Posts Tagged ‘energy efficiency’

Urban Cowboys, Going Deeper with EEI

September 22nd, 2011 by Jim Crowder

UrbanLand Magazine recently turned out a thoughtful analysis, Energy Efficiency Markets Evolve Globally, of The 2011 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) , the fifth time a global survey of real estate decision makers has been conducted by Johnson Controls. For the first time, ULI got into the research fracas with Johnson Controls, to analyze and release the results. The Building Advisor touched on the EEI a couple weeks back in Summer HVAC Wrap + BetterBricks Video, but nobody does serious data like ULI.

If you’re not familiar, the EEI is the last word, the “state of the union,” if you will, gauging the hearts and minds of of global executives and building owners responsible for energy management and investment decisions in commercial and public sector buildings. This year, the EEI surveyed 4,000 respondents in 13 countries on six continents and was conducted in eight languages. That’s a lot of bubbles to fill in completely with a #2 pencil!

‘Extremely’ or ‘Very’: Energy Efficiency Makes the Big Time

What you probably already know: as many as seven in ten executives globally say energy management is extremely important or very important to their organizations. Execs have pursued an average of nine different energy efficiency measures in the past year.

And what’s motivating them? Simply put, the rising cost of energy. We all know energy costs will keep on rising. It’s sort of like gravity – you can pretty much count on it. Up significantly in importance from 2010, however, is government incentives. With over half the states offering some kind of financial incentive for efficiency measures, execs are now listening. It’s sort of like getting cash back at the grocery store on a big ticket item: why not? Third biggest motivator was to enhance the branding of a building.

In fact, interest in certified green buildings doubled from 2010 and for the first time, certification efforts are more prevalent for existing buildings than new ones. Lower on the motivational list: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, domestic energy security, and other government policies.

Now, the challenges: while the graphic to the left shows that 67% of executives surveyed report that they have allocated capital from their operating budget to energy efficiency in the last year, (yay!) significant market barriers to pursuing further investment (boo).

These barriers come in all colors and flavors, depending on market sector. From the report:

The five key barriers to energy efficiency investments reported in the survey are:

  • lack of awareness of opportunities for energy savings;
  • lack of technical expertise to design and complete projects;
  • lack of certainty that promised savings will be achieved;
  • inability of projects to meet the organization’s financial payback criteria; and
  • lack of available capital for investment in projects.

For the contractor serving small to midsize buildings, it is interesting to note that respondents with control over more square footage in larger facilities report having implemented more energy projects than those with smaller facilities. But trickledown is sure to follow.

Four is the Magic Number 

According to the EEI Survey, real estate organizations sharing the following four key strategic practices are most likely to get on the energy efficiency bandwagon, and implemented four times as many energy efficiency improvement measures as those that did not:

  • goals established for reduced energy use or carbon emissions;
  • energy use data measured and analyzed at least monthly;
  • added resources dedicated to improving energy efficiency through the hiring or retraining of staff, or the hiring of external service providers; and
  • external financing sources used for projects.

The Building Advisor can’t help making a couple of points here. For energy use data measured and analyzed at lease monthly, our Verify product for ongoing, continuous monitoring is the solutions. I mean, have you read what it did for J.E. Shekell in Smart Solutions (J.E. Shekell Uses Building Advice to Slash Energy Bills in Half ) or the NEWS (Facility Energy Audit Leads to Huge Savings)?

And in the second place, BuildingAdvice is like adding a team of expert management, sales, and engineering personnel acting as an extension of an HVAC Contractor’s current team to drive the development and ongoing execution of an energy services business. ‘Nuff said.

And Speaking of Incentives Changing the World

Sacramento development image by Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News

The Gray Lady’s Energy & Environment section reported  on a $650 million private sector investment in energy efficiency for existing buildings in this week’s article, Tax Plan to Turn Old Buildings ‘Green’ Finds Favor.

It’s getting around that a retrofit can typically cut a building’s energy use so much that the project pays for itself in as little as five years. A new tax arrangement in Miami and Sacramento allows property owners to upgrade their buildings at no upfront cost, typically cutting their energy use and their utility bills by a third.

Lockheed Martin, Barclays Bank and some other big boys, headed up by Ygrene Energy Fund of Santa Rosa, Calif., have formed a consortium that will invest $650 million in such upgrades over the next few years.

The article called waste in older buildings “one of the nation’s biggest energy problems” and cited energy as a sector that could eventually be worth billions.

The meat of the plan is pretty genius: the constortium is kind of like a strip mall serving all of your energy efficiency needs in one stop. Ygrene and its partners gain exclusive rights for five years to offer this type of energy upgrade to businesses in a particular community. Lockheed Martin does the engineering work. Short-term loans come from Barclays Capital to pay for the upgrades. Then, “Contractors will offer a warranty that the utility savings they have promised will actually materialize,” the article states. Insurance underwriter, Energi, of Peabody, Mass., backs up that warranty. It goes on from there.

Best of all, owners pay no upfront cost for energy efficient upgrades. Instead, a surcharge is attached to subsequent property tax bills for five to 20 years. However, as the surcharges are less than the savings, the upgrades pay for themselves. Really. The new approach could garner substantial private capital for many midsize and smaller businesses to get on the energy efficiency bus.

In the past three years, half the states have passed legislation permitting energy retrofits financed by property-tax surcharges, and hundreds of cities and counties are considering such programs. The new financing approach is called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE financing. PACE saw some serious backlash last year when an arm of the federal government that oversees the mortgage market took a hostile stance toward such projects on residential property, on the grounds that they add risk to mortgages. But, the article notes, “So far, it appears that PACE programs for commercial properties pose fewer legal complications.”

Richard Branson by Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News

The consortium was put together by the Carbon War Room, a nonprofit environmental group based in Washington set up by Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur and billionaire, to tackle the world’s climate and energy problems in cost-saving ways.

Git Along, Little Doggie

“Perhaps the most serious risk,” the article notes, “is that fly-by-night contractors will be drawn to the new pot of money, pushing energy retrofits that are too costly or work poorly.

‘Contractors are cowboys,’ said Dennis Hunter, chairman of Ygrene. He promised close scrutiny of the ones selected for the Miami and Sacramento programs.”

What say ye to that, boys?

Ride ‘em, cowboy!

Cowboy image courtesy themurkyfringe.com.

Energy Efficiency News Roundup – Who Says September Means an HVAC Slowdown?

September 14th, 2011 by Jim Crowder

From Energy Efficiency News‘Green’ Empire State Building strikes gold. New York City’s iconic Empire State Building has gone from ENERGY STAR Certification over the last two years to LEED Gold certification. Its $550 million investment in green refurbishment will be paid back through energy savings alone in around three years.

The retrofit of the building by Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle promises to reduce its energy consumption by more than 38% and save $4.4 million in energy costs a year. The 2.85 million square foot building is one of very few ‘national historic landmarks’ to earn the certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The 80-year old building is not as old as the Jackson County Courthouse, which earned its ENERGY STAR Certification with the services of McElroy’s, Inc. in Northeastern Kansas. Look for another historical building case study from McElroy’s, another BuildingAdvice partner, coming soon.

Great news! Energy Star now available for new multifamily high-rise buildings, according to Contractor Magazine. Do you know your building types? Multifamily is actually a commercial building type, even though its use is residential.

“Expanding the Energy Star eligibility to such properties will not only help EPA strengthen energy-efficiency initiatives across the nation, which save money and help protect the environment, but also provide property owners the opportunity to increase the asset value and offer tenants comfortable homes,” the article states.

Are you an HVAC who’s glued to your smartphone? From Maple Grove, MN, comes a free app for iPhone, iPad and and Windows-based smartphones. Singh360, a full service facility management consulting firm focused on energy solutions, recently released the app for refrigeration and HVAC engineers. These applications calculate “Pressure-Temperature” for various refrigerants (such as R404A, R22, Propane, Ammonia, Carbon-di-oxide etc.) typically used in commercial and supermarket facilities.

The app is available through the iTunes store and on the company’s website at http://singh360.com/products/mobile-app/.

Images courtesy paulbarsch.wordpress.comnorthamericatravel.wordpress.com.

Why The Building Advisor Loves ULI, Too

September 7th, 2011 by Jim Crowder

Rachel Headings on a dream date with ULI

So, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) is really smart. Last summer they launched a video contest – the very directly aimed “Why I Love ULI Video Contest” – and recently announced the winners in advance of the organization’s Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo in Los Angeles, Calif. coming up October 25-28. Best of all, ULI posted the most contest entries on their YouTube channel, ULITV. Brilliant!

And other than the fact that it’s hard to find really good videos having to do with building performance, here’s why ULI isn’t really off topic for The Building Advisor: the Urban Land Institute provides leadership in the responsible use of land, and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. This membership organization supports real estate professionals, including contractors, at the local, national and global levels with regard to best practices, industry news, land use development, and a free exchange of ideas.

But Rob Voigt explains it way better.

Joanna Todaro puts it all poetically to a sweetly animated, adorably scored video that articulates the HVAC related virtues of ULI: bridging professionals and social responsibility. And watching Rachel Headings fall in love with a personified ULI is nothing short of a mini romcom.

Now, Stephanie Darden kinda stole The Building Advisor’s heart with this one. Why? Because hugging a building is what it feels like when you’re happy that it’s functioning as energy efficiently as possible. And for the dog who makes a cameo.

But the winner is – well, telling in that it got the most likes on ULI’s Facebook Page. Man I Love ULI — submitted by Varun Sharma of Toronto, Ontario – will thump its way into your heart. Sharma is a gangsta of love, this much is clear. He will be awarded a one year ULI Young Leader (less than 35 years) or Associate Membership, along with an all-expense paid trip to the 2011 ULI Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo, October 25 – 28 in Los Angeles.

Read more about the content and winners at the ULI Live! website, dedicated to the organization’s Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo in Los Angeles, Calif. October 25-28.

Summer HVAC Wrap + BetterBricks Video

September 1st, 2011 by Jim Crowder

Before the summer winds to a close, The Building Advisor feels it deserves a look back. In addition to soaring heat waves, the summer’s energy efficiency news was telling.

First, go to our latest webinar on Getting to the Decision Makers – a summer triumph from BuildingAdvice in providing HVACs with the tools they need to educate building owners and managers on energy efficiency cost savings.

Best video series ever! Building Night Walks from NEEA’s BetterBricks’ YouTube Channel. Sorta like “The X Files” meets your life.

Here is one:

Johnson Controls (JCI) issued its annual Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey last June, [greenbiz.com's article here] asking executives responsible for energy use and real estate decisions how they feel about energy and how it’s affecting their business decisions. The top line bullet from over of over 4,000 property managers surveyed?

“Energy cost savings, government incentives and enhanced public image [are] the biggest motivators for energy-efficiency investments.”

Read the executive summary here, direct from the horse’s mouth.

CNBC (finally!) evaluated the report’s findings with a good, long look in this week’s article “Energy Price Volatility Now A Major Factor In Corporate Efficiency Drive.” As Trevor Curwin pointed out,

“‘Bottom-line energy costs savings’ is the biggest single reason for property managers to consider spending on energy efficiency projects, but ‘energy security’ jumped into the top-five list of concerns from out of nowhere.”

JCI’s research shows the average payback time for an energy efficiency project is 3.1 years. While “government and utility incentives” are huge drivers for the energy efficiency marketplace, the “Achilles heel” of most efficiency improvement projects is still financing.

Tom Konrad

Tom Konrad

Forbes blogger Tom Konrad did a great series on energy services stocks in June. His post The Sector Information Technology Forgot looks at how demand response – programs that offer incentives for business owners who curtail their facility’s energy use during times of peak demand - plays into energy efficiency programs, particularly EnerNOC’s.

Along that line, EnerNOC went public in June, and shortly thereafter the company announced Memphis City Schools Selects EnerNOC’s EfficiencySMART(TM) Insight to Improve System-Wide Energy Use.

Summer daze got you bored of reading? The recent proliferation of HVAC multimedia from your favorite trades should be enough to keep you entertained during lunches as the weather cools. Check out Contracting Business’ video portal, or the NEWS’ new podcast directory.

 Images courtesy Forbesarchiehopeful.wordpress.com.

Webinar on Demand, New York’s Energy Movement

June 9th, 2011 by Jim Crowder

First off, some eye candy! Did you know you can access Part 3 of BuildingAdvice’s How-To Webinar Series – Sales and Marketing Best Practices – at the Energy Services Resource Library?

coned energy efficiency summit new yorkThe New York Times (via Greenwire) reported on a sea change for existing NYC buildings in this week’s story, Skyscraper Owners Learn ABCs of LEDs in Push to Save Energy. Sparked by the Con Edison Energy Efficiency Summit, the event is indicative of what Greenwire called “an energy-efficiency movement that is transforming the city’s real estate market.” Quote:

The City Council is still considering a slew of recommendations offered last year by the Green Codes Task Force, a temporary alliance of building professionals charged by Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) to find ways to use building codes to force reductions in electricity use. But experts say the “green retrofitting” industry here is taking on a life of its own, independent of the expectations of the Bloomberg administration. – The New York Times via Greenwire

Additional factors cited for added emphasis on energy efficiency in the Big Apple:

  • Falling commercial rents in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis forced building owners to scramble for ways to reduce costs, and cutting energy use was at the top of many to-do lists.
  • The city’s buildings and their equipment are aging and due for refurbishment or replacement.
  • Commercial real estate transactions are down, so property companies are holding their buildings longer than at other times, encouraging them to make them more efficient.

Moreover, real estate professionals are discovering that energy efficient buildings command demand and better rents. And you don’t have to be LEED anymore to garner attention; insiders say the most influential projects do not carry the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) seal.

Perhaps the article’s nitty gritty was spoken by Michael Waite, a senior staffer at the engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. who emphasized the need to spell out the cost-benefit equation to building owners.

“To make an investment, an owner wants proven technologies and some idea of the return on investment,” Waite said. “The lack of confidence in some measures is understandable — there is an investment required, the energy performance prediction tools are imperfect and every building responds differently.”

Another reason to get behind the scientific data collection, analyzation and reporting provided by BuildingAdvice. This “movement” – however exciting – is really a sign of the times resulting from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s energy efficiency incentive program enacted last year, as well as new statewide energy efficiency standards. The article has more on New York’s energy rebates, as well.

davinci middle school first LEED classroom

A skylight in the Evans – Harvard High Performance Classroom at the da Vinici Arts Middle School in Portland, Ore. was recently awarded LEED platinum certification – the first K-12 public school building to achieve this level of certification.

Right here in BuildingAdvice’s back yard, Ameresco announced multiple energy efficiency contracts with regional school districts including Portland Public Schools. The energy efficiency and renewable energy company announced it would conduct Investment Grade Audits under a new phase of a budget-neutral Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with the district.

Nonsequitur: did you know the NEWS has its own LinkedIn Group? Your fave NEWSer editors Mike Murphy (get to know him better at his video blog Murphy’s Travels), Barb Checket-Hanks, and others are there.

If you don’t already know, Facilities.net has a handy Tip of the Day in text and audio format which is quick and informative. You might want to sign up for the RSS to get these tips delivered straight into your email. “Energy Model Can Improve HVAC System Energy Efficiency” caught our ear/eye recently. facilities.net's tip of the day

Non-non-sequitur (is that a sequitur?) if you listen to the soundbite at the above link: submetering: what do you think? Does it affect your business? How are you using it? If you could submeter your chiller plant, would you? Did anyone notice The Building Advisor put Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. and Prince into the same post? That’s how we roll.

Images courtesy Rethink Energy and Design, a blog from Better Bricks, Ameresco, Facilities.net.

Energy Papers for HVAC Contractors Cover Rebates, Myths

June 3rd, 2011 by Jim Crowder

exploiting rebates quarterly whitepaperThis week we posted some fresh, informative papers to the BuildingAdvice website. Both papers represent the first installments of a couple of series of papers covering topics we find HVAC contractors want the most information about.

The first series is Exploiting Rebates Quarterly, which explains how utility rebate programs work, what rebates are available in various states, and how to use energy service platforms to take advantage of them. The first paper, “Rebate Basics,” discusses leveraging rebates for a shorter payback with a competitive edge.

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, Hosts of The Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters." Ok, we kind of want to be like them.

Another series of papers takes on common misconceptions about energy services. We’re calling it – with all due respect to our peeps at the Discovery Channel – our Mythbuster Bulletin Series, starting with Myth #1: “Energy Costs Can’t Be Controlled.” In it, we break down why costs can be controlled and discuss the most common causes of energy waste within a building.

It’s a prevalent belief that utilities represent either fixed or insignificant costs in building operation budgets, but that doesn’t make it true. In fact, energy costs can be controlled by optimizing building operations and controls. While there are opportunities to improve performance through retrofit projects, in the majority of buildings, the way that building equipment is being operated or programmed is often what wastes the greatest amount of money. The key to dispelling the myth is providing owners with measurement and hard data to quantify the waste and, ultimately, the savings that can be generated.

- Mythbuster Bulletin Series, “Energy Costs Can’t Be Controlled”

At our downloads page you’ll also find recaps of our latest, highly popular webinar series for your viewing (or re-viewing) pleasure: Part 1, Building A Winning Energy Services Team and Part 2, Targeting Your Existing Customer Base. Part 3 was webcast earlier this week and will be posted to the website soon.

dexter horton building in Seattle, mandatory benchmarking

The Dexter Horton Building, Seattle, Wash.

In other news this week, greentech enterprise ran a great article on mandatory energy benchmarking legislation, touched off by Seattle’s Dexter Horton building and the citywide enforcement of mandatory energy benchmarking and reporting for all commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet.

The article also links to a great energy efficiency information resource, BuildingRating.org, which hosts an online library of resources such as a document library with U.S. and global policy summaries, impact analyses, and rating systems and tools. As well as a neat blog.

And speaking of great energy-focused blogs like ourselves, be sure to check out the panoply of blog offerings through Energy Central. Did you know that you can even customize the Energy Central Professional Daily newsletter you get from Energy Central by logging on to the “personalization” tab at http://Pro.EnergyCentral.com? Just check and uncheck preferences to customize your newsletter to get the information most pertinent to you.

Images courtesy dazzlingplaces.com and channelnomics.com.

Energy Efficiency: Not As Tough As You Think

April 5th, 2011 by Jim Crowder

Energy efficiency market tough to crack?

A panel at the SolarTech conference last week was a bit downcast on energy efficiency markets’ profitability. Quoth Gigaom’s blog, earth2tech, “Building Energy Efficiency Is a Hard Market to Crack.” Do you agree?

“…commercial energy retrofits currently can take a few years to plan and finance. New business models that can deliver the projects more quickly and efficiently are needed to lure more business customers.”

To that The Building Advisor says, what about BuildingAdvice’s low- and no-cost recommendations with less than a year paybacks, in some cases months? What about MacDonald Miller in Bellevue, Wash., who brought down utility costs and the EnergyStar score of the Medical Center of Issaquah up in a matter of months? (You can read about it in the MCAA’s Smart Solutions here.) We’ve got some great case studies to back up our ability to start saving building owners money immediately.

Interesting – and kind of great – that energy efficiency was a breakout of SolarWorld at all, because most people but solar in a whole different category from energy efficiency.

A square foot garden helps us think about efficiency in small spaces.

Fun fact: BuildingAdvice VP of Market Development, Tim Kensok, today reminded us that 99% of all commercial buildings in the U.S. are under 200k square feet. Generally speaking, that means that before automated, broadly-applicable products like BuildingAdvice, only 1% of buildings in America could afford to closely examine their energy usage, based on the cost of labor-intensive energy engineers in comparison to a building’s net operating income by size.

BuildingAdvice serves the small- to midsize market by offering an automated product offering that offers 80% of the value of an energy engineer at 20% of the cost, Kensok told a reporter today.

But getting back to the point. earth2tech also reports that “During the panel discussion at SolarTech, Matt Cheney, CEO of Cleanpath Ventures… said he saw a good fit between real estate companies and energy efficiency services.”

Now there we agree. That’s why we’re revving our engines for a new product offering to soothe the pain points of our biggest customers, who may just now be realizing how their six or 60 buildings under 200k square feet adds up to a whole lot of potential energy savings.

Most lights were switched off on the Tokyo Rainbow Bridge and on the Tokyo tower in the background

Last thought: did you know that Tokyo has doused much of the its outlandish, energy sucking displays in an effort to conserve power post-earthquake? Wrote the AFP march 25, “The huge television screens and illuminated billboards that usually light up one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections” in Shibuya, a teen fashion district, have gone dark.

Images courtesy Smith Family Garden, AFP and Mayang’s Textures.

Proposed LEED Revisions Embrace Energy Efficiency

November 18th, 2010 by Jim Crowder

Last week’s roll out of public hearings for proposed revisions to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards mark a historic moment for the energy efficiency sector, as it is the first time the internationally recognized ratings system will address how a building is run once it is built.

The performance credit category measures a building’s operating performance. As LEED standards primarily address new construction decisions, the efficiency of the building was implied, but made “promises of efficiency that weren’t delivered,” said Clinton Andrews, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University in The New York Times recently.

LEED would collect and report this data anonymously through its Building Performance Partnership.

Another proposed change, the “integrated process” category, intends architects, engineers and contractors to sit down together in search of top building performance.

World's first LEED-certified parking garage in Santa Monica, CA

In the same week, The U.S. Green Building Council announced that 1 billion square feet of buildings, many of them in the United States, have now been LEED certified. Even the wry New York Observer – which, for the record, is tired of announcements on LEED-certified dog kennels, called the 10-year-old program “a pretty amazing accomplishment.”

Images courtesy inhabitat, USGBC.

Federal Government Launches Home Energy Scoring Program

November 15th, 2010 by Jim Crowder

Vice President Biden and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of the Home Energy Score pilot program. The Home Energy Score will offer homeowners actionable information about their homes’ energy efficiency.  A report provides consumers with a home energy score between 1 and 10, and shows them how their home compares to others in their region. The report also includes customized, cost-effective recommendations that will help to reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort of their homes.

More info can be found at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/homeenergyscore/

Under this voluntary program, trained and certified contractors will use a standardized assessment tool developed by DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to quickly evaluate a home and generate useful, actionable information for homeowners or prospective homebuyers.  With only about 40 inputs required, the Home Energy Scoring Tool lets a contractor evaluate a home’s energy assets, like its heating and cooling systems, insulation levels and more, in generally less than an hour.  That means a homeowner can see how their home’s systems score, regardless of whether a particular homeowner takes long or short showers or keeps their thermostat set high or low.

The Home Energy Score initially will be tested with local government, utility, and non-profit partners in ten pilot communities across the country.

In addition to launching the Home Energy Score, the Department of Energy announced the release of the new Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades.  Energy improvement programs can adopt these guidelines to increase the consistency and effectiveness of energy upgrades, and training providers can use them to improve course curricula and training materials.  These guidelines were developed through a collaboration between energy efficiency contractors, building scientists, health and safety experts, technicians and trainers in the weatherization program, and other professionals in the building and home energy upgrade industry.

Energy Efficiency and the Elections: Not So Much

November 4th, 2010 by Jim Crowder

“…election results at the national and state levels were largely stark for those focused on renewable energy and efficiency…”

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Portland

So wrote Kyle Alspach for MHT Mass High Tech in his coverage of  the Sixth Annual Conference on Clean Energy at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center Nov. 3. Martin LaMonica chimed in for cnet, so it must be true. Many agree that energy efficiency initiatives are only likely to thrive at the state and local levels in the newly shifted political environment.

The remaining post-elections energy news took on a broader view take of the implications of the elections overall, but little old Portland, Ore. – where BuildingAdvice is based – got a little 15 minutes in a Washington Times editorial titled “A vote against the left-wing agenda.” Pictured is outbound Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with a caption on her August visit to the City of Roses in connection with Clean Energy Works Portland, a pilot program that is helping up to 500 qualified Portland homes finance and install energy efficiency upgrades. (As you may not know, Clean Energy Works’ commercial component did not receive anticipated funding last summer, so the program remains largely residential).

The editorial, however, has nothing to do with Clean Energy Works Portland.

In the wake of the still-tallying ballot casting, much is being made of the Republican control of the House of Representatives and the GOP picking up several seats in the Senate, and the implications on cap-and-trade and The Climate Bill That Was. A few highlights:

Kirsten Korosec, blogger, CBS MoneyWatch.com

Kirsten Korosec, "Carbon Based" blogger for CBS MoneyWatch.com

“It will be more about protecting fossil fuel-based businesses and stripping away federal agency powers than a direct assault on clean energy.”

  • In California, the defeat of Proposition 23 marked popular support for the state’s greenhouse gas reduction law, the Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, the strongest clean energy law in the nation, “even if it means higher energy bills and prices at the pump,” wrote fuelfix.com in “The morning after: What the election results mean for energy.” Quoting Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, the article asserts the one bit of good news for environmental issues from the Nov. 2 elections:

San Franciscans protesting Proposition 23

“Millions of voters said they see clean energy jobs as the path forward through a tough economic climate. That sends a strong message far beyond California. Voters asked their leaders to chart a future toward clean energy, less pollution, and less dependence on imported oil. Congress should pay attention.”

  • As Green, the New York Times blog on energy and environment, put it, “At the global climate change conference in Copenhagen last December, President Obama pledged to cut United States emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 — if he could get Congress to pass climate and energy legislation, that is.The task proved impossible even with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.”

Images courtesy City on a Hill Press, The Washington Times/Associated Press, and CBS MoneyWatch.com.