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Solar Installer Will Train Its Own Electricians

New England-based ReVision Energy can't find as many licensed electricians as it would like. The solution? Open training centers of its own. (Photo: ReVision Energy) A New England solar installer with operations in three states faced a challenging shortage of licensed electricians in the region’s labor pool. So the solar contractor is opening its own training centers for electricians. ReVision Energy, with 225 employees and more than 7,000 solar installations to its credit, is now training 34 students in Maine and another 20 in Massachusetts, Mainebiz reported. The company has opened the Revision Energy Technical Center in Brentwood, New Hampshire,…


An Energy Report from the 2018 Midterms

Americans in at least seven states voted on energy-related ballot initiatives during the 2018 midterm elections. These measures targeted everything from raising targets for the share of electricity drawn from renewable energy to charging a tax on carbon emissions. Campaigns to defeat these initiatives related to energy and climate policy, financed heavily by big oil and gas companies and utilities, substantially outspent proponents. They prevailed in nearly every case. At the same time, however, voters elected many politicians who had vowed to take action to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. Those leaders could potentially bring on the same kinds of…


Building Better for Less

A Habitat for Humanity chapter in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is among six “grand award” winners in a Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home competition this year, proving that high performance doesn’t necessarily come with a high price tag. The annual contest recognizes innovative residential building in five categories, according to the DOE. Habitat Kalamazoo picked up the award for its entry in the Affordable Non-Profit category. Thrive Home Builders of Denver was the top winner in the Affordable For Profit category. In all, 23 builders from around the country earned innovation awards. The grand winners were announced in San Diego…


Heating Is the Next Clean Energy Frontier

California's ability to lower energy use and cut carbon emissions depends on a transition to high-efficiency heat pumps, according to a new report commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council. (Photo: Jeff Cleary / CC / Flickr) Clean space and water heating technologies such as heat pumps and solar thermal have the potential to save Californians more than $1,500 upon installation and hundreds of dollars on annual utility bills afterward. In particular, super-high-efficiency heat pump technology is key for the state to meet its clean energy and clean air goals, according to the first in-depth analysis of the economics and…


Federal Agencies Begin Efficiency Policy Rollbacks

More than 600 days into the Trump administration, amid constant reports of regulatory rollbacks, there’s been surprisingly little damage to energy efficiency… yet. But now the administrative winds are starting to blow, rulemaking procedures are underway — with a couple of open comment periods — and we are working hard to hold onto the energy savings we have been helping to build. The Obama administration had some remarkable successes on energy efficiency. We estimated that its appliance, vehicle, and power plant standards alone should save over 10 quadrillion Btu per year by 2030 (equivalent to about half of U.S. home…


School Water Often Goes Untested for Lead

Only 15 states and the District of Columbia require or encourage that drinking water in public schools be tested for lead, according to a new report from the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools. (Photo: Paul Domenick / CC BY-ND-NC / Flickr) Schools in 35 states are not required to test their drinking water for lead,  research by The Center for Green Schools has found. In the remaining 15 states and the District of Columbia, testing may be encouraged rather than required, and not all states require that parents be notified of the results, U.S. Green Building Council…

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