October 30, 2014

In This Issue:

Green Living Spotlight:
Halloween Is A Good Time to Slay Energy Vampires & Phantom Loads
SEED Energy Performance Data Software Aims to Address Portfolio Manager Problems
WELL Building Standard Launched
City of South Miami Passes Resolution to Secede and Create a 51st State
HCFC Refrigerant Phaseout Hits Another Milestone in 2015
Diesel Bus Replacement Funding Offered by EPA Through November 17
Falling Home Ownership - Who's to Blame?
FHBA Elects 2015 Leadership Team
GE Introduces New Smart Appliances to Tickle Tech Savvy Consumers
FGBC Welcomes New Members
Education Opportunities
Funding Opportunities
Articles of Interest:
10 Reasons to Sign A Green Office Lease
FHFC Issues Multi-Family Energy Retrofit RFA
Green Living Spotlight:

Halloween Is A Good Time to Slay
Energy Vampires & Phantom Loads

Vampire or phantom load is the amount of energy a device consumes while in standby mode or switched "off" but still plugged into a power/wall outlet. While this standby power sometimes provides useful functions such as remote control, clock displays, and timers, in other cases it is simply wasted power as a result of leaving an electronic device or power adapter plugged in. The devices causing this waste are referred to as energy vampires because these products are slowing sucking energy while not providing any useful function! In addition to home office and home electronics equipment, chargers for cell phones, ipods, power tools, etc. also suck energy from your home when they are plugged into an outlet, even if they aren't charging.

Almost any single device consumes very little in annual electricity use but, when multiplied by 40+ products in your home, the sum is significant. Audio and home office equipment are the biggest vampires, as shown in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Standby Power Chart and the Standby Power Energy Use Table

Is standby power significant enough to worry about?
Yes, the amount of energy used by products when they are in standby mode is significant. The average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power devices while they are off (or in standby mode). On a national basis, standby power accounts for more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of annual U.S. electricity consumption and more than $10 billion in annual energy costs.

How can you slay the energy vampires in your house? [Read More]


SEED Energy Performance Data Software
Aims to Address Portfolio Manager Problems

State and local governments are increasingly implementing building performance reporting regulations for private and/or public buildings, resulting in a rapid increase in data. But each jurisdiction has had to invest significant time and resources into custom tools and processes for combining Portfolio Manager data with other information sources and analyzing it. To address this challenge, the US Department of Energy developed the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) platform.  The software application provides an easy, flexible, and cost-effective method to improve the quality and availability of data to help demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency, to implement programs, and to target investment activity.

The SEED source code is open source and extensible so that other parties can access the data, and offer add-on tools and services in a replicable way. [More]

The US Department of Energy is hosting an "Introduction to SEED" webinar on November 4, 2014 at 2pm ET. [Register]

WELL Building Standard Launched
The International WELL Building Institute has launched the WELL Building Standard that focuses on enhancing people's health and well-being through the built environment. It sets performance requirements in seven categories relevant to occupant health and well-being: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.

The Well Building Standard is designed to complement green building standards, is optimized for commercial and institutional buildings, and can be applied to three project typologies: 1) new construction and major renovations, 2) tenant improvements and 3) core and shell developments. Future refinements will address the specific requirements of multifamily residences, retail and restaurants, sports facilities and convention centers, schools, and healthcare facilities.

The WELL Building Standard is managed and administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and is third-party certified through IWBI's collaboration with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) - the certification body that administers the LEED Green Building Rating System. [More]

City of South Miami Passes Resolution
To Secede and Create a 51st State

Officials in the city of South Miami have passed a resolution in favor of splitting Florida in half so South Florida would become the 51st state. They say that Tallahassee isn't providing South Florida with proper representation or addressing its concerns when it comes to sea-level rise and potential catastrophic impacts.

The resolution lists the northern border of what would be the state of South Florida as being Brevard, Orange, Polk, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties. Orange County is particularly important because that's where the South Florida Water Management District begins. It was even suggested that a Central Florida city could possibly be the state of South Florida's capitol. In total, the proposed 51st state would include 24 counties. [Resolution

HCFC Refrigerant Phaseout Hits
Another Milestone in 2015

In mid-October, the EPA issued a rule that reduces the domestic production allowances for HCFC-22 to the lowest level ever and proposes a complete phase-out within five years. HCFCs, or hydrochlorofluorocarbons, are a class of refrigerants that are damaging to the ozone layer and contribute to climate change.

The rule aims to reduce emissions from leakage and stockpiles of this gas and encourages state-of-the-art leak detection, maintenance, and recycling, recovery and reuse of HCFCs. Additionally, it creates incentive for commercial consumers to convert outdated equipment that still uses HCFCs to more energy-efficient equipment using low global warming potential alternatives, such as climate-friendly hydrocarbons (ethane, isobutane, and propane) and a hydrocarbon blend (R-441A). EPA is also proposing to list HFC-32 as acceptable in room air conditioning units.
[Green Chill Retrofit Guidelines] [Fact Sheet

Diesel Bus Replacement Funding
Offered by EPA Through November 17

Under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Clean Diesel Rebate program, public and private school bus fleet owners are eligible to apply for funding to replace school buses that have older, dirtier diesel engines, which will reduce diesel emissions and will help improve air quality for Americans. As part of the 2014 School Bus Replacement Funding Opportunity, EPA is offering approximately $3 million in rebate funding.

Public and private school bus fleets are eligible to apply for rebates for the replacement of school buses with engine model years of 2006 or older. EPA will accept applications from Oct. 15 - Nov. 17, 2014. Applicants may submit only one application for up to five buses.

EPA has implemented standards that require diesel engines to be more than 90% cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to health problems, including aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.

To learn more about the rebate program, applicant eligibility and selection process, and informational webinar dates, please visit the EPA website. [More]

Falling Home Ownership - Who's to Blame?
The Atlantic reports that homeownership in the U.S. has fallen to a 19-year low, and contrary to popular media portrayal, Millennials (18-34) aren't the biggest force in the decline.

Instead, data from the U.S. Census shows that Americans between the ages 35 and 44 (Gen-X) have had the sharpest drop in homeownership since the recession struck, far outpacing the national rate. Since 1994, total homeownership is actually up .09 percent, but has dropped down 9 percent among the 35-44 years old crowd. In sum, homeownership has fallen less for young people than for any other age group under 64 in the past 20 years.

In 2005, the year when the true homeownership rate peaked for most age groups, 25-to-29 year-olds were the age group for which homeownership was highest relative to the demographic baseline, followed by 30-to-34 year-olds. These were first-time home-buyers getting easy credit for overpriced homes; then, they bore the brunt of the foreclosure crisis, losing their homes and wrecking their credit history. [More]

FHBA Elects 2015 Leadership Team
St. Augustine builder Jerry Linder and Orlando financial planner
Paul Iandoli took over the top leadership positions for the Florida Home Builders Association during FHBA's Fall Leadership Conference in Daytona Beach last week. Linder took over as FHBA President, following Ron Lieberman of Citrus County, while Iandoli succeeded Cindy Hall of Jensen Beach as Second Vice President (highest rank for an associate member). Additional Senior Officers elected were First Vice President/Treasurer Ray Puzzitiello of West Palm Beach, Secretary Jeremy Stewart of Crestview, and Third Vice President Tony Martin of Orlando.

GE Introduces New Smart Appliances
To Tickle Tech Savvy Consumers

Believing that grid-connected Smart appliances are the wave of the future, GE has introduced a new lineup of products that can be controlled with a mobile device.

The three new free-standing Profile Series gas and electric ranges are GE's second cooking appliances that allow consumers to preheat, set the time and check cooking status using an app on their smartphone. To use the connected technology, owners just need to download the GE Brillion mobile app and enable remote control.

The new GE Monogram French door wall oven boasts features fit for the pros but designed for the home. It offers 5 cubic ft. of capacity, true European convection and theater-style LED interior lighting.

New Members:

FGBC Welcomes New Members & Certifying Agents

James Black
Forum Architecture & Interior Design, Inc
Altamonte Springs

Cindy Perih
Kast Construction Company, LLC
West Palm Beach

Funding Opportunities:

$4 Million Offered by FHFC For Supportive Housing
FHFC Multifamily Energy Retrofit Program
National & State Green Building Funding Opportunities
St. Johns River WMD
South Florida WMD Water Programs
Southwest Florida WMD Water Programs

Education Opportunities:

Nov. 12, 2014
12 p.m.
Planning for Complete Streets in Florida

Nov. 13, 2014
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Energy Star Portfolio Manager Training

Winter Park
Community Center
Winter Park, FL

December 5, 2014
FGBC Certifying Agent
Annual Verification Course

Orlando, FL