Research & Reports
The Clean Air Task Force (CATF), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and Earthworks have released Latino Communities at Risk: The Impact of Air Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry and a related interactive map that demonstrate, for the first time, the specific risks to Latino communities of diseases from airborne pollutants from oil and gas development.
Financing Energy Upgrades for K-12 School Districts: A Guide to Tapping Into Funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Improvements, is a new April 2013 whitepaper from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), U.S. Department of Energy, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
This April 2013 report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Quality Employment for Women in the Green Economy, provides the first-ever estimates of women’s employment in the green economy, state-by-state, by industry, and by occupation. The analysis draws on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey; the Brookings-Battelle Clean Economy database; and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Green Goods and Services survey. It is the first of a series of publications investigating strategies for improving women’s access to quality employment in the green economy; future reports will address good practices in workforce development for women in the green economy.
Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors & The Rockefeller Foundation have re-released their March 2012 study on sizing and financing the Energy Efficiency market, United States Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Market Sizing and Financing Models. The study examines the potential size and investment opportunity of upgrading and replacing energy-consuming equipment in US real estate. The paper highlights this investment opportunity, with the potential for significant economic, climate, and employment impact.
The NAACP, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization released Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People in October 2012. Coal Blooded ranks the 378 coal-fired power plants in the nation as well as 59 coal power companies according to how they impact low-income communities and communities of color. It paints a grim picture of the health, economic, and environmental impacts of coal pollution on those who can least afford it and the impacts of climate change due to these coal-fired power plants.
ACORE's November 2012 report, Renewable Energy in the 50 States report provides an executive summary on the status of renewable energy implementation at the state-level. The report provides a two-page, high-level overview on the key developments that have shaped the renewable energy landscape in each state, including information on installed and planned capacity, markets, economic development, resource potential and policy. The report is a "living" document that will continue to evolve with updates and periodic revision.
Recently, disclosure policies that encourage or require the provision of energy-use information to renters, buyers, owners and operators of buildings have begun to break down barriers to investment in efficiency measures, according to a September 2012 review released by Policy Matters Ohio. The new report reviews the barriers to adoption of energy-efficiency measures, lays out basic elements of existing energy disclosure policies, and describes how communities have put good policies in place. It’s one piece of Policy Matters Ohio’s “Sustainable Communities Toolkit,” which serves as a resource to reporters, community stakeholders, policy makers, and others interested in a high-road approach to development that protects the environment, boosts the economy and promotes equity.
As the energy efficiency of products, homes, and businesses improves, it becomes less expensive to operate them. The rebound effect, as described in this August 2012 whitepaper from ACEEE, is a postulate that people increase their use of products and facilities as a result of this reduction in operating costs, thereby reducing the energy savings achieved. Periodically over the years, some analysts raise questions about the rebound effect, arguing that it is a major factor that needs to be accounted for when analyzing energy efficiency programs. This paper is written in “question and answer” format and is designed to summarize what we know, what we do not, and—given what we know—how large the rebound effect is likely to be.
As cities like Los Angeles, Seattle and Milwaukee are showing, policymakers have an opportunity to support good jobs through incentives for building owners to improve energy efficiency. As some of the largest real estate centers in the nation take up the "green" retrofitting of commercial buildings, a new briefing paper from the National Employment Law Project shows that these projects not only have the potential to improve energy efficiency, save money and help the environment - they are also powerful job creation tools. August 2012.
On July 18, 2012, New Energy Cities released Powering the New Energy Future from the Ground Up: Profiles in City-Led Clean Energy Innovation, a report featuring 34 small- and medium-sized cities that are pioneering a wide range of solutions in energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and carbon-reducing transportation strategies.
Working paper from ACEEE: Role of Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives in the Context of Tax Reform. This paper reviews experience with current and past energy efficiency tax incentives and based on this experience provides some guidelines on the most effective ways to apply limited funds to maximize long-term energy savings. The paper also includes an analysis of the costs and savings of 13 specific proposals, ranking them on federal cost per million btu of energy saved. July 2012.
June 20, 2012 marked the launch of EnergyFactCheck.org, a new and useful online resource for anyone engaged in the debate over clean and renewable energy. Providing real-time information, EnergyFactCheck.org is designed to help ensure both sides of the story are told by responding to inaccuracies and misrepresentations with the facts. EnergyFactCheck.org was created in partnership with the Surdna Foundation and Spitfire Strategies, and is a resource of the American Council On Renewable Energy.
On June 5, 2012, Oregon Governor Kitzhaber released a 10-Year Energy Action Plan draft that lays out comprehensive strategies to align the state's economic objectives with its efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and carbon reduction goals. The draft plan, which is open for a 60-day public review and comment period, emphasizes priorities that help deliver affordable and reliable energy while getting Oregonians back to work on energy-related projects across the state.
IMT and the Appraisal Institute recently released a guide to energy performance and property valuation, entitled Recognition Of Energy Costs and Energy Performance in Real Property Valuation: Considerations and Resources for Appraisers. May 2012.
Benchmarking and Disclosure: State and Local Policy Design Guide and Sample Policy Language, which has been published through DOE's Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy SEE Action Commercial Buildings Working Group, is now available. This guide is helpful for anyone considering rating and disclosure and the various policy options therein. May 2012.
The California Statewide Benchmarking Process Evaluation is a report submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission on the plausible impact and possible obstacles of implementing California's rating and disclosure policy. The first few pages provide a great summary. April 2012.
Enterprise Green Communities released their Incremental Cost, Measurable Savings Updates report, to illustrate the cost effectiveness of the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and outline the long-term benefits of green building methods. ECC Board Member Dana Bourland is Enterprise's Vice President of Green Initiatives and is featured in the report. 2012.
Providence's February 13, 2012 State of the City address, given by Mayor Angel Taveras, mentions Emerald Cities as one of the bright highlights in what will be a challenging year ahead for the city. "Reducing energy consumption and tackling our unemployment problem head on" are clear priorities for the Mayor, who also promoted the importance of partnering with local organizations and being able to exemplify successful pathways to green careers.
A letter to President Obama, Re: Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. January 12, 2012.
Utility Programs Available to Reduce Energy Costs in 40 States: Natural gas utilities have been instrumental in helping their customers manage and reduce their energy costs by providing programs that assist their customers with improving the energy efficiency of their homes. A new report released by ECC partner ACEEE, A National Review of Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, documents the rapid growth of these types of programs across the U.S. January 5, 2012.
Presiden't Obama's Energy Plan: Blueprint For A Secure Energy Future. March 30, 2011.
Voices from the Field: Greening America's Distressed Housing. March 24, 2011. This is Emerald Cities Collaborative's first policy report on weatherizing distressed properties. We're taking the first steps toward improving housing quality and providing access to energy services in our communities. The report includes extensive background research, a field survey of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and three focus groups of weatherization service providers and affordable housing managers that work in communities ravaged by housing divestment and neglect. It reveals that those that need weatherization the most are least likely to get it because the costs of major structural upgrades and other health and safety issues fall outside the training and cost abilities of WAP. The report also reveals the heroic and entrepreneurial efforts of WAP providers to patch together low-cost solutions, with which ECC has worked to present options for better inter-agency coordination, standardized protocols, documentation and reporting, and more. The report was a collaborative project of several of ECC board members, including Community Action Agency as lead, YouthBuild and Enterprise Community Partners.