Quick Energy Efficiency News…CEE Says Spending Stable…Obama Signs Energy Savings Bill…Major Labs Focus on Tropics

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Quick energy efficiency news for this week…energy efficiency news

Utility energy efficiency and demand response spending remained stable at $8 billion for 2013 in the U.S. and Canada, about the same as the previous year, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.

CEE tracked the spending in its ninth Annual Industry Report, issued May 1, 2015. Other highlights include:

  • US gas and electric DSM spending totaled $7.2 billion.
  • Natural gas program spending rose three percent in 2013, to over $1.3 billion.
  • Program administrators spent over $1.02 billion on demand response programs in 2013.

CEE expects 2014 data to reveal growth.

“Despite regulatory setbacks in some states, planned efficiency investments represented by 2014 budgets of $9.9 billion are trending positive overall,” said CEE executive director Ed Wisniewski.

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President Obama last week signed into law The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). The bill passed the Senate in March and the House in April and became the first energy bill signed into law in this Congress.

The new law establishes a voluntary, market-driven approach to align the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption. It also exempts certain electric resistance water heaters used for demand response from pending Department of Energy regulation. And last, it requires that federally-leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.

The full text of the law is here.

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Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory plan to work together on energy efficiency and sustainable development in the tropics.

The collaboration will focus on energy-efficiency solutions for buildings, renewable energy and storage, and smart grids over five years.

The two labs will seek ways in real-life settings to enhance local capabilities and accelerate the adoption of energy-saving measures in Singapore and the region.

Projects will be installed at the  NTU Singapore’s EcoCampus initiative, which uses the university’s 200-hectare campus and adjoining 50-hectare Cleantech Park as a super test bed for research in cutting-edge green technologies.

Going beyond research, the collaboration also aims to develop and demonstrate practical solutions to combat urban and environmental challenges while reducing energy costs.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

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