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Month: July 2010

Sifting for Gold

Sifting for Gold

Today’s first take on real GDP growth for 2010Q2 showed the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.4 percent and 3.2 percent in the past year. This is roughly in line with the average rate of real GDP growth during the post-WWII era, but given the fact that growth tends to be above-average during the earliest stages of a recovery it becomes easy to see why one cannot characterize this as a robust v-shaped rebound. Worse yet, the report also showed growth for prior quarters was revised Read more [...]
CPSC Public Database – Useful, or Ripe for Misuse?

CPSC Public Database – Useful, or Ripe for Misuse?

In May 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a proposed rule to establish a Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database. The database, which will be populated by consumer-submitted “reports of harm” on alleged incidents or risks of injury, illness, or death resulting from the use of a consumer product, was mandated by Congress and is expected to “go live” at SaferProducts.gov in March 2011.  CPSC accepted public comments on Read more [...]
Smart grid impact deepens

Smart grid impact deepens

The promise of a more efficient electric power grid is coming closer and closer to reality.  Many of the overarching concepts have been defined and now considerable activity is underway to define the myriad of interactions between the multitude of actors in this huge play.  One such activity, sponsored by North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB)  is just getting started through a joint venture co-sponsored by ASHRAE and NEMA.  This activity will result in a data model Read more [...]
Smart Phones Gone Green!

Smart Phones Gone Green!

Starting in November, eco-enthusiasts can put down their organic lettuce wraps and pick up their smart phones to download a brand new application capable of tracking driving behavior through the use of your phones embedded GPS, and doing so almost completely independent of driver input. The Virtual Vehicle Company (VEVCo), developed at the University of California-Berkeley has become the first company that uses the latest smart phone innovations to unlock useful information about greener transportation. Read more [...]
97 Days Out…A Snapshot

97 Days Out…A Snapshot

Election Day (November 2, 2010) is 97 days away. The House of Representatives will pack up for the summer by this Friday (July 30), with the Senate planning to follow suit in a week (August 6). Some will escape the DC heat to vacation with their families and participate in parades and town hall meetings; others will face heat of an entirely different kind. The months of August and September will bring a spate of congressional and gubernatorial primaries in numerous states, and with that Read more [...]
Indiana Is Keeping Life-Saving Electrical Devices from its Citizens!

Indiana Is Keeping Life-Saving Electrical Devices from its Citizens!

Indiana is the only state in the U.S. that does not require the installation of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters in dwellings.  These life-saving devices detect electrical arcing shut off the electrical circuit before a fire can start.  Why is Indiana keeping life-saving devices from its citizens?  Want to find out why?  Click here and then click on “Finding the Fault” on the home page.

Roadside EV Charging: Got Juice?

Roadside EV Charging: Got Juice?

Two ballyhooed new models of all-electric vehicles will be coming on the market this year.  One model will go 40 miles on a full charge, the other will go 100 miles.  For some that will be enough to go about business until the vehicle can be recharged at home or the workplace.  For others, however, some kind of charging will be needed while out and about.  Current technology (such as from EV-Charge America or Coulomb Technologies) that a public facility might deploy affordably, Read more [...]
What’s next now that the punch bowl is empty?

What’s next now that the punch bowl is empty?

The bad news for the housing market continues to mount (see here, here and here). The dreaded payback effect from the homebuyer tax credit is causing sales to look particularly weak right now. However, the excess supply situation, which has been a big issue for several years already, will continue to hinder the market’s recovery as foreclosures pile up and shadow inventory begins to emerge. With that said, what are some factors that will bring the housing market back into balance? The first Read more [...]
Standards, Consensus, and the 80/20 Rule

Standards, Consensus, and the 80/20 Rule

A standards geek knows that “consensus is general agreement—not necessarily unanimity.” Recently, a NEMA member commented publicly on standards development, collaboration, and the “80/20 rule,” which generally states that: 80% of effects are generated by 20% of causes, or, conversely, that 20% of effects are generated by 80% of causes. For standards development, the NEMA member observed that “…an inordinate amount of time goes into what to do with that Read more [...]
Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

For those of you who were hooked by the title, sadly this is the only sentence where Marty McFly will be mentioned.  But fear not, movie quotes are still in play. As mentioned in my last blog entry, commercial building retrofits present a very cost-effective option for reducing energy consumption and utility costs.  Not only are there existing federal, state, and utility incentive programs available for these energy efficient retrofits, but energy efficiency also presents America’s Read more [...]