The California Energy Commission has passed energy-efficiency standards for computers and monitors in an effort to reduce power costs, becoming the first state in the nation to adopt such rules. Th…
California regulators are intensifying efforts to wring every possible electron out of common household devices.
>” […] The California Energy Commission just released the latest in a long line of energy-efficiency standards […]. Past targets have included refrigerators, air conditioners, flat-screen televisions, battery chargers and dozens of other appliances and electronic devices.
The commission is writing proposed minimum power consumption standards that it estimates would save 2,702 gigawatt hours a year of electricity. That’s roughly the combined usage of the cities of Long Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Riverside. Utility customers could shave a total of $430 million off their annual electric bills, or about $20 a year for a household that owns one desktop computer, one laptop and one monitor.
Computers and monitors are among the leading users of energy in California and “spend roughly half their time … on but not being used.” Commissioner Andrew McAllister said.
Boosting efficiency is a good deal, he said. For example, a $2 investment in manufacturing a more power-stingy desktop computer would save $69 over five years, he said.
Electronics manufacturers question the commission’s arithmetic. They prefer voluntary efficiency programs, such as a 2012 manufacturers’ agreement that reduced the energy consumption of cable and satellite television set-top boxes. Consumers saved $168 million in 2013, according to an industry report.
California should let electronics makers develop their own products, said Douglas Johnson, vice president for technology policy for the Consumer Electronics Assn. “We don’t wait for regulations to make products more efficient.”
Aggressive energy-efficiency standards, the commission argues, has helped California keep its per-capital electric power consumption flat for the last 30 years, while the rest of the country’s has seen power use jump 40%. […]”<
Elevators and escalators make up 2 to 5 percent of the energy used in most buildings, but can reach as high as 50 percent during peak operational times. At 5 percent, that means the yearly energy consumption of U.S. elevators is approximately five times of that used in all of Washington D.C.
>”Chicago—More energy-efficient elevators can significantly reduce the costs of operating a building, but the information needed to help building owners identify the appropriate elevator system—and the savings associated with it—aren’t readily available, according to a new study published by a leading policy group. The study, by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, was published with the support of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, the parent organization of Otis, the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products.
[…] The technology exists today to reduce that consumption by 40 percent or more, especially by cutting energy use between trips, when an elevator is idle, according to the study. Some technologies have been found to reduce consumption by as much as 75 percent, but without a standard way to measure energy savings and a rating system to distinguish more efficient elevators, building owners may be unaware of the benefits of upgrading to a more efficient system or choosing a more efficient system for new construction.
“Enhanced visibility when it comes to elevator efficiency can help customers grasp the full value package of better controls, improved performance, reduced sound, and increased comfort,” said Harvey Sachs, ACEEE senior fellow, and the study’s lead author. Sameer Kwatra of ACEEE presented the study on Tuesday, January 27 at the 2015 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Conference in Chicago.
The study lays out a framework for industry leaders to set common standards for measuring elevator efficiency. Those standards could lead to a rating system, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® ratings already in place for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, and many home appliances. Clear standards also could lead energy utilities and government agencies to offer incentives, such as rebates, for very efficient models. And building label programs, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® program, could include elevator efficiency as a factor in certifying buildings. Right now, the LEED program considers elevators a part of unregulated “process loads,” and there are no direct credits for installing more efficient systems.
“Owners see elevators as an extension of the building lobby — a way to include their personality and values in the building,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “As consumers and tenants better understand and value the effects green buildings have on the health and productivity of inhabitants, clear standards for measuring elevator efficiency can provide a great opportunity to reduce operating costs and showcase the environmental attributes of a building.”
The report identified energy-efficient elevator technologies that can be included in building codes and factored in elevator rating and labeling systems. […]”<
The White House announced a number of commitments to energy efficiency this morning, not the least of which is a proposed energy efficiency standard for rooftop air conditioners that could produce the largest electricity savings under any U.S. appliance efficiency…
image courtesy of http://akbrown.com/?page_id=278
>”[…] NRDC strongly applauds today’s White House’s efficiency and clean energy announcements which come the same week that a new energy-savings standard became effective for refrigerators and freezers, with the majority of models cutting their energy use by 20 to 25 percent, thanks to a 2010 consensus recommendation to the Department of Energy (DOE) from refrigerator manufacturers, efficiency advocates, consumer groups and states.
According to the White House, the rooftop air conditioner proposed standard announced would help cut carbon pollution by more than 60 million metric tons, and could save consumers nearly $10 billion on their energy bills through 2030. […]
The announcement follows significant groundwork by DOE in this product category, including DOE’s High Performance Rooftop Unit Challenge, a competition among manufacturers to produce efficient cooling units that cut their energy use almost in half and are still affordable in the commercial and industrial real estate space. DOE worked with members of its Commercial Building Energy Alliances (CBEA), which includes many large commercial building owners, to create a challenge specification that rooftop air conditioning manufacturers could meet. As part of the challenge, CBEA members, including Target, Walmart, Macy’s and McDonald’s, expressed strong interest in potentially purchasing high-efficiency roof-top units, helping to drive buyer support for the challenge levels. Manufacturers Daikin McQuay and Carrier succeeded in producing rooftop ACs that met the challenge specifications and resulted in substantial energy reductions.
Also included in today’s announcement are further savings from building energy codes. DOE will issue its final determination that the latest commercial building energy code – ASHRAE 90.1-2013 – saves energy compared to the previous version. Once DOE issues a positive determination that the new code saves energy compared to the previous code, individual states will consider the code for adoption leading to energy savings in new buildings and major retrofits in those states. DOE will also issue its preliminary determination on the latest residential energy-saving building code – the IECC 2015. DOE estimates that the updated commercial building standards will reduces energy bills for states and the federal government, while cutting emissions by 230 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2030. […]”<
If successful, Title 24 will open the door to increased amounts of energy efficiency financing, expanded sources of capital and lower financing costs.
>California’s Title 24
Title 24 is California’s body of state building codes. These codes have been revised to move the building industry toward comprehensive building solutions with a goal of achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) residential and commercial buildings. In a ZNE building, the annual building’s energy consumption is equal to the building’s onsite renewable energy generation. California has set a goal for all new residential construction to be ZNE by 2020 and for all new commercial construction to be ZNE by 2030. Additionally, the repurposing and remodeling of existing buildings that are of a size-threshold defined by Title 24 will also have to comply with Title 24 revised codes.
Financing a “smart” Zero Net Energy building
The challenge of financing any energy efficiency or renewable energy project is in providing assurances to the source of capital that the project will actually generate sufficient cost savings to cover financing costs plus repayment of invested capital. The number one challenge for winning energy efficiency investments is the uncertainty in documenting bill savings results. Too often, the cost savings generated by an investment in energy efficiency is lost in higher electric bills as new loads are added and utilities raise rates.
Information technologies that monitor, control and financially operate a building through links to real time prices of grid-supplied electricity are the foundation for enabling Title 24 project financing. Smart ZNE buildings will operate to optimize the economics between reducing building demand, reducing energy consumption, on-site generation, use of on-site energy storage and purchases of grid electricity.
What will further enable the financing of ZNE buildings is the ability of enabling information technologies to “look forward” in time to proactively shape a building’s operation and grid purchases to financially support the building’s project financing. The technologies that can achieve these results have already been invented. What California is pursuing through its Title 24 code revisions is a massive economies of scale push for these technologies to drive their costs down and increase their ability to be financed.
The sales pie just got bigger…a lot bigger
Beginning in 2014, Title 24 will blow the sales doors open for smart building technologies, energy efficiency technologies, onsite energy storage and renewable energy technologies. Title 24 will create a new competitive landscape for architects, general contractors, sub-contractors and vendors based upon their ability to offer price competitive services and products that comply with Title 24 codes. The construction industry’s sales path for energy efficiency projects will no longer be anchored by utility incentives that support targeted energy efficiency upgrades like re-lamping a building with more efficient lights. The new sales path will be based upon cost-effectively delivering code compliance to achieve financeable building performance. New competitive advantages will be won by contractors and architects that offer building performance assurances to building owners and financing sources.<
See on www.triplepundit.com
LEED and Green Globes approved as third party certification programs for federal facilities.
>In its recommendation to DOE, GSA recommended the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes 2010 and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009 as the third party certification systems that the federal government can use to gauge performance in its construction and renovation projects. Other certification systems were not selected because they did not align with the government’s requirements. Additionally, under this recommendation, GSA will conduct more regular reviews in order to keep up with the latest green building tools that the market has to offer.
Third party certification systems like LEED and Green Globes help in measuring reduction targets for water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions against industry standards. Agencies can use one of the two certification systems that best meet their building portfolios, which range from office buildings, to laboratories, to hospitals, to airplane hangars.
Federal construction and modernization projects must adhere to the government’s own green building requirements by law and executive orders. No one certification system meets all of the federal government’s green building requirements. Green building certification systems are just one tool that GSA uses to cut costs and meet sustainability and economic performance goals.<
PORTLAND, OR–(Marketwired – Oct 29, 2013) – The Green Building Initiative (GBI) applauds the General Services Administration on its recognition of Green Globes® alongside the U.S.
>GBI’s growth in the market is due to its commitment to the practicality of its tools for use by building owners, designers, and facility managers as well as its commitment to open, consensus-based review of its technical criteria. In 2010, GBI was recognized for developing Green Globes for New Construction as the first ever American National Standard for a commercial building rating system. As it continues to improve its rating systems based on changes in the market, GBI remains committed to using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved consensus procedures.
“GBI is the only commercial building rating system developer to vet its technical criteria through the ANSI process,” stated GBI Chairman Tonjes. “This helps to ensure that GBI’s rating systems provide the opportunity to evaluate the widest range of buildings using an open, science-based approach to building performance.”
ANSI/GBI 01-2010, also known as Green Globes for New Construction, is due for revision before the end of 2015 based on ANSI periodic maintenance requirements. According to Tonjes, GBI’s ANSI-based rating system review process will begin before the end of this year with the filing of required documents followed by reformation of the technical review committee.
GBI’s tools have a significant focus on both the reduction and efficient use of energy and water in buildings. These, along with other criteria, help reduce building operating costs and their overall impact on the environment.
“Since 2005, the Green Globes product line has evolved to include several updated and expanded tools,” stated Erin Shaffer, vice president of federal outreach at GBI.<
See on www.marketwired.com
As of May 5, 2001, the Condominium Act 1998 requires all existing and new condominium corporations to have a “Reserve Fund Study” undertaken. This article outlines some of the key aspects of Reserve Funds and the Studies.
>[…]The regulations to the Condominium Act stipulate the minimum liability insurance requirements; $1,000,000.
6. What Information Does The Corporation Need To Provide?
Once you have hired a consultant, he/she will require information about the condominium corporation. This will include the following:
- As-built drawings and specifications.
- The Declaration and Description.
- Reciprocal cost sharing agreements.
- Previous reserve fund studies.
- The most recent audited financial statements.
- What the current annual contribution to the Reserve Fund is.
- Repairs or replacements to the common elements that have already been completed and when.
- Similarly, scheduled future work needs to be accounted for.
- A summary of problems being encountered by the Corporation that should be reviewed.
- As an example, water penetration concerns.
7. What Is The Process?
The process is as follows:
- The consultant is provided the above information. One of the most important are the drawings. They will be reviewed prior to visiting the site in order for the consultant to become familiar with the overall design and construction schemes.
- Site inspection. In order to have an understanding on the current condition of the common elements, visual inspections are undertaken. Problem areas noted above can be reviewed. After the first study, the next study update can be completed without a site inspection. The next update must include a site inspection.
- The report is then prepared (see next question). The drawings are used to “take-off” quantities such as roofing, exterior wall cladding, asphalt, hallway finishes etc that will assist in preparing the replacement/repair cost budgets. It is recommended that a draft report should be submitted in order for the Board and Property Manager to review it prior to it being finalized. The consultant should be available to attend a meeting to review the report.
- Upon receiving direction from the Board of Directors, the Reserve Fund Study is finalized and submitted. […]
See on www.maytower.ca
CALABASAS, Calif., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Association Reserves, a well-known provider of reserve study services in the United States, recently announced its decision to launch a new website dedicated to their Do-it-Yourself Reserve Study kit.
>According to an article written using data from Association Reserves’ 30,000 reserve studies, 70 percent of associations in the United States are “underfunded.” This puts many organizations at an increased risk of special assessments, deferred maintenance, declining property values, and board member liability. According to the company, by accounting for the ongoing cost of common area deterioration and then properly funding reserves, boards are able to responsibly prepare for their associations’ future expenses.
“Our goal is to eliminate all excuses for board members not to be aware of the current strength of their Association’s reserve fund and the funding plan necessary to perform common area repairs & replacement in a timely manner,” says Robert Nordlund, PE, RS, the company’s founder. “The path from underfunded to appropriately-funded is a journey and a Reserve Study provides the necessary road map.”<
See on www.prnewswire.com