Alabama makes it harder than any other state for companies to use clean energy, report says

Alabama finished dead last in an index of all 50 states that examined how easily companies could use clean energy like solar and wind power to meet their electricity needs.

The report, titled the Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index, was released in January by the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a trade group representing large-scale retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Dollar General.

For Daniel Tait — CEO of non-profit group Energy Alabama, which advocates for renewable energy policies within the state — the index results were disappointing but not surprising.

“We’re just kind of standing in our way,” he said. “If a company wants to go solar, for example, and participate in these types of projects, they have to work really, really hard here and they’re just going to go to a state somewhere else where it’s going to be a much easier pathway for them to make these types of investments.”

To continue reading the full article from AL.com, please visit: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/02/alabama_clean_energy_rankings.html

Energy Alabama Helps Local Churches Save on Utility Bills

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Energy Alabama is hosting an energy bench-marking event for local churches and houses of worship. The event is specifically designed to help them cut back on utility costs.

Many churches around the Valley use a lot of energy throughout the week. Sometimes their design isn’t the most forgiving to energy efficiency.

To continue reading the full article, please visit: http://whnt.com/2017/02/07/energy-alabama-helps-local-churches-save-on-utility-bills/

Energy Alabama Promotes Sustainable Energy with 2 Federal Grants

A North Alabama nonprofit is the recipient of a $77,680 federal grant to study strategies to develop an advanced energy economy with an emphasis on coal-impacted communities.

Energy Alabama, founded in 2014 by CEO Daniel Tait, will use the technical assistance grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to identify the advanced energy industry of the coal-impacted areas and jobs within that industry. The organization will also seek workforce training resources from local community colleges and career placement to assist unemployed workers in the advanced energy sector.

To continue reading the full article from AL.com, please visit: http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2017/02/energy_alabama_promotes_sustai.html#incart_river_home

Energy Use Intensity

Here’s What Energy Use Intensity Means, And Why Should You Care

To calculate an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) score, all you really need is a few key pieces of information and some basic math skills. Sure, you’ll have to learn what a kBtu is, but it’s really not as complicated as you might think.

To understand what you EUI means—well, that’s what we’re here to discuss today. But first, let’s practice those basic math skills as we walk through a quick scenario.

So, you have a building and you may or may not want to know its EUI. You’re not really sure what an EUI is, but you’ve heard it can be a valuable metric. (This is true, by the way. More on that later.) Great. First order of business: Find out how much energy your building uses per year.

Got it? Now divide that number by your building’s total area. The resulting number is your EUI. That’s it.

 

So What Does My Energy Use Intensity Mean?

Unlike an ENERGY STAR score, which runs from 1-100, a lower EUI number generally represents better performance. Just like an ENERGY STAR score, however, you’ll be able to compare your building to others that are similar in age and size. It just won’t be in the form of a percentile ranking.

Energy Use Intensity Chart

Some types of buildings will always have a lower EUI than others, as this chart from Energy.gov illustrates.

Some good news: At Energy.gov, Portfolio Manager will do all the math for you. So no matter which units you use to input your energy consumption and building area, you’ll be fine. At the end, Portfolio Manager will spit out a number expressed in kBtu/square feet.

(In plain English, a “kBtu” is one thousand British thermal units. So now you know, and it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll ever use that information again.)

But here’s the kicker: It’s possible to calculate an EUI for virtually any building. (That’s not the case with an ENERGY STAR score.) So if you’re taking the North Alabama Buildings Performance Challenge, calculating your building’s EUI could generate some seriously valuable energy-efficiency information for yourself and your company.

Even if your building doesn’t produce enough data for an ENERGY STAR score.

So basically, when you calculate your EUI, you’ll know how exactly how well you’re doing with your efficiency efforts. What’s more, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement.

And most importantly, you’ll continue to make progress toward your overall goal of improving your building’s energy efficiency.

SELC, partners push for open dialogue around energy efficiency in Alabama

A rate increase proposed by Huntsville Utilities, a municipally-owned utility in northern Alabama, has spurred discussions around the importance of making energy efficiency programs more widely available in a state where efficiency policies have not been widespread.

“A major first step in moving the needle and opening access to energy efficiency is to start an open dialogue with utilities and make the case for financial models that remove disincentives and encourage customers to save energy,” said Daniel Tait, CEO of Energy Alabama. “We are hopeful that the Huntsville City Council members heard the message, and we look forward to future discussions with Huntsville Utilities to establish a robust, transparent process that includes all stakeholders going forward.”

To read the full article, please visit: https://www.southernenvironment.org/news-and-press/news-feed/selc-partners-push-for-open-dialogue-around-energy-efficiency-in-alabama