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In Advocacy and policy 10.12.2015

Free webinar: Opportunities for affordable housing and energy efficiency in the Clean...

In concert with other members of a clean power working group, USGBC presents a free webinar about the Clean Power Plan on Thursday, Oct. 15 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. EDT. The Clean Power Plan (CPP), issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month, represents our nation’s strongest commitment to date in addressing the contributors to climate change. By establishing limits for existing power plants—the largest source of carbon emissions—the...

In Advocacy and policy 09.28.2015

Operational efficiency: doing the same, with less

To many people, “energy efficiency” means swapping out incandescent light bulbs for more efficient LEDs or upgrading an HVAC system. But small operational changes in how a facility or campus operates can result in huge savings as well, without the price tag of retrofits. In fact, FirstFuel has found that low- or no-cost efficiency measures represent over 50 percent of the potential energy efficiency savings in commercial buildings. Operational inefficiencies are often hiding in...

In Advocacy and policy 09.18.2015

Benchmarking in Montgomery County, Maryland

It was a busy summer for building energy benchmarking in Montgomery County. In May 2014, the Montgomery County Council adopted Bill 2-14, Environmental Sustainability—Buildings—Benchmarking, requiring the county and building owners to benchmark energy use in certain nonresidential buildings of 50,000 square feet or greater with the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Summary statistics of the data are to be reported to the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection,...

In Advocacy and policy 08.18.2015

Chattanooga's gone green: Three take-aways

Last month, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and green|spaces released a regional sustainability website highlighting best practices in the region. It includes an action-packed timeline that tells the green side of the fabled revival story of this Southeastern Tennessee city. As you probably know, there hasn't always been a lot of green to boast about. Between the golden ages of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and the crowning of Outdoor Magazine’s Best Town Ever, there was a time when...

In Advocacy and policy 10.12.2015

Government watchdog doesn’t bark at using LEED

With the release of the Clean Power Plan and consideration of comprehensive energy legislation, the last few weeks have been pretty active with regard to energy efficiency and buildings. One item that hasn’t been getting as much attention as it deserves is the recent report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that third-party rating systems like LEED assist federal agencies in implementing key efficiency goals. An...

In Advocacy and policy 09.25.2015

Free for local governments: emission inventory tool ClearPath and webinar

Thanks to a generous grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, ICLEI USA’s ClearPath is now available to any U.S. city, county or regional government for free through the end of 2018.  ICLEI, C40, and the Compact of Mayors will hold a webinar on Monday, Sept. 28 at 4:00 p.m. EST to explain the Compact and ClearPath. We encourage local governments to join and learn more!  ClearPath is the leading online platform for compiling greenhouse gas inventories at the community-wide or...

In Advocacy and policy 09.14.2015

USGBC President attends White House Smart Cities Forum

The White House called together a group of experts from the private and public sectors to work together on advancing sustainability in cities across the United States through sharing of experiences and best practices. Roger Platt, USGBC President, was among the many climate leaders at the White House convening on smart city solutions. This event brought together leading thinkers and practitioners from government, the research community, cities, civil society and the tech sector to discuss...

In Advocacy and policy 08.4.2015

Senate Energy Committee approves comprehensive energy legislation

Last week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced a comprehensive energy package by a wide bipartisan margin. The Energy Policy Modernization Act, which includes provisions on efficiency, infrastructure, supply and accountability, was approved on an 18-4 vote in the committee. The bill reflects input from multiple hearings this year and picks up on a number of energy proposals advanced in previous congresses. It also contains provisions that are important to the efficiency...

In Advocacy and policy 10.2.2015

How Arlington County is incentivizing LEED

Just across the Potomac from the USGBC headquarters in Washington, D.C., Arlington County, Virginia is updating its Green Building Incentive Program and adopting the latest version of the LEED green building rating system, v4, as the program’s standard—more than a year before the "sunset date" for project registration under LEED 2009.  Beginning Oct. 1, developers applying for a density bonus under the program, using LEED, must seek certification under LEED...

In Advocacy and policy 09.24.2015

Speak out for climate action and clean buildings

USGBC is excited to announce a new campaign leading up to Greenbuild 2015 and COP21 Climate Negotiations in Paris, calling on USGBC member businesses to sign on to the Building and Real Estate Climate Declaration. Working with engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, USGBC and the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) are collaborating on this campaign with Ceres, an organization dedicated to sustainability leadership, to support a clear statement for climate action by our government. Impressively, there...

In Advocacy and policy 08.26.2015

Reinventing America's post-industrial cities through green building

Over the course of two decades, Catherine Tumber has had a distinguished career as a researcher, journalist and university lecturer. She has a Ph.D. in U.S. social and cultural history, and has been a research associate for the MIT School of Architecture and Planning’s Community Innovator’s Lab prior to assuming her current role as a senior research associate for Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. Along the way she has also served as an...

In Advocacy and policy 07.23.2015

Barriers to industrial energy efficiency: LEED can help!

As the industrial sector’s relative significance in U.S. energy use grows, tapping into the sector’s efficiency potential becomes more critical as well. In 2012, the industrial sector accounted for 32% of all energy consumption, and by 2025 its share is expected to exceed 36%. Manufacturing operations accounted for 74% of the industrial sector, representing 24% of all energy consumed in the U.S. in 2012 (EIA).  Barriers to Industrial Energy Efficiency, a Report to Congress...

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