Quick Energy Efficiency News…CEE Says Spending Stable…Obama Signs Energy Savings Bill…Major Labs Focus on Tropics

May 5, 2015
Energy Efficiency News…CEE says energy efficiency stable at $8B but going up…Obama signed the first energy bill of this Congress…California and Singapore labs team up to research urban sustainability.

Quick energy efficiency news for this week…

Utility energy efficiency and demand response spending remained stable at $8 billion for 2013 in the U.S. and Canada, about the same as the previous year, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.

CEE tracked the spending in its ninth Annual Industry Report, issued May 1, 2015. Other highlights include:

  • US gas and electric DSM spending totaled $7.2 billion.
  • Natural gas program spending rose three percent in 2013, to over $1.3 billion.
  • Program administrators spent over $1.02 billion on demand response programs in 2013.

CEE expects 2014 data to reveal growth.

“Despite regulatory setbacks in some states, planned efficiency investments represented by 2014 budgets of $9.9 billion are trending positive overall,” said CEE executive director Ed Wisniewski.

***

President Obama last week signed into law The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). The bill passed the Senate in March and the House in April and became the first energy bill signed into law in this Congress.

The new law establishes a voluntary, market-driven approach to align the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption. It also exempts certain electric resistance water heaters used for demand response from pending Department of Energy regulation. And last, it requires that federally-leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.

The full text of the law is here.

***

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory plan to work together on energy efficiency and sustainable development in the tropics.

The collaboration will focus on energy-efficiency solutions for buildings, renewable energy and storage, and smart grids over five years.

The two labs will seek ways in real-life settings to enhance local capabilities and accelerate the adoption of energy-saving measures in Singapore and the region.

Projects will be installed at the  NTU Singapore’s EcoCampus initiative, which uses the university’s 200-hectare campus and adjoining 50-hectare Cleantech Park as a super test bed for research in cutting-edge green technologies.

Going beyond research, the collaboration also aims to develop and demonstrate practical solutions to combat urban and environmental challenges while reducing energy costs.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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