Energy Management Important to Healthcare Leaders

17 Dec

Energy efficiency, Wind MillWe tend to either love or hate the current healthcare industry. Rising insurance costs and outrageous healthcare bills upset us all. But, it appears the industry leaders are taking energy management seriously. According to a recent survey, energy management is more important to healthcare leaders than to executives in other industry sectors.

According to new research from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and Johnson Controls, energy efficiency continues to grow in importance in the healthcare sector as organizations do more than ever to “go green.” (SOURCE: Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency)

BACKGROUND

In March 2010, Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) conducted a survey of
executives and managers responsible for making investments and managing energy use in commercial buildings across the world. As part of the Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) broad survey to look at the trends in energy efficiency throughout the worldwide business community, Johnson Controls wanted to include a separate analysis of responses from organizations in the healthcare industry. Of the 2,882 respondents polled worldwide, 288 operated in the healthcare industry, and 246 were ASHE members.

The EEI survey examines what healthcare organizations are doing in response to rising energy costs, what factors are motivating efficiency improvements, how many organizations are planning to make investments, what payback they expect on energy efficiency investments, and what technologies and practices they have been implementing in their facilities.The Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering conducted an online survey of decision-makers responsible for managing energy. The Energy Efficiency Indicator survey results included a separate analysis of responses from healthcare organizations. (SOURCE: 2010 Energy Efficiency Indicator – Healthcare Sector Report, Oct. 2010)

Here’s an excerpt of the findings reported by the Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency:

The survey looked at issues such as what organizations are doing in response to rising energy costs, what factors are driving efficiency improvements, what payback they expect on projects, and what technologies and practices they are applying. Highlights of the survey include:

  • 59% of healthcare organizations believe energy management is extremely or very important, compared to 52% of respondents across all industries.
  • 66% of healthcare respondents are paying more attention to energy efficiency than they were a year ago.
  • Cost savings is the biggest factor driving energy efficiency investments in healthcare; enhancing image and taking advantage of government or utility incentives are next.
  • Nearly 50% of healthcare respondents cited energy efficiency in buildings as their top strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The average maximum allowable payback period for energy efficiency investments in healthcare is 3.3 years, down from 4.2 years in 2008.
  • The top barriers to capture of potential energy savings are lack of internal capital and inability to identify projects with sufficient ROI.

Click here to visit the Institute for Building Efficiency and read or download the complete survey report.

Congress to Decide on Renewable Energy Provision in Tax Bill

14 Dec

ACORE is pumping out the PR now that Congress is poised to either let die or renew a provision created by the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee in January 2009. The provision being considered in the pending tax bill will potentially support or inhibit renewable energy projects in 2011. It appears California, Arizona, and Wyoming stand to gain the most based on an analysis prepared by the US Partnership For Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF)..

Here’s the full press release provided by ACORE:

Congress Poised to Save $25 Billion of Renewable Energy Projects in 17 States;
Key Vote Due on the “1603” Incentive for American Entrepreneurs;

California, Arizona and Wyoming to Stand to Benefit the Most

December 14, 2010 – Washington, DC: The US Partnership For Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF) introduced an analysis that a provision being considered in the pending tax bill stands to save at least $25 billion of renewable energy projects in 17 states in 2011, among which California, Arizona, and Wyoming stand to gain the most. Read more

ACORE Calls for Global Renewable Energy Standard

07 Dec

American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) Calls for a Global Renewable Energy Standard (G-RES) at COP-16. The resolution seeks global agreement on 25% of energy supplies from renewable energy by 2025.

OilObit.com News: SOURCE – ACORE/December 4, 2010 – Cancun, Mexico:  In a bold move to get the UN climate talks moving towards a positive and concrete outcome, Michael Eckhart, President of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) called for a global agreement on the adoption of 25% renewable energy by the year 2025, to be called the Global Renewable Energy Standard (G-RES) and furthermore called on the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)to be designated the lead agency to support implementation of the agreement.

“The world seeks leadership and guidance on the best path to a cleaner, safer environment and stable atmospheric ecosystem.  But it is clear to most of us that there is no single path – that this is a matter of many paths that together get the world to where it needs to be,” said Eckhart.  “We know today that three of the cornerstone paths to climate protection are the adoption of renewable energy, investment in greater energy efficiency, and protection of the rainforests as the Earth’s lungs.  It is time to have concerted action on each of those three paths, getting started on what we know will work.  I believe we can agree on the adoption of renewable energy here this week at COP-16, and we hereby call on the conference to introduce the measure and test it with a vote.  We believe it can pass, and call on other associations and NGOs to encourage their governments to agree.”

ACORE put forward the following draft resolution:

RESOLVED, that the undersigned nations commit to a Global Renewable Energy Standard (G-RES) in the amount of 25% by the year 2025.  That is, that each signatory nation shall hereby be committed to a goal of supplying not less than 25% of its national energy supply from renewable energy sources, herein defined as wind, solar, hydro, ocean, geothermal and biomass sources of electricity, fuels, heat and other end-use forms of energy; and to a process of international collaboration through the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as the designated lead agency for implementation.  The G-RES shall provide for two implementing mechanisms: direct installation of renewable energy systems sufficient to meet the goal, and the sale/purchase of Global Renewable Energy Certificates (G-RECs) between nations.

“Most countries can meet this goal while also increasing economic growth and employment, insulating themselves from intense energy price swings, and protecting the ecosystems of our planet.” said ACORE Advisory Board member Scott Sklar.

Previously, worldwide renewable energy groups signed a memorandum of understanding on the 25% by 2025 goal, including ACORE and the Chinese Renewable Energy Society (CRES) chaired by Shi Dinghuan, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) headed by Li Junfeng, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) chaired by Arthorous Zervos, and the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) chaired by Wolfgang Palz.  Other groups around the world have promoted a “25×2025” goal including the Energy Future Coalition in the U.S.

“Agreeing on a global renewable energy target would be a positive signal for the world that countries are really serious and take concrete action against climate change. Renewable energy technologies together with energy efficiency are the key solution to abating climate change and at the same time promoting these creates millions of sustainable jobs and economic welfare. It is high-time to deliver a concrete outcome of the UN climate talks, the agreement on a global renewable energy target would send a signal of hope to the world”, said Zervos.

About the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):
The Convention on Climate Change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.  It recognizes that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

About the Cop-16 Climate Summit:

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December, 2010.

About International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA):
Mandated by governments worldwide, IRENA’s mission is to promote the widespread and increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. IRENA’s Member States pledge to advance renewables in their own national policies and programs, and to promote, both domestically and through international cooperation, the transition to a sustainable and secure energy supply.

About EREC:
The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), is the umbrella organization of the major European renewable energy industry, trade and research associations active in the field of photovoltaics, small hydropower, solar thermal, bio-energy, ocean & marine, geothermal, wind energy and solar thermal electricity. It represents an industry with an annual turnover of more than €70 billion and more than 550,000 employees. Additional information is available on www.erec.org

About ACORE

ACORE, a 501(c)(3) membership non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, is dedicated to bringing renewable energy into the mainstream of the US economy and lifestyle through research and communications programs and membership committees. ACORE’S membership works in all sectors of the renewable energy industries including wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy, biomass, biofuels, and waste energy. ACORE provides a common platform for the wide range of interests in the renewable energy community including end users, technology companies, manufacturers, utilities, professional service firms, financial institutions, colleges and universities, associations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. ACORE serves as a thought leadership forum through which these parties work together on common interests. ACORE co-organizes the REFF-Wall Street and REFF-West Finance Conferences, the RETECH All-Renewables Energy Conference and Exhibition, the Phase II National Policy Forum in Washington, DC, and hosts both domestic and global policy events furthering the mission of renewable energy. Additional information is available at www.acore.org.

Press Contact: Turner Houston
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
Ph: +1-202-393-0001



Networked Solar Conference 2011

02 Dec

Networked Solar Conference 2011Organized by Greentech Media, the upcoming Networked Solar Conference will highlight the convergence of renewable energy and the smart grid. Industry experts from both fields will be on hand to answer questions such as:

  • How is the Smart Grid evolving, and what values will it bring to utilities and consumers?
  • How are innovations in solar tech and systems enabling the convergence of solar and smart grid?
  • What impact does renewable energy have on the utility grid today, and tomorrow?
  • How is solar a critical part of utility renewables portfolio?
  • How will this convergence of solar and smart grid enable jobs growth?

The conference will be held on January 25-26, 2011, in Jersey City, NJ. What can you expect? Insights from Wall Street financial experts, policy makers of New Jersey, and leading industry research analysis of GTM Research.

Networked Solar Conf 2011 - Pricing

What is the future of the convergence of renewable energy and the smart grid?

Event Organizer

Signature Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Supporting Organizations

Most Sustainable Award Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid

30 Nov

Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec HybridOilObit.com News/Source: Daimler PR, Düsseldorf/Stuttgart – November 29, 2010: Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche was presented with the German Sustainability Award 2010 by European Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger. The award’s conceptual sponsor is the German Sustainability Award Foundation in Düsseldorf.

The award is presented to companies that combine business success with social responsibility and nature conservation, and that act sustainably to promote further growth. The focus is on consistent sustainability management and sustainability-related issues in brand management.

The jury’s explanatory statement included the following remarks: “Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid addresses various challenges to sustainability. The adjustment of hybrid components to the vehicle operating strategy reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by between ten and 15 percent – and the savings can even be higher, depending on topography and operating conditions. When the vehicle is braking or coasting, the electric motor serves as a generator that feeds energy into the lithium-ion batteries, which are subsequently available for handling special load situations. The Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid is therefore an environmentally friendly vehicle with which Daimler is setting benchmarks worldwide.”

At the award ceremony in Düsseldorf, Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche said: “Daimler has the clear aim of maintaining its pioneering role even in the new automotive environment. That’s why we already are the manufacturer with the biggest range of alternative drive systems on the road – from the small electric smart to hybrid trucks for distribution services. The Atego BlueTec Hybrid’s performance speaks for itself. The truck is exceptionally quiet, produces very little emissions, and is just as reliable, safe, and versatile as a conventionally powered Mercedes-Benz Atego.”

The Mercedes-Benz Atego’s innovative hybrid drive marks the first time that Daimler is offering this very low emission technology in Europe ex works, thus making it immediately available to customers as a highly sustainable form of freight transport. The vehicle is based on the Euro 5-compliant Atego 1222 L, which already meets the environmentally friendly EEV standard for especially low particulate emissions and can therefore be driven on German highways toll-free. Its compact and lightweight four-cylinder diesel engine with 4.8 liters of displacement generates 160 kW (218 hp). The engine is complemented by a water-cooled electric motor with a maximum output of 44 kW. The motor is supplied with electricity by powerful, high-energy lithium-ion batteries.

The electric motor is mounted behind the combustion engine and clutch, but in front of the transmission. With this configuration, both drive units can power the truck individually or in combination. Thanks to this parallel hybrid drive architecture, it is possible to start solely on electric power, recover braking energy, obtain a boost from the electric motor, and optimize the diesel engine’s characteristic curve. The drive power of the diesel engine is engaged via the clutch between the diesel engine and the electric motor. Until this point, the combustion engine serves solely to power the ancillary components. This setup not only substantially reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to 15 percent, it also produces less noise. The engine’s automatic start-stop function reduces fuel consumption, emissions, and noise to zero when the vehicle is waiting at traffic lights.

The first batch of 50 Atego BlueTec Hybrids will be delivered to German customers from the distribution sector in early 2011 in order to demonstrate this important future-oriented technology’s suitability for everyday use. The German Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development is helping to fund the vehicles as part of its Electric Mobility Support Program.

The Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid is part of Daimler’s Shaping Future Transportation initiative. As such, it helps the Group achieve its medium- and long-term environmental goals. At the same time, this practical contribution to sustainable freight transport also benefits customers and the European freight-forwarding sector.

Energy Star Revised Specs Recommit Deadline Nov. 30

29 Nov

Energy StarRevised Specifications for January 2011 Recommitment: On October 26, 2010, EPA finalized the revisions to the Product Manufacturer Partner Commitments to include participation in third-party certification for the ENERGY STAR program. All existing manufacturer/private labeler partners must recommit in order to continue their partnership with EPA to manufacture/label products eligible for ENERGY STAR qualification. The deadline for recommitting is November 30, 2010 to avoid partnership interruption. These new Program Requirements will be active January 1, 2011.

For more info, visit the Energy Star website here or contact the ENERGY STAR Hotline at 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

Final ENERGY STAR Partner Commitments and Product Specifications

EPA has finalized the new ENERGY STAR Partner Commitments and Product Specifications (i.e., Eligibility Criteria, Test Methods) in support of upcoming testing and verification requirements that will take effect on January 1, 2011. EPA reviewed, carefully considered, and in many cases accepted stakeholder comments on the Draft Partner Commitments and Product Specifications, which are posted below. EPA shares its rationale for the edits made to these final documents in the EPA cover memo and supporting documentation also provided below.

Existing ENERGY STAR partners will need to recommit to the new Partner Commitments and Product Specifications by November 30, 2010 to continue their ENERGY STAR partnership without interruption. More information on the steps that existing partners will need to take under these new requirements is provided in the EPA cover memo. An FAQ document can also be viewed here PDF .

In other energy and environment news…

Here are a few energy & environment blogs that are getting attention on the National Journal’s website, “Energy & Environment” Expert Blogs (good or bad we’re not sure yet):

Electric Car Buyers in Germany Less Focused on Brand

10 Nov

According to a survey published by the Center for Automotive Management at Duisburg-Essen University, German car buyers expect to pay less for electric cars than the costs for automakers and they are less focused on brand names. Christoph Rauwald with Dow Jones Newswires wrote a brief story on the findings. Here’s an excerpt and link to the full-story:

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones) – German car buyers are less focused on brand names when it comes to purchasing an electric vehicle, but the price they are willing to pay is far below the costs for automakers, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Center for Automotive Management at Duisburg-Essen University.

According to the study, German car buyers are willing to pay up to EUR21,500 for an electric vehicle from an established brand such as VW or BMW. They would spend the same amount on a car of an unknown brand if the range and battery charging time were 20% better.

“They would even spend more money–up to an extra EUR2,500–if the technical (features) of no-name cars are considerably above the standards of brand models,” the survey said, adding that the average price German car buyers are willing to pay for an electric vehicle is EUR15,000. FULL-STORY HERE.

Source: Christoph Rauwald, Dow Jones Newswires; +49 69 29 725 512; christoph.rauwald@dowjones.com

FL Approves Larger Rebates For Natural Gas Appliances

10 Sep

Natural Gas Incentives RebatesOilobit.com | Energy News/FL Natural Gas Assoc. PR:

From the $1500 tankless water heater tax credit to multiple Florida utilities offering up to $1350 in cash rebates on new appliances, the incentives to include natural gas seem to be ever-expanding. And with the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) recent decision to increase cash rebates, it will be more feasible than ever for homeowners to build with — or switch to — natural gas.

Increasing by up to $150 per energy-efficient natural gas appliance, larger cash rebates will take a bigger load off the appliance purchase price — encouraging substantial, long-term energy savings. This supports statewide conservation initiatives by driving greater participation and interest in the Residential Appliance Replacement Program, Residential Appliance Retention Program and Residential New Construction Program.

Natural gas appliances generally eligible for conservation rebates include tank/tankless water heaters, ranges, clothes dryers and furnaces. Rebate availability and amounts vary by natural gas utility.

Utilities affected by the recent rebate increase include: Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, Florida City Gas, Florida Public Utilities, Peoples Gas System, Sebring Gas System, and St. Joe Natural Gas Company. All are members of the Associated Gas Distributors of Florida (AGDF) trade association.

The Florida Natural Gas Association (FNGA) is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the growth of the natural gas industry in the state of Florida. It also seeks to protect the interests of the industry, its members and consumers. Our members include distribution companies, transmission, gas supply marketers and affiliate members. With a membership of more than 100 companies, FNGA represents every segment of the natural gas industry.

SOURCE: Florida Natural Gas Association

Florida Natural Gas Association
Jenna Bernardo, FNGA staff member, 321-779-1010
jenna@mtninc.com

Natural Gas Resources

Florida Natural Gas Association
www.floridagas.org

American Gas Association
www.aga.org

American Public Gas Association
www.apga.org

Southern Gas Association
www.southerngas.org

Natural Gas Supply Association
www.naturalgas.org

State of Florida
www.myflorida.com

Florida Public Service Commission
www.psc.state.fl.us

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
www.dep.state.fl.us

Florida Energy Office
www.dep.state.fl.us/energy

Florida Department of Consumer Affairs
www.dca.state.fl.us

U.S. Department of Energy
www.energy.gov

Energy Information Administration
www.eia.doe.gov

Fueling the Future – American Gas Foundation
www.fuelingthefuture.org

Alliance to Save Energy
www.ase.org

Interstate Natural Gas Association of the Americas
www.ingaa.org

Hybird Car That Pays the Owner Back

05 Sep

The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) studied the fuel costs of 16 hybrids over five years and they compared the costs against their purchase price and financing fees. In a study released in late July, only one of the 16 hybrids cost less to buy and run than its gasoline counterpart. Can you guess which one? It probably not the one you would expect.

Here’s an excerpt of the BCAA research study and a link to the full article for those interested:

Twelve years after Honda introduced the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle into the mass North American market, car buyers have yet to see the kinds of price reductions that were predicted to occur as hybrids gained popularity and market share. Even with technological advancements, and increased sales and model selection, consumers continue to pay a premium to purchase a hybrid. And, with the introduction of the HST and the corresponding elimination of the provincial sales tax rebate on hybrid vehicles, most hybrid models continue to cost more to own and operate than their conventional gas-powered counterparts.

According to British Columbia Automobile Association’s (BCAA) annual Hybrid Cost and Savings analysis conducted in July, several models come close to their conventional cousins when costs are compared over five years, but only one – the $105,000 Mercedes S400 Hybrid sedan—is less expensive to own and operate compared to its conventional equivalent. (Source: BCAA – Read the full BCAA article here)

SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS:

  • The $105,000 Mercedes S400 Hybrid sedan is the only model less expensive to own and operate compared to its corresponding conventional model. The S400 is approximately $5,000 less to own and operate than the closest conventional model, the Mercedes S450.
  • The hybrids that come closest in cost to their conventional counterparts in purchase and operating costs are all the Toyota models (Prius, Camry and Highlander Hybrid), all the Honda models (Insight and Civic Hybrid) and the Lexus HS250h.
  • Over a five year period, the hybrids that are the least costly to own and operate are the Honda Insight ($38,326), Toyota Prius ($40,324), and Honda Civic Hybrid ($42,664).
  • Hybrids with the greatest greenhouse gas (GHG) emission advantage over their gas-powered equivalents are:
      Toyota Prius (55% fewer GHG emissions)
      Ford Fusion Hybrid (38% fewer GHG emissions)
      Honda Civic Hybrid (37% fewer GHG emissions)
  • The hybrids with the lowest overall GHG emissions (kg of carbon per year) are:
      Toyota Prius (1748 kg/yr)
      Honda Civic Hybrid (2070 kg/yr)
      Honda Insight (2162 kg/yr)
      Ford Fusion Hybrid (2352 kg/yr)

MERCEDES-BENZ AMG HYBRID?
No, not kidding. Visit AMG Market | Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts for more info on AMG trends.

Renewable Energy: Tax Credits for Windspire

27 Jul

Windspire renewable energy - tax credits and incentivesClearly, tax incentives are necessary to motivate the public to invest in renewable energy sources. The capital expenditures for renewable energy are still high but we’re gaining ground.

The following includes tax credit information for Windspire products. We’ll continue to publish information on tax incentives and rebates as we find them. Please let us know if you know of any so we can help spread the word!

U.S. Federal Small Wind Tax Credit

U.S. home owners and businesses can save 30% off the total cost of their Windspires by applying for a 30% tax credit on their federal income taxes.  The credit applies to the total cost of the project, including the turbines and installation.

U.S. Businesses are also eligible to take their 30% tax credit as cash.  Under a new program introduced by the U.S. Treasury and Department of Energy, businesses may now collect their credit in cash within sixty days of completing an installation instead of waiting for an end of year tax credit.

To learn more about the program visit the U.S. Treasury website.

Local Rebates for Windspire Products

Local rebates are also available from state renewable energy funds and local power companies. In some states the rebates can be as high as $4,800 per Windspire.  Your local Windspire dealer can also help you understand your local and state rebates. You can also visit DSIRE, a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

From the Windspire blog: 9 Things to Know About Small Wind Power

Used to be if you wanted to put a wind turbine up at your house you either had to live on a remote farm, or grow your hair long and pledge allegiance to an aging group of touring musicians. Thanks to major improvements in technology and a general awareness of the benefits of making your own energy from clean and free wind, small wind power is going mainstream. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the US small wind market grew by 78% last year with many new turbines hitting the market. But more options don’t make finding the right wind power solution easy. If you are interested but not sure how to even get started, here are 9 things to know as you consider wind power. (Continue reading on the Windspire blog here)

I found the Windspire website while reading a HubSpot eBook about developing better B2B Facebook pages. The company’s Facebook page was one of the examples in the eBook; how to do a Facebook page right:

Windspire: www.windspireenergy.com
Employees: 11 to 25
Industry: Business Products
Facebook Fans: 2,7865
Page Features: Wall, Photos
Go to Facebook Page

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