CleanFund Offers PACE Financing for Commercial Solar Power Projects

CleanFund and Soligent partnered this summer to begin offering PACE financing to non-residential solar power projects across the United States. These funding options allow building owners to pay for clean energy and energy efficiency investments through their property tax bill. PACE Funding Property Assessed Clean Energy financing is a program that allows commercial and multifamily building owners to make improvements that improve energy efficiency, increase water efficiency, or provide renewable energy and finance them through an assessment that is added…

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Canada Tops Out World’s Tallest Wood-Frame Building

Celebrating the tallest wood-frame building of its kind anywhere in the world, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr recently attended the “topping out” ceremony of the Brock Commons Residence. The new University of British Columbia student housing tower rises 18 stories to reach a stunning 178.8 feet (53 meters) tall. Under construction at the University of British Columbia Point Grey campus, the CA$51.5 million mass timber structure is a hybrid system comprised of cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor slabs, glulam…

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San Francisco Passes Mandatory Solar Ordinance For New Buildings

A new mandatory solar power ordinance in San Francisco makes for some very good renewable energy, and energy efficiency, news. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed the Better Roofs regulation to “fight climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.” As reported by treehugger, the move, which requires new buildings to go from solar-ready rooftops to solar-actual, represents a huge step toward the city’s goal of powering the city with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Specifically, this means San Francisco builders…

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Changing Net Metering Policies Being Studied In Over Half Of US States

Originally published on CleanTechnica Changes to solar net metering policies are being studied or have been enacted in more than half of the states in this nation, states the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center’s latest “50 States of Solar” report. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is a UNC System-chartered Public Service Center administered by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. Not surprising, “Rate design, net metering, and distributed solar ownership are among the most contentious ongoing renewable energy policy issues,”…

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SDG&E Utility Warns It Will Hit Net Metering Caps By Mid-2016

Last week San Diego Gas & Electric warned distributed energy enthusiasts it expects to reach caps on net metering in the summer of 2016. According to pv-magazine, SDG&E’s numbers show that existing installations and pending applications take up 74% of available capacity in the program. This opens the door to what “net metering 2.0” might look like, pitting utilities and distributed energy advocates in a face-off. Current estimates show 30 MW of rooftop solar is being added each month under net…

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New York Net Metering Cap Suspended For Now

Adding to the distributed energy/net metering debate involving utilities and solar panel owners, New York State for now has lifted the cap on net metering. pv-magazine reported last week that New York regulators have suspended the existing cap on the state’s net metering program. This suspension will remain in effect until a new valuation is concluded under the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) process. Among other goals for 2030, New York’s REV is targeting that 50% of all New York’s energy will…

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Solstice Refrigerant Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Global regulators are increasingly moving to phase out refrigerants that lead to global warming. On July 2, 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced landmark regulations that will phase out the use of many of the world’s most potent hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), such as R-404A, in a variety of applications. The new regulation, effective summer 2016, will require supermarkets, the largest consumers of R-404A in the US, to discontinue use of R-404A as a retrofit refrigerant. R-404A will also not…

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Tenant Star Program Recognizes Energy Efficient Office Spaces

The US Congress and President Obama recently approved a bill that would establish the Tenant Star Program to recognize office spaces that implement energy efficiency measures, saving money and the environment. The Tenant Star Program will be a part of the current Energy Star Program for buildings, providing incentives to encourage tenants in office buildings to install energy-reducing fixtures and systems. It will be the first government-endorsed label in the United States to recognize leased spaces within commercial buildings for sustainable…

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Drought-stricken California

Program Offers Water Saving Help for Drought-Stricken Californians

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown issued the first-ever mandatory water reduction order in the history of the State of California. The executive order directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year. Homeowners and business owners will be the ones who ultimately must make the sacrifice, but there is financial assistance available to help pay for water…

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Bullitt Center

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center – Changing the Status Quo

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet. It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water. Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient. In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick. Policy Changes As we’ve seen in this series, the…

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