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Reports

» Demystifying Net Zero Energy [school buildings]
By Massachusetts School Building Authority
May 27, 2021

» Decarbonizing Homes
Improving Health in Low-Income Communities through Beneficial Electrification
By Yu Ann Tan and Bomee Jung, RMI
2021

» Prefabricated Zero Energy Retrofit Technologies: A Market Assessment
By US Dept of Energy, Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy
March, 2020

News

» International Commission Votes to Allow Use of More Climate-Friendly Refrigerants in AC and Heat Pumps
The new guidelines could save the equivalent of billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, but the U.S. could prove slow to adopt them.
By Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News
May 22, 2022

» Heat pumps do work in the cold — Americans just don’t know it yet
These heating/cooling systems have been called the “most overlooked climate solution.” Now they can work in temperatures far below freezing.
By Shannon Osaka, Grist
May 9, 2022

» DOE updates water heater rule for first time in two decades
By Miranda Willson, E&E News
May 6, 2022

» New Rules Will End the Century-Long Run of Classic Light Bulbs
The administration set efficiency standards that will phase out sales of incandescent bulbs in favor of LEDs, reducing Americans’ electrical bills over time.
By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times
April 26, 2022

» Washington State Passes All-Electric Heating Mandate for New Buildings
By Paige Bennett, EcoWatch
April 26, 2022

» On Earth Day, UMass Amherst unveils major renewable energy overhaul
By Dharna Noor, Boston Globe
April 22, 2022

» Amid push for electric heat pumps, Baker could join early adopters
By Colin A. Young, State House News Service, in Heating News Journal
April 20, 2022

» Massachusetts apartment retrofit offers model for multifamily energy savings
The owners of a Fall River apartment complex spent two years tightening building envelopes, replacing heating and cooling systems, and installing rooftop solar panels. Now, they hope to replicate the success elsewhere.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
April 5, 2022

» Heat pumps could help ease the climate crisis — and the war in Ukraine
If the United States delivers millions of heat pumps to Europe before October, then Russian President Vladimir Putin’s energy weapon would be much less potent.
By Bill McKibben, Boston Globe | Opinion
April 4, 2022

» Biden administration lines up $3 billion so low-income families can retrofit their homes
The move will affect nearly a half million households and lower greenhouse gas emissions
By Julia Kane, Grist
April 1, 2022

» The Climate Math of Home Heating Electrification
By Alex Hillbrand Pierre Delforge, NRDC | Expert Blog Post
March 3, 2022

» Microsoft data centres to heat Finnish homes, cutting emissions
By Reuters
March 17, 2022

» Incentives inform and inspire highly efficient affordable housing in Massachusetts
Passive house incentive programs from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Mass Save have sparked the growth of high-performance multifamily buildings, with thousands more units in development.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
March 2, 2022

» 2 senators say proposed building code comes up short
Urge Baker to allow communities to ban new fossil-fuel infrastructure
By Colin A. Young, CommonWealth Magazine
March 2, 2022

» Unlikely gatekeepers in the fight against climate change: HVAC contractors
Rebates of $10,000 encourage homeowners to embrace climate-friendly heating systems. Will contractors block or bolster the switch to heat pumps?
By Eve Zuckoff, CAI Public Radio
February 23, 2022

» Granite Geek: Heat pumps don’t seem like they’d work here but they’re the future of home heating – and air conditioning
By DAVID BROOKS, Concord Monitor
February 21, 2022

» Three More Manufacturers Added to Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge
DOE created the challenge to accelerate deployment of cold climate heat pump (CCHP) technologies.
By Logan Caswell, HPAC
February 18, 2022

» These climate activists aren’t just spouting rhetoric; they’re helping wean utilities off fossil fuels
By David Abel, Boston Globe
February 11, 2022

» Colleges see untapped potential in geothermal district energy systems
Minnesota’s Carleton College is among a growing list of schools investing in the centuries-old technology as part of a path to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.
By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network
February 7, 2022

» What the new Mass Save rewrite means for you
By Dharna Noor, Boston Globe
February 2, 2022

» With new Mass Save three-year plan, Massachusetts sharpens its best climate-fighting tool
The new 343-page order dramatically expands incentives to decarbonize homes. Yet some fear its fine print could undermine its broad strokes.
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
February 1, 2022

» Making gas unnatural
By Yvonne Abraham, Boston Globe | Opinion
January 29, 2022

» Climate and consumer advocates call for early end to Connecticut gas program
A program established under a 2013 law helps homeowners switch from heating oil to natural gas, but consumer and clean energy advocates say it hasn’t benefited ratepayers and is likely to produce stranded assets.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
January 28, 2022

» Homeowners Wait Months as Ottawa Scrambles to Train New Energy Auditors
By The Energy Mix [Canada]
January 26, 2022

» Lawmakers want Baker to move faster on new code for green buildings
By WBUR News & Wire Services
January 19, 2022

» All around Massachusetts, cities and towns want to go fossil fuel free. Here’s why they can’t.
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
January 18, 2022

» Commission on Clean Heat eyes road map to cut building emissions
By Colin A. Young, State House News Service, in The Berkshire Eagle
January 14, 2022

» Why the Luster on Once-Vaunted ‘Smart Cities’ Is Fading
“Smart cities” built from scratch have so far failed to live up to their much-hyped promise. Some critics argue that rather than grafting a new city onto the landscape, it is better to integrate high-tech for clean, efficient energy and transportation into existing cities.
By Jim Robbins, Yale Environment 360, in Inside Climate News
January 10, 2022

» Vattenfall launches high-temperature heat pump solution to replace gas boilers
Developed in partnership with Dutch heating specialist Feenstra, the all-electric heat pump solution will initially be available in the Netherlands. The system’s buffer works as a heat battery that is used to provide heat to radiators and generate hot tap water.
By Emiliano Bellini, PV Magazine
January 7, 2022

» Vermont aims to weatherize 90,000 homes this decade. Can it find enough workers to finish the job?
A new initiative aims to boost and coordinate existing workforce training programs in hopes of preparing thousands of workers in the coming years to meet the state’s mandatory climate targets.
By David Thill, Energy News Network
January 6, 2022

» In Michigan, a new housing project shows that sustainable development isn’t only for the rich
Urban planners see it as a building model in a climate-conscious world.
By Jena Brooker, Grist
January 3, 2022

» Low-income communities could be saving money on energy while helping the climate, but the DPU is standing in the way
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
December 26, 2021

» A Cape Cod efficiency compact wants to bundle solar, storage, and heat pumps — but state regulators rejected the plan
The Cape Light Compact says helping low- and moderate-income households install solar, storage, and heat pumps will compound the financial and environmental benefits, but state regulators have rejected the plan.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
December 15, 2021

» A TikTok food star on why gas stoves are overrated
As the natural gas industry tries to defend its turf, chefs are touting the benefits of induction cooking.
By Rebecca Leber, Vox
December 9, 2021

» New US energy standards would reverse Trump’s war on lightbulbs
Trump’s energy department blocked a rule intended to phase out less efficient bulbs. Now Biden plans to move forward, slowly.
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian
December 9, 2021

» Energy Efficiency Needs To Speed Up To Meet Climate Goals
By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price
December 6, 2021

» As warehouses take off, they need to kick natural gas
Warehouses have become the king of commercial real estate
By Justine Calma, The Verge
December 3, 2021

» Massachusetts’ new efficiency plan puts a priority on underserved communities
The state’s latest three-year energy efficiency plan would include new provisions to increase outreach and expand program eligibility for lower-income households and residents of color.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
November 29, 2021

» Utilities defend energy efficiency plan
Face criticism for subsidizing natural gas heating systems
By Colin A. Young, CommonWealth Magazine
November 9, 2021

» Iomart shows vibrational cooling system from Katrick Technology at COP26 Glasgow
Encouraging results from tests of vibrational cooling at Glasgow data center
By Peter Judge, Data Center Dynamics
November 4, 2021

» Report: Massachusetts doesn’t have enough workers to meet its efficiency goals
A recent report by the clean energy nonprofit E4TheFuture says the state will need to attract some 35,000 people to energy efficiency related fields this decade if it wants to hit targets for 2030 and beyond.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
November 1, 2021

» Pollutionwatch: the solvable problem of home wood burners
Wood burning is causing dirty air from the UK to Australia, but a study shows incentives to switch can work
By Gary Fuller, The Guardian
October 22, 2021

» These 7 efficiency policies could help Texas avoid $8B in new gas plants, ACEEE says
Robert Walton, Utility Dive
October 14, 2021

» New Hampshire gas law handcuffs local government on climate-friendly construction
The Granite State is the latest of 20 states that have barred local governments from requiring electric heating and appliances in new construction, one of the easiest and cheapest ways for cities to curb climate emissions, advocates say.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
September 27, 2021

» Connecticut losing ground on building emissions despite efficiency programs
Climate activists say the state’s progress on reducing building emissions has been far too slow given the pace of the climate crisis, and that it needs to end incentives for energy-efficient natural gas heating.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
September 15, 2021

» MassCEC Pilot Showcases Success of Whole Home Heat Pumps
By Meg Howard, Program Director, MA Clean Energy Center
September 13, 2021

» Opinion: Climate-friendly buildings are essential to city’s future
By Sydney Engel and Sarah Simon, Boston Business Journal
September 3, 2021

» Inside Clean Energy: Which State Will Be the First to Ban Natural Gas in New Buildings?
As California’s new building code stops short of gas ban, here’s what other states are doing.
By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News
August 19, 2021

» The US public schools redesigning buildings with climate in mind
School districts are increasingly transitioning to cheaper and greener options. But old building habits and funding constraints can pose a challenge
By Maya Yang, The Guardian
August 18, 2021

» Imagining the climate-proof home in the US: using the least energy possible from the cleanest sources
Solar energy use will become more common as power use becomes smarter and more automated
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian
August 16, 2021

» California Panel Backs Solar Mandate for New Buildings
The state’s Energy Commission voted to require commercial and high-rise multifamily projects to have solar power and battery storage.
By Ivan Penn, New York Times
August 11, 2021

» Social cost of methane changes the equation for Colorado utility policy
Colorado is believed to be the first state in the nation to apply the social cost of methane to a broad range of regulatory decisions. A batch of new laws are expected to dramatically improve the case for building energy conservation.
By Allen Best, Energy News Network
August 2, 2021

» The Fight to Change US Building Codes
In cities and states around the country, conflicts over climate-friendly standards for buildings are heating up.
By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Inside Climate News
August 2, 2021

» Massachusetts considers higher efficiency bar for large commercial buildings
The Better Buildings Act would phase in energy efficiency requirements for large commercial buildings. The standards would be developed by state officials and vary depending on the type of building.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
July 28, 2021

» Holyoke natural gas moratorium stays in place; capacity remains top issue
By Dennis Hohenberger, MassLive
July 28, 2021

» Efforts to pursue climate goals in Mass. clash with incentives offered that promote fossil fuels
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
July 10, 2021

» Heat Pumps are the Most Climate Friendly Way to Heat Homes, But Still Emit a Climate Super Pollutant, Despite the Availability of a Cleaner Chemical
Manufacturers and safety officials welcomed a new refrigerant with fewer climate impacts. Why is a chemical company opposing its use in air-source heat pumps?
By Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News
July 12, 2021

» New York entrepreneur seeks to bring energy efficiency to more communities
By Alicia Powell, Reuters
July 8, 2021

» Energy efficiency is a low-hanging fruit to combat climate change. So why can’t everyone get access to it?
By Yvonne Abraham, Boston Globe
June 12, 2021

» Brookline Tries Again For A Fossil-Free Future
By Bruce Gellerman, WBUR
June 3, 2021

» Is Induction Cooking Safe?
By The Rational Kitchen
February 26, 2021

» Watchdogs on alert ahead of climate law implementation
By Colin A. Young, WWLP, Chanel 22 News
June 9, 2021

» A Net-Zero-Energy Victorian Home Makes History
The brand-new—but historic—house at 60 Stearns Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts
By Kristina DeMichele, Harvard Magazine
April 21, 2021

» Want to Buy a Climate-Friendly Refrigerator? Leading Manufacturers Are Finally Providing the Information You Need
The change came after I went out of my way to buy a green fridge, only to have a climate bomb delivered to my house.
By Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News
April 6, 2021

» Minneapolis program puts energy audits into hands of potential homebuyers
In its first year, a city ordinance requiring energy audits prior to home sales resulted in more than 6,200 reports disclosing the conditions of windows, insulation, and heating systems for prospective buyers and new owners.
By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network
April 5, 2021

» How Britain’s ‘build back better’ plan went very, very wrong
What the U.S. can learn from the U.K.’s disastrous home retrofit program.
By Emily Pontecorvo, Grist
April 1, 2021

» He wanted to get his home off fossil fuels. There was just one problem.
Want to electrify your home? Good luck finding a contractor.
Emily Pontecorvo, Grist
March 18, 2021

» Code council approves plan to limit city, state input despite pushback
The International Code Council’s decision to limit direct influence by state and local government officials left some critics speculating about the potential to create an alternative to the organization’s widely used model codes.
By Alex Ruppenthal, Energy News Network
March 5, 2021

» New ICC framework sidelines local government participation in energy code development
NBI strongly opposes changes, which make action on climate “non-mandatory”
By New Buildings Institute
March 4, 2021

» Cities voted for green building codes. Now developers want to end voting.
By Alexander C. Kaufman, Grist
March 1, 2021

» 5 Things to Know About Carbon-Free Buildings and Construction
By Stuart Braun, Deutsche Welle, in EcoWatch
February 24, 2021

» Will developers block clean energy standards?
State must not allow builders off the hook
By Joan Fitzgerald and Greg Coppola, CommonWealth Magazine | Opinion
February 11, 2021

» Baker take note: Net zero buildings make sense
Cities can get high-quality housing at no extra cost
By Meredith Elbaum, CommonWealth Magazine | Opinion
February 3, 2021

» DOE, House Energy committee question proposed building energy code changes
Increased involvement by local and state officials led to efficiency gains, prompting pushback from the building industry.
By Alex Ruppenthal, Energy News Network
February 1, 2021

» A net-zero code doesn’t need to derail affordable housing push, advocates say
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker cited the potential impact on affordable housing as a reason for his veto of a major climate bill.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
January 27, 2021

» Government plans to turn England homes green ‘in chaos’ with debt and job losses
Exclusive: firms out of pocket and losing faith in scheme administered by US-based corporation
By Sandra Laville, The Guardian
January 26, 2021

» What Will Happen to Your Next Home if Builders Get Their Way?
A lobby is trying to block building codes that would help fight climate change.
By Justin Gillis, New York Times | Opinion
January 21, 2021

» Watt It Takes: BlocPower CEO Donnel Baird Wants to Electrify Buildings for Everyone
This week on Watt It Takes: Donnel Baird talks harnessing his anger over racial inequities and using it to build a clean-energy business model.
By Stephen Lacey, GreenTech Media
January 14, 2021

» Cities, states would lose voice on model energy code updates under proposal
The International Code Council is set to consider a proposal that would strip public sector members of their voting rights on updates to influential model building energy code.
By Alex Ruppenthal, Energy News Network
January 13, 2021

» Boston zoning change would require net-zero emissions from new buildings
The initiative is among the most aggressive of existing or proposed strategies to cut energy consumption in buildings, which are responsible for 70% of the city’s carbon output.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
January 5, 2021

» Code Development Changes Could Silence Voter Voices
By Lauren Urbanek, National Resource Defense Council
December 21, 2020

» How to slash buildings’ growing greenhouse gas emissions
A new UN report gives a blueprint for greener buildings
By Justine Calma, The Verge
December 16, 2020

» Mass. no longer most energy-efficient state
California, with numerous policy initiatives, moves into top spot
By Colin A. Young, Statehouse News Service, in CommonWealth Magazine
December 18, 2020

» Green buildings ‘unheralded hero’ in emissions fight, experts say
By Chris Teale, Utility Dive
December 10, 2020

» ‘At Home in Pittsfield’ loan program overcomes earlier City Council opposition
By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
November 24, 2020

» Retroactive energy efficiency loans offer pandemic lifeline for some businesses
Green banks are offering businesses a chance to borrow against previous investments in energy-saving upgrades.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
November 23, 2020

» Mold, asbestos may put Connecticut weatherization goal out of reach
State leaders are looking for funding sources for remediation work that needs to happen before many energy efficiency upgrades can be completed.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
Photo By National Institutes of Health
October 29, 2020

» Fighting Climate Change, One Building At A Time
By Dan Charles, NPR
October 18, 2020

» Cities push ahead on Energy Efficiency as a Service as private sector plays catch up
Forms of EEaaS have existed for decades as alternative funding mechanisms in cities. Now, as technologies accelerate and COVID-19 continues, the private sector wants in.
By Chris Teale, Utility Dive
October 5, 2020

» Massachusetts seeks solutions to expand access to energy efficiency dollars
A recent report shows that renters, lower-income residents and non-English speakers are less likely to benefit from the state’s widely praised energy conservation program.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
October 1, 2020

» Building Industry Gets Serious About Its Embodied Carbon Problem
Wringing carbon out of buildings, including the materials, is a major climate challenge. Industry veterans see changes stirring.
By Ingrid Lobet, GreenTech Media
September 30, 2020

» Why Aren’t Home Efficiency Scores Standard in Online Real Estate Listings?
Realtors say such scores are useful for buyers and can open the door to broader conversations about home energy use.
By Justin Gerdes, GreenTech Media
September 02, 2020

» Rich Americans’ homes generate 25% more greenhouse gasses than those less affluent
An analysis of 93m US homes found that the most energy intensive dwellings are found in Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian
July 21, 2020

» Utility efficiency programs offer model to merge climate, racial justice solutions
Many states require utilities to help low-income customers conserve energy despite higher costs and barriers.
By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network
July 2, 2020

» Renovation firms’ stock rises on EU ‘green recovery’ boost
By Kate Abnett, Reuters
May 29, 2020

» Cooling with heat: Hybrid air conditioner that reduces electricity consumption
By National University of Singapore News
May 14, 2020

» Cities ‘finally waking up’ to the benefits of smart streetlights: survey
By Chris Teale, Utility Dive
May 7, 2020

» US Treasury to Tweak Tax Credit Deadlines for Renewables Projects
A letter issued by the Treasury Department suggests relief may be on the way for an anxious renewables market, particularly wind developers.
By Emma Foehringer Merchant, GreenTech Media
May 7, 2020

» Local Governments Vote Resoundingly for Improved National Energy Codes
By New Buildings Institute
December 20, 2019

» Cracking the climate code: Battle raging over building energy standards
By Andy Metzger, CommonWealth Magazine
December 8, 2019

» City of Cambridge and Eversource Launch Building Energy Retrofit Program
Eversource News Post
October 28, 2019

» Boston To Require All New City-Owned Buildings To Be ‘Net-Zero’ For Carbon Emissions
By Craig LeMoult, WGBH
October 8, 2019

» Gateway City challenges: Pittsfield mayor asks lawmakers for help aiding neighborhoods
By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
January 14, 2019

» Middletown pilot program aims to remove barriers to energy efficiency
By Shawn R. Beals, Hartfort Courant
November 26, 2018

» Energy efficiency can save the world — if we can figure out how to pay for it
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
November 21, 2018

» Lower Rocky Mountain Power efficiency targets put trade-off with renewables into focus
“As renewables get cheaper, what is the long-term effect on efficiency? That’s the million-dollar question.”
Robert Walton, Utility Dive
November 6, 2018