Americans spend thousands of dollars on their energy bills each year, contributing not only to increased financial pressure, but also to greater carbon emissions. While heating and lighting are the biggest contributors to high energy bills, electronic devices are starting to take an even bigger chunk out of household expenses. With people buying up
With spring in full swing, things are looking mighty sunny in Sacramento! California lawmakers are considering a number of solar-friendly policies this year — first out of the gate is AB 217, a bill that will help more low-income Californians go solar. We’re working with our friends at Grid Alternatives to support the bill – we hope you will too!
The US consumer wants food to be fresh, local and organic. But that means larger grocery bills in an economy where most people need them to be smaller.
As the New York Times tells it, 20-somethings, just out of college, feel the squeeze the most. They are more intent on Whole Foods-style eating than their predecessors, but less able to afford it. (See “The
The Green Deal is a UK Government initiative aimed at reducing C02 emissions and increasing Green technology in UK homes and businesses. The Green Deal is going to be launched in October 2012.
The big driving force behind the Green Deal is the commitment that Tony Blair made to cutting CO2 output by 80% of 1900 levels by 2050. Some have speculated that Mr Blair didn’t actually know what he was signing up to at the time. An 80% reduction in anyone’s eyes is a large figure and what the current Government have realized is that this isn’t something easily achievable simply through tax incentives and red tape, hence the Green Deal was born. The idea is to give loans which are paid back through your energy supplier and there is no up-front cost to the loan. The loans will also be linked to the property and no the occupier.
The Green Deal is going to create 65,000 jobs over the coming years and we all know that politicians just love a job creation scheme. If the Government can get all the proper structure in place before the initiative is launched there is a chance that a lot of new shiny jobs will be created. The politicians will be falling over themselves to be photographed with a young man fitting a solar panel, saying ‘we created these jobs’.
The only fly in the ointment is that the UK Governments track record, they made a huge error over the first time they incentivized Green technology. The UK Government was paying 42p per kWh to people who fitted solar voltaic panels, which lead to a boom in the up-take of solar panels and created thousands of jobs. But it wasn’t sustainable, ironic, and the scheme was slashed to 21p per kWh causing some firms to scale back and make redundancies. The solar industry took the Government to the high court to challenge their discussion and the word ‘fiasco’ was attached to the whole of the Governments Green credentials.
One huge thing that the UK Government can champion is that the Green Deal loans will have no upfront costs, this will be an incentive to people who are struggling in these times of austerity. To be able to fit these new technologies and save money on their energy bills is going to be a driving factor. There is a caveat of course, the loans have to be lower than ones currently available. No one is going to take out a loan if they can get a better deal from there bank. So the loans associated with the Green Deal need to be competitive against the open market.
One of the biggest problems that western Governments and environmentalists have been facing over the past few years is apathy both for politics and for Green issues. In the UK people are much more concerned about jobs and their finances than they are about green issues. This is an area that the Government really needs to focus on because if people don’t take up the initiative it might all collapse.
The UK Green Deal is a huge opportunity to revolutionize the Green industry in the UK but there are some hurdles in the way as we have observed in this article. With some good incentives and some hard selling the UK Government can produce the jobs and cut carbon in the UK. One thing that does come out of these large scale Government schemes is that the costs for green technology comes down. Economies of scale dictate that cost prices will fall when there is a large take up of an emerging technology, so we can all look forward to lower prices. The knock on effect can be innovations in the technology itself as well as competition within the market which can further drive prices down.
Only time will tell if the Green Deal is going to be a success but what is evident over the last few years is that if you pitch it properly Green technology can create jobs and build sustainable markets.
Article by Ciaran Oliver.
The Obama administration – and every parent with a child in college – is concerned about the ever-escalating cost of higher education. And for good reason. Tuition, room and board rose 37 percent for undergraduates at public colleges and 25 percent at private colleges (adjusted for inflation) from 2000 to 2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
There was a time when you could spot a greenie in the crowd. They were the Birkenstock-wearing, self-described environmentalists . These days, to rephrase an oft-used saying, “we’ve seen the future and it is us.”
No longer tethered to trees, people who care about the environment are no on-the-go, smartphone
In theory, automation is supposed to be helpful. Then I read an article the other day about the most embarrassing cell phone auto-corrections. Most are a little too racy to share, but the examples illustrate the challenges that can come with automated functions (like a cell phone’s auto-correct).
Admit it. You like to watch makeover shows. The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover, What Not to Wear. Everyone loves them. Of course, we all hang on to the end to see the big reveal.
Before and after photos are fun to see, whether they’re photos of people, bathrooms or entire
At a time when families are struggling to pay their energy bills, leaders in the House are pushing to roll back common sense standards for residential lighting that save families money by saving energy.
It’s important to remember that these standards were passed just a few years ago with overwhelming
The cost of living is rising and sadly, most of our salaries are staying the same. When it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet at the end of every month, cutting spending by any means necessary is a must. But this doesn’t mean that your green credentials have to go out the window: quite the
One of my least favorite things to do is go grocery shopping. I’m usually there at the worst times (right after work, along with the rest of the population of Vancouver), I usually forget my list (and subsequently all the items of which I’m most in need), and I almost always end up in line behind someone
On May 11, the city of Seattle launched a commercial benchmarking program for commercial buildings, joining Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco, Austin, and the states of California and Washington in requiring building owners to track and disclose their energy bills to prospective buyers
According to an AIA study, between 2006 and 2009, municipalities with green building programs increased by 50%. Many programs sponsored by municipalities, states, utilities and the federal government are designed to promote energy efficiency and green construction.