Quick Energy Efficiency News…Approved! Key Energy Bill in CA…Benchmarking in Seattle…Casino Goes LEED

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energy efficiency newsQuick energy efficiency news for September 15…

It’s 2030 dreamin’ for California, which passed a bill last week (SB 350) to increase reliance on renewable energy to 50 percent and double energy efficiency by 2030. Despite some setbacks, it’s a significant step in the right direction for the state, which is home to the top five most polluted cities in the country and is still massively oil dependent.

While 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets are set through executive order, a companion bill aimed at cementing these targets in legislation was held without vote. The bill now goes to the senate for a concurrence vote where it is expected to pass. The California Dream 2.0? More job creation and innovation, improved public health and less dependence on oil.

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When it comes to energy performance and efficiency, the City of Seattle is all about comparing notes. Ninety-nine percent of required building owners now measure their energy use and performance relative to similar buildings.

The city’s freshly released benchmarking reports on municipal and private-sector buildings suggest overall year-to-year energy performance is stable or trending positively – with significant room for improvement in many sectors.

Among its successes: 1) The Airport Way complex: 8.9 percent combined energy savings (2013- 2014); nearly $21,000 savings/year; 2) Community Center upgrades: combined 7.4 percent energy savings (2013-2014); nearly $15,000 savings/year

In addition, 70 percent of city buildings had reduced energy use, according to 2014 benchmarks; however, the other 30 percent offset those reductions, resulting in no net change in overall energy use.

The lesson? “Benchmarking is helping guide our efforts to manage and reduce the City’s energy use,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We have learned that saving energy requires ongoing oversight and dedicated effort. The city will continue to invest in the energy efficiency of our facilities.”

Private building owners can use the city’s new free online tool—the Seattle Energy Benchmarking Dashboard—to see how their energy performance stacks up against similar buildings.

More incentives and requirements aimed at further energy efficiency in the building sector are expected. Peruse Seattle’s building benchmark reports here.

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Caesars Entertainment Ceasars PalaceEleven Caesar’s Entertainment casino-resorts in Nevada are not just seeing green; they’re going green, earning Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) tax incentives for introducing energy- and water-savings measures in tens of millions of square feet of commercial space.

Efforts include installing energy efficient LED lights, introducing day lighting controls, rewiring lighting systems, and team-member training to improve facility operations.

Twenty-two Caesar’s Entertainment casino-resort buildings achieved LEED certification or equivalency (10 gold and 1 silver), for a total of more than 46 million square feet. Eleven properties were awarded the GOE property tax incentive. Yo-eleven, yo-eleven…

Still, all that glitters is not LEED gold: Nevada would rank number one in the U.S. in total LEED certified square footage per capita in 2015; however, USGBC current regulations prohibit properties that allow smoking from achieving LEED certification.

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