Category Archives: Sustainability

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rise for 1st Time in 3 Years

The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by 1.4% in 2017, the first rise in three years. GHG emissions have reached a historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes (Gt), a resumption of growth after three years of global emissions remaining flat. See https://www.iea.org/geco/. The increase in CO2e emissions, however, was not universal. While most major nations saw rises, some others experienced declines, including the U.S., United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan. The biggest decline came in the U.S., mainly because of growing installation of renewable sources of energy.

Improvements in global energy efficiency slowed down in 2017. The rate of decline in global energy intensity, the energy consumed per unit of economic output, slowed to only 1.6% in 2017, lower than the 2.0% decline in energy intensity seen in 2016.

The greatest growth in global energy demand was in Asia. China and India together represented over 40% of the increase. Energy demand in all advanced economies contributed over 20% of global energy demand growth, although their share in total energy use continued to fall.

Notable growth was also registered in Southeast Asia (which accounted for 8% of global energy demand growth) and Africa (6%), although per capita energy use in these regions still remains well below the global average.
In November 2017, the US EIA projected that growth in global CO2e emissions from energy-related sources will slow to 0.6% per year through 2040 despite increased energy consumption.

CCES has the experts to help your firms understand the technical aspects of all climate change rules and to help you organize a successful Climate Change or Energy program for diverse company types. We have helped others benefit! Contact us today at karell@CCESworld.com or at 914-584-6720.

Using Utilization and Activity Data in the Workplace

This blog and newsletter has published many articles on how to smartly save energy. But a broader issue to address, which will also save energy is about proper space utilization. How and when is our space being used throughout the day? If this issue can be managed well, then savings, not just in energy usage, but in rents and other expenses can be saved, as well. While many companies track when different spaces are used, also cataloging how effectively space is used can provide information about both the cost and the value of corporate real estate.

Many companies track worker population and usage of different portions of their space in order to understand the cost of their space, such as tracking employee density, square footage, energy consumption, and other costs. But additional studies can result in deeper understandings about how space results in greater efficiency, productivity, and retention.

To determine whether a company is getting its cost worth of a space, utilization data, such as how often spaces are used over a given time and by how many employees, is most important. Utilization refers to how often spaces are in use over a given period of time. Knowing the usage (or lack of usage) of space can help the company plan future usage better, more effectively using real estate costs. It also affects energy usage, as with utilization data, one can program thermostats more accurately to respond to real needs to keep warm or cold.

The follow up question is how best to obtain utilization data. The simplest way is to collect data that already exists, such as reservations for conference rooms. However, this way is inexact, as many of us know of people who reserve a conference room or other area and then never use it (but reserve it “just in case”) or use it for a much shorter time than planned. Thus, such data may need to be supplemented by humans actually walking down the halls and recording what’s going on from time to time to see if what is reserved is really happening. Of course, technology exists, too, to obtain this data. Sensors not only turn on and off lights, but also can collect data about how many people are in a room for a given amount of time if designed and programmed properly. Of course, researching, procuring, installing, and using such technology can be expensive. Depending on the accuracy needed, this can be helpful or an occasional walk-through by people can provide the accuracy needed.

How is this related to energy? Someone told me a story that is quite relevant. She told me that a review of reservations, backed up by some visual data indicated that a certain conference room, popular most of the time, was mainly unused in the summer. This room is in the southwest corner of the building and, therefore, tends to get warmer on a given summer afternoon. A check of the thermostat showed that it was set for 74 deg. during the day, perhaps a level not comfortable enough with the afternoon sun coming in. Resetting the thermostat for a few degrees lower encouraged others to utilize this conference room more.

But getting back to the broader question, it is paramount that your organization decide what your goals should be: to lower real estate or energy costs, or improve productivity? This will help you decide whether you want to focus on gathering more utilization data or more activity data of your employees throughout the facility. Then one decides whether it wants to utilize and coordinate sensor technology around the property (“passive” approach” and what type of technology or use instead human observations and/or interviews, of which there is software to manage responses and “crunch the numbers”.

CCES has the experts to help you study energy usage in your facility, including where in the building or doing which functions uses the most energy (and costs), and can help you pinpoint the most cost effective energy saving strategies. Contact us today at karell@CCESworld.com or at 914-584-6720.

Tips To Gain Support for Your “Green” Program

One of the most difficult items for an environmental/sustainability manager to deal with is showing progress in a program that you know is beneficial, but others at the firm do not understand or are fearful of. How do you educate your colleagues and get them on your side, so you have support as you implement changes to be more “green”? Here are some proven ideas on how some companies promote “green” programs.

1. The standard is set at the top. There is no question that culture and change and importance of philosophy starts at the top, with – quite literally – the CEO. Whether it is just saving energy costs or a comprehensive sustainability program, the CEO stating support for the program goes a long way. I was involved in a project to establish a sustainability program for an entity and the head person was all for it. He understood the benefits and wanted to maximize these and get ahead of his competitors. He sent a mandate to cooperate and move toward a more sustainable future. An environmental committee was established. But then the Great Recession hit and several existential issues came up for the firm. The leader lost interest in sustainability. Then, members of the environmental committee stopped returning my emails and voicemails; the project ground to a halt. I convened a meeting of this committee and most members revealed to me they did not believe in climate change or sustainability, Al Gore was a ___ (well, I won’t use the language here!), sustainability was a foreign plot to take over the US, etc. When the head was interested in sustainability, these employees had to cooperate. But once the leader lost interest, they let their true feelings show and it derailed the project.

Since the “top” is so important to jumpstart a “green” program, it is important that you, as a manager, reach the CEO or other head and educate him/her on what the program is all about (I dealt with a senior VP of a company who thought a “green” program was just planting trees. Really!). Emphasize the benefits, but do not overpromise or give the impression these items will appear overnight. This education is not one-time, and it must be continual. You must keep track of how the program is doing and inform the leader. Also, manage expectations. Make sure leaders understand that achievements occur slowly, but they themselves will lead to more benefits down the road.

2. Establish a winning culture/brand. Perhaps more important than a strategy or procedures is establishing a “green” culture, such as no tolerance for environmental or OSHA violations or looking to avoid wasting of energy, water, etc. First, know the entity, its history, its own culture and people, and then you can establish a “green” culture that is likely to be accepted by most people. Software programs exist to help assess the current culture of a company. People like consistency, and stating and maintaining goals like these make others realize the value of a “green” program to a company (besides saving costs) and that the program is here to stay. This culture should be spread to other groups to give the environmental group a positive identity. Take the time to explain to all who will listen the culture and how they benefit.

3. Go beyond the workplace. While the top rung of management is most important to support a “green” program, it is important to communicate the program to all levels of stakeholders. Support is needed from all layers. One way to achieve this is not just to implement changes to reduce energy use, water use, etc. at the facilities, but also to recommend strategies for employees to engender energy, water, etc. savings themselves at home. Let them be “heroes” to their families for saving money or the planet, and they will return the support tremendously.

4. Communicate rationally, yet emotionally, too. We engineers tend to communicate using only facts, numbers, savings, comparisons, etc. It’s what we’re used to. But to promote a “green” program, this will not work for many; their eyes will glaze over! Therefore, in addition to communicating the facts, it is also important to engage one’s calls to action in their hearts as well as their minds. The “green” program not only benefits the bottomline, but also the livability of the immediate area and the Earth as a whole. Make others feel like they are part of something consequential, and you will engender more support. Of course, with a “green” program, there is much to choose to show positive consequential outcomes.

5. Assess and adapt. One strategy does not always work well or approaches need to change as a “green” program progresses and matures. Periodically assess where your “green” program is – not only how it’s doing, but also its acceptance in your company. You may need to make some changes to the communication or to who you communicate with to engender further support. Assess and adapt to new realities to gain followers and momentum.

6. Don’t give up. The first Earth Day may have been in 1970, but for many, the environment is this fuzzy concept that does not affect them. Education about the environment has lagged, and many still do not understand its importance to everyday life. And sustainability is an even newer concept. Certainly anybody who is a leader likely did not learn about sustainability in Business or Engineering School “back then”. People innately feel that if they did not learn it in school is must not be important.

Therefore, it is not only the rational and emotional message, but the fact that it is sustained that will make people learn and understand the importance of these concepts. Constant education and communication about different aspects of environment, energy, and sustainability are needed, not only during the early stages of establishing a program, but later on, as well, even after the major elements of the plan are in place. Communication by multiple means has been shown to be effective.

CCES has the experts to help your company establish a “green” or sustainability or energy conservation program – not just the technical expertise, but we can help you organize it and begin the communication process to engender support in your firm. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.

Saving Energy Can Also Improve Air Quality

This blog has covered extensively the many financial benefits of saving energy. According to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Physicians for Social Responsibility concludes that saving energy can reduce the number of asthma attacks and other adverse health effects of air pollution from power plants. See http://aceee.org/research-report/h1801. This report concludes that reducing annual electricity use by 15% nationwide would prolong more than 6 lives every day, prevent nearly 30,000 asthma episodes each year, and save Americans up to $20 billion annually in avoided health care costs.

The cause and effect is simple. When less energy is needed, power plant emissions decrease, reducing byproducts of combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas into the atmosphere, some of which are tied to asthma, lung cancer, and other maladies. The report estimates that this reduction in pollution and harmful health effects would be enough to pay the annual health insurance premiums for nearly 3.6 million families.

The report estimates total potential avoided adverse health effects, such as heart attacks, respiratory illnesses, premature deaths, and emergency room visits to treat asthma, that could be achieved with a 15% reduction in electricity use across the country. Using USEPA modeling tools to identify the quantity of pollutants which would be avoided, the report ranks states and the 50 largest cities by their potential health benefits. According to the analysis, New York City would see the greatest benefits (more than $1 billion/year in avoided health costs), followed by Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. The dollar value of avoided health cost would average more than $70/person in the highest impacted cities, with Pittsburgh seeing the greatest per capita benefits: over $200/person on average. West Virginia would see the greatest benefits per person for a state: $184 on average.

Therefore, this evaluation demonstrates that a viable strategy to improve public health is to encourage improves energy efficiency. A further benefit is that the vast majority of energy efficiency measures results in energy savings and, therefore, reduced power plant emissions, over many years, meaning public health would benefit and costs reduced for many years. While the degree of benefit is certainly quite site-specific, any facility that undergoes an energy upgrade, becoming more energy efficient, can state that they likely will have, as an additional benefits, reduced emissions in areas around the power plant it gets power from and improved health of those nearby residents.

CCES has the experience to help you implement a smart energy efficiency program to reduce energy demand, reduce costs, and reduce air emissions from your facility and from the power plant that supplies you with electricity. We can help you economically reduce emissions from other sources to show a positive societal contribution. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.

Plan for Installing Occupancy Sensors

A few years ago I performed an energy audit for an office building and developed a good half-dozen sound energy strategies to save them money. While discussing occupancy sensors with the building’s owner, he understood its value. I offered to help, but he turned me down. He was going to go to the nearest Home Depot to pick up some on sale and install them himself. Well, big mistake. I suppose this owner so understood the simplicity of how an occupancy sensor works that he felt that no thinking was necessary. On the contrary, proper planning will make the difference between a reliable, cost-saving venture vs. an unsuccessful one. A few things to consider:

1. Invest time, determine where sensors can save the most by observation. Determine which areas have long periods of dormancy and can use occupancy sensors to save energy and which areas are regularly used. Yes, one can guess the need for occupancy sensors by evaluating a room’s use (for example, an IT room, where, theoretically, people enter rarely). One can review conference room reservation logs, but in many cases, rooms are fully booked, but hardly actually used. Thus, spend a few days to observe which rooms are actually unoccupied for long periods. Perhaps there is significant flow in and out of the IT room after all; perhaps a conference room really is or is not used as much as the logs show.

2. Accurate, up-to-date floor plans. Once areas are identified, plans are needed to determine which lights and electrical panels serve each space to place the sensors appropriately. With this information you can determine in which rooms to place occupancy sensors (connected to which panels) to get the best effect.

3. Placement of sensors. This is crucial to their effectiveness and occupant satisfaction. Sensors should be capable of “seeing” anyone who comes in the door. In some cases, multiple sensors may be needed for odd-shaped rooms or for spaces shielded by high cubicle walls or cabinets. Do you place the sensor high up on a wall “to see” more of an area, but make it inconvenient to repair? Or closer to where people work?

4. Pick your occupancy sensor brand carefully. Don’t buy them just because they are cheaper or are on sale. There are differences in quality and sensitivity. Installing the “wrong” sensors can affect morale and efficiency. If your budget allows, consider dual technology sensors, those that sense both motion and thermal, particularly for large or odd-shaped spaces. You don’t want lights going out just because people in a room have not moved in some time. This just happened to me. The host was quite embarrassed.

5. Provide early notification to staff. Establish an installation schedule and give advance notice to staff approximately when occupancy sensor installation will occur in their areas. Send staff either a brochure or some summary of the specs. of the sensors, so they have an idea of what it can and will do.

Final question: does one still procure occupancy sensors if one has switched to LEDs? Installing LEDs and saving energy costs should not preclude one from installing occupancy sensors. Even reduced wattage lamps, such as LEDs, represent wasted electricity and cost if on for many hours when a space is unused. The math may be different (lower savings because the cost of wasted electricity is lower), but in most cases there should be a reasonable, if somewhat longer payback for using occupancy sensors.

CCES has the experts to help you perform a full assessment of your lighting and total energy usage and needs, and provide detailed smart strategies to reduce usage, demand, and cost that have worked for others. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.

Reducing Water Usage Saves Energy, Too

While the focus of this blog has been on energy use and demand and greenhouse gas emission reductions, it should not be forgotten that an effective sustainability and self-improvement plan addresses other issues, such as water conservation, solid waste generation (or lack thereof), etc. A recent study indicated that while California was just short of meeting its goal of a 25% water use reduction in 2015, when most of the state was in a severe drought, the policies implemented in the program did result in additional benefits. See https://phys.org/news/2018-01-california-bonus-effects.html

Coming off a four-year drought, California ultimately reduced water usage by 524,000 million gallons. In addition, it was determined that this action resulted in a decrease in electricity usage of about 1,830 GWh, which exceeded electricity savings achieved by investor-owned electricity utilities’ efficiency programs during the same period. In addition, significant declines were seen in natural gas and oil usage for generators in water service. This also resulted in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of about 524,000 metric tons of CO2e.

California implemented a Water Action Plan, with strict guidelines for continuing to manage water use in the state. These guidelines were localized to the needs of the state’s 410 urban water suppliers. Businesses and homeowners have and will continue to face restrictions such as bans on wasteful practices such as hosing sidewalks and watering lawns after rain. Strict planning, measurement of water use, and reporting were also required.

These results should not be a surprise as previous inventories have indicated that water transportation, treatment, distribution and end-use consumption account for 19% of total electricity demand in California. With significantly less water to manage and use, electricity demand would be expected to and did decline.
This can be a lesson for other states, counties, and communities that wish or need to decrease total energy usage and/or greenhouse gas emissions. Reduced water usage (particularly, reduced waste) will lead to significant energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

CCES has the experts to help your entity reduce water, as well as energy, usage waste and maximize the financial gains for you. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation discussion about the matter at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.

U.S. Saving Energy And Reducing GHG Emissions – By Staying Home

Because of changes in technology and culture, Americans are spending more time home than ever before. Working from home, shopping online, streaming movies (instead of going to the movie theater), even “staycations” and otherwise “chilling”, Americans are travelling less and a new study shows that this has made a difference in our carbon footprint. See http://www.wral.com/americans-are-staying-home-more-that-s-saving-energy-/17299025/

New research suggests that these new technologies and their acceptance enable Americans to spend more time home, reducing energy use, and, with it greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Researchers found that, on average, Americans spent 7.8 more days at home in 2012, compared to 2003. For people 18 to 24, it is 14 more days at home and 4 days less time travelling in a year. They calculated that this reduced time going to work, the mall, restaurants, etc. reduced national energy demand by 1,700 trillion BTUs in 2012, or 1.8% of total energy use.

The reduction in time travelling appears to have the greatest impact on energy saved and GHG emissions reduced, as energy intensity of travelling is 20 times greater than staying at home. Even the time Americans travel is more efficient than in the past, saving energy. Decades ago when most families had a breadwinner and a homemaker, the worker commuted to work and returned straight home, while the homemaker would go out shopping. Now it is more common that the person returning from work stops off at the store to buy some things on the same return trip. This reduces total miles travelled.

The trend is certainly solid of more and more firms allowing workers to work from home. Online services and video conferencing allow the worker to be as efficient at home where the energy intensity is lower than in most offices. At the same time, companies are saving money and energy by consolidating office space. The growth in the U.S. of entrepreneurs working at home instead of renting space is another likewise trend.

One additional growing HR trend that appears to be increasing energy use is the nearly doubling of part-time workers in the U.S. during this period. More employers are hiring people on a part-time basis only, and many workers survive by holding more than one part-time job, raising the potential commuting distance and time and, thus, energy use.

CCES has the expertise to help your company manage and reduce energy use by the design of your facility and audit and upgrade of your energy using equipment. We can examine your operations and advice you on how to take advantage as employee counts change. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.

USEPA Announces 2018 Renewable Fuel Standards

On December 12, 2017, the USEPA published in the Federal Register final volume requirements and associated percentage standards for its renewable fuel standards (RFS) program for calendar year 2018, as well as the biomass-based diesel volume requirement for 2019. See: https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/final-renewable-fuel-standards-2018-and-biomass-based-diesel-volume

As can be seen in the table below, he annual volume quotas for how much renewable fuel must be added to gasoline and diesel are virtually unchanged from 2017. These values set national standards for distributors to reduce the overall use of petroleum-based fuel.

Final Volume Requirements                     2017            2018            2019
Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)           311               288                 –
Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)       2.0                2.1              2.1
Advanced biofuel (billion gallons)              4.28              4.29              –
Renewable fuel (billion gallons)               19.28            19.29              –

The reaction to this was mixed. Many had feared that the USEPA would reverse the trend and lower significantly the required introduction of various biofuel, which current leadership sees as a hindrance to business. For them this is a victory.

However, many in the renewable fuel industry saw keeping requirements pretty much flat as harmful to business growth. The National Biodiesel Board and the governor of at least one corn-growing state complained that keeping requirements flat would harm many U.S. business sectors, including farmers, producers, truckers, and consumers.

Meanwhile, the petroleum industry was also disappointed with the flat RFS volumes of the coming year, and that the USEPA’s failed to repair a flawed program that answers to corn and other interests.

CCES has the energy experts to help you assess your fuel and electricity sources to maximize financial benefits and to strategize to ensure you have reliable fuel sources. Contact us today at karell@CCESworld.com or at 914-584-6720.

Lowering Energy Costs of Data Centers

Data centers and their servers within them are of growing importance to companies. As companies have painfully learned during non-functional periods, such as breakdowns, severe storms, or blackouts, the cost for a company of losing data is tremendous. It has been cataloged that many companies went out of business as a result of hurricanes or other natural disasters that caused data centers to stop functioning and lose data. After all, a lot of what a company is its data. Without which (for controls, sales, marketing, etc.) it can be existential. Even “small” companies realize the importance of a high-quality data center system.

Therefore, in utilizing larger and more redundant equipment and systems, companies are finding themselves paying a heavy energy cost penalty. Not only must they operate large amounts of energy-using equipment, but to prevent malfunctions (often due to excessive heating of systems), such data centers are often cooled 24/7 to very low temperatures, extracting a cooling energy penalty, too.

What can be done to maintain the reliability of a data center, or but save some energy costs, too?  The federal government’s Energy Star lists 12 items an operator can do to manage and minimize energy use and costs of a data center. See: https://www.energystar.gov/products/low_carbon_it_campaign/12_ways_save_energy_data_center These include decommissioning non-functioning systems, consolidating under-used servers, utilizing fans with variable speed drives, utilizing HVAC with air-side or water-side economizers, and others. The webpage lists several case studies.

Another way to reduce costs and improve reliability is to implement combined heat and power (CHP cogen) systems to supply electricity for data centers. CHP utilizes the waste heat from a boiler that would otherwise be lost to produce electricity, reducing the amount purchased from the local utility. Early data centers were often located remote from other offices or facilities of a firm, but the more recent trend is to co-locate a data center within an existing facility, often the corporate headquarters. This makes CHP more appealing, as it can produce electricity and steam for multiple functions besides a data center.

According to Persistence Market Research (https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/mediarelease/us-combined-heat-and-Power-systems-market.asp), growth in CHP for data centers in the U.S. will be at 3.4% annually through 2024, as business owners see rising energy costs, and need to minimize the rising usage with maintaining a reliable data center. A growing number of utilities encourage companies to generate their own electricity and putting less demand onto the grid, and will provide financial incentives to incorporate. Revenue sales of CHP systems for data centers is estimated to reach $277 million in 2024, and will be predominantly high in five high-use energy states known to have corporate and data centers, California, New York, Washington, Texas and Massachusetts.

Data centers with greater and more sophisticated servers will become more common as the risk of losing data through natural disasters or loss of power becomes recognized as a critical issue for a company’s survival. These more redundant systems have an energy penalty associated with it, therefore, driving efforts to maintain such systems in a reliable manner while minimizing energy costs.

CCES has the technical experts to help you assess all of your company’s or building’s energy needs and be able to have you function normally and reliably, while reducing your energy costs and getting additional financial benefits, as well (improve sales, reduce O&M, etc.). We are here to maximize your financial benefits for utilizing smart energy conservation methods. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.

Climate Change News End of Year – 2017

Trump Administration Reiterates Objection to Paris Climate Agreement

The big US climate change news of the year is President Trump’s announcement that the US will pull out of the Paris Climate Accord because developing nations would get to play by a different set of rules from those of the US. The Paris Accord is voluntary, however, as each country would determine how much greenhouse gas emissions it can reduce. At the time the Accord was signed, the Obama Administration said it would decrease US GHG emissions by 28% by 2025. The U.S. is already about halfway to meeting the goal due to large turnover of coal-fired power plants to natural gas and other changes, triggered by market forces. Meanwhile, China said that its GHG emissions would rise before tapering off around 2030 because of power plants already operating. As a developing country, China would be permitted to prioritize growth, even though it is the world’s largest GHG emitter. In addition, the richer nations will contribute to a $100 billion fund, seen as an investment, to help developing nations reduce GHGs. These areas are what the current administration object to, although the US would be the only nation in the world not to be part of the Accord if it pulls out.

While President Trump, despite discussions with world leaders, reiterated his desire for the US to pull out of the Paris accord late in the year. However, a series of horrific disasters (several major hurricanes and rain events and wildfires in California) in the second half of this year have widely been analyzed as having been worsened by climate change. As a result, public opinion polls indicate a solid majority of Americans (even conservatives) believe that climate change is real and harmful, and a majority believe the government should do something about it. Whether that will cause President Trump to reverse course and stay in the Paris Accord is unknown.

In the meantime, a number of US states and cities have stated that they will pursue policies that would reduce GHG emissions in alignment with those required of the Paris Accord. California is perhaps the most resistant to the federal rejection of the global agreement, and is looking to forge an agreement with other nations and provinces to establish a market-based system to encourage major GHG emitters to decrease emissions by global standards. Massachusetts has confirmed its goals initially formed through their Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. Both New York State and New York City have active plans to achieve the same goals.

EIA Projects 0.6% Annual Growth in GHG Emissions

The US Energy Information Administration projects that growth in global GHG emissions from energy-related sources will drop to 0.6%/year through 2040 despite increased energy consumption. See https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/. GHG emissions rose by about 1.8% per year from 1990 to 2015.

The EIA says that this decrease is/will be caused by the continued switch to renewable sources of energy, estimated to rise in use by an average 2.3% per year between 2015 and 2040. Nuclear power consumption is estimated to increase by 1.5% per year over that period. The small rise in GHG emissions is still projected despite these advances because of increases in energy-using processes due to projected business growth.

The EIA projects the average growth in commercial energy use of 1.2% per year from 2015 to 2040, with the highest rates of growth in developing nations.

US Supreme Court To Rule on Solar Power Growth and Regulation

On December 1, the US Supreme Court announced it would hear a case about whether a utility can charge ratepayers a fee for having solar panels. SolarCity initially sued Salt River Project, an Arizona utility, over its 2015 decision to charge a fee for solar power systems operated by individuals. SolarCity argued that these fees were implemented in order to make rooftop solar systems too expensive to be competitive, in violation of federal antitrust laws. Salt River Project argued that they had the right to levy this fee as part of its statutory pricing process, exempting it from federal antitrust laws.

A district court and circuit court made different rulings. The US Supreme Court expressed interest in deciding whether utilities are exempt from antitrust laws in its decision and rate and fee-setting process. The Court’s decision, expected in June 2018, will be closely watched by the solar power industry for its future ramifications.

CCES has the technical experts to help your entity (company or municipality) remain knowledgeable about changes in climate change rules and policies throughout the US, and about changes in technologies to help you assess the right policy and GHG emission reduction goal that is right for you. And to enable you to maximize financial benefits from addressing climate change. Contact us today at karell@CCESworld.com or at 914-584-6720.