Elisa Wood's Blog (69)

Define 'green' please

Describing a building as ‘green’ makes a lot of people cringe. The word is overused. And what does it mean exactly?

Serious efforts are underway to move away from the hype and offer a more specific analysis of a building’s energy performance. Think nutritional labels for food, except in kilowatt-hours instead of calories.

In fact, more than 50 national, regional and local governments have created policies to rate and disclose the energy efficiency of commercial buildings,…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 29, 2011 at 2:00am — 1 Comment

Denver: From brown cloud to green light

Guest blog by Cara Miale

When it comes to the green energy race, it’s not over until it’s over. Just look at the city of Denver.

For years the Mile High City was notorious for its brown cloud, a dirty layer of pollution that not only marred the city’s pristine mountain image, but also caused serious health problems.

Now Denver is the fifth greenest city among 27 rated in…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 22, 2011 at 9:54am — No Comments

Where to find jobs in energy efficiency

Here’s something you don’t hear people complain about much these days: worker shortages.  That is, unless you’re in energy efficiency, an industry that is booming as others are busting.

Sixty percent of those responding to a recent survey by the Association of Energy Services Professionals cited a lack of talented workers in energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency is a rapidly growing segment of the overall energy industry and we…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 14, 2011 at 6:30pm — 6 Comments

A no-granola case for energy efficiency

I attended a green energy conference nearly a decade ago in Washington, D.C., where several speakers expressed astonishment at the audience’s clothes. People were dressed in business attire. Where were the ponytails? The Birkenstocks?

The event marked a new age for green energy, the beginning of its migration from counter-culture to corporation.

Today green energy is, well, more like conglomeration. But still the industry carries remnants of its former self, the occasional…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 8, 2011 at 8:10am — No Comments

Google quits smart meters. Anyone care?

Who doesn’t pat themselves on the back when Google puts money into their industry? Ah, the giant likes this market. I must be on the right track!

So what does it mean now that Google has announced it will retire its Google PowerMeter because it didn’t catch on? Are all those companies who are investing in smart grid on the wrong track?

Clearly not. Google had star quality…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 1, 2011 at 8:22am — 9 Comments

A Green Cloud is a Transparent Cloud

By Eric Woods

Pike Research

Guest Blogger, Energy Efficiency Markets

June 22, 2011

At Connectivity Week in Santa Clara, recently, I took part in a series of panel discussions on data center energy efficiency. The discussions covered a wide range of issues from the practicalities of infrastructure optimization to the possible role of data centers in demand response schemes. There was a particular focus on the importance, and…

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Added by Elisa Wood on June 24, 2011 at 7:04am — No Comments

How did we grow an energy conscience?

The US has grown an energy conscience.  Just look around in stores that sell appliances, computers, televisions, light bulbs or any kind of electric equipment. You’ll see the words ‘energy saving’ or ‘energy efficient’ on a lot of the packaging.

This trend didn’t just happen, but is the result of some careful nurturing by government, most of it relatively invisible to the average consumer and certainly painless and free of sacrifice.

Of these policies, one of the most ingenious…

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Added by Elisa Wood on June 17, 2011 at 8:44am — No Comments

Looking forward to the day smart grid dies

The title of this blog might strike you as kind of weird, especially this week. After all, the Electric Power Research Institute made the news with a study showing that smart grid is going to be far bigger than we first thought.

Smart grid in simplest terms brings to the electrical grid the digital intelligence of computers and the Internet. Just seven years ago EPRI expected smartening the grid to cost $165 billion.  But its new…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 27, 2011 at 8:03am — No Comments

How the poor may boost clean tech

It’s not surprising that a company liked Greenhouse Holdings, which builds eco-friendly infrastructure, would have a thriving California-based operation.  But as John Galt, the company’s executive chairman and founder, told Renewable Energy World magazine, the company is not just focusing on wealthy…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 20, 2011 at 4:27am — No Comments

Energy efficiency absorbs water

Efforts have been underway for decades to conserve both energy and water, but never in concert. This is unfortunate because energy uses a lot of water and water uses a lot of energy.

Two leading conservation organizations have set out to bring the efforts together. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance for Water Efficiency this week published a white paper that describes the co-dependence of water and energy resources, and outlines strategies to use…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 13, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Energy efficiency and the annoying guy next door

Who would have thought backyards would cause so much trouble for the North American energy industry? First came the NIMBYs, the not-in-my-backyard protesters who block power projects from being built near them. And now we have the GIMBBYs – the give-me-a-bigger-backyard homeowners who are unwittingly getting in the way of energy efficiency.

GIMBBYs aren’t worried about seeing wind turbines or transmission lines from their backyards as are the NIMBYs. It’s the guy next store that they…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 6, 2011 at 12:48pm — 1 Comment

Energy efficiency and Weight Watchers

We’ve been hearing for years that the energy efficiency industry needs to find its equivalent to the cell phone. These days industry folks refer to it as the ‘killer app,” the revolutionary product or service that consumers can’t resist.

But lately, partly because I’m dieting, I’ve been thinking what energy efficiency really needs is something akin to a Weight Watchers dessert.

Let me explain…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 29, 2011 at 10:32am — No Comments

What's Denver doing on the EV-Ready list?

Guest Blog by Cara Miale

April 20, 2011

Looking at the list of the most EV-ready cities just released by Ford, it’s no surprise many of them are coastal. On the east and west coasts energy is pricey, so the pressure is on to achieve innovation that will control costs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

But what’s up with Denver out there in the middle of the map, all by its…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 22, 2011 at 9:35am — No Comments

Energy efficiency, the Nerd

The renewable energy business has done a remarkable job at positioning itself in the public psyche as the ‘it girl’ of our era.  Just about everyone – politicians, celebrities, major industries – likes to be seen as pro-renewable.

But if renewable energy is the girl that everyone wants to be photographed near, energy efficiency is her nerdy tag-along little brother.  Ever notice how when politicians say they support…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 15, 2011 at 8:35am — 2 Comments

Goodbye light bulb jokes?

Once upon a time, joking about ‘how many it takes to screw in a light bulb’ was a great way to poke fun at people’s intelligence. After all, what could be easier than screwing in a light bulb? Any idiot could do it.

Not so any more. Lighting has exploded into a sophisticated business. And for those who manage commercial buildings it can be downright intimidating.

Figuring out the difference between LEDs and CFLs is just the start. Then there are a whole range of dimmers,…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 9, 2011 at 12:44am — No Comments

US at top worldwide in EE innovation

This week’s energy news looks bad for the United States – at first glance. The nation has slipped to second behind China in clean energy investment. Moreover, five of the G-20 nations have surpassed the US for clean energy investment relative to size of economy.

But look at little deeper into the report, “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race,”  and you’ll see that the US did not slide in all forms of…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 1, 2011 at 2:34pm — 2 Comments

Electric Cars and the Kindness of Strangers

Guest blog by Cara Miale

March 23, 2011

As if we don’t have enough phobias already, now there is range anxiety, a malady brought on by the electric car. But it’s okay; there is a cure, or rather an app for that.

Studies indicate that many electric car drivers – and those considering joining the…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 25, 2011 at 7:55am — No Comments

Breaking light bulb myths

I have to agree with the Tea Party; the US government should not choose the light bulbs I use in my home.  And fortunately, it does not.

Yet that’s the spin being pushed by those who want to roll back federal lighting performance standards. An odd mythology is developing around the standards.

Opponents claim that the…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 18, 2011 at 6:06am — 1 Comment

May The Force Be Energy Efficient

It was hard to get excited about IBM’s Watson besting two humans in the TV game show Jeopardy and walking away with a $1 million prize last month. After all, thanks to the entertainment industry, we’ve seen robots and computers win in all kinds of ways, from HAL duping the smart astronauts in 2001: A Space Odyssey to R2D2 disabling the Death Star. What’s the big deal about racking up some trivia…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 11, 2011 at 4:00am — No Comments

Prospects for US energy efficiency companies in Israel

The push for energy efficiency has clearly become worldwide, creating new prospects for US green energy companies to pursue export and foreign partnerships.

One such opportunity comes from Israel, with the help of the United States-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF), a Washington-based non-profit organization.

Israel is not a country we hear much about in terms of energy opportunity. China, India, North America, South Korea, Japan – these countries tend to steal…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 4, 2011 at 9:46am — No Comments

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