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.


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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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

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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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