News

October 17, 2014

In This Issue:

Project Spotlight: LifeStyle Homes
Clean Energy Jobs in Florida Threatened by Lack of Policy
FGBC Commercial Building Standard: Public Comments Accepted Until Dec 31
Final Rule Issued by Energy Department For Federal Buildings Green Certification
$100 Million Loan Program Available to Develop Recycling Infrastructure
What You Should Know About FEECA and Its Impact on Your Energy Costs
'Complete Streets' Webinar Explains Design Principles & Implementation
Solar Policy Symposium Planned FlaSEIA to Host Dec. 5 in Orlando
USGBC-South Florida Hosts Annual GalaVerde Event Nov 1
Improving Corporate Sustainability At the Corporate Board Level
3D Printer Builds 10 Homes in One Day
FGBC Welcomes New Members
Education Opportunities
Funding Opportunities
 
Articles of Interest:
 
Rainwater Harvesting: When Water in the Walls Is A Good Thing
Solar Could Be the Most Important Energy Source by 2050
GE Membrane Technology Produces Renewable Energy from Wastewater
Greenest School Award Goes to Eagles Landing Middle School-Boca Raton
 
Project Spotlight:
 

LifeStyle Homes

Larry Hufford and daughter Karen accept a Sustainable Florida Best Practices Award for LifeStyle Homes.

LifeStyle Homes in Melbourne received a Sustainable Florida Best Practice Award for its SunSmartSM program and solar-powered homes.

All new LifeStyle homes are built to this higher standard and to date, the company has built nearly 300 LifeStyle SunSmartSM homes for residents of Central Florida.

LifeStyle Homes was also recognized for completing nearly 30 solar-powered homes, many of which are zero-energy homes - meaning they produce as much clean energy as their owners consume.


 
LifeStyle SunSmartSM homes are at least 40 percent more energy efficient than typical new homes, and at least 70 percent more energy efficient than typical existing homes, as verified by third-party energy raters certified by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). Each home built by LifeStyle includes the following energy-efficient features:
  • Radiant heat barrier under shingle roofs
  • Extra-Thick R-38 Ceiling Insulation with Retainer Fence
  • R-30 Insulation in Walls Adjacent to Attic Using ICYNENE®- Brand Spray Foam
  • Air Handler Mounted in Conditioned Space
  • Filtered outside-air supply to HVAC
  • Energy Star® Double-Pane Low-Emissivity (Low-E) White Vinyl Windows & Energy Star® High-Performance MI 600 Series Double-Pane Low-E Sliding-Glass Doors
  • Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater
  • Superior Sealing of All Wall and Ceiling Penetrations
  • 80 CFM Hi-Flo Exterior-Vented Kitchen and Bath Fans
  • Double-Furred, R-7.1 Interior Wall Insulation
  • Pressure-Tested, Certified-Tight Air Ducts
  • Deluxe EnergyStar® Appliances
  • Efficient High-Ambiance CFL Lighting
  • High-Performance Heat-Pump 15 SEER/HSPF 8.5 HVAC
  • Photovoltaic Panels (Also Called Solar Panels)

[More]

Features:
 

Clean Energy Jobs in Florida
Threatened by Lack of Policy

Tens of thousands of Florida's clean energy jobs could be at risk if state regulators approve proposals by investor-owned utilities to gut their energy savings goals. The "Clean Jobs Florida" report indicates there are 130,000 clean energy jobs in Florida, about 75,000 in the energy efficiency field, which ranges from LED bulbs to solar hot water heaters. That could make the clean energy sector vulnerable if cuts are approved.

Florida ranks No. 3 in the nation for solar potential and could generate 25 times its electricity needs with clean, renewable sources. That could save homeowners and businesses billions of dollars, the report states.

Florida's investor-owned utilities see it differently. They have told state regulators that energy efficiency programs are more expensive than generating electricity at one of their plants. As such, the investor-owned utilities - Tampa Electric, Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power & Light - want to cut their energy efficiency goals by more than 90 percent.

Instead of the energy efficiency measures they say have become too costly, the utilities favor building power plants that they control. Even when the projects are solar power plants or other renewable energy sources, the utilities want to build and operate them rather than see individual customers installing solar panels on the roofs of their homes or businesses. [More

FGBC Commercial Building Standard:
Public Comments Accepted Until Dec 31

Public comments for modification requests to the FGBC Green Commercial Building Standard Version 2 close on December 31, 2014. If you would like to propose changes to the Standard, submit the Modification Request Form to FGBC by December 31, 2014.

Final Rule Issued by Energy Department
For Federal Buildings Green Certification

The Energy Department is pursuing a suite of initiatives to strengthen federal energy management through increased focus on measurement of energy use in federal buildings and energy efficient building design. Principal among the efforts is the Department's issuance of a final rule that requires verified energy and water performance for new and retrofitted federal buildings that are certified by private sector green building certification systems.

The rule, which goes into effect Nov. 13, ensures that in cases where agencies choose to use green building certification systems to meet federal sustainability and energy standards, they must choose a system that verifies enhanced energy and water efficiency.  By requiring re-assessments at least every four years, the rule will ensure energy and water savings continue well beyond the initial building opening or retrofit.  System requirements for the verification of energy and water performance in new construction and major renovations will lead to reduced consumption through active energy and water management.

To further the Department's sustainability and energy savings efforts, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) recently updated its Federal Building Energy Use Benchmarking Guidance, which designates the Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as the sole benchmarking tool for federal agencies. [Final Rule] [More]
[Energy & Water Use Benchmarking]

$100 Million Loan Program Available
To Develop Recycling Infrastructure

Municipalities across the US can now apply for zero-interest loans to develop recycling infrastructure. The Closed Loop Fund has opened its application process for municipalities and private entities across the country. It plans to invest $100 million over the next five years to support the development of recycling infrastructure and services.

The zero interest loans are repaid from either landfill diversion savings or revenue generated from the sale of recyclable material. Companies that service municipalities may also apply - interest rates will be below market rates. [More]

What You Should Know About FEECA
And Its Impact on Your Energy Costs

The Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (FEECA), is a program that has long been in existence and oversees and mandates efforts on behalf of Florida utility companies to conserve electricity consumption and increase energy efficiency. This program requires that utility companies collect a few dollars each month from each ratepayer in the state, and then put those funds to use on programs to increase energy conservation such as installing better insulation, efficient windows, solar thermal and solar PV, and power-saving appliances. This program is currently under review by the Florida Public Service Commission and the outlook is not good. In July, the state's investor owned utilities (IOUs) requested the Public Service Commission to slash their already meager conservation goals by 75 to 90 percent. This would result in less rebates, less incentives, and less conservation programs.

Net-Metering is a mechanism administered by utility companies to purchase the excess electricity from distributed solar systems and feed the electricity into the grid. The cost at which this electricity is purchased has fallen under attack across the country. It is widely believed that Florida will be next. This will have a significantly negative impact on the fledgling solar market in Florida. A non-partisan, non-branded, citizen led effort is underway to protect net-metering policies in Florida. Anyone with an interest in supporting solar, and especially current solar owners, should sign up and tell their story at www.NetMeteringFlorida.com
This story provided by the Florida Alliance for Renewal Energy. For more information go to www.farenergy.org.

'Complete Streets' Webinar Explains
Design Principles & Implementation

In an effort to make Florida streets safer, the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved a "Complete Streets" policy and implementation plan, which will be incorporated into the various State planning and policy manuals and guidelines. Key elements of the reform program include "road diets" (lanes reduction), land use development patterns, and speed limits.

The first community in Florida to adopt Complete Streets guidelines is the city of Deerfield Beach. During a webinar on November 12 at 12 p.m., Director of Planning and Development Services Amanda Martinez will review the process Deerfield Beach used to adopt and implement those guidelines.

Billy Hattaway, Florida DOT District 1 secretary and bike and pedestrian coordinator, will discuss how a context based "complete street" design approach will provide access for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation users of all ages and abilities while also enhancing accessibility, safety and public health. [Register]

Solar Policy Symposium Planned
FlaSEIA to Host Dec. 5 in Orlando

Gearing up for the 2015 Legislative session, the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) is hosting a solar policy symposium to engage stakeholders for setting the strategy and direction of solar policy in Florida. Solar advocates, including businesses, associations, interested groups, and other stakeholders, are invited to participated in the planning session and collaborative event scheduled for Friday, December 5, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost is $75 and includes a reception and dinner with keynote. Learn More

USGBC-South Florida Hosts
Annual GalaVerde Event Nov 1

The USGBC-South Florida Chapter is hosting its annual GalaVerde awards ceremony on November 1, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Ft. Lauderdale. GalaVerde 2014 will recognize and honor those outstanding projects, businesses, individuals, and USGBC Chapter members who are LEEDing the way to a more sustainable built environment in the South Florida community. Marge Anderson, Executive Vice President of the Energy Center of Wisconsin and Chair-elect of the U.S. Green Building Council, will serve as the keynote speaker. [More]

Improving Corporate Sustainability
At the Corporate Board Level

Raising awareness of sustainability as a board-level issue is a key theme of the Director's Handbook on Oversight of Corporate Sustainability Activities, co-produced by Ernst & Young with the National Association of Corporate Directors.

The handbook details the state of sustainability governance and offers a how-to-guide for companies to elevate sustainability awareness within their organization and set up proper governance at the board level.

One of the key recommendations in the handbook is that directors grasp the company's definition of sustainability and how it fits with the company's strategy and specific situation. Among other recommendations, the handbook suggests that board and management:

  • Align on the sustainability message and the information it chooses to report publicly.
  • Clarify roles for oversight responsibility of sustainability activities, including external reporting.
  • Establish parameters for sustainability reporting to the board.

[Read More] [Handbook Executive Summary]

3D Printer Builds 10 Homes in One Day
A private company located in eastern China has printed ten full-size houses in the space of a day using a huge 3D printer. The process utilizes quick-drying cement, but the creators are being careful not to reveal the secrets of the technology.

China's WinSun company used a system of four 10 meter wide by 6.6 meter high printers with multi-directional sprays to create the houses. Cement and construction waste was used to build the walls layer-by-layer, state news agency Xinhua reported.

"To obtain natural stone, we have to employ miners, dig up blocks of stone and saw them into pieces. This badly damages the environment," stated Ma Yihe, the inventor of the printers. Yihe has been designing 3D printers for 12 years and believes his process to be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. [More]

New Members:

FGBC Welcomes New Members & Certifying Agents

Lorie Mertens-Black
City of Hollywood
Hollywood

Pieter Opperman
Nokomis

Salena Wilson (Rejoin)
Myakka City

Funding Opportunities:

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:

Oct. 29, 2014
ENERGY STAR Webinar
ZERH Program

2 - 3 pm EST
[Register]

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

[Webinar]

December 5, 2014
FGBC Certifying Agent
Annual Verification Course

Orlando, FL
[Register]