Tag: energy

Integrated Planning Offers A Better Way to Comply With the Clean Water Act

Last January, President Trump signed bipartisan legislation to benefit cities, towns, and villages with municipal storm sewer systems (MS4s) and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act codifies the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) integrated planning framework in the Clean Water Act (CWA). The legislation is short – just 6 pages –

Continue reading

House Republicans Outline Carbon Emissions Reduction Legislation

Building on President Trump’s support for the 1 Trillion Trees initiative expressed during the State of the Union, House Republican leaders, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), recently unveiled a package of bills aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The plan centers around three themes: carbon capture, clean energy investment and conservation. The initial set

Continue reading

Could Franchise Agreements Help Your City Reach 100% Renewable Energy?

As of today, 138 cities have formally announced 100% renewable energy goals or targets, while others are actively considering similar goals. Cities have a wide variety of renewable energy procurement options to help them achieve their goals. One such option available to cities is leveraging an electric franchise agreement to partner with their local utility on new

Continue reading

5 Steps Your City Can Take to Boost Building Energy Efficiency by 10%

The year-long process to develop the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code culminates with cities’ online vote beginning November 18. In just a few days, cities across the country have a golden opportunity to boost the efficiency of America’s Model Building Energy Code (the International Energy Conservation Code, or IECC) by at least 10%. Buildings are

Continue reading

You Can’t Meet Energy and Climate Goals Without Building Efficiency

This is guest post by Bill Fay, Coalition Director, Energy Efficient Codes Coalition There is no national policy issue that is as largely in cities’ hands to develop as writing building energy codes. With little effort and no expenditure of public funds, cities, towns and villages can help write the nation’s building energy code. All

Continue reading

The Final Days of the Clean Power Plan

Earlier this year, it seemed like a certainty: The Supreme Court would hear arguments concerning, and rule on, the legality of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a key component of the Obama legacy. Now, with the proposal of new regulations intended to rescind the CPP, Supreme Court review seems less and less likely. If there

Continue reading

D.C. Circuit Will Not Rule on Clean Power Plan — For Now

With its Friday ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the Clean Power Plan — but a Supreme Court review may be on the horizon. On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Trump Administration’s request to hold the Clean Power Plan (CPP) case in abeyance for 60 days. Additionally, the court asked the

Continue reading

3 Ways Cities are Leading in Energy Innovation

This is the second blog in a series on why the key to protecting our environment lies in city innovation. It’s no accident that “energy” is one of the main components of city sustainability plans. If we drilled down, much of these efforts likely focus on buildings. With buildings representing 39 percent of the nation’s

Continue reading

Elevating the Principles of Net-Zero Buildings to Teach Us About Building Sustainable Communities

A few weeks ago, at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco, I attended a session that featured NREL’s Research Support Facility (RSF) in Golden, CO. The session’s speakers described the design and construction process of the RSF, a net-zero energy building (NZEB) that today serves as a model for performance-based design. The possibilities presented about

Continue reading

What can demonstration projects teach us about sustainability?

Large- scale demonstration projects—ones that are focused on combining and testing various physical systems within a confined geography– are increasingly gaining popularity with cities interested in pushing the sustainability envelope.   As someone who readily transitioned from architecture to urban planning (eager to address some of the larger-scale systems questions that a section drawing didn’t quite

Continue reading