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Democrats Seek Extension of Tax Breaks for Renewables

Wind farms, like this one in Idaho, would benefit from an effort in Congress to extend tax breaks for renewable energy. [Photo credit: Jerry and Pat Donaho / CC NC-ND / Flickr] Federal tax credits for wind and solar systems are to be phased out beginning next year as part of a 2015 deal that ended a ban on crude oil exports. Now, a group of Democrats in Congress would like rework the plan and keep the subsidies in place, Bloomberg reports. The 2015 agreement was a boon for renewables. A production tax credit for the wind industry, which had…


New York Gets Serious About Traffic

A traffic jam on New York's Hudson Street. Beginning in 2021, fees will be levied on all vehicles entering a pricing zone covering lower Manhattan. [Photo credit: Andreas Komodromos / CC BY-NC / Flickr] After years of debate, New York state has adopted congestion pricing to deal with traffic problems in New York City. Starting in 2021, fees will be imposed on all vehicles entering a pricing zone that covers lower Manhattan, from 60th Street at the southern edge of Central Park to the southernmost tip of the island. This approach has succeeded in cities including London, Singapore, and Stockholm.…


What to Know About Meeting Energy Code Requirements

What to Know About Meeting Energy Code Requirements | 2019-05-28 | Walls & Ceilings This website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience. By visiting this website, certain cookies have already been set, which you may delete and block. By closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of cookies. Visit our updated privacy and cookie policy to learn more. This Website Uses CookiesBy closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Learn More This website requires certain…


Lessons from Asheville’s First Zero Energy Ready Home

The Department of Energy would like builders to up their game. Though the energy savings achieved by the DOE’s Energy Star Homes program (said to be 20%) is worth celebrating, it’s possible these days to build homes that are even more energy efficient than that. It’s even possible while also delivering other key benefits:  improved comfort, reduced water use, the best possible indoor air quality, and the ability to seamlessly integrate a photovoltaic (PV) system. The DOE thinks it’s time for more new homes to take that step. Enter the Zero Energy Ready Home program. Launched in 2013 as an…


Should We Install a Whole-House Fan?

Writing from St. Paul, Minnesota, W Ramsay wants some feedback on his plan to install whole-house ventilation fans in the house he’s building. He likes the idea, the building inspector does not. Ramsay sees the benefits of improved indoor air quality and energy-efficient cooling, while the inspector is apparently concerned that the fans would depressurize the house and possibly lead to backdrafting of combustion appliances. Originally, the inspector was prepared to require a 1:1 makeup air system, which would not only be expensive but also defeat the purpose of the fans, Ramsay says. The inspector backed off that original request…


Report: Trash-to-Energy Plants Face a Bleak Financial Future

The Wheelabrator incinerator in Saugus, Massachusetts, opened in 1975, making it one of the oldest trash-to-energy plants in the country. Every day, the plant burns some 1,500 tons of solid waste from 10 surrounding communities. [Photo credit: Fletcher6 / CC / Wikimedia Commons] Incinerators that burn municipal solid waste face a variety of economic challenges, with most remaining plants located in poor and minority communities where nearby residents are exposed to a variety of pollutants, a new report says. The study from the Tishman Environmental and Design Center at the New School in New York paints a bleak picture of…

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