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NAESCO Newsletter

Third Quarter 2009

Featured Articles

  • Opposing Perspectives on the LEED Certification: NAESCO Interviews with Henry Gifford, Manhattan Building-Energy Consultant and Scot Horst, Senior Vice President for LEED, USGBC

NAESCO Updates


New Members

NAESCO welcomes the following new members:

Upcoming Events

NAESCO Announcements

Industry News

Member News

For a full list of all NAESCO Member News, please click here.

Projects and Products

Company News

Featured Articles

Opposing Perspectives on the LEED Certification: NAESCO Interviews with Henry Gifford, Manhattan Building-Energy Consultant and Scot Horst, Senior Vice President for LEED, USGBC

Henry Gifford is co-founder of Architecture and Energy Ltd and has more than 25 years experience in supervising and designing energy efficient buildings. A vocal opponent of the LEED Certification, Mr. Gifford has recently been quoted in several articles in which he questions US Green Building Council research and suggests that a quarter of LEED certified buildings do not save as much energy as predicted.

Scot Horst is Senior Vice President for LEED at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Since 2005, Mr. Horst has served as chair of USGBC's LEED Steering Committee, the body that has principle responsibility for developing and implementing the LEED rating system.

Interview with Henry Gifford

1. How did you get involved in the energy efficiency industry?
When I was twenty years old, I started buying apartment houses, and wondered why my bills were so much higher than those for other buildings in the neighborhood. I called the boiler company and they didn't know what to do. I went to Barnes & Nobles to get more information and they didn't have anything that helped me. I knew there had to be a science behind it, so I began to investigate the problem myself and discovered that there was a gap between the engineering side of things and what the mechanics in the field were doing. The people designing heating and electrical systems weren't taking into account the common mistakes made during installation, which gave me an opportunity to start tweaking existing heating systems to make them more energy efficient.

In the 1990s I started looking at plans for new construction, and was able to fix some common mistakes before they were made. Some engineers worked with me to design better systems for new buildings, which made them more reliable and energy efficient. This process taught me enough about engineering and gave me a big advantage over just knowing about the installation side of things.

Now most of my work involves designing and supervising construction of new buildings that use less than 25% of the heating and hot water energy of a normal, existing NYC apartment house, yet cost no more to build than code minimum construction, and doesn't use fancy technologies.

2. You have been a vocal opponent of the 2007 survey, commissioned by the USGBC, claiming LEED building are 25-30% more efficient than other buildings. Did this survey prompt your criticism of the LEED certification?
The US Green Building Council was making percent energy saving claims for years before the first, and still the only study was done. Those claims were based on predictions, not measured results.

The LEED system requires a prediction that a building will be more energy efficient, based on a computer simulation that is not capable of predicting some major problems. For example, it is quite common for heating and cooling systems to overheat a building in the winter or overcool in the summer. The simulation software often used in LEED predictions assumes that every room in every building is the same temperature all year long. Therefore the LEED system does nothing to stop or discourage one of the biggest problems we have - out of control heating and cooling systems.

Also, the actual effect of air leakage is very, very hard to simulate, which adds to the inaccuracy. The overall effect of this problem is to not encourage air tightness in buildings.

LEED's comparison system even allows glass buildings to get awards for energy efficiency, simply by accepting a prediction that a certified glass building won't perform as badly as another glass building.

3. What are your thoughts on the USGBC's recent attempts to address the energy performance gap? For example, they now require LEED certified buildings to submit data on their energy usage.
USGBC has promised to keep all energy use data confidential. They promise to "implement an appropriate analysis methodology" before releasing the results, but given their terrible record for playing with the numbers, there will never be any real light shed on how LEED buildings are performing. Saying they are going to start collecting data sounds good, but is really a step backwards. Real progress will only be made when all buildings that are called energy efficient have their energy bills made public.

4. If you could create your own energy efficiency certification for buildings- what would it look like?
My certification would require a preliminary rating based on the source energy input to the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems at peak load, of course normalized for building size, type, and climate. Big buildings get big heating systems; small buildings get small systems and the smaller the system the better the rating. This system would be based on verifiable facts, not someone's opinion or calculations. Equipment size is a fact that can be verified during the planning phase, during construction, or after construction. Starting the second year after occupancy, the preliminary rating would be abandoned and the building would be rated on how little energy it used. All certification plaques would be attached with removable screws to encourage better performance; buildings that performed better in the future would get an upgraded rating.

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Interview with Scot Horst

1. Do you feel that the simulation software used to design LEED certified buildings sufficiently predicts their energy efficiency?
I had my own consulting business and worked on 150 LEED buildings before coming on staff at USBGC so I've seen LEED practices in effect. The modeling tools that we use, if used properly, are incredibly effective tools. They are essentially scientific "what if" tools. If you asked me if it is possible to not use a tool well, I would have to say yes, and I suspect that not everyone uses it correctly. However, if you have a design team using it properly early in the design process, it will work well. The purpose of this tool is to set targets so you can design your building to meet those targets and set benchmarks to measure your success. However, there are certain things the software can't predict which can result in energy savings that differ from predictions. For example, you input weather data into the software to see how your energy systems will work throughout the year but if the weather isn't as predicted the results are not going to be the same as the predictions. That being said, the software is still an effective design tool in terms of finding the best way for a building to reduce its overall energy use.

2. How do you measure the performance of a building post instillation?
We have two ways we are dealing with measuring performance right now. The first way uses our existing building rating system which is based on an ENERGY STAR score which we use to re-certify buildings at the end of their performance period. Performance periods are set at a five year max right now. The second way we measure performance involves requiring our projects, even older buildings that we certified, to give us their energy and water use data. We are taking this data and creating a database so that we can make real comparisons of the energy efficiency of our buildings. LEED certified Buildings will be compared to LEED certified buildings as opposed to comparing them to current building codes which we are doing right now.

3. Now that you are requiring LEED certified buildings to submit data on their energy efficiency, will you de-certify buildings that are not performing as predicted?
That is where we are heading and my hope is that is what happens. It's a complex issue; we are talking about creating a program that is voluntary; a certification of how you will manage your building. What we need to do is have a really complex discussion and we are making that discussion happen in a voluntary, non-profit arena. We have to convince people to come in and do this program.

4. Since the inception of the LEED certification program, what changes or accomplishments are you most proud of?
I was recently at a meeting in preparation for the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and John Ashton, the Special Representative for Climate Change for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, asked all the environmental non-profits to raise their hands, upon doing so he said "you aren't doing your job, you are all stuck in your little issues. If you aren't playing in the economy, you are irrelevant". His comment made me feel proud because the LEED rating system is playing in the economy. We brought the idea of green to the doorstep of businesses and they are integrating energy efficiency strategies into their business practices. You see real changes that occur in the design process of buildings that would not have happened otherwise. For example, New York City is having a discussion about energy efficiency, it's not all about USGBC and LEED, but they are having the discussion because of us.

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NAESCO Updates


During the third quarter, NAESCO concentrated its advocacy efforts on federal government energy efficiency initiatives and on several major states that are implementing major new energy efficiency programs or significant expansions of existing programs.


At the federal level we have been working on the issues surrounding the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the consideration of climate change legislation.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
The ARRA, better known as the stimulus bill, appropriated more than $20 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, as well as another $20 billion of potential tax credits. The $20 billion of appropriations is supposed to be spent very quickly, with all funds contractually obligated to projects by September 30, 2010, and all funds disbursed by September 30, 2011. The three major elements of the ARRA that have the greatest potential direct impact on the ESCO business are as follows:

  • State Energy Program (SEP) - $3.1 billion distributed by formula to the states. Public building ESPC programs are a major component of many state plans. All of the state plans have now been approved, and all of the program funds have been obligated. Plan approval, however, has been conditional for most states. US DOE and the states are trying to work out procedures for state program compliance with three laws that will affect the programs: the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Historic Preservation Act and the Davis-Bacon Act (prevailing wages). Consequently, very little of the program funds have been released, and virtually no funds have been obligated to actual projects.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) - $2.8 billion distributed by formula directly to communities with greater than 35,000 populations and through the states to smaller communities plus $400 million distributed to states and local governments on a competitive basis. US DOE has had a team of about 100 people reviewing the local government formula applications and the state applications. A small number of applications have been approved, subject to resolution of the compliance issues with the three federal laws that affect the SEP programs. Very little funding has actually been disbursed to the states. US DOE has published an RFI for review of the draft RFP for the $400 million in competitive grants. The RFP will solicit proposals for innovative pilot EE programs that will produce verified energy savings, will be sustainable beyond the span of the ARRA funding, and will be replicable across the country.
  • Weatherization Assistance Program - $5 billion distributed through the existing program network of state and local governments and community organizations (CBOs). About 750 applications were submitted, and most of them have been approved. Funding is actually flowing in this program, because the major issue, application of the Davis-Bacon Act, to a program that had previously been exempt, has been resolved with the publication by the US Department of Labor of prevailing wage rates for weatherization workers.

NAESCO Advocacy Activities
NAESCO has been working with the National Save Energy Coalition that consists of hundreds of environmental and energy efficiency groups, industry trade associations and major companies to try to accelerate the implementation of the ARRA programs. The Coalition is in regular contact with White House and US DOE officials. NAESCO through the Coalition has been pushing to get DOE to publish on its web site the approved SEP and EECBG plans, but DOE has responded that since the plans have only been conditionally approved, they are still in negotiation and are therefore not yet public documents.

NAESCO is also part of a small Working Group convened by DOE to address the implementation of revolving loan funds that are elements of many SEP and EECBG plans. According to DOE, approximately $1 billion of the available grant funds will be devoted to revolving loan funds, most of which will be administered by government agencies with little or no relevant experience. The Working Group is assembling guidance documents and best practices program guides that will be distributed to the grantees through the DOE website and a series of webinars. One of the two major focuses of the Working Group is to ensure that the loans funds will able to work efficiently with public building ESPC projects. NAESCO is concentrating its work in this area.

NAESCO is also part of a consortium that will submit proposals to DOE in the competitive EECBG program described above. NAESCO's role in the consortium will be to ensure the public building ESPC programs are a major element of the proposed programs, and to provide training to local government officials that will implement the ESPC programs. The consortium anticipates submitting four different proposals from four regional groups of communities - Southeast, Midwest, California and Northeast.

To multiply its resources for this effort, NAESCO, in collaboration with the Energy Services Coalition and NASEO, has submitted a proposal to US DOE for a grant to provide training and technical assistance to states and local governments that will be implementing ESPC programs as part of their SEP and EECBG plans. This grant would be an extension of the funding that the organizations currently have from DOE, and would greatly expand our ability to provide direct technical assistance across the country.

Federal Energy and Environmental Legislation
The second major federal initiative combines two initiatives that had previously been separate: national energy efficiency and renewable energy resource standards (EERS and RES) and a national greenhouse gas emissions reductions policy (GHG). The House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) on a very close vote in late June. The Senate is now considering its own version of the bill, which is being assembled in separate bills being considered by the six Senate Committees that have asserted jurisdiction of parts of the legislation (e.g., Energy and Natural Resources, Environment and Public Works, etc.). The first of these bills, the American Clean Energy Leadership Act (S. 1462, or ACELA), passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on June 17th by a vote of 15 to 8. ACELA contains no climate change or cap-and-trade provisions, because they are under the jurisdiction of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Senator Boxer (Chair of the EPW Committee) and Senator Kerry released on September 30 their draft bill, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act and hearings are expected to be held by the end of October. The other four Senate Committees have not announced their schedules for release of their draft bills. The original deadline for all Committees to report out their bills was September 28; no new deadline has been announced.

Energy Efficiency Policy - RES and EERS
Both ACES and ACELA mandate a number of national energy efficiency programs, including a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES). This means that utilities must by a mandated year procure a mandated percentage of their energy from renewable sources. ACES mandates 20% by 2020; ACELA mandates 15% by 2021. In both bills approximately one quarter of the mandate can be met with energy efficiency. This is commonly known as an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard or EERS.

NAESCO is part of a second national coalition that is exclusively focused on enacting a standalone EERS. The argument for a strong national EERS is supported by a virtual blizzard of research reports that document the economic development and job creations of energy efficiency.

About twenty states now have EERS mandates for their utilities. We are asking the Senate to enact a 15% standalone EERS, independent of whatever they may decide to do with a RES. The coalition and NAESCO will be putting on a major push for an expanded EERS this fall.

GHG Reduction or Climate Change Policy
The GHG provisions of the climate change legislation involve the establishment of a national carbon cap-and-trade system, in which the federal government issues a limited number of carbon emission allowances (in effect permits to emit CO2). The number of allowances is reduced each year to reach the target level of emissions in a future year.

The first major debate is about how the initial allowances will be distributed. The Obama administration had proposed that all allowances be auctioned. Industries (including utilities) that emit large amounts of CO2 have argued that forcing them to purchase allowances at auction will deal the economy a body blow, by increasing the cost of energy, and so they should be granted allowances at no cost.

The second major debate is about the use of the proceeds from the allowance auctions. NAESCO and the national coalition are urging that a substantial portion of the proceeds be invested in energy efficiency programs, because EE programs produce CO2 emissions at a negative net cost. Consumer groups and advocates for low-income ratepayers insist that most of the proceeds should be rebated to ratepayers. Advocates for utilities and energy intensive industries would like to see a substantial portion of the proceeds used to help them defray the cost of implementing emissions reduction technologies.

The coalitions, of which NAESCO is a part, are arguing that implementation of a cap-and-trade program is important because it would generate the revenues that can finance large-scale national EE programs. We are urging that the legislation mandate that substantial portions of the allowances be used to finance EE programs.

NAESCO is also part of a third national coalition that is concentrating on communicating the job creation and economic development benefits of EE to the Congress and the public. The coalition is trying to counter the huge national media campaign, financed by energy producers and utilities, that is delivering the message that climate change legislation will cripple the national economy. NAESCO believes that by participating in this national communications effort we can also help to realize our own communications goals - to build the national reputation of the ESCO industry. The coalition has begun its effort by running newspaper ads in Pennsylvania and in small publications whose readership are Congressional staffers.


Perhaps the most exciting development at the state level is the flurry of activity related to the receipt and dissemination of the federal ARRA funding, which will invest about $11 billion in state and local government EE programs in the next two years. But while the states and local governments are working on their ARRA implementation plans, a number of states are instituting or expanding ratepayer-funded EE programs. Some states in which NAESCO has been working are highlighted below.

On September 24, the California Public Utilities Commission approved about $3.1 billion for energy efficiency programs in the 2010-2012 program cycle. This is a major re-affirmation of the importance of energy efficiency to the future of California's struggling economy. During the months that preceded the Commission's decision, NAESCO filed two rounds of comments stressing the need for timely Commission action and full funding of current programs until the new programs start in the first quarter of 2010.

The state is doubling its energy efficiency programs, pursuant to the 2008 Green Communities Act. Utilities have filed implementation plans this week. NAESCO is participating in a statewide coalition of energy and environmental groups, and is co-sponsoring, with the state Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) and the Division of Energy Resources, a series of meetings and workshops about how to maximize ESCO participation in Green Communities and ARRA program implementation.

New York
The Energy Efficiency Performance Standard (EEPS) proceeding, which will approximately triple EE funding and put utilities back into EE program administration, is now entering its third year. A limited set of "fast track" programs is in the early stages of implementation. NAESCO has retained a consultant to monitor the proceeding and is directly participating in the Evaluation Advisory Group, the successor to the SBC Advisory Group, which is setting program EM&V standards and protocols. NAESCO is also monitoring, and commenting on, the development of new programs in the ConEd service territory. NAESCO filed comments urging the New York Public Service Commission to make the rules for program EM&V more workable.

The utilities will begin large EE programs with aggressive savings goals in early 2010. Initial program plans from the eight electric IOUs were due by the end of June. The balance of the year will be spent in a public review and approval process. NAESCO has retained a consultant to monitor the proceedings and is attending meetings and submitting comments as appropriate. NAESCO has filed comments that are focused on the use of new utility program funds to supplement and expand the very successful Guaranteed Energy Savings Agreement (GESA) program.

North Carolina and South Carolina
Utility regulatory commissions in both states have ordered the states' major electric utilities - Duke and Progress Energy -- to implement large new energy efficiency programs. Both state commissions have rejected Duke's program compensation proposal, called Save-a-Watt, as advocated by NAESCO and a coalition of energy and environmental groups. The commissions ordered the utilities to accumulate their program costs (very modest by California or Northeast standards) in deferral accounts pending future proceedings on appropriate cost recovery and compensation mechanisms. NAESCO continues to work with coalitions of energy efficiency renewable energy and environmental groups in both states to ensure that the new programs include significant opportunities for ESCOs.

NAESCO continues to monitor the proceedings to update utility energy conservation goals based on current cost-effectiveness standards. The analysis of the potential market for energy efficiency submitted by the utilities understates the opportunities. In contrast to the targets that have been set by other states, which typically range from 1-2% incremental savings per year, the Florida utilities are proposing targets of less than 1% cumulative through 2020. NAESCO is working with regional environmental and energy organizations to see how we might assist them in making the case for the adoption of more aggressive EE programs.

The expanded Illinois- utility EE programs started their second year of implementation, with approximately double their first-year budgets, in mid-June. NAESCO is working with the program managers for the Commonwealth Edison program to set up meetings with ESCOs to encourage the development of more comprehensive projects.

The electric utilities have filed new energy efficiency program plans. NAESCO is monitoring the development of those plans, and is holding a series of meetings with officials of the state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) and the state Department of Management and Budget (DMB) about making ESPC a major part of the state's ARRA implementation. NAESCO also held an ESPC training workshop for local government officials in Detroit in mid-September.

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New Members

NAESCO welcomes the following new members.

Blue & Gold Strategies, LLC is a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business . Located in Washington, DC, they provide FEMP support to ESCOs (administrative, business development, legal and project management).

CM3 Building Solutions Inc. provides total building solutions to commercial, industrial, institutional, government and other types of facilities in order to sustain comfortable, safe and energy efficient environments for the facilities that are served.

Energy Focus, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets energy efficient lighting solutions for the commercial, retail, grocery, military, museum, and pool and spa markets. Their products span a range of environments and applications, including down lighting, accent lighting, display lighting, outdoor and underwater lighting, decorative fixtures and specialty applications.

Las Animas County is located in California.

Precision-Paragon [P2] works closely with lighting-service contractors, energy-savings contractors and energy efficiency- focused distributors to provide complete lighting solutions.

Toshiba LED Lighting Division is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products, spanning information & communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, and household appliances.

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Upcoming Events

2009 NAESCO's 26th Annual Conference
November 17-18, 2009
The Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles, CA
Theme: Energy Efficiency Kicks It Up a Notch: Marshaling the New Opportunities
Join us for all the expert information and insight at NAESCO's 2009 Annual conference. The program focuses on the many exciting new opportunities in the energy efficiency marketplace while fully acknowledging the challenges of doing business in today's economy.

To register, please click here.

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NAESCO Announcements

Effective September 14, Meghan Morrison has joined NAESCO as the new Director of Membership and Communications. Meghan is a graduate of Temple University and has experience in association management, development and communications.

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Industry News

Pew Center's Energy Efficiency Study Finds Corporate America is Embracing Energy Efficiency
Preliminary results from a survey by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change of approximately fifty companies about corporate energy efficiency strategies indicate that 81 percent of the survey participants report having modified their products and services to offer increased energy efficiency performance in order to take advantage of the growing consumer demand. The data also showed that the three main reasons companies undertook energy efficiency strategies were to reduce their carbon footprint, respond to rising energy prices and demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

The survey found that 21 percent of the companies set up a measuring and reporting system for the energy and carbon performance of their suppliers, and that 44 percent provided suppliers with information on energy efficiency programs from third-party sources. Twelve percent changed suppliers due to finding others with superior energy or carbon efficient performance.

Eighty nine percent of companies said that engaging their workforce was an important element in their energy efforts. While 33 percent of companies used newsletters or emails to connect with employees, 23 percent offer formal education or training, while 17 percent created some kind of green team or employee-run committee to take on the challenge.

In early 2009, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change invited 95 companies to participate in a 65-question survey on corporate energy efficiency strategies. Forty eight companies completed the questionnaire which was designed to gauge the level of current activities devoted to pursuing corporate energy efficiency and to identify trends. A final report will be published in March 2010, but Pew released some of its initial findings on their new Corporate Energy Efficiency Web Portal. The full April report, written with ICF International, will include six case studies of companies that have undertaken in particularly strong corporate energy efficiency efforts.

Please click here for the Corporate Energy Efficiency Web Portal.

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President Obama Orders Federal Agencies to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Under an executive order signed by President Obama October 5, the federal government will require its agencies to set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2020 within 90 days.

The measure also requires federal agencies to increase their energy efficiency, reduce the petroleum consumption of their fleets, conserve water, reduce waste, support sustainable communities, and leverage their federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.

In his order, President Obama requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, including:

  • 30 percent reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020
  • 26 percent improvement in water efficiency by 2020
  • 50 percent recycling and waste diversion by 2015
  • 95 percent of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements
  • Implementation of the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement
  • Implementation of the storm water provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 438
  • Development of guidance for sustainable Federal building locations in alignment with the Livability Principles put forward by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The order makes reducing greenhouse gas emissions a priority for the federal government, which is ranked as the nation's largest energy consumer. It occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, and employs more than 1.8 million civilians.

To download the White House press release, click here.

To download the executive order, click here.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Lab Report Predicts Increased Funding for Energy Efficiency
A recent report released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Lab suggests that funding for energy efficiency programs and energy savings will increase dramatically over the next decade. The report also finds total funding for electric and gas energy efficiency programs is projected to rise from roughly $3.1 billion in 2008 to between $7.5 billion and $12.4 billion in 2020 (in nominal dollars), and annual savings from electric energy efficiency programs are projected to increase from an estimated 0.3% of U.S. retail sales in 2008 to between 0.6% and 0.9% in 2020.

The report predicts that states who have been historically been minor players in the Energy Efficiency stage will come to the forefront.

The report, entitled "The Shifting Landscape of Ratepayer-Funded Energy Efficiency in the U.S" presents projections of rate-payer spending and savings in the U.S through, bases on a state-by-state review of energy efficiency policies and regulatory requirements in place or under consideration.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

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The 2009 California Green Innovation Index Analyzes Impact of Energy Efficiency Efforts on California's Environment and Economy
A recent report released by the Next 10 organization about California's energy efficiency initiatives found that green innovations have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased energy efficiency and strengthened the economy. According to the report, California's productivity is 68 percent higher than that of the rest of the country. As a result, Californians, on average pay lower utility bills and spend billions less of their state economy as a whole on electricity than the rest of the country. The report also states that California's energy efficiency policies have led to the creation of over 1.5 million jobs over the last 35 years, generating $45 billion in payroll. The authors contend that this trend will only increase as recent data shows that green jobs in California have increased by ten percent since 2005 compared to one percent statewide.

The survey, entitled "2009 California Green Innovation Index", was conducted by the Next 10 organization in conjunction with Collaborative Economics. Designed to track key economic, energy and environmental indicators, the Index provides data on the impact of innovation on the state's economic and environmental health as California moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels as mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

Click here to download the full report.

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Recent Study Concludes that the South Could Meet their Energy Demands through Efficiency
Results from a recent report entitled "Meta-Review of Efficiency Potential Studies and Their Implications for the South" found that the South could reduce predicted energy consumption through 2020 by about 9 percent by deploying energy efficient, cost-effective measures. The 9 percent prediction is based on the assumption that both the public and private sector will adopt energy efficient electricity and heating standards. If efficiency standards are not implemented, the predicted energy savings would be reduced 0.5% annually.

According to the study, the South has been one of the last regions in the U.S. to implement energy efficiency programs. Currently the South hosts 37% of the US population while consuming 44 percent of the nation's energy.

The report, written by Sharon Chandler and Marilyn A. Brown, did a meta-review of 19 national, regional and state efficiency studies over the past twelve years. The report is the first of four to be issued by Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory examining 16 states and the District of Columbia. The reports are funded through the Energy Foundation and Turner Foundation.

Click here to download a copy of the report.

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Wal-Mart's Sustainability Index
Wal-Mart recently announced plans to implement a "sustainability index" to measure the sustainability of every product it sells. The company will require their suppliers to complete a survey that measures the environmental impact of their products. The survey consists of 15 questions divided into four areas: energy and climate, material efficiency, natural resources, and people and community. Once this information is collected, Wal-Mart will work with a consortium of universities, suppliers, retailers, NGOs and government to develop a global database of information on the lifecycle of products. The information collected in the database will be used to create an index that will provide customers with product information in a simple rating so they can make better sustainable choices.

Wal-Mart has been working on the "sustainability index" for more than a year though it is expected to take one to two years before such labels will appear on products.

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International Facility Management Association's Office Temperature Study Examines Office Temperature Complaints
A new study on the most common HVAC complaints released by The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) found that most common grievances are related to temperature. Other major complaints dealt with indoor air quality, draftiness, and noise.

When it comes to addressing occupants' thermal complaints, 90 percent of facility managers say they check the temperature in the area where the complaint was made to see if it is within standards; 87 percent validate that the HVAC system is working properly; and 75 percent adjust thermostats to provide for greater worker comfort.

According to the report, energy efficiency is of prime importance to facility professionals, with the vast majority of respondents saying they utilize a number of energy saving techniques to address HVAC complaints. Seventy seven percent say that they have updated or replaced an HVAC system or components; 73 percent have verified that their building automation system is working as designed; and 52 percent have installed more efficient light fixtures to reflect less heat. Common responses also include modifying ductwork (27 percent), installing new window shades (24 percent) and adding window film to improve thermal properties (24 percent).

The survey, entitled "Temperature Wars: Savings vs. Comfort" was drafted with the assistance of several HVAC experts and was taken during June and July 2009. It is based on the responses of 473 IFMA members.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

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New Report Analyzes Recent Progress in Corporate Sustainability Initiatives
A new report released by Siemens and McGraw-Hill Construction, finds that Corporate America has embraced standard sustainability practices, such as recycling, building green, focusing on employee engagement, and partnering with non-profits into their daily business practices. Three out of four firms who participated in the study view sustainability as consistent with their profit missions. They expect that green practices tied to core business strategies will reduce energy costs (75%), retain and attract customers (70%), provide market differentiation (64%), and serve the financial performance of the company (58%).

The report, entitled "2009 Greening of Corporate America Report" provides comparative statistics, trend analysis, and interviews with corporate sustainability officers at companies including Microsoft, AT&T, and Owens Corning.

For a copy of the report, click here.

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Member News

For a full list of all NAESCO Member News and Projects, please click here.

Project and Products

Ameresco Announces Completion of Porta Community Unit School District Project
Ameresco announced the completion of construction on a $7.6 million energy savings performance contract with the Porta Community Unit School District Project that included significant renewable energy generation technologies and District- wide energy efficiency improvements.

Key elements of this project included the installation of a geothermal heat pump system to replace the aging HVAC system, the recommissioning and upgrade of the HVAC controls, and upgrades to the domestic hot water and pool heating systems. Renewable energy generation included both a 1 kW photovoltaic array and a 600 kW wind turbine.

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Ameresco Announces Completion of Keller Canyon Landfill Gas Project
Ameresco partnered with Republic Services, Inc to complete the Keller Canyon Landfill gas-to-electricity project. This is the second time this year that Republic Services, Inc. and Ameresco have partnered to develop and expand renewable energy sources for California and to provide power to the cities of Palo Alto and Alameda.

Ameresco designed and built the landfill gas-to-energy plant. Using engines from General Electric, the facility generates approximately 3.8 megawatts of electricity, enough to power nearly 2,200 homes. By using the landfill gas for this beneficial reuse project and replacing fossil fuels, the direct and avoided emissions are equivalent to removing 30,000 cars from the road or the planting of more than 36,000 acres of pine or fir trees.

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Ameresco Selected to Construct $795 Million Biomass Cogeneration Facility
Ameresco has been awarded a $795 million contract by the Department of Energy to construct a biomass cogeneration facility and two smaller biomass heating facilities at the DOE's Savannah River Site in Aiken, SC. According to the company, the project is the largest energy savings performance and renewable energy contract in the nation's history.

When completed, the new facility will result in an annual reduction of 400 tons of per year of particulate matter, 3,500 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions, and 100,000 tons of carbon emissions. It will also reduce annual water consumption by 1.4 billion gallons and eliminate the burning of coal by 161,000 tons per year.

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Chevron Completes $11.6 million Dinuba Aquatic Complex
Chevron Energy Solutions recently announced the completion of an $11.6 million Dinuba Pool complex in Dinuba, CA. The complex was the last in a series of building projects Chevron had completed for the Dinuba Unified School District. Chevron developed, engineered and constructed the complex, replacing an energy inefficient pool that was leaking 14,000 gallons of water per day.

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Rhode Island Municipality Selects Constellation Energy's Projects & Services Group to Design Energy Efficiency Initiative for DOE Block Grant Program
Constellation Energy's Projects & Services Group was selected by the city of Cranston, Rhode Island to develop the city's proposal to the Department of Energy's municipal energy efficiency and conservation block grant program. Under the energy efficiency and conservation block grant program, municipalities like Cranston demonstrate how proposed strategies and projects will create energy savings, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, utilize renewable energy, and result in the creation of jobs. Some of the projects that Cranston will be considering as part of the proposal include energy retrofits for governmental buildings—installing energy efficient lighting, upgrades to heating and air conditioning systems, and improving building insulation—as well as deploying solar and geothermal systems.

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Energy Systems Group Awarded Governors State University Contract
Governors State University (GSU) has awarded Energy Systems Group a contract to implement energy efficiency projects. One major renovation is the replacement of two inefficient 750 horsepower boilers with 10 smaller modulating boilers. Other projects include new lamps and life fixtures throughout the university. The building improvements will reduce GSU's carbon footprint by more than 3,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

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Energy Systems Group Announces Completion of Blackfoot Clean Energy Facility
Energy Systems Group (ESG) in conjunction with Veolia Environmental Services announced the opening of the Blackfoot Clean Energy Facility, a landfill gas-to-electricity project in Winslow, Ind. The project, developed by ESG and Veolia Environmental Services, will generate 3.2 MW or enough energy to power approximately 2,000 homes. ESG expects the landfill to generate electricity for 20 to 25 years. By capturing these landfill gases, the project is helping provide environmental benefits equivalent to the removal of emissions from more than 22,000 cars per year or the planting of about 27,000 acres of forest annually.

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Wisconsin Technical College System Awards Johnson Controls $6.9 Million Solar Education Farm Contract
The Wisconsin Technical College System Board Approved a $6.9 million solar education farm project between Johnson Controls Inc. and the Milwaukee Area Technical College. The energy produced from the 411 kilowatt PV project will be used to operate the Milwaukee Public Television transmitter that is located on the site. The farm will also serve as a training center for technicians, designers, site assessors, electricians, sales personnel and other professionals in the fields of renewable energy.

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Johnson Controls and International School Bangkok Launch First Clinton Climate Initiative Building Retrofit Project in South East Asia
Johnson Controls Inc. has just completed a project to transform the energy efficiency of the International School Bangkok. The project included mechanical systems upgrades, lighting retrofits, water conservation and building improvements.

The project, which is the first Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit project to be carried out in a school, will eliminate more than 700 tons of CO2 a year (25% of its greenhouse gases) - the equivalent of taking 128 passenger vehicles off the road or planting 17,950 tree seedlings in an urban setting.

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Lockheed Martin Awarded Pepco Contract to Manage Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs Nation's Capitol
Lockheed Martin was awarded a three-year contract by Pepco Holdings, Inc. to implement energy efficiency and conservation programs and services for its Pepco non-residential customers in the District of Columbia. The programs are scheduled to run until 2011 and include a budget of $12.7 million.

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will manage several programs to encourage Pepco's commercial, governmental and institutional customers to identify and implement energy saving opportunities related to building performance. The Prescriptive Rebate Program, Custom Incentive Program, HVAC Efficiency Program, and Building Commissioning and Operations & Maintenance Program will be designed to encourage the use of cost-effective, energy efficient products and design practices during new construction, renovations, remodels, and equipment replacement events. The programs will encourage electrical, mechanical, and lighting systems improvements, and employ best practices for building commissioning, as well as improving building operation and maintenance practices for Pepco's customers.

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NORESCO to Implement $1.7 Million Energy Efficiency Project for Mineral Wells Development School District
NORESCO will implement $1.7 Million in infrastructure improvements to eight facilities within the Mineral Wells Development School District. The key savings drivers for the projects are lighting systems upgrades, new building automation and control systems, and conventional plumbing fixtures replacements. The Mineral Wells High School will see additional energy savings through the expansion of the existing energy management system, to include conversation from three- way to two- way control valves on all air handling units and installation of variable speed drives on chilled water pumps, hot water pumps and air handling unit supply of fan motors. Additionally, new infield lighting will be installed in softball and baseball fields.

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NORESCO Awarded $34 million Project in the Nation's Capitol
The office of the Architect of the Capitol has entered into a partnership with NORESCO to implement $34 million in facility infrastructure upgrades in the Rayburn, Longworth, Cannon, and Ford House Buildings, as well as in the House Page Dormitory. The project includes upgrades to nearly 33,000 fixtures in all buildings, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls, control strategies, and equipment. In addition, new low-flow restroom fixtures, faucets and showerheads will be installed in all buildings and the steam traps in the Rayburn, Longworth and Ford Buildings will be replaced.

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Siemens Building Technologies Announces Completion of Pennsylvania State Buildings Project
Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., working in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of General Services, has completed a performance-based contract to reduce energy consumption at the Commonwealth's Health & Welfare Building and Labor & Industry Building in Harrisburg, the state's capital. Siemens implemented an $8.2 million performance contract for a broad array of improvements that include a 10-kW solar energy system, building automation control improvements, heating ventilation and air conditioning system enhancements, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. The project also included the replacement of more than 2,000 of the structures' original windows.

The contract, awarded in December 2007, is now finished. Under the terms of the performance-based agreement, Siemens Building Technologies guarantees the reduction in energy use over a 15-year period. The Commonwealth will save the equivalent of nearly $800,000 in energy costs during the first year, escalating by approximately 5 percent per year thereafter. Total program energy savings estimates are expected reduce equivalent energy expenses some $15 million over the life of the contract. According to DGS, net energy cost savings to the taxpayers are in excess of $2 million.

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Siemens to Implement $18 Million in Energy Efficiency Improvements in Connecticut Public Housing Authority
Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., working in conjunction with the Bridgeport (Conn.) Housing Authority (BHA), will soon begin to implement $18 million in energy efficiency and other improvements to single- and multi-unit public housing throughout the BHA system.

Energy and resource efficiency upgrades will be implemented at six major BHA complexes and at more than 500 scattered sites, covering some 2,500 units. Siemens will manage the project and direct the delivery and implementation of new refrigerators, windows, heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems, new light fixtures and lamps, weatherization, water conserving plumbing fixtures, boilers, and sensor-activated exterior security lights. Building automation systems, which allow for remote system operation via the internet, are also slated for implementation by Siemens at 5 of 6 major BHA sites. Under the terms of the contract, which guarantees energy savings, avoided energy expenses over the next 20 years will provide the equity basis for the loans financing the project which is scheduled to be completed on a 14-month schedule.

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Fredericktown, Missouri School District Awards TAC by Schneider Electric Awarded $3.4 Million Contract
The Fredericktown, Missouri School District awarded TAC by Schneider Electric a $3.4 million contract to implement facility enhancements in the district's high school. TAC will implement a variety of energy conservation measures and other infrastructure improvements. These include a new standing-seam meal rook along with the addition of insulation, sealing of building envelope, installing a new variable refrigerant volume heating, ventilation and air-conditioning stem thought, a lighting redesign retrofit, redesigning and replacing drop ceilings, and adding additional electrical capacity. TAC estimates the district will reduce its utility costs by $30,000 annually.

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Houston Awards TAC $9.6 million Contract to Improve Energy Efficiency in City Buildings
Houston has awarded TAC by Schneider Electric a $9.6 million contract to improve the energy efficiency of seven of the city's 271 buildings. Houston is the first C40 city in the US to announce a comprehensive building retrofit project under the Clinton Climate Initiative's Building Retrofit Program. TAC will implement numerous energy conservation measures at these city facilities. For the first phase, TAC will perform energy audits on seven municipal buildings containing 1.2 million square feet. Because existing structures comprise a massive source of energy use within cities, improving their efficiency will have a major impact on local power demand.

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Trane Commercial Systems Awarded $2.3 Million Energy Service Performance Contract to Implement Infrastructure Improvements in Jacksonville, IL Hospital
Trane Commercial Systems will soon begin implementing infrastructure improvements to address aging infrastructure and high energy and operating costs at the Passavant Area Hospital. Improvements include installing more energy-efficient lighting, optimizing the central chilled water and steam boiler systems, upgrading the HVAC systems and controls and increasing energy efficiency and effectiveness of laundry operations.

The improvements, which will be completed in February 2010, are estimated to save more than $313,000 annually, which would pay for the project in 6.5 years.

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Trane Commercial Systems to Awarded $16.2 Million Contract to Upgrade Knoxville, Tennessee Municipal Buildings
Trane Commercial Systems is undertaking $16.2 million in improvements to address aging infrastructure and high energy and operating costs in Knoxville, Tenn. municipal buildings. When completed, the improvements will reduce the county's energy costs an estimated 36 percent by upgrading and enhancing infrastructure in 40 facilities, 24 parks and 37 traffic intersections.

Over the 15-year life of the program, the county will save an estimated $29 million, more than covering the program's $27 million cost. This total cost includes: $16.2 million in infrastructure upgrades, $7.5 million in maintenance and repair services and allotments for debt service and measurement and verification services.

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St. Lawrence University Selects Wendel Energy Services for Energy Savings Performance Contract
Wendel Energy Services has been chosen to provide an Energy Savings Performance Contract for St. Lawrence University as part of the school's efforts to become a climate neutral campus. WES will be working with campus officials to create a comprehensive plan for improving energy efficiency and incorporating renewable energy generation in support of the school's commitment to sustainability. As a signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and the Clinton Climate Initiative, St. Lawrence University has committed to reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and eventually producing "zero net" greenhouse gas emissions.

Wendel Energy will oversee the implementation of several innovative energy saving measures such as the installation of geothermal heat pumps, a biomass boiler for the central steam system and an integrated photovoltaic roofing system.

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Company News


Akerman Senterfitt Hosts Natural Gas Summit
Akerman Senterfitt in partnership with the Florida Natural Gas Association held the first annual Natural Gas Summit on October 1-2 in Orlando, Florida. The meeting explored numerous topics, including the natural gas industry as a partner in the green energy movement; natural gas and oil exploration in Florida; minimizing natural gas price volatility and the utility of compressed natural gas.

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Chevron Receives Green Business Award
Chevron Energy Solutions has received the San Francisco Business Times' 2009 Green Business Award in the "Best Green Service" category. The company was recognized for developing innovative, sustainable projects that provide energy and cost savings through energy-efficient facility improvements, conservation and renewable power projects for public institutions and businesses.

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Comfort Systems USA Energy Services' Timothy Staley Appointed as Regional Representative Southeast for Building Commissioning Association
Timothy Staley PE, CEM, LEED® AP, GBE, HFDP, Vice President of Comfort Systems USA Energy Services, has been appointed as the Regional Representative Southeast for the Building Commissioning Association, an international non-profit organization that serves as the recognized authority and resource on commissioning.

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Constellation Energy's Projects & Services Group Acquires CLT Efficient Technologies Group
Constellation Energy's Projects & Services Group has acquired energy services company CLT Efficient Technologies Group (CLT) as of July 1, 2009. CLT, based near Pittsburgh with offices throughout Pennsylvania, now operates under the Constellation Energy brand.

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Control Technology and Solutions' Projects Earn ENERGY STAR
Control Technology and Solutions (CTS) announced that three of their recently completed projects in Rhode Island, The Putnam County School, Palmyra School and Scotland County School Districts have all earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) prestigious ENERGY STAR. CTS partnered with the school districts to implement energy efficiency improvements in the districts' facilities. Some of the energy saving features of the projects included complete HVAC system upgrades, energy efficient lighting retrofits and energy efficient roofing systems.

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FMI Capital Advisors Closed Two M&A Transactions in the Energy Efficiency Sector in the Third Quarter of 2009
FMI Capital Advisors closed two M&A transactions in the Energy Efficiency sector in the third quarter of 2009. FMI advised CLT Efficient Technologies Group in its sale to Constellation Energy. CLT is a Pittsburgh-based ESCO providing consulting, technology, and equipment to reduce energy consumption and operating costs primarily in government facilities, K-12 schools, public housing, colleges and universities, and commercial and industrial facilities. FMI also advised Kay + Sons in its sale to a private investment group. Kay + Sons, based near Philadelphia, is an integrator of daylight management and solar shading solutions to corporate, university, hospitality, and healthcare clients.

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Johnson Controls Named by Newsweek as a Top Company in its Green Rankings
Johnson Controls was ranked No. 11 of America's 500 largest corporations by Newsweek's Green Rankings. The company placed second in its sector of consumer and automotive. Johnson Controls was described as an "industry leader in addressing climate change risks" which has committed to reducing its energy usage by as much as 50%.

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McClure Company Recognized as Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania
The McClure Company has been distinguished as one of the 2009 Best Places to Work in PA. The firm was given this honor by the statewide program, Best Places to work. This recognition is McClure's third award as a Best Place to Work business.

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Precision Paragon (P2) Announces the Release of its New Catalog of Energy Saving Lighting Products
Precision Paragon (P2) announces the release of its new catalog of energy saving lighting products. P2's product line includes linear fluorescent, CFL, LED, and induction fixtures, kits, accessories and energy saving controls.

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