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.


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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Take the Energy Efficiency Quiz

Are you an energy czar, an ignoramus, or something in between? Take our energy efficiency quiz and find out if you know which appliances save energy.

Source: Take the Energy Efficiency Quiz from Constellation

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Intelligent Buildings — School Planning & Management

Can you imagine the day when your school building is producing as much energy as it needs? Can you envision that your next school won’t create pollution as it operates? What if your school facility was a significant tool that prepared students for jobs that previous generations couldn’t even imagine? Intelligent buildings are the future!

Source: Intelligent Buildings — School Planning & Management

Posted in About Our Partners, Execution, Useful Ideas

How rural co-ops are shifting to a cleaner power mix | Utility Dive

Driven by wind credits, low gas prices and consumer demand, rural co-ops are finding new ways to boost renewables.

Source: How rural co-ops are shifting to a cleaner power mix | Utility Dive

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Energy-efficiency labels for buildings are working | Anthropocene

According to E&E News, the Energy Star program is the most successful voluntary energy-efficiency program in the world. It has saved consumers and businesses $34 billion in electricity costs and prevented more than about 300 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in one year.

Source: Energy-efficiency labels for buildings are working | Anthropocene

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Wisconsin’s capital city sets a high bar with ambitious renewable energy goal | Midwest Energy News

Madison, Wisconsin’s resolution to power the entire city with 100 percent renewable energy is wider-ranging than most because it covers not only electricity but also heating and transportation.

Source: Wisconsin’s capital city sets a high bar with ambitious renewable energy goal | Midwest Energy News

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As energy mix becomes cleaner, Minnesotans paying less for it | Midwest Energy News

Consumers have seen flat or declining energy costs as renewable energy becomes a greater part of the energy mix of Minnesota and the nation.

Source: As energy mix becomes cleaner, Minnesotans paying less for it | Midwest Energy News

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A Conservative Case for Climate Action

“An ideal climate policy would reduce carbon emissions, limit regulatory intrusion, promote economic growth, help working-class Americans and prove durable when the political winds change. We have laid out such a plan in a paper to be released Wednesday by the Climate Leadership Council.”

Source: A Conservative Case for Climate Action – The New York Times

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Illinois, Michigan and Ohio Refuse to Abandon the Renewable Energy Revolution

Source: 3 Midwestern States That Refuse to Abandon the Renewable Energy Revolution

“We have a very interesting message coming from the heartland,” said Henry Henderson, director of Natural Resources Defense Council’s Midwest program. “These policies come from the most energy-intensive part of the country, and there has been a bipartisan embrace of clean energy as good for the public, good for the economy and good for states.”

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