Green Building News

Study Finds Wind Turbines a Lesser Threat to Birds

Posted on September 19, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Although wind turbines are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of songbirds in North America annually, the combination of cats and cell phone and radio towers do much greater damage, according to a new report.

Wisconsin Utility Seeks New Fee for Renewables

Posted on September 18, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A Wisconsin utility is seeking regulatory approval for a revised rate structure that adds new fees for customers who generate some of their own power with wind, solar, and other renewable energy systems, and cuts the amount of money they are paid for excess electricity through net-metering.

We Energies' proposal would hike the fixed service charge (what it calls a "facilities charge") for all residential electric customers from $9 to $16 per month.

California Moves to Streamline Solar Rules

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Scott Gibson

California's state legislature has passed a measure that will simplify the permitting process for residential photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) systems, which industry officials say could reduce costs to homeowners by $1,000 or more.

According to an article in The Los Angeles Times, the measure requires cities and counties to adopt local ordinances that would make permitting and inspections faster.

Refrigerators Get New Efficiency Standards

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Scott Gibson

As the modern refrigerator marks its 100th anniversary this year, new federal efficiency standards take effect on September 15 that will cut energy consumption on most models by between 20% and 25%, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The drop in power consumption continues a trend that started nearly 40 years ago with efficiency standards approved by the then fledgling California Energy Commission.

Department of Energy Seeks Student Designers

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Registration has opened for the Department of Energy's (DOEUnited States Department of Energy.) annual Race to Zero competition in which students and faculty teams from U.S. and Canadian colleges are asked to develop high-performance houses that meet the department's “zero energy ready home” specifications.

Twenty-eight teams took part in the first year of the competition, presenting their designs to a panel of experts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado in April.

Austin, Texas, Will Boost Solar Output

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The Austin, Texas, city council has passed a resolution that requires a total of 800 megawatts in new photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) within six years, a move that would make Texas one of the top 10 solar electricity producers in the country, Greentech Media reports.

Vermont Utility to Develop New Grid Technology

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The largest electric utility in Vermont has announced its intent to offer a variety of new products and services to its customers and develop a network of micro-grids through the state that offer more reliable service than the existing "legacy grid system."

Beginning in the city of Rutland next year, Green Mountain Power said it would partner with NRG Energy to develop an advanced distribution grid that could serve as a model for expansion to other parts of the state later. The utility has some 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont.

Drought Forces Tough Choices in the West

Posted on September 5, 2014 by Scott Gibson

In California and other parts of the West, a prolonged drought is severely taxing water supplies and prompting state and local governments to push for strict conservation. Water conservation has been a longstanding part of the green-building credo, but until fairly recently was more of an option than a necessity.

Maine Poised to Approve State’s Largest Wind Farm

Posted on September 4, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Regulators from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection have signed off on a proposal to build a 62-turbine wind project, the state's largest.

The Bangor Daily News reports that a draft order approving the proposal from a subsidiary of First Wind of Boston, Massachusetts, is subject to public comment and further review. But even critics think the project is likely to win final approval.

An App for Builders

Posted on September 3, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A group of building consultants has developed a free app for mobile devices intended to provide detailed information on building techniques and materials.

Content on Construction Instruction-HD, or Ci, includes silent animations explaining a variety of building techniques, a directory of building products organized by manufacturer, articles, a news section, and a video library. It was introduced in an article by Fernando Pages Ruiz at Fine Homebuilding in June.

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!

Syndicate content