Taking Action Now

Our blog highlights news of our project partners, important updates, and a range of suggestions to quicken the pace of energy improvement, helping you reduce the financial and environmental costs in your buildings.


The Energy 202: The nation just elected a bunch of governors who campaigned on clean energy – The Washington Post

The newly minted governors, all of them Democrats, will serve from California to Maine and aim to inch the United States closer to meeting its emissions-reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement at a time when the federal government under Trump is largely ignoring scientists who say the world has little time to get climate change under control.

Source: The Energy 202: The nation just elected a bunch of governors who campaigned on clean energy – The Washington Post

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Renewable energy is catching up to natural gas much faster than anyone thought – Vox

The cost of natural gas power is tethered to the commodity price of natural gas, which is inherently volatile. The price of controllable, storable renewable energy is tethered only to technology costs, which are going down, down, down.

Source: Renewable energy is catching up to natural gas much faster than anyone thought – Vox

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Chicago Tops List of Greenest Office Markets

More than half of the CEP cities are on the list, with Chicago claiming first place as the greenest American office market. Chicago’s win is thanks to its rapidly improving building stock; 69 percent of the city’s office space square footage is now green-certified, an increase of 3 percent in green-certified space since last year’s study was published. This distinction comes in the midst of big sustainability action for the Windy City.

Source: Chicago Tops List of Greenest Office Markets

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Colorado approves Xcel plan to retire coal, shift to renewables and storage | Utility Dive

In January, the utility solicited notably low bid prices for wind-plus-storage, $21/MWh, as well as $36/MWh for solar-plus-storage, some of the lowest bids for renewable energy plus storage on record.

Source: Colorado approves Xcel plan to retire coal, shift to renewables and storage | Utility Dive

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Big Hospitals: When They Start Thinking Green, They See Green

“Theda Clark Medical Center in Wisconsin is saving nearly $800,000 a year — 30 percent of its energy costs — after making changes that included retrofitting lights, insulating pipes, taking the lights out of vending machines and turning off air exchangers in parts of its building after hours.”

Source: Energy-Hog Hospitals: When They Start Thinking Green, They See Green | Kaiser Health News

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Wisconsin utilities increasing solar, wind power as they cut coal use

Alliant and Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group recently said they are setting new goals to reduce carbon emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050. That’s a shift from 2016 pronouncements when the utilities envisioned carbon dioxide reductions of 40% by 2030.

Source: Wisconsin utilities increasing solar, wind power as they cut coal use

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New energy efficiency financing approach vies for grand prize in New York competition | Utility Dive

Source: New energy efficiency financing approach vies for grand prize in New York competition | Utility Dive

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Solar and wind power are growing. Grid managers need to get ready. – Vox

Source: Solar and wind power are growing. Grid managers need to get ready. – Vox

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Updates to ENERGY STAR® metrics with new market data in August

All buildings participating in Energy Stewards are linked to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager via a data exchange.

On Aug. 26, EPA will be updating the dataset and scoring metrics used for ENERGY STAR certifications. These updates will impact the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for many buildings and in some cases may result in a lower score. Below is a link to frequently asked questions about the update, reasons behind it, and what it might mean to your performance score.

Source: Updates to ENERGY STAR® metrics with new market data | ENERGY STAR Buildings and Plants | ENERGY STAR

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U.S. solar growth dimmed a bit in 2017, but Minnesota’s picture stayed brighter | MinnPost

America’s advancing solar-energy sector stumbled last year, according to a new industry analysis, as the tally of newly installed capacity fell for the first time since 2010.Minnesota, however, stood out as a major exception, with strong growth continuing thanks to its community-based, subscriber-funded “solar garden” program.

Source: U.S. solar growth dimmed a bit in 2017, but Minnesota’s picture stayed brighter | MinnPost

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