Green Roundup

January 1, 2011

Find Incentives for Your Industrial Plant by City or Zip Code

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program’s State Incentives and Resource Database contains nearly 3,500 programs that provide energy assessments, grants, rebates, loans, training, and other tools to help manufacturers identify and implement energy-saving projects. Information can be quickly accessed by city or zip code and searched by region, state, type of resource or energy system, and more. The recently updated database can be found on the Save Energy Now State and Regional Partnerships page or at

Federal Agency Purchasing Decision Makers Say Energy Efficiency Among Most Effective Ways to Meet Energy Needs, Reduce Costs, Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Seventy-nine percent of U.S. federal government leaders charged with making recommendations or final decisions on agency purchasing believe that energy efficiency is among the most effective ways to meet energy needs, reduce energy costs, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Zogby International poll sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy and Schneider Electric.

The independent survey of 201 government leaders asked participants to rate the importance of energy efficiency within their agencies, rate the agencies’ ability to comply with federal energy efficiency requirements, identify obstacles to that compliance, and identify attitudes towards energy efficiency within the agency.

The poll, released in conjunction with the GOVgreen Conference in November 2010, also found that:

  • Two-thirds (total of 66 percent) of the decision makers see either cost savings (36 percent) or environmental benefits (30 percent) as the major driver of their agencies’ energy efficiency efforts.
  • Approximately two-thirds (64 percent) of these federal agency decision makers believe that the current national economic environment and potential tightening of their agency’s budget might have an impact—presumably negative—on their ability to pursue energy efficiency projects. A third (32 percent) think the biggest obstacle to achieving their agency’s federally mandated energy efficiency goals is a lack of funding.
  • Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of decision makers believe their agency has a culture that encourages energy efficiency practices throughout all levels and across all departments; and about half (49 percent) report that the significance of energy efficiency in their operations has increased in the last 2 years.
  • Sixty-six percent of respondents reported that cost savings and environmental benefits are the most important reasons driving their agency’s efforts to become more energy efficient.
  • Roughly 53 percent of government leaders say their agency has metered and audited all or most of their facilities to understand their energy consumption trends, benchmark building energy use, determine energy efficiency investment priorities, and measure and verify the impact/success of those investments.
  • In the last 2 years, half of those surveyed (49 percent) report that the significance of energy efficiency in their operations has increased, while 35 percent reported the significance was about the same, and 11 percent said it has decreased.
  • Roughly two out of five (38 percent) respondents said improving their agency’s energy efficiency is among its top five priorities, while more than a third (36 percent) say it is a second-tier priority. Only a fifth (21 percent) report that improving their agency’s energy efficiency is a low priority.
  • About two-thirds (65 percent) agreed that their agency “has a culture that encourages energy efficiency practices throughout all levels and across all departments, and employees have an understanding of their role in achieving agency energy efficiency goals.” Only 16 percent disagreed with that statement.
  • One in three (32 percent) think the biggest obstacle to achieving their agency’s energy efficiency goals is a lack of funding, while about a fifth (18 percent) think it is the lack of internal enthusiasm to execute, and another 18 percent see organizational barriers, such as procedures, as a major obstacle.
  • Thirty-seven percent report their agency is going to great lengths to apply practices like continuous monitoring, recommissioning technologies, and maintenance to ensure energy savings are maintained and improved throughout their facilities’ life-cycle, while a sixth (17 percent) say their agency is not making a great effort to apply such practices.

The survey of 201 U.S. federal agency decision makers with purchasing authority was conducted from October 12?19, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 7.0 percentage points.

For more information about The Alliance to Save Energy, visit For more information about Schneider Electric and the company’s energy efficiency strategies for the government market, visit

International Code Council Takes Action on ASHRAE Proposals

International building codes will incorporate requirements from a new inspection and maintenance standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Air-Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), as well as match requirements from Standard 90.1, under several proposals recently approved by the International Code Council (ICC) membership.

Final action hearings took place during the last week of October to determine the final disposition on ASHRAE proposals to the ICC, which develops model codes that may be adopted by code jurisdictions in the United States or internationally. The actions taken will next appear in the 2012 I-Codes, due out in April 2011.

Under a proposal to the International Mechanical Code (IMC), inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems will be required by ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2008, Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems. The standard establishes minimum requirements for inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems to ensure proper functionality, which will save energy and money for the building owner in addition to preventing potential accidents by failing systems.

Also approved were proposed changes regarding energy stringency based on requirements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. These changes include:

  • Modifying the piping insulation requirements.
  • Modifying equipment efficiency requirements for heat rejection and heat transfer equipment, including open and closed circuit cooling towers, chillers, unitary air-conditioning and condensing units, unitary and applied heat pumps, singe package vertical air conditioners, and packaged terminal air conditioners.

Also related to 90.1 was a proposal that rewrote the majority of the commercial chapter of the IECC. This proposal maintained the reference to the prescriptive requirements of Standard 90.1 and made the following requirements consistent with 90.1-2010: fenestration leakage, demand control ventilation, energy recovery, economizer efficiency, lighting controls, lighting system functional testing, and building area and space by space lighting power densities.

The proposal calls for an additional path of compliance for water-cooled chillers and consolidation of and new requirements for some of the existing categories.

For more information, visit

Coalition of State Officials Agree to
Collaborative Approach on Regulating Energy Sector

A broad coalition of state energy, utility, and environmental officials agreed to conduct an ongoing dialogue on clean air and energy-related issues as the federal government moves forward with new environmental regulations. Of particular interest is implementing these environmental initiatives and reaping the associated benefits while not compromising energy reliability.

After their first meeting on December 2, 2010, representatives of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) determined that strong communications among the three associations and their respective memberships is a necessity as the nation transitions to a clean-energy economy.

NACAA is the association of air quality agencies in 52 states and territories and more than 165 metropolitan areas across the nation. NARUC represents the state regulators who regulate essential utility services. NASEO represents the 56 State and Territory Energy Offices.

The December 2010 meeting in Washington was an informal gathering of approximately 50 state regulators and energy officials from all around the country, representing geographic and political diversity. The meeting served as a forum for participants to get acquainted and learn more about their peer agencies. Discussants made presentations on the critical issues facing environmental regulators, utility regulators, and the energy offices in their roles as governors? policy advisors. The participants recognized that studying more closely the interrelated nature of their work and sharing “best practices” would benefit not only the respective efforts of each group, but the entire nation as well.

“State and local air pollution control agencies are proud to partner with our energy and utility counterparts to collaboratively chart a course that allows all of us to fulfill our obligations to the citizens we serve,” said NACAA Executive Director S. William Becker. “The substantive discussions that we have just begun will enable us to understand and, therefore, be more sensitive to one another’s roles and responsibilities. Moreover, this initiative will facilitate our ability to explore ways to achieve critical environmental goals while ensuring the reliability of energy supplies.”

“As has always been the case, state agencies will continue leading the way in developing the country’s clean-energy infrastructure,” said NARUC Executive Director Charles Gray. “Bringing our members together with our colleagues from the air and energy offices is critical, particularly as the federal government considers new environmental rules. The agencies we represent perform essential functions on many of the same issues. Building common understanding between these organizations will help our states and, as a result, our country move forward.”

“States are key to moving energy issues forward in a way that balances energy, environmental, and economic development priorities. The meeting of the three key organizations representing state energy and air interests is a valuable way to better inform each groups’ members about these critical issues, and find means to collaborate with relevant federal agencies,” said NASEO Executive Director David Terry.

For more information, visit

Two New Green Building Offerings from USGBC: LEED for Retail and LEED Volume Program

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has launched LEED for Retail, its newest green building rating system, and the LEED Volume Program, a program designed to meet the certification needs of high-volume property developers. The programs were unveiled at the USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in November 2010.

The LEED for Retail rating system recognizes the unique design and construction needs of this market sector, enabling forward-thinking retailers to integrate green building design, construction, and operation into ground-up construction, retail interior, and build-out projects. Nearly 100 national and independent retailers and franchisees, including Bank of America, Best Buy, Chipotle, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Kohl?s, LL Bean, McDonald?s, Pizza Fusion, Starbucks, and Target, have participated in the pilot program since its launch in 2007, providing valuable feedback to inform the rating systems’ development.

Also launched at Greenbuild was the LEED Volume Program, a certification program that was created to streamline and make the LEED certification process faster and more manageable for high-volume property developers such as national retailers, hospitality providers, and local, state, and federal governments. Utilizing a prototype-based approach, the program enables large-scale organizational builders to deliver a consistent end product, thereby earning LEED certification faster and at a lower cost than would be possible with individual building reviews.

Acknowledging that organizations can best identify the uniformity and similarities of their projects, the program was designed to be flexible, allowing owners to define the criteria for grouping similar buildings and the prototype LEED credits they plan to pursue. The Volume approach also facilitates bulk purchasing and advance ordering of materials, reduced consultancy requirements, more efficient internal processes, greater speed to market, and more precise documentation of corporate sustainability efforts.

In 2011, USGBC will introduce Volume certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance. To learn more about LEED for Retail and the LEED Volume program, visit and