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Industrial Contributions Towards U.S. Climate Goals

Leading companies trim emissions
Industrial Contributions Towards U.S. Climate Goals
In the wake of the president’s unfortunate and misguided decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has assembled an alliance of 12 states, over 150 cities and counties, and over 1,200 businesses and investors, with the goal of achieving the U.S. Paris goals despite the president’s withdrawal. Some experts estimate that this alliance could achieve as much as 60 to 70 percent of the U.S. Paris goal. The industrial sector... More
 

Time for states to step up on clean transportation

States, cities can embrace EVs, add public transit
Time for states to step up on clean transportation
When President Donald Trump recently walked away from the Paris Climate Agreement, his decision spurred many states, cities and businesses nationwide to step up their own push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what the federal government does or doesn’t do. One key area for action is transforming America’s transportation systems. Cars and trucks are now the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. Emissions from electricity generation are declining due to the... More
 

Bipartisan Plan Could Solve Colorado’s Transportation Headaches

Voters Will Have to Approve Proposal
Bipartisan Plan Could Solve Colorado’s Transportation Headaches
The last time that Colorado raised the gas tax was in 1991. Since then, the rate has stayed at 18 cents per gallon, regardless of how much the price of gas has increased. Over that 25 years inflation has cut buying power by more than half. Not surprisingly, Colorado does not have enough money to maintain roads and bridges or to invest in public transit or walkable, bikeable communities. Coloradans have been talking about this for years, but this year the legislature is on the verge of acting ... More
 

With Electric Car Tax Credits, All of Colorado Benefits From Cleaner Air

But some state lawmakers want to cut useful program
With Electric Car Tax Credits, All of Colorado Benefits From Cleaner Air
Colorado lawmakers are debating a proposal to eliminate tax credits that encourage consumers to buy cleaner, energy-efficient electric vehicles (EVs) and other alternative fuel vehicles. Opponents of the program, notably the Independence Institute and Americans for Prosperity, are feeding legislators incorrect information about how much most consumers can benefit from the program. Despite the opponents’ claims, EVs are not toys for the rich. More than three-quarters of EVs sold in Colorado have ... More
 

How Can the Southwest’s Communities Make Installing EV Charging Easier and Cheaper?

Cities and Counties Adopt EV Ready Codes
How Can the Southwest’s Communities Make Installing EV Charging Easier and Cheaper?
The best time to plan for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station is before most consumers even know that they will want one. Communities that require builders to install EV charging capabilities in new apartments, single-family homes and commercial offices will make the transition away from gasoline-powered cars easier for their residents. Moreover, these 21st Century building codes will encourage consumers to consider purchasing EVs and help the communities take an important step toward a... More
 

State of Colorado is near the bottom in funding public transit

Colorado invests one-twenthieth of national average
State of Colorado is near the bottom in funding public transit
Lawmakers in Colorado are debating how to adequately fund transportation in Colorado. Much of the discussion has focused on revenue to maintain and expand highways. However, it is important to understand the broader picture of how Colorado funds all types of transportation infrastructure. In this blog, we examine how Colorado funding for public transportation compares to other states. The state has historically invested very little state money into transit. The major source of state funding... More
 

Top 9 Reasons to Update to a Newer Energy Code

Top 9 Reasons to Update to a Newer Energy Code
With the newest version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) on its way, we want to make sure all jurisdictions in the Southwest reap the benefits of the most recent energy codes and aren’t left in the dust with poorer-quality and leaky buildings built according to prior codes. We recommend moving to the 2015 IECC and improving efficiency beyond this baseline in the future. Staying on an earlier energy code is like keeping your computer on, say, Windows XP or Windows... More
 

Corporate Clean Energy Leadership

Energy Efficiency Is a Solid Foundation for GHG Reductions by Large Companies
Corporate Clean Energy Leadership
Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies now have targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, buy renewable energy, and/or increase energy efficiency. The companies want to be socially responsible and enhance their green business image, but pursuing clean energy goals also benefits their bottom lines, especially when their efforts emphasize energy efficiency. These enterprises will continue to play an important role in the next four years towards helping the U.S. achieve its Paris climate... More
 

Doubling Down on Energy Efficiency

States, local governments must pick up the slack
Doubling Down on Energy Efficiency
On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration as 45th President, he has nominated Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, and Rick Perry as Energy Secretary. If the adage "personnel is policy" holds true, energy efficiency and clean energy will face a tough four years with respect to federal policy. While it's too early to know what specific actions the Trump Administration will take, it's reasonable to assume that the Clean Power Plan will fall by the wayside; use... More
 

Blame inflation, not fuel efficiency, for potholes and rickety bridges

Rising prices drain road funds 1,000 times more than electric cars
Blame inflation, not fuel efficiency, for potholes and rickety bridges
As in many states across the country, in Colorado and Nevada the demand for funding to maintain and improve roadways outstrips revenue dedicated for this purpose. At a legislative hearing in December 2016, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said it needed $1 billion per year in additional funding for the maintenance and expansion of the state’s roadways. In Nevada, the state highway fund already runs significant deficits, which are expected to increase to nearly $300... More
 

Energy Codes Count award recognizes results

$1.2 Million Saved: Value of Energy-Efficient Buildings to 50,000-Person Town
Energy Codes Count award recognizes results
What's the benefit to a local community of incorporating the newest energy efficiency measures into the building code? For one Colorado town, it’s already worth $1.2 million. The lessons from Parker (located southeast of Denver) underscore how local leaders can help their residents, businesses, homebuilders and commercial real estate developers recognize that spending a little money upfront can lead to big savings in the long run. Can your town, city or county show similar, positive results?... More
 

Huge VW Settlement Can "Electrify" Transportation

In the Southwest, potential $29 million for EV charging stations, $164 million for electric buses
Huge VW Settlement Can "Electrify" Transportation
When Volkswagen was caught systematically cheating on emissions tests, making their diesel vehicles look much cleaner than they actually are, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit for violations of the Clean Air Act. The company and the DOJ have reached a partial settlement, which is expected to be approved by a federal judge in October. The settlement includes approximately $10 billion in compensation to owners of noncompliant VWs, but also includes $4.7 billion that could help to... More
 

It's Time to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation

Transportation Ranks 1st in Emissions that Cause Climate Change
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The old adage, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” applies to transportation planning. When Congress passed MAP-21, a reauthorization of federal transportation legislation, it directed the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to set new performance measures to ensure that recipients of federal transportation funds spend the money in ways that efficiently advance the public interest. Recipients of funds would be required to make investments that reduce congestion, improve system... More
 

Elevate Energy Efficiency on Oct. 5, 2016

It's the first national Energy Efficiency Day: Get on board via social media.
Elevate Energy Efficiency on Oct. 5, 2016
On October 5, 2016, a network of organizations and partners across the country will join together to promote the benefits of energy efficiency for the first-ever, nationwide Energy Efficiency Day. You are invited to participate. Campaign Goals: Boost the visibility of energy efficiency and talk about its benefits Showcase people who are doing concrete, effective things to save energy and money It's all happening this first year on social media, and we've made it easy for... More
 

Colorado Needs New Policies to Provide Funding for Bike, Bus, Rail and Ped Travel

New Report Provides Rationale
Colorado Needs New Policies to Provide Funding for Bike, Bus, Rail and Ped Travel
During the past two years, multiple legislative proposals and ballot issues have been proposed that would increase transportation funding in Colorado. None of these proposals was adopted—but all of them would have focused the vast majority of new revenue on expanding highways across the state. A new report released by the CoPIRG Foundation and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) makes the case that transportation funding needs to be allocated to other modes of travel besides... More
 

Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest

Generating Enormous Benefits for Consumers and the Environment
Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest
The major electric utilities in the Southwest greatly expanded their energy efficiency programs over the past eight years, programs that will result in their customers saving $5.5 billion net according to the utilities’ own data. These programs help households and businesses save energy through education, technical assistance and rebates, thereby increasing the adoption of energy-efficient lights, appliances, buildings, industrial processes, and the like. Utility energy efficiency programs ... More
 

Automated Energy Benchmarking: A New Solution for Businesses in Utah

SLC and Partners Got National Recognition for the New Program
Automated Energy Benchmarking: A New Solution for Businesses in Utah
Salt Lake City is one of 19 cities that participated in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Data Accelerator initiative, which tasked local governments to collaborate with their utilities to provide businesses with a whole-building, automated energy benchmarking program. The goal was to find a way to connect businesses’ utility accounts with building energy databases such as the nation’s most popular (and free) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. Salt Lake City and its partners were... More
 

Utilities Engage Industrial Customers in Strategic Energy Management

Training and Coaching Programs Can Save Significant Energy
Utilities Engage Industrial Customers in Strategic Energy Management
As utilities look for new programs to help achieve their energy savings goals, it makes sense to consider enhancing the programs for industrial and other large customers. In addition to prescriptive and custom incentive programs, the best industrial programs include good-quality technical assistance and allow longer time-frames to complete projects. Some programs also offer multi-year planning assistance and bonus incentives to help get larger projects implemented. Building on this... More
 

Colorado Hits the Accelerator for Electric Vehicles!

Colorado Hits the Accelerator for Electric Vehicles!
Governor Hickenlooper signing HB 1332 on June 6, 2016 Colorado has strengthened its claim to being a national leader in promoting electric vehicles with the passage of HB 1332 legislation that is designed to make the state income tax credit for electric vehicles more effective at increasing EV sales. The bill makes two major changes – simplifying the tax credit, and making the credits assignable, allowing them to function more like a point of sale rebate. The Washington Post and Time... More
 

Is 9 Times 12 Good for Energy Efficiency in Buildings?

This Year, Maybe Not
Is 9 Times 12 Good for Energy Efficiency in Buildings?
The answer is 108, and it’s the number of hours that stakeholders spent assembling the ingredients for the next iteration of building energy codes—or what’s known as the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The outcome from the first hearings this year did not bode well for energy efficiency and the gains that have been made in the energy codes since the 2009 IECC. Southwest officials will need to speak up, attend and vote in October to make sure energy efficiency remains an... More
 

The Supreme Court Did Not "Stay" Energy Efficiency

The Supreme Court Did Not "Stay" Energy Efficiency
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included many references to energy efficiency as a strategy to achieve Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance and encouraged states and utilities to pursue this path. Even though the Supreme Court of the United States has issued a “stay” on the CPP, some states are moving ahead with CPP planning and/or related efforts. We appreciate these efforts as the CPP represents a significant step forward in our nation’s efforts to mitigate against climate change. ... More
 

Sensible Rate Design for Residential and Small Business Customers

Sensible Rate Design for Residential and Small Business Customers
With growth in electricity sales disappearing and adoption of rooftop solar systems expanding, electric utilities are increasingly proposing new rate designs in order to protect and stabilize their revenues. SWEEP participates in rate cases throughout the Southwest to challenge these utility proposals, ensure that rates continue to encourage greater energy efficiency, and help protect low-income consumers. Many utilities are proposing to increase the monthly fixed charge and... More
 

How to Double or Triple Electric Vehicle Sales in Your Community

How to Double or Triple Electric Vehicle Sales in Your Community
Are you interested in doubling or tripling electric vehicle sales in your area? Communities across the Southwest have found an innovative way to significantly increase electric vehicle sales: a group purchase program that provides a time limited opportunity for their residents to get discounts on purchasing an electric vehicle. Here are the results to date: In one Colorado program in Adams, Boulder and Denver Counties, 248 Nissan Leafs were sold in 4 months, more than doubling... More
 

DOE Releases New Energy Savings Calculator

This Time, It’s Online and Can Be Customized
DOE Releases New Energy Savings Calculator
Back in mid-2012, almost four years ago, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) released a number of state energy cost and savings reports for single family and multi-family homes. Those sleek and colorful reports compared energy and cost savings between a new home and the equivalent home built to conform to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The reports were used extensively across the country to show building officials, utilities, local governmental leaders... More
 

How Leading Utilities are Embracing Electric Vehicles

A business owner has the chance to expand her market and immediately increase sales.  She jumps at the opportunity, right? Electric vehicles (EVs) offer electric utilities exactly that type of opportunity to increase sales. And leading utilities across the United States are taking notice and embracing plug-in cars. This blog highlights several key points from a new SWEEP report that describes the opportunities and challenges that electric vehicles present to utilities.  It reviews why utilities should embrace EVs and what leading utilities across the country are already doing to increase adoption of electric vehicles. 

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