From safety to energy savings

 With the region feeling the first taste of winter this weekend, local, state and utility safety officials are encouraging customers to prepare their homes for the heating season. From safety and energy-saving measures to budget plans, the company is offering the following information to help prepare for the colder temperatures in the months to come.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Safe Kids Kansas and the Kansas State Fire Marshal encourage Kansans to install carbon monoxide detectors outside sleeping areas in your home to protect your family from this odorless and hazardous gas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children younger than five years old have the highest estimated rate of CO-related visits to the emergency room each year among all age groups in the United States. Nationally, more than 25 children die from CO poisoning every year. In Kansas, over 500 people have been hospitalized and four people have died from CO poisoning over the past 10 years.

“Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless,” said Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. “The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of common winter ailments, like the flu.  Without a CO detector in your home, your family can be poisoned without even realizing it’s happening.” 

“The harmful effects of carbon monoxide strike rapidly and can be deadly,” says Tom Langer, Director of the Bureau of Environmental Health at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “It’s important to have working CO detectors in your home to alert you of this invisible danger before it’s too late.”

Carbon Monoxide detectors cost approximately $20 and can be purchased at most hardware and retail stores.

“Carbon monoxide can cause sudden illness or even death,” says Dr. Farah Ahmed, Environmental Health Officer with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “Having a carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup near where people sleep saves lives.”

Following are tips to protect your family from CO poisoning: 

• Prevent CO buildup in the first place – make sure heating appliances are in good working order and used only in well-ventilated areas.

• Don’t run a car engine in the garage, even with the garage doors open. If you need to warm up your vehicle, move it outside first.

• Install a CO alarm outside every sleeping area, on every level of your home and at least 15 feet away from every fuel-burning appliance.

• When you check your smoke alarm batteries each month, check the batteries on your CO alarms at the same time – and replace the batteries twice a year.

• Never use an oven for heating.

• Portable generators must be used outside for proper ventilation. They cannot be used indoors or inside of a garage.

• Have all gas, oil or coal-burning appliances inspected by a technician every year to ensure they’re working correctly and are properly ventilated.

If more than one person in the home suddenly feels ill for no apparent reason, or if a CO alarm goes off, get everyone outside immediately and call 911 from a pre-arranged meeting place.

“Having a working CO alarm is just as important as having a smoke alarm,” said Doug Jorgensen, Kansas Fire Marshal. “These devices provide the best protection for early detection.”

Kansas Gas Service also reminds customers of the importance of preparing for winter.

Care should be taken that nothing obstructs a heater’s air intake and that vents and flues are intact and unblocked to avoid the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning, KGS recommends. Customers should have a qualified contractor inspect heating and cooling equipment annually and also install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer’s instructions. 

If someone suspects the presence of carbon monoxide, they should leave the area immediately and call 911. 

There are also opportunities to save energy and money. In spite of the cold, customers can reduce the impact of the weather on their bills with some common-sense conservation steps:

• Make sure heaters are properly adjusted and running with clean filters.

• Add weather-stripping and seal windows and doors.

• Consider lowering the thermostat

at night.

• Seal off unused rooms to prevent unnecessary heating.

Customers also may sign up for the Average Payment Plan, which reduces the fluctuations in your bill amount each month by spreading your natural gas expenses throughout the year.

For more information about natural gas safety, energy-saving tips and the Average Payment Plan visit



Energy contracts under study

  • Siemens Industry Inc. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Latham, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union) Photo: Cindy Schultz / 10034432A




Members of the state attorney general’s office have inquired about municipal energy projects in Rensselaer County in the wake of an investigation of a Warren County cogeneration plant project that could have resulted in criminal charges had prosecutors decided to go that route.

Rensselaer County officials took part in a recent “fact-finding” meeting with members of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Taxpayer Protection Bureau to address questions about the county’s use of “energy performance contracts,” a specialized development tool that allows municipalities to make shortcuts in the usual procurement process. Rensselaer County has approved $56 million in EPC projects with Siemens Building Technologies, an arm of the German engineering giant Siemens.

The attorney general’s office declined to discuss the scope of the inquiry, though county officials were left with the impression it was statewide.

In Warren County, a multiyear investigation by the Sheriff’s Department found there was probable cause to charge County Administrator Paul Dusek for allegedly misinforming the county board of supervisors during negotiation of an energy performance contract for a cogeneration plant. Dusek was the county attorney at the time.

The contract was with Siemens Building Technologies, which is alleged to have intentionally overstated energy savings in the contract, according to the investigation.

Warren County District Attorney Kathleen Hogan requested assistance from Schneiderman’s office, which ultimately declined to pursue criminal prosecution against Siemens. There were indications, however, that the attorney general may pursue the case as a civil investigation.

A Siemens spokeswoman declined to say whether the company had been contacted by the attorney general’s office regarding municipal contracts in Rensselaer County or elsewhere in New York.

More Information

Coming Monday: Siemens has a history of allegations of bribery to advance its business concerns.

One of the many aspects of state energy law understood almost exclusively by policy wonks, energy performance contracts allow municipalities to enter into long-term agreements — running up to 35 years — for projects specifically designed to reduce energy consumption and costs.

Unlike regular development contracts, EPCs allow a municipality to hand off to contractors much of the subcontracting responsibilities that would otherwise be handled by local officials. EPCs have piqued the interest of some within Rensselaer County, including at least one engineering firm that has competed with Siemens to secure contracts for major sewer system upgrades.

When EPCs were developed by the state Legislature in the 1980s, “We thought we were doing things like storm windows or maybe a heating plant at a school or a hospital,” said Frank Breselor, the Rensselaer County Sewer District Board chairman and an attorney who helped write the section of law governing EPCs. (Breselor joined the board in 2014.)

Rensselaer County’s use of EPCs has been considerably more ambitious.

Siemens has spearheaded management of upgrade work to the county sewer systems, a three-phase undertaking that includes improvements to pump stations and the county sewage treatment plant as well as an extension of sewer lines to the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals facility in East Greenbush. Under the terms of the EPCs, Siemens manages subcontractors such as well-known local firms BCI Construction and Clough Harbor Associates.

The law states that EPCs must save a municipality money and meet the standard definition of competitiveness under the state’s procurement requirements. County officials characterized the contracts as a tool to streamline projects that otherwise would require multiple subcontracts. By entering into a contract with Siemens, the county could work in direct contact with the company while it managed the subcontractors tasked with performing the work and the purchasing of parts.

Rensselaer County officials are adamant they have done their due diligence before and after signing the EPCs with Siemens.

“This was a new concept for us because it took us outside the normal bidding process,” said Chris Meyer, the deputy county attorney. “We spent a great deal of time trying to flesh it out … and make sure we were on firm footing.”

In 2008, Rensselaer County entered into an EPC with Siemens for an array of county properties. It later struck a multiphase contract with the firm for upgrades to pump stations and a sewer treatment plant that county officials said are necessary under the “Albany Pool” consent order, part of a regionwide blueprint developed to address the blight of sewer system discharges into the river and improve water quality.

These projects, in other words, are not primarily aimed at saving energy.

“Some of these improvements were done through regular bonding mechanisms and bidding processes,” said sewer district counsel David Little. “Only the ones that would create financial efficiencies that could be quantified were included in the performance contracts.”

County officials initially made outreach to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office, the state Energy Research and Development Authority and the county’s outside bond lawyers to check the appropriateness of using EPCs for such work before going ahead with the contract.

A competing engineering firm began asking questions about the EPCs in 2013.

In May 2013, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino sent an email to top county and legislative officials regarding a conversation she had with George Weissman, an attorney who is also a commissioner on the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Jimino’s email indicated Weissman was reaching out in an unofficial capacity.

The concerns Weissman brought forward were similar to those Jimino had heard previously — from a longtime political operative as well as Delaware Engineering, which had once sought to do work in the county and ultimately did some limited design work in the sewer district. In the email, Jimino did not say where these concerns originated.

“I told (Weissman) we felt confident that the project was being done according to the law and in a cost-effective manner, while at the same time acknowledging that some individual component costs may be higher than a bid,” Jimino wrote, adding that the higher costs were attributed to “wrap around services from the contractor.”

Presented with a copy of the email during a break in a recent JCOPE meeting, Weissman said it had “nothing to do with the commission” and declined additional comment.

In a phone interview last week, Jimino said she did not recall any other details regarding the conversation other than what was included in her email correspondence. “That’s all that I heard from him about it,” she said.

JCOPE spokesman Walt McClure concurred that the situation does not appear to be related to the commission’s work. There is no regulatory mechanism commissioners should follow if information is brought to their personal attention in an informal capacity, he said.

Delaware Engineering had previously raised concerns about oversight of upgrades to the county sewage treatment plant. Delaware also complained that an extension of the sewer district’s reach into East Greenbush to serve the headquarters of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals should not qualify as an EPC.

According to a memo prepared by the County Legislature’s majority’s counsel and legislative clerk, County Attorney Stephen Pechenik felt confident in the county’s use of an EPC because the contract provided “100 percent indemnification if the energy savings are not as represented.”

Delaware sought an outside opinion on the use of EPCs. The analysis prepared by attorney John Privitera of the Albany firm McNamee, Lochner, Titus Williams concluded that EPCs “are a very narrow exception to the general rules of transparency and competitive bidding.”

“The exception for energy performance contracts applies only to energy service agreements that are paid for out of energy savings,” Privitera wrote in the report, which was obtained by the Times Union. State Energy Law Article 9 — the statute that created EPCs — “cannot be used for capital projects or for general building or infrastructure construction,” he wrote.

According to Privitera’s interpretation, contracts may only be for services and do not cover capital projects that are funded from sources other than energy savings.

Delaware Engineering’s Ed Hernandez also specifically raised concerns with the legislature majority’s counsel Craig Crist about the use of EPCs. In an email to Crist, Hernandez seemed to indicate an interpretation of the energy performance contract law could be that municipalities can construct projects without meeting municipal bidding requirements, and without the need for a third party to revue how cost savings projections were reached.

Delaware Engineering officials declined to comment. Hernandez, who has since left the company, also declined to comment.

Ratepayers have had to bear some of the debt service costs for Rensselaer County’s upgrade projects, though county officials said long-run cost savings are expected.

In January, sewer district rates were raised 17.5 percent. A 17 percent increase for those without metered municipal water service also was approved by the County Legislature.

A possible 2016 rate increase of 10 percent is being mulled by the sewer district board, which will submit its recommendations to the County Legislature for final approval.

County officials contend that the rate increase has little to do with the Siemens contract, but stem from the improvements required by the Albany Pool plan consent order.

Martin Daley, who oversees the implementation of the Albany Pool plan for the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, said some of the work Rensselaer County has done falls under a pre-existing consent order from the state, some of it falls under the Albany Pool consent order, and some of it is likely above and beyond. “Some of the work is likely above and beyond,” he said, “because it’s like, ‘Hey, look: We’re going to pull the engine out — we don’t have to fix the air conditioning now, but let’s fix the air conditioning.'”

In a brief statement, Siemens spokeswoman Amanda Naiman said the company has guaranteed more than $500 million in savings for more than 135 projects in upstate New York over the past two decades. “We are proud of the work we’ve completed, which has provided our customers with an improved infrastructure that has reduced its energy consumption and its environmental footprint,” she said.

Chris Bragg contributed. • [email protected] • 518-454-5449 • @matt_hamilton10

Kaneland to review energy conservation program

The Kaneland School Board will review a report over how much money the district has saved in the first year of an energy conservation program.

The district committed to a five-year contract with Cenergistic, an energy conservation company that works with institutions to change practices to help reduce utility costs in their buildings.

Consultants for the Dallas-based company place the district’s energy savings to date at $93,715, which is a 7 percent reduction from September 2014 through August 2015.

The energy costs were projected at $1,169,764 but with energy-saving changes the actual energy costs were $1,083,033, according to the report.

They said the success of the program in the first year was due in part to maintenance staff making changes in the heating and cooling systems, teachers reducing energy waste in their classrooms and principals and staff coordinating efforts in their schools.

Cenergistic officials reported that energy-savings technicians conducted regular audits while buildings were occupied and unoccupied. They said an energy conservation culture was promoted but that will have to be further developed to continue with any future progress.

The contract, which was originally signed in May 2014, requires the district pay the firm $9,000 per month for their services.

Board members will review the report at their regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove.

Linda Girardi is a freelance writer for The Beacon-News

South-metro school districts investing in solar energy

From installing panels on rooftops to buying into solar gardens, south-metro school districts are investing in solar energy, hoping to conserve resources and improve their bottom lines.

In 2014, Waconia High School put 96 solar panels on its new gymnasium roof, while the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan district is finalizing the contracts that will place solar panels on two schools next summer.

The Farmington school board approved installing solar panels on five district buildings last week, with plans to outfit all nine buildings.

The energy savings on just those five structures will total $77,760 annually, but if the district eventually buys the panels as planned, energy bills would be reduced by $7 million over 20 years, said Jane Houska, Farmington’s finance director.

Solar energy is becoming a popular investment for cities and counties, too, driven by the same factors that are enticing schools to get on board, said Jason Willett, sustainability director for the Metropolitan Council.

“Solar, in particular, is going through a cost curve that sees the cost come down substantially,” Willett said. “If you can take a long view, you can make money on it.”

Using a renewable energy source also has benefits for its own sake — and having the panels on site, where kids can learn about them, provides a real-world stewardship lesson, district officials said.

“I like the environmental aspect of solar,” said Todd Swanson, finance and operations director for the Waconia district. “We just think in the long term, it’s the right thing to do.”

He estimates that the district saves $5,000 to $10,000 annually with the panels but that it will save $100,000 a year when it buys them in 14 years, he said.

Panels vs. gardens

Schools have long been interested in solar energy but couldn’t invest the large sums needed up front, said Jamie Borell, operations manager for Innovative Power Systems, a developer and installer of solar — or photovoltaic — panels.

Now, federal tax credit programs make it profitable for a third party, such as a bank or an energy company, to purchase panels and install them at a cost of $130,000 to $150,000.

The district pays nothing up front but pays several thousand dollars a year to a third party for the panels — and gets to use the electricity its panels produce. When it has paid off the panels’ cost, the electricity produced saves the district money on its utility bills for at least another 10 to 25 years.

While some districts use their own rooftops as the site of their panels, there’s another option: community solar gardens.

West St. Paul and Waconia have signed agreements to subscribe to solar gardens, composed of acres of solar panels at another location. The gardens produce energy that a power company buys. An investor, like a school district, gets credits on its energy bill, with the credits’ value increasing as energy costs go up.

The garden approach is nice because “there’s less hassles, less risk,” Waconia’s Swanson said. “You’re going to see a lot of schools [investing in] the community solar gardens.”

Still, having dozens of solar panels comes with the benefit of providing a place to learn about energy production, said Mark Fortman, operations director for the Eagan district. After the panels are installed at two schools, those sites will have an indoor display showing the amount of energy produced in real time, he said.

In Waconia, Swanson said that having a demonstration site was an important reason to go solar.

“You can walk your science class over there and they can look at it and check it out,” he said.



Erin Adler 952-746-3283


Free Upgrade Program Helps Improve Home Energy Savings

One mother in Kelowna will be saving nearly $200 a year because of an energy saving program.

Racquel Funnel is a single mother of two teenagers. She works full time and also is going to school full time. Funnel heard of the Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP) through a friend of hers. After applying she was accepted as the first Kelowna home and upgrades have started in her home.

ECAP is a Fortis program that helps income-qualified families make energy efficient advancements in their homes, which will eventually save money on bills.

On November 26th an evaluator toured the family’s home and provided an assessment and gave the mother some energy saving advice. Simple products like lightbulbs were switched out as well as a new low-flow showerhead. New exterior weaterstripping was put into place as well as a water heater pipe wrap.

The home Funnel rents was built in 1970 and was in need of some improvements. The home is being assessed to see if it’s eligible for insulation upgrades, a new refrigerator and a new energy-efficient furnace.

Nicole Bogdanovic, Corporate Communications Advisor for FortisBC said that both homeowners and renters can apply to this program. There are some eligibility requirements which include living in a detached house, duplex, townhouse, or mobile home, as well as having a combined income that meets certain thresholds.

These small energy saving tools can save up to $165 a year in energy costs. Heating and cooling can account for 50 per cent of energy use in a home. Water heating can account for more than 25 per cent throughout the year.

“What working parent doesn’t want to save a bit of money on their bills,” Funnel said. The mother of an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old also mentioned that this program will help teach her children about energy savings as well.

FortisBC estimated that there are 25,000 residential electricity customers in the Southern Interior and the Kootenays that can apply for this program. Bogdanovic hopes to upgrade 250 homes by the end of December.

To apply for the program visit the FortisBC website.

Summerland company boosts energy savings in Arctic homes

A prototype house, using energy efficiency technology developed in Summerland, has been designed for the Northwest Territories.

ElectroMotion Energy, a Summerland-based company, designed and assembled an 84 square metre home to be built in Arctic communities.

The home design uses ElectroMotion’s patented Revolution technology.

The Revolution replaces traditional heating, cooling and hot water systems with one complete unit that also generates electricity. This also provides backup heat and power to the home.

Jai Zachary, president of ElectroMotion, said the home will result in energy saving of 30 to 70 per cent.

“It pays for itself in 25 to 30 years because of the energy efficiency,” he said.

At present, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation has a backlog of providing 2,300 homes.

Zachary said the home can be erected by unskilled workers in less than a week.

Six of the houses will be built in Paulatuk, a community of around 300 people, north of the Arctic Circle.

“This is a great market for us,” Zachary said. “It’s such a perfect match.”

He said figures from the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation show a total cost of $1.4 million for a house and utilities over its 25- to 30-year lifespan.

The Revolution house costs roughly half that amount, and results in significant savings in energy costs.

According to information from the Northwest Territories, energy costs in Paulatuk are estimated at $1,000 a month.

Zachary said the technology and design used for the Arctic climate could work in other areas as well.

“Even though we’ve developed this for the harsh environment up north, for down here, it’s very applicable as well,” he said.

The Revolution technology is now in its seventh generation.


Tint World?? Partners with HornBlasters

BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Tint World Automotive Styling Centers, a heading automobile appendage and window tinting franchise, has partnered withHornBlasters Inc., an American atmosphere horn and atmosphere cessation placement company, to yield all-in-one horn kits for Tint World customers.

Photo –

“Tint World is always looking for products that are unique,” pronounced Paul Pirro, clamp boss of operations and businessman manager. “This will supplement to a existent lorry and off highway opening products business.”

HornBlasters sight horn and atmosphere horn kits are designed to implement on batch and mutated cars, trucks and SUVs. The 12 volt kits have concept focus to roughly any vehicle, and are immediately accessible for designation by Tint World installers.

“As a flourishing source for 12 volt accessories and tradition installations, Tint World was a ideal compare for a HornBlasters brand,” pronounced Manny Rizzo, executive of sales during HornBlasters. “We are vehement to join a some-more than 42 locations via a US and Canada and are looking brazen to benefiting from Tint World’s fast growth.”

Tint World Automotive Styling Centers are heading providers of automotive, marine, residential and blurb window tinting and also offer sales and designation of mobile electronics, audio video equipment, confidence systems, automobile accessories, tradition wheels and tire packages, detailing services, upkeep and correct services, and more. Tint World is also a heading provider of residential, blurb and sea computerized window tinting and confidence film services with locations via a U.S. and abroad, and authorization opportunities accessible worldwide.

About Tint World

Founded in 1982, Tint World has grown to turn an award-winning franchised provider of automotive, residential, blurb and sea window tinting and confidence film services. With Automotive Styling Centers in a U.S. and abroad, any authorization plcae houses approximately 20 distinction centers, trimming from in-store appendage installations, to off-site sales and designation of residential, blurb and sea window tinting and confidence films. To find out more, greatfully

Media Contact: Heather Ripley, Ripley PR, 865-977-1973, [email protected]

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

SOURCE Tint World

GGF gratified with EMEX participation

The GGF was gratified to strech a wider assembly by participating during EMEX 2015 (Energy Managers Exhibition) during London Excel on 11th and 12th of November.  

The uncover that is run by a Energy Managers Association is an annual tie for appetite and comforts managers opposite opposite sectors to benefit and sell pivotal information and ideas on appetite efficiency.

As good as exhibiting during a uncover with an information mount a GGF also presented a advantages of appetite fit glazing and window film.

Dave Cox, Chairman of a European Window Film Association and 3M European Channel Manager presented on a appetite fit advantages of Window Film while Giles Willson, GGF Managing Director supposing an overview of a GGF and how appetite fit glazing is a contingency for existent new buildings. In further a GGF constructed a “Buyer’s Guide to Energy Efficient Glass and Glazing Products” privately for a EMEX Show. The beam will now be accessible for download on a EMEX website

Giles Willson commented, “It is critical for a GGF to share a imagination to new audiences wherever we can as partial of a extended preparation strategy. I’d like to appreciate Lord Redesdale and a Energy Managers Association for a invitation and we demeanour brazen to operative together on a growth of a new Buyers Guide.”

The display and beam are also accessible for download from a Members’ Area of a GGF website underneath publications in a appetite potency section.

Bright future for energy savings in Cohasset

The Town of Cohasset continues its transformation into a greener, more forward-minded community as various projects move toward completion.

On the bright side, the lighting retrofit at the Paul Pratt Memorial Library is more than halfway done, and that’s even counting fixtures that have been added to the scope since the project began. Some basement fixtures are on all the time; retrofitting these will reap energy savings.

The Alternative Energy Committee has also decided to add the DPW to the lighting retrofit project scope, noting that there are a lot of fixtures in the department’s garage. A number of energy-efficient lightbulbs were provided free of charge by the state and are stored in the Deer Hill basement, just waiting to be screwed in.

The Town continues to work with National Grid to reconcile the true number streetlights the utility operates within the town. Many fixtures identified by Grid could not be located during a recent third-party survey, while others were out of order. Cohasset is seeking a rebate for non-operational streetlights discovered during the survey.

Grid has to reconcile the true number of streetlights within 60 days of the Town’s notice, meaning there should be some resolution by the end of 2015. At that time, the Town can move forward with plans to purchase and retrofit the streetlights with more efficient LED bulbs.

Not so bright, however, is the forecast on the solar PV array proposed for the Middle/High School roof. Since the roof is already 15 years old, Alternative Energy is opting to hold off until it gets replaced in another five to 10 years. Otherwise, solar panels would have to be removed and stored in order for roof construction to take place.

Earlier this fall, the committee fielded a proposal from a Florida company called SunConnect, which said it could bundle a roof replacement and a solar array into the same contract, but the town was not impressed with the proposal.

“They’re not a roofing company,” said Town Engineer Brian Joyce. “And they’re from Florida, so they don’t deal with the same issues we deal with up here.”

The committee will reconsider the idea when it comes time to replace the roof in 2023 or ’24.

Follow Amanda on Twitter for updates: @MarinerAmandaT

Retail Market Price of LED Bulbs needs correction to make it affordable

Retail Market Price of LED Bulbs needs correction to make it affordable

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Power, Coal and New Renewable Energy has said that the world today is looking for the massive roll out of LED programme in India. While officially announcing the milestone of distributing over three crore LED Bulbs by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under DELP programme here today, Shri Goyal felt that there is a need for correction of the retail market price of LED bulbs and suggested the industry to look for more innovative retail platforms in order to make it more affordable to the people. In this regard, he urged the industry to join the ‘Make in India’ programme for manufacturing the basic components of LED bulbs in the country.

Appreciating the efforts of EESL for achieving the historic milestone, Shri Goyal said that the success of the programme will strengthen India’s stand at forthcoming COP21 at Paris and will present India as a responsible nation.

Before interacting with the media, Shri Goyal had detailed interaction with the industry representatives in which he took their feedback and suggestions on the DELP programme. The Minister assured all the stakeholders his full support for the growth of the industry.

The Minister also released “Monitoring and Verification Report of Street Lighting and DELP Projects” on the occasion.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency said that to meet the energy needs of our future, we need to increase electricity generation by at least 6 times. Energy efficiency will play a key role in this, because the cost of saving energy is only one-third of the cost of generating it. The three crore milestone is very significant and EESL has done a great job in achieving this milestone in such a short span of time.

Shri Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director EESL, said that the achievement is evident from the fact that as a nation we are open to adopting and deploying new energy efficient technology and of our seriousness towards energy efficiency. We are currently distributing more than 15 lakh LEDs every week and this number will only go up. Shri Kumar said that EESL will cover the entire country by February 2016 and achieve distribution of 15 crore LED bulbs by March 2016.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a public sector entity under Ministry of Power, has taken up the project of distributing LED bulbs under its flagship initiative, the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP). The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  inaugurated the DELP scheme on 5th January 2015. The scheme is presently running in six states in India – Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and is rapidly expanding across all other   states. The three crore LED Bulbs distributed by EESL will result in an annual energy savings of 4 billion Kwh, capacity addition avoidance of 900 MW and cost savings of Rs 304 crore.

Distributing three crore LED bulbs have helped avoid peak demand of over 975 MW. This massive scheme has impacted over 90 lakh consumers across the country and has led to reducing over 8000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. India has made an international commitment of reducing its carbon emission intensity by 30-35%. Building capacities while adopting and deploying new energy efficient technology, and other technologies to reduce carbon emissions is one of the mitigation strategies that India has.

The target of the DELP is to replace all the 77 crore incandescent bulbs sold in India by LEDs. This will result in reduction of 20,000 MW load, energy savings of 100 billion KWh and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions savings of 80 million tons every year. The annual saving in electricity bills of consumers will be Rs. 40,000 crore, considering average tariff of Rs. 4 per kWh.


The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the DELP scheme in January 2015, to be executed across 100 cities. Through this scheme, residential consumers are provided with high quality LED bulbs given at a concessional rate of Rs.100-105 as against the market price of Rs 350 to 450. The DELP scheme has also significantly impacted the market price of LED bulbs, through a combination of aggregation and transparent procurement.  EESL has  been able to procure LED bulbs for Rs 73 as of June 2015 , down from Rs 310 in February, 2014, a reduction of over 75%.

The target of the DELP is to replace all the 77 crore incandescent bulbs sold in India by LEDs. This will result in reduction of 20,000 MW load, energy savings of 100 billion KWh and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions savings of 80 million tons every year. The annual saving in electricity bills of consumers will be Rs. 40,000 crore, considering average tariff of Rs. 4 per kWh.

This scheme is readily adopted by the state DISCOMS because EESL makes a 100% upfront investment and no additional budget allocation by the former. Recovery of the investment by EESL is either through monetisation of energy savings or through easy EMIs over a period of 10 months from consumer’s electricity bills.

DELP Dashboard:
National DELP Dashboard is an integrated, real-time, and web-based dashboard which dynamically refreshes at an interval of 15-sec to display in real-time, number of LEDs distributed at national level. This is achieved by aggregating real-time feeds from multiple states where DELP is ongoing.

Through microsite, consumers can take a pledge of switching to LED bulbs, which are safer, brighter and consume less energy. The Microsite visitors can join the movement by simply clicking “Take a Pledge” tab which is prominently displayed on the homepage.
Under this scheme, superior quality energy efficient LED bulbs are distributed to domestic consumers at one-third the market price at designated centres. The consumers’ electricity bills are estimated to get reduced by about Rs. 160-400 per year with each LED, thus making the cost recovery lesser than a year.

The milestone of distributing three crore LED bulbs have helped avoid peak demand of over 975 MW. This massive scheme has impacted over 90 lakh consumers across the country and has led to reducing over 8000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. India has made an international commitment of reducing its carbon emission intensity by 30-35%. Lighting up of 3 crore LEDs is equivalent to growing 72 million tree and is equivalent to 144 thousand garbage trucks of waste recycled. Building capacities while adopting and deploying new energy efficient technology, and other technologies to reduce carbon emissions is one of the mitigation strategies that India has.

The LED bulb under the DELP scheme is technologically superior from the other bulbs in the market. A 7W LED procured under DELP gives the same and in most cases better lumen intensity and brightness than a 60W Incandescent bulb. The lumen output of a 60 Watt incandescent bulb is 450 lumens. Whereas, the lumen output of a 7 watt LED bulb, offered as part of the DELP scheme, is 600 lumens. The proportion of lumens that falls in an area from an LED light source is greater than that of a conventional light source. The LED bulbs distributed under this scheme have a three-year free replacement warranty. The LED bulbs given under this scheme are 50%-80% more efficient than CFLs and other incandescent bulbs.

Feds: Man condemned in Iraqi pizzeria scheme

  • A former Connecticut proprietor was condemned on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 for baked adult a devise to open adult a pizzeria in a U.S. Consulate in Iraq. Federal officials pronounced it was one intrigue that Joseph Morris used to deceive investors of some-more than $200,000. Photo: Christian Abraham / Christian Abraham / Connecticut Post



Federal prosecutors pronounced former Ridgefield proprietor Joseph T. Morris baked adult a devise to open adult a pizzeria in a U.S. Consulate in Iraq. He also told investors in his association that he had an disdainful agreement to to discharge and implement specialty window film on vehicles and during hotels, residences, and supervision buildings, that would strengthen windows and windshields from blasts and breakage.

Then there was a other intrigue in that Morris designed to emanate an atmosphere load association shaped in Ghana.

Morris’ skeleton sounded good to about dual dozen investors – many of them troops veterans – who gave him about $175,000 for a Iraqi pizza corner and a window film venture.

But there was a problem: Morris never had an agreement to open and work pizzeria in a U.S. consulate devalue in Erbil, Iraq. And that window film business? There was never any “exclusive arrangement” with a window film manufacturer to discharge and implement specialty window film in Iraq.

Instead, sovereign officials say, Morris diverted vast sums of income for his possess personal use.

On Tuesday, Morris, who had changed to balmy Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was condemned to subsequent 27 months in a sovereign jail. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven also systematic him to 3 years of supervised release, for handling dual investment schemes that defrauded people out of some-more than $200,000.

According to justice papers and statements done in court, Morris and dual other people shaped a association in Oct 2011 to rise business opportunities in Iraq. The company’s initial concentration was on substantiating a pizza grill during a U.S. Consulate devalue in Erbil, Iraq, and substantiating a business to discharge and implement specialty window film that would yield feverishness retention, ultra-violet shielding, and privacy. Morris was a company’s in-country manager in Iraq.

“Morrris done countless fake representations to his co-founders per a grill and a window film business, meaningful that a representations would be communicated to intensity investors to satisfy them to deposit in a company,” Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for a District of Connecticut, pronounced in a release. “Through a use of fake emails and photographs, Morris secretly represented that a franchise had been sealed to settle a pizzeria on a U.S. consulate devalue in Erbil, that renovations were underway, and that swell was being done toward completing renovations and opening a restaurant. Morris also secretly represented that a association had an disdainful arrangement with a specialty window film manufacturer to discharge and implement a window film in all of Iraq.”

Daly pronounced a intrigue was suggested in late Apr to early May 2012 when one of a co-founders detected that a association did not have a franchise or agreement to open and work a pizza grill during a U.S. consulate devalue in Erbil and that a association did not have an disdainful arrangement with a window film manufacturer to discharge and implement specialty window film in Iraq.

Between May 2012 and Dec 2012, Morris also defrauded dual people out of a sum of approximately $20,000 in start-up income that they supposing to MORRIS as partial of a devise to emanate an atmosphere load association shaped in Ghana. Instead of regulating a supports for business expenses, Morris diverted vast sums of income for his personal use.

As partial of his sentence, Morris was systematic to compensate compensation in a volume of $205,849. He pleaded guilty to one count of handle rascal on Jun 9, 2015, and has been expelled on bond. He was systematic to news to jail on Jan 15, 2016.

Climeon’s groundbreaking heat-power solution wins prestigious award for marine …

Climeon AB has been awarded “Technology Innovation Award” by the multinational consulting and analytical firm Frost Sullivan for its groundbreaking heat power solution. Frost and Sullivan rates Climeon Ocean as #1 industry solution for Marine Waste Heat Recovery. Climeon Ocean uses low temperature heat and converts it into 100% clean electricity.

November 17th, 2015, Climeon was awarded “Technology Innovation Award” at the “Excellence in Best Practice Award Banquet” hosted by Frost Sullivan in Frankfurt, Germany. Frost and Sullivan also released a report on Marine Waste Heat Recovery Solutions rating Climeon as #1 with a scoring of 9,2 (excellent) on a scale from 1-10.

In their report Frost Sullivan conclude that the technology “provides customers with superior operating efficiency“ and that Climeon delivers “a high return on investment” to its customers.

– It’s a great honor for us winning such a prestigious award, says Climeon CEO Thomas Öström.

In their conclusion Frost Sullivan states that they “…fully expect this system to take off within the marine industry”. Key benefits from the system include:

• Up to 14% efficiency
• Typically, around ~5% fuel savings for marine installations
• Typically, around ~5% CO2 reductions
• Well suited for all ships with 5MW engines
• Designed for new-build as well as retrofit

Climeon Ocean is a system that converts hot water between 70-120 oC into 100% clean electricity. The system is scalable from 150 kW up to 1 MW. Each unit can help customers reduce CO2 emissions up to 5 000 metric tons per year.

– No commercially available technology can convert water at 90 degrees Celsius to electricity with reasonable efficiency but the Climeon system exceeds 50 percent of the theoretical maximum of 18 percent, said Krishna Venkataramani, Frost Sullivan Senior Research Analyst

With its record high efficiency and compact design, the solution does this at a cost typically lower than traditional energy sources, such as coal and oil. As a consequence, this clean electricity source becomes a true alternative energy source with a potential to significantly impact the global CO2 emissions.

Climeon’s vision is to make the world better via brilliant innovations. Climeon’s mission is to make customers more successful by challenging established truths. The groundbreaking Climeon Ocean solution converts hot water into electricity with attractive payback times.
Source: Climeon

Iran Energy diplomacy

Nov. 24

By Sam Barden for Trend Agency

Climate Change vs ISIS

The single biggest threat and common enemy of the World today is not ISIS, it is Climate Change! Unless we move to an era of Energy co-operation rather than energy competition, climate change will eventually defeat all of humanity, regardless of race or religion.

Energy Diplomacy

Energy co-operation can be achieved today, through the deployment of Energy diplomacy, setting the world on a new path, which can defeat climate change. As the world prepares for the re-entry of Iran into the global hydrocarbons market, and global markets generally, will Iran simply re-enter the current market complex? Can Iran lead the world into a new era of energy co-operation and energy pricing through Energy diplomacy, taking into account carbon fuel savings, which has intrinsic value, rather than measured through USD savings which has no intrinsic value? The answer is, yes they can.

Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)

Iran heads the Gas exporting Countries Forum (GECF) through the position of Secretary General, currently held by HE Seyed Mohammad Hossein Adeli, an Iranian National. He is the second person to hold this position, after Leonid Bokhanovsky, of Russia. Russia and Iran hold approximately 44% of the worlds proven gas reserves between them, and both countries are looking at how to create a complimentary energy pricing and trading complex which does not rely on the USD as the base pricing mechanism for energy globally.

Multi polar economy vs Uni polar military

The conundrum, which has dogged the world recently, has been the fact that we live in a modern multi polar economy globally, yet we have had a uni polar military system. Finally, this has changed, and we now have a multi polar military world to compliment our multi polar economic reality. President Putin has lead this change, through the deployment of the Russian military into Syria. The result has catalyzed other nations to join Russia to create a multi polar military complex for the first time since the Second World War. There is no turning back from this reality, and nor should there be.

Dollar Politics vs Energy Diplomacy

Dollar politics is practiced through dollar diplomacy, which is what the G20 is all about. Through the IMF or the World Bank more debt is offered to pay existing debt, via the banks of course, in exchange for governments agreeing to austerity measures on their countries, which are normally things like slashing public sector spending, pensions and social security. Each country is also asked to increase taxes in order to pay for the new debt, which is used to pay for the old debt. The credit crisis of 2008 has invalidated dollar diplomacy. It is simply no longer working.

Intrinsic value (Energy) vs Non-intrinsic value (USD)

What is needed is a debt equity swap. Our current economic system is distorted because it is overlaid by bank money, which is intrinsically worthless.
The time is right for a move to reality-based economics, by way of swapping debt-based money for intrinsic-based value. The simple solution is to price our currencies not against something with no intrinsic value such as debt, but price it against something with intrinsic value such as energy, or more specifically energy units.

Gas Energy units as a World standard

An energy unit is an undated credit, redeemable in payment for the underlying. This is different to a USD (actually a Federal Reserve Note) because an energy unit is asset-based, whereas a USD is debt-based. If we start with an energy unit in gas, and say that each energy unit in gas is redeemable for 5 mmbtu (one million British thermal units) each worth $5, then all of the sudden we have an asset-based currency valued in energy. To put this in perspective, one btu would heat about three cups of tea or 500 milliliters of water.

Dollar politics and dollar economics will evolve to energy economics. Energy economics is neutral, and relies on innovation of production, efficiency of distribution and a mechanism for clearing and account. This will drive us to naturally value energy savings, unlike the current carbon tax, which has no intrinsic value and taxes valueless CO2 emissions. Energy economics is not an alternative to dollar economics but is a complimentary or additional economic approach.

Energy diplomacy

Energy diplomacy will be instrumental in this evolution. The IEF (International Energy Forum) has 87 member countries, which account for 90% of oil and Gas supply and demand, just one home for the practice of Energy diplomacy. The GECF is a more natural home, as gas is homogenous and therefore able to be the global price basis for intrinsic value, based in energy.

Open Energy

Back in 2006, I wrote and presented to the Russian oil Ministry what I called Open Energy. Open energy identified that the hydrocarbons markets and commodity markets generally, are fragmented, opaque, inefficient and mispriced. Coupled with the fact that the global banking system is under enormous stress, flooded with valueless currency through quantitative easing in the form of debt based credit, the role of intermediaries, mostly banks, the risk of failure and boom bust cycles is even higher, and surely does not fit with Iran’s stated desire for a resistance economy. The solution is a collaboration of global exchanges, which can trade and swap energy products. Investment Capital enters directly onto the Exchange and directly into the tradable product, thus greatly reducing counterparty risk, exposure bank risk, and indeed outside market volatility. In fact, as President Rouhani stated in 2014 at Davos, we need a new market paradigm where consumers and producers can come together to create value directly. He is correct, and the infrastructure already exists within Iran. As Chris Cook noted, “as President Rouhani stated in Davos in 2014, there is a need for new multilateral energy market institutions which enable producer and consumer nations to transact directly, and to collaborate by sharing costs, knowledge, information, expertise and risk.” All that is needed is some innovation of products.

Energy Swaps

A transparent, accessible exchange based product swap listed on the Iran Oil Bourse, on Kish Island, would be a first step in Iran moving the global energy market toward long lasting energy security, using energy diplomacy. A combination of the Iran Oil Bourse and a Russian Exchange, such as St Petersburg Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX) could be enough to launch a new mechanism to price and trade gas on a multi currency basis and with a regional, globally recognized price benchmark such as the Caspian.

Syria solution

The war in Syria is not about democracy, or religion. It is about transiting gas from the Caspian region through Iran, Iraq, Syria and into to the Mediterranean. A combination of diplomacy and regionally based and accepted pricing and trading mechanisms will achieve this peace, driving investment back into the region and reversing the refugee crisis which is threatening to sink the European Union. This will only be attained and made sustainable through diplomacy, and specifically through energy diplomacy. Iran, through the GECF can drive this solution, providing regional security, peace and enhanced global energy security.


The GECF, currently lead by Iran, has all the tools, relationships and most certainly the power of intellect to drive meaningful and sustainable innovation and change to the global energy complex, and finally address the elephant in the room, climate change. An Energy based global trading system, priced in gas, in a collaborative framework, which includes producers and consumers will be a natural compliment and ultimately transition the world away from the Bretton Woods based standard, to a gas based system which rewards resource efficiency and monetizes energy savings. Energy diplomacy is the most powerful and sensible tool to achieve this, and Iran can deliver this outcome now.

Sam Barden is the director of SBI Markets, an international commodity trading and advisory company which advises governments and private firms on deal financing and facilitation

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Guaranteed good potion films from internal business

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To find out some-more about what Extreme Window Films offers, visit a website, call 416-834-6685 or send an email.

OCFS Gets Grant For Energy Savings

ALBANY—-The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has awarded $315,000 in competitive grant funds to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to help the agency meet energy savings goals outlined in an Executive Order to state agencies.

Two OCFS grant applications were successful in a field of more than 130 submitted by state agencies in the NYPA Operations and Maintenance Acceleration Program (OMAP) Grant Competition.

A $250,000 NYPA award will enable OCFS to replace exterior lighting along fence line perimeters at eight juvenile justice facilities across the state with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lights. The improvement is expected to conserve approximately 500,000 kilowatt hours (kwh) per year, which will save some $60,000 annually in energy costs. OCFS will receive an energy use intensity (EUI) credit of three percent for the reduction in energy use.

A second award of $65,000 will enable OCFS to replace 1,000 interior lights at all 12 juvenile justice facilities in New York State with more energy-efficient T8 fluorescent tubes. This improvement will generate $35,000 in annual energy savings, crediting OCFS with a one-and-a-half percent EUI credit.

OCFS is honored  to have been awarded these grants to move the agency’s energy saving projects forward,” said OCFS Acting Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “The improvements will net significant annual savings while maintaining proper lighting both inside and outside our facilities.”

Combined, the two projects will save nearly $100,000 a year in energy costs at OCFS and achieve four-and-one-half percent of the 20-percent mandated energy savings improvement outlined in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order #88 of 2012, which requires state agencies and authorities to meet energy savings goals by April 2020.  11-23-15

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Suffolk County Authorizes Renewable Energy Loan Program

Long Island Press Releases

Schneiderman bill allows businesses to access low interest loans

(Long Island, NY) The Suffolk County Legislature on November 17 unanimously supported legislation sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer Jay Schneiderman (I-Southampton) authorizing the county to be added as a municipal member to a New York State sustainable energy loan program.

The Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), a not-for-profit local development corporation, will act on behalf of the county to provide loans to commercial and non-profit property owners for the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficient measures through its Energize NY program. EIC will assist in the implementation of the program and will help facilitate financing for qualified property owners.

“By joining the EIC, the county will enable commercial property owners to make energy efficiency improvements and install solar panels and other renewable energy systems with no up-front investment,” said Legislator Schneiderman. “Under this program, the annual energy savings must exceed the annual cost of the low interest loan in order to qualify. This creates an economic incentive for businesses to upgrade to energy efficient and renewable energy systems.”

Energize NY will make a positive or negative determination on applications made by commercial and not-for-profit properties for proposed energy efficient and renewable energy improvements. Most existing commercial and not-for-profit buildings are eligible for this program, including multi-family, commercial and industrial, retail and mixed use, private schools and colleges, agricultural facilities, houses of worship and other institutional buildings.

Energize NY will review proposed clean energy measures to confirm that the proposed improvements are cost effective for the property owner and are expected to generate an estimated annual cost savings greater than the annual finance payments. Eligible clean energy improvements include a range of energy efficiency measures, such as efficient lighting, insulation and air sealing, efficient heating and cooling systems, smart controls, energy storage as well as renewable energy systems such as solar electric, biomass and geothermal systems.

Eligibility for Energize NY financing is based on the property’s potential to save energy and proof that the property owner is current on its mortgage and real property taxes for the last three years.

Energize NY provides qualified property owners with long-term financing with competitive interest rates that range from 4-6% depending on the terms of the loan. The financing is repaid through an annual charge that will be placed under the county portion of the property owner’s tax bill, which automatically transfers to a new owner if the property is sold. The county’s responsibility is to collect, enforce and submit this charge to Energize NY.

There is no cost for the county to enter this program. EIC earns revenue off of the financing it provides to the property owners who qualify for Energize NY financing.

This program will improve economic development by lowering New York State’s high energy costs. The program will also create new jobs for the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors and help improve our environment.

New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Bridgehampton) sponsored state legislation to authorize municipalities like Suffolk County to create this sustainable energy loan program.

“We are very excited that Suffolk County has voted to join our program to realize the many benefits of reducing energy waste in local buildings and delivering energy savings to their residents,” said Mark Thielking, executive director of Energize NY. “It makes financial sense for every commercial building owner in Suffolk County to evaluate their building’s potential for energy savings through energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements.”

“An energy independent East End is much closer today,” said Steve Abramson, a member of the Water Mill Civic Association.  “With PACE financing in place, solar installations charged on your property tax bill will be easier and cheaper than paying PSEGLI for your power.  This program is a major clean energy initiative made possible by New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.”

Representing the South Fork, Deputy Presiding Officer Jay Schneiderman is the Suffolk County Legislator for the Second Legislative District. For more information, or to arrange an interview, please call (631) 852-8400.

Tint World® Earns Franchise Times Top 200+ Recognition – SYS



BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Tint World® Automotive Styling Centers™, a heading automobile appendage and window tinting franchise, has been named to Franchise Times Top 200+ list for 2015. Recognized for a worldwide income and general standings, Tint World®’s ranking outlines a fourth year in a quarrel a association has been named one of a 500 top-performing U.S.-based authorization brands.

Photo –  

“We’re frequently being famous as one of a adult and entrance automotive business models in a universe and earning a ranking on this year’s Franchise Times Top 200+ list is serve explanation of a efforts to be leaders in franchising,” pronounced Charles J. Bonfiglio, Tint World® CEO. “Our business indication offers stretchable solutions for a accumulation of entrepreneurs in and out of the United States and many of a owners have proven successful even but any before automotive experience.”

The Franchise Times Top 200+ list ranks companies by worldwide revenue, formed on their complement far-reaching year-over-year sales growth. Tint World® was one of usually 21 automotive brands on a list of 500, being a heading provider of mobile wiring and automotive customizations.

“As Tint World®’s strech continues to grow globally, a aim is to be tip of mind when it comes to mobile electronic sales, installations, window tinting, automobile audio and more,” pronounced Bonfiglio. “Part of a success has been a total corporate training and support to all a franchisees, as any plcae offers such a far-reaching accumulation of services.”

Tint World® Automotive Styling Centers™ are heading providers of automotive, marine, residential and blurb window tinting and also offer sales and designation of mobile electronics, audio video equipment, confidence systems, automobile accessories, tradition wheels and tire packages, detailing services, upkeep and correct services, and more. Tint World® is also a heading provider of residential, blurb and sea computerized window tinting and confidence film services with locations via a U.S. and abroad, and authorization opportunities accessible worldwide.

For some-more information on Franchise Times Top 200+ List, revisit

For some-more information on Tint World® Automotive Styling Centers™ and inhabitant authorization business opportunities accessible now, revisit


The Franchise Times Top 200+ is a usually ranking by worldwide income and locations of a largest 500 U.S.-based authorization brands. Published in a Oct issue, a Franchise Times Top 200+ also analyzes 12 attention sectors formed on commission change in sales growth, reports a 10 fastest-growing franchises by 4 opposite measures, and includes little-known stories about a biggest names in franchising. The rankings and full report, and a new searchable online database, are accessible during

About Tint World®

Founded in 1982, Tint World® has grown to turn an award-winning franchised provider of automotive, residential, blurb and sea window tinting and confidence film services. With Automotive Styling Centers™ in a U.S. and abroad, any authorization plcae houses approximately 20 distinction centers, trimming from in-store appendage installations, to off-site sales and designation of residential, blurb and sea window tinting and confidence films. To find out more, greatfully revisit and

Tint World® Contact:

Charles J. Bonfiglio, CEO

(800) 767-8468

[email protected]

Media Contact: Heather Ripley, Ripley PR, 865-977-1973, [email protected]

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

SOURCE Tint World


Act Authorizes Public Entities to Implement Energy Savings Improvement Programs

(TRENTON) -Legislation Assembly members Sheila Oliver, Pamela Lampitt , Upendra Chivukula, Wayne DeAngelo, Joseph Vas and John McKeon sponsored to authorize state, county and municipal governments and school boards to more easily implement energy savings-improvement programs was signed into law today by Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

The measure allows governments to enter into long-term lease-purchase agreements with energy companies to implement conservation measures.

The savings will be used to defray the contract costs.

“Even the best-laid plans to replace outdated and energy-inefficient heating, air-conditioning or other large capital expenditures can go by the wayside because of tremendous upfront costs,” said Oliver (D-Essex). “But the costs of continuing to use energy-gulping systems gets passed directly to homeowners in higher property taxes. We need to promote partnerships that can lead to direct energy savings and protect taxpayers.”

The measure allows the state, counties, municipalities, school districts, independent authorities and public colleges and universities to benefit from the acquisition of new, efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, as well as other energy-saving improvements such as insulation and more efficient lighting, without the need for upfront spending.

The bill could act as a catalyst to promote and sustain environmentally friendly, or “green,” jobs.

During the first year of the program, the investment could generate $20 million in energy savings and create 500 jobs.

It’s estimated that private investments could total $960 million – with $240 million in annual energy savings – by 2020.

“The cost of operating energy-inefficient buildings impacts everyone,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “As the annual energy savings from these programs grow, more and more buildings can be rehabilitated to make them cost-efficient and make their operation less costly to taxpayers.”

“Investing in energy savings is an important way for us to protect the environment while simultaneously safeguarding taxpayer money,” said Chivukula (D-Middlesex). “Reducing the release of greenhouse gases, promoting energy independence and saving public money is a winning situation all-around.”

“Ensuring public buildings meet the highest levels of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability simply makes sense,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This is the right thing to do for taxpayers, the economy and the environment.”

“This law will protect the environment by reducing the release of greenhouse gases, help advance national energy independence by reducing public entities’ consumption of energy and save taxpayers money, which means property tax savings when it comes to schools, counties and local governments,” said Vas (D-Middlesex). “It couldn’t be more timely.”

“Efficiency is key to delivering cost savings and reducing waste,” said McKeon (D-Essex) “By enabling government entities at all levels to invest in energy saving measures and by funding energy infrastructure, this pro-environment law will reduce greenhouse gases and advance our energy independence.”

Local businesses, non-profits receive PNM Awards – Silver City Sun

SILVER CITY – Several local businesses and non-profits were the recipients of awards from PNM during Thursday’s 2015 Grant County Community Awards Banquet.

Bruce Ashburn, Silver City/ Grant County Chamber of Commerce board member and PNM Community Relations for Grant, Luna and Hidalgo Counties, presented the awards on behalf of the PNM Resources Foundation and the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Programs.

Grants were awarded to 54 nonprofit organizations throughout New Mexico, three of them in Silver City. The Silver City recipients of the 2015 PNM Reduce Your Use Grant Program included Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest – Southern New Mexico West Texas, Life Quest and the Silver City Gospel Mission.

The PNM Reduce Your Use Grant Program awards $250,000 annually to help nonprofit organizations statewide complete projects that reduce their energy use and lower their utility bills, allowing them to spend more on providing essential services to clients.

“PNM is committed to working with our customers to find ways they can save energy,” said Diane Harrison Ogawa, executive director of the PNM Resources Foundation. “Reduce Your Use Grants specifically help nonprofit organizations make their energy saving ideas a reality.”

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest – Southern New Mexico West Texas will use its PNM Reduce Your Use Grant to install new LED energy-efficient lighting.

Life Quest will use its PNM Reduce Your Use Grant to replace 13 single pane windows with more energy-efficient ones.

Silver City Gospel Mission will use its PNM Reduce Your Use Grant to replace old appliances with new energy-efficient models.

Since its inception in 2008, nonprofit organizations statewide have received more than $1.8 million through the PNM Reduce Your Use Grant Program.

PNM also recognized six local businesses that went above and beyond in saving energy in 2014 by participating in PNM Business Energy Efficiency Programs.

The Silver City and Bayard Business Energy Efficiency Stars included Shell Food Mart – top winner in the Small Business category with the highest energy savings; the Town of Silver City – top winner in the Nonprofit/Government Organization category with the highest energy savings; Western New Mexico University – top winner in the Most Innovative category with the highest energy savings; CVS Pharmacy – honorable mention winner in the Large Business category with the highest energy savings; Home Furniture – honorable mention winner in the Small Business category with the highest energy savings.

W N Enterprises Inc. was also named the top winner in the Large Business category with the highest energy savings.

“Helping business customers save money by becoming more energy-wise is an important part of what we do,” said Amy Miller, director, PNM Environment, Local Government and Community Affairs. “We’ve enjoyed working with Silver City and Bayard businesses to help find ways to reduce energy use and we hope more businesses will join us.”

Shell Food Mart’s lighting and refrigeration project replaced 86 fixtures including exterior lights; interior exit signs; and cooler motors, doors and lights. The upgrades will save 64,158 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and with that savings, the project will pay for itself in two years. The project earned Shell Food Mart a rebate of $8,374 through the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Program.

The Town of Silver City replaced 847 lighting fixtures, which will save 69,256 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Silver City’s retrofit lighting project earned the Town rebates totaling $3,515 through the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Program.

Western New Mexico University’s new construction project included energy-efficient lighting in the dormitories; custom exterior lighting; and efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The University is going all LED across their entire campus. New buildings are being built to that specification and older buildings are being relit with new LED fixtures.

The campus is also quite cognizant of choosing and installing fixtures that meet the New Mexico Night Sky Protection Act. The project will save 265,975 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and earned the University rebates totaling $19,348 through the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Program.

CVS Pharmacy’s new construction project incorporated energy-efficient lighting into the design. The project will save 23,276 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and earned the company a rebate of $1,746 through the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Program.

Home Furniture replaced 119 lighting fixtures, which will save 31,038 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. With that savings, the project will pay for itself in a little over two years. Home Furniture earned a rebate of $3,725 through the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Program for its retrofit lighting project.

W N Enterprises Inc.’s lighting and refrigeration project replaced 1,996 light fixtures and 1,227 refrigeration fixtures including case lighting, night covers for displays, motors and heater controls. The project will save 591,193 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and earned the company rebates totaling $30,474 through the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Program.

Since 2009, businesses in Silver City and Bayard have received nearly $212,600 in rebates through PNM programs aimed at helping businesses make energy-efficient upgrades. Those businesses are credited with saving 2,409,650 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

That savings is equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 1,206 metric tons and conserving 859,763 gallons of water.

For more information on the PNM Business Energy Efficiency Program, please visit

Jafza’s green project will help save Dh132m in 6 years

In line with its strategic goal to make Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) the most energy efficient business hub, Economic Zones World (EZW) has signed a MoU with Dewa’s Etihad ESCO to retrofit its existing buildings and facilities to make them more energy efficient.

Jafza has always been in the forefront of implementing the Government’s green initiatives to promote and preserve sustainable ecosystem. The initiation of the present retrofit project further reinforces its commitment. The move is an important step forward in the direction of achieving the Government’s Dubai 2021 plan and following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to use technology and innovation to convert Dubai into a sustainable green city. The project will significantly reduce Jafza’s carbon footprint and will make its operations more sustainable and efficient.

The first phase of the project comprises energy retrofit of 157 staff accommodation buildings in Jafza and includes replacement of 5000 old air conditioners with highly efficient split units; 85,000 old light fixtures with high efficiency LEDs and 31,000 old water fixtures with new efficient water units.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “The EZW-Etihad ESCO contract is for seven years that includes one year for the project retrofit and six years for implementation. The project will generate a net saving of 30 per cent worth Dh132 million over the six-year period. The project will be funded by Etihad ESCO through sharia compliant financing from National Bonds Corporation. The repayment (including financing cost) will be met from the guaranteed savings over the six-year project period.

“The utility cost is the second largest expense for Jafza. The power and water consumption level in Jafza crossed 75 million KWh and 750 million IG per year respectively. As a pioneering free zone and top business hub, we felt the urgent need to make our old commercial and residential buildings more energy efficient. As a result EZW and Etihad Energy, a subsidiary of Dewa, developed a detailed technical scope for an Energy Conservation Project and invited top licensed and certified specialists to participate in this mega project in Jafza.

“After a rigorous tendering and selection process we selected Etihad ESCO for their viable Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) to achieve an average consumption savings of 28 per cent of power, 36 per cent of water while reducing carbon footprint by 75,000 tons during the six year project. It is the largest energy retrofit project in the entire Middle East. I consider this initiative to be a major step forward in making Expo 2020 in Dubai a grand success since sustainability is one of the key components of the upcoming global event.”

Sulayem said: “The guaranteed savings over six years will include the savings of 158 GWh (28 per cent) in electricity consumption and 1.2 billion IG (36 per cent) in water consumption, which together amounts to net 30 per cent savings worth Dh132m. The project will result in the reduction of 75,000 tonnes of carbon emission into the atmosphere.

“The combined average savings in power and water consumption is 30 per cent, which is fully in line with the recently announced the UAE and Dubai Government’s energy conservation strategy that seeks to reduce overall energy consumption to 30 per cent by end-2030. The current retrofit project in Jafza will, therefore, make the Free Zone the first organization in the UAE to comply with the provisions of national energy conservation strategy far ahead of time.”

Saeed Al Tayer, Chairman of Etihad ESCO said, “This is a significant milestone in the history of Etihad ESCO as we sign the largest energy retrofit Project of UAE and the Middle East. Our commitment is to enhance energy efficiency and this project is intended to reduce water consumption and electricity usage thereby saving a significant sum. Etihad ESCO is committed to establish Dubai as a leader in energy efficiency solutions, and this partnership will further commitment to that.”

Jafza has been continuously implementing green initiatives over the years. Specific measures undertaken by Jafza to save energy include the installation of timer controlled devices and photocells in parking areas, corridors and other parts of the buildings as well as replacement of old lighting fixtures with LED in Jafza buildings.

Water saving devices have also been installed in office buildings resulting in 23 per cent water savings. Additionally all sewage water and water drained from air conditioning units is recycled and used for irrigation. Refrigerants are also recycled and reused to minimise the free zone’s carbon footprint. Jafza also extended its green strategies to its logistics developments and warehouses. In 2009, Jafza mandated all facility developments to follow green building standards and ensures its customers adhere strictly to them.

This includes adding energy saving facilities, ensuring there are no ‘over design’ items like roof Lightning Protection systems, optimising loads and a host of other measures. Jafza is using BMS to ensure efficient energy savings in its new projects.

Saskatoon homeowner gets active on energy savings with passive house

When it’s completed, it will be one of the most energy efficient homes in Saskatchewan, and yet it will be passive. 

Holly Ann Knott is building her new house with a passive house design concept, which means it’s airtight to achieve energy savings up to 90 per cent.

Knott and the contractor putting the home together, Robin Adair, joined Saskatoon Morning host Leisha Grebiniski to talk about how, exactly, a passive home works.

Set to be completed at 1102 Temperance Street next spring or summer, it will be the first passive house in the province. 

“I’m surprised this hasn’t become the norm in our climate, that people would be super-insulating their houses to start with.” she said of the home.

A passive house is an energy-efficient one; it’s also a building standard that marks the building as ecological. Passive houses are built in a way that aims to reduce their ecological footprints, resulting in low energy usage for space heating and cooling. 

When building such homes, there are five main areas to consider, according to Adair.

Cutting edge; it’s difficult to accomplish change.
– Homeowner Holly Ann Knott

They’re highly insulated — they’re air tight and don’t lose any heat — and there’s no thermal bridging, which means there’s no contact between building materials used with the ground or the air, he said.

The home also uses super insulated windows, which “produce more energy than they lose;” and there’s an air-to-air heat recovery ventilation system, Adair said.

All those features mean that a furnace — a hot commodity on the ice-plastered prairies — likely isn’t needed in such a house. “The energy demand is so low that we just need small amounts,” he said.

He estimates that the homes use about one-tenth of the energy used by houses with a furnace.

As to why other people in the province haven’t gone the route of redesigning their homes into passive houses, Knott said current building code standards may not encourage innovation.

“Cutting edge; it’s difficult to accomplish change,” she said. 

“Life is all about choices,” she said. “Some people choose to build a swimming pool, or re-do their kitchen. And we’ve chosen to have a passive house instead”.

Commercial and Residential Window Tinting Pros in Boca Raton Use Web Marketing …

Deerfield Beach, FL, Nov 20, 2015 –(– For Boca Raton-area people and businesses looking to stain some-more than their automobile windows, The Window Tint Guys, Inc. should now be easier to find online. Based in Deerfield Beach, this window tinting association specializes in residential and blurb window films for structures opposite south Florida. As a outcome of their new partnership with a Web selling specialists during Prospect Genius, The Window Tint Guys, Inc. will now suffer increasing prominence online.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports 81% of Internet users state that a Internet helps them to be improved sensitive when they are researching products and services they are deliberation purchasing. For a internal association like The Window Tint Guys, Inc., if these Internet users aren’t anticipating their association online when researching blurb window tinting or residence window tint, they could be blank out on a vast apportionment of their impending customers.

However, with a Prospect Genius module operative to maximize online prominence for The Window Tint Guys, Inc., their Website should now be increasingly permitted around both desktop and mobile search. As Prospect Genius comparison marketer Matt Gallo comments, “Today, people go online to find services, either that’s apparatus correct or window tinting. Our pursuit is to make certain The Window Tint Guys, Inc. can be found online when Boca Raton-area folks are looking for blurb and residential tinting services. We’ll assistance these veteran stain installers get a online bearing they need to succeed.”

By availing themselves of Prospect Genius’s cross-sectional proceed to Web advertising, The Window Tint Guys, Inc. can demeanour brazen to increasing accessibility online to assistance bond internal skill owners who are acid for window tinting services with a veteran services a association provides.

Serving Boca Raton and all of south Florida, The Window Tint Guys, Inc. specializes in blurb and residential window tinting services. Offering a accumulation of options for opposite applications, these professionals are accessible to implement musical window film, confidence window film, and most more.

The Window Tint Guys, Inc.
Phone: (954) 687-9789
Address: 3840 W Hillsboro Blvd, #120, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Electricity comes free in Texas time-of-use plans

Time-of-use programs in which power providers charge customers different rates at different times to influence when they use electricity have been around since the start of the 2000s.

Now, with the growth of smart-grid technology and intermittent energy sources, as well as the desire of utilities and grid operators to reduce peak loads, these programs are spreading across the nation.

Perhaps the most extreme example can be found in Texas, where some retail electric providers have programs that enable customers to use power for free at certain times in exchange for paying slightly higher rates at others.

Factors driving the time-of-use programs offered in Texas include:

A competitive market structure in which most electric customers buy power from retail electric providers rather than the operator of their local grid;

an abundance of wind power, particularly at night;

a statewide grid that is virtually isolated from other regional power grids, meaning that the wind power generated in Texas remains in Texas where it drives down electric prices.

and the desire by the state grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, to shift power consumption away from peak demand times, particularly in summer, when Texans throttle up their air conditioners. 

The desire to shift power consumption away from peak demand times, which, as in Texas, are late afternoons and early evenings on hot summer days, also is behind some demand-response and dynamic-pricing programs implemented by utilities in the Northeast.

Planned time-of-use plans in California also are meant to shift power consumption from peak demand hours, and Hawaii is in the early stages of rolling out time-of-use plans designed to take advantage of the plethora of solar and wind power in the state.

Still, none of the variable-rate plans offered elsewhere in the country are as aggressive as the ones in Texas, which enable users to get electricity for free at certain times in exchange for paying slightly higher rates than they would otherwise pay at other times.

TXU Energy Retail Co. LLC has two residential plans that push free power: TXU Energy Free Mornings Evenings, which provides electricity without charge from 7-10 a.m. and 7-10 p.m.; and TXU Energy Free Nights, which does the same thing from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The Irving, Texas-based company designed the plans to be easy to understand, deliver clear benefits and be something that consumers could relate to.

“Time-of-use plans historically were confusing and led with a stick, so to speak, with consumers afraid of the cost of services during peak periods,” Juan Elizondo, TXU’s senior manager for corporate communications, said in an email. “We changed the paradigm to give consumers a clear reason to shift into the nonpeak periods.”

The plans have worked. Elizondo said more than 100,000 of TXU’s 1.5 million customers have signed up for them since TXU began offering them in 2012.

“More importantly,” he said, “TXU Energy Free Nights remains one of the most recognized plans in the Texas market. That means we get consideration from consumers even if they don’t ultimately sign up for it. That, too, is important” because it enables the company to differentiate itself in a marketplace of about 50 retail electric providers.

Statewide, the number of residential customers enrolled in TOU plans grew from 135,320 in 2013 to 290,328 last year, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The growth was due to more than 220,000 new TOU customers in 2014, which more than overcame the 62,794 who dropped out of such plans during the year.

None of the plans would be possible without smart grid hardware and software, such as that provided by Ceiva Energy, which grew out of its parent company, Ceiva Logic Inc., a maker of connected digital photo frames that was founded by former executives of the Walt Disney Co. and is based in Burbank, Calif.

In addition to working with retail electric providers in Texas on their plans, Ceiva helped London -based National Grid plc roll out a demand-response program to 11,000 homes in Worcester, Mass. The program delivered lower rates nearly all the time to participants willing to pay higher rates during anticipated periods of very high demand, which National Grid designated as peak events. One thousand of the participants also agreed to use Ceiva’s technology to get messages from National Grid prior to the peak events so they could use as little power as possible during them.

Participants in the overall program saved from $20 to $80 on their monthly electric bills. Also, the 1,000 who agreed to use the technology that provided them with messages from National Grid about peak events reduced the amount they would have paid during those events by 20 percent, Ceiva said.

Chicago-based Exelon Corp.’s Baltimore Gas Electric Co. subsidiary has run a dynamic pricing program the past three summers. The program, which was rolled out as BGE rolled out its smart meters, gives rebates of $1.25 to customers for each kilowatt-hour they shave from their normal usage from 1-7 p.m. on days designated by BGE as energy savings days.

BGE has been helped with its program by Opower Inc., which has developed a platform using behavioral science to provide utilities with customer-engagement services. BGE used the Arlington, Va.-based company to send personalized messages to customers just prior to and after energy-savings days. The messages let the customers know BGE was declaring an energy-savings day and showed them how much they saved on that day.

The program enabled customers to save nearly $13 million in its first two summers, according to BGE and Opower. The key, said Nicholas Payton, Opower’s associate director for product marketing and strategy, was the customer engagement, especially providing customers with nearly immediate feedback on their savings. As a result, more than 70 percent of BGE’s customers reduced their power consumption on energy-savings days. Payton said similar programs without behavioral components were tested in California and produced very little savings.

“Behavioral demand response is really, in our view, the key to unlocking the potential for residential demand response,” he said.

California’s utilities have been offering TOU programs for about as long as the programs have existed. But the California Public Utilities Commission has ordered the state’s three investor-owned utilities to make them the default plans by 2019. Some in California are concerned that the plans there will have to be modified as more solar power comes online in the state.

In Hawaii, time-of-use plans are being designed to take into account the amount of solar power in the state from the get-go. Honolulu-based Hawaiian Electric Cos. recently proposed a plan that generally would make power least expensive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., most expensive from 4 p.m. until midnight, and in-between from midnight until 9 a.m. 

Energy Focus Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research (EFOI)

Energy Focus (NASDAQ:EFOI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, Market reports. The firm presently has a $16.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 10.19% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Energy Focus designs, develops, manufactures and markets fiber optic lighting systems for wide-ranging uses in both the general commercial and the pool and spa lighting markets. Energy Focus’ EFO system, introduced offers energy savings, heat dissipation and maintenance cost benefits over conventional lighting for multiple applications. “

Energy Focus (NASDAQ:EFOI) traded down 1.63% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $14.52. 121,130 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a 50-day moving average of $14.59 and a 200-day moving average of $12.22. Energy Focus has a 12 month low of $3.95 and a 12 month high of $29.20. The stock has a market cap of $168.81 million and a PE ratio of 22.07.

Energy Focus (NASDAQ:EFOI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 4th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.28. The firm earned $18.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.25 million. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 151.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Energy Focus will post $0.91 earnings per share for the current year.

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:EFOI

In other news, major shareholder Bright Horizon Partners Inc. sold 391,304 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.98, for a total transaction of $6,253,037.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 639,130 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,213,297.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link.

EFOI has been the subject of a number of other reports. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $20.00 price target (down from $23.00) on shares of Energy Focus in a research note on Thursday, November 5th. Canaccord Genuity started coverage on Energy Focus in a research report on Friday, November 6th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $20.00 target price on the stock. HC Wainwright boosted their price objective on Energy Focus from $18.00 to $26.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 31st. TheStreet upgraded Energy Focus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 24th. Finally, Oppenheimer initiated coverage on Energy Focus in a research report on Monday, September 21st. They set an “outperform” rating and a $22.00 price objective for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Energy Focus presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $19.13.

Energy Focus, Inc. and its subsidiaries designs, develops, manufactures, and markets energy-efficient light emitting diode (NASDAQ:EFOI) lighting products, and is a supplier of turnkey, energy-efficient, lighting retrofit options in the governmental and public sector market, and general commercial market. The business operates in two sections: Products providing military, general industrial and commercial energy-saving LED lighting offerings; and Solutions supplying turnkey, high-quality, energy-efficient LED lighting application choices, mainly to the existing public sector building market. The Company’s services include energy audits and comprehensive lighting, lighting design and solution development, turnkey lighting enactment, Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) prepared illumination upgrades, and post and pre upgrade monitoring and measurement.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Energy Focus (EFOI)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit

Making strides for greater energy efficiency in California

By Jan Berman and Austin Whitman


Governor Jerry Brown, joined by a diverse group of utilities and industry partners, made history recently by signing into law California’s most ambitious climate goals to date. The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (also known as Senate Bill 350) calls for a 50 percent increase in building efficiency by 2030. Adopted in conjunction, Assembly Bill 802 provides the means to meet this goal by changing the way energy savings in buildings are measured. Combined, these two mandates expand the opportunity for Californians to pursue energy efficiency as a key part of reaching the state’s overall climate goals. 

Using technology to advance energy efficiency

Together, the bills empower utilities to take advantage of recent technology advances in energy efficiency to help customers simultaneously decrease energy consumption, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By allowing utilities to leverage California’s investment in SmartMeters, Assembly Bill 802 changes the way energy savings in buildings are measured. The bill shifts away from using building codes as a baseline to determine energy efficiency, and standardizes by using a building’s actual energy consumption measured at the meter.

By allowing utilities to pair meter data with data analytics to find and measure savings, Assembly Bill 802 empowers customers to reduce usage in their energy system as a whole, rather than focusing narrowly on replacement of equipment. Customers will be able to better track how they reduce energy waste in commercial buildings, as well as at home, and be incentivized for doing so. 

Utilities will play a major role as trusted advisors for customers, leveraging the latest in data analytics, energy modeling and other technologies. In this role, California utilities will need to:  

* Support their customers’ energy efficiency actions by leveraging the wide variety of energy efficiency programs and tools they have developed as national leaders in energy efficiency program delivery

* Participate in the development of energy saving building codes and home or workplace appliance standards

* Explore new programs and opportunities for increasing efficiency and eliminating energy waste by measuring savings based on reduced energy consumption

A case study on meter-based savings

Customer intelligence technology is already helping to kick start this wave of new energy efficiency programs and tools. The 10 million gas and electric SmartMeters across PGE’s service area allow the company’s customers to take control of their energy use through data via online tools and energy alerts. With advanced meter data analytics, PGE will increasingly be able to tailor recommendations for each and every customer, as well as track the impacts of energy efficiency at the individual building level. Both bills pave the way for PGE customers to become even more efficient through no-to-low cost operational and behavioral changes.  

Building a better California through energy efficiency

Meeting the ambitious goals of Senate Bill 350 presents huge opportunities for California and the future of energy efficiency, but will take work. By collaborating closely with customers, utilities have the tools at hand to make it happen. Leveraging data to provide building-specific insight helps customers make smarter energy choices, and opens the door for  utility system benefits such as reducing peak load and incorporating energy efficiency into distribution system planning. 

SB 350 and AB802 pave the way for utilities to do more to help customers save both energy and money with energy efficiency programs — working together to build a better California for the future.  

Jan Berman is senior director of energy efficiency strategy, research and analytics, with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Austin Whitman is director of regulatory affairs for FirstFuel Software. 











Army facility gets energy-saving upgrade (with related video)


Government Product News

In the photo: an entrance to the U.S. Army’s Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) Garrison in Rock Island, Ill.

The U.S. Army and Honeywell have announced a $22.4-million modernization project at the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) Garrison in Rock Island, Ill. The facility is the largest government-owned and operated arsenal in the U.S.

A 15-year Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) from Honeywell is funding the project. The company guarantees the upgrades will generate enough savings each year to pay for the work, creating a self-funded project, which should reduce or even eliminate the need for up-front capital or additional taxpayer dollars.

The project will help the Garrison eliminate its reliance on coal-fired heating and replace it with high-efficiency boilers that will reduce the RIA Garrison’s emissions. The improvements will enable the site to comply with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The project upgrades will also help the Garrison address recent changes to the EPA Clean Air Act, which calls for a reduction of coal use or the installation of costly pollution control equipment in plants that burn fossil fuels.

As part of the project, Honeywell will replace the existing coal-fired central steam plant with high-efficiency natural gas boilers at approximately 30 buildings. The revamp to the heating system is expected to reduce energy consumption by approximately 11 percent and water consumption by 12 percent. The work should also reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 20,800 metric tons, equivalent to removing 4,500 cars from the road.

“Deferred maintenance due to lack of financial resources is a common challenge for federal agencies and other public entities. However, there are low-risk options that can help overcome these barriers,” says John Rajchert, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “Our work with the Rock Island Arsenal Garrison is a prime example of how organizations can make important infrastructure upgrades, leveraging guaranteed energy and operational savings to help fund projects.”

Honeywell and the RIA Garrison expect to finish the project improvements by the fall of 2016. This work builds on a previous modernization project at an Army manufacturing facility that operates on the Arsenal. Together with the latest effort, the upgrades are expected to cut Arsenal-wide energy use by more than 35 percent and water consumption by approximately 30 percent.

Honeywell has completed almost 5,700 guaranteed efficiency projects around the world, including upgrades at more than 150 U.S. government facilities and campuses. Combined, this work is expected to decrease customers’ energy and operating costs by an estimated $6 billion.

The video shows what areas of operations are enhanced through the company’s Building Solutions offering.


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Chesham business shortlisted for attention award

A Chesham-based window film business will be in a using for a prestigious attention endowment during a black-tie endowment rite tomorrow evening.

The Window Film Company, whose domicile are on Asheridge Road, has been shortlisted for a Small to Medium Enterprise of a Year endowment in a Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards.

The difficulty is judged on criteria including stream business performance, expansion over a past dual years, innovation, and grant to a industry.

The Company, that was founded by Micky Calcott in 1998, now has additional premises in London and employs 28 full time staff.

Mr Calcott said: “I’m positively gay to have done a shortlist.

“We were visited by a judging row as partial of a routine and in explaining to them some of a achievements we’ve managed this year it occurred to me only how bustling we’ve been!

“For all a tough work we’ve put in to be recognized with an endowment assignment is apparently really pleasing, though whatever a outcome I’m gay with a approach things have gone.”

The winners will be announced during a rite during a Madesjski Stadium in Reading on Thursday 19 November.

Chesham business shortlisted for prestigious award

A Chesham business is in a using for a prestigious competition.

The Window Film Company, formed in Asheridge Road, has been shortlisted for Thames Valley Business Magazine’s SME of a Year award, that is judged on criteria including stream business performance, expansion over a past dual years, creation and grant to a industry.

The company, that was founded by Micky Calcott in 1998, now has additional premises in London, though has always had a participation in Buckinghamshire and employs 28 full time staff.

Mr Calcott pronounced a assignment has come after another successful year.

He said: “I’m positively gay to have done a shortlist. We were visited by a judging row as partial of a routine and in explaining to them some of a achievements we’ve managed this year it occurred to me only how bustling we’ve been!

“The year started with a pierce to bigger premises. Whilst a stretch we changed wasn’t far, Higham Mead to Asheridge Road, a dual properties are poles apart.

“We’re now in a entirely refurbished two-storey headquarters, with an whole building dedicated to a imitation and graphics department. The pierce has authorised us to deposit in new apparatus – we purchased a new far-reaching format printer in February, and a increasing space has meant we’ve been means to supplement profitable new members of staff opposite a operation of departments.

“To tip it all off a customer bottom has continued to grow and we’ve available another arise in yearly turnover, so it’s tough not to be gratified with a approach things have gone. For all a tough work we’ve put in to be recognized with an endowment assignment is apparently really pleasing, though whatever a outcome I’m gay with a approach things have gone.”

The winners will be announced during a black-tie cooking during a Madesjski Stadium in Reading tomorrow (Thu) night.

Energy incentives for South Okanagan residents

FortisBC is introducing a new program in the South Okanagan, aimed at lowering both energy use and utility bills.

The Energy Conservation Assistance Program participants will receive, at no cost, a visit by an energy evaluator who will provide a home energy assessment and personalized energy saving advice. The evaluator will also install simple energy savings products like LED light bulbs, low-flow shower and tap heads along with draft proofing.

The inspection doesn’t stop with basic upgrades. The home will be assessed to determine if it’s suitable for insulation upgrades, a refrigerator upgrade or a more energy-efficient furnace.

“Anything that is 20 years or older, in that range, we will replace it with a new Energy Star refrigerator and take the old one away to be recycled. The same thing goes for insulation and furnaces,” said Fortis representative Carol Suhan, who introduced ECAP to Penticton City Council at their Nov. 16 meeting.  “The value of the service can be anywhere from $500 to $9,000.”

For the resident, she continued, that could mean anywhere from $150 to $500 per year in savings.

Another difference with ECAP is that it is aimed at renters and homeowners with low or fixed incomes. While the program is also available to customers on the city-owned power utilities in Penticton and Summerland,  all participants will have to meet the low-income requirement, which Suhan said is set to 30 per cent above Statistic Canada’s low income threshold.

The income for a single-person household would have to be less than $31,700 to qualify at the bottom end of the scale ranging up to household with seven or more, where the income would have to be less than $83,700.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he was impressed the program included renters, and the availability of a similar program for apartment building owners, which includes assistance and rebates in upgrading the buildings and a free energy assessment for common areas.

“For renters, there wasn’t a lot of incentive for the property owners to upgrade the energy efficiency, because the tenant always paid the utility bill. And the tenant never had an opportunity to invest,” said Jakubeit, who asked what the budget for the program was.

“We have set aside for 250 single family homes and 1,500 apartment suites,” said Suhan. “We have already decided we will reallocate budget, as much as we can, so we can do as many homes as possible. We expect this program to go on for the next two to five years.”

For more information about the ECAP program or to apply for an assessment, visit


Harrisburg officials haven’t been able to turn off the lights at city hall for …

HARRISBURG- Most of the lights inside Harrisburg city hall have been left on nonstop for 20 years, city officials said Tuesday night, wasting thousands of dollars in electricity, bulb replacement and maintenance hours.

City officials revealed this week that most of the lights have been illuminated 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as anyone can remember because the lighting control system broke in the building and was never repaired.

“It’s really shocking that nobody thought to do anything about this for 20 years,” said Mayor Eric Papenfuse.

It wasn’t the only maintenance problem that had been ignored at city hall, city officials said Tuesday night during a contentious two-hour joint city council committee meeting. A contract to address lighting controls at city hall was on the agenda.

When Papenfuse took office last year, the building’s exit lights were broken, smoke detectors had not been checked for years and fire extinguishers hadn’t been filled in a decade, said City Engineer Wayne Martin.

The current administration fixed those things, Martin said, and is currently seeking to replace the lighting control system through a guaranteed energy savings contract.

Under the $134,000 contract with the SmartWatt Energy company, the city is guaranteed energy savings of at least $17,330 annually, not including savings in light bulbs and maintenance to replace them, Martin said.

The city currently burns through light bulbs twice as fast because they are always on, Martin said.

City Councilwoman Sandra Reid, who chairs the public works committee, questioned why the city was trying to fix the lighting controls when the building had other pressing needs, including a leaky roof. Reid asked whether damage from the roof would begin to cause compounding and expensive damage in the downtown building.

Martin explained that the roof was beyond repair and a new roof would cost $760,000, which the city didn’t currently have in its budget.

“At some point in time, we’re going to have to find the money to fix the roof,” he said.

Meanwhile, Martin explained, the city included the lighting project in this year’s budget so the city could start accruing the savings. He said the project was expected to pay for itself in three to five years.

The building’s lighting control system would be updated to run through software that would allow employees to set a lighting schedule and override certain circuits if employees work late at night or on weekends.

Reid asked why the city had to install a “state-of-the-art” system when it is facing a $6-million budget deficit next year.

Martin said the wireless, software-based system wasn’t state-of-the-art, but simply the most inexpensive current technology.

Adding light switches to each room would require cutting into walls and rewiring, and could triple the costs, said Tony Acernese, with SmartWatt. Motion sensors are also more expensive, Martin said.

“This was the most cost-effective way to stop the bleeding,” Martin said.

The previous lighting control system operated through 30 phone lines. Employees activated electrical circuits by calling a phone number, entering a password and and pressing one or zero to turn the lights on or off.

Another portion of the SmartWatt contract calls for the company to swap out existing light bulbs in city council chambers and the building’s two stairwells for energy-saving, longer-lasting LED bulbs.

In council chambers, it can take maintenance workers four to eight hours to replace bulbs because of a complicated drop grid ceiling that must be lowered to allow access to the bulbs.

Building codes also call for stairwells to be illuminated all the time, Martin said, to avoid safety hazards that could come with a lighting malfunction. Since the lights must be on 24 hours a day, he said, the city should use energy-savings LED.

In addition to the lights, city officials presented a second phase of the contract with SmartWatt to council members. The second phase would replace equipment to prevent “catastrophic” power interruptions in the city’s information technology room at a cost of $168,000.

City officials said council approval of the second phase would lock in the price, which they said was low, and avoid having to go through the cumbersome bidding process again in a few months in the new budget year.

City council members can approve or reject the budget allocation for the equipment when they approve the 2016 budget, Mayor Eric Papenfuse said.

But Reid took issue with the inclusion of the second phase and said it should be submitted to council after the budget process, not before.

Reid said she would refuse to bring the second portion of the contract out of her committee, even after her colleagues, Shamaine Daniels and Susan Brown-Wilson tried to explain that they weren’t locked into approving the expenditure. Rather, the other councilors said, it would merely lock in the price and save employee hours.

Reid abruptly ended the meeting reiterating her objections and marching out of the room as Brown-Wilson repeatedly said, “You’re wrong.”

If council members want to bring the second phase out of Reid’s committee despite her objections, they would need to gather five votes, said City Solicitor Neil Grover.

DOE Recognizes Arby’s Restaurant Group for Leadership in Energy Performance

ATLANTA — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Better Buildings Challenge program recognized Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. for its leadership in energy efficiency and 38 percent energy savings at its flagship restaurant in Atlanta. As one of the first food service partners to join DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, Arby’s has committed to 20 percent energy savings over 10 years, across 2.7 million square feet of building space, at company-owned restaurants. Within four years, Arby’s is more than halfway to meeting its goal.

Arby’s joined the Better Buildings Challenge in 2015, as a way to improve efficiencies in restaurants and reduce energy consumption and associated environmental and community impacts. Efficiency matters to restaurant owners and employees, since energy costs are among the top expenses — along with food and labor.

“Arby’s energy efficiency work is proof that brands can set ambitious energy savings goals,” said Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Even with historically energy-intensive buildings like restaurants, Arby’s is committed to developing innovative and successful models and approaches with restaurant owners interested in replicating gains in efficiency.”

The energy savings practices and programs implemented as part of the Better Buildings Challenge are part of Arby’s Efficiency Matters campaign, launched by the brand in 2012. As part of the Efficiency Matters program launch, Arby’s set a goal of 15 percent energy reduction by the end of 2015.

“Working with the Better Buildings Challenge has been an important extension of our Efficiency Matters program, inspiring us to increase our goal to 20 percent energy reduction by 2020,” said Paul Brown, chief executive officer, Arby’s Restaurant Group. “Our team members are empowered by the energy savings we’ve seen and we’re excited to continue to find new avenues to reinvest the cost savings, as well as be responsible stewards of the environment.”

The company’s full-scale energy use data monitoring system helps them make informed decisions about when and where to deploy various efficiency upgrades. These include HVAC upgrades, refrigeration and hot water efficiency measures, and lighting retrofits. An energy awareness program geared toward employees focuses on helping sites across the country act on low-cost energy savings opportunities. Arby’s has improved energy performance across 92 percent of its more than 900 company-owned restaurants nationwide.

Arby’s flagship restaurant at 1751 Howell Mill Rd. in Atlanta was remodeled in April and is the most energy efficient Arby’s location in the country. The restaurant demonstrates what is possible for energy efficiency and it also serves as a digital model restaurant, complete with digital menu boards and enhanced point-of-sale technology with new payment options.

Publication date: 11/16/2015

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Supervisors to consider energy savings, make appointments



Newtown Township Manager Stephen Nease introduced to the Board of Supervisors, Nov. 9, Dianne Herrin, director of Energy Management Programs, and Bob McGreevy, an engineer, both with Practical Energy Solutions of West Chester. 

Nease explained that while the board has approved the renovations to the township building, the GESA (Guarantee Energy Savings Act) Act 77 of 2003/2004 allows for municipalities to install energy conservation measures on an installment payment or lease purchase basis, and be paid back out of the energy savings, for as long as 20 years.

Herrin told the board that her company has numerous municipalities and school districts as clients, and that the company’s goal is to “improve efficiencies while saving money and energy.” She also stated that another advantage of GESA is the “no low bidder requirement,” that the company would “select the contractor” best for the township’s needs, including electrical and plumbing.

McGreevy told the board a centralized refrigeration system would eliminate the 33 units in the township building’s attic, would reduce maintenance and mechanical failures. <!–


He said the air cleaners in the system “reduces the need for outside air and eliminates indoor humidity problems, reducing methane, radon, ammonia formaldehyde, VOCs and kills 99 percent of Legionnaire’s, MRSA and mold, improving indoor air quality.”

He also noted that creating a geothermal well field would further reduce energy use and would eliminate the need for boilers and/or cooling towers.

“It all adds up to a simpler system in less space with reduced maintenance, substantially lower energy bills, longevity and superior performance.”

Nease said the “whole building, including the library” would be included in the proposal, and that reducing the number of units on the second floor would increase the amount of floor space available for expansion.

The supervisors, minus Chairman Joseph Catania who was absent, said they would look at the proposal and discuss it at the Nov. 23 meeting.

In other business, the supervisors approved: Continued…

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School board to hold presentation on energy savings plan

Upper Township Middle School

Upper Township Middle School

Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:15 pm

Updated: 1:17 pm, Thu Nov 12, 2015.

School board to hold presentation on energy savings plan

PETERSBURG – The Upper Township Board of Education will have a presentation on its Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP) at its Monday, Nov. 16 meeting in the Upper Township Middle School library.

A representative from Honeywell International, Inc. will give a brief overview of the ESIP projects already completed and those that are still underway. The public is invited to attend.

The Upper Township School District hopes to save $3 million in energy costs with the ESIP improvements. The improvements include new LED lighting at all three schools; new kitchen equipment at the elementary and middle schools; HVAC upgrades at the elementary and middle schools; and hot water replacement at all three schools.


Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:15 pm.

Updated: 1:17 pm.

NY Governor Chooses Safety Over Savings In Rejecting LNG Terminal

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo evidently chose environmental protection and safety from terrorists over energy savings when he denied a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off Long Island and New Jersey.

Liberty Natural Gas LLC had planned to develop the deep-water docking station, called Port Ambrose, situated 19 miles off Jones Beach on the southern coast of Long Island and 29 miles east of Long Branch, N.J. The company said the port would allow it to feed gas into the local energy pipeline, thereby lowering the cost of home-heating bills in the New York area, now among the nation’s highest.

Liberty had sought permission from the U.S. Maritime Administration to develop Port Ambrose, but under federal regulations any approval must come from the governor’s neighboring states. A veto by one would kill the deal altogether.

Related: Oil Tankers Are Filling Up As Global Storage Space Runs Low

Cuomo said security, both from violent weather and terrorists, trumped all other considerations when he made his decision. He pointed to the damage that Hurricane Sandy wreaked on the New York-New Jersey area in 2012, and noted that various militant groups have threatened to attack LNG facilities.

“My administration carefully reviewed this project from all angles, and we have determined that the security and economic risks far outweigh any potential benefits,” he said in a statement. “[T]he potential for disaster with this project during extreme weather or amid other security risks is simply unacceptable.”

Cuomo said he was also concerned that the LNG terminal might affect commercial fishing off the Long Island coast and could impede an offshore wind farm being developed by the New York Power Authority. His rejection follows a similar action by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2011. At the time. Christie said he’d oppose such a project for as long as he was the state’s chief executive.

Related: Is The Oil Industry Really Subsidized?

The Port Ambrose project would have included two buoys fixed 30 feet above the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. A maritime tanker carrying LNG would then connect to one of the buoys and, over several days, heat the LNG to retransform it from liquid back to gas, then inject it into the buoy, which would have been connected to the gas pipeline serving the New York metropolitan area.

Liberty said each LNG delivery would supply an average of 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, enough to accommodate 1.5 million homes. This would save New York-area consumers millions of dollars in energy costs, it said, and help reduce the region’s reliance on coal and oil, which emit more pollutants than gas when converted into energy.

Liberty CEO Roger Whelan said he was “disappointed and very surprised” by Cuomo’s decision. And on its website promoting development of Port Ambrose, the company said it believed concerns about the risks weren’t justified, particularly regarding violent weather.

Related: U.S. Oil Production Holding Its Own, Which Can Only Mean One Thing…

The site says that “the buoy and ship system is designed and proven to withstand rough storm and sea conditions, including hurricane conditions” because the ship could disconnect from the buoy-and-pipeline network as the storm approached and head out to sea to avoid hard weather.

Opponents of the terminal said the project, if approved, could have led to a rise in exports of U.S. natural gas, thereby increasing the extraction of gas from shale through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a practice that many say is bad for the environment.

Sean Dixon, a staff attorney for the environmental group Riverkeeper, said, “Saying no to Port Ambrose means saying yes to our fisheries, offshore wind power, shipping and vital protection for the ocean.”

Cuomo evidently agreed. He said he couldn’t simply accept Liberty’s word that a storm like Sandy couldn’t pose a serious threat to an LNG terminal. “I’ve been around too long, I’ve heard that one too many times, ‘Don’t worry, nothing can happen,’ ” he said. “Yeah, that’s when I worry.”

By Andy Tully of

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US Army Awards Siemens $24 Million Energy Savings Performance Contract

Barbara Humpton, President  CEO, Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.

Barbara Humpton,
President CEO,
Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.

It was announced by Arlington, Va.-based Siemens Government Technologies that it has been awarded a $24 million contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering and Support Center to address water and energy infrastructure needs and improve energy efficiency at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD). CCAD was established in 1961 on the Texas coast. The energy conservation measures that will be administered by Siemens will address the depot’s infrastructure needs due to age and the harsh coastal environment.

The White House has mandated that federal facilities reduce their energy consumption by 2.5% per year and potable water consumption by 2% per year by fiscal year 2025. The energy savings brought about by the energy conservation measures being installed will be used to fund the project. Siemens will employ the help of small business partners to perform the infrastructure upgrades.

Barbara Humpton, President and Chief Executive Officer at Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. stated, “The Siemens team is proud to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and apply our innovative energy and environmental expertise to help meet its mission to save energy and use renewable energy. As the largest single user of energy in the U.S., the Federal Government is leading by example through its commitment to improving the energy efficiency of America’s publicly-owned buildings, parks and historic sites, reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the nation’s energy security.”

Related:  Siemens Government Technologies Names Barbara Humpton President, CEO

Xcel’s solar slow walk casts shade on energy savings for thousands

The Star Tribune recently reported that a developer is considering a lawsuit against Xcel Energy for stalling progress of community solar in Minnesota.

“Stall” is generous.

In fact, Xcel has obstructed the rollout of community solar in a deliberate slow walk. It’s been 27 months since the law took effect, but the utility’s own resource plan says it expects just 1 in 7 completed community solar applications (about 40 megawatts) to reach commercial operation after another 15 months, when the 30 percent federal solar tax credit expires.

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has been outplayed by the utility’s stall tactics, detailed below. It must provide an enforceable deadline before Xcel runs out the clock on community solar.

September 2013: Xcel opens with a raw deal. Xcel successfully delays the program launch by 12 months with a low-ball proposal. Among other ills, its initial rules include a 20-megawatt cap on community solar through 2015, despite a clear prohibition in the authorizing law. The PUC resoundingly rejects the plan, but when Xcel also rejects use of the “value of solar” pricing program intended by the Legislature, it takes nearly 12 months to get new rules.

During the regulatory effort to advance community solar, Xcel releases an animated video suggesting that solar is done most economically at “large scale.”

Despite this maneuvering, the PUC continues to trust Xcel. The approved grid connection rules, for example, offer no consequences for utility delay.

October 2014: Xcel introduces uncertainty. It’s only been three weeks since the commission finalized the program rules when Xcel files a complaint about community solar projects sharing a grid connection. The utility’s filing comes despite commission comments in April 2014 blessing the notion, Xcel’s own June comments in agreement, and a second commission statement in support (in September). Xcel indicates it will accept these “co-located” projects, but in the same comments the utility makes confusing remarks about how projects will queue up for grid connections. Stakeholder meeting minutes reveal increasing concern among solar developers.

Xcel further foments uncertainty about community solar participation by business customers with multiple locations (e.g. franchises). The utility replies to developer questions on two separate occasions with, “We believe there is no need for additional clarification.”

December 2014: The program opens to massive demand despite uncertainties. Just one week before the program opens, Xcel reverses course on the project queue. Developers who withheld applications for opening day will end up behind those that line jumped, the utility says. Several developers feel duped.

Despite several lingering uncertainties, over 400 applications for 400 megawatts of community solar projects are filed in the first week — releasing enormous pent-up demand for solar energy in Minnesota.

February 2015: Xcel doubles down on doubt. Two months into the program, there’s far more energy being spent trying to get answers than is being generated from the sun. Developers say they still aren’t clear on the treatment of franchise subscribers and express frustration with Xcel’s “black box,” making it hard to find good locations for grid connections.

But as the PUC struggles to put out fires, the utility is setting more.

Just days before the commission clarifies the application process, Xcel files objections to the flood of solar applications, even as it concedes this “may be exactly what was hoped for by the commission, lawmakers, our customers and stakeholders, and solar developers.” Days later, the utility proposes reducing compensation for community solar gardens and asks to shrink co-located projects. On both issues, the commission says it “will not take action at this time” and that we “expect Xcel to administer its program as set out in statute and related Commission Orders.”

By the beginning of April, 307 projects have completed applications and are able to start the (maximum) 90-day clock to get a grid connection approved.

April 2015: Xcel drops the uncertainty bomb; commission concedes. At the end of April, Xcel blows up the program. Within 30 days, the utility says, it will disaggregate all community solar projects owned by the same developer intending to share a grid connection. The move — in direct opposition to a commission order — would shrink the community solar queue by 80 percent.

Xcel’s ploy works, and the commission accepts its negotiated settlement with select developers to shrink co-located projects to 5 megawatts or less, applying it universally and retroactively.

Today: Still waiting for solar. While Xcel is connecting Minnesota’s similarly sized noncommunity solar projects within 15 to 40 days, it’s connected just one community solar project in over 800 days since the Legislature approved the program, just one project in 180 days since it had approved over 300 applications.

Xcel has all the time in the world, but Minnesotans wanting access to solar energy have just 15 months before the federal incentive expires. The PUC must act to stop the slow walk and get the utility to act on grid connection requests from all completed applications by year’s end.

Xcel has had over two years. Three more months should be enough, if they just pick up the pace.​

John Farrell is the director of democratic energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and widely known as the guru of distributed energy. He’s the author of “Energy Self-Reliant States,” a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times,  showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs. 

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