Happy Birthday to US
The United States of America is 233 years old tomorrow and we the people got a big ol’ birthday present from the Department of Energy.
President Barack Obama and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu launched new energy efficient efforts on Tuesday that will remove the emissions of millions of tons of CO2 and save American consumers billions of dollars per year. The initiatives include many that are directly related to greening buildings.
Seven percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. is for lighting and the new standards, which take effect in 2012, focus on less efficient fluorescent tubes and the incandescent reflector lamps used in recessed cans and track fixtures. These lamps represent approximately 38 and 7 percent of total lighting energy use respectively.
As noted by Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project in The Washington Post, "The impact is huge — it’s the biggest energy-saving rule ever to come out of the Energy Department…the savings would total between 500 billion and 1.2 trillion kilowatt hours over 30 years.” The final rule can be viewed and downloaded from the Office Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s website.
Acknowledging that today’s buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy, including transportation and industry, DOE also announced a $346 million building efficiency initiative that will expand and accelerate energy efficient technologies in commercial and residential buildings. The funding will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will apply new and existing technologies coupled with a whole building design approach.
“Innovations in energy-efficient building envelopes, equipment, lighting, daylighting, and windows, in conjunction with advances in passive solar, photovoltaic, fuel cells, advanced sensors and controls and combined heating, cooling, and power,” reads the announcement, “have the potential to dramatically transform today’s buildings.”
Hasn’t this been what the green building movement has been proselytizing since its beginnings? Now, finally, there’s government money and enthusiasm to encourage partnerships, create jobs, boost public awareness, reduce emissions and increase energy security. Read more information on funding opportunities under the Recovery Act.
Let the celebrations begin!