Category Archives: Energy

US Firm Experiences Spike In Demand For Green Building Materials

Florida-based home improvement quote website Local Quoter America has announced a spike in the level of demand for environmentally friendly building materials since the start of 2010.

The company, which has its head office in Miami, said more and more households are looking to use ‘green’ building materials such as vinyl siding in their home improvement projects, in an effort to minimize the effect of their properties on the environment.

One of the strongest themes to come out of last month’s 2010 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, was the increasing desire to build sustainable homes in America. The proof that more emphasis is being placed on eco-friendly products such as siding, can be found by looking at recent trends witnessed by Local Quoter.

Les Yates is head of the online price comparison website www.localquoter.net/us which searches for home improvement quotes from a database containing thousands of building companies across America.

He said: “So far during 2010, over 50 per cent of all the enquiries we have received through the website have been related to siding quotes. I think it really shows how important the use of environmentally friendly materials is to homeowners, as well as a strong indication of the way the building industry is going.”

Siding has always been a popular product in America as an exterior cladding for houses, but increasing knowledge about climate change issues and the importance of using sustainable building materials has boosted awareness considerably. Like other sustainable products, the vinyl siding manufacturing process is very efficient, with little waste produced. The product is also virtually maintenance free and only needs periodic cleaning with soap and water much like the materials used in the frames for replacement windows.

Calli Schmidt, director of environmental communications at the Washington-based National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), backed up the recent trend seen by Local Quoter America. She said the organisation is also expecting to see increased demand for green materials, although “it is not a landslide yet”, with the state of the credit market holding back building projects whether they have green credentials or not.

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npower Boiler Scrappage Scheme Gets Off To A Flying Start

npower hometeam has revealed that it has seen a six-fold increase in customers enquiring about replacement or new boilers since the announcement of the Government’s boiler scrappage scheme.

npower Boiler Scrappage Scheme Gets Off To A Flying Start

Six times more appointments were booked through npower hometeam on the first day of
the Government scheme, compared to the previous day. The company, which installs, services and repairs boilers, has drafted in extra staff to meet the demand while existing staff are working overtime.

In December npower became the first energy supplier to launch its own boiler boiler scrappage scheme, but with the Government announcement consumers could now be eligible to receive as much as £800 towards the cost of a new gas boiler installation as well as saving nearly £235 off an annual gas bill*, when replacing one that is G rated. This week has seen some of its competitors follow npower’s example.

npower has also announced that it will honour the full £800 scrappage discount for customers who, due to the cold weather, need to have their broken down ‘G rated’ boiler replaced before the end of January, subject to availability. This is to help customers who may need a new boiler before the government vouchers are available (January 18th at the earliest).

Kevin Miles, CEO npower retail, said: “As we enter the coldest winter for 30 years, we are finding that the boiler scrappage scheme is really striking a chord with our customers. With the HHIC estimating the average cost of a boiler installation to be around £2,500, £800 is a significant discount.

“We are encouraging any interested parties to act quickly to benefit from the scheme, as the Government has a finite pot of money which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.”

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Scrappage Scheme For Windows Earns Wide Industry Backing

Boiler replacement grant scheme up and running – campaigners hope plan to encourage installation of latest, energy-efficient double glazing will be next.

Scrappage Scheme For Windows Earns Wide Industry Backing

More than 3,450 people have signed a petition calling on the government to introduce a double glazing scrappage scheme, just as the first applications are coming in from householders looking to take advantage of a similar incentive to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes.

The government’s boiler scrappage scheme was launched in early January, promising to save up to 125,000 eligible households £400 on the cost of replacing an old boiler with a more modern, fuel-efficient equivalent.

Now, support is growing for a similar scheme for double glazed windows, with a petition on the 10 Downing Street website attracting 3,450 signatures, as at Monday January 11.

And home improvement price comparison website LocalQuoter has backed this idea, believing that it will encourage window installers and manufacturers to step up to the challenge of addressing the environmental impacts of their work.

“We fully support any scheme which will help people reduce their CO2 emissions,” said LocalQuoter boss Les Yates, “and we’re sure our customers will too.

“We’ve already shown them the benefits of using local, suitably qualified and experienced tradespeople, and we welcome any moves to encourage our trusted industry partners to show a commitment to cutting the environmental impact of their work.

“Having state-of-the-art windows and doors installed is proven to help achieve substantial reductions in CO2, and can play a major part in helping the UK achieve the drastic emissions cuts which we are looking to achieve over the next decade,” he added.

The government has committed to cutting the amount of greenhouse gases, of which CO2, or carbon dioxide is the most common, by 70 per cent in the UK by the year 2020.

Installing modern windows can help maximise savings on energy bills over many years, according to Nigel Rees, Chief Executive of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF), the umbrella body representing double glazing manufacturers and installers.

“Energy Efficient Windows (EEWs) have a huge role to play in improving the thermal performance of the existing housing stock,”, said Nigel Rees. “EEWs can reduce emissions by 10% from dwellings nationally and reduce national domestic energy expenditure by 10%. “

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npower Welcomes Start Of Boiler Scrappage Scheme

npower has welcomed the start of the Government’s home boiler scrappage scheme, and has pledged to continue its own, potentially doubling the savings offered to customers who choose to replace their boiler.

npower Welcomes Start Of Boiler Scrappage Scheme

In December 2009 npower became the first energy supplier to launch its own boiler scrappage scheme. The combination of the two scrappage schemes means consumers could be eligible to receive as much as £800 towards the cost of a new boiler, when replacing one that is over 10 years old (G rated).

Kevin Miles, CEO of npower retail, said: “It’s vital we play our part in supporting this Government initiative. Customers can now enjoy £800 off the cost of a new boiler as well as saving nearly£235 off an annual gas bill, compared to a G Rated boiler*. We are delighted to welcome some of our competitors who have followed npower’s example and pledged to match the Government’s scheme.”

As well as its boiler scrappage scheme, npower hometeam npower hometeam installs, services and repairs boilers, in addition to offering a wide variety of heating cover options. npower hometeam provides a thorough, 30 point gas boiler service and safety check. hometeam also offers boiler repair with a choice of two ways to pay: fixed price repair, which ensures no extra charge for call out, parts or labour, and also comprises a no fix, no fee guarantee, and pay as you go repair, which covers call out and the first half hour of labour, with all work guaranteed for 12 months. npower hometeam is also offering a variety of heating cover options in conjunction with homeserve, including gas central heating breakdown cover, gas boiler breakdown cover, electrical heating breakdown cover, landlord’s gas central heating cover, home emergency cover, electrical emergency and breakdown cover, and gas supply pipe cover.

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Reducing Diesel Soot is Faster And Cheaper Than Reducing CO2 in Effort to Slow Global Warming

In his new book, Addicted to Energy, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Elton Sherwin claims that reducing diesel soot is key to affordably protecting the planet from rapid warming.

Drawing on research from UC Berkeley, Stanford and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography , Sherwin says that reducing diesel soot is faster and cheaper than reducing CO 2 . “We still need to dramatically reduce CO 2 , but eliminating diesel soot is a quick, affordable way to lessen the likelihood of crossing a major climate threshold or tipping point.”

Some models show California ‘s Central Valley getting 10 degrees hotter this century. “We in California should be very motivated to get this right, to lead the world in developing strategies to reduce diesel soot. This is primarily a financing issue, not a technology issue. The technology exists to do this.”

Stacy Jackson in her work at UC Berkeley has shown that primary active ingredient in diesel soot, black carbon, will have a significantly greater impact on the world’s climate than CO 2 in the short term.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, one of the world’s leading climate scientists at Scripps Institute for Oceanography in a recent article in Foreign Affairs , says that existing emissions-control technologies could “be enough to offset the warming effects of one to two decades’ worth of carbon dioxide emissions.”**

In his book Sherwin suggests including diesel soot in California ‘s cap and trade system. “ California ‘s oil companies paid to retrofit dry cleaners in southern California to offset their emissions. If diesel soot were included in a cap and trade system, California ‘s largest polluters would immediately buy soot filters for the trucking industry, because this is such an inexpensive way to reduce emissions.”

About Elton Sherwin:
Elton Sherwin is a venture capitalist and the Senior Managing Director at Ridgewood Capital, where he invests in private energy-tech and clean-tech companies. He holds eight patents and sits on the boards of several clean-tech companies. His widely acclaimed first book, The Silicon Valley Way, was translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Korean. Published in 1998, it continues to be used by entrepreneurs and universities around the world.

About Addicted to Energy:
Addicted to Energy is written as a guidebook to a fictional governor, with advice on how to manage both the climate and energy crises. The book devotees thirty pages to California’s AB 32 legislation. The book contains many charts and graphs, as well as practical tips for homeowners, businesses, and local governments.

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Algae Collection Technology, LLC Moves a Major Step Closer to Estuary Clean-up and Alternative Energy

Algae Collection Technology, LLC (ACT) conducted a macro algae harvesting demonstration for Florida permitting officials, in the Indian River Lagoon, just east of downtown Melbourne. The successful demonstration was a major step towards securing harvesting permits that will allow the company to remove excess harmful algae f r o m estuaries, and then work with their partners to convert the algae into commercially beneficial products such as alternative energy sources.

Algae Collection Technology, LLC Moves a Major Step Closer to Estuary Clean-up and Alternative Energy

ACT’s goal with the demonstration was to show that the environmental impact appeared negligible so a permit could be issued to do a research pilot program. The research f r o m the pilot will measure the amount of harmful nutrients removed f r o m the estuary when excess algae is removed, the impact and volume of any by-catch, the improvement of water quality by avoiding anoxic conditions created by decomposing algae, the impact on sea grasses and juvenile species, and the potential improvement in water clarity/quality. It will also allow ACT’s partners to explore the yield f r o m commercial uses of the product. For example, Global Renewable Energy Resources (GRES) intends to conduct extensive research on the algae harvested in the pilot period to determine if newly invented enzymes can break down the algae into a high yield energy source.

In attendance at the demonstration were representatives f r o m the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the St. John’s River Water Management District, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Department, and Brevard County. Viewers saw the exact harvesting equipment that will be used during the research pilot, and were briefed by Clark Giangarra, the President of ACT on how the equipment was designed, and the objectives of the harvesting. As Mr. Giangarra indicated, removing the algae has“two major ecological values. First, the algae acts like a sponge for run-off nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen (fertilizers). When you remove algae, it takes the nutrients with it and keeps the estuary f r o m simply adding more and more nutrients to the system. Second, this algae grows into huge deposits that are often several feet thick. If they are not removed, those algae deposits die and create anoxic conditions where all surrounding sea life dies.” Mr. Giangarra went on to say that the cleanup process that removes the algae can be expensive, but interest f r o m potential partners such as GRES has convinced him that the commercial value of the product will ensure that the estuary cleanup is financed by those participating partners at no governmental expense.

The two hour demonstration featured ACT’s harvesting and wash-down system as algae was collected. The harvesting equipment is a simple hand-operated collection device that skims over the bottom. The wash-down system was designed to return by-catch to the estuary, thereby minimizing by-catch impact. As the harvesting was conducted, representatives f r o m Fish and Wildlife and DEP actually sifted through the algae noting and counting any species. In addition, divers f r o m DEP followed the harvesting equipment to observe and note any potential impact on the estuary bottom.

At the conclusion of the demonstration, an out-briefing was conducted to voice any concerns and observations, and to clarify the objectives and processes of the pilot research project. In the end, all parties had a clear understanding, and the permitting authorities agreed to allow ACT to move forward with the application for the research pilot permitting process.

“This was a huge step forward, because if we were not able to convince all parties that we apparently had minimal ecological impact, and that the pilot research project will provide extensive documentation, then they wouldn’t have even let us proceed with a permit application” said Clark Giangarra. Today, we are closer than ever to cleaning up a harmful nuisance and creating alternative renewable energy than ever before thanks to the Florida permitting officials.

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npower Helps Provide Solar Panels For Two Stockton-On-Tees Schools

npower has helped Bader Primary School and Ingleby Mill Primary School in Stockton-on-Tees to feel the warmth of the sun and lower energy bills this year thanks to its grant of £46,500 and the support of the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

Bader Primary School, is home to 267 children aged between 4-11 years old and since being built in 1971 has not seen many modifications. npower has provided £10,000 of funding for a Photovoltaic (PV) system and display panel, heating control upgrade and pipe work insulation.

Ingleby Mill Primary School is a modern school with 658 pupils, npower has pledged£7,000 to the school to implement a photovoltaic (PV) system with display unit. The remaining £25,000 will fund other PV systems in local primary schools next year.

Stuart Marrow from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, “We have been working with npower for over a year and are seeing some really exciting projects taking off. The Solar panels at Bader and Ingleby Mill Primary Schools will go a long way to reducing Carbon Dioxide production and cutting energy costs as well as raising pupil awareness of the potential of renewable energy.”

npowers Climate Cops programme runs green-themed activities for schools right across the UK – and pupils from both Bader Primary School and Ingleby Mill Primary School have already taken part in a ‘Climate Cops Academy’ – a highly interactive day about saving energy and the planet. npower undertook an energy audit in 2008, which showed that both schools were energy efficient and would benefit from alternative methods of energy production. Both schools were prime candidates to benefit from one of npower’s Climate Cops grants.

Clare McDougall, head of the Climate Cops programme, commented, “Both schools in Stockton-on-Tees enjoyed the Climate Cops Academy day and were already very good on energy efficiency. We have worked with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to look at other green energy measures, the PV systems will generate a substantial amount of hot water and electricity, making both schools amongst the greenest in the area.”

npower’s Climate Cops programme has committed £500,000 in energy efficiency measures for schools, 15 projects have been completed so far and – if all the measures are implemented – the participating schools would annually save a total of around £100,000 and 650 tonnes of CO2.

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npower Funds National Trust Community Led Project

An npower funded project will see two historic villages owned by the National Trust attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and energy bills as part of a community led programme. The initiative, which is similar to the government’s Low Carbon Community Challenge, will show how major energy efficiency improvements are achievable in homes of any age – not just modern buildings – with savings possible from the biggest mansion to the average family house.

The low carbon village pilot – supported by £600,000 funding from the National Trust’s energy partner npower – is being trialled at the National Trust owned villages of Coleshill in Oxfordshire and the Wallington Estate in Northumberland. As well as funding the project, npower is also giving advice on effective energy saving tips for tenants of the properties.

The project involves 62 houses at Coleshill and 73 cottages and 14 farms at Wallington, with properties dating from the 1850s and 1750s respectively. Through community engagement, each village will decide what measures to take to reduce their carbon footprints with the added incentive of making savings to their energy bills.

Residents at Coleshill wanted to find out their current energy consumption and carbon emissions as a starting point so that any success could be measured. On assessment, the average carbon footprint for homes and appliances was 7.57 tonnes of CO2 each year, slightly higher than the national average of 6.15 tonnes.

At Wallington, the community’s overall carbon footprint for heating and electricity was 879 tonnes of CO2, equating to 9.5 tonnes of CO2 per property per year. The reason for this higher emission level is because, like a third of all rural areas in the UK, Wallington is off the gas network. The village therefore has to rely on carbon-intensive oil and electricity for heating which pushes up carbon levels as well as the bills.

Celia Robbins, the National Trust’s project manager at Wallington, said: “By introducing our energy efficiency measures and helping people understand their energy use we hope to make a real difference to both people’s pockets and to the environment.

“Installing sheep’s wool loft insulation and improving the efficiency of off-grid electricity generation will reduce Wallington’s carbon footprint by more than 10%

“On advice from npower’s energy advisor, we are also encouraging residents to monitor their electricity with a Smart Meter which shows how much any appliance uses every six seconds. Using the display can be quite a revelation because although electricity is invisible this helps people see exactly how much they use and the associated costs.”

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The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As ‘Living Laboratories’ To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Climate modelling undertaken by the Forestry Commission suggests that by 2080, the temperature in Manchester will mirror that of the current climate in Naples. This will mean that during the height of summer, the temperature in a typical office building will reach up to 28°C.

The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As 'Living Laboratories' To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Michael Oglesby, Chairman of Bruntwood said: “Although the battle to gain acceptance of global warming is now almost won, the task of gaining a clear understanding of what practically and realistically can be done to adapt to its impacts is to a large extent still the topic of much debate and uncertainty.”

Climate modelling predicts changes to the rainfall in the UK, which will become heavy and more infrequent compared with the fine and persistent rainfall the UK is used to. Such changes in the climate will have a significant impact on the way people live and work.

The Eco Cities project will explore methods of adapting existing office space to the effects of climate change to ensure comfortable working conditions can be maintained, without relying on energy hungry technology.

Working with a global network of individuals and organisations, the project will provide Greater Manchester with a blueprint for a climate change adaptation strategy that will become a resource for planners and other relevant stakeholders with a responsibility for action in this field.

In addition to the adaptation of commercial property, it will also equip Greater Manchester with knowledge and understanding on how its public spaces and homes need to adapt.

Michael commented, “Reducing our output of CO2 is a task requiring government action but of equal importance is a clear understanding at city and individual level as to the vital role that they have to play in adapting our urban areas to a changing climate.

“Eco Cities aims to make a major contribution to the adaptation debate and to give clear and scientifically verified guidance to local government, companies and individuals.

About Eco Cities:
The project seeks to provide Greater Manchester, by the end of 2011, with a climate change adaptation blueprint. This will be based on leading scientific research, extensive stakeholder engagement and best practice examples of new programmes successfully piloted during the project. Eco Cities is funded through charitable donations from Bruntwood and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.

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Get Ready For The Ban On Tungsten Filament Bulbs Says GW Supplies

Dartford based GW supplies provide electrical supplies to the trade and public. They are concerned that many UK households aren’t prepared for the imminent removal from sale of most tungsten light bulbs.

Due to an EuP directive all non clear tungsten bulbs will be banned from manufacture from 1st September 09. This means pearl, frosted and opal bulbs of all shapes and wattages will be removed from sale. 100W clear bulbs are also being discontinued.

Many UK consumers have delayed moving over to energy efficient bulbs because of compatibility issues with their light fittings or dimmer switches. GW supplies stocks a wide range of low energy compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that replace most old fashioned light bulbs. Consumers can choose from a wide range of high quality MEGAMAN bulbs including candle lamps and dimmable bulbs that are compatible with standard dimmers, provided you check the minimum dimming wattage on your dimmer and stay within the limits.

GW supplies is also concerned that consumers may try to mix old fashioned bulbs and energy efficient bulbs in the same light fitting. Consumers are advised to replace all the bulbs in a light fitting with suitable compact fluorescent bulbs, this will give a more aesthetically pleasing effect and eliminate any compatibility issues.

The good news is that the light output of this new generation of bulbs is the same (if not brighter) than the equivalent tungsten filament lamp but uses 5 times less energy i.e. 11W energy saving bulb = 60W tungsten bulb.

To see the full range of high quality, good value long life MEGAMAN lamps visit Gurney & White Ltd at www.gwsupplies.co.uk.

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New MapGuide By The National Geographic Society Council To Capture The History And Heritage Of The Sierra Nevada Region

The National Geographic Society has partnered with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Sierra Business Council to capture the history and heritage of the Sierra Nevada Region in order to create an interactive Web site and print map. The Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project seeks to celebrate the Sierra Nevada as a world-class destination, while contributing to the economic health of the region by promoting sustainable tourism. History buffs and adventurers, backpackers and foodies, birders and sightseers can discover unique destinations based on recommendations from those who know best — residents of the Sierra Nevada.

Sierra residents and visitors, community organizations, tourism stakeholders and local businesses will nominate sites for potential inclusion in a print MapGuide and interactive Web site. Unlike any other mapping project, a favorite local restaurant, farm, winery, hiking or biking trail, swimming hole, museum or artist gallery are samples of the type of nominations National Geographic and its project partners will be seeking. The Web site will target a variety of growing travel niches — adventure and nature tourism, cultural heritage travel and agritourism – and allow for residents to select the one-of-a-kind places integral to a distinctive character of place.

“The breadth of the beauty in the Sierra Nevada is tremendously unique. Lassen National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are incredible jewels in this 400-mile-long region,” said Steve Frisch, President, Sierra Business Council.

“The Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project is the perfect synthesis between economic outreach to culturally rich communities and respect for the planet,” he added.

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism helps travelers to tread lightly and enjoy a locale’s sense of place.

“An inherent benefit of geotourism is connecting diverse interests under a common goal,” said Jim Dion, Associate Director of National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. “The design of the MapGuide process, specifically in forming a regional stewardship council, encourages and builds mutually beneficial partnerships.”

A Geotourism Council will oversee the Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project. Working with the National Geographic Society, the Geo Council will:

1. Encourage community participation in the collection of nominations for the geotourism Web site and MapGuide during the three-month nomination period.

2. Review the nominations and identify themes for the project; work with National Geographic on the writing, editing, fact-checking and design of the Web site and print MapGuide.

3. Develop a marketing plan for the site; oversee the MapGuide’s distribution and contribute fresh material to the Web site; and encourage long-term stewardship of the Sierra’s natural, historic and cultural assets.

Nominations begin in the Yosemite Gateway region at the August 19 press event, with the initial Web site slated to launch January 2010 and completion of the Web site covering the entire range slated for November 2010.

The National Geographic Society has worked with community-based alliances to develop similar Geotourism MapGuides in several other regions around the world. MapGuide projects have been completed in Greater Yellowstone, the Central Cascades (Oregon, Washington), the Crown of the Continent (Alberta, British Columbia, Montana), Guatemala, Montreal, Sonoran Desert (Arizona, Sonora), Romania, Norway, Honduras, Peru, Baja California, Rhode Island, Vermont and Appalachia.

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Monarch School’s New Green Building Earns EPA’s Rare DEES Designation & Saves $170,000

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program last week recognized The Monarch School’s new green building as exemplary with the EPA’s rare and coveted “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” (DEES) designation. The school’s Chrysalis building achieved a score of 86 out of 100, meaning it ranks among the top 14 percent of buildings in the United States. This building is designed to use 33 percent less energy and carbon than an average, comparable building, saving more than $170,000 and nine million kilowatt-hours in energy over the next 25 years. The efficient design also qualified The Monarch School as the first private school to receive a cash rebate — $2,300 — in CenterPoint Energy’s SCORE program.

Monarch School's New Green Building

In the coming weeks, the Chrysalis building will become the new campus for The Monarch School, a national leader in therapeutic education for hundreds of children with neurological differences, many of which are related to autism.

“We’re excited about our students’ future, and about promoting a healthy, sustainable Texas,” said Head of School and Founder Dr. Marty Webb. “As we began planning the future of the thousands of people who will use this building in the next century, we were delighted to find that energy-efficient design could be another affordable, practical way for The Monarch School to serve more families, better.”

The Chrysalis building will use 33 percent less energy and carbon than an average, comparable building, which will save more than $170,000 in energy bills over the next 25 years. The 9,000,000 kilowatt-hours saved are the annual equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 1,200 passenger vehicles, or the electrical usage of more than 900 homes.

Dr. Webb said, “This DEES designation confirmed that our early decisions to bring together an experienced ’green team’ have helped our donors’ contributions go farther today and over the coming century.” The sustainable design team included:

– Architects: Jackson & Ryan Architects
– Green Building Consultants: Green Building Services, Inc. (GBS)
– MEP Engineers: Wylie & Associates
– Energy Modeling: BVM Engineering
– Civil Engineers: Brewer & Escalante
– Structural Engineers: Matrix Structural Engineers
– Acoustical Engineers: HFP Acoustical Consultants
– Landscape Architects: TBG Partners; Home & Habitat
– Green Electricity Broker and Sustainability Consultant: Momentum Bay Associates LP (d.b.a., GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS)

The school also earned a cash incentive of more than $2,300 from CenterPoint Energy’s SCORE Program, which rewards participants for incorporating energy-efficient design into new and existing buildings, specifically for more efficient lighting, HVAC and building envelope systems. The Monarch School was the first private school allowed to join the program.

The Chrysalis building is expected to help the utility avoid nearly 6,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years, and reduce peak demand for electricity significantly, by saving:

– more than 12 kW in electric demand above ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 requirements for lighting and HVAC, and
– 30,558 kWh/yr in energy, roughly the annual electricity used by three average homes in Houston

The efficient design complements the school’s ongoing sustainable operations strategies of conservation, energy efficiency, hybrid transportation and green power. For example, The Monarch School’s two existing campuses approached a zero carbon footprint over the past three years, largely by purchasing 100 percent green power. The new campus has also contracted for 100% green power, continuing The Monarch School’s commitment to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and 100% Purchasers group.

“With electricity and green power prices at six to 10-year lows, our little nonprofit has found it quite economical and practical to approach carbon neutrality and strive with others for clean air and a healthy, sustainable Texas,” said Dr. Webb. “While market research, case studies and anecdotes have confirmed a zero to three percent premium for the design of green schools and green buildings over the past decade, this DEES designation confirms that our building’s energy savings alone may yield the equivalent of nearly a 14 percent-off coupon on our design professionals’ fees. That’s a healthy value.

“When other school administrators ask ‘How was The Monarch School able to secure cash rebates, energy savings and avoided emissions?’ I answer two factors: a great team and great tools,” shared Dr. Webb. “First, our design team members pursued exemplary design throughout the project. For example, we committed to pursuing LEED® for New Construction certification for not only the Chrysalis Building, but also the entire campus’ future buildings.

“Second, we wanted to articulate these benefits for our students, families and donors and set ongoing operating budget goals,” continued Dr. Webb. “The EPA’s Target Finder tool and DEES designation helped us quantify and communicate much of the LEED-NC benefits long before we could receive LEED certification for the campus. In fact, the energy modeling required by DEES may have propelled the project into a higher level of LEED certification.”

Dr. Webb concluded by saying, “Achieving the DEES designation is still quite rare nationwide and in Texas, with just over twenty DEES buildings in Texas. What that fact means, though, is that our team merely followed the lead of other rational, forward-thinking Texas neighbors. And, that decision really paid off. ‘Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR’ clearly makes business sense for commercial offices and even schools.”

About The Monarch School
Founded in 1997 by Dr. Marty Webb, The Monarch School is now one of the nation’s leading schools that provides an innovative, therapeutic education for children ages 3 to 25 years old. It serves the needs of children with neurological differences, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, PDD-NOS), Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Tourette’s Syndrome, Mood Disorders (Bipolar Disorder, Depression), Anxiety Disorders, and other neurological differences. With a ratio of 2.5 students for each teacher/mental health professional, the school develops individualized plans to help each student make progress in the school’s four core goals: executive functions, relationship development, self-regulation/self-awareness and academic competence.

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China Mart Los Angeles And Shanghai Environmental Energy Exchange Sign Exclusive California Emissions Trading Agreement

China Mart TM Los Angeles (CMLA), a business platform for Chinese Manufactures to Invest and grow in the U.S. located at Los Angeles International Airport has signed an exclusive emissions/equity trading agreement for California with the Shanghai Environment Energy Exchange (SEEE), China’s newest and largest exchange for trading environmental technology companies shares, and emission credits for COD and SO2 pollutants.

Exclusive

Stephen Perl, CEO of China Mart Los Angeles states, “China Mart TM serves as a useful bridge and partner/member of the SEEE’s exchange because our mission is to increase the U.S.-Sino business relations resulting in new investment and jobs in the U.S., and at the same time, this partnership allows China Mart TM to create new clean-tech jobs in the U.S. as well. China Mart TM has been granted exclusive broker privilege to handle all SEEE emissions trading for the State of California which will be a useful tool for all manufacturing businesses in California in order to stay compliant with environmental standards when Congressman Waxman’s AB 32 Bill becomes law.”

Shanghai Environment Energy Exchange (www.cneeex.com), approved by Shanghai Municipal Government, is an international comprehensive market platform for the transactions between China and other countries in the fields of environment and energy. Based in Shanghai and serving the whole country and the world, SEEE is a specialized equity-capital market platform for the transactions of emission trading, asset rights, creditor’s rights, stock rights, IPR and etc focusing on environment and energy.

China Mart TM Los Angeles (www.ChinaMartUSA.com), founded by Stephen Perl (also CEO of 1st PMF Bancorp) is a U.S.-Sino business platform dedicated to bringing Chinese manufactures to invest in the U.S. market and to support their marketing, financing, and business operational needs as a “One-Stop Solution” in a safe environment. The China Mart TM Los Angeles location occupies a 3-acre campus at LAX and manages a 300,000 sq foot facility. It has offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and an experienced marketing and business team of seasoned professional.

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npower And Zurich Have Swapped Their Shirts And Boots For Overalls And Wellies, Digging Deep To Support The Development Of A Community Environmental Facility At A Local Primary School

npower and Zurich, two of Swindon’s largest employers, have swapped their shirts and boots for overalls and wellies, digging deep to support the development of a community environmental facility at a local primary school.

npower

Volunteers f r o m both npower and Zurich have been working with Rodbourne Cheney Primary School to form a ‘field of knowledge’, developing a variety of creative learning zones using natural and recycled materials.

The primary school has developed various areas of the field over the last year, involving members of the local community which suffers f r o m high levels of unemployment.

Rising to the challenge, the teams set about using their working day to revamp selected areas of the field. The npower team focused on creating an outdoor seating area, with a barbeque and log seating for children to observe the surrounding wildlife, whilst Zurich created a wildflower garden, with the aim of attracting butterflies and other wildlife to the area.

The day’s activities took place as part of Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June), which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Tony Martin, volunteer development manager at Zurich Community Trust, said: “Working together has been a rewarding experience for everyone involved. By joining forces we have been able to take on a big challenge for the school and local community.”

In 2008, both npower and Zurich were awarded the prestigious Community Mark f r o m Business in the Community (BitC), in recognition of their commitment to investing in their local communities.

Jacqui Gavin, community investment executive at npower , said: “There was some healthy rivalry on the day which only spurred the volunteers on. It was fantastic to look back at the end of the session and see what we had been able to achieve by working together.”

Liz Matthews, community tutor at Rodbourne Cheney Primary School, said: “We are dedicated to developing outdoor learning spaces where the children can learn about the importance of the environment and protecting wildlife in an inspirational multi-sensory environment.

“The volunteer teams have helped to take us one step closer to achieving our vision, which we plan to open up to the surrounding community so that everyone can enjoy this wonderful space.”

The teams plan to transform a dilapidated school shed into an outdoor classroom when they return for their last session in the summer.

About npower:
RWE npower is the only utility business, amongst 13 other large companies in the UK, to receive the prestigious BitC Community Mark. The Community Mark is a new BitC standard, created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes. Rodbourne Cheney Primary School has established a vision for outdoor learning with the help of parents, local charities including TWIGGS and the Great Western Community Forest, and the surrounding community.

Via EPR Network
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npower Volunteers Care For Coastline In Beach Clean Up

A group of wildlife enthusiasts from the npower graduate scheme has been giving Welsh beaches a boost in time for the British summer, donning their wellies to clean up the coastline in the Vale of Glamorgan.

brightergraduates

Graduates from npower’s power station in Aberthaw adopted a stretch of coast and spent a day carrying out a beach clean, working to guidelines provided by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which is a UK charity dedicated to the protection of seas, shores and wildlife.

The group scaled the beach with a litter picking mission, helping to protect wildlife in the area and supporting the MCS’s campaign for cleaner seas, by providing campaigners with information about the litter found on the shoreline.

The Graduate Volunteers Day saw npower graduates support seven projects near to its operations across the UK. As a Volunteering England initiative in support of Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June) it is the latest drive from the organisation to encourage staff to support projects in their local community through its employee volunteering scheme.

Niall Moroney, team leader from npower, said: “Taking care of our shoreline is essential to the health of our seas and impacts greatly on marine life.

“The MCS has shown us that we can all do our part in protecting our beaches. Our work today mirrors our commitment to caring for the environment, keeping our beaches clean and safe for the next generation.”

Sue Kinsey from the MCS said: “We are delighted that this beautiful piece of coast has been adopted by the team. The results of their litter sweep will be essential in helping us determine the next step in conserving the area, and is a vital indication of the state of our oceans.”

In total 60 npower graduates volunteered on 4 June at projects in Swindon, Birmingham, Leeds, Didcot, Worcester and Aberthaw.

About npower:
RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious Community Mark from Business in the Community (BitC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The Community Mark is a new BitC standard, created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes. npower is one of Britain’s largest electricity suppliers and provides gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK. npower is a market leader in renewable energy and sources green energy directly from renewable sources, at no extra cost. npower sponsors the 2009 Ashes Test Match Series in England, Women’s Test Series, the Twenty20 Cup and the Village Cup organised by the Wisden Cricketer.

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In Order To Mark World Environment Day 2009, Barclaycard Challenged Its Colleagues To ‘Cut A Kilo’ By Changing The Way That They Work

The campaign was part of Barclaycard’s commitment towards carbon neutrality and was aimed at helping colleagues understand how they can reduce their energy and water usage, and cut travel and unnecessary waste.

On the day itself, a team from Barclaycard was out and about litter picking near Barclaycard’s Brackmills HQ to help improve the local environment. Barclaycard also hosted guests from the local enterprise group Workbridge, the Energy Saving Trust and Monkey World.

Other initiatives taking place included a scheme to promote car sharing and promote the use of teleconferencing to reduce the need for long distance travel.

In 2008 Barclaycard colleagues saved over 500 tonnes of CO2, helping to make Barclaycard carbon neutral for its UK operations. In 2009, the aim is to become carbon neutral for the entire Barclaycard Global operation which has large operations in the US, Germany and South Africa amongst others.

Ben Brakes, Barclaycard’s Environmental Manager commented, “Barclaycard’s work to help colleagues reduce their impact on the environment paid great dividends in 2008 and we want to go one step further in 2009. By marking World Environment day we’re helping remind colleagues that this is a problem that affects everyone and we’re all in this together”.

About Barclaycard
Barclaycard, part of Barclays Global and Retail Commercial Banking division, is a leading global payment business which helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and accept credit card payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit when needed. The company is one of the pioneers of new forms of payments and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting edge forms of payment for the future. It also issues credit cards and charge cards to corporate customers and the UK Government. Barclaycard partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit. In addition to the UK, Barclaycard operates in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle and Far East.

Via EPR Network
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Npower’s Climate Cops Awards Enterprising Green-Agers

npower has announced the winning schools of the Climate Cops Green SOS competition with a class of school pupils who petitioned their local shops to ban all plastic bags emerging as the winners of the national competition, scooping £20,000 for its school to invest in eco projects. 

Hellesdon High School in Norwich beat hundreds of schools to win the npower Climate Cops Green SOS at a ceremony held at the Science Museum, London. The project impressed the panel of judges, including award ceremony presenter Fearne Cotton as well as Piers Morgan and eco activist Eugenie Harvey. The panel were impressed with the way the intrepid youngsters lobbied local shopkeepers to ban bags, with 23 out of 56 local stores committing to stopping the use of plastic in their stores.

Hellesdon was selected out of 10 shortlisted schools. Other top projects included runners up Penrice Community College, Cornwall, for their fight to make house numbers clearer to help the emergency services and reduce carbon emissions of delivery vans and the pupils of Gateways School in Leeds, who worked with the Women’s Institute and the world’s fastest speed knitter to make recycled fashion items.

Piers Morgan, head judge and champion of npower’s Climate Cops campaign, said: “I’ve been impressed by the dedication to green issues demonstrated by each of the shortlisted schools. Their determination to mobilise their schoolmates, families and local communities is just the sort of green campaigning we need to make a difference to climate change.”

Fearne Cotton, who met the children, all aged 11-13years, added: “These projects are proof that if we all pull together we can make a difference to the environment around us. It’s the little things that count and I urge us all to think green! We’re hoping that Hellesdon’s success will inspire plenty more school years get involved with Green SOS 2009.”

Npower’s Climate Cops programme is part of the five year Brighter Futures initiative, designed to motivate eco-aware students to turn their passion for the environment into positive action.

Students inspired by Hellesdon’s success can put themselves forward to take part in Green SOS 2009. Shortlisted schools will be given the training and skills needed to make their green mission fly, f r o m selecting a cause, project management, team work and using the media. Interested schools can find more information at www.npower.com/GreenSOS.

 

About npower:
npower is one of the UK’s largest electricity suppliers and draws on 50 years experience in supplying electricity and gas. npower offers a range of essential home and business services to 6.6 million customers across the UK.

RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark f r o m Business in the Community (BITC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.

The aim of the npower Brighter Futures programme is to inspire young people f r o m their first day at school to their first day at work. This is achieved by helping them to develop their skills and knowledge to make their own choices while empowering them to achieve their vision of a ‘brighter future’ for themselves and for the environment. npower Brighter Futures also includes our apprenticeship and graduate recruitment schemes.

Via EPR Network
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Pollution can make your child obese, according to the latest study conducted by Barcelona’s Municipal Institute of Medical Research and reported in the Acta Paediatrica journal

Pollution can make your child obese, according to the latest study conducted by Barcelona’s Municipal Institute of Medical Research and reported in the Acta Paediatrica journal. While this study links chemical pollution to extreme and debilitating weight gain, one American expert wonders if electrical pollution might be having the same effect on children in the USA.

Russ Allen, author of the new book Electrocution of America: Is Your Utility Company Out to Kill You?, says, “Isn’t it time to conduct non-utility-funded studies here in America to see what kind of effects stray electricity is having on our people?”

Stray high voltage is current that travels through the earth on its way back to the substation. Up to eighty percent of this stray voltage travels through our homes, offices, schools, farms, streets and playgrounds. This means that children as well as adults, including pregnant women, are highly exposed to electrical pollution in every day life. Stray voltage has been linked to shocks and even death in humans and animals.

In the Barcelona study, it was clearly shown that exposure to a range of common chemicals while in a mother’s womb can cause a baby to grow up fat. The researchers speculated that pollutants may have made the mothers diabetic, which would increase the chances of their children becoming obese.

Mr. Allen’s concern is that electrical pollution can produce the same insidious results.

“Stray voltage might be having profoundly negative effects on people’s bodies,” he says. “California has taken steps to deal with this form of pollution, but only recently. And they are the only state doing so. It’s time the rest of the country’s politicians and public health officials took this threat to our national health seriously.”

Russ Allen is a leader in the movement against electrical pollution. He is also an advocate for increasing unbiased government and academic studies of stray voltage’s harmful effects on humans and animals. He won a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Wisconsin Public Service for the damage the utility company caused because of the poor design of its electrical distribution system—a design that is common across North America.

Electrocution of America: Is Your Utility Company Out to Kill You? can be found on Amazon.com,  BarnesandNoble.com,  Borders.com,  PriceGrabber.com and Ecampus.com.

For more information, contact the author directly at allen4568@sbcglobal.net.

GLENMORE BOOKS and author Russ Allen chose Arbor Books (www.ArborBooks.com) to design and promote Electrocution of America: Is Your Utility Company Out to Kill You? Arbor Books is an internationally renowned, full-service book design, ghostwriting and marketing firm. 

(Electrocution of America: Is Your Utility Company Out to Kill You? by Russ Allen; ISBN: 0-9779685-0-2; $22.95; softcover; 5½” x 8½”; 406 pages; GLENMORE BOOKS)

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Sierra Business Council — Where Business Leads For Integrated Success In Environment, Economic And Social Solutions

The Sierra Business Council and Sierra Nevada Conservancy hosted the Sierra Solutions Conference October 3-4. Over 200 members gathered from across California to share insights and learn from leaders in housing, sustainable development, carbon sequestration, and sound energy policies and practices.

The Sierra Business Council’s (SBC) mission embraces community, environment and the economy, and this was reflected in the broad range of speakers and topics.

During the day Thursday, 20 high school students from urban and rural areas throughout California were out on the trail hiking, rock-climbing and exploring the Sierra through SBC’s Sierra Nevada Youth Empowerment Program. Engendering the next generation of stewards is a priority with Sierra Business Council, and with the support of the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, these students participated fully in the entire conference, adding their important voices throughout the conference and to the closing comments.

Thursday evening some 100+ guests shared their experiences at the Sierra Leadership Institute Alumni dinner, celebrating the success of SBC’s Sierra Leadership Institute (SLI). The SLI is an annual collaborative leadership training session founded in 1996 and is designed to improve individual professional skills while enhancing the civic infrastructure of our region, over 250 Sierra Leadership Institute alumni currently work throughout the Sierra, contributing to the quality of life and economic well being of the region.

SBC Founder and Past President, Lucy Blake, opened Sierra Solutions with a return to the values that began the Sierra Business Council, looking forward to a vision where business leads for integrated success in environment, economic and social solutions.

Chief Executive Officer Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, Rusty Gregory, made sure everyone felt at home for the Sierra Solutions Conference. Mammoth Mountain is the first ski resort in California to put in place a measurement program with the California Alpine Resort Environmental Cooperative (CAREC). A tour of the erosion control test plots at Mammoth Mountain was held on Sunday, October 5. In the opening remarks, Gregory noted the need for balance in embracing unique opportunities as an organization. “Mammoth is long-term orientated, but also focused on surviving the short-term, so we get to those long term goals.” Mammoth Mountain Executive Chef Reed Hearon provided memorable meals using local foods, showcasing ranches and farms in the Eastern Sierra with extraordinarily delectable results.

Sierra Business Council honors outstanding community member efforts with the annual Vision 2020 Award. This award is designed to recognize those firms and individuals charting the course for a sustainable future by the year 2020. The conference dinner on Friday opened nominations for this prestigious award.

The SBC’s Board of Directors will select the award winners from member nominations and present the 2009 awards on March 19 in Sacramento, California. Sierra Business Council’s 2009 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration will feature presentations from Vision 2020 Award winners, comments from past winners, a Slow Food Dinner and of course, important news from the Sierra Nevada. SBC established the Awards in 1996 to recognize and reward innovation and leadership in the Sierra Nevada region.

“We are honored every year by the remarkable accomplishments of our friends and neighbors; they are the people in our communities who do the heavy lifting to make our futures bright. One of our greatest pleasures is being able to recognize them for their innovation and hard work,” said Rich Morrison, Chairman of the Board, Sierra Business Council.

“The Vision 2020 Awards are being held in Sacramento as a way to bring the importance of the Sierra Nevada in California to the State Capitol. This change is both symbolic and practical in communicating our message to the population of the entire state,” commented Steve Frisch, SBC president.

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Engendering The Next Generation Of Stewards Is A Priority With Sierra Business Council

The Sierra Business Council’s Sierra Solutions got under way October 3rd at the Mammoth Mountain Conference Center. The first item on the agenda was getting 20 high school students from urban and rural areas throughout California out on the trail hiking and exploring the Sierra.

On a day that saw usually quiet roads blocked and helicopters flying over Mammoth Lakes due to the location of Steve Fosset’s plane and remains, students seemed oblivious to these parallel events and delighted to be finding their own beginning to a closer relationship with nature.

Engendering the next generation of stewards is a priority withSierra Business Council. Speaking at the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board meeting this spring, SBC member, Soapy Mulholland of Sequoia Riverlands Trust stressed the importance of education, stating that if we don’t get this generation out on the land, what we conserve will not matter. She noted a recent survey that showed only 4 out of 30 university students have been to one our national parks.

The students joined conference attendees in a dinner celebrating the success of SBC’sSierra Leadership Institute (SLI). The SLI is an annual collaborative leadership training session founded in 1996 for individuals from all walks of life—business, government, ranching, et al. Designed to improve individual professional skills while enhancing the civic infrastructure of our region, over 250 Sierra Leadership Institute alumni currently work throughout the Sierra, contributing to the quality of life and economic well being of the region.

Sierra Solutions continues through October 4 with important presenters from economic, environmental, state, city and county representatives throughout the Sierra Nevada.

About Sierra Business Council
The Sierra Business Council serves the entire Sierra Nevada region. As a nonprofit association of more than 750 businesses, agencies, and individual members, Sierra Business Council is committed to promoting a new perspective on regional wealth while emphasizing collaboration in planning and policy making.

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