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No Grid – No Problem!

Tom Dunne and Mary Hodgkin’s solar home. Courtesy photos: Pika Energy Company of Westbrook, Maine.

Tom Dunne and Mary Hodgkin’s solar home. Courtesy photos: Pika Energy Company of Westbrook, Maine.

Around 1.2 million homes and businesses in the Northeast lost power recently after severe weather brought high winds and heavy rains through the region. It just so happens that Tom Dunne and Mary Hodgkin recently installed solar panels through ReVision Energy that was connected to the Maine-made Pika Energy Island with a Harbor smart battery.

Here is an interesting interview by the folks at ReVision Energy with this couple about how well things worked out for this Maine couple during the recent trying times when the power went down, and the power outages that occurred throughout the Northeast. They were happy to talk about how they weathered the storm.

RE: So, like many others, your neighborhood lost power in the recent storm?

Tom: Yes, and we actually lost power the week before the storm for about two hours. We were sitting having dinner and didn’t know for a few minutes – no flicker, nothing.

RE: Your battery kicked in and did the job?

Tom: Sure did – it was our first outage since the installation, and we were happy to see that the elements designated to be powered with the backup were indeed working. Same story after the wind storm we just had.

RE: It’s nice you could test it out before the big storm outage! How’s it going now?

Tom: We were without power from early Monday until 6 pm Saturday, and the solar was able to keep up with our needs. The Pika Energy Island allows us to monitor our consumption, so we can adjust our usage as is appropriate. The battery got down to about 75% one night before refueling with solar electricity the following day.

RE: How would you grade your “islanded” solar + battery Pika system?

Tom: In meeting our primary objective of providing a sound solution during an outage, the battery and solar gave a strong “A” performance.

RE: Are your neighbors aware you have backup power? What do they think?

Tom and Mary didn’t even see the lights blink during an outage at their home in Maine.

Tom and Mary didn’t even see the lights blink during an outage at their home in Maine.

Tom: Well, a nice side benefit of the reliable backup is that we were able to store medicines for neighbors that needed them kept refrigerated. Some folks came by to charge up their cell phones. Some other neighbors have generators, but it’s nice to not contribute to the noise and smell of those!

FAQs about Solar and Battery Backup

With a good 1/3 of northern New England’s electric grid knocked out for multiple days in October 2017, there has been a huge uptick in interest in solar battery backup. Some of the common questions people have are:

How much of my home can a battery backup array power?

In short, it really depends on your goal and budget. For every battery system we build, we’ll work with the customer to discuss their critical backup loads, and how long they want to design the system to power their home without any solar recharge, etc.

In most situations, we design the backup system to power a critical subset of the home’s energy needs for 1-2 days with no sun. With sunshine available, a battery can keep you going indefinitely! This includes things like running a refrigerator, well pump, boiler, limited lighting, and re-charging electronics (cell phones and laptop computers need relatively little power).

If I have grid-only solar now, can I add battery backup?

Absolutely! There are a number of options, including the popular Tesla Powerwall.

These battery systems integrate on the alternating current (AC) side, so they are compatible with any grid-tied solar inverter, and operate at extremely high electrical efficiencies, so you don’t have to worry about ’round trip’ loss as the energy converts from sunshine, to usable AC energy power, to stored battery power, and back again.

Should I get a home battery backup system or a standby generator?

Solar battery backup compares favorably with the total ownership costs of a home standby generator. Check out this chart comparing solar-powered battery vs. generator at

Many thanks to our sponsor:

Pika Logo

Green Energy News You May Have Missed

By George Harvey

As usual, the climate has been one of the most important news items of the past two months. There is bad news, which is that 2017 was the second hottest year on record, worldwide, after 2016, which was an El Niño year. While we in the Northeast might have had the impression that it was cooler than normal, that was due to unusual weather patterns that did not reflect what was happening nearly everywhere else. For the month of December, the average temperatures in the entire state of Alaska were 15.7° F above normal.

Worse yet, 2017 was the warmest year on record for ocean waters. As water warms, it also expands, and this adds considerably to the rise of sea levels caused by melting glaciers. Satellites measurements have shown that the sea levels are rising at almost exactly the rate predicted by climate scientists’ computer models.

We have also seen news of slowdowns in construction of renewable projects nationwide due to uncertainty over hostile government policy. In Vermont, 232 full-time jobs were lost in the solar industry alone in a twelve-month period ending in November 2017, according to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census.

There is quite a lot of confusion over how the economics of solar power will go, since the president chose to impose a 30% tariff on solar panels imported from most producing countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Mexico, and Canada. One of the effects of this has been that Chinese manufacturers have decided to build factories in India, which is one of the countries whose products are not subject to the tariff. More importantly, however, the tariff means that there will be increased prices on solar panels in the United States.

The increased taxation is largely being offset by falling prices of solar cells, which have fallen worldwide to new lows. In fact the latest information from Bloomberg New Energy Finance indicates that prices for new photovoltaic modules have fallen to levels that were almost unimaginable only a year ago. The cost of PVs have become only a small fraction of the total cost of installation. The prices of solar installations might not increase much after all, and the economics of solar power will almost certainly remain attractive. It is too early to see how this will play out.

The Business Case for Solar Power

The Upper Valley Aquatic Center’s 500 kW off-site, netmetered solar powers this local business. Courtesy Image.

The Upper Valley Aquatic Center’s 500 kW off-site, net-metered solar powers this local business. Courtesy Image.

By George Harvey

“We can help any business save money through solar,” Jim Merriam, the CEO of Norwich Solar Technologies asserted. Some business operators have the idea that solar power would not work for them, but Merriam responded to this notion by saying, “Anybody can do this, and anybody can save money. This remains true even if you don’t directly own or host the solar array.”

Norwich Solar Technologies, located in White River Junction, Vermont, has worked in the solar industry in Vermont and New Hampshire since 2011. As a company specializing in educational, municipal, and commercial facilities, it has done close analysis of the advantages it can bring its customers. One of the results of this work is a report, “The Top 4 Ways Solar Power Can Strengthen Your Business,” which is available for download at the company website ( Briefly stated, the top four ways are the following:

  • Reduced energy costs with long-term stability.

  • Reduced taxes with generous depreciation schedules (up to 100% bonus depreciation) and tax credits (30% of system cost), with an additional 7.2% tax credit for Vermont businesses.

  • Appreciation of an environmentally-sound effort from customers and community members.

  • Increased property value with potential for new revenue streams.

Colonial House Inn in Weston, VT provides skiers with a sustainable lodging option. The 30kW ground-mounted array was commissioned in October 2017.

Colonial House Inn in Weston, VT provides skiers with a sustainable lodging option. The 30-kW ground-mounted array was commissioned in October 2017.

Certainly, with climate change on the minds of many people, it is good to have customers, neighbors, and others in the community aware of the work a business is doing to reduce carbon emissions. Solar installations are an excellent way for any organization to say, “We care, and we are doing our part.” And while there are still a few people who object to the appearance of a large solar farm, the number of people who welcome solar systems is increasing as communities get involved and the public awareness of the climate disaster unfolds before us.

While appreciation of neighbors is nice, and climate change must be addressed by all of us, from a practical point of view, many business people feel compelled to justify any expense in systems that will address the problems. And this is a group Jim Merriam was particularly addressing with his statements. Stable energy prices have real value, especially because the costs of fossil fuels fluctuate so much. You can only take a business plan to a bank if you know what your expenses will be, and you can only know what your energy expenses will be if they provide better stability than fossil fuels do. Tax reductions are easily evaluated, because they have monetary values. Increased property values can be more difficult to assess with any precision, but they are clearly advantageous.

The list above presents only four benefits of going to solar power, but it is a good starting point for a discussion of the business advantages of installing a solar power system. Other advantages worth mentioning include availability of special financing, power purchase agreements, renewable tax credits and other incentives, virtual net metering, shared solar options, and even special utility programs.

No business operates in a vacuum, and what is good for a local economy is usually good for the businesses within it. For sustainable development goals to be met by our society, businesses must develop and achieve their own goals. Solar power is quite consistently good for the local economy, and it is an important tool for almost any business, both for the sake of the general economy and for its own welfare. For most business owners trying to do right by their community, watching a solar installation personalizes how their choice supports rebuilding the trades and providing careers to our younger employees.

DHMC HEATER ROAD ENTRANCEThe issue of jobs serves as an example. High-quality employees will migrate quickly out of an area if there are no good prospects for employment, and where jobs can easily be outsourced to some other part of the planet. We can be sure that solar installers will not be outsourced in that way. Both climate change and economic pressures produce a sense of urgency for installing solar systems, so the jobs are unlikely to disappear. At the same time, a robust local economy can give local businesses a better employee pool and support.

Not only do physical realities and economics suggest job security, but they also imply that money in the local economies is more likely to stay in local economies with passing time, and that increases overall prosperity, a benefit for nearly any business.

Laws can be problematical, of course. State and local laws seem to change almost continuously. We at Green Energy Times sometimes feel hard pressed to keep up to report them every other month. A good solar installer must do this continually and provide relevant data as part of any site evaluation. This includes everything from tax incentives to the availability of net metering. Most business people are not at all prepared to evaluate the potential for solar power on their businesses, which makes Jim Merriam’s assertion that he can help any business save money all the more important.

One thing we asked Merriam about was the potential effects of punitive tariffs on solar systems. He said that Norwich Technology was disappointed that the president had chosen to put a 30% tariff on imported solar panels. But he pointed to the benefits of solar power once more, stressing that they were still clear. “Because the benefits of solar are so overwhelmingly positive and obvious, we expect the tax to cause only a temporary setback in our pursuit of clean, local, inexpensive solar energy.”

Pirouette Farm in Norwich, VT installed a 60.3-kW roof-mount solar array in July 2016. This net-metered system offsets the farms energy loads and provides community solar in Norwich.

Pirouette Farm in Norwich, VT installed a 60.3-kW roof-mount solar array in July 2016. This net-metered system offsets the farms energy loads and provides community solar in Norwich.

We discussed the actual numbers associated with the tariff. Merriam pointed out that the solar panels represent a higher percentage of the overall cost of the system as their sizes increase. This means that the tariff will have its greatest effect on utility-scale systems, and its least effect on those installed at households and small businesses. In a small system, the panels might represent only 25% of the total cost. Increasing the cost of the panels by 30% might only increase the cost of such a system by 7.5% or less, and that impact is less important as electric rates increase. By contrast, utility-scale solar systems have about 40% of their costs in the solar panels. This would mean that their overall costs might increase by about 10-12%. Please notice the word “might.”

The costs of solar systems have been dropping so dramatically that for all systems, large and small, the cost increases from the tariffs are likely to have less effect than the falling costs. Last September, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported that in the previous year, the cost of installed utility-scale solar had fallen by 30%, an amount much greater than the projected 12% increase in cost from the tariffs. And commercial costs for solar power had fallen by 15%, a reduction that would still be greater than the increased costs.

The business case for solar power has been, and remains, very real.

Who’s Really the Winner of the Super Games?

Welcome to the 2018 Sustainability Super Bowl!

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady drops back to pass in the second half of Super Bowl LII. Image: Brian Allen/Voice of America. Team USA’s Andy Newell on Sustainability at PyeongChang 2018 and Beyond. Andy is from Shaftsbury, Vermont. Image courtesy of Andy Newell.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady drops back to pass in the second half of Super Bowl LII. Image: Brian Allen/Voice of America. 

By Chris Gillespie

Since both the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles have impressive records when it comes to conserving resources and utilizing renewable energy, we’ve decided to pit them against each other once more to see which team is truly greener.

Since G.E.T. is based in New England, we’ll start with the Patriots:

Patriots Place, the sprawling “super-regional lifestyle destination” adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, has more than 2,600 rooftop photovoltaic solar panels as well as solar canopies, which, according to Patriots Place’s website, “provide up to 60% of Patriot Place’s power and reduce carbon emissions by more than 800 metric tons every year.” According to a report from Patriot Place, during the second quarter of 2017, the shopping and dining center conserved nearly 207,000 kWh of electricity, 333,000 gallons of water and 232 metric tons of GHG emissions.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, “100% of the Eagles operations are powered by the sun and wind.” As stated on the team’s website, The Eagles partnered with NRG to design, construct and operate 11,108 solar panels and 14 wind turbines at Lincoln Financial Field. Vigorous waste management, composting and recycling procedures help the Eagles keep over 99% of waste generated in the stadium out of landfills. The Eagles have also planted 568 trees over the past ten years in order to offset emissions caused by all of the team’s travel. Lincoln Financial Field is considered to be ‘off the grid’ as a result of their on-site production of green energy and their green power purchasing agreement.

Team USA’s Andy Newell on Sustainability at PyeongChang 2018 and Beyond. Andy is from Shaftsbury, Vermont. Image courtesy of Andy Newell.

Team USA’s Andy Newell on Sustainability at PyeongChang 2018 and Beyond. Andy is from Shaftsbury, Vermont. Image courtesy of Andy Newell.

So, we know the Eagles won Super Bowl LII, but who wins the 2018 Sustainability Super Bowl?

The scoreboard says…it’s the Philadelphia Eagles again! As it turns out, they are as green as their uniforms!

Sustainability at U.S. Bank Stadium

As 103.4 million Super Bowl viewers around the country now know, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis looks quite futuristic—what they may not know is that it is also one of the most state-of-the-art, sustainable sports facilities in the country.

As reported on the Minnesota Vikings’ official website, at its opening in 2016, U.S. Bank Stadium became the first NFL venue to be built with an advanced LED lighting system that allows for instant on-and-off capabilities while using 75% less energy compared to metal halide lights.

The LED lighting system is impressive; however, the Vikings plan on minimizing its use by taking advantage of the immense amount of natural lighting that the facility’s extraordinary roof provides. More than half of U.S. Bank Stadium’s roof covering is made of a clear, plastic-like material called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), which facilitates the use of sunlight as a free year-round source of natural heat and light for the stadium. By using a lightweight building material such as ETFE instead of conventional steel, the Vikings were able to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the stadium’s construction process.

Andy Newell lives in Shaftsbury, VT. This is his fourth Olympic Games, winning bronze in the 2014 Sochi Games. Courtesy image: Andy Newell.

Andy Newell lives in Shaftsbury, VT. This is his fourth Olympic Games, winning bronze in the 2014 Sochi Games. Courtesy image: Andy Newell.

Generally, stadiums built in areas with snowy winters require a lot of steel to support their roofs, however, the domed shape of U.S. Bank Stadium’s roof made it possible to forgo an estimated 2,000 tons of steel. The steep, asymmetrical design allows snow to quickly roll down the roof and into a giant, heated snow gutter that brings the water straight to the stadium’s storm water control system.

In addition to this, low-flow plumbing technology is expected to reduce U.S. Bank Stadium’s water usage by 5.67 million gallons annually.

PyeongChang 2018 Organizers Hoping To Medal in Sustainability

With host cities building expansive new facilities and athletic teams and spectators travelling from around the globe in order to attend, the Olympic Games typically result in a very large carbon footprint. With this in mind, the organizers of this month’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang have worked to minimize the international celebration’s toll on the environment.

“Since we won the bid to host the Games, sustainability and the environment have been at the heart of our plans and procedures,” said Teachul Rhyu, PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) Director General of Environment. “Our venues and infrastructure have all been completed to the necessary standards and we will continue to focus on our sustainability goals throughout the Games and beyond to leave the legacy that the Games deserve.”

Sophie Caldwell, Shaftsbury, VT. Wikipedia

Sophie Caldwell, Shaftsbury, VT. Wikipedia

POCOG has also launched a fundraising website,, which allows Olympic participants and visitors to make donations to purchase internationally-traded Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) to help offset the significant carbon emissions associated with the Games. Olympic guests will also be able to make donations in-person at a donation center at the Olympic Park in Gangneung.

Reducing the Olympics carbon emissions is a goal shared by the International Olympic Committee and athletes alike. One such athlete is Andy Newell, one of many Vermonters who will be representing Team USA in PyeongChang as a member of the Olympic cross-country ski team.

Embracing sustainability is something we all need to see as important if we value the future of winter sports,” Newell told G.E.T. in a recent interview. “In my opinion, it’s all about finding the balance between reducing our footprint (as winter athletes) and consuming less but not neglecting an industry than needs innovation.”

Newell says that ski resorts could, in theory, stop making snow and stop grooming the trails completely in order to significantly reduce the industry’s carbon footprint but snow sports as a whole would suffer due to the subsequent lack of accessibility and interest. According to Newell, one of the best ways for winter athletes to enact change is by using their platform to spread environmental awareness to young people.

I often visit high schools on behalf of Protect Our Winters,” Newell said. “These kids are the ones who will be voting in just a few years and if I can connect with them, it has the potential to have the biggest impact and create the cultural shift towards sustainability that we so desperately need in the U.S.”

In addition to being a celebration of skill and culture, hopefully this year’s Winter Olympics will serve as a reminder to viewers worldwide that, although our athletes compete against international athletes, we are really all on the same team. Regardless of nationality, it’s up to all of us to support one another as we develop and implement solutions, both creative and commonsense, for the hefty environmental challenges we as a species face in professional sports and beyond.

Best of luck to all members of Team USA!

To learn more about sustainability at the Olympics, check out “Going for Green at the Olympics” on page 38.

For the complete list of winter athletes aligned with Protect Our Winters, visit

Chris Gillespie is a contributing writer for Green Energy Times. He can be reached at

Sustainable Business 2018

Today’s top business trends will have big impacts

By George Harvey

The state of sustainable business appears to be up in the air right now. This is largely because of unclear policy on the part of the governments of the United States and some of the individual states. With opposition to renewable energy, potential investors have difficultly evaluating market risks. They put their funds elsewhere, and this has a somewhat depressing effect on renewable businesses.

What is not clear to some people, even including even some in the field, is that the situation is tilting rapidly in favor of renewable energy. Costs have come down far more rapidly than almost anyone might have predicted, and this drives investment in renewable energy.

Looking beyond our borders, we can see this clearly. In India, for example, the cost of electricity from new renewable sources is lower than that of about two-thirds of the existing coal-burning power plants. In the long run, there is no longer any reason to buy power from most thermal plants.

There are a number of factors that will have effects on the US business situation. These are a few:

  1. As outrageous as federal government attacks on science seem to be, the really important issue is what corporate America does. And corporate America has many leaders who evaluate potentials objectively in terms of gains or loss for their companies. There is strong support for fact-based science.
    Climate change is a very real threat to many investments, regardless of the fact that important politicians push to have it ignored. Conservative Republican leaders in the state of Louisiana, for example, have told people in nearly all coastal areas that they have to be prepared to move elsewhere because of rising seas, the result of climate change, combined with subsiding land, the result of pumping oil. This includes Cameron Parish, which had the highest percentage of Trump voters of any county in the U.S.

  2. Renewable energy has had its own branch of financing under development. Green financing specializes in projects that ordinary investors cannot accurately assess. This means that evaluations of projects for investors are improving. It also means that increasing amounts of funding are appearing at declining interest rates.

  3. Energy storage technology is improving rapidly and costs of storage are declining accordingly. The effect of this on the market can be seen in the responses to Xcel’s recent requests for bids on solar power, wind power, and storage in various combinations. The median price of bids for wind plus batteries was 2.1¢ per kilowatt-hour, precisely half of the lowest price available for electricity from combined cycle natural gas.

  4. In the very near future, as we move to deal with climate change, we will need to move away from fossil fuels to the point that nearly everything is electrically powered. Though it is not happening in the U.S. yet, in some places, such as Norway, even short range air transportation is expected to be powered by electricity.

  5. Though it may sound unbelievable, fully-automated electric vehicles could soon be delivering goods and transporting people through much of the U.S. Tony Seba, a recognized expert in disruptive technologies, has said he expects that car-owning residents of New York could get service from automated vehicles they call with smart phones that is as good as what they get with their own cars, and they could save 90% of the cost in the process. We might envision the same being true in rural areas, if we allow for having to call for the cars ten minutes before they are needed. How many of us would prefer to keep 90% of the money we spend on cars?

  6. Artificial Intelligence is expected to have profound effects on the electric grid. We can also expect it to have effects on all other uses of fossil fuels. The effects could be found in everything from heating our homes to mowing our lawns.

  7. As renewable energy sources are established, there will be new opportunities to use power at times when no one wants it. This means that a whole set of synthetic fuels and chemicals could become available, of which hydrogen is a good example. When it is burned, the only by-product is water.

  8. Our health can be expected to improve with the reduction in pollution that can be expected with reduced use of fossil fuels. With this will naturally come reduced costs for health care and insurance.

There may be good news after all. For those who wish to learn more, we suggest reading “2018 State of Green Business,” an 80-page report from (

February Green Energy Times

The February, 2018 Green Energy Times has gone to press and will be delivered to local distribution centers soon.

The issue can be downloaded HERE.

Individual articles will be uploaded soon.

February 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Rocky Mountain Institute released a report on the demand flexibility equation, modeled on the grid in Texas, America’s version of an islanded energy market. The results indicate that the investment in demand flexibility would more than pay for itself in reduced curtailment, flattened peaks, and power plants never built. [Greentech Media]
Texas wind power

Texas wind power

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published preliminary analyses from a three-year study using survey data from 1,705 randomly selected individuals within five miles of modern wind turbines, reflecting distance and attitudes. The findings highlight a generally positive attitude, regardless of how closely they live to a wind turbine. [CleanTechnica]
  • NUI Galway has officially launched the SEAFUEL project. It aims to use hydrogen as a renewable resource across the Atlantic area to power the local transport fleet of cars and support the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The project will be piloted in the Canary Islands, Madeira in Portugal and the Aran Islands, off western Ireland. [Irish Tech News]
  • Coal once dominated Michigan. But in 2016, coal-fired plants provided just 36% of the state’s electricity, down from about 50% two years before. Since 2010, Michigan utilities have retired 26 coal generators at 15 power plants. At least 17 generators at six plants are set to retire there by 2025, and no new coal-burning plants are being built. [Bridge Michigan]
  • While US clean energy installations lagged in 2017, they did increase the amount of renewably generated electricity to its highest level ever, at 18% of the overall energy mix. Rachel Luo, senior analyst for US utilities and market reform at BNEF, said 18% brings clean energy “within striking distance” of nuclear’s 20% generation contribution. [Greentech Media]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

February 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Tesla, fresh from the success of its newly opened big battery in South Australia, has joined 18 other groups competing for the right to build another big battery. This time, the battery will be in the Northern Territory. The big battery in the Darwin-Katherine network will have a nominal capacity of between 25 MW and 45 MW. [CleanTechnica]
Solar project at Darwin Airport

Solar project at Darwin Airport

  • The US Chamber of Commerce is proposing that the federal government raise the gasoline tax by 25¢ per gallon, in 5¢ increments over 5 years. In theory, the tax hike would go to pay for rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, the thousands of roads, bridges, and tunnels that are so substandard they are increasingly unsafe. [CleanTechnica]
  • Clean energy groups are speaking out in opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes cuts to programs at the DOE and EPA. For the DOE, the budget requests $2.5 billion specifically for “energy and related programs,” which is $1.9 billion below that of FY 2017. [North American Windpower]
  • Three Canadian solar manufacturers, Silfab Solar, Heliene, and Canadian Solar, filed a lawsuit with the US Court of International Trade in New York against Donald Trump’s imposition of 30% tariffs on all imported solar cells and modules. They have cited “immediate, severe, and irreversible injuries” for the Canadian solar industry. [CleanTechnica]
  • Indian Coal-based power plants are feeling the heat of spikes in thermal grade coal prices and railway freight costs. Prices of thermal grade coal have moved up by 15% to 18% this year. Also, the levy of evacuation charge of ₹50 per tonne may increase the cost of generation for coal-based power plants by up to ₹0.15 per unit (0.23¢/kWh). [EnergyInfraPost]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Join Ian Finlayson at BuildingEnergy Boston

by Jenny Goldbergian_finlayson

NESEA Member Ian Finlayson, Deputy Director of the Energy Efficiency Division at MassDOER, will be curating three of the 50+ conference sessions at this year’s BuildingEnergy Boston, March 7t through 9.

“There are other (larger) building design conferences, but none that bring together all that is at the cutting edge of sustainable building the way that BuildingEnergy Boston does. This conference is about being part of a community of leaders. It seems to consistently attract leading builders, designers, and developers of sustainable construction and is a safe space to share and learn what didn’t work as expected as well as to see the successful projects.”

Ian’s sessions are an example of the type of content that will be featured at this year’s conference. View the full list of sessions here.

Stretch Codes: Why this policy offers the best hope for rapid transformation to meet state and local climate goals
Speakers: Mark Lyles (New Buildings Institute)
Stretch codes are emerging as a go-to policy lever for cities such as Boulder, Santa Monica, Vancouver, BC, Palo Alto, Washington, DC and states such as New York, Massachusetts and Vermont. This session will look how cities and states are using stretch codes to more rapidly transform local building stock to higher energy efficiency levels, sometimes even driving toward zero energy outcomes. Read more…

The Magic (Electric) School Bus
Speakers: Steve Russell (Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources), Bethany Whitaker (Vermont Energy Investment Corporation)
Massachusetts is at the forefront of transportation technology with a pilot project that put the nation’s first electric school buses on the road at the end of 2016. We’ll hear from the pilot implementers working with public schools in Amherst, Cambridge, and Concord MA about the pilot goals and technology. Read more…

Should We Stop Trying to Update to the Latest Model Building Energy Code?
Speakers: John Dalzell (Boston Redevelopment Authority), Jamie Howland (Acadia Center), Paul Ormond (MassDOER)
States across the Northeast expend significant time and effort in the pursuit of adopting the latest model energy codes from the IECC and ASHRAE. Read more…


NY-GEO 2018 – 30% Tax Credit Returns & Early Discount Ends Thursday

NY GeoNY-GEO 2018

10% Early Discount ends this Thursday*

30% federal tax credit reinvigorates industry*

Top Job competition registration is now open*

The Premier North East 

Renewable Heating & Cooling Conference

Join us for the fourth annual NY-GEO Renewable Heating & Cooling Conference at the Radisson in Albany, New York on April 18 & 19!

*Early registration has been extended to this Thursday, February 15th! Register now to get 10% off with early registration.

This year’s conference will include keynote addresses from Public Service Commission (PSC) Chair John Rhodes and NYSERDA President Alicia Barton. Day two will feature a keynote panel of New York utility officials discussing the integration of renewable heating and cooling in their operations, as well as the Top Job competition.

* We hope you’ve heard about the restoration of the 30% federal tax credit for geothermal systems. This will be a major stimulus for industry growth. It’ a great reason for you to attend NY-GEO 2018 – the best place to learn how to heat and cool without burning fossil fuels while meeting the movers and shakers of the industry as New York embraces this incredible opportunity.

Join us for a fantastic program that will help policy makers, installers, organizers, architects, clean energy activists, contractors, building owners and mangers, engineers and more to plug into the renewable heat momentum building in New York and across the northeast!

NY-GEO 2018 provides 5 AIA, PDH, BPI or LEED (self reporting) continuing education credits. Three of the classes will be taught by Steve Kavanaugh – co-author of the ASHRAE published Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Design of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (2014). Click here for a description of his classes.

* Every year a Top Job is chosen at the conference. Don’t miss this competition that highlights the versatility, and benefits of this amazing technology. Installers – If you’ve got a geothermal job to showcase, why not register it today?

In addition, Phoenix Energy Supply is providing a phenomenally convenient and inexpensive way to earn Accredited Installer status from the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). You can take the course on-line and take the exam at the conference, and with support from NYSERDA, it will cost you less than half the list price. Click here to learn more.

Register now for the 10% discounted registration! See you in Albany!