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Riding on the coattails of a flurry of legislative activity occurring before August recess, House Democrats released their highly anticipated Climate Crisis Action Plan yesterday, billed as the most ambitious climate plan ever introduced. The 547-page, almost encyclopedic report confirms what we’ve known for a long time: efficiency is a critical component for achieving deep emissions reductions. It’s also great to see that efficiency and equity are woven throughout almost all the plan’s 12 “pillars,” rather than siloed to one section. Here are some of the ‘best in efficiency’ recommendations included.
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Fourth of July may be a day for fireworks, cherry pie, and eating way too many hot dogs, but it’s also a time to reflect on this country’s history—particularly if COVID-19 has changed your BBQ plans. As lovers of all things efficiency, we couldn’t help but take this opportunity to think back on the half-century history of energy efficiency in the U.S., and where we might just go from here.
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While Congress has yet to seriously consider legislation to help combat the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic – including its impacts on the energy sector workforce – both the House and Senate took first steps, recently hearing testimony from industry experts on how the energy sector can play a role in the economic recovery.

Several of the experts who testified promoted energy efficiency policies that would not only drive job...

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“If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that being prepared and having the right infrastructure in place are critical to our response capabilities.” - Alliance Interim President Clay Nesler

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear our aging infrastructure was not ready for a crisis of this scale. It’s also unfortunately evident that the economic fallout from this pandemic will have no quick fix, but will require long-term, targeted stimulus to provide families with relief and get millions of displaced workers back on the job. This unprecedented crisis calls for bold solutions to address our infrastructure’s state of disrepair and prepare our country for future emergencies.

That’s why we are thrilled to see Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Rep. Lisa...

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By Jeff Hamel , Director of Industry Partnerships, Google

Our nation’s energy system is witnessing an unprecedented transformation, and the implications are critical for addressing the climate crisis. Over the past decade, the grid has become increasingly digital and now includes connections to a host of distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs are physical and virtual assets that introduce flexibility and can provide value to the grid when used to effectively manage demand —think energy storage, smart devices, electric vehicles (EVs), and behind-the-meter renewables. These are important changes, because the climate...

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Among the many challenges of working from home, an increase in personal energy use might not be first on your mind. However, as summer arrives and millions of Americans continue to telework, your utility bills could be hit by a double whammy: at least one in five households have already experienced rising energy costs as people spend more time at home, and summer brings the highest electricity demand of the year as air conditioners flip on....

Better Buildings Summit 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE)’s annual Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit is the comic book convention of the efficiency sector. Each summer, more than 3,000 C-Suite executives, building managers, engineers, and other decision-makers convene for four days to explore emerging technologies and share strategies in energy and water efficiency.

The summit is hosted by the Better Buildings Initiative , a market-driven program housed within DOE that works with public and private sector partners to set and achieve aggressive energy reduction targets. You won’t see capes or cosplay at this summit, but don’t be fooled:...

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It’s no secret that COVID-19 upended any expectations for what 2020 might look like, but the impact on the energy efficiency sector has been particularly devastating. At the end of 2019, the efficiency industry celebrated unprecedented growth with potential for an even stronger year ahead. But instead, the industry saw a shocking 413,000 jobs lost in March and April. While May’s analysis, released by E2, E4TheFuture, and other partners, found that job losses slowed to 18,900, it showed an...

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Energy literacy programs present schools with both educational and financial opportunities. When schools do return to in-person instruction, utility costs will continue to be their second largest expenditure behind only personnel. Nationally, K-12 schools spend approximately $6 billion per year on energy, but approximately 25% of those costs could be saved through energy-efficient practices. Energy literacy programs translate STEM learning into hands-on projects that can significantly reduce that energy waste. The record speaks for itself: the Alliance’s PowerSave programs reduce energy use in participating schools by an average of 5-15%, leading to thousands of dollars in savings.
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Politicians don’t typically campaign on promises of increasing research and development (R&D) and innovation in the transportation sector. R&D is often viewed as esoteric, with impacts felt years down the road without the ribbon-cutting ceremonies that come with paying for roads, bridges, and public transit networks.

But make no mistake: While investments in R&D don’t have the political advantage of being ‘shovel ready,’ they are a critical component of our nation’s overall transportation strategy. Behind the scenes, R&D helps increase the efficiency of the transportation sector by bringing game-changing technologies to scale and by studying the policy and behavioral variables that contribute to things like traffic congestion, the use of mass transit, and more...

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