From microwave ovens to Humvees, the military has a long history of developing and fine-tuning new technologies that later become accessible to the general public. To be sure, some have flopped while others have become household necessities.
In the quest for more widespread adoption of energy-efficiency measures, cost is one of the biggest challenges, as it is for so many of the new technologies considered integral to green building. However, in one state, officials may have found a solution.
Once only a luxury item for the wealthy, home automation technology that integrates a house’s electrical and low-voltage devices is becoming more commonplace in U.S. residences. Previously, its adoption was sluggish because of the installation complexity and high cost.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a report that promised to shake up the broadband world. To some extent, the report, “Measuring Broadband America,” provided results that weren’t very surprising but still good to see on paper.
In mid-July, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) placed the last two transmission lines, both from Widows Creek Fossil Plant, back in service 74 days after sustaining unprecedented damage due to severe storms and tornadoes in April on its power transmission system.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Verizon signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that could lead to the development of innovative ways to reduce energy use in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.
Better known for its heroics on the battlefield, the U.S. Army is leading by example on another front: the fight to save energy. Earlier this year, the Army announced six installations that will participate in its pilot net-zero energy conservation program.
During the opening minutes of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” set in a dimly lit saloon, Butch teasingly warns Sundance that maybe he shouldn’t be getting into gunfights anymore. “We all keep getting older,” Butch said.
The ongoing energy-efficiency work at the Empire State Building has achieved another milestone on its journey toward sustainability leadership in the commercial real estate community by receiving its second Energy Star certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Although the worldwide economy continued to sputter in 2010, there was at least one bright spot on the global stage. According to a recent study, renewable power showed its perseverance last year, fighting off headwinds and gaining traction.
It’s hard to imagine where technological innovation will go next, with so much inventive ground already covered, if not trampled. A recent announcement indicates there is still plenty of room for groundbreaking change, especially when it comes to wireless devices.
In the ambitious task of retrofitting existing structures with the latest energy-saving technologies, one critical area is the nation’s aging stock of affordable housing. One of the biggest obstacles to making the needed improvements is the lack of adequate financing.
In late July, utilities across the country issued notices to their customers, pleading with them to minimize energy use during the projected heat wave—a prolonged period in which every state in the country broke heat records.
It’s a generally accepted belief that people tend to be wary of things that are unfamiliar to them, so it would make sense this behavior would extend to the smart grid and smart meters, a relatively new trend in an industry on which most consumers are not educated.
Sometimes, big change comes in small steps. For example, consumers have long since bought, literally and figuratively, into the notion that they can do their part to save energy by making seemingly innocuous changes to their daily lives, such as purchasing only compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
Black & Veatch, a consultancy company, evaluated a one-year smart meter pilot program for ComEd, the Chicago-area utility. They found customers of the utility could save $2.8 billion on their electric bills over the 20-year life of a smart meter.