Regulations coming into force in April and May 2008 will bring a wealth of energy and environmental information to homebuyers in the United Kingdom. Potential buyers will get an Energy Performance Certificate and a mandatory comparison of the new home to the requirements contained in the UK’s Code for Sustainable Homes as part of home information packets (HIPs) prior to purchasing the home.
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Updating a pathbreaking 2003 report, ILSR’s March 2008 report, Driving Our Way to Energy Independence, describes how commercially available technologies today could transform our petroleum powered transportation system into one powered by electricity and biofuels. Provisions in the recently passed Energy Act could accelerate that transformation. Continue reading
Last month the Internal Revenue Service today announced 312 projects that are now eligible to be financed with tax-credit bonds under the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) program. Approximately, $477 million was available for this round of applications. The CREB program was created by the Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005 and expanded under the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.
A new policy brief from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance concludes that universal dividends are a critically important tool to create the political will and public acceptance for a carbon cap. Universal dividends have the potential to hold harmless a large segment of consumers while we move to a low-carbon economy. Moreover, the universal dividend honors the principle that the sky belongs to all of us equally. Continue reading
Several European countries and the Canadian province of Ontario have recently adopted feed-in tariffs, a mandated, long-term premium price for renewable energy paid by the local utility company to renewable energy producers. A new study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) shows how feed-in tariffs could turbocharge Minnesota’s renewable electricity standard, reduce costs, and spread the economic benefits across the state.
The California Solar Water Heating and Efficiency Act of 2007 (AB 1470), creates a 10-year program aimed at installing 200,000 solar water heaters in homes and businesses using a $250 million fund. Continue reading
This is a presentation that was given by John Farrell at the Local Energy Initiatives Forum in Cloquet, MN on September 13, 2007 Continue reading
A survey in northern California reveals a wide range of fees assessed to homeowners that install on-site solar power systems. The Sierra Club’s Loma Prieta, S.F. Bay and Redwood chapters compared the charges and fees in 131 municipalities. The report recommends on that a $300 fee is an appropriate ceiling level that would comply with state law.
This column by ILSR’s John Farrell argues that in their desire to expand renewable-energy production, activists and policymakers focus almost entirely on “more,” rather than “better.” Twenty-seven states have renewable-energy standards, requiring utilities to produce or sell 10, 20, even 30 percent of electricity from renewable sources in the next two decades. The U.S. Continue reading
Congress and most state legislatures have or are developing renewable energy policies with a single objective: get more renewables. Our new study, Wind and Ethanol: Economies and Diseconomies of Scale, finds that this single minded focus ignores the potential economic benefits from locally owned and more modestly scaled facilities. The focus should on better renewable energy projects not simply more.