Green Building

 

A blooming industry, green building is rising with greater public demand, legislative focus, and code and standard mandates. With programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) becoming more popular, contractors are finding new building processes and technologies to be more efficient and environmentally minded. The below articles dive into alternative energies, energy efficiency, the smart grid, and more and include editorial from our annual special issue on the subject.

In 1985, Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder Amory Lovins coined the term “negawatt” to describe the value of electricity not used, either through improved energy efficiency or reduced consumption. At the time, he was considered a bit of a fringe thinker.

Despite a seeming current lack of interest in renewables and other green initiatives at the federal level, more companies, mayors, and states are picking up the slack and moving forward aggressively with such initiatives.

Released September 28, the 11th annual American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) State Energy Efficiency Scorecard provides information on how states rank in terms of their energy efficiency efforts, including those that are the most improved.

Already a leader among states in the adoption of green power policies, the Golden State has set its site on a new, more ambitious set of standards.

More on Green Building

 
String Theory

In the past few years, hundreds of thousands of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed for residential (dwelling) units, commercial buildings, industrial facilities and utility companies.


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Read The Signs

I recently did a workshop for a major city experiencing problems with inspections on photovoltaic (PV) systems during and after installation. The problem was between the inspection and fire department.


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Loan Program Gives Home Energy Upgrades a Boost

In the Herculean effort to wean the nation off fossil fuels, energy efficiency and renewable power share a common obstacle: cost. Despite growing national awareness and popular support, their prohibitive price tags prevent most American homeowners from making an upgrade.


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First 100 Percent Wind-Powered City in the United States

The city of Rock Port, Mo. holds the distinction of being the first community in the United States to be totally powered by wind energy.


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Payback Time

One of the biggest hurdles electrical contractors must jump when marketing their energy services is owners’ concerns about the initial investment they must make in order to reap the savings from a project.


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Editors' Pick
Let Your Experience Be Their Guide

The solar-power industry faces many challenges, and not all of them are of the financial variety. For many of your customers, entering this unfamiliar territory can seem daunting and risky, which may be a burden on them.


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Energy Conservation

As I mentioned in last month’s column, energy conservation is one of the four pillars of the electrical contractor’s energy services business. The other three pillars are energy efficiency, energy production and energy quality.


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