RETScreen, developed by Natural Resources Canada and offered worldwide at no charge by the Canadian Government, allows users to evaluate wind, small hydro, photovoltaic, solar air heating, biomass, solar water heating, passive solar, and ground-source heat pump renewable energy projects.
It includes product and weather databases and an online users manual, and provides analysis of energy production potential, costs, and viability of renewable energy projects anywhere.
RETScreen software may be downloaded free here.
EPA Region 10 is requesting proposals for Product Stewardship, Extended Product Responsibility (EPR), Recycling Market Development and Solid Waste grants. Grants will range from $5,000 to $20,000. Criteria for proposals include:
Proposals are being accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information, contact Viccy Salazar at 206-553-1060 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
State and local governments and communities have important roles to play in reducing greenhouse gases. In turn, they will reap many benefits from such actions, including saving money, improving air quality, lowering risks to human health, and reducing traffic congestion.
EPA is offering a package of public education and program development tools both online and on a free CD. Called The State and Local Climate Change Outreach Kit, it includes fact sheets and brochures as well as strategy, solution, and policy alternatives papers. To access these online and/or order the CD, click here. For more information about state and local government and community roles, actions, and benefits related to reducing greenhouse gases, click here.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has approved a new program that will provide payments of up to $5 per watt to qualified homeowners and businesses that purchase and install their own solar photovoltaic systems. Six million dollars are earmarked for the first year of the program.
"Los Angeles is the ‘sunshine city’ and we should aggressively pursue opportunities to use this clean renewable energy source to create a solar powered city," said S. David Freeman, DWP general manager. "The potential economic development benefits of the program are significant, and we fully expect to bring several new manufacturers of solar photovoltaic systems to Los Angeles in the very near future."
Payments will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Reimbursements will be determined by several factors, including the cost and energy production capacity of the system. On average, this incentive program will reduce the consumer’s cost by approximately 50 percent. For a household installing a 1,000 watt system, total out-of-pocket costs would be approximately $2,500.
The new program is expected to start in September. For more details, contact Walter Zeisl of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at 213-367-1342. The solar program is one in a series of DWP environmental initiatives, including Green Power for a Green LA, Energy Solutions for a Green LA, Cools Schools and Electric Transportation for a Green LA. Information about these programs is available at GreenLA.com.
The EPA is increasingly focused on working partnerships with communities and is planning expanded use of grants to promote creative projects. For broad information on what is planned, click here.
One new effort now in the planning stages is the Innovative Community Partnerships (ICP) Program, with 11 initial pilot projects. Funding of $4.4 million for the ICP grants has been proposed in the President's FY 2001 budget.
Consideration will be given to proposals dealing with restoration and protection of community watersheds and airsheds, integrated community planning for environmental results, and environmentally responsible redevelopment and revitalization. Projects may involve smart growth, transit oriented development, integration of transportation and land use planning, integration of brownfields redevelopment and transportation planning, and similar topics.
For more details on the ICP Program, click here.
A comprehensive new package of tax incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy has been adopted by Maryland. Individuals and businesses making purchases and investments in clean energy technologies and consumer products will be eligible. These new incentives cover:
The package partially or fully waves sales taxes. It also provides income tax credits for buying solar photovoltaic systems or solar hot water systems, and for the production and sale of electricity from renewable energy sources, including wind power, biomass, and landfill gas.
"This new law will give a boost to new energy saving products and innovative practices," said Howard Geller, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). "Maryland legislators are to be commended for recognizing the crucial role that tax policies can play in increasing sales, reducing costs, and building markets for promising technologies."
The state's clean energy tax package bears a strong resemblance to proposals submitted to Congress by the Clinton Administration nearly two years ago as part of its Climate Change Technology Initiative. While Maryland legislators moved quickly this year with little debate and bipartisan support to enact these measures, Congress has largely ignored the clean energy proposals submitted by the President.
"Maryland has refocused attention on the need for constructive policies to combat global warming," Geller noted. "Other states should follow Maryland's lead, and Congress should act on tax incentives for energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy this year."
A synopsis of the Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act is available in pdf format from ACEEE.
The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) allocates capital funds to enhance transportation access as a part of Bay Area community development and neighborhood revitalization efforts.
MTC set aside these TEA 21 funds for its Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) Program in the late 1990s. This program encourages redevelopment efforts which add housing and economic vitality to older business and community centers throughout the region. Projects which provide pedestrian, bicycle and transit links to these centers are a part of this program.
"There is an emerging market force towards energy efficient homes," according to the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). "From Florida to Alaska, mortgage lenders are increasingly using energy mortgages to make homes more affordable and poising their companies to capture this new market trend."
An energy-efficient mortgage credits a home’s energy efficiency when a home loan is made. There are two types:
The RESNET Lender's Corner includes information on energy mortgage products offered by FHA, VA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. It summarizes each product and provides examples and underwriting guidelines.
Visit the RESNET Lender’s Corner here.
A new website -- Education for Sustainable Development -- offers exercises, tools and suggestions for creating educational programs to support community sustainability goals. Written by Rosalyn McKeown of the University of Tennessee, this site is essentially a manual to help educators get started in the business of education for sustainable development.
"The toolkit is based on the idea that communities and educational systems within communities need to dovetail their sustainability efforts," writes McKeown. "As communities develop sustainability goals, local educational systems can modify existing curriculums to reinforce those goals."
The toolkit includes exercises to help communities develop sustainability goals if they have not done so already. Also included are exercises to explain sustainable development to community members not yet familiar with the concept.
To check out this resource, visit http://www.esdtoolkit.org.
The Office of Federal Energy Management Programs is offering its lighting efficiency training course online, as a ten-week web-based distance learning class, from September 12th through December 11th, 2000.
The course focuses on managing lighting efficiency retrofits for the workplace. It is designed for building or facility Energy Managers. It addresses offices, institutional, industrial and warehouse spaces. It does not cover outdoor lighting, retail or residential lighting.
Course materials can be downloaded weekly from the class website. The instructors and students communicate online, and there are opportunities for questions to the instructors and discussions among class members in a virtual classroom.
For more details, visit http://www.cce.edcc.edu/femp
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