 575-1212,; Canada Green Building Council, Mark Hutchinson, VP, (613) 241-1184,; World Green Building Council, Terri Wills, CEO ,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Green Building Council,  Canada Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  Net-Zero Building,  

    Ont. Bldg. Code Upgraded for Greater Energy Efficiency (Reg & Leg)
    Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs
    Date: 2017-07-24
    At Queen's Park, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs has announced the replacement of the Ontario Building Code, effective January 1, 2019. The changes support the government's Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) of June 2016, with a view to reducing GHG emissions and implementing energy-efficient measures in new homes and large buildings. The concept is to bring these structures closer to being "net-zero energy buildings" (NZEB) where the energy used by the building is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on site.

    New and modified requirements include: solar-ready roofs and conduits; reduction of trade-offs between building bnvelope and heating systems for energy efficiency compliance requirement of heat or energy recovery units in all buildings; encouraging "greywater" reuse systems; continuous insulation requirements; energy-efficient windows and sliding doors requirements; air leakage testing and air tightness requirements, and others. (Source: Ministry of Municipal Affairs , Globe, Miller Thompson LLP, Lexolocy, 20 July, 2017) Contact: Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, (416) 585-7041,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero,  Energy Efficiency,  Building Code,  Ontario Building Code,  

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