December 1, 2021 – GSHP Systems and Energy Modeling to Minimize Size and Cost of a GHX – 8:30 a.m.

Learn more and REGISTER for the course being held virtually on December 1 at 8:30 a.m. – GSHP Systems  and Energy Modeling to Minimize Size and Cost of a GHX

The Smart Energy Initiative will host a virtual training opportunity for architects, designers, developers & contractors on why they should consider a GSHP system for an upcoming commercial project. Key topics include designing the most effective, and operationally costs saving system. Specifically, this presentation demonstrates the impact of changes to a building and / or mechanical system can have on the size and performance of a GSHP system and how energy modeling can be used to minimize the size and cost of a GHX, while ensuring long-term, efficient operation.

This live Zoom program will provide detailed information on the benefits of planning their projects with Geothermal Heating and Cooling systems as the prime source of atmosphere control in their projects.

Learn more and REGISTER

8/24 – White House Announcement Boosts PACE Prospects

Monday, August 24th 2015

From greentechmedia.com:

NevadaObamaSolar_0_310_224Some barriers to popularizing the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) program across the U.S. were cleared today with an announcement made by President Obama at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada.

PACE loan programs let homeowners finance energy-efficiency upgrades, such as adding insulation and water savings measures or installing energy-efficient windows or solar panels, to be paid back as a line item on the homeowner’s property tax bill. This lowers the risk for lenders and owners and can potentially build a much larger energy-efficiency market.

But PACE obligations enjoy first-lien status in most states, making municipalities first in line to be repaid — ahead of the mortgage agencies, in case of default — and mortgage agencies don’t like that. 

So today, the White House and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) established a new PACE guidance aiming to “remove existing barriers and accelerate the use of PACE financing for single-family housing.” (The FHA guidance letter can be found here.)

According to the California Association of Realtors, the FHA guidance will require PACE liens to be subordinate to FHA single-family first-mortgage financing,

As Cisco DeVries, CEO of Renew Financial, notes in a release, “The FHA, which insures over 20 percent of new mortgage originations in the United States, outlined a set of principles associated with their new guidance — including allowing PACE financing to transfer between owners during the sale of the home if the PACE lien can be subordinated during a foreclosure.”

In a statement from today, Ed Golding, head of the FHA, wrote, “PACE allows homeowners to benefit from the improvements immediately and spread the cost over time. When the property is sold, the PACE loan may transfer to the next owner, who is responsible for repaying the loan. The ability to transfer the loan to the new owner allows for both the payment and the value of the retrofit to be transferred from one owner to the next.”

California completed about $500 million in residential PACE projects for approximately 25,000 homes in 2014, according to PACENow, a nonprofit that promotes the PACE model.

Read more at greentechmedia.com:

11/21 – Amazon Joins Google, Facebook with 100% Renewable Energy Pledge

Friday, November 21st 2014

From Wired.com:

VA: Amazon Web ServicesOver the past few years, Apple, Google, and Facebook pledged to run their online empires on renewable energy, and considering how large these empires have become—how many data centers and machines are now required to keep them going—this was a vital thing. But despite pressure from the likes of Greenpeace, the environmental activism organization, the other big internet name, Amazon, didn’t budge.

That all changed on Wednesday. With a post on its website, Amazon’s cloud computing division—Amazon Web Services—said it has a “long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.”

Amazon is the largest cloud computing company in the world, providing services where developers and business can rent computing power. Many popular websites and services, such as Netflix, Spotify and Pinterest, all use the Amazon cloud. If Amazon cuts its emissions, it could have a significant impact on the tech industry’s carbon footprint.

Read more at Wired.com

11/18 – Report: 57,000 Pennsylvanians Work in Efficiency and Clean Energy

Tuesday, November 18th 2014

CaptureMore than 57,000 Pennsylvanians currently work at 4,200 clean energy businesses statewide, according to a first-of-its-kind clean energy jobs report released today by nonpartisan business groups Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) and Environmental  Entrepreneurs (E2).

Clean Jobs Pennsylvania: Sizing Up Pennsylvania’s Clean Energy Jobs Base and its Potential” – and  the accompanying website www.CleanJobsPA.com – show that clean energy is an important and sizable employer in Pennsylvania. The report also shows that Pennsylvania lags behind other states, but could catch up with or surpass other states in clean energy jobs if it enacts or strengthens policies designed to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy.

  • Energy efficiency is the largest employer of the 57,330 Pennsylvanians who work in clean energy, providing jobs for about 37,500 workers, or about 65 percent of the clean energy sector. Small businesses employ the majority of clean energy workers.
  • Clean energy employment grew by 4 percent last year, and is expected to grow by 8 percent next year.
  • Despite strong growth, Pennsylvania is not living up to its potential for clean energy jobs. It trails other states with more supportive clean energy policies. Without policy improvements, it could miss out on major opportunities for future clean energy job growth.
  • By strongly implementing the federal Clean Power Plan and strengthening or expanding policies such as Pennsylvania Act 129 and the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard, lawmakers could dramatically increase the number of job opportunities for Pennsylvanians, while saving businesses and consumers money and helping the state’s economy and its environment.

Rich Selverian, president of KEEA and CFO/COO at energy and building consulting and engineering firm MaGrann Associates, announced the new report today at KEEA’s annual conference in Harrisburg. Selverian said: “Policy plays a key role in the energy economy. At this turning point, our state’s decision makers should double-down on utility energy efficiency programs to support our state’s economic growth.”

E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe said: “Pennsylvania has a storied history as a leader in America’s energy economy. It now has the opportunity to lead again in the next evolution of energy – clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It’s up to Pennsylvania lawmakers whether the state will be a leader or a follower.”

Under the federal Clean Power Plan, Pennsylvania can reduce its carbon pollution emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent while creating thousands of new jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Additionally, strengthening Pennsylvania Act 129, the state’s energy efficiency law, also would drive job growth in businesses ranging from lighting and HVAC companies to efficiency research and development. Increasing the state’s renewable portfolio standard, which currently requires utilities to get 18 percent of their energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources, also would drive job growth and economic development.

Phil Jordan, vice president of BW Research, which conducted the study for E2 and KEEA, said that other states’ experiences show that smart clean energy policy improvements result in strong job growth.”Pennsylvania’s clean energy economy is poised for substantial job growth,” Jordan said. “More supportive policies, such as Maryland’s energy efficiency programs and New Jersey’s renewable energy incentives, could rapidly accelerate the growth of the industry in the Keystone State.”
For more information or to arrange interviews with experts above or with clean energy companies in Pennsylvania, please contact Pat Mitchell, pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com, 703-276-3266.

ABOUT THE GROUPS
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders,investors and others who promote smart environmental policies that drive economic growth. E2 members, active in nearly every state in the country, have built or financed more than 1,700 companies that have created  more than 570,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. E2 is  an affiliate of the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(6) corporation dedicated to promoting the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries in Pennsylvania. KEEA advocates on behalf of energy efficiency and renewable energyprofessionals on the local, state, and federal levels. By representing the interests of the clean energy industry in Pennsylvania, KEEA is growing the market for energy efficiency and helping the Keystone State secure a prosperous, sustainable tomorrow.

9/15 – Poll: Who Is Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy?

Monday September 15th, 2014

From The Atlantic’s Citylab:

lead_largeIt’s easy for people to say they support renewable energy. But if their eagerness to be green meant spending more money, would they really?

More than 1,600 Americans were asked just that in the Atlantic Media/Siemens State of the City Poll—as well as a few other questions about energy use—and their responses show that there’s a significant divide when it comes to a willingness to pay higher costs for a more sustainable power supply. It turns out the most die-hard fans of kicking fossil fuels can be found, perhaps in no great surprise, among the youngest Americans, the most educated, and those who identify as Democrats.

Read more at The Atlantic.