Residential Heating from Compost

Although we often talk about the latest new technology to hit the renewable energy markets, such as thin-film solarx or advanced nuclear technology, sometimes it is worth reexamining an old one. Composting is one of these. Common on the farm, it has been revisited on a larger scale as cities began to look for ways to reduce the amount of material being sent to landfills, the simple logic being that any reduction in the amount sent to a landfill increases its life

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Breathing Easier: Anti-idling Technology at Tennessee Truck Stops

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In Tennessee, trucking drives the economy. According to 2011 figures, the trucking industry in Tennessee provided 183,550 jobs, or 1 out of 12 in the state. Total trucking industry wages paid in Tennessee in 2011 exceeded $7.5 billion, with an average annual salary of over $40,000. More than 91% of Tennessee’s communities depend…

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Power Purchase Agreements Expand Solar Development

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The sun is usually shining across the Hemet Unified School District, which covers 700 square miles of Southern California’s farmlands, foothills, and rugged peaks. Solar power seems a natural fit, and this October the district completed a 4.4 megawatt (MW) solar project that puts photovoltaic (PV) panels at 17 sites—from…

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Weatherization Plus Health: Future Direction of the Weatherization Assistance Program?

The future of the U.S. Department of Energy’s low-income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is far from certain. The program faced much criticism after receiving $5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, despite being one of the best job producers, with 15,000 jobs at its peak, and weatherizing 100,000 more…

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Homes in Need by STEP, Inc: Bringing a Fresh Approach to Weatherization Plus Health

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Community action agencies administer dozens of programs under one roof, making coordination a challenge and best practices a must. Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP, Inc.), in central Pennsylvania, is a model of integration, combining a whole house approach to home assessment with referrals to the 32 programs housed at the agency…

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Winter Fuels Price Outlook Could Have Major Impact on LIHEAP Purchasing Power

The cost of home heating this winter could increase by up to 11.1%, according to recent data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The average cost of home heating for those using heating oil is expected to increase from $2,087 to $2,494; natural gas from $608 to $697; propane from $1,962 to $2,222; and electricity…

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Virginia Issues First QECBs for Mass Commuting

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Although Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) have been used across the country for energy improvements, Virginia’s Spotsylvania County has issued what is believed to be the first set of QECBs for mass transit facilities. Located in the commuting corridor outside Washington, D.C., Spotslyvania County is building a new Virginia Railway Express (VRE) train station to be…

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Atlanta Sees Major Savings from Energy Performance Contracting

The Atlanta Civic Center’s 45-year-old air-handling systems and domestic water heating equipment were in very poor condition. With annual energy costs exceeding $500,000, the Civic Center with its aging heating, cooling, lighting, and water systems—was a poster child for the need to retrofit existing buildings.

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PACE Makers

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Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing was the most exciting thing in energy efficiency until June 2010. The idea was simple: homeowners could take out a loan to finance efficiency work as a property tax assessment. Because it became the senior lien on the property, the interest rates were lower.

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Quick Questions: Larry Dawson

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Larry Dawson, Director of the Illinois Office of Energy Assistance, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development, is the incoming chair of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA), the primary organization for state directors of the Low Income Energy

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