All sorts of interesting news over the past week involving energy efficiency:
NEMA announced the formation of a consortium to make recommendations to DOE about high performance buildings. Among others in the consortium: AHRI, ASHRAE, BOMA, and USGBC. It's called the High Performance Commercial Green Building Partnership (whoo, that's a mouthful), and it was formed in response to a request from DOE as it implements Section 421 of EISA 2007, to develop an R&D and deployment strategy for achieving net-zero energy commercial buildings.
President Obama signed a presidential memorandum requesting that DOE set new efficiency standards for common household appliances and light bulbs that will save consumers money, spur innovation, and conserve energy. NEMA publicly praised the action, having helped set new standards on general service light bulbs in EISA and being engaged presently with DOE in finalizing new standars for general service flourescent lamps.
The Senate's version of the economic stimulus bill, which should pass today, focuses a great deal on this topic — NEMA played a significant role in getting $14.4 billion for renewables and energy efficiency, $9 billion for renewable energy loan guarantees, $4.2 billion for energy efficiency block grants to states, a three-year extension of the renewable energy tax credit, and a renewable energy manufacturing tax credit. And that doesn't even include the funds committed for improving the electrical grid.