White House Bullish on Energy Efficiency

September 19, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

ObamaThe White House announced a sweeping series of executive actions to advance energy efficiency in the United States as follows:

DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network is launching a veterans’ job training pilot project at up to three military bases this fall. The pilot will connect the veteran population with DOE’s network of more than 400 community college-based solar training institutions.

The US Department of Agriculture is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide, including 240 solar projects. The funding is being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

DOE is issuing a proposed energy efficiency conservation standard for commercial unitary air conditioners, which are commonly used for space conditioning in commercial and industrial buildings. If finalized as proposed, DOE says this standard will save 11.7 quads of energy over the lifetime of units shipped over 30 years, making it potentially the largest energy savings estimated for any efficiency standard issued by DOE to date.

DOE issued the final affirmation of the commercial building code – the ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 – 2013, providing more energy savings than the previous standard to help states and the federal government save money and energy on building operations.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Planning and Development office is affirming that under current guidelines, Section 108 funding can be used for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

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