Energy efficiency key to reducing carbon emissions EPA Administrator says

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy emphasized the importance of energy efficiency to achieving reductions in carbon emissions during her keynote address today at the U.S. Energy Association’s 2014 Energy Efficiency Forum.

McCarthy spoke to over two hundred people in the ballroom of the National Press Club about the President’s proposed rule to cut carbon emissions from existing electric power plants, one piece of the President’s action plan to address climate change.

Facing a divided Congress, the President took executive action in June 2013, and released a broad Climate Action Plan. As part of that plan, he directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon emissions from new, modified and reconstructed, and existing electric power plants.

The EPA followed through with three proposed rules. In September 2013, the EPA proposed revised limits on carbon emissions from new power plants.

On June 2, 2014, the EPA proposed performance standards for modified and reconstructed power plants. These standards were consistent with the ones the EPA had proposed for new plants.

On June 2, 2014, the EPA also proposed state-based guidelines and limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants.

The proposed rule addressing existing power plants leaves flexibility for states to choose among a variety of ways to meet the rule’s federal, state-specific emission goals. “[Energy] efficiency is a big part of the answer,” McCarthy said, referring to what states can do to implement the EPA’s proposed rule.

Energy efficiency can reduce carbon emissions and lower electric generation costs. Businesses and people can achieve greater energy efficiency by monitoring their energy use, installing Energy-Star-rated lights and appliances, and following LEED guidelines for designing, constructing and operating buildings.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for private sector investment.”McCarthy told the attendees, many of whom were affiliated with organizations that develop, sell or purchase energy-efficiency products or services.

“[W]e have a moral obligation to our children and their children [to cut carbon emissions],” McCarthy said.

Can window film help your business prepare for storm season?

Recently, we showed you how to prepare your business for the Florida hurricane season. To see those tips click here. What we didn’t mention, however, was the role of window film in helping to prepare your business for storm season.

According to Jeffrey Plummer, senior vice president of Sales, Marketing, and Distribution at Madico – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of laminating and coating solutions based in St. Petersburg, Florida – window film can provide an added measure of safety during a powerful storm in several ways. Properly installed, it can:

Help hold glass in windows together and helping to prevent it from shattering;
Help prevent potential physical harm to you and your employees;
Help prevent high, destructive winds from entering your office space;
Serve as a passive protection in the event hurricane approved shutters or other systems can’t be installed prior to a storm.

Window film can provide additional benefits such as anti-intrusion protection. It can also help protect against damage and injury due to accidental glass breakage or shattering. Plus, it can have year-round solar control benefits, potentially cutting your energy costs.

Granted, window film by itself is not a solution for storm protection. Nor can it keep glass from breaking or guarantee that the window unit will remain intact. And it isn’t a replacement for other storm protection measures such as shutters. For that reason, insurance companies won’t give your business a “hurricane mitigation discount” if you use it.

However, window film is becoming an increasingly popular solution to mitigate the dangers of high-powered winds and one that your green business ought to learn more about.

Free opportunity to speak on sustainability and grow your green business

Tips for Green Living at the 14th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup & Sustainable Living Expo

Share your expertise with an audience searching for solutions on how to live healthier and more sustainably at the 14th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup & Sustainable Living Expo (The Roundup). Thousands of people gather annually at The Roundup to explore eco friendly solutions and efficient lifestyles for a greener, leaner, healthier Texas. Sharing your expertise promotes your business while educating and benefiting the public. There is no cost to speakers but you must fill out an application by August 1st to be considered. Exhibitors registering before June 16 receive a significant discount.

TOPICS

• Renewable energy; solar, wind, biomass and other resources and services

• Smart Grid technologies available to homeowners now

• Green Building and remodeling

• Sustainable transportation solutions

• Tips for improving health and well being

• Insights on organic gardening and cooking, tree care and soil care

• Climate Change innovation

• Texas water conservation and drought solutions

Texans will find a format that is interactive, entertaining and informative.

• Workshops

• Expert panel discussions moderated by local leaders

• Keynote speakers and educational speakers

• Exhibits

• Product demos

• Healthy cooking demos & natural, organic foods cafe

• An expanded education day on Friday, September 26th

DATES

• Grand Opening & Education Day Friday, September 26th, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

• Saturday, September 27th, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

• Sunday, September 28th, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

LOCATION

Bell County Expo Center, 301 W Loop 121 (at IH-35), Belton, TX 76513

COST

Friday, Saturday & Sunday $8. 3-day Pass $20. Military, Senior & Student discounts available.

To get details, special offers, and other information sign up for the newsletter at http://theroundup.org.

The Roundup is co-organized by Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) and the Texas Center for Policy Studies(TCPS). For information call (512) 345-6831 or email [email protected]

TREIA is the oldest renewable energy non-profit trade organization in Texas. For thirty years, it has promoted development of sustainable, renewable resources and their wise use.

TCPS was founded in 1982, Texas Center for Policy Studies (TCPS) brings together people and the information necessary to ensure that growth and development in our region enhances, rather than diminishes, quality of life.

Summer chimney maintenance list

All chimneys need maintenance and summer is the best time to do these tasks before the busy fall season arrives. Many problems can be avoided or mitigated before they become serious and expensive repair issues. Here are some tips from experts at the Midwest Chimney Safety Council about how to identify common problems, and suggestions for solutions.