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Solar Decathlon to Travel to IBS Show Orlando PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 14:21

Representatives of each of the 20 teams selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 will travel to Orlando, Florida, in January 2011 for the International Builders’ Show (IBS). Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, the IBS is the largest annual construction conference in the world.

The decathletes will debut new scale models of their Solar Decathlon houses in the Orange County Convention Center’s west exhibit hall from Wednesday, Jan. 12, through Saturday, Jan. 15. Conference attendees will also see the teams’ computer-animated walkthroughs, which bring the interior floor plans of the solar-powered houses to life for the first time.

For those who want to learn more about the creative process behind the houses, Solar Decathlon Director Richard King will moderate an educational session titled “The New Class of Affordable Solar Housing” on Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Five of the teams will present their  strategies for reducing overall project costs without sacrificing modern amenities. The teams selected to present at this session are:

  • Florida International University
  • Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Stay tuned for updates as the excitement unfolds in Orlando. After all, this is the last time that the teams will be together before the competition begins in Washington, D.C., next fall!

 

TAGS: Solar Decathalon, solar events, renewable energy, affordable housing, affordable solar housing, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando trade show, International Builders Show 2011, public relations, social media, green marketing.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2011 17:48
 
HUD Loans for Energy-Efficient Upgrades to Homes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Thursday, 11 November 2010 12:57

WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced a new pilot program that will offer credit-worthy borrowers low-cost loans to make energy-saving improvements to their homes. Backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), these new FHA PowerSaver loans will offer homeowners up to $25,000 to make energy-efficient improvements of their choice, including the installation of insulation, duct sealing, doors and windows, HVAC systems, water heaters, solar panels, and geothermal systems.

HUD and FHA developed PowerSaver as part of the Recovery Through Retrofit initiative launched in May 2009 by Vice President Biden’s Middle Class Task Force to develop federal actions that would expand green job opportunities in the United States and boost energy savings by improving home energy efficiency. The announcement is part of an 18-month-long interagency effort facilitated by White House Council on Environmental Quality with the Office of the Vice President, 11 departments and agencies and six White House offices.

Vice President Biden said, “The initiatives announced today are putting the Recovery Through Retrofit report’s recommendations into action – giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades. Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy.”

“HUD and FHA are committed to lowering the cost and expanding the availability of affordable financing for home energy retrofits,” said Secretary Donovan. “PowerSaver will help more homeowners afford common sense, cost saving improvements to their homes, and will create jobs for contractors, installers and energy auditors across the country.”

More homeowners are interested in making their homes energy efficient, according to industry forecasts. Yet options are still limited for financing home energy improvements, especially for the many homeowners who are unable to take out a home equity loan or access an affordable consumer loan. HUD today published a notice seeking the participation of a limited number of mortgage lenders in the two-year pilot program slated to begin in early 2011.

“PowerSaver provides lenders with a new product option to serve a potentially growing market,” said David H. Stevens, FHA Commissioner. “We believe there are a number of lenders who will be interested in working with us to help save energy and money for homeowners, while creating jobs and cutting greenhouse gas emissions”

Lenders will be selected to participate in the PowerSaver pilot based on their capacity and commitment to provide affordable home energy improvement financing. Lenders will be required to serve communities that have already taken affirmative steps to expand home energy improvements. HUD will help lenders identify such markets – which exist in many suburban, rural and urban areas across the country.

PowerSaver loans will be backed by the FHA – but with significant “skin in the game” from private lenders. FHA mortgage insurance will cover up to 90 percent of the loan amount in the event of default. Lenders will retain the remaining risk on each loan, incentivizing responsible underwriting and lending standards. FHA will provide streamlined insurance claims payment procedures on PowerSaver loans. In addition, lenders may be eligible for incentive grant payments from FHA to enhance benefits to borrowers, such as lowering interest rates.

“Home energy retrofits are good investments that save families money,” said Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer. “As the financing arm of HUD, we are proud to support this important home-improvement segment of the housing market and look forward to working with lenders and FHA to develop appropriate secondary market options.”

PowerSaver has been carefully designed to meet a need in the marketplace for borrowers who have the ability and motivation to take on modest additional debt to realize the savings over time from a home energy improvement. PowerSaver loans are only available to borrowers with good credit, manageable overall debt and at least some equity in their home (maximum 100% combined loan to value).

To read the full text of FHA’s notice, visit HUD’s website.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 November 2010 12:59
 
Construction to Rise 8% in 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Monday, 08 November 2010 18:03

The McGraw-Hill Construction report released on Friday stated that construction will rebound in 2011 by 8 percent. Total construction numbers for the year are predicted to increase to $445.5 billion. Construction of single-family houses, apartment buildings and commercial properties should rise. However, there will be fewer new highway, bridge and other public works projects because federal stimulus funding will decline.

Read more here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304316404575580641581470242.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

 

TAGS: LEED, green building, sustainability consulting, green consultants, green marketing, green advertising agency, Home Star, USGBC, Green Globes, branding, advertising, public relations, architectural sales and marketing

 

Last Updated on Monday, 08 November 2010 18:10
 
2010 Record Year for Solar PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 13:32

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GRM Research released the “U.S. Solar Market Insight” report on Oct. 13, covering industry action in the first half of 2010. The news is encouraging: the report reveals there is growth in the solar industry despite the struggling capital markets and economy.

“First half solar installations grew beyond expectations as a result of declining prices, continued government support and improving financial conditions,” said Shayle Kann, Managing Director at GTM Research in a press release on October 13th. “In spite of the macroeconomic woes, the U.S. solar industry is on track to have a record year in 2010 for both installations and manufacturing.”

There is a 55% growth in grid installed solar over 2009, with 339 MW grid installed power to date.  The PV (photo-voltaic) market is up 69% over 10 years in the U.S., from 3.9 MW in 2000 to 435 MW installed by the end of 2009. The U.S. placed fourth worldwide in 2009 for installed PV power, after Germany, Japan and Italy.

The top 20 states in PV all continued to grow, but the two leaders were California and New Jersey, thanks to strong state incentives and government leadership.

The report says that 23,000 PV systems were installed so far in 2010, including an unprecedented 22 utility projects, beating the figure for all of 2009 (28,000 systems).  Five states had more than 1,000 systems installed so far in 2010: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Jersey and New York.

In the world of manufacturing & production, 564 MW of module production has occurred so far in 2010, which is three-fourths of the total manufactured in all of 2009. The dominant modules produced were either cadmium telluride or crystalline silicon.

The CSP world has re-emerged, and there is a pipeline of 46 projects and 46 GW of power after a very long silence.  Two sites have come online so far this year, one in Arizona and one in Colorado. The chart below illustrates the history and installed power:

Solar water heaters are also on track to grow 9%, thanks to state tax credits and rebates. It is the 6th consecutive year of growth. In addition, the solar pool heating segment is expected to grow by 7% in 2010.

U.S. Solar Market Insight projects market demand to climb through 2015.

Rhone Resch, President of SEIA, was encouraged over the growth of the industry. “However,” he said, “although we are the fastest growing energy source, the fact remains that we are still the smallest. And to change this, we need more than a patchwork of markets scattered around the country. To change this, we as an industry, need national vision.”

Source: Solar Feeds and SEIA

TAGS: SEIA, LEED, USGBC, CHPS, GreenGlobes, NAHB, green marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, green products, sustainability consultant, green consultant, solar market, renewable energy, photovoltaic.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2011 17:48
 
DOE Offers Energy Reduction Strategies for Building PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Monday, 25 October 2010 11:52

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building Technologies Program, Washington, DC, is offering a Webinar on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. EDT titled "Strategies to Cut Energy Use by 50% in Commercial Buildings."

This Webinar is geared toward commercial business owners, commercial builders, architects, professional engineers, lighting designers, and building engineers. This information would also be helpful to members of DOE's Commercial Building Energy Alliances and Commercial Building Partnerships.

Register here: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=420

The Webinar panelists includes:

Jerome Lam - Energy Technology Program Specialist, DOE
Adam Hirsch - Senior Engineer, NREL
Bing Liu - Senior Research Engineer, PNNL
Shanti Pless - Senior Engineer, NREL
Brian Thornton - Senior Engineer, PNNL

Visit the Building Technologies Program Web site ( www.eere.energy.gov ) for information about research and development of technologies and practices to achieve energy-efficient commercial and residential buildings.

 

DOE, LEED, green marketing, advertising, branding, public relations, sustainability consulting, green consultants, green products, sustainable, GreenBuild, GreenGlobes, CHPS, USGBC, energy efficiency, architects, commercial building, green building, lighting designers, building engineers, energy use, energy reduction


Last Updated on Monday, 25 October 2010 12:02
 
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