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Efficiency businesses consider an uncertain future with COVID-19

Like workers across the country, energy efficiency professionals are on precarious footing as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds.

Non-essential work has been ordered to stop in many places, unless employees can work from home. In some cases, contracting work is allowed as long as workers can maintain appropriate social distance.

This puts efficiency contractors in a challenging position: Their work isn’t deemed “essential,” and much of it takes place in those now-crowded homes — whether it’s an energy audit, weatherization or installing a new heating and cooling system.

Will Kansas City stick to climate pledge or bow to pressure from homebuilders?

As Kansas City considers updating its building energy code, city officials are weighing the city’s climate commitments against concerns from homebuilders.

Adopting the latest international standards without revisions likely would increase costs for homebuilders but save energy and money for homeowners.

Builders have generally opposed the new code without amendments, while energy efficiency advocates say it is necessary if the city is serious about fighting climate change.

Marijuana growers gobble up electricity, but Michigan pot law doesn't address energy efficiency

Pot is a power-hungry crop.

Indoor marijuana grow facilities gobble up massive amounts of electricity, prompting a push from some environmental advocates for energy efficiency in the industry.

Michigan's marijuana laws do not directly address energy efficiency, but some utilities say they will work with growers to help them cut back on electricity.

Continue reading at Lansing State Journal.

Should New Homes be More Energy Efficient? City Council to Decide at Next Meeting

Springfield developers, contractors and builders were at odds once again with environmental activists over proposed changes to the city's building code. 

The modifications would require builders to pay a little more and take a few extra steps to make sure homes are well-insulated and sealed — key components designed to make buildings energy efficient and save homeowners money on their utilities. 

Letters for November 10: Tell City Council to reject lobbyists and support modern building codes

It is a sad day for our city when City Council makes decisions based on "special interest lobbying" (HBA) and inaccurate figures to bring forward a "compromise bill" that weakens our building codes. HBA says it will add $5,000 to the cost of building, whereas Ian Blanding with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance calculated the cost at $1,225.

Read the full letter to the Editor. 

Ohio slips in efficiency ranking as lawmakers gut state standards

An energy efficiency advocacy group has further downgraded Ohio in its state rankings, thanks to a new law rolling back the state’s clean energy standards. Other experts are warning that ratepayers will soon feel the impacts more directly. Ohio was in 33rd place among states and the District of Columbia in the latest rankings released on Oct. 1 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE...

Illinois marijuana growers will face energy efficiency and reporting rules

When Illinois’ new law legalizing recreational marijuana takes effect Jan. 1, growers will face some of the strongest energy efficiency and reporting requirements in the country. Marijuana can be an energy intensive crop. The new electricity load to power lighting, heating and ventilation for indoor grow facilities has strained the grid and even caused blackouts in other places after it was legalized.