What IKEA can teach us about the future of solar and energy efficiency in Texas

Major solar arrays map
The big box furnishings retailer is going 100% renewable by 2020. A new solar-powered store near Dallas is the latest step.   By 2020, IKEA aims to be completely energy independent. Over 90% of its United States locations already have at least some rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, including a brand new 181,500 square foot, 1.25MW array on top of IKEA Grand Prairie. This is the company’s fourth rooftop solar installation in Texas. The flat-pack furniture retailer isn’t alone: o...
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What does the next chapter of energy efficiency look like for Austin?

City image at night
by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP When Texans look to their state capital, they see a diverse and sprawling metropolis of just under a million people, a vibrant cultural and economic hub, and a downtown skyline undergoing rapid transformation. Less visible is the city’s long and continued commitment to the energy efficiency of its built environment. Austin stands as a fine example of how a city can go beyond minimum statewide requirements to give its residents a better, greener future. In additi...
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DOE’s Three Year Residential Energy Code Field Study

In September 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced eight states that would participate in a three year Residential Energy Code Field Study. The states include: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas. Through the project, DOE plans to establish a sufficient data set to represent statewide construction trends and detect significant changes in energy use from training, education and outreach activities. The study comprises three main ...
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Building a Stronger Local Energy Code Network in Oklahoma and Texas

More people in Oklahoma and Texas will soon enjoy the benefits of a stronger local energy code community through the work of twelve newly-certified Energy Code Ambassadors. These volunteers will work under the auspices of the South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), the newest regional energy efficiency organization. In December 2014, SPEER doubled the number of its Energy Code Ambassadors from the previous year’s inaugural class. John Umphress, Building Code Off...
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Code Officials Become Energy Code Ambassadors In The State Of Texas

The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) and BCAP provided thirteen building code professionals advanced training to become certified Energy Code Ambassadors in the state of Texas. These experienced code enforcement professionals have stepped forward to offer their expertise and assistance to other building departments and the construction industry, to assure that construction of buildings and homes comply with the energy code, providing greater energy efficiency...
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The Energy Code Ambassador Program: A Network Of Peer-To-Peer Support

Energy Code Ambassadors are experienced building code officials who have been specially trained and certified on the energy code, and volunteer to offer their expertise and assistance to other code professionals in their state. They provide customized assistance to other code professionals or the construction and design industry. For example, in working with neighboring building departments, they provide an overview of the state energy code, assist with a plan review or site inspection, discuss ...
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Nebraska Energy Code Compliance Collaborative: A Case Study On An Emerging Best Practice

Nebraska peak mountain photo
by Paul Karrer In the wake of the Great Recession in 2009, Congress passed the Recovery Act to stimulate the national economy. Within that legislation, a pot of $3.1 billion in expanded State Energy Program (SEP) funding was linked to commitments from states to update their building energy codes and to develop plans to achieve greater rates of compliance by 2017. By January 2014, BCAP projects that about two of every three U.S. states will have implemented building energy codes that meet o...
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Compliance Collaboratives Convene To Share Lessons Learned

Collaboratives U.S states
On August 22, BCAP hosted an information sharing webinar on an emerging best practice in building energy codes: state Energy Code Compliance Collaboratives. A compliance collaborative is a forum for experts from diverse stakeholder groups impacted by energy codes to come together to work toward common interests and goals. The collaborative is a long-term, multi-year initiative to assist its state in implementing a plan to achieve full compliance with energy codes. The webinar featured progres...
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