June, 2016 – Volume 9, Issue 6
The 2016 Kentucky Environmental Excellence Awards
The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection is seeking nominations for the 2016 Environmental Excellence Awards.
These awards were established to recognize the environmental leadership efforts and activities of individuals, businesses and organizations in the Commonwealth. The DEP awards are in their seventh year and are coordinated by the Division of Compliance Assistance.
The awards include three Environmental Pacesetter awards to recognize exemplary efforts to protect the environment, conserve resources and set an example of environmental stewardship. The Community Environmental Luminary Award highlights achievements in community-based environmental education and outreach. The Resource Caretaker Award focuses on efforts to conserve Kentucky’s resources. The KY EXCEL Champion Award recognizes a KY EXCEL member who has shown leadership in promoting positive environmental behaviors and the KY EXCEL program.
Launched by DEP in 2006, KY EXCEL is a voluntary environmental leadership program that recognizes efforts to improve and protect Kentucky’s environment above and beyond the state’s environmental requirements and is open to any individual, organization, community or business.
Award nominations are being accepted until close of business on June 30, 2016. Winners will be notified by mid-August and invited to the awards presentation scheduled during this year’s Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment, to be held in September 2016.
For more information about the awards program, KY EXCEL and to access a nomination form, visit the Ky.gov DCA website or call the Division of Compliance Assistance at (502) 564-2150.
Energy Project Assessment District Proposed for Louisville
Establishes new way for eligible property owners to pay for energy efficient upgrades
Eligible property owners would be able to make energy efficient upgrades on their buildings and pay for them through assessments, under a proposed ordinance pending before the Louisville Metro Council.
Mayor Greg Fischer said the proposal creating an Energy Project Assessment District, or EPAD, would allow property owners to acquire private financing to put in solar panels or water conservation measures, for example — and then repay the loans via an assessment collected by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office, over a term of up to 20 years.
The ordinance is sponsored by Ninth District Councilman Bill Hollander.
This measure would remove a difficult barrier for many, Fischer said, given that energy efficient upgrades can be costly up front, while the energy savings comes over time. Financing energy projects also can be made difficult by short repayment periods, high or variable interest rates, stringent credit requirements and lack of equity. But EPAD assessments offer longer repayment terms and the ability to effectively improve overall property value and marketability.
Read more at the Louisville Sustainability Council website.
EPA Proposes Increase in Renewable Fuel Levels
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all types of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The proposed increases would boost renewable fuel production and provide for ambitious yet achievable growth.
“The Renewable Fuel Standards program is a success story that has driven biofuel production and use in the U.S. to levels higher than any other nation,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “This administration is committed to keeping the RFS program on track, spurring continued growth in biofuel production and use, and achieving the climate and energy independence benefits that Congress envisioned from this program.”
The proposed volumes would represent growth over historic levels:
- Total renewable fuel volumes would grow by nearly 700 million gallons between 2016 and 2017.
- Advanced renewable fuel — which requires 50 percent lifecycle carbon emissions reductions — would grow by nearly 400 million gallons between 2016 and 2017.
- The non-advanced or “conventional” fuels portion of total renewable fuels — which requires a minimum of 20 percent lifecycle carbon emissions reductions — would increase by 300 million gallons between 2016 and 2017 and achieve 99 percent of the Congressional target of 15 billion gallons.
- Biomass-based biodiesel — which must achieve at least 50 percent lifecycle emissions reductions — would grow by 100 million gallons between 2017 and 2018.
- Cellulosic biofuel — which requires 60 percent lifecycle carbon emissions reductions — would grow by 82 million gallons, or 35 percent, between 2016 and 2017.
Read the news release at EPA’s website.
Solar-Powered House Gets New Life at Speed School
John Karman, III – UofL News
A funky-looking house designed by students for a national energy-efficiency competition is getting new life at the University of Louisville.
The solar-powered Phoenix House was the UofL-Ball State University entry at the 2013 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Los Angeles, where it won the affordability challenge. It is now located on the Belknap Campus in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering complex, and it is being converted into the administrative offices of the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research.
The house also will be the Conn Center’s “living laboratory” for studying renewable energy and energy efficiency prototype technologies in conjunction with industry.
A ribbon cutting and dedication was held May 12 to celebrate the Phoenix House’s new use.
“We are hoping this inspires a whole other generation of students to go and address some of the critical general challenges in the energy arena that face this generation,” said Mark McGinley, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Speed School.
Andrew Marsh, assistant director of the Conn Center, added that the new use for the Phoenix House “extends its life” as it is transformed into a place that showcases the center’s projects and its work with industry.
Energy Star 2015 National Building Competiton Wrap-Up Report
In 2015, EPA hosted the ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings, but with a twist. For the second time, teams competed to slim their energy and water “wastelines.” More than 125 teams and 6,500 buildings across the nation competed to become the nation’s biggest loser. The team that took home the gold for energy savings was the Texas A&M – ESCO Project team, which improved energy efficiency by 35.5 percent and saved an estimated $548,900 over the course of the competition!
Learn from this talented field, and find out what trends and best practices emerged among winners in 2015. From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, competitors pulled out all the stops to improve efficiency. Get their best energy-saving advice and check out their successful strategies in this summary report.
Water Scarcity Calls for Mindful Business Practices
From GreenBiz – IW Financial
Whether an enterprise makes cars, food or electronics, water is important to its everyday operations. Even when businesses don’t use water directly in their production processes, it still plays a major role in the global supply chain for virtually all products. As economies all over the world grow, so does the need for water, and the amount of available clean water is at risk.
Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum released its Global Risks Report for 2016. The annual report identified the lack of safe drinking water as the most serious risk over the next 10 years, due to the hundreds of millions of people this will affect.
With the availability of clean water shrinking, the global supply chain is feeling the effects. Without developing sustainable water usage practices, corporate water risk could have dire effects on global business. However, for companies that can take a proactive approach, there are numerous opportunities to push sustainable ideals while also improving the bottom line.
See What’s New at ESRC
The Environmental Sustainability Resource Center (ESRC) is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx™), a national network of regional information centers. The objective of the ESRC is to provide technical environmental sustainability information and training to industrial service providers in EPA Regions 3 & 4. The primary service area for the ESRC is EPA Region 3 & 4. Region 3 includes Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, D.C., Delaware and Maryland. Region 4 includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. ESRC resources and staff are available to users in industry, consulting and universities. Please visit the ESRC website or call toll free (855) 531-3772 for more information.
GreenBiz – Sustainability News & Resources
GreenBiz advances the opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability. Through its websites, events, peer-to-peer network and research, GreenBiz promotes the potential to drive transformation and accelerate progress — within companies, industries and in the very nature of business. Since 1991, GreenBiz has chronicled and been a catalyst for thought leadership in aligning environmental responsibility with profitable business practices.
Read this month’s Policy Matters column in GreenBiz, “How to Support Clean Water, Safer Chemicals and Climate Action”. Zach Bernstein, Research Manager, American Sustainable Business Council, discusses ways to make sure the business voice on sustainability issues is heard in Washington.
Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences
• EPA Webinar: Portfolio Manager 101
Get started using EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool. An introduction and demonstration of the core functionality of the Portfolio Manager tool, including how to enter properties, enter energy and water data, share data with others, and generate performance reports.
June 28 at 1:00 pm EDT – View more training opportunities and Register for the Webinar.
• EPA Webinar: Portfolio Manager 201
Learn about some advanced features including: using spreadsheet upload templates to update property data, setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties, creating custom reports and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist.
June 29 at 1:00 pm EDT – View more training opportunities and Register for the Webinar.
• EPA Webinar: Portfolio Manager 301
Take a deeper dive into the more advanced features of Portfolio Manager, such as managing changes in property uses over time, using spreadsheet templates to quickly upload data, setting goals, and creating custom reports.
June 30 at 1:00 pm EDT – View more training opportunities and Register for the Webinar.
• EPA Webinar: Energy & Water Treasure Hunt
An Energy Treasure Hunt is a fun and cost-effective process for identifying energy savings that also helps to strengthen building energy management practices. Energy Treasure Hunts engage building owners, managers, employees and tenants to help identify improvements that can be made immediately and without significant expenditures.
July 12 at 1:00 pm EDT – View more training opportunities and Register for the Webinar.
To view these and other sustainability-related events, please visit the KPPC Events Calendar.