Posts Tagged ‘sustainable business oregon’

Social Energy

November 17th, 2011 by Jim Crowder

They said it couldn’t be done. But ConduitNW, an online watering hole for energy efficiency professionals, has nearly 1,000 members since launching in May of this year. As Sustainable Business Oregon reported last week:

Led by [Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance] NEEA in partnership with the Bonneville Power Administration, Conduit was built and will operate through 2014 on a $1.25 million budget, about $400,000 of that dedicated to development costs.

The BPA contributed a separate grant, in addition to the startup website’s group of utility funders, to get ConduitNW up and running. The two agencies have been working for the last two years on the project.

The new social media site – which is a mix of LinkedIn, Facebook Groups (from way back when?) and Google Docs – gained some social media cred recently when it stole what would have been serious Twitter thunder from this year’s Efficiency Connections Northwest 2011 held in Tacoma, WA.

This is what a futurist looks like.

[BTW: the conference featured David Zach (who’s job title is “Futurist.” WTF, what a great title. Apparently there are only a few on the planet). The other Keynote Speaker was L. Hunter Lovins, Author of Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change.]

Though ConduitNW’s main target for the site is the 150 nationwide utilities working toward energy efficiency, it also attacts a number of contractors and “impementers,” according to NEEA’s online community manager, Ben Fowler. The site came out of a call for collaboration by utility execs to state govenors in 2008, according to a BPA public utilities specialist in energy efficiency.

At ConduitNW, you can catch up on industry news as well as upcoming energy-related and NEEA events. Browse by sector, function, topic or group, receive email notifications and share information with colleagues through document sharing.

And of course, upload a great profile pic.

Sidenote: Have you checked out “A Profitable and Resource-Efficient Future,” the new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) yet? The ever-vigilant EarthTechling picked it up and spit it back out to us this week:

According to to the report, commercial buildings are responsible for about 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and, in some countries, 70 percent of electrical consumption. Nearly one-half of all energy consumed by buildings could be avoided with new energy-efficient systems and equipment, and the energy savings would exceed the cost of upgrades, generally within five years or less, the report said.

Near and Far, Awareness of Energy Efficiency Grows

August 25th, 2011 by Jim Crowder

Mass Energy LabFirst, the good news. In Massachusetts yesterday, a Cambridge-based commercial and industrial energy solutions firm, Mass Energy Lab, announced a contest inciting undergraduate and graduate level students to identify, research and present evidence on a promising new-to-market energy efficiency product. Entrants will present evidence on the product’s ability to impact energy waste reduction and its marketability, and are eligible to win $3,000 as the top prize.

Anybody want to research BuildingAdvice? We make a great science project.

According to a press release, the contest is “intended to encourage students to research and identify cutting-edge, new to market energy efficiency solutions and to think deeply about how the technology can be applied to facilitate the reduction of energy waste in commercial and industrial buildings. “

Check out Mass Energy Lab’s foxy R&D section debuting any day now, featuring whitepapers, casestudies, product reviews, industry experts and test results.

Now, the not-so-great news.

li keqiang david cameron

Li Keqiang and David Cameron make a deal.

China’s buildings need to go ‘green’ – before it’s too late”:

“In the next 20 years, China plans to urbanise as many as 300m of its rural people, driving an insatiable demand for energy and materials as almost the equivalent of America’s population fires up their new fridges and air-conditioners.”

DOOD!

Chinese Vice Premiere Li Keqiang’s visit to England’s Building Research Establishment (BRE) – a group of architects, engineers and scientists at the cutting edge of new building techniques – last winter made Britain’s Telegraph UK this week with the announcement that the BRE was signed up by the Chinese to create a £100m, 4.8m sq ft innovation park in Beijing, together with Vanke, China’s largest property developer.

Apparently, China’s “green building” industry could eventually be worth £144bn per the vice minister of the Housing and Urban-Rural Development ministry. Now that’s actually pretty good news.

On the other hand, Chinese government is “painfully aware” that a quarter of China’s energy use is currently eaten up by buildings. In turn, they are pressuring developers to spend time thinking about water, energy and carbon savings, but many who design real estate in China think sustainable construction means simply tacking on green components with add-on costs. As writer Eric Fish puts it,

“When integrated intelligently from the start, utilities savings quickly cancel out the extra costs. Total upfront costs sometimes even dip below the price of traditional buildings.”

The Times of India reported that The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bureau for Energy Efficiency (BEE) for the creation of energy efficient technologies (‘We need to adopt energy efficient technologies’).The MoU also outlines the creation of awareness and capacity building of local Business Development Services (BDS) providers for implementing energy efficient technologies. The clusters will be scaled to meet the needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) clusters.

Lastly, right here at home in Oregon our Department of Consumer and Business Services Building Codes Division received a national award for its work in energy efficiency.

Jeff Johnson was an advocate of Building Energy Codes

Jeff Johnson was an advocate of Building Energy Codes

The sixth annual Jeffrey A. Johnson Award for “Excellence in the Advancement of Building Energy Codes and Performance,” an award designed to recognize the pursuit of energy efficiency, according to Sustainable Business Oregon.

PECI Projected to Deliver $13.9 million in Energy Savings, 400 Jobs to California

August 10th, 2010 by Jim Crowder

Portland-based PECI has won an $18.8 million contract from the California Energy Commission to manage an “EnergySmart Jobs” program that will create more than 200 California jobs.

The “EnergySmart Jobs” program will provide energy efficiency training throughout California to implement efficiency upgrades on commercial buildings. The company will also hire and retain over 200 contractor and energy surveyor positions. The program will focus on regions within California with lots of opportunity for efficiency savings and high unemployment.

The 18-month program is paid for with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding and is slated to deliver $13.9 million in initial energy savings for electricity rate payers during the first year and a half.

The program will also create three jobs in Portland, Sustainable Business Oregon reports.

Additional program partners include private contractors, utilities, manufacturers, and the California Conservation Corps. “The Conservation Corps ‘Corpsmembers’ are comprised of unemployed or otherwise economically disadvantaged people between the ages of 18 and 25, with the intention of helping those in greatest need get a ‘head start’ in the employment market,” according to PECI’s press release.

PECI has a longstanding relationship with the State of California, having delivered energy efficiency programs throughout the state for 20 years and employing 28 in the state.

Efficiency Now Comes to Life on YouTube

June 25th, 2010 by Jim Crowder

the horror! the horror!

"Nooooooo!"

A black tunnel of smoke creeps around your building. It’s name? “WASTE.”
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

This video from Johnson Controls’ Efficiency Now campaign (complete with microsite), does a great job of setting up how far the sustainable movement has come, and what a tough road that’s been. Then, after this feeling of hard-won achievement has built, they show you how we’re throwing it all down the tubes in the form of inefficient buildings. Evil black clouds encircle skyscrapers.

You may be tempted to boo and hiss at the monitor. Check it out!

Sustainable Vertical Village in Dubai

Heads up for Oregon: the oft-discussed Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) applicaton for renewable energy project rebates is June 30, Sustainable Business Oregon reminds us. This is for projects between $500,000 and $6 million only, so, no sustainable vertical villages a la Dubai (pictured).

Images courtesy Johnson Controls, The Making of Me, Fast Company