How much does it matter if energy efficiency programs like ENERGY STAR or appliance energy standards save electricity generated by renewable resources like wind and solar, rather than from fossil fuel power plants? Certainly from the perspective of reducing carbon pollution, there’s a strong case that saving renewable electricity is not as valuable as saving … Read more

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) hosted a well-attended Capitol Hill briefing this week on the Community Storage Initiative, aimed at making tomorrow’s electricity grid cleaner and cheaper. I had the pleasure of participating, representing both NRDC and the Community Storage Initiative (CSI), where I serve on the advisory council. Energy storage holds enormous prospect for a … Read more

Electric utilities and technology developers at the cutting edge of renewable energy generation and energy storage met at a White House-hosted “Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets” this week to exchange ideas and explore how to rapidly scale these technologies to make tomorrow’s electricity grid cleaner and cheaper. I had the pleasure of … Read more

Electric utilities and technology developers at the cutting edge of renewable energy generation and energy storage met at a White House-hosted “Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets” this week to exchange ideas and explore how to rapidly scale these technologies to make tomorrow’s electricity grid cleaner and cheaper. I had the pleasure of … Read more

The Department of Energy (DOE) this week formally requested more input on analyzing a new approach to energy efficiency standards for natural gas furnaces, and although it’s been 25 years since they’ve been significantly updated, taking some additional time makes great sense. The approach, which NRDC and other stakeholders proposed to DOE in July, would … Read more

Based on the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 (EEIA) enacted by Congress earlier this year, the Department of Energy has now updated its regulations to define a new product class for “grid-enabled water heaters.” That’s good news. These are electric resistance household water heaters with communication and control capability that allow utilities to use … Read more

For those of us working toward smarter, cleaner, cheaper water heating for households, there’s a lot happening in Washington, D.C. With about 15 percent of U.S. household energy use going to heat the water we use to wash dishes and take showers, even small improvements make a big difference. First, new energy efficiency standards for water heaters … Read more

I had the pleasure of testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce —  Subcommittee on Energy and Power last week. The topic was proposed legislation to grant “grid-enabled water heaters” a carefully designed exemption from the strong and important federal energy efficiency standards for water heaters that take effect next … Read more

(This is an update of a blog posted 2/10/15 and to correct the record regarding historical manufacturer support for revised efficiency standards and the consumer savings estimated by DOE.) The Department of Energy (DOE) has just proposed a long-delayed energy efficiency standard for the natural gas furnaces heating millions of U.S. homes. This is good … Read more

The federal government yesterday issued new efficiency standards for the electricity distribution transformers that bring power to every U.S. home and business. The new standards are an important step in the right direction, although far greater savings are achievable. To achieve the maximum cost-effective energy savings, DOE will need to revisit the standards in the … Read more